An Ode to Duncan Swallow

Duncan Swallow

I know this is not a photo of my dear friend Dunc,  but I couldn’t find the picture he sent me of him in his underwear. Seriously, the man was wearing underwear and tights. He was not being a deviant though, merely sharing a photo of his writing group, Talliston Writers’ Circle staging some kind of play.

When I first “met” Duncan Swallow I was a tad gun shy when it came to male bloggers. I won’t elaborate, but suffice is to say I was leery of another male writer being nice to me. Dunc was flirtatious but not suggestive.  I read his posts, which at first, I thought were long-winded. The more I read, the more I liked him. The more we chatted, the more I cared for him.

Duncan is my friend. He has restored my faith in men. Roger Darling does that too, everyday, but so does my friend from Across the Pond. He made me realize that I’m a good writer and woman. That though I’m pretty, I have more to offer this world than just that.

He started calling me Hotshot. I gotta say I’m digging the nickname. He shares his stories with me before he posts them. Thanks to him, I was able to muster enough courage to submit some stories to Etherbooks.com. Those stories were published. Roger Darling tells me to stop telling you all that I’m published. I won’t. I’m a self-promoting nut ball.

I hope that I get to meet Dunc. Tell him I love him. For everything. For the praise, kudos, criticism, and kick ass nickname. Most of all, I’m thankful for what he gave back to me. Faith, strength and hope. I love you Dunc. You’re one of my favorites.

Love,

Sparkly Girl

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

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Very Inspiring Blogger Award-Why I Write

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Don’t ask for whom the bells tolls. It tolls for thee.-Ernest Hemingway

Thank you so much Ajaytao 2010  for nominating me for this award. He has given me so many awards in the last couple of months. It disheartens me that though I’ve accepted them, I haven’t acknowledged the fact on my page. It seems that I’ve forgotten why I write. And essentially whom I write for. I write for me. It’s as simple as that, really. I won’t ever forget again.

I love words, no matter how simple. They make my heart sing, or break. I’m a sap. I make no apologies for it though. Give me a photo and I’ll weave a story. Give me a word and I’ll weave a story. Give me a song. A subject. Even a sad friend needing to purge their soul. I don’t know where the words come from. Well, I sort of do. A thesaurus or dictionary. I’m not afraid to say my vocabulary is limited. Anybody know of a writer’s group in the Ann Arbor area? I need some help. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Here are the rules:

1. Display the award logo on your blog (top).
2. Link back to the person who nominated you (below logo)
3. State 7 things about yourself (below terms).
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them (below 7 things).
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Seven things about me:

I’m a mouthy little shit.

I hate my body.

I would rather party in a pole barn than anywhere else.

I love with every damn bit of my heart.

I see the best in people. Often, that bites me right in my ass!

I am a very happy person, but cry easily.

I have a great penchant for love, but do NOT fuck with me. If you hurt me, we are DONE.

My nominees are:

Tales of a Charm City Chick

25toFly

The Chowderhead

Christopher De Voss

Erotixx

Cristi Moise

Paula Acton

Benjamin Prewitt

Kayla Lords

t

Charlie Zero

Duncan

Reclining Gentleman

You Jivin’ Me, Turkey

I GOT PUBLISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” ― Marilyn Monroe

My short story, On a Hot Summer Night has been published on Ether Books. It will be available for download in approximately 2 weeks. I will give you more information as it becomes available. Ether Books is downloadable on your iPhone or Android phone. Holy shit, I’m so damn excited I could pee!!!!!! Here’s the app information. PLEASE TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW.

https://itunes.apple.com/app/id362070951?mt=8

Ajay recently posted this gorgeous photo of a farmhouse. I told him that I could see an entire story unfold in it. I wrote of a young married couple named Tyler and Anna. It was sort of erotic, but mostly sensual. It took me three days to write and revise the story. When I finally posted it, I received great feedback. I read and reread it. I was proud of it, but not overly so.

I spoke with my friend Duncan about some of his short stories that he had published on Ether Books. I asked for details on how to do it and he gladly helped this novice writer find her way. In the meantime, more of his stories were being picked up. I kept downloading and reading them. He’s so damn good, I figured there was no way in hell I would ever get published. Me, a silly woman that has only been writing a little over a year.

I gave in and said what the fuck, it couldn’t hurt to try. After creating an Ether Books account, I submitted my story. Mind you that was a little over a week ago. I checked my Yahoo email account every day expecting the worst. Rejection. Who would have thought that I would receive an acceptance email? My first submission. My first acceptance. Not only will it be available for download on Ether Books in two weeks, but it’s a PAID download.

The first person I told was Duncan. The second was Roger Darling. Then the kids. Then my personal and author page on Facebook. Can’t forget my Twitter account. Last but not least was Rory, my editor. I told him that this was only the beginning. I have stories that I’ve already written that he needs to edit. It’s time for this crazy woman to move forward and submit more.

I promise to let you know when the story is available for purchase. Renee Heath, published author. Who’d a thunk it????

Holy Shit I’m a Romance Writer!!

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If I ever get a book written, I’m going to be like the chick in the tub. Smoking, drinking champagne and speaking Italian. Giggle, snort!

