Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Perfect May Day

I couldn't ask for better weather.  Temps into the 70's and low humidity.  I took my dog for a walk today.  I'll take her for another.  I've also been trying to get my back deck ready to enjoy some barbecues out there.  Also, looking forward to spending time out there where I will gaze at the stars through my Celestron telescope. 

With a friend's help we lugged an umbrella and its 80 pound base home today from Costco.  We felt the deck needed another umbrella.  After 2 pm the sun makes it almost impossible to spend any time out there, especially in hot weather.  This week we also managed to get rid of a round wooden table that had been rotting away.  It was just too heavy for me to move.  So we took it apart where the wood had rotted through and managed to get it off the deck and out of sight. 

I still reminisce about summers when I had a nice above ground pool in the backyard.  That is long gone now.  I miss it but not the work involved with its upkeep.  For a number of years after my late husband's passing I would go out on the deck and think.  And then become amazed at how fast the years went by.  Summers were always my favorite time of year.  Vacations were spend with my in-laws in Florida.  And then backyard barbecues, and having family over to celebrate special occasions. 

All of it stopped in 2002 after his death.  No longer did I celebrate much of anything.  No longer did I enjoy my backyard, or look forward to these summer months.  Instead I spent most of the time away from home, either at a gym, or at a dance, or at family and friends' gatherings.

Slowly, and I mean slowly as the trauma of losing a loved one began to heal, I would get these glimpses of normalcy...quite fleeting, nonetheless enough to remind me that perhaps one day I could feel "normal."

I don't think I'm quite there yet.  That sense of "connection" many feel when around family and friends still eludes me.  I still feel that I am not really part of things, and that I am looking from the outside in.  Some parts of who I used to be do continue to struggle to come to surface, but the "new" me (a result of widowhood) either ignores this struggle or deliberately pushes it back down.

Buying the umbrella today, planning to put outdoor carpeting on the deck, and persuing through cookbooks for unique barbecue recipes is helping me to reconnect to a life of certainty rather than a life where I seem to float along wondering where life will take me next.

Couples who have been together for a long time I'm sure don't feel this sense of uncertainty in their lives.  Yes, of course we all know what happened to me almost ten years ago will at some point happen to everyone, even more than once.  But if it hasn't occurred, it's hard to understand the myriad of levels that are affected within someone who has experienced this loss. 

An ambulance with its siren wailing just went past the house, triggering emotions and memories of a similar ambulance making its way up here to attend to a stricken husband.  

No we don't forget. 

Yet, the act of buying an umbrella to make more shade on a deck helps someone like me to move forward.  And the only thing I've found is to keep doing just that, move forward.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May Showers

Today is one of those days that allow for time to "think" about things. It has been raining on and off for two days now.

These type of days actually help me focus on my latest WIP which is book two of a recent series that I'm developing. 

I'm also watching Dr. Oz right now.  Green coffee bean extract is supposed to help rid my body of fat, and boost my metabolism.  Supposedlythis is far cheaper and safer in a sense than having liposuction done which the guest plastic surgeon is telling the audience that after some liposuctions, the fat can come back but in a different place.  I found that interesting. 

I'm not planning to get any plastic surgery done any time soon.  My last procedure, a colonoscopy was enough to last me for the next several years.  I prefer to get on the elliptical and do a workout, eat the right foods, and not go under the knife.  I'm always amazed how people will put themselves at risk to improve their looks when eating properly and exercising may be all they need to do and get similar results.  Of course there are procedures such as breast augmentions, face lifts that can only be accomplished via a surgeon's knife.

This week I put my thoughts out to the universe that my story Christmas in July will go viral on Amazon.  So far it has been rising in the ranks and was at slightly over 40,000 this morning.  I find tracking these sales exciting because it shows me that yes, as an author my work is getting out there.

I would love to see this story get on the top 100 list at Amazon.  Again, I'm putting it out to the universe that this happens. 

