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Archive for the ‘Just because’ Category

Canine Behavior – Aggression, the Fear

It’s funny, because those who are not “canine knowledgeable” tend to slap all canine aggression into one tidy box.  “That dog bites”.  Does it?  Years ago I was working at a veterinarian clinic volunteer.  For my first task, I was asked to put ointment in a dog’s ears.  The dog – a german shepherd who was obviously submissive and fearful, accepted me into her kennel, and up until that point had accepted my touch. I Hadn’t quite gotten the ointment to her ears, but dang, infected ears hurt, so I understood the sudden jerks away.  She was a sweet little GSD afraid of pain. I get that.  Don’t you?

Then another worker walked by and stopped, shock in her eyes.  “That dog bites!  Get out of there.”

Wait a second.  I’m seated on the floor, the dog standing beside me, my hand on her back.  Really?  Of course the instant I heard the words, I was suddenly afraid.  Until you’ve been bitten by a dog, the fear always remains and at this time I was “biteless”.  I moved with extreme care and left the cage, but I noticed at the same time a sudden change in the dog.  She was suddenly more skittish, more fearful.  Why?  Because I was skittish and fearful.  She was feeding off of my fear.

Fear aggression is one of the most dangerous of all aggression among dogs.  It’s pretty easy to identify, if you know what you’re looking for.  The dog crouches.  the dart toward you and back, their ears are back instead of forward, the tail is not only town, but slightly tucked inward.  Maybe ALOT tucked inward, depending on the fear level of the dog.  They make alot of noise!

They’re shouting at you to Go away! You’re scaring me” with every fiber of their being.

I got bitten about two years ago for the first time, in just such a scenario.  It was my own fault really. I’d been asked, in an emergency situation to watch someone’s dog, and didn’t realize until later that I didn’t remember the dog’s name.  We’d only met once before.  I walked into the house – the owner had left all lights out, and I couldn’t find the switch.  All the while this poor dog is terrified, barking and growling. I can’t see her (she’s black) and knew the only way to end this was find a light.  I turned my back, feeling for the switch as carefully as I could, and of course that’s when she struck.

Being the smart lady I am, I did not jerk away.  I didn’t move at all.  Therefore all I ended up with was a horrendous bruise covering my entire calf.  There was no blood, no nothing.  I got the light on, yelled at her to get in the kennel with my meanest alpha voice.  We stood there for a few minutes, both of us trying to decide what to do next.  The poor thing needed to go outside and she needed food.  So, I gave in to my first instinct.

“Wanna go outside?” in my happiest doggy voice.  In an instant she was out, wagging her tail and happy again.  Me, I was rather in pain.  We didn’t have any more instances like that, thank heaven!

So far, I haven’t added fear aggression to any of my characters, but it’s definitely something to consider. The hero’s sister is lost, and everywhere she turns there is only deeper forest.  She moves toward water.  A river.  Look, there’s a waterfall.  Relief.  As she’s taking a sip a man approaches.  Not just any man.  The villain.  He snarls at her, even in human form he knows what she is.  A shifter.  She looks left, and right.  There’s no where to go.  Just water the water fall behind, and the only way out is straight ahead.  Through him.  Evil permeates from him, and she knows she will die if he touches her.  What does she do?   Well, I shall leave that there for you. :)  Feel free to finish it, based off what you’ve learned so far.  What WOULD she do?

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Canine Behavior – Aggression, The Lesson

Hey guys!  Welcome back to my series on Canine Behavior.  Like I mentioned before, a lot of people comment on the amount of true canine behavior I use in my stories.  That’s because years ago, I learned something very important.  Dogs are really not much more than a domesticated wolf.  True, we’ve played with their bodies, and their hearts and minds, in order to mold them into the image we want.  No wolf was ever the size of a yorkie, and no yorkie will ever be the size of a wolf.  But that doesn’t mean they don’t share the most important  thing that keeps them together.  Their soul.  Basic Canine behavior is the same for both, just in differing intensity.

For example, wolves are often described as shy.  They are not.  They are just naturally wary of humans.  Wariness and shyness are not the same.  Dogs have predominately lost this trait.  It’s something we bred out of them.  And yet, now and again, you’ll see that same wariness show up in this breed or that.  Frequently the older breeds, described as “reserved” hold this trait.  Like the Akbash.  Beautiful dogs who are wary of any human not in their family.  So for the rest of this week and next we’ll talk about the one thing that stays with all of them…. with variances only in intensity, and that is Canine Aggression.

And today’s Lesson is….. you guessed it, The Lesson.

Of all the examples of canine aggression this is one of the most terrifying to watch.  It usually consists of one adult teaching a youngster a lesson.  It consists of terrifying growls and snarls, the frightening flashing of long, white fangs.  The youngster tends to cower, and if under about 8 months or so, typically they drop to their back.  If older, they drop and cower on their bellies.  Many trainers will tell you they must expose their bellies.  This isn’t true.  Yes, the most submissive in the dog world will, but the average dog merely drops to his belly and lays his head flat on the ground to the side, twisting their neck to offer a target.  Their eyes typically are tightly held close.  It’s much easier to give in if you don’t see those horrid teeth coming your way, isn’t it?

For a human watching, it’s one of the most shocking of scenes.  I remember the first time we brought our now 14 yr old dog home.  He charged straight to my female lab and bounced off her in pure joy.  She flattened him. With lips drawn back, her mouth open wide, exposing every tooth and fang in all it’s beauty.  Her voice was loud, aggressive, and downright terrifying as she snarled, barked and growled.  She slammed her head back and forth against him, laying those teeth ever so close to that sweet puppy throat.

