Posted: November 17, 2009 | Author: Tracy Beltran | Filed under: Family, Humor | Tags: cat, cat burglar, funny, kids, pets |
The other day, my daughter ran into my room wearing a long black cape and her brother’s skeleton halloween mask.
She said, “I’m a cat burglar!”
Then she grabbed the fluffy sleeping cat off of my bed, tucked him under her arm, and ran out of the room.
Posted: May 20, 2009 | Author: Tracy Beltran | Filed under: Family, Humor, Life | Tags: animals, author, cats, catwoman, Claire collins, funny, housecat, Humor, kitten, kittens |
I want to be a housecat.
I mean really, is there a better life than to be a pampered fat cat?
Let’s think about this for just a minute.
I wake up from my early morning nap when I hear an alarm clock going off. When the human walks out of their room, I weave in and out of their feet trying to trip them so they can see the world from my point of view.
If they make it into the kitchen to start a pot of coffee, I’ll be right there yowling around their ankles until the noise penetrates their sleeping ears and they fill up my food and water bowls. Then the human can go away while I enjoy my breakfast and take my morning nap.
When I wake up, the humans have all left my house and I can sit in any windowsill I choose. I stretch out all of my feline muscles while my sharpened claws are hooked in the upholstery of the living room couch.
I take my early afternoon nap, eat some more, then go lay in a human bed to groom myself, making sure to lick away all of the loose hair and other nasties so I’m nice and clean.
Then it’s naptime again. After that, I stroll across the kitchen counters and table, looking for leftover scraps or those yummy breakfast dishes the young humans leave when they go to school.
Then it’s naptime.
Around the time I wake up, humans return to my house so I lounge around on the floor like the good kitty they think I am.
Periodically, I’d need to use the litter box, and when I cover my mess, I’d get to throw litter all over the floor. What do I care? I don’t have to clean it up. Once a week, the humans will put fresh litter in there and sweep up my mess.
When I want to be stroked, I only have to rub my furry face against a human and I get instant gratification.
Of course, when the humans are home, unless I’m eating, using the litter box, or being rubbed, I will spend all of my time napping.
When they go to bed, I will spend my time playing. My favorite game will involve rolling a marble across the tile floor just outside the adult human’s bedroom.
Posted: May 11, 2009 | Author: Tracy Beltran | Filed under: Family, Life | Tags: allowance, forgot, funny, grounded, Humor, mom, Mother's day, runaway, ungrateful |
Hey guys, remember me?
The tall redhead who gave birth to you.
Not ringing a bell, huh?
Okay then… how about… the lady who wanders around cleaning up after you? Making sure you have food to eat, clean clothes to wear, pays for the utilities and puts a roof over your head?
I’m the one who pays your allowance and grounds you.
Ah, NOW you remember.
Just so you know, today was Mother’s Day.
Yes, It’s always been in May.
No, it wasn’t supposed to be on a Tuesday this year. It’s always on a Sunday.
Look at the calendar. It’s circled in red. There are big blue arrows pointing to it.
Yes I scribbled on the calendar.
No, you can’t.
Stop trying to change the subject!
Today was Mother’s Day. Millions of mothers got flowers, taken out to dinner, pampered.
No, not Pampers or diapers. Not every mother is old.
I am NOT that old!
That’s it. You’re grounded!
And no allowance for a month!
Next year for Mother’s Day, I’ll be relaxing on a beach.
We’ll see how long it takes before you guys notice I’m missing.
Yeah I know, you’ll notice on allowance day.
Posted: May 8, 2009 | Author: Tracy Beltran | Filed under: Humor, Life | Tags: addictions, art, author, books, characters, cheerios, Claire collins, diet, fun, funny, Humor, Novels, options, reading, Second wind, smoking, Writing |
On April Fool’s day of this year, I quit smoking. I found the date to be very fitting since I was a smoking fool for over 21 years. Yes, I was barely out of the womb when I started. I was young and stupid. Those were the good ol’ days.
So I traded my nicotine addiction for a new vice.
I’m now addicted to Cheerios.
I’ve tried to quit smoking four times in the last two years. I gained forty pounds trying to quit. This time, I grab cheerios when I get a craving.
I love Cheerios. Do you realize how many kinds of Cheerios there are? Apple cinnamon, strawberry yogurt burst, multi-grain, honey nut… the list goes on and on. http://www.cheerios.com/ourcereals/ourcereals_home.aspx
The worst part of my new addiction is holding the cheerio while I light it on fire and inhale.
Posted: April 12, 2009 | Author: Tracy Beltran | Filed under: Humor, Writing about Writing | Tags: author, books, characters, Claire collins, create, funny, Humor, Novels, Second wind, Writing |
An idea for a new book smacked me in the forehead last week. It was painful, but I took aspirin, put aside the book I’ve been working on for the past several months, and let the new story pour out into a word document. Three pages into it, I had another realization smack me in the head. I donned my husbands football helmet to protect my brain and reread the beginning I had just written. It was true. I hated the lead female character in the book. She came across as a princess type. She was pretty, and she knew it. She dated brainless eye candy and realized they weren’t nearly as perfect as she was. Yep, I couldn’t stand her and she wouldn’t shut up. “Write my story,” she kept yelling in my ear as she stomped her size seven shoe. “Write my story. I’m perfect. My life needs to be perfect. Keep going.” I frowned, looking out past the face guard of the helmet at the computer screen. “Shut up. You’re too perfect. Your problems are in your own perfect little head. You need real problems if you want a place in my book.” Then I read over the parts about her best friend, a normal mother of two with motherly hips and a determined smile. She wasn’t anywhere near perfect, and she didn’t claim to be. Thankfully, the helmet deflected the brain impact this time around. Despite the cries of outrage from Miss Perfect, I backspaced clear to the point where their personalities really started to emerge. My perfect character became more realistic, more flawed, and her best friend became more wise, more single, and less motherly. I quickly added another five pages full of words building their lives and rounding them out into likable, believable people. Miss Perfect’s voice in my head became less demanding as I wrote. She became freindlier, more caring. By the time I finished the first chapter, she was my new best friend, and her best friend was a strong counterpart, her strengths and weaknesses merging well with Miss NowNotSoPerfect. “Thanks for not listening,” she whispered, scuffing the toe of her size nine on the floor. I clicked the save button and smiled, but I keep the helmet handy, just in case. Claire Collins is the author of Fate and Destiny and Images of Betrayal. http://www.secondwindpublishing.com
Posted: March 22, 2009 | Author: Tracy Beltran | Filed under: Humor, Second wind | Tags: animals, author, characters, Claire collins, dog, fun, funny, Humor, Novels, people, Second wind, Writing |
Animals dominate my life. Technically, I guess I shouldn’t call the children animals except for the fact they tend to climb the walls like monkeys, eat like pigs, and fight like lions. They can also be cuddly and sweet like a puppy. They’ve even been known to lick my face on occasion.
Animals of the furry four-legged variety also dominate my life. A dog and two cats share our small living space along with the four children. I’ve noticed that animals play parts in my books as well. The animals in my books have their own distinct personalities. It takes effort to turn a flat doorstop of an animal into a character that readers will enjoy.
Even as I type this, a furry calico critter sits on the couch beside me, her paws tucked under her white chest like a proper little lady. She has a stub where her tail should be, but she wasn’t injured, just born that way. She smiles at me and closes her eyes when I rub the soft fur around her ears and under her chin. She couldn’t be happier, until another two-legged animal comes running over too fast and my little critter leaps from the couch.
All of my four-legged animals were abandoned or feral. They each have unique personalities and their own quirks, just like the two-legged variety. I wouldn’t trade any of them.