Hey, we writers live a somewhat lonely existence as we plot and develop our stories and characters.  A little diversion while we write these stories doesn't hurt.

Christmas In July at Amazon

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What happened to spring?

I got some new sandals and haven't worn them yet.  What happened to spring?  What happened to temps in the 70's and 80's?  I'm back to wearing layers of clothing.  I didn't even put any winter things away yet.  Not sure what's happening with the climate but lately you can't depend on it anymore.  The only good thing this year we didn't get as much snow.  I don't have to pay out as much for the snow plowing.  Last year I think we were still shoveling in April.   I'll be happy if we don't get any snow but they are forecasting a frost for that's not out of the realm of possibility.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Grieving: The First Three Months takes us on a journey into the grieving process. A critical journey that all will take when they lose a loved one.

The journey is not easy but can be made in a way that at some point a light of hope paves the way.

Ms. Roy's book can help light that way as she shares her own first three months after suddenly losing a spouse after thirty-three years of marriage.

Author Marie Roy's husband's sudden unexpected death changed her life in an instant from "normal" to anything but "normal."

Ms. Roy shares emails sent to and from family and friends during the first three months after her husband's passing. These emails helped her by providing the support bereaved persons may seek and need especially during the initial crucial first stages of grief and loss.

Ms. Roy shares her journey during this extremely painful time providing suggestions on what to expect and how one might get through an excruciatingly painful period, especially if there is guilt as Ms Roy experienced along with the overwhelming fog of grief.

After reading Ms. Roy's book one may come to realize that hope still lies ahead and out from the darkness of despair a light will begin to shine ahead as the bereaved works toward surviving the grief and processing the pain.

Available at the following online publishers:


Barnes and Noble Online



Monday, November 7, 2011

Storm Alfred

Last Saturday, October 29, 2011 I had my Halloween costume all ready to go. I was looking forward to the Halloween Dance for singles. So was my partner. That afternoon we were shopping at a local shopping center when I glanced out the window of the store and noticed that it had started to snow. It was coming down pretty fast. Since I live in the higher elevations I knew I had to get home. Up my way the roads could get slippery especially since it would be a while before towns could get material on them.

Here it was the weekend of Halloween. The previous Halloween I had no concerns about the weather. I had dressed up as a Vampire. So did my partner. We had a wonderful time. No one recognized us.

This year things would be different. Very different. Once we got home we decided not to go out. Also, the dance was postponed for the next night. We figure that was okay with us. We settled down to watch a scary movie.

Shortly after 5 pm the lights flickered. Then while dusk fell the lights went out. My worse fears realized. Snow falling steadily, temperatures dropping, and no lights, no heat, left in total darkness.

I do keep a supply of lanterns and flashlights. Yet, despite the fact we had some light, lying in bed that night beneath a sleeping bag made for sub zero weather, a sense of isolation also settled upon me.

And of course getting up the next morning in a cold house immediately instills a growing concern of just how long this power outage was going to last. In the back of my mind I knew it wasn't going to be a short duration.

For my area it lasted four days. Four days of ensuring that I had gas in the car's gas tank so I could get to and fro from my sister's place who although she had no power did have a gas fireplace that managed to heat up her condo to a comfortable enough temperature.

Yet, she did not have a gas stove and we found ourselves driving around areas that also had no power, searching for a place that could provide us hot water.

We did go to a local shelter where we were able to get hot water. Slowly, each day as the power was restored we were able to get some hot meals.

It wasn't easy those four to five days. Those in my small group adopted a survivalist mentality. Suddenly, we were focused on only the, water, and warmth.

We started to envy those who had power either via a generator, a wood burning stove, or one of thsoe pellet stoves. I had none of those things.

I remembered on the second day that I had purchased a kerosene heater a few years back solely for this purpose. Not even out of the box yet we quickly set that thing up.

Still it had its shortcomings, one of which was to run out of kerosene. Also, because of the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning I wasn't going to run that thing for too long a period of time inside my house. Instead we used it to take the chill out of one room, even used it to heat up some water, which took forever.