Blackjack dropped like a rock, cowering beneath those beautiful and yet frightful teeth.  And yet…..

those teeth never once touched that pup.  Not once.  Oh yes, her head slammed against him, telling him she could rip him apart should he want to, just,,,, she didn’t want to.

She used only the amount of force necessary to teach this wild young pup a lesson.  “I’m boss.  You’re not.  I’ll eat you alive if I have to.”

For the rest of his life, Blackjack respected Lisa the way a child respects his mother.  She raised him as if he were her own, and was willing to protect him with her life, if need be.  And yet their first meeting, to the human eye looked as though she was about to destroy that sweet, brown eyed boy.  What to us looked like pure death in those eyes was the start of the most beautiful relationship I’d ever seen among dogs.

In my writing, when an Alpha is fighting a member of his pack, he uses the exact amount of force necessary.  He threatens, he growls, he attacks.  But he rarely injures.  For, unless the one receiving the lesson is truly challenging his authority, there is no need. For all he’s saying is “I’m boss, you’re not.  I’ll eat you alive if I have to.”

 

 

 

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I’ve Been Tagged! Lucky 7 – #blogging #writers

So last week, while I was out of town (sneaky people that you are) I got tagged to participate in the Lucky 7!  And not once, but TWICE.  First was Candice Bundy and the second was TJMichaels, but oddly enough I can’t find that tag on TJ’s blog.  I saw her announcement fly by on facebook while I was rushing out to my cousin’s wedding!  (More on that to come later this week or next)   So does that mean I have to tag 14 people?  Wouldn’t that be scary? I think I’ll stick with 7, but I guess to prove I love all you folks, I’ll give you TWO excerpts from 2 different manuscripts.  Does that sound fair?  :borg:

The rules for this one are quite simple:

  1. Go to page 77 of your current ms.
  2. Go to line 7.
  3. Copy down the next 7 lines/sentences, and post them as they’re written. No cheating.
  4. Tag 7 other victims, …er, authors.

 

OK, So, since I get to share TWO manuscripts, I’m going to start with the one that published on the 27th, since, well, it was technically still a manuscript when I was Tagged. :D

So, for my first one – from Lone Wolf, I went to page 77, copied 7 lines.  I promise, I didn’t fudge this at all!

Two men. Two voices. Krystal held her eyes closed, studying her situation. She was in a sitting position, her hands above and held at either side of her head. She could feel the hard edge of steel cuffs about her wrists. Cold, hard cement was beneath her. The room smelled of dank animal scents and straw. The urge to cover her nose was overwhelming, but she didn’t want to let the bastards know she was awake.

“Good. The tiger experiment failed. This one will work.”

Can you GET a more intriguing 7 lines by pure luck?

The second one was harder, because my program doesn’t count the pages unless I set it up to print.  So, for the sake of this, I set it up to print. :)  Just for you guys.  The work?  It’s Cougar’s Fate, the 3rd in the Maxey Wizards series.  Again, talk about lucky on the 7th line of page 77!

Jared snarled when Conrad smirked at his pain and fury.  Jared dragged himself upright, wishing the bastard would step closer.  Just two feet nearer, so he could rip that damned electrical rod out of his hand. If he could get control of his magick, he could send a bout of his newly learned fire, burning the bastard’s clothes.  But with the obviously bespelled cuffs around his ankles and wrists, as well as the electricity still bouncing through the cells in his body, there was no way he could focus.

But he wasn’t above trying.  Jared reached for his magick, swallowing the pain and need to gasp for air.

Yes, that’s seven lines in my program.  Now maybe that’s why this is the lucky 7. I have some great lines on pages 77 and line 7. LOL.  Wooohoo!

Ok, now who to pick?  Letssseeeee.

  1.  Vivienne Westlake -Of whom I’m just terribly jealous of her beauty (and hair).
  2. Crista McHugh who is my husband’s FAVORITE author.  Yes, he said that.  Sad, isn’t it?  I’m not even his favorite!
  3. Alexia Reed – who had to tolerate me at a conference as I was dying from a cold (Yes, I always feel like a cold is killing me).  I’m such a whiner.
  4. Kristen Koster, of Impulsive Hearts -  I just LOVE her writing!!  You’ll have to check out all of her page to see it!
  5. Elise Logan or Emily Ryan Davis.  I’m putting them both here as one, because I know they share their blog and are always working on projects together.  You have to check out their books, folks!  Really!
  6. Jodi Henley – My roommate for two RWA conferences so far, and she hasn’t even killed me yet!  Is that awesome or what?  Course after this…. Ya never know.  But if you want to learn to write, Jodi is the gal for you! She’s got great ideas on the art of the craft!
  7. Stephanie Draven – last but definitely not least, the Rita Award Nominee, Stephanie Draven!  Course you may have to wait to see her post until she comes down from the clouds.  And also, let me offer my BIG TIME CONGRATS for her to be so honored!  Stephanie, we love you!  Sorry I can’t be there this year to see you win!

There you have it!  Now to catch these ladies’ attention and let them know they’ve been tagged!

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You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry – the finale

Ok, so the real reason I wrote all those posts was so I could share this story.  This is the true story and happened in about 1995, I think it was.   But you wouldn’t have understood this story without the others to build up to it. I promise, it wouldn’t have held the same power, and you wouldn’t feel the danger.  When I want to write a story which has our heroine furious beyond measure, it’s these emotions I’m drawing on.

In the Air Force they have special leadership training programs where you are sent to attend classes on how to become a better leader.  In my case, for NCO Academy, I was sent to McGuire AFB NJ.  A nice little hole in the wall base with not all that much to offer, except a nice flight line, known for handling a lot of overseas flights.  The school housed the residents in “Billeting”, the military version of a hotel, complete with maid service.  Our particular building was an old dormitory with the communal showers and small rooms, but at least we didn’t have room mates.