When I first started blogging, I wrote a post called Steamy Windows and Nineteen. It was a favorite memory of mine. Kyle told me in an email that I wrote very well, but my best stories were about love. The more tragic, the better. I’m sad he doesn’t blog anymore. He taught me how to write erotica. I miss him.

I loathe most romance novels and writers. Nicholas Sparks, Danielle Steele, Nora Roberts, Stephenie Meyer, Robert James Waller, etc. Dear God, if I type any more of the author’s names, I’m going to hurl.

I’ll be happy to write like Robert James Waller though. I read The Bridges of Madison County and I swear to you I cried so hard, part of my heart broke. The damn thing won’t ever heal.   The movie? Fahgettaboutit. I could be in the sunniest mood when I first start viewing it. By the end when she grips that door handle, I’m sobbing like a lost child. I swear to you I am pushing against that door with all my might.  I want her to run to him. Even though I know she won’t. I pray that the story will end differently. I know it’s where I got the idea for the ashes of the woman to be buried with her writer in The Ghost of a Great Love.

I’ve written happy stories like Sunrise, Coffee and Sanctuary. Some of my stories have to have happy endings. Most don’t though. And that’s okay. I think I was supposed to write the tragic love story, like The Chill of Autumn and The Death of a Love. A little poem titled, Raindrops and Red Lipstick was one of my saddest. The angriest story I’ve written so far is The Madness of a Woman Seduced. I have to say it’s one of my favorites. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!

I’m not trying to tout my work. Be all stuck up and snobby, like my writing is exemplary. Far from it. What I’m  trying to tell you all is that I’m super frustrated by the revelation that I am a romance writer. I wanted to be deep. I wanted to be all cerebral and shit. It ain’t gonna happen though. This silly blonde woman wears her heart on her sleeve. I always have. Always will.

I have a fantastic editor. I won’t tell you his name, because he asked me not to. Plus he’s mine and I don’t share well with others. I’m working on getting published. I’ve found a couple of writing groups that I’m going to join. I’m even working with a local publisher/editor. I’m praying that something good will happen with this writing “thing” as an ex-friend calls it. I tell you though, if all I ever do is write on Rendezvous, that’ll be enough.

The image below is my  1/2 sleeve tattoo. I’ll be getting it soon. Starts at my left my shoulder and wraps around my elbow. See, I really will be wearing my heart on my sleeve. For everyone to see.

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The Words, A Movie Review

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 “Clay Hammond: We have to choose between life and fiction. The two are very close, but they never actually touch” —  The Words

First of all, I do not usually do reviews of any kind. Secondly, I think Bradley Cooper is a giant douche. Third and most importantly, I am enamored with the movie, The Words.

I’ve come to realize that I am a writer. It’s been inside of me my whole life. This passion. This need to write. To connect. To tell a story. I’m devouring anything and everything on the subject. Tonight I gritted my teeth and endured watching Bradley Cooper portray Rory Jansen. A writer. A mediocre one at best. It’s all he ever wanted to be though. He struggles to find the story locked within him. Find it he does. In a satchel procured in a second hand shop in Paris, while on honeymoon with his lovely wife Dora. Played stunningly well by Zoe Saldana. She is a woman that has complete faith that her husband will be a successful writer.

After Rory reads the typewritten pages scarred and yellowed by time, he starts to type. And type. He doesn’t stop until the entire story has been transferred to a Word document on his computer. He doesn’t know where he’ll go with it. He has no plan. Until. Until, the lovely Dora finds it. Her eyes spill tears for a story she swears he has written. That his come from his soul. What happens next, you can guess. Publisher loves it and the party goes on from there. The accolades. The success.

Enter the Old Man…

Roger Darling and I are still arguing over the ending. We’re not sure what happened. I say, it was real. Roger Darling says, it was fiction. It’s up to each viewer to decide. As Clay said, “We have to choose between life and fiction. The two are very close, but they never actually touch.”

And no, I’m not going to tell you who Clay is.

I’m STILL Looking for that Other Damn Street!!!!

Photo courtesy of Merrith Kujawa (Figured it was appropriate, because I’m usually so sparkly. Not feelin’ it lately though. So I leave you with this today.  Dealing with sadness, jealousy, PTSD, and a host of other issues. And yes, after 44 years I keep falling in that damn hole. I’m learning how to crawl out of it though. By God’s good grace, I am.)

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

 Chapter 1

I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in.

I am lost . . . I am helpless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever to find a way out

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place.

But it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in … it’s a habit.

My eyes are open.

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

~ Portia Nelson ~

(There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk)

And Another Fucking Thing!

I just want to say that the bloggers that have been leaving comments on my page floor me. I never in a million years thought I was any good at this writing thing. I was terrible in English class, but I can spell and speak like a mother fucker. I’m the Grammar Nazi in my family. When the kids were growing up I would correct them. I didn’t want them sounding like heathens. Hell, Meggie won a writing award in fourth grade. I knew my correction was working. Er, except when I corrected Roger Darling. That was a bad day in the Heath House. Holy shit I thought he was going to kick my ass (read figuratively. The man worships my sparkly ass.). The kids thought it was hilarious. Oh yeah, sure. Mom’s going to get her ass kicked by Dad. That’ll be a hoot. Fortunately there was no ass kicking. Just a nice reminder that I was not his mother. Ha!

