Why the blog?

I write as the Spirit moves me. I have prayed about what I'm supposed to do with my life a lot. A lot. Writing. Writing is what I believe God is leading me to do. Whether or not He wants me to write for anyone to read is His business. Much of my writing has been therapy for me so maybe I'm the only one who is supposed to read it. So, why the Blog? As a sounding board, a note pad, a place to keep my ideas and thoughts. A place to share and promote my books, and photography. Written prayers, a place to vent. Possibly, even a place for the unknown reader to learn about the love of Jesus.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Daisies and Roses....

...and a few other favorites:

My attempt at being creative....

New Release

"Love on the Run" will soon be here!!  It's tentative release date is July 1, 2011

"Love on the Run" is the 7th book by Colleen Wait. In this book, Marnie is a college student with a bright future.  She has great friends, a loving family, a boyfriend, and plans of furthering her education.  On the night of her engagement things begin to unravel and tragedy strikes.  Things are not as they seemed.  Truths are revealed as lies. To vent her frustrations and prevent a mental breakdown Marnie takes up running where she finds herself, her confidence, and eventually finds her joy. 

Look for "Love on the Run" on ebookshelves near you, Smashwords as well as Amazon.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Squirrels, Deer, and Flashers

My favorite place of all time to run is in a state park near my home.  It has running trails, canoes, horse trails, campgrounds, and a natural spring for swimming. This particular park holds a very special place in my heart.  My husband and I had our second date at this park, our first kiss, and it's also where he proposed:

The saplings were not there the first time we stopped under this tree, however, I've taken at least one picture of it every year. 

This morning I really wanted to run the trails.  It had been so incredibly hot on my street runs.  The trails I knew would be cooler.  

My husband has pretty bad shin splints so he hasn't run with me very often.  Therefore, I suggested he come with me, bring a chair and a book and if he got hot he could get in the spring.

We arrived at the park at 7 a.m.  The gate was open but no one was at the guard station, so we got in for free.

There were a few cars in the parking lot, two runners either warming up or cooling down and squirrels.  Lots and lots of squirrels scurrying about.  No exaggeration, there must have been a hundred.   I warm up and start my run and every few minutes run into spider webs.  Ewww.  I'm watching the ground to keep from tripping and I see lots of little footprints. Several miles later I see the owner of the footprints:

See in the center of the picture.  It's a doe.  I wish I had a real camera with me instead of my phone.  I stopped and looked at her, she at me.  I took a picture.  She didn't move.  I took another. She still didn't move.  We stared for a few seconds then I said good-bye.

A mile or so later I see three more.  I tried to crop this one as far as I could but you can barely see them.  There are actually three young does.  I snap a picture and they just stand there.  Not afraid of people these deer.  Usually I see turkey, but not today.

Several miles later, after I pass my "special tree" I see the two men from the parking lot.  The are each facing away from the trail.  As I approach I put my head down, shade my eyes and say "I'm not looking!"   as they stand there and continue to pee while I pass by.  Gross.  No picture! : ) 

Finally on the home stretch a passel of high school runners pass me as they start their run.  I was very glad I had started so early.  

Ah, another run, another story, another amazing Gift from God.  What a glorious day!  

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."  Psalm 118: 24

Oh, and just for fun, Oliver:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New day new dog??? part two

I jumped out of bed this morning ready to run.  In the back of my mind I wondered if I would see Dog again.  I altered my route slightly to go a little further.  When I passed the spot where Dog greeted my yesterday, I looked around, hopeful.  Alas, no dog.  

My turnaround is at a spot where the sidewalk ends.  The road continues but I usually turn around since it narrows.  Across the street is a field.  I looked over, something caught my eye. I thought at first it was a large yellow cat with a fluffy tail. No, maybe a bobcat.  I whipped out my handy dandy phone to take a picture.  It saw me and looked.  It was a fox!  I snapped a picture then it ran.  I walked a little further to see around the weeds on the fence.  There was another one.  The first saw me and ran towards the fence so I backed up.  Then I saw another.  There were at least 3 foxes and a fox den in the middle of the field.  The fox came to a hole in the fence.  I decided it was time to say good-bye.  Thankfully, a car zoomed by forcing the fox to get back to his field or I would have run a whole bunch faster on my way home!!!