Our class was there for the 4th of July holiday, and we voted to be in class on the 4th, which was Thursday, so we could have a three day weekend, and take Friday off.  I, for the life of me, can’t remember what we did that 4th of July night, but I remember I went to bed late. I think I’d visited with a long time friend and watched fireworks with her, and then drove back to the base.  Now as you can tell, I love to get a lot of sleep, and I hate mornings, so this Friday I planned to sleep until at least noon.  I dropped my jeans on the foot of the bed, and climbed into bed with a t-shirt and underwear on, and fell sound asleep.

About 8 am I heard a commotion in the hallway.  Women’s voices shouting and doors slamming.  It didn’t take me long to realize it was maid service.  Now I know I said this was a military version of a hotel, but there were no “clean the room now” tags or “Do not disturb” tags on the doorknobs for us to put out, so I figured when they got to me, I’d just shout out “I’m sleeping, go away”, and they’d leave me alone.  But of course, the ladies room called, so I rolled out of bed and into my jeans, stumbled to the bathroom, then came back, rolled back into bed, and threw the pillow back over my head. The noises continued, growing closer and louder, my fury climbing higher with every door slam and shout down the hall.  At last the knock came.

“I’m sleeping, go away” I shouted.

“But we want to change the sheets.”

“GO AWAY”.

The lady must have gotten the message as I heard her at the next room.  A few minutes later, Head Maid shouted down the hall “What about that room?” apparently pointing at mine.

The voice who’d wanted to change the sheets answered  “She says she’s sleeping.”

It was then Head Maid made her fatal mistake.

“She better get her butt out of that bed.”

Oh I did, all right. I rolled right out of that bed. My feet hit the floor just as she hit the door with her knuckles for the first knock.  She never hit it a second time.  I threw the door open and it bounced off the wall.  I stormed forward.  In true Italian fashion, I threw my hand into the air to accentuate every word.

“Who the hell do you think you are?  NOBODY tells me to get my butt out of bed without my permission!”  The woman steps back, her eyes wide.  I”m sure it’s those glowy eyes of mine that did it. You know, there’s a reason I write shifters. I wonder if I grew fangs at that moment too.  “You’re a freakin’ maid for God’s sake.  Maid service doesn’t tell hotel guests when to get out of bed under any circumstances.  I SAID I was sleeping!”  Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t putting her down for being a maid.  It was because she didn’t abide by proper hotel maid procedures.

At this point I notice all of the other tenants standing in the hall, all wearing their bathrobes or in some sad state of undress, as they too had been sleeping.  Momma bear poked her head out.  I wasn’t the only one disturbed.  What would have been a simple volatile second became a secondary explosion .

“I saw you go to the bathroom wearing jeans. I knew you were awake.”

“You know nothing.  It’s none of your business what I wear the to the bathroom, or to my bed.  You are maid service.  You are not my boss.  You are not my commanding officer.  You,” I shouted, again, gesturing wildly, “stormed into this hallway, woke up every single guest, shouted enough to wake every blasted one of them, and then try to order me out of my bed.  Just who do you think you are?”

Her mouth gaped like a fish.  I was on a roll!

“It’s Friday, you should be at work!”

“Right.  It’s Friday. It’s our day off. But you wouldn’t know that, would you?  Because that doesn’t matter. If someone says they are in bed, you don’t get them up!  You come back later. Do you think we’re stupid or something?  Didn’t it seem strange to you that every damned room had a woman asleep in it?  Do you think we’d be working in our bathrobes?”

“I”m just doing my job!”

“No.  You’re not.  Your waking people up, and THAT is not your job!”  I spun, stormed back into the room and slammed the door so hard, I’m sure it reverberated up to the third floor.  I grabbed my shoes, and my keys and stormed back out. I didn’t brush my hair or teeth.  One of the maids was standing there, still in shock.  Girls were at the other end of the hall gossiping.  A couple came up to try to calm me down.  By now, I was calm, but furious.  A dead cold glare stared at the Head Maid as they spoke to me.

“We were all sleeping too,” one  of the girls commiserated.  “And I’m your witness.” At the time I didn’t understand what she meant by that.

I turned to the cowering younger maid.  “Where’s the main office?  I need to file a complaint.”  She gave me the building number, and the girl at my side said “wait, I’ll go with you.”  That helped to calm me some, but the cold fury still sat there, waiting to explode again.  We went to the main office where I filed my complaint, stating my opinion that this woman should not ever work for them again.  Then they let me use their phone.

My poor husband.  He was planning to sleep in that day too.  Good thing he wakes up better than I do, because he got an earful.  But wonderful man that he is, he knows exactly how to handle me when the sleep disturbed fury arrives.  He let me spout off, and agreed with me, and then finally joked until I laughed.  God, I love that man.  He knows me so well!

Later, I heard the rumor was that when I opened the door, I hit her, thus the witness comment.  Then the rumor was I almost hit her, and that’s why they didn’t fire her, but instead moved her to another building, telling her not to step into our building so long as I was still there.  Funny.  I never even thought about hitting her. Dang.  I missed my chance, I guess, since everyone thought I did and I didn’t even get into trouble!