Claire Collins is the author of Images of Betrayal and Fate and Destiny
Posted: February 20, 2009 | Author: Tracy Beltran | Filed under: Family, Humor, Life | Tags: funny, perspective, Second wind, word usage, Words |
My seven year old daughter came home from school very excited to show me the new song and dance she learned. The song was “One-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater.” As a child, I had the record of the song and it always made me laugh, it also made me wonder where the creature found purple people. I looked at my daughter and asked her that very question.
“Addy, you’re so cute. I love your song and dance, but where did he find purple people?”
She stopped and looked at me. She didn’t question why I didn’t find fault with this amazing creature to begin with since obviously she’s used to my quirks. She laughed at me.
“Mom, the people aren’t purple, the bird is purple!”
Okay, now I never imagined this creature as a bird, but her imagination is her own, and not mine. I just imagined him as a big fat furry purple thing with wings. She sees him as a bird. She sang the song again with the proper movements while she sang.
“One-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people eater.”
“Right Addy, he’s a one-eyed—“
“Purple people eater!”
“No Mom!” Addy sighed and rolled her eyes. She’s very dramatic for a seven year old. “He’s a flying…purple…people eater!”
“Okay, honey. Fine. He doesn’t eat purple people. Why do you think he’s a bird?” She left me there pondering that question and went to show daddy her new song and dance.
This exchange happens in books all the time. I recently read over a rough draft someone wrote. Okay, since she is usually the victim of my blogs, I will go ahead and admit that it was my sister, Suzette Vaughn.
While reading through her wonderful prose, and looking for misplaced commas and typos, I came across the following sentence:
He pushed his glasses up his nose.
I stopped reading immediately. He did what? Then I cracked up laughing because while reading the scene, totally into the dialogue between the characters, the lead man suddenly stops, takes his glasses off, and shoves them UP his nose! Through my fits of hysterical laughter, I managed to wake my husband up and reword the sentence. I suggested she write something more like: “He situated his glasses on the bridge of his nose” or “He slid his glasses into place on the bridge of his nose”.
The intended meaning is obvious, but while reading, the original words gave me a completely different meaning than what was intended. Just remember it is very important to have the correct wording and order of words while writing. You don’t really want your character to shove things up his nose do you?
Claire Collins, author of Fate and Destiny and Images of Betrayal, will be in the Greensboro, North Carolina area over Valentine’s Day for Second Wind Publishing’s Author Event.
Posted: November 6, 2008 | Author: Tracy Beltran | Filed under: Humor | Tags: art, artist, author, funny, Humor, known, name, recognition |
The other day, I was a patient waiting patiently for the nurse to call my name. I grabbed the magazine closest to me on the waiting room table and perused the pages. The publication was an interior decorating magazine aimed at people who have six figures to spare. Each of the rooms was decorated with an abundance of top-dollar items designed by well-known names and firms in their circles.
I have no idea who they were.
Obviously, I am not in that circle. On one cream colored wall was a framed drawing in a childlike scratch of x’s and o’s. My thought? How sweet, the wealthy homeowners framed artwork created by their child or grandchild.
Nope. The artwork, which looked exactly like something one of my kids would have rendered at the age of three, was some kind of a big deal by some famous artist.
I can’t remember his name and it really isn’t important to me, however it does make me want to give the kids a pack of crayons and some poster board and see if I can’t get rich selling their scribbles as art since that seems to be all the latest rage.
Books are similar. People will buy any book written by an author they have heard of, even if the book itself isn’t any good. There are forums across the internet devoted to authors who have created one good book, and a lot of mediocre books. Readers rave about how many they have read and the plot points of each, and if anyone disagrees with the fanatical ravings, then they are immediately quartered and drawn by the other members of the group.
Now, I am off to go find an artists page and let the fanatics there know that if they insist on adorning their walls with a particular style of impressionist artwork, I can get them quality originals for a fraction of the price. All I have to do is build the name recognition.