Thank you God for giving me these gifts on my runs.  The cloud, the beautiful sunrises, Dog, and now the foxes.  I think I'll run the same route next time just to see what other surprises are in store.

Sorry, no pictures to post, they didn't turn out.  Too far away.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A new day a new dog???

I had a really bad day yesterday.  It started with the inability to sleep.  I was concerned about my son who had just had 4 wisdom teeth extracted - in South Korea. My shoulders ached and it was warm. I woke up, well, got up around six to find that it was 82 degrees in the house.  I kept turning on the AC, turning down the AC.  Nothing.  Finally I called and low and behold the AC had frozen up but no one was available to come fix it. Not until tomorrow, they said.  Then, as I'm trying to work a little dribble of saliva decides to take the wrong path and without warning - I'm choking, cannot breathe.  It felt like someone had drilled a hole down a toothpick and that's what I had to breathe through.  I sucked in as much as I could through every pore in my body, staggered to my daughter's bathroom where she was mid shampoo and began hacking, coughing, desperately trying to breathe.  My face turned colors and my eyes felt like they were about to pop out of my head but I managed to clear my airway and breathe again.  Well, the house got hotter and hotter.  We sent Chelsea to seek air conditioning elsewhere and my husband and I camped out downstairs under a big fan. Fortunately, heat rises and downstairs was bearable.  Before going to bed we checked the AC and it had thawed so we turned it on.  By morning we were at a tolerable 80.

The alarm went off at 5 and I decided to go run outside.  It was cooler. Mainly because I was creating a breeze.  At mile 1.3 or so as I rounded a corner this little black and white boxer/collie/something mix comes barreling around a corner in my direction. Not at me. He wasn't being aggressive.  He or she slowed as it got in front of me and kept trotting ahead.  I kept waiting for his owner to call him back home.  The dog ran in front of me, beside me, behind me, around me.  On the sidewalk. In the grass.   He'd stop and pee then run as fast as he could to catch up.  When I turned around at mile 3.5 he stopped to smell someone's garbage then hurried to catch up.  When he did he got right beside me and looked up at me with a big grin on his face.  A police car drove by and I thought he was going to stop me for having an unleashed dog.  He didn't. He chased a chicken and a couple of squirrels which made me laugh. When I approached my neighborhood he turned in, ahead of me.  Back at home, yes 6 miles later he was still with me, my sprinklers were on.  He plopped down and took a bath while I went in to do the same.  I looked outside a minute ago and he's gone.  But I have the video to prove it that he was there:

Last week God gave me a beautiful cloud, today a dog, a little running buddy.  I hope to see him again someday.  
Thunderbird cloud
                                        Sunrise this 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Today's photo shoot, unedited.

To the Inventors of the World!

Dear Inventor;

You know who you are.  I know you're out there so listen up.  I need a voice recorder.  No that's not exactly true. I need a thought recorder.  You see, I'm a writer.  As such, ideas, story lines, sometimes entire plots come to me in thought- dreams, while in the shower, driving, running.  I do some of my best writing while I'm logging miles training for a race.  By the time I get to "pen and paper" I have lost some good dialogue. So how about it inventors, can you hook me up?



Thursday, June 16, 2011

Author Interview with Talia Jager

"If I Die Young" by Talia Jager was a difficult read for me.  I have a 16-year-old daughter with allergies and it hurt to read about the main character.  However, I must say the story was beautifully written with a happy ending.  This is a very good book for teens and young adults.

Below is our interview:

Me: What genre do you write?
Talia: I write young adult. So far, three of my books have been YA dramas and one is a YA paranormal/fantasy.

Me: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Talia: I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer. I remember writing stories in elementary schools. I would hide notebooks under my classwork in high school and hide under the covers at night with a flashlight so I could write my stories.

Me: What do you most enjoy about writing? 
Talia: Creating characters readers will care about. Bringing a story to life and telling that story in a way that the reader won’t forget.

Me: When do you get your best ideas? When do you write the most?
Talia: Having a family makes writing whenever I want to or whenever a great idea hits me difficult. I tend to get ideas in the shower, when in bed, or while driving. I can't tell you how often I've had to get out of bed to write something down. Maybe it's because my house is so noisy, that when it's quiet, my brain gets busier. I find the best time to write is at night, after everybody else is asleep. This usually means I'm up until one or two in the morning. Sometimes an idea comes to me and I write it down, but I don't anything with it for months or even years sometimes. 
Me: That's funny, I often wish I could put a tape recorder in the shower. I keep a notepad at my desk while I work.  I have a napkin with scribbles right now.

Me: What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your books?
Talia: Story lines don’t always go the way you want them to and characters can surprise you.

Me: Do you have a specific writing style?
Talia: I usually write in first person, past tense. However, that doesn't mean I'll never do anything else.

Me: How long does it take you to write a book?
Talia: Anywhere from a month to a year. 
Me: That may seem like fast to some. I understand when a book wants to be written it comes quickly.  I wrote the first draft to one of my books in a day.

Me: Do you have any advice to aspiring writers?
Talia: I tell people three things. Write as much as you can as often as you can. Write for yourself, not anybody else. Believe in yourself and never give up.

Me: What do you have planned for the future?
Talia: I have three ideas brewing right now. The first is a new YA paranormal, the second will be a sequel to The Ultimate Sacrifice, and the third is an edgy YA drama. 

Me: Tell us three random things about yourself.
Talia: I have five daughters. I love chocolate. I had purple hair in high school.

Me: What does your family think of your writing?
Talia: They are very supportive. As long as I feed them, clean them, dress them, entertain them, support them and make sure they’re happy, they are fine with me writing.

Me: Do you have a website, fan site, or Blog that we can visit?
My Facebook fan page is http://www.facebook.com/taliajager

Friday, June 10, 2011

No more ice!

Today was my followup appointment with my orthopedist for my shoulders.  I was nervous.  Praise God, I had a good exam and I do not need surgery.  I will, however, need to continue my exercises indefinitely, which is fine.  Also, I can get back into my running routine without worrying about inflaming my shoulders.  Yeah! No more ice.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Get your FREE copy of Mount Mission today (held over by popular demand) with coupon code MB96G by clicking on here.  Good through June 30, 2011.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lessons Learned from Summer Camp, 2nd excerpt

Second excerpt:

“One day a friend from my old high school invited me to a party.  I was never invited to parties.  I had nothing better to do, was feeling a bit special for being accepted into my new high school, so I went.  I met Jack at this party.  Jack was not from my old high school, or my new one.   No one knew him at this party.  He was confident, cocky, and very good-looking, and he wanted my phone number.  I was spending the night with my friend so I gave him hers.  To my surprise, he called that very night.  We talked for a little while, then I gave him my number.  The next day he called me.  Again, I was surprised.  He wanted to see me.  Now.  I said, ok.  Was he pushy, or did he really like me?  I didn’t stop to think about it, a boy was paying attention to me again, who could think of such things.

“I heard his truck coming long before I could see it.  Just like Jack, wanting attention, announcing his arrival.  His truck was loud in other ways, too, it was orange.  Jack hopped out of his truck, strutted over to me, and all intelligent life left my brain.  I was ‘in love’ once again.  For the next week or so we talked on the phone for hours.   He came over to my house after school and we would talk.  If mother wasn’t looking we made out.  He was a nice guy, easy to talk to, polite to my mother.  I had a boyfriend.  I was happy.”

“How romantic,” signed Jen.

“Shh,” hissed the other girls.

“One week-end he took me to his house to meet his family and some of his friends.  Little did I know it then, but a very different dating pattern was about to be established.  My life was about to change.  At 16 I knew practically nothing about boys and dating.  Dating was going to the football game.  Dating was going to the dance after the football game.  Dating was holding hands in the hallway, sneaking a kiss at the locker.  Dating according to the boy from California was fondling in the pool or oral sex at his apartment.  I didn’t know what to expect with this one.  He was in high school.  He lived with his parents.  My mother met him, seemed to like him.  She didn’t give me any instructions that stuck with me more than the two seconds it takes to pass through a teenager’s brain.

“I went with him that early Saturday morning, happy to be on the arm of a handsome young man.  I was giddy with anticipation of being shown off as Jack’s girlfriend.  Oblivious to the world around me.  We hopped in his loud truck and sped away.  He liked to gun the engine, make it roar.  It was an exciting time.  We went first to his house where I met his family.  They were nice to me, but his parents smoked, a lot, and they yelled at each other.  I got used to them after a while.  We then went to Jack’s friend’s house.  Jack and his friend cracked open beer cans, offering me one.  I declined.  A few minutes later, the friend left.  Jack and I being alone, we did what lots of teens do in that situation, made out.  We moved to the bedroom.  Jack asked me if I was a virgin.  I said I was. Well, technically I was since I had not had intercourse, right?  Unlike boy #1, Jack said, ‘I’ll be easy I promise.  It’ll only hurt a little.’  Seeing my trepidation he added, ‘Don’t worry, I can’t get you pregnant, I’m impotent.’  He proceeded to strip and plop onto the bed, stark naked.”  The girls gasped.  Some giggled.  “My 16-year-old brain turned to mush.  I had never seen a fully naked boy before (boy #1 stayed dressed from the waist down).  After sizing up the situation,” more giggles and loud laughs from Eva and Sabrina. “I began to get undressed, with Jack’s help and encouragement.  Jack was very gentle, obviously very experienced.  Once again, I liked it.  A lot.  A little too much.  The penis was my new best friend.  I was infatuated with it.  I was no longer a virgin and I couldn’t be happier.  I had a boyfriend and a lover.  He thought I was beautiful and he made me feel good, very good.  What more could a girl ask for?”

Many of the girls gasped in shock at hearing the ‘P’ word. They hadn’t heard it used to matter-of-factly, especially by an adult.  One or two didn’t flinch, seemed to almost not in agreement.  Angel noted that those girls were the ones she most needed to reach. 

“Weren’t you afraid your mother would find out?” asked one of the girls.

“Hush let her tell the story.”

“This is how it went for the next few months.  Jack and I would talk every day after school.  Saturday morning he would come get me and take me to his house.  If his parents were home we would sit or lay on the cough and watch TV.  Jack’s house had cable TV.  That was so cool since we didn’t even have a TV.  When the house was empty we would go to Jack’s room and have sex.  At 10 pm Jack would take me home.  Sunday after church, Jack would pick me up and take me to his house where we would eat lunch with his parents.  When they were gone, we would have sex.  After a while, Jack told them we were going to watch TV in his room because the cigarette smoke bothered me.  That much was true enough.  They said okay but leave the door open.  That didn’t stop us.  We went in his room, turned up the TV, turned off the lights, and you guessed it, had sex.

“One week-end, some months later, I was home alone.  Jack was busy with his family or something.  Suddenly I got a really bad stomach ache.  I thought maybe I had food poisoning or something because it felt like gassy cramps, low in the pelvis.  Either that or really bad menstrual cramps, which I usually never got.  Suddenly I felt like I was about to have a bout of diarrhea so I ran to the bathroom.  It was not diarrhea.  I looked into the toilet and saw a small, bloody mass with a dark red dot.  I had just had a miscarriage.  How I know that it was a miscarriage, I do not know, but I did.  I didn’t even know I was pregnant.  I was never very good at keeping track of my cycles. What was I to do?  Being 16, na├»ve, and in love, I did nothing. I flushed to toilet and walked away.”

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lessons Learned from Summer Camp

The following is an excerpt from "Lessons Learned from Summer Camp"

Ch. 1

“I don’t see what the big deal is,” groaned Keri as the group of high school girls filed into the camp cabin.

“Weren’t you listening?” asked Ana as she bounced into the room, auburn ponytail swinging behind her.

“I don’t believe anything I do now will have anything to do with when I grow up.  It won’t ‘haunt’ me,” Keri groaned.

“You have no conscious,” Ana rolled her eyes.   Keri and Ana had debates like this daily.  Ana was the upbeat, positive, slightly hyperactive girl while Keri mostly sulked.

“Keri is right,” added Jen, “People always say that what happens to you when you are a baby or growing up makes you who you are as a grown-up.  I think that’s a crock. It’s just an excuse to blame your parents for your problems and get sympathy for stupid choices.”  Jen was an ordinary girl, fair skinned, blue eyes, light brown hair. Not pretty, but not homely either.  She was quiet for the most part, didn’t participate in group discussions.