The funny thing about the entire thing was my class responded.  The men in my group suddenly looked at me totally different.  I wasn’t the sweet, quiet little girl they thought I was.  I was class leader because I outranked them.  Up until then I received cursory respect.  It’s not like class leader really does much.  But afterward, I was treated as though I were a Queen.  Funny how men respect a woman who stands up for herself, even if he nicknames her A Bitch. I even got invited to the “Let’s make homemade beer” party, which I graciously declined.  Hey, I like being respected, but I don’t like getting poisoned!  :beer:

But you know what? That bitchiness works really well in my books, don’t you think?  When my heroine charges after the villain, she’s allowed to do a little violence.  I like that.  I get all my anger out at Head Maid right then and there.  Maybe… Maybe one day I’ll write her into a book.  Wouldn’t that be fun?  :devil:

So now you know my deep, dark secret.  Yes, all of these stories are more than 15 years old.  I’ve got a little more “control” these days, thank heaven. :blink:  People now only see the slightly grump me.  Just remember, if you ever see my eyes glowing (Or glowering), it doesn’t mean I’m mad at you.  It means I”m half asleep.  Don’t take anything personal and we’ll get along fine. :devil:

The thing is, I really don’t get mad like this often.  It once took me three years to finally blow up at someone who was a thorn in my side every day.  Also, my husband, as I said earlier, has made it his mission to teach me control when I first get up.  He’s done a great job!  He calls me “Witchy” when I give him “The look”.  Or if I say things in “The tone” right after I get up.  He laughs as he says it, so I know he’s only making me aware of what I’m doing.  Funny thing is, when he says it, I’m usually not in a bad mood. I think it’s just that I’m tired and my tone or expression is still asleep.  Remember how I used to wake up slowly as a kid?  I still do that, just as an adult I can’t go sit over the heater and nap.  I now have a double alarm.  :tongue:

My shifters are like that deep part of me, the part so few people have seen.  They have no political correctness aspirations.  They say what they think.  They act as how they want.  If they are angry, you know it.  Their glowy eyes will always tell you.  :w00t:   They don’t have to have been interrupted in their sleep to show these tempers.  They let them free when they feel it’s necessary.  In true animalistic form they correct, and then forgive.

Often people ask me what is the appeal of the shifter?  They are natural.  They don’t hide behind niceties.  They are themselves and make no apologies for who and what they are.  For me, the only time I’m a natural is when you first wake me up.  Before that political correctness slides over me, before all my training about courtesy and caring wakes up.  So I guess that makes me wonder – would I be like this all the time had I not been taught by humans?  And would I make a more effective leader if I were more like my shifters all the time?  Things that make you go Hmmm.

Remember, when you read my books, you can almost hear my shifters saying “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

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You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry – Part 3

Hey folks!  You’re back?  I guess your curiosity is getting the best of you.  Can Teresa REALLY get that mad?  Sure I can.  Remember, I’m Irish and Italian as my biggest “chunks” of background.  I even use my hands like an Italian when I get mad!  (That story will be story #4).

One thing I was really good at when I was in the military was protecting the troops who worked with me.  Especially the younger ones.  I hated to see them treated with disrespect, or ignored because they didn’t have enough stripes on their shoulders.  In fact, once I had words with my flight commander for too much sex talk, not because it bothered me, but because when I walked in and overheard the conversation, the other woman there, a young airman, was sitting there with her face beat red.  She couldn’t wait to get off work and get out of there.  Things like that bother me, and I’ll stand up for them every time.  In fact, the only time sleep wasn’t an issue when I got really angry was because of the way someone treated people in our unit. I’m like a mother bear when it comes to these young airmen, ready to protect when necessary.  Luckily I only had to go off on two NCO’s in my time over that.  One shall remain secret.  The other I shall share here.

Today’s story is one of the few negative memories I have of being in Egypt.  Let me start from the beginning, because, well, that’s probably where this whole thing started.

My boss wanted me to play war games again.  And when I say again, I mean AGAIN.  As in for the 8th time in 3 years.  I’m all good and dandy about wartime training, but it really was someone else’s turn.  The on and off gas mask was enough to drive a sane woman to drink, but after 8 times I was about ready to say just “Gas me!  Please!”.  He says “You can go play games or you can go to Egypt.”  Now this just proves how little this man knew me.  I love Egypt!  I have always loved Egypt.  My fascination started when I was 8, and I received my great grandmother’s necklace, made probably about the time King Tut’s tomb was found.  It’s just a terrible piece of forged artwork, but hey, it was mine, and it was about Egypt, and I loved it.

I responded with enthusiasm!  “Send me to Egypt!  PLEASE!”  And so he did.

On the way there another TSgt and I hit it off, and we decided if they let us, we’d share a room when we got there.  See, we started off staying in a hotel (across from the pyramids!  How good does it get?)  This was a big mistake.  See, I worked nights and she worked days.  That wouldn’t seem bad, except she worked only 3 days a week.  So the other 4 she sat in our room, chatting on the phone, blasting the tv, or whatever.  Sleep was a foreign thing during this period, and I tried very hard to be a good girl and not get mad.  See, my husband by this time had made it his mission in life to teach me control when I was tired.  He’d bump the bed just to see how long it took me to snap.  With time and practice, I learned to hold my temper.  So, I did just that.  I held my temper.

After a month or so in the hotels, we got moved to “Tent city”.  Now if you’ve never seen a military encampment, think of those old camp movies, where everyone slept in beds lined up on each wall, except we were in a tent.  My cot was in the far corner, and my former roommates was in the other end.  (Halleluiah for small favors).  There were 16 of us in the tent, I think.  Maybe 14, I don’t remember for sure.

All of us were NCO’s except one girl.  An E-2 (Airman first class) was in the middle cot on the same side as me.  I dont’ remember what she did, but she’d come back to the tent totally exhausted.  She’d fall into bed and not move for the next 8 hours.  I felt sorry for her, while at the same time I admired her ability to survive.  This one particular evening she’d been so tired she’d gone to bed without dinner.