On the fourth day my power was restored. I called from my sister's and was ecstatic when my answering maching finally kicked in.

Yet I'm sitting here feeling still not quite so settled. In fact when we think about that week without power (six days for her and a friend) we feel as if we had traveled to a third world country. We at times had started to feel like refugees. We felt misplaced, and we felt a sense of a total vulnerability that taught us never to take anything for granted.

During that time we watched a 7" portable TV, we watched movies on a small DVD player, we ate our meals by battery operated lanterns, and we took no showers.

That first hot shower made all the difference in allowing us to feel that things were going to finally get back to normal.

Yet, somewhere inside me I no longer feel that same sense of security I had once felt before this storm hit. I will probably maintain a survivalist mentality. I'm looking into getting those things that will help me get through the next disaster, although I'm not sure if that even that would be enough.

Things are quiet for now. I'm hoping to get back to my writing projects. I think of my story Stormbound which is not available due to the fact the publisher it is with is no longer functioning. My story is in a sense being held hostage by this publisher. Yet, the premise in my story is also that of a survivalist mentality.

And winter hasn't even begun.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Last day of the Month

Yes, another month gone by. The weather is beautiful. Clear. Bright. Low humidity. And no rain in sight. That will come tomorrow. If my parents had lived beyond their 80's they would be celebrating their 74th wedding anniversary. When you think of it anyone celebrating anything past seventy years is pretty darn good. I made it to thirty-three and actually figured on seeing fifty. God has his own plans for everyone. We just need to accept them and continue on.

I've been doing that working on several writing projects, both fiction and non-fiction. It has been slow, like me the older I become it seems the slower I get things done. I am like the tortoise, I eventually get to where I'm going.

I had a hearing test the other day. Not surprising I do have some hearing loss yet it is so small it doesn't give me too much concern. I can still hear the ticking of a wall clock in my kitchen so that tells me...what do I want to hear that is softer than the ticking of a clock anyway? Mice crawling through my walls? The weather is getting colder and this time of year the field mice find their way in. I had three living in my basement some years ago. I would trap them in these no kill traps. Then I would release them into the backyard. After a while it felt as if I were releasing them out there to get some air and then that night they'd come back inside where it was nice and warm. I made the mistake of naming them --- Minnie, Molly, and Mo.

My dog now takes care of them by barking at the walls. Little do they know how small she is...her bark far worse than her size.

Fall is here and unlike some who travel miles to see the foliage, I merely drive to the nearest Walgreens via the back roads. Color is starting to burst now and I am reminded that we need to enjoy the weather now before the first snowfall. That is when I should be more productive as I hunker down inside and continue to work on all of my projects.

Meantime, I'm getting the dog's leash to let her know we are out of here for her morning walk.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Is there life after death?

Does anyone really know the answer? Yet perhaps when we asked those who have passed on they may be able in some way tell us as long as we are aware of the signs that can come our way.

My sister and I visited our parents' graves recently. I stood by the gravestone and aloud I posed the question basically asking my mom if she was doing okay on the other side.

Moments later as we walked around the various gravestones we noticed a dragonfly flying nearby. At first we didn't particularly pay much attention to it until it appeared that it was following us around the grounds. My friend Joe decided to take a picture of it with his camera/phone. He was able to take several pictures at close range. The dragonfly seemed to hover long enough for him to do this. In fact at times it would come closer to us. A second dragonfly was also spotted, with almost as much curiosity as the first. The would dart upward then come back and hover some more as if they were trying to let us know something.

It dawned on me. Could this be my parents' way of letting us know they are doing okay on that other side? I'd like to think so. I'd like to think that becoming aware of what happens around us we also become aware of those small seemingly insignificant signs that can take us into other dimensions.

The fact that mankind does not know all there is to know about this universe allows me to believe that yes a small dragonfly can and in fact did let us know that my parents are doing just fine on the other side.

Below are photos that help confirm yes, my mom and dad are doing okay.