“The past is the past,” added Keri.

“All those statistics the preacher guy quoted can’t possibly be true!” stated Joey quietly from the corner of the room.  Her real name was Josephine but she dared anyone to call her that.  Joey was a self-proclaimed tough-guy and hated every second of summer camp. 

“The Bible,” continued Keri as she applied more black eyeliner, “doesn’t say anywhere that you can’t have sex before marriage.”  Keri had thick black hair with long thick bangs and dark brown eyes. The combination gave her a very haunted look. 

“Didn’t you hear what the preacher said?” asked Ana, as her friend and bunkmate nodded in agreement from the top bunk.  Ana continued to flit across the room from bunk to bunk.

“Yeah, sure, but he didn’t quote any scripture, so he made it up.  Besides, as long as you don’t get pregnant, what’s the big deal?”  Keri groaned.

“Did you see that fine guy sitting across from us?” asked Sabrina, trying to change the subject.

“Ohh, yeah, he’s hot,’ agreed Eva, the only black girl in the room.  Eva was an aspiring model, dressed more for summer camp in the Hampton’s than in the woods of central Florida.

Angel listened to this banter for a few more minutes, wondering if they had just been in the same room for the last hour, listening to the same devotional on purity.  Then it hit her. “You know girls, I was wondering all week why God put me with this particular group of girls.  I always pray about the group of girls I would be assigned to for weeks before camp, but this year seemed different from the start.  I’ve been a counselor at this summer camp for years and your group is the first I’ve questioned my abilities.  Sometimes students come here thinking that we adults have lived perfect lives and couldn’t possibly understand you and the things you deal with on a daily basis.   Angel reached into her duffle bag, pulled out an old, folded piece of paper, then sat on the edge of a cot and prayed silently, help me God, “It is obvious to me that most of you don’t want to be here. Some I know were sent here by their parents for specific reasons, to separate from a boy, to get you away from certain friends, and because your parents wanted a break from you.   I also believe I know why you need to be here and why God put me in your life at this time.  Gather round girls, I want to tell you a story- my story.”

Angel slowly unfolded the yellowed paper as most of the girls begrudgingly moved a little closer, took a deep breath, then read the letter out loud, “ Dear Karl, Thank you for everything you do with the youth group!  I have to confess, your Wednesday night classes have touched me more than any preacher or teacher I have heard in my entire life.  Sitting there listening to you talk to our teens, I feel like you are talking to my 16-year-old self.  As a teen, I did everything wrong, believed all the lies.  Everything you tell them not to do, I did.  And I just want to scream – Why wasn’t I told these things?  Why didn’t I know?  Why didn’t anyone care enough…I never thought I still had regret, thought I had forgiven myself, but there is so much turmoil going on right now, all stemming from mistakes made as a teen-ager.  I will be forever grateful to you, for loving these kids- my kids enough to let them know not only that they should do is right, but why and what happens if they don’t and that God loves them and will forgive them and forget their past.  I wish I could do the same.  I pray these kids – my kids do not repeat my mistakes. Thank you.”

“You wrote that?”  Asked Ana.


“Too scared to send it?” said Joey in an accusatory voice.

“Actually, no, “ I answered, “I kept a copy so I would remember that day.”

“Why?” asked Ana.

“It was a very pivotal point in my life. I wanted to remember that moment, that Aha! I get it moment.  We all make mistakes growing up.  I felt like I was the worst sinner ever, made the worst, most unforgivable mistakes.    Like a lot of us, even you at your age, I have led a double life.   When I was in school, middle school, high school, I was the person nobody noticed, the wallflower.  I was quiet, made good grades, never got into trouble.  When I started working after high school I was a good employee.  Always on time, did what was required of me and more, followed all the rules.  As an adult, at church and around people who “knew me well” I was again the wallflower. Quiet, worked behind the scenes, never drew attention to myself.  Most days I felt like I could walk around naked carrying a sign that said ‘help me’ and nobody would notice.”

“What does that have to do with anything?” groaned Keri, getting bored, not caring about Angel’s story. 

“I’m getting there, but the beginning is usually the best place to start a story, so I’ll begin there.”

“Why are you telling this to us?” asked Joey, not wanting to hear a boring story from a boring adult. “We just got a huge lecture, do we really need another one so soon?”

“For 2 reasons.  1, I need to tell it, 2 you need to hear it.  If you’ll humor me and listen, I think you’ll figure it out.   I have an older sister, by 3 years.  She doesn’t look anything like me.  Our parents divorced when I was about 2 or 3.  I have 2 memories of him.  The first, he is laying on the couch, watching TV.  My sister and I were playing on the floor and he was just laying there, watching the TV.  The second, my sister and I are going to visit my father.  Must have been shortly after the break-up.  I remember trying to think what he looked like.  He must surely be an old man with a white beard.  He wasn’t.  Don’t remember what he did look like.  He gave us a puzzle.  It was a map of the United States.  We never saw him again.  He never wrote or called or had visitation.  They divorced and Mom, my sister and I moved away.  For years I would dream about him, that he would come and rescue me, tell me he loved me and how sorry he was about leaving me. I didn’t miss him, because I didn’t know him.  But I guess I knew a part of me was missing and wanted to know why he didn’t love me.”

“That’s so sad,” whispered Penny shyly from behind her pillow.  Keri groaned. 

“My mother met and married Ted,” Angel continued, “when I was 5.  I was afraid of him.  He was very tall and carried a gun.  He was a government employee of some kind, not a regular police officer.  He also had a really bad temper, I mean bad.  He cursed, a lot, and he drank a lot, too.  He was not a ‘drunk’, though.  I don’t recall typical personality swings of the usual sober, not sober type.  He was just loud, opinionated, and got mad very easily. He used to pat my sister and I on the bottom every time we passed by.  I couldn’t stand it.  His hand didn’t  ever linger from what I remember.  He never abused me or anything, but it made me very uncomfortable. It got to where I would avoid him or pass by him in a way where he couldn’t touch me.   I think he was an atheist because he always said things like “those damned Southern Baptists” and of course he never went to church, except when I was 13 and was baptized.  To say the least, I didn’t like him. 

“It’s funny, although we did a lot together as a family, Ted, mom, my sister and I, we didn’t talk.  Not about important things like religion, family, dating, values, morals, expectations.   Ted and I never talked about anything other than the bare necessities. My sister and I argued a lot over typical sister things, and mom and I didn’t talk about much.  Mom talked at us mostly.

“Oh, sure, the information I needed for life was out there.  I learned it at church.  Mom took us to church every Sunday and most Wednesdays.  We grew up Baptist.  My grandfather and his family were Baptist.  My uncle became a Baptist preacher.  I learned about God, I learned about Jesus.  Jesus loves me.  I grew up knowing that.  I never questioned the existence of God.  I cannot remember a time not knowing that God created the world in six days and on the seventh day He rested.  I cannot remember a time not knowing that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins and arose on the third day.  Every Sunday when the preacher finished his sermon and we sang ‘There is a fountain free…will you come, for you and me’  or ‘Just As I Am’ I wanted to walk down that isle, however, I was a very shy child, didn’t like to be in front of people, so I didn’t.  I have nothing against the Baptist faith, so don’t think I’m bashing them. I’m just giving history.

“One day, when I was 13 the preacher came to our house.  Mom said it was high time we got baptized, my sister and me.  The preacher talked.  I listened.  I nodded my head yes when he asked if I believed that Jesus was the Son of God.  It was arranged that on Father’s Day, a few weeks later, that my sister and I would be baptized. And so, I became a born again Christian.

“My life didn’t change any after that.  Not in a spiritual way at least.”

“You were 13,” said Ana, “what’s to change?”

“Well,” Angel continued, “I didn’t read my Bible or pay closer attention at church for one thing. About a year later my mother told me she and Ted were getting a divorce.  I was ecstatic!  I thought, finally she’s getting rid of him!  He wanted to tell me himself, she said.  When he came home that evening he sat me down in the dining room and with tears in his eyes he told me.  I had to restrain myself, act upset, pretend I was shocked.  But on the inside I was jumping for joy!  He left that day.   Little did I know how much his leaving could have such a huge affect on my life.”

“How could it?” Asked Ana. “You didn’t like him anyway.”

“When there is no man in the house things change. My mom changed, became self-absorbed.  I became interested in boys at about age 11 when I started dance lessons. There were boys there. The interest in getting boy’s attention intensified after the divorce.  I liked dancing, it was expressive and freeing.  At the dance studio I could be me.  It was very different from school.  No click’s, no jocks, no cheerleaders, no clubs.  Just dancing.  I had found the one place I could be me.  The mask came off and I bloomed – as long as I was in the dance studio.  I loved dancing and I loved my teacher, Miss Danielle.  We became great friends even though she was 10 years older than me.  She filled that maternal role that I didn’t get from my mother and the best friend or older sister role all rolled into one.

“Boys, boys and dancing.  A great mix when you’re a little girl.  Or so I thought at the time.  Disco was king those days…”

“What’s Disco?” Joey hissed under her breath. Keri shrugged.

“There was one boy who was into disco- like John Travolta he was!  I know, you don’t know who that is.  He was good-looking, all the girls drooled over him.  I secretly was in love with him.  I did everything I could to get noticed by him.  I ignored him, I wore the cutest dance outfits. I danced with the other boys.  Eventually, he talked to me – at the dance studio.  At school he ignored me.  At school he had a reputation.  He dated, a lot.  Rumor had it that he slept with a lot of girls.  Well, I did not want to be added to the list.  I did not want that type of reputation at school.  Even though I loved, and craved the attention I got from at the dance studio, I moved on.

“I met my first real boyfriend when I was 15.  Danielle had 2 daughters.  I babysat them quite often.  In the summertime I would spent a lot of time at their house babysitting or just hanging out with the girls at the neighborhood pool.  My mother trusted Danielle, she went to our church, so I was allowed to go over to her house anytime and even spend the night.  The summer I turned 15 the pool got a new lifeguard.  He was the cousin of my friend, who was also a lifeguard at the pool.  He was at least 18, from California, and very tanned and muscular.  Being 15, I was ‘in love’.  He being older and wiser, told me he was infatuated with me.”

“What’s that mean?” asked Keri.

“He wanted her for her body,” answered Joey.

“My first sexual encounter was with him,”  Angel nodded.  “I didn’t know anything about him, but I liked the attention, liked the way he made me feel.  First there was then ‘innocent’ flirting that led to touching and kissing in the pool, after hours and at night.  I liked it.  I had never been paid attention to by the boys in school. I had never dated anyone in school, not that I was old enough in the first place.  I always thought I was ugly, not the type to be popular or even noticed by anyone, much less boys.  So, here was this boy, this nearly man not only paying attention to me but being sexually attracted to me.  I didn’t once stop to think, I am doing the right thing, should we be doing this?  Good golly no!  A boy was kissing me!  I had never been kissed before.  How could I possibly think about anything else?”

At this point, the girls moved in a little closer, sat up in their beds and stared at Angel intently.  She had their attention.  Even the girls in the adjacent set of dorm rooms and their counselors were hovering by the adjoining door.   She took a deep breath, thought to herself, “Help me God,” waved for the new listeners to come in then continued.

“On our first real date, we went to dinner, then to his apartment.  My mother gave me permission to go out with him.  She liked him.  Who wouldn’t, he was cute and polite!  What was she thinking? I was only 15 years old.  While we were kissing, at his apartment, on his bed, he asked me if I was a virgin.  I was embarrassed to say yes, but I did say yes.  To his credit, he said, ‘Then we can’t have sex.  You’re underage.”  I was relieved.  Disappointed in a way, but relieved.”

“He could have been charged with statutory rape,” exclaimed Ana.

“Probably,” Angel continued.   “However, that didn’t stop him, or me, from doing just about everything else.  Oral sex is sex.  I lot of kids don’t think so, but it is and 15-year-olds shouldn’t be doing it.  I did. I had never been told no, that it was wrong.  I didn’t even know what oral sex was.  I was told you can’t have sex, and to me sex was intercourse.  I liked it.  This was more attention than I had gotten up to this point in all the 15 years I had lived.   I was absolutely terrified of all of the feelings going through my body, but I liked it.”

“You were scared?” asked Keri.