After dinner my former roommate came in, and turned on the overhead light.  Me, I’d been sitting in my little corner, with my own little light, reading a book.  This NCO then proceeded to make alot of noise, and then at last settled onto her cot, the bright overhead lights still on.  I went over and asked her if she needed the light anymore, she said no.  So I turned it off, went back to my cot and continued reading my book.

A few minutes later she storms over and says “I thought you were going to sleep.”

“No, But she is.”  I pointed to the illustrious airman.

“IF she wants the light off, she can tell me herself.”

I calmly exited my cot, and moved right up to her, face to face, and in Mother bear fashion, whispered so as not to wake our sleeping child.  “I already know you have no respect for those sleeping after sharing a room with you.  She is a young Airman.  Do you REALLY think she’s going to look you in the face and order you to turn off the damned light?  You are an NCO in the US Air Force.  Act like it.”  Her eyes grew wide and she stepped back.  I didn’t raise my voice.  I didn’t have to.  Again, there must be something about my eyes when I get angry.  Maybe they start to glow like my shifters or something.  Because when I get angry, and let it show, no matter how loud or soft, people back off.  FAST.  She stormed out, and never met my eyes again. Oh, and she never left the light on after dark if someone was sleeping either.

Funny though.  When I think back on Egypt, and even living in Tent city, I loved every other moment of it.  It’s the start of me wanting to write, because I ran out of books to read there.  We had this kewl little book swap table, and while most of the people there were male, I got alot of books to read.  I had brought a bunch of sci fi books, and so had someone else.  I also had brought some thrillers.  So had someone else.  I read a book a day in those 4 months.  Even the days I got to go to the pyramid, or to the National Museum (which to this day is my greatest memory of my military service).  But I had a standing joke that if I read one more murder mystery the twitch in my hand would grow a knife and I’d plunge it into someone myself.  Seriously, somebody there had someone at home sending a steady diet of murder mysteries, and whoever he/she was, we both enjoyed them.

So anyway, She didn’t like me when I was angry.  But you’ll see there was progress here!  I didn’t yell at her when she woke me up.  I only went after her when she woke someone ELSE up.  Wierd how we grow, isn’t it? Uh oh, Jen.  Better not let anyone wake you up at Authors After Dark. I might get really mad!  LOL.

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This time Warner Brothers has gone too far!

I interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you this rant.

Yep, this time Warner Brothers has gone too far.  I mean it.  I’ve watched some very special television programs of the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s  belittled to the masses when they turn them into comedies.  The primary purpose behind the shows are lost to slapstick and jokes.  The message of the creator is lost.

When Dukes of Hazzard came out, I wasn’t so worried cuz, well, Dukes WAS a comedy.  But it wasn’t stupid comedy, but hey, can’t have everything when they do the remake, right?  I refused to watch it, because they pushed the comedy over into stupid, but it didn’t bother me.

Then Charlie’s Angels came out as a movie.  Now Charlie’s Angels wasn’t a comedy.  It’s primary goal was to put women on the front lines of the battle against cop and villain.  It was great.  It brought women forward in a time when people were still shocked that women might want to have a career at all, much less be a cop.  Yes it was fun, but it wasn’t all fun.  It was also not a comedy.  Now I’ve seen the first one of this, and I found it downright stupid.  Stupid really does kinda bother me, especially when the show had a purpose initially. I found it distasteful.

Then, came 21 Jump Street, which initially starred Johnny Depp.  This was not a comedy either.  The purpose behind 21 Jump street was to focus on Youth Crime.  I loved 21 Jump street, and I hate to say it, it’s one of the few movies other than the Pirates of the Caribbean, where I LIKED Johnny Depp.  Yeah I know.  I’m in the minority, but I”m just not into skinny rail guys.

The Avengers – Another very serious television show made a parody.  I watched part of it, and got disgusted, so turned it off.

The A-Team was remade.  I wasn’t thrilled with it, but it wasn’t too bad.  At least that was already part comedy, so the parody part was only slightly over the top.

Dragnet was remade, taken from a totally serious television show to something resembling a blues brothers film.

Land of the Lost was a semi sweet kids movie turned into a more adult “Parody”.  I found it pretty ridiculous, and had I been alone, would have walked out of the theater.

It’s not so much that they are making comedies, and I’m not big into comedies, but I am.  In fact, I refused to go see One For the Money, because it looked like it was nothing more than a joke, and yes, I hear it was not very good.

So now they’ve just gone too far.  They now intend to turn Dark Shadows into a movie.  Now that’s been done multiple times as people try to capture the audience who grew up on this show, only they haven’t gotten it quite right yet.  They haven’t gotten the right atmosphere, the right actors, or the right script, but at least they have treated the original show with respect.  Kate Jackson not only started out with Dark Shadows but also played in Charlie’s Angels before moving into movies and such.  But the thing is, this new version of Dark Shadows is…. you guessed it, a comedy.

I’m sorry but I find this offensive.  It’s like movie makers are targeting the generation who grew up on these movies and is trying to prove we’re stupid, and incapable of making quality entertainment. “Oh, you haven’t heard of Dark Shadows?  Let me make a movie so you can see how stupid it was.”

Yeah, it was lousy acting.  It was lousy set design, and terrible filming.  After all, back then soaps were filmed in basements or garages. Even with the terrible production, this show has continued to keep it’s cult following for over 40 years.  Why?  Because of the writing.  Because of the story.  For it’s time it was tremendously fresh and exciting.  That was the case of most of these tv shows. They were on the cutting edge of society, starting something new (Ok, A Team didn’t, but hey, they can’t all be like that).

I guess I’m missing the gene that appreciates it when people make fun of how I was raised.  A time when people had morals, and crime was something you rarely saw.  A time when tv addressed issues and people talked about it the next day, and those issues were the advancement of women, stopping crime, and how sexy that vampire was.  OK, we all know he wasn’t really sexy.  And that wasn’t really an issue either. LOL.  But to this day, if I flip through channels and find the original Dark Shadows actors on, I stop and watch.  Years ago, I found the entire series on vhs, and I rented each and every one of them, watching the series from the beginning, to almost to the end.