I used to post funny status updates on FB all the time. Or sad ones. Or thought provoking ones. Or pissed off ones. Whatever was on this sparkly mind of mine. My dear friend Lisa was the one that said blog. I said okay, but I have no idea what the hell I’m doing. The first few posts suck. But as time progresses they get better. I’ve had help from other writers. I guess that means I’m a writer too.

The comments here are always positive. I’m shocked. I was told to be prepared for criticism. The only criticism I ever got was on subject matter that I write about. Those comments were from my own extended family.They’re shocked about what I write. They wonder how I can put myself out there. How can I not? I’m just saying what everyone else is thinking? Why not just come out and say it. And they don’t like the fact that I say fuck all the time. Fuck that! I say fuck, because I fucking can. So that’s what I’m going to fucking do. I love them, but this girl’s gotta do what she’s gotta do.

My mother has read my more recent posts. Rather I read them to her. She told me she was proud of me. But did I have to say fuck all the time? Mom I love you but yes, I fucking do. My readers like it. Hell, I like it.

I have friends tell me all the time that I’m writing about what they’re thinking. Of course I am. We’re all on this planet going through the same damn shit, so why wouldn’t they identify with me?

I had one blogger comment that in all the years that she’d been studying writing in college, she couldn’t come close to some of the things that I’d been writing. My thoughts, my subjects, my words were those of some of her favorite authors. I was overjoyed by the words, but I’m still skeptical. I still don’t want to believe it.

I was thinking about taking a creative writing class. I don’t really know if I want to. I mean I’m all for sitting at a computer and bleeding. But I want to bleed and write about my passions. My needs. My wants. My desires. Not what some teacher wants me to write about. I’m kind of a rebel girl. I don’t like it when someone tells me what to do. So I think I’m just going to keep doing more of what I’ve been doing. I read other bloggers every day. I get insight from every post I read and from every writer that I talk to.

I hope you keep reading. I hope more bloggers follow me. I hope I never run out of words. I hope, I hope and I hope.

For the Love of an Old Book

Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness. – Helen Keller

There’s nothing like standing in a used bookstore, perusing the titles of old books. Trying to find the perfect novel to read. I love books. The smell. The yellowing pages. The creases in those pages. The broken spines. The history of who read them before me. What they imagined as they took the story in. I visualize them leaving fingerprints on the front and back cover of the book. Did they read the last chapter as I often do? Read it quickly or savor every word? Where did they read it? On the beach? In bed beside a lover? In the car? Where?

I try to read slowly, but I always end up devouring every word. Roger Darling finds it funny that I can have four books going at the same time. I can’t help it. I must read. Everything. I have a Kindle. I don’t like it much. It’s not a book.

I have an unabridged copy of The Stand by Stephen King. He was my favorite author when I was growing up. The book is 25 years old. It’s HUGE! I don’t even have the dust jacket anymore. That’s okay, the spine isn’t broken yet. And I’m the only one that’s read it for the last 25 summers. I read it on the beach every damn summer. Every damn summer. Stu is my hero. But Larry, he is my favorite character. He is so tortured by his past. By his future. By the stand that he will be a part of.

I use my Kindle but it’s not my favorite. It’s not a book that I can hold onto. Feel the pages of. Feel the history of. I’d rather shelves full of old, musty books. Let my Kindle gather dust. Let my bookshelves gather dust. I’ll be sure to displace some of that dust, when I grab my copy of The Stand to read this summer.

I’m a Writer?

A writer without a pen and notepad? Why that’s like a photographer without their favorite camera.-Sparkly Girl

Yes, before I post anything I write it out in my notebook. I carry that thing with me everywhere. I just never know when the mood to write will strike. I literally freak out when I can’t find a pen. Seriously, I freak the fuck out!

Writer. I remember the first time I heard that word to describe me. It was Beck that said it. My sweet Beck. My Westland Homey. I told her I’d written a little something for Austin, her son that was leaving for Marine boot camp. I planned to read it at his going away party.

We sat around the fire pit, everyone was drinking, laughing. Having a good time. It’d been awhile since I’d hung out with my Swim Mommas. We’re a bawdy bunch of broads. But we love each other fiercely. The night was warm, but mild. The fire bright. The company good. The conversation plentiful. And there was moonshine. Of course I had to have a sip!

I stood up, grabbed Aus and pulled him close to the fire. We were standing there with everyone just watching us. Beck told everyone to shut the hell up. She said, listen to Nae. She’s a writer and she wrote something for Aus. It wasn’t much. Just a sweet goodbye, to tell him how proud we all were of him. I ended it with the words Semper Fi! He teared up. So did I. I hugged that boy hard! Everyone clapped and cheered. Standing there hugging that young man in front of my friends, I really did feel like I was, a writer….. That my words mattered.

As I write this, I think about that evening. It brings back that feeling, that rush. I know there is nothing in this world quite like the feeling I get when I write. Nothing….