“Very. I had no idea what was going on.  He was doing things to my body I didn’t know existed.  My mother had never talked to me about sex.  My friends at school didn’t talk about sex, not that they knew the facts.  I think I laid as still as a statue and didn’t move or say anything the whole time.  It never happened again.  A few months later, he moved back to California.  I was devastated.  He didn’t tell me he was leaving.  Suddenly, he was just gone.  He didn’t call.  He didn’t answer his phone.  He wasn’t home.  No one knew where he was until he called his cousin, my friend, and she told me.  My first love, my first broken heart, my lost innocence – at the age of 15.”

“Jerk,” scowled Joey.

“You’re lucky the dude didn’t give you a disease,” stated Eva flatly.

“I started a new high school in the 10th grade.  A magnet school for the arts.  I almost fit in.  I actually did, but I still felt like I didn’t belong.  Everyone was different.  Singers, musicians, actors, dancers, artists.  We were all free to express ourselves.  The people who were made fun of in traditional high schools flourished at this school.  We were all accepted for who we were, not made to fit a mold.  I learned about homosexuality at that school.  One of my best friends was a drag queen.  I, however, was still a shy little girl with no self-confidence.  I still wore the mask even in a place where masks were not needed.  I thought I was a good dancer.  Dancing was freeing, liberating at my dance studio.  At this new school, however, everyone was better than me, lots better.  I was intimidated.  Mask on.”

“What does that mean – mask?” asked one of the girls in the doorway.

“It means I was pretending, projecting an imaging, not letting people know who I really was.  Have you ever gone to school or to church mad at the world, just had a fight with your parents, and a friend says ‘Hey how you doing?’ and you answer, ‘Fine,’ with a smile on your face? That is putting on your mask.” The girls nodded, understanding.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Goodreads Interview

I am honored to have been interviewed by Haresh Daswani at Goodreads:


1. Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? 
** My sixth book, "Man in the Mirror" is about a teenage girl who has a difficult time dealing with her dysfunctional family. Celeste Gallagher takes on her family's problems as her own creating guilt and shame. There is only one way for her to rid herself of that self-imposed responsibility and she fights it every step of the way. 

2. Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers, or did you jump right into self-publication? 
** Back in the early 1990's I tried the traditional route, spent gobs of money on stamps only to be rejected by everyone. I did not try to publish again until a year ago when I learned of two self-publishing sites from a friend. 

3. What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon? 
** It was simply another step in name recognition. If I can self-publish to any given site, then I'm going to give it a try. 

4. Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing? And if not, what method did you use for proofing? 
I have never paid for editing. I have several trusted friends (and a husband) who proof and edit for me. 

5. What have you've learned during your self-publishing journey? Any advice you can give to burgeoning writers? 
** It is hard work. I think I have spent more time in promoting than writing. I have never liked to promote myself, however, in order to sell and get noticed it's a necessary evil. Advice: make the time and do it correctly and professionally. Write your bio, as if it were a job resume, save the file and use the same one for everything. I didn't do that. 

6. Where have you put your work on sale? Is it available in only digital formats, or is there a physical edition available? 
** I have books through Lulu (limited), Smashwords and all of their affiliates, Amazon, and also in print form through Wordclay. 

7. What kinds of marketing are you involved with for promoting your book? Any promotional recommendations to new writers? 
** I use Facebook extensively, my blog (http://colleenwaitwrites.blogspot.com), have my web addresses on my e-mail signature, and of course, word of mouth. 

8. Do you find it difficult to manage your time, shifting focus between marketing your current book and writing your next book, as well as any day-to-day responsibilities? 
*** Yes, yes, and yes. I am a wife and mother and have a full-time job. I would much rather be writing than doing anything else, however, it often takes a back seat. 

9. What's next for you? Any new books in the works? 
** I have two books in the works and several 'ideas' on file. One is loosely titled "Love on the Run" and the other is a book about the homeless. I have 12 hours of interviews for that one to digest and decide what to do with. It will be a process. In the meantime, "Love on the Run" is a creative outlet. 


Thank you Haresh and Goodreads!!!

Colleen Wait Edits

Colleen Wait Edits

About Me

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This YouTube channel was created to add video to my blog.  Read it here:  www.colleenwaitwrites.blogspot.com.  I write about my life, my books, my family, my cats and kids, and of course travel.