Why can’t they make these remakes something serious?  Like they did with say, Mission Impossible, or The Fugitive?  Those are based on tv series that had the same intensity, and did extremely well as remakes.  Personally, I’d be happy if they completely deleted the attempt of making Barnabus Collins a slap fest, and remake shows like Charlie’s Angels seriously!

I guess I shouldn’t get frustrated by it, but I won’t be going to see the new Dark Shadows. I guess the true fans of the show aren’t the target audience. Dark Shadows, though, was the beginning of what we see in romance today. Paranormal Romance. It’s because of Dark Shadows we have authors like Christine Feehan, Lynsay Sands, Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward, and many more (myself included). Without Dark Shadows no one would think such characters could be broken heroes who we hope wins the day. There would be no “sexy” werewolves. There would be no “Sexy” vamps. I never found Barnabus “sexy”, but I did feel sorry for him, and I felt sorry for the werewolves too.

While those who never saw this original show will probably enjoy this lighthearted look at a classic, but for me, I’d be looking for Jonathan Frid, Joan Bennet, and even Kate Jackson.

 

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You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry – Part 2.

Hi guys.  Hope you enjoyed yesterday’s little story of waking me from a deep sleep and what can happen.  I position this one here, not because it isn’t violent, but because, though it has affected my life for the last 25 years, I really think what happened here was a good thing.  Kinda.

When I married, I warned my husband that I can be quite irritable when disturbed from a dead sleep.  He nodded, and said he understood.  He seemed to, because in the mornings when he had to go to work before me, he was terribly quiet, tip toeing through the house, careful not to make a single sound.  We lived in Nebraska and had a couple dogs.  They were about six months old at the time, and anyone who knows me KNOWS how much I love my dogs.  They are my children, though their life cycle is a bit shorter.  I cuddle them and train them, and talk to them.  It’s where I get my knowledge for my shifter books from.  Their examples are often seen within my books.

So this one morning, I must have been off work, one of the dogs decided she wanted to go out.  She walked to my side of the bed, and gave me a huge lick, from chin to forehead.  Now let me first say – I hate getting licked in the face.  But Beauty was one of those dogs who refused to accept no when it came to “kisses”.  Anyway, when she did this I was in a dead sleep.  I struck out and apparently hit her.  I don’t know, I don’t remember. My husband later talked to me about it.

“I knew you said you were irritable if woken up, but I didn’t think that meant with the dogs too!”

I stared at him in shock and said “Do you really think I was aware of what I did?”

See, that comes with the territory too, conversations I don’t remember having, walking in my sleep, talking in my sleep.  Some day I’ll share those stories too.  They are even more hilarious!

So anyway, how did this change my life?  Well, it’s now 25 years later, and in that 25 years, not one single dog in our household has EVER woke me up by kissing me in the face again.  Seriously!  They do wake me up, but they find more subtle, gentle ways to awaken me. I don’t know how she did it, but she managed to impress upon other dogs, who impressed upon the next generation, and so on and so on, until I have gone 25 years without a dog kissing me when I was asleep!

Now don’t get me wrong.  They do wake me up.  But my dogs are quite ingenious on how they do it.  Most of them get on the bed with me and snuggle closer and closer and closer until it’s either fall off the bed or get up.  LOL.  But one was so danged original I feared for his life.

Ace is a mixed breed.  Mixed with Chow, Belgian Sheepdog, and perhaps some Siberian thrown in there.  He’s a beautiful dog, thin, dark coated, big beautiful belgian eyes, and a curious and innovative personality.  One day he came to awaken me.  He must have needed to go out, I don’t remember.  I was already awake when he came in, but he didn’t know that, though he may have suspected.  He jumped on the bed, which for such a large dog, he’s exceptionally lightfooted.  I was laying on my back, and he stepped up, placing his muzzle in direct contact with my eye!  He stayed there for a full minute, breathing on my eye!

I froze, trying desperately not to laugh or move.  I was so scared if he ever did that when I was REALLY Sleeping, I might do something to hurt him, so I didn’t let on that I was awake.  At last he gave up, and with a sigh of resignation, jumped down and left the room.  I can honestly tell you after he left the room, I laughed until the bed shook.  Imagine the ingenuity that took!

So yeah, poor Beauty took the brunt of my anger one day, but here we are 25 years later, with 2 dogs who never knew her, who still abide by her command:  Don’t you dare wake up momma!

But yes, this is why when I share a room with someone, I tell them if they need to wake me up, throw a towel or something at me, just in case I come up swinging.

But never fear, Jen, I promise, I haven’t hit anyone since 25 years ago.  Though if you continue to read on, you might rethink wanting to room with me at Authors After Dark.  But never fear, Jodi Henley has roomed with me twice at RWA Nationals, so I’m pretty sure we’re safe. I didn’t even throw a pillow at her when she snored!

BTW, Happy St. Paddy’s day everyone!  Yes, I’m part Irish, and have fun with this every year.  The Leprechauns are watching today, so make sure you wear your green!

