Thursday, February 27, 2014

About the Title - The Song of the Sleeping Grass - (What Is Sleeping Grass?)

The Song of the Sleeping Grass tells the story of Becky Medina, a woman who was dumped by her soldier husband, and replaced with a new wife.  It's sad.  It sucks.  It is kind of a true story, too.  

But the title - where did that come from?  I'll tell you.  Becky (the book's protagonist) is a music lover.  Every hard time that she has had in her life, she can identify with a song.  When she meets the person who will help her heal her wounds, she mentions the music that helped her get through the bad times.  

But what is the "Sleeping Grass" part about?  Well, Becky is Puerto Rican, and having been to the island on vacation, she'd seen the Morivivi plant: 

Like the plant, when stricken, Becky closes up tight to protect herself.  But not for long - as soon as time and sunlight allow, she spreads herself open again to live - again.

But you be the judge - read The Song of the Sleeping Grass to see just how someone can recover after so painful a heartbreak:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Scenes from a Target Visit

On a very rare period of alone time, I went shopping.  I went to Target today in hopes of finding some slippers for my son.  They had no slippers in stock.  None.  I checked the shoe section, the baby section, the big boy section, and the little boy section, too.  I even asked an employee.  Sigh.  So, no slippers.  But I did see these cute boy shoes:

I didn't get them though, as my son's feet grow fast.

I also saw these cuties:

But I didn't get them, as they are made of pleather, and I really have no occasion to wear these cute boots in my favorite color - blue.

But then I saw these guys:
Very cute boots, but they also stayed at the store.  I have no use for cute, green/blue half boots right now.  In pleather.

So, I left Target empty handed.  I got in my Jeep and left.  However, I had to wait, as the RR Crossing Sign lights began to flash:

I watched as these two guys signaled the obvious (a train was coming):

Then, I watched the trolley go by:
San Diego has an excellent trolley system.  I'd ride it more if I wasn't so controlling with my time.

Watching and waiting...

I saw some interesting people inside of the trolley.  I took their picture, but it didn't "take."  

The shopping visit wasn't fruitful, but the time alone was.  When I'm alone and not distracted, so many interesting questions pop up in my head.  For instance, why in hell aren't there any slippers to be found in Target in February?  Or, why is that guy folding a blue blanket on the side of the street?  Or more interesting, where is everyone going?  Will they get to where they want to be once they arrive at their destination?

Cyndia Rios-Myers

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Scenes From a Bike Ride

I took my kid on a bike ride this morning and snapped a few pictures.  Nothing majorly inspiration jumped out, but a few garage doors did.  You see, we live in a 1960's California Rancher, which we like, but our garage door is falling apart and is in need of replacement.  However, we deeply dislike the look of aluminum garage doors, with their long rectangular sheets of metal that are devoid of character.

With that in mind, I took some pictures of "period" garage doors that appeal to me.
The bad thing about vintage garage doors is that they open out and far - like a few feet out.  But they look so nice!

Just a pretty flower whose name is unknown to me.

I love the details with this garage door.  You just don't see that with aluminum doors, unless you are paying a lot of money for them.

This white one is pretty plain.  I'd advise the owners to go ahead and replace it with an aluminum one.

Again, great detail with the contrasting colors, squares, and numbers going down the middle.

Love the rhombuses on this one.

Pretty flowers.  I do love pink.

And finally, our garage door.  I love the design of it.  I would HATE to see it replaced with a boring aluminum one.  

So, I don't know what we'll do.  Maybe nothing.  We do have to repair the cracks in our driveway, though.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Don't Discount Humor

I was in the market for refrigerator magnets, but not just any kind of refrigerator magnets (I have plenty of funny ones and business ones, too).  I was looking for the kind of magnets that are a clip that allows you to attach multiple sheets of paper to it (a must when you homeschool a child).  

I pitched the idea to go the store finding magnet clips to my husband as an outing.  Sure, we go funner places, but sometimes simple outings can be surprisingly...inspirational.

He asked me where.  I took a breath and told him that I would like to go to a dollar store.  He stared at me.  I stared back.  We don't usually go to dollar stores, as we have preconceived idea that everything there might not be of good quality.  He suggested Target.  I told him that we should try the dollar store and then maybe Target if the dollar store didn't work out.  He suggested Target, again.  I was firm and told him that we'd try the dollar store.  

So we went.  There were nice cars in the parking lot - newer model Hondas and even a late model Ford F150.  I was feeling good about it.  Then I saw a sign and felt better about it.  

Just what is "For Life?"  Your savings?  Maybe.  Because it cannot be the items you purchased there, as they must be made of inferior quality to be so cheap.  Still, I appreciate the lack of explanation in regards to the sign's message.  

Then I saw the message on the truck noted above: "Low Prices Born Here and Raised Elsewhere."  If you don't give it enough thought, you might not understand that the advertisement is alluding to the fact that other stores will "raise" their prices, while this store "births" them here.  (True story: it took me a lot of time figuring out just what the heck they meant.  Were they saying that they birthed their products and then had them grow up elsewhere?)

But my favorite sign was this one:

What in God's name does "99.99¢" mean?  How much money is that?  I don't get it.  It doesn't compute.

Still, I searched the store for refrigerator magnet clips.  I didn't find that, but found a turkey baster and a mug.  I then saw the long line of customers waiting in a line for the sole cashier at the store.  We left the store, the mug, the turkey baster, and 20 minutes of our life that we will never get back behind.  

Yes, we went to Target. $7.95 were spent on a pack of OXO Softwise Kitchen Magnet Clips.  Overpriced?  Absolutely.  But these bad boys are supposed to be able to hold up to 15 sheets of paper.  

It was a relief to be there.  There were lots of manned registers to be found:

Also, they spoke money in a way I could understand:

Still, lessons were learned.  I won't discount the entertainment value that I can find in discount stores (I am not going to apologize for the bad pun).  You have to take amusement wherever you can.

Cyndia Rios-Myers

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Thing About Reviews...

As a writer, good reviews, heck, any reviews matter to me - a lot.  As a reader, they matter too.  However, I have made the mistake of letting myself be swayed by them.  

I was really into the Monique Martin Out of Time series of books.  I loved the husband and wife time of time travelers, working hard to right the wrongs done by evildoers.  However, I got bored of the constant out-of-time living that they were doing; I wanted them to go back to their own time for a while and live their own lives. So, I temporarily stopped reading the series.  

It has six reviews, but they are all pretty good.  That swayed me.  But now I'm done (for the time being).

While reading through The Strand Magazine, I read up on Aimee & David Thurlo, a husband and wife writing team.  They have a series featuring a strong female lead character named Ella Clah, a former FBI agent who becomes part of the Navajo Reservation Police Deparment.  I read the first book and was HOOKED.

When I read the first book, I found that it only had three reviews (now four, thanks to me).  The lack of reviews made me hesitant; I only downloaded the free preview.  But once I read it, I was hooked.

So, the lesson here is read previews, and don't rely on reviews - not all of the time.  (I hope that my readers heed this lesson, too!)

Easy Inspiration/Gorgeous California

Well, this post will not feature all of California's beauty, but just the beautiful things I've seen yesterday and today.

Mallard ducklings.  Average to some, but SO cute to me.

The powerful hawk.  This might be a Cooper's Hawk, or another type.  Must find out.

My fence, which borders my neighbor's orange tree.  It smells so delicious right now.

I wanted to get closer, but didn't as I did not want a bee sting.

Cowle's Mountain.  Hiked it once.  Need to do it again.

And that's it.  The beauty inspires me.  I hope that your state (and your backyard) inspire you, too.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Where to Find Me/Inspiration and Humor

I've stumbled on the most impressive things these past couple of days.  My husband purchased an antique trunk from a lovely woman of Rancho Peñasquitos (still San Diego).  Also for sale was a large file cabinet (which I need for homeschooling supplies, writing supplies, and some of my kid's toys) and a lovely painting, too:

This lovely painting reproduction is called Village Wedding by Sir Samuel Luke Fildes.  I am smitten with this $5 find!
We will hang this beauty up in the guest bedroom.  I do enjoy looking at it.  It reminds me of British period pieces and BBC shows, too.

This morning, we decided to go on a walk to the grocery store instead of driving.  Very stimulating.

Yes.  California weather is awesome.  I will pain me to leave it one day, which we might have to do.

But I also enjoy horsing around a bit:

Where can you find me?  Why, in the Hispanic food aisle of your local grocery store!  (Actually, you'd have better luck finding me in the produce section, the bakery, or the refrigerated beer section).

In any case, have a good laugh, read a good book, or find something inspirational to do this weekend!

Cyndia Rios-Myers

Results of the Two-Day Free Promotion on Amazon

Thank God for Amazon.  The KDP program (I know that the "P" stands for program in KDP) resulted in some good numbers of downloads for my books.  Also, it was exciting to see what books were more popular than others.

  • Joppa Park:     381 total downloads
  • Summation of Love:     450 total downloads
  • Nice Shootin', Tex!     1,360 downloads 
  • The Song of the Sleeping Grass:    1,795 downloads

In the beginning, Nice Shootin', Tex! (my contemporary western/women's fiction/romance title) was the most popular of all.  But in America, folks downloaded more copies of The Song of the Sleeping Grass than anything else.

Nice Shootin', Tex! on Amazon

Overall, Nice Shootin', Tex! was the most popular overseas title (I'm including you in that, Canada).  (You too, Brazil)

But in America, The Song of the Sleeping Grass (my women's fiction/romance title) was the most popular one.
The Song of the Sleeping Grass on Amazon

Summation of Love (my suspense/women's fiction/crytpozoological one) was the third most popular.
Summation of Love on Amazon

My fourth most popular one was Joppa Park (my suspense/romance/women's fiction title).
Joppa Park on Amazon

This two day promotion was a revelation to me.  I will be using the KDP program some more.  Also, I am going to have to heed the demands of the overseas crowds - I will have to write another western!  I might even have an idea on what to write.

In any case, thanks for downloading my books and for telling your friends, too.