Archive for the ‘Many Things’ Category

The Story Behind the Story

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

The Story . . .

Ever wondered what a teen queen would do if she were forced to leave her perfect life in Seattle for the ghost capital of Montana where her parents intend to live their dream instead of hers? Ele O’Neill lets everyone feel her pain about living in a haunted theatre without phone or wifi. But a cowboy ghost is determined she behave like a proper young lady until all hell breaks loose and Ele learns first love can be wonderfully thrilling but extremely dangerous, especially with a ghost.

My new book with The Wild Rose Press, GHOSTLY ACTS, a multiple award-winning paranormal YA romantic thriller, is available at fine retailers worldwide in eBook and paperback TODAY June 6, 2018. An audiobook edition is coming soon.

 

Story Behind the Story . . .

Every story I write begins in my dreams, imaginings, and often reflects some facet of my experience. The setting of my story GHOSTLY ACTS was inspired by my husband, who grew up in Montana and whose ancestor rode with the Vigilantes of Virginia City. We visited the Ghost Capitol of Montana where I researched the history of the Vigilantes and the Innocents gang. Story bones began their skeleton dance. But no one interestingly motivated emerged to tell this story.

My son was a successful AP junior in high school, on the swim and water polo teams, worked as a lifeguard and, as a working actor since he was six-years-old, active in school and community drama productions. Mid-year my husband was transferred and we moved to the new job location. My son knew no one at his new school and spent all his free time driving sixty-five miles one way back to his old school and friends. There had to be a better answer to this family problem that would keep our boy off I-5! Our son’s solution was to graduate the new high school with honors a year early and, as a seventeen-year-old, matriculate at Montana State University. A motivated storyteller had emerged . . .

One demand that my son has always had is–don’t put me in your stories. So, to find another storyteller I started the What If Speculations. I didn’t have to look far as my extended family has been blessed with a smart, athletic, kind, talented young woman with megawatt star power. I wondered if such a teen queen suddenly had to move from her kingdom to the Ghost Capitol of Montana so her parents could live their dream, and was without friends,  academic stimulation, family support focus, and in her case, no tennis, how would she act? What would she do especially if there were real ghosts haunting her and her family?

Wow! Did I put Miss Electra (Ele) O’Neill through hell! I’m not sorry and I don’t believe Ele is sorry either. She stepped up with solutions–most unusual ones–to her problems many, except for one: is there any real future in loving a ghost?

It’s all fun!

MMMMMMmmmmmmmmelinda

WELCOME to MELINDARUCKERHAYNES.COM

Friday, June 1st, 2018

 

We’ve been busy here at MELINDARUCKERHAYNES.COM for the past few weeks in re-design. While I’ve been in edits with my two new paranormal YA thrillers for The Wild Rose Press my webmistress Stacy Chitwood has been working her magic here on the site. I especially love our new rotating headers of illuminated photographs that I took at the Japanese Gardens in Seattle and at Lake Powell, Arizona last fall. Keep watching for new additions to the rotation.

Please check out Mmmmm for my personal story that’s undergoing constant replotting and rewrites. Click on GALLERY for a retrospective of past book covers and other interesting and some quite strange pictures. You’ll find fun MMMMVIDEOS there, too. The BOOKS page features my backlist novels and new books, with links to their pages which contain lots of info, reviews, plus the Story Behind the Story–what inspired me to write the book. GoodWordy is a page/website under continuing development for my nonfiction projects and creative development tools and processes.

NEW    NEW    NEW    NEW    NEW

I’m thrilled to announce that my first YA Paranormal Romantic Thriller and Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award Winner, GHOSTLY ACTSis a June 6, 2018 worldwide release in paperback and eBook from The Wild Rose Press, and coming soon in audiobook. I love this fun ghost romance for all ages. Check out the book’s page for Ghostly’s Story Behind the Story and the GALLERY for a previous covers retrospective. There might be a Ghostly Acts Cover Story MMMMVIDEO, too.

AWARD-WINNING YA PARANORMAL THRILLER

AVAILABLE NOW FOR PRE-ORDER AT AMAZON and THE WILD ROSE PRESS

Available at Fine Retailers Worldwide in eBook and Paperback June 6, 2018

“First love can be wonderfully thrilling but extremely dangerous, especially with a ghost.”

Fighting the Urge to Nest

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

When we bought our Tucson house four years ago, the large entry courtyard was rocky dirt with a few succulents and cactus. Since the front of the house faces east to the beautiful Catalina Mountains, there was an inspiring view to reclaim. We wanted to create an inviting oasis to enjoy sunrise coffee or evening cocktails in the shade, surrounded by flowers. And we’re accomplishing that.