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You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry – Part 1

So I’ve been doing these little “series” posts recently, mostly because I find it hard to come up with blog topics.  I have a boring life, you know.  I work, I write, I eat and I sleep.  At least, that’s what it feels like. LOL

The other day I came downstairs and hubby was watching the first “The Hulk” movie on tv.  I caught the last 5 minutes, which of course ends with the line:  “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”  I laugh when I hear that, because I used to say that alot in my first few years in the military.  And it’s true.  You really wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.  But the thing is, it takes an awful lot to make me angry.  When I think back over my life to date, there’s only one thing that you can do that’s a sure fire way to make me angry.  I can think of several instances where this one situation has made me angry, at all levels, from casually irritated to almost violently furious.  Might I add, this same thing can happen today, but the only people who get me to the violent furious part would be someone I don’t respect.  I’m basically a nice person, and the more I respect you, the more I can tolerate.  But before you read this and run tearing off into the darkness, as far away from me as you can, remember that those who did this all deserved what they got.  Well, except one.

So what is it that makes me so angry?

Disturbing my sleep!

You got it.  If you ever want to see me angry, just wake me up when I’m not expecting it.  I come by this problem naturally.  You see, I’m a night person.  My brothers are also night people, though I think they’ve adapted to days even better than I.  My grandfather was such a night person he was put out of the Navy after only 17 days, because he couldn’t sleep during the night and was falling apart due to lack of rest. When the internet first came along, my husband would hear me on the keyboard, tap tap tapping away, and he’d come in, and find me in full chat with both of my brothers.  After all, who else would be awake at 2 am?  I managed 20 years in the US Air Force without seriously damaging anyone for awakening me mostly by volunteering for night shift.  The only problem with that was it left a lot of room for non military, or people in the dorms to get themselves in trouble with me.

I’ve always been a heavy sleeper.  Back in the day, my Dad would wake me up for school a full hour before I had to leave.  I’d get out of bed, walk to the heater (especially in the winter), take my nightgown and then hunch into it, and let the heat warm me up, and I’d go back to sleep.  See, if I slept in the bed, I’d never get up.  At least this way I was just napping.  :D  I remember once seeing an old Dagwood comic where he wakes up to the sound of his alarm, and slams his fist into it, then goes back to sleep.  Blondie says “But it’s Saturday.”  He says “Yes, but I always wanted to be able to do that just once.”  LOL  That’s me.  When I first went into the military I used to sleep thru my alarms, so I got one of those baby bens.  I think I actually once threw it across the room.  Everyone who knows me knows – don’t talk to Teresa before 10 am.  Just don’t do it!  It’s not worth what I’ll say.  See, I have no control when I’m tired.  What comes out of my mouth is totally uncensored, and therefore, can be very dangerous.  Imagine taking the most sweet, and politically correct person you know (that would be me) and removing all political correctness.  Remove all restraints upon her anger.  (Wait, I think I’m describing a shifter!)  And then interrupt her sleep!  YIKES!  It’s a full blown SheWolf without the wolf!

Since we authors delve into our own selves to create emotions within our books, I thought I’d share a few stories with you this week, from the mildest to the most “aggressive” fury.  All caused by disturbing of someone’s sleep (One wasn’t even about me).  Sit back, and learn the first REAL “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry”. LOL (Maybe next week we’ll concentrate on what makes me happy, though those stories aren’t as much fun to share.)

So Story number 1 goes back to the days of before I was married.  I was stationed in Alabama, and lived in a mobile home (My own mobile home that I’d bought with my very own money long before I was technically ready).  The park I was in wasn’t all that nice, but it was some distance from town and rather small, so I figured it would be better than one of the “tightly squeezed” parks of the town of Montgomery.  The only problem was, none of my neighbors had a phone.  To this day I shake my head.  How can you live 15 miles from town and not have a telephone?  But they didn’t. And you know what that means.   Knock Knock Knocking on Teresa’s door! I worked shift work, and that week was working Midnight to 8 am.  And every day for three days straight, someone had awakened me to borrow the phone.  I was so frustrated and tired of being nice,   I posted this big huge note on my door:  Knock at your own risk.  Sleeping.

People who disturb others’ sleep on purpose, to me they are the most rude and obnoxious people around.  Everyone in the park knew I worked nights, and I slept in the day. My best friend was the only person really allowed to wake me, because I knew she wouldn’t knock unless it was an emergency.  SHE had some consideration for those of us who sleep in the day.

At the time, I had been out on a date with this one guy a few times. I don’t even remember his name, or who it was who introduced me, but we’d gone out to dinner one day and a movie the other.  We had never even so much as held hands, meaning I wasn’t sure what I thought of him yet.

So my little note is on the door, and I crawl into bed about 9 am.  I am exhausted, and fall right to sleep.  About noon I hear someone at the door.  I peek out the bedroom window.  OMG, it’s the guy I went out on a few dates with.  WTH?  Ok, fine.  I lay back down, intending to fully ignore him.  Then he made a fatal mistake.  He proved he knew I was asleep by coming to my window and knocking there.  WHAT?  You dare disturb my sleep ON PURPOSE?  I was ready to explode.  I rolled out of bed, and stomped to the front door, which by that time he’d managed to find himself at my front steps.  I took a deep calming breath and yanked the door open and gave him my most sleep deprived glare (Which I hear can be very intimidating).

“What?” I demanded.

“I thought I’d come by and say hi.”

Now I have a great sense of humor at these moments, only I’m the only one who gets it, and well, since I’m tired, I never smile.  So my internal response was: “Right.  You really thought you’d come disturb my sleep, thinking I’d either snuggle up with you and doze off, or you’d find your way into my bed.  NOT happening dude. “  I try to keep such thoughts to myself, so as not to be a total ass and for once was successful.

“I”m sleeping,” I growled  The shock on his face was barely visible before I slammed the door, him still on the outside of it.  Proud of myself for not saying what I really thought, I crawled back into bed, never to see his rather quirky face again.  I guess I can thank him for that day. I don’t like to waste my time on people.  Especially people who don’t respect my sleep.  He showed me just how inconsiderate he was to wake me at my 2 am in the morning.  I don’t knock on your door then, why do you knock on mine?  The funny thing is, I remember the incident, but not the guy’s name.  It’s okay though – He’s not missed.

Alas, this is one of the more calm events I’ve had due to sleep interruption.  Yes, I warn everyone who I know – Don’t wake me up when I least expect it unless there’s a damned good reason!

I can see you folks now.  The ones who’ve met me but never seen me at my worst.  “No way!  You’re always nice!”  I am.  Really!  I’m the most politically correct person you’ll ever meet!  I try not to hurt anyone’s feelings to the detriment sometimes of my own happiness.  And when I do, inadvertently do something stupid, I feel terrible sometimes for years (or life).  When I was at National conference last year, one of my roommates called me the “Pillow Princess.”  LOL  I love to curl up in my pillows and just let go.  Now-a-days I have an excuse for it – I have a health issue that requires alot of rest.  But back in the day of Mr wake me up for fun I was just being my normal, every day self. LOL.

So what is it that’s your big weakness?  What makes you think “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry?”

And stay tuned for our next installment.  What did my HUSBAND think about this issue when we married?

 

 

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Best of Romance Writers of the 20th Century ~ Kay Hooper

Now Kay Hooper isn’t on my list because of her romance novels, which is kind of strange.  But she is one of my favorite authors, and has taught me as much about romance writing as any other.  Why?  Because I LOVE her thrillers.  Let me say that when I found Kay, she had already transitioned from Romance to thrillers.  Paranormal thrillers at that.  At that time I’d not found paranormal romance, and had actually become bored with what I read.  Historical romance had dropped by the wayside, not because authors weren’t good, but because I was ready for something new.  I couldn’t seem to find the balance between insipid romance (or how I thought of romance) and my desire for excitement.  I picked up one of Kay’s books at the grocery store.  It was part of the Bishop SCU series.  Oddly enough, I’d read her The Wizard of Seattle previous to that, and it had rung no bells.  But the Bishop series, now that was awesome.  It taught me about how to pace a book to make the heart beat faster!  It wasn’t until later I read some of her romance novels, and like the Wizard, I wasn’t all that impressed.  (Sorry, Kay).  I learned a great deal from her books of both styles. I learned that first, an author grows.   It doesn’t matter who you are or what you write, you grow as an author from the first book to the last.  Second, there is nothing wrong with that growth.  Also I learned that not every book an author writes is for every reader.  Just because I didn’t like Kay’s romances didnt’ mean they weren’t good, just that they didn’t capture my imagination the way her thrillers do.  But when I read my very first Kay Hooper book, I’m so thrilled it was one of the ones that could steal me away.  I set the book on my kitchen book shelf, and proceeded to get caught back up in life.  About 2 years later, someone recommended her to me, and the instant I got caught up in the book, I knew it was hers. I dug out that old book and knew I’d found an author I’d always love.

The most funny thing about my Kay Hooper story is that I bought one of her books “If there be dragons”.  The title caught me, and it was at the grocery store, and I did not realize it was a reprint of one of her older romances.  My husband decided to see what kinds of books I was reading and chose that one, due to the title.  Uhm, he didn’t like it.  In fact, he didn’t like it so much I heard about it for the next six months.  I’m trying to get him to try one of her later books to show the difference, but as of yet have been unsuccessful.

So, by choosing Kay for this list, I’m pointing out that not every book an author writes works for a reader, but just because one doesn’t, doesn’t mean that others won’t!  Always give an author a second chance.  Research what you like, and see if you can find what of their work is best for you.  Kay is one of my favorite authors who wrote romance in the 20th century, but I adore her 21st century work!  So Kay, my hat is off to you!  LOVE your work!

 

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Best Romance Writers of the 20th Century ~ Kathleene Woodiwiss

Today in my series about Best Romance Writers of the 20th Century, We’ll talk about the Indomitable Kathleen Woodiwiss.  I found her books in the same way I did Victoria Holt – In my high school library.  I have always been a voracious reader, and when I got tired of reading the boys books, I’d wander over into the romance aisle.  Okay, I don’t think they were really sorted that way in our library, and I don’t remember why I found her books, but I remember some of them to this day.  The wolf and the Dove, now known as one of the best books of her genre, has always been my favorite.

Bio from Wikipedia.org:

She was born Kathleen Erin Hogg in Alexandria, Louisiana, the youngest of eight children of Charles Wingrove Hogg, a disabled World War I veteran, and his wife, Gladys (Coker). As a child, she relished creating her own stories, and by age six was telling herself stories at night to help fall asleep.   Her father died suddenly when Woodiwiss was only twelve, leaving her to be raised by her mother and older sisters. Woodiwiss would later remark that, “every single one of us had minds of our own even then; I was no exception. I suppose that carried over into my creations of heroines who weren’t weak-willed.”
At the age of sixteen, she met U.S. Air Force Second Lieutenant Ross Eugene Woodiwis at a dance.  They married the following year, on July 20, 1956.  She attended school locally and graduated in 1957. Her husband’s military career led them to live in Japan, where she worked part-time as a fashion model for an American-owned modeling agency. After three and a half years in Japan, the family moved to Topeka, Kansas and then settled in Minnesota. During these years, she attempted to write a novel several times, but each time stopped in frustration at the slow pace of writing in longhand. After buying her husband an electric typewriter as a Christmas present, she appropriated the machine to begin her novel in earnest.

I highlighted that one section, because it made me laugh.  That’s exactly what I have done since as long as I can remember.  I remember in pre-school laying down for a nap and unable to sleep so I played a little story out in my head until I relaxed well enough to sleep.  And it’s something I have done ever since.  If Only I could be as loved as an author as she by the end of my career!

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