Life After Death?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day 2011

I should have been writing today instead I spent an afternoon at a Verizon store. I bought myself a new phone and now I can text. I didn't get anything too expensive, in fact this one was on special and the cost wasn't that bad. I always figure I could get away without the texting. That was several years ago. Now I'm finding "everyone" text. And there are good pros to this being that you can send someone a message and not call them. This works especially well if they're in a meeting or can't pick up the phone. Yet they can check for messages and text back without having to call back and talk. Again, there's a plus to this.

I'm finding you really can't get away with ignoring technology at least not for too long because then you can find yourself becoming so out of touch with everything, you're no longer living in the "real" world. Unless you're living a cloistered life you can find yourself not only in the dark but having no clue to what is happening around you.

So now I can text. I do have a limit of how many still I don't see myself using up the 250 allowed to me on my plan in one month. Then again as I become more and more connected to this "real" world I may even go over that amount.

Today was a productive day in terms of the phone. Now I need to refocus back on my writing projects, one of which is well over 80K. The other is a short erotic romance dealing with online dating, something I no longer do. Yet, thinking back to those times when I was online there are good stories to be created inspired by my moment of insanity. Online is a whole other creature that can take someone to places they may normally not go.

And it certainly provides fodder for any creative mind simply because life in the online dating world can be far stranger than fiction.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Can't Wait Until This Weekend Is Over

Because come Monday the sun will be shining. I only hope we'll all be standing. We're one of millions in the path of Hurricane Irene. In the past I would be somewhat concern because often times the thing would end up pushing out to sea. Doesn't look like this is the case this time.

So we wait and watch the weather reports. I'm hoping the terrain it travels over will slow it down and weaken it to a mere "storm." One can only hope.

This all serves to remind us Mother Nature is always in charge. It can paralyze whole cities, whole countries, even whole continents.

I'm leaving in a few minutes to do the things recommended to prepare for the storm; batteries (if any are left), water (I managed to get some yesterday), and non-perishable foods. I did get a can opener that doesn't need to be plugged in. I have lots of tuna fish and canned salmon. I even managed to get a loaf of bread and so can make PJ's for a few days.

Still, when you're younger you can weather these things out...but as we get older we're not a flexible. In fact I'm feeling more like the oak tree rather than the willow tree, both of which play a small part in my story STORMBOUND.

I'm going to keep that premise in mind throughout the weekend into Monday and hopefully will become the willow tree come Monday morning.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Already into August 2011

Whoa! The summer's going by too darn fast. I haven't done anything that comes close to a vacation. Although I have to tell you those who know I'm a writer feel that I'm perpetually on a vacation. Not. This week I spent hours promoting my stuff, then few more hours creating a new cover for my latest WIP. It took that long because first I had to teach myself how to merge images within Photoshop Elements 2.0. I think only by luck I managed to figure it out using layers, palettes, and other tools provided by this software.

Today I'll take off the promo hat and the graphic artist hat and put back the writer bonnet and will work on that WIP which is happily at 80K words with the whole thing pretty much in place. I'm reading a great book on writing titled The artful Edit: On the practice of editing yourself, by Susan Bell. I'm finding this book helpful in that it helps me focus on looking deeper into my manuscript and gain perspective and well as seeing the big picture (macro-editing) and the smaller picture (micro-editing or the details).

I'm also waiting for my sofa bed to arrive from Bob's Discount Furniture and pray that they don't have too much trouble getting it into the front door, through the living into the small room. The room used to be a small bedroom. I moved everything out and have used it more for storage but moved that stuff out and will use it for a sitting/guest room.

The sun is coming out through a murky morning haze. Thankfully the temps will be around normal or maybe just below normal for this time of year. I'll still get my dog out there for her walk and soak up some of the Vitamin D from the sun. I heard it's great in revving up some energy for the the rest of the day.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


 Thanks for stopping at my blog on AMP's 5th Anniversary –

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Marie Roy.  I also write under another name and some of you may know me as Collette Thomas.    I'm quite used to living life as a double because in real life I'm an identical twin.  She's not a writer, but let's say one day I will write stories of what's it like to be a twin, especially throughout our growing up years when we dressed alike, talked alike, and even thought alike.  I write a little about this aspect of my life on this blog in an earlier post.

As Marie Roy I write contemporary romance which I feel uplifts the spirit and touches the heart.

Stormbound is one of the stories I wrote under my name and can be found at Aspen Mountain Press.  This story is quite close to my heart inspired while vacationing in the Lake George, New York area with my late husband.  While browsing through a gift shop in that area I spotted these Christmas carolers.  From that point on the germ of an idea embedded itself into my heart as well as my mind.   A few years later my story Stormbound was released at Aspen Mountain Press where it earns four star reviews.  Basically it's a delightful story filled with quirky characters.  It is a straight romance who anyone can read...mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, and anyone looking for a nice relaxing read, although do expect a few quite unexpected twists and turns. 

As Collette Thomas things really do heat up.  My story Night Fantasies also at Aspen Mountain Press was inspired actually by a dream that I had one night.  Yes, it was quite a sexy dream truth be told. 

Again, an idea embedded itself somewhere inside my brain and before I knew it I had created a story I think that most readers will enjoy reading.  Yes, Night Fantasies is quite sexy, and considered an erotic romance.  Also, as I've told my readers, you will never look at a wedding cake quite in the same way again.   Honest! 

Then one summer while I moderated a Yahoo group known as the Erotic Romance Workshop I encouraged several of the writers to coordinate together with me on an anthology of stories about someone getting stuck inside an elevator with a very attractive man or woman and then living out a fantasy. 

This resulted is a hot sexy anthology of stories titled Goin' Down.  Again you'll find that anthology on AMP's website.    I myself do not like elevators, especially the ones that go too slow because I think their going to get stuck, but I think after writing my story titled Elevator Man I'm not as hesitant to get on an elevator anymore.  After reading these stories you'll understand why.

To find out more about me just read through this blog.   And to find out more about me and what else I write as Collette Thomas just go to my NEWSLETTER.


Please comment on this blog here and you will be entered to win BOTH copies of Stormbound and Night Fantasies.
Tour Rules:
1) Tour Starts: Monday, August 1, 2011 at Midnight (EST)
Tour Ends: August 7, 2011 at Midnight (EST)
Final Celebration is August 7th from 6pm-11pm (EST) at the AMP Community Loop.
Grand Prize: a Kindle (Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6″ Display with New E-Ink Pearl Technology) is the Grand Prize. Drawing will take place and be announced on August 7, 2011 on the AMP Community Loop at 11pm (EST). Only comments posted before 10pm (EST) on August 7, 2011 are eligible to win the Kindle. Winner will be notified by email on August 8, 2011 if they are not present on the Loop for the announcement.
***Individual winners from author contests will be drawn and posted August 8, 2011 on their individual sites.***
2) Participation at every blog on the tour is not required but the more blogs a person comments on, the more chances they have to win. If a person comments on one blog, they are entered into the Grand Prize Drawing once. If they comment on ten different blogs, they will be entered into the Grand Prize drawing ten times. Only one comment per blog per person will be entered to win the Grand Prize.
3) The winner of the Grand Prize must be a resident of the United States with a US mailing address. Non-US winners will be eligible for $50 US in Aspen Mountain Press books from the AMP Website.
4) Prizes at individual author blogs are completely at the discretion of the individual authors and are not in association with Aspen Mountain Press and its prize system. To enter the contest on any given blog, you must follow their contest rules and objectives.
5) By commenting on any blog in the tour, the participant is agreeing to these rules and policies.
6) All prize winners will be chosen randomly by using Random Line Picker.

Thank you for Touring my Blog your Next stop is the Aubrey Leatherwood whose books are coming soon to AMP and I can't wait to read them.

Happy Touring
For the next Stop on the tour