Now that the planters’ flowers and bushes are mature and it’s Spring, the quail are determined to move in and prepare their nests in our cool, secure courtyard. They don’t seem to care about the size of the pot. They’ll simply kick everything out they can and settle in. My sister-in-law, Susan Gunn, has shared stories of raising chickens and that after they put them to bed in the evening, she and Sherm toiled in the chicken yard filling holes. This morning I found my fairy garden thoroughly excavated, soil, cottage, and fairies ejected onto the pavers. Now it seems I’m tending a chickenyard. But instead of a shovel and rake, I use stones, larger fairies, and weighty whimsical stuff to fill the prospective quail nest foundations. I had to relocate the frog pond away from the fairy garden because the quail fished the tiny resin frogs out of the pond, only to toss them onto the pavers when they discovered fake frogs weren’t very tasty.

The only pot in the courtyard the quail haven’t yet tried to terraform and move into is a kalanchoe guarded by my pet metal javelina, Pig Iron. However, perhaps one of these mornings I’ll take my coffee to the courtyard to watch the sunrise and find Pig Iron on his side on the floor. A quail couple will explode out of the yellow pot, complaining loudly, laying a dark cloud of soil behind them, only to return after the sun sets on the back garden. And there it is—Clang! Pig Iron hits the bricks, sparking the eternal question—can a dedicated fairy garden horticulturist win against live quails’ urge to nest? Or can she reach detente with both flora and fauna, real and imagined, and declare peace in our garden? Perhaps we’re getting there, if this happy little garden is any indication . . . .

 

 

The Eyes-Closed Perspective and a Decent Chardonnay

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

I was invited to my niece Jenna’s birthday painting party. My niece and her mother, my sister, are super achievers and take their “doing” very seriously. I, however, do not so much. I tend to fall in love with the idea of making something interesting and so experiment with these kinds of crafty, arty and music-making experiences. I learned long ago that I’m good for maybe a series of classes worth of said experience, then I move along, move along. One reason being–what the heck do I do with the end product of that experience? How many poorly crocheted bikinis (yes, I actually did one of those back in the early 70s) or sloppily knitted potholders does one need?

King Street Flood
Photo by Euna Haynes

I love doing the painting BYOB (and snacks) events with fun people. So far I have “done” three such parties. I’d like to say that each painting I turn out is better than the last . . . but truth be told, NAH.  I’m not interested in getting better at painting these studies in standardized acrylics, but I’m all about going to hang out with artistic hopefuls who like to play, drink wine and graze on really good snacks–which ARE getting better each time I go.

The Process. There is a process to this artistic creating. In fact, it’s so standardized and easy everyone’s paintings look pretty much the same. About thirty minutes into the teaching and our putting paint to canvas, I begin to feel kinda bored. I know what the end product in front of me is going to look like. That observational power isn’t born of second sight or prescient ability. I’ve simply looked at the paintings-in-progress around me. And if I continue to follow directions my picture will look like that, too.

Enter snacks and Chardonnay, yay! I wander over to the goodie table where we’ve laid out our extensive display of tastiness and indulge as I consider my artistic options concerning the Old Door in a Wall project. Full glass in hand and a plate of yummy in the other, I return to my seat to sip and snack and think. Then it hits me–my individual artistic interpretation. I paint the door dark blue, paint in lighted windows at the top and on the plate beside the door the number eleven. Tah Dah! The TARDIS and my favorite Doctor, Number 11 just landed in my painting. It’s brilliant! And as is the way with such endeavors, no one gets it. No one! Except after the class, the instructor/shop owner came round and exclaimed, “It’s a TARDIS! We’ve never had anyone do a TARDIS.” Turns out her husband is British and began to tell me all about his watching very early Doctor Who back in the 1960s. Personally, I wasn’t a fan then, not until 2005 and Doctor #10, when the show was retooled.

Mmmmelinda Closes Her Eyes and Gains Perspective

As you can see from my photo, my painting looks perfect in my closed-eyes perspective apres Chardonnay. But then what doesn’t?

It’s all fun!

MMMMmmmmmelinda

Have You Written Anything Important I’ve Read?

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

I have six traditionally published novels in the genres of romance, paranormal thriller, and young adult paranormal. My books have won sixteen writing/literary awards. Yet, sometimes when I meet someone and say I’m a novelist, I get this silly question: “Have you written anything important that I’ve read?” On a tour bus in Hawaii, I answered that question with—“Yes, War and Peace!” That felt good. Of course, no one mentioned that I didn’t look like a dead Russian aristocrat, which just goes to show no one on the bus had read the book, or perhaps hadn’t even heard of it. When I got that silly question from my new acquaintance, I cocked my head and asked my usual, “How would I know that?” She answered with a sly smile, “You know what I mean.” Yes, unfortunately, I do. My name isn’t J.K. Rowling or Nora Roberts or Scott Pratt. So if “important” book translates only to “best seller” for you, I probably haven’t written anything you’ve read.

3d-contest-smartsBut hang on, I’m working on two new books coming soon, Contest Smarts: Writing Contest Winning Strategies, a non-fiction how-to, and a fun women’s fable entitled Bitten: Confessions of a Menopausal Vampire, which my publisher of GHOSTLY ACTS has already said she wants! With these two sure best-sellers, maybe I’ll have a new answer to “Have you written anything important that I’ve read?”

It’s all fun! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmelinda