Archive for the ‘Happy Holiday’ Category

December 15, 2011

Christmas 2011 Word Pictures by Beth Anderson

A small boy sits on the edge of his bed, making a last minute Christmas wish that he’s going to leave on the plate with the cookies and milk. Making sure he gets all the block printed letters right, he asks for just one thing. A puppy.

A small puppy lies awake in the corner of his shelter cell, hoping he’ll get his one Christmas wish–a forever home with a little boy.

A little girl closes her eyes on Christmas Eve, wondering if Santa will really bring her a new doll.

Downstairs, hidden on the top of a shelf in a closet, sits a beautiful baby doll, wondering how long she’ll have to stay in this closet before she meets her new mommie.

An old woman sits alone, looking down at her family photo albums, starting with her own childrens’ first Christmas photos many years ago.

A young American soldier in Afghanistan stares at his computer screen, his tingertips itching to touch his newborn daughter, born just fifteen minutes ago on Christmas Eve back home in the USA.

A small green spruce tree in a Christmas Tree farm crosses its branches, praying it’ll be chosen to go home with the small family two rows over who are looking at a bigger tree.

A kitten, left at home while her family is out shopping for their Christmas tree, crouches in the corner, hoping for the biggest tree at the Tree Farm so she can climb up into its branches and pretend to be a decoration just like she did last year.

Twin girls separated at their birth seventeen Christmases ago have a very hard time getting to sleep on Christmas Eve because they will meet for the first time tomorrow.

Two cops on duty this Christmas Eve sit slumped over their desks, resting for a bit and wondering how many more arrests they’ll have to make before they can go home to their families and try to shed the day’s carnage as they join in on what’s left of the Christmas Eve family fun.

A Special Needs child stares at the empty floor beneath the Christmas tree in her living room, wondering if there will ever be anything under it.

A Special Needs teacher makes one last trip to the store, gets her gift wrapped before she leaves the store, and heads for the home of one of her students who she knows will not receive much, if anything, this Christmas. She checks to make sure she’s got enough gas left to get home and discovers she does not, and furthermore, she’s spent every cent she had with her on her student. She smiles anyhow. If she has to, she’ll walk the rest of the way home. It’s Christmas and at least one more Special Needs child will have a happy one.

Folks, I want to wish all of you a Very Merry Christmas. It’s been a heck of a year for me, there’s plenty to be grateful for and I hope we all will focus on the good and let the bad stay outside while we have ourselves a Merry Little Christmas. Have a good one. Love each other. Don’t worry about anything but being happy and healthy with your friends and family. The world will eventually settle itself down, times will get better again, but meantime, enjoy your time and remember the reason for the season. Doing that kind of helps keep it all in perspective, doesn’t it, and makes all the hectic shopping trips and all the preparation sort of fade into the past while we enjoy the time we have with people we love.

XOXO, Beth Anderson and Hotclue both wish you the very best of everything this whole season.


Happy Holiday | 7 Comments  

July 2, 2011

Mystery We Write Blog Tour 2011 Presents Marilyn Meredith

F.M. Meredith, also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of nearly thirty published novels. Her latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series, from Oak Tree Press, is Angel Lost. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Internet chapter, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at and her blog at

ANGEL LOST: As plans for her perfect wedding fill her mind, Officer Stacey Wilbur is sent out to trap a flasher, the new hire realizes Rocky Bluff P.D. is not the answer to his problems, Abel Navarro’s can’t concentrate on the job because of worry about his mother, Officer Gordon Butler has his usual upsets, the sudden appearance of an angel in the window of a furniture store captures everyone’s imagination and causes problems for RBPD, and then the worst possible happens—will Stacey and Doug’s wedding take place?

Marilyn has some definite and true words for people who want to write, or who want to have written.  Listen up, newbies, because Marilyn isn’t kidding.  She speaks the truth.


Writers write.

Writers don’t just sit around dreaming about being a writer.

Writers don’t tell everyone all about the book they are going to write one day, they put their fanny down in the chair and start writing.

Writers learn all they can about writing and the genre they are going to write in by:

Reading books in that genre.
Reading books on writing.
Taking writing classes on line or by going to writers conferences.
Participating in a writers critique group.

Writers write on a regular basis even if it’s only one hour a day.

Writers rewrite.

Writers edit their work carefully and find another person who knows how to edit take another look at the manuscript. (To really edit properly, you need to print out the manuscript. It also helps to read the manuscript out loud.)

Writers study the market to find who would be most likely to publish their book. When submitting they follow the guidelines exactly.

Writers don’t let rejections get them down. Being rejected is another part of being a writers.

Writers don’t give up. Once one book is done, they begin the next one—and the next, and the next.

Writers learn that there are many barriers that arise in a writer’s life, but they move on anyway.

Writers love to write, which brings us full circle. Writers write.

I write under the name of F. M. Meredith and Marilyn Meredith. I feel qualified to give you the above advice because my first book was rejected nearly 30 times over a three or four year period of time. I rewrote each time it had been rejected five times. This was back in the day when a typewriter and carbon papers was all there was and the full manuscript was mailed in a box with another box inside with the proper postage on it so you’d get it back.

Over the years, I’ve had many manuscripts rejected.

I’ve had four different agents; none of them ever sold a book for me.

I’ve had two publishers who turned out to be crooks.

Two of my publishers died.

I’ve had publishers who didn’t bother to pay me my royalties.

No matter what, I kept on writing, attending writers’ conference, going to my critique group on the average of once a week, sending out queries, learning more and more, joining writing groups on the Internet, and a lot more.

No, I’m not with a New York publisher, but I’ve had nearly 30 books published. I’m with two small presses who do trade paperback and e-books. I’ve been an instructor at many writers’ conferences. And most importantly, I’m doing what I love. I’m a writer.

For more about F. M. Meredith and her books visit: and her blog


Beth’s Corner:

Folks, I’m being featured over at this week, so pop on over there if you’d like to hear more about me than I’ve told you so far.  😉

Next week, in case I didn’t tell you before, HOTCLUE herself will be back to give me a hard time over just about everything, so be sure and tune in. I’m looking forward to her visit.  (Or maybe not.) Actually, I’m just hoping she doesn’t get too much out of hand but you know Hotclue, or you do if you’ve been wondering where she’s been.  Pop in, you don’t want to miss her; she does like to give me a hard time.

I can hardly wait to see what she’s wearing when she gets here.

Meantime, I hope all of you will have a safe and Happy Fourth of July.  And always remember what this holiday is about.  It’s about all of us here in America. Not just some of us.  All of us.

Come on back next week, ya hear me?  I’ll leave the porch light on for ya.  I love you all, you KNOW I do!  And so do DenaliDawg, who will be here as my guest in two weeks, and Sarge the Terrible, who has finally, this year, stopped jumping off of the garage roof, and BooBoo the Wonder Cat, who has multiple personalities so look out!  😉


Happy Holiday,The Writing World | 12 Comments  

July 4, 2007

Fourth of July Word Pictures, 2007

In Baltimore, Marland, a three year old girl in a blue and white paisley sunsuit holds her first Fourth of July sparkler, her eyes wide with delight and apprehension. It takes her maybe thirty seconds to figure out how to swing it in circles and she laughs out loud. She can do this all by herself! She can do anything!

A six year old girl with her mother and some friends, stands near the fountains at Meridian Park in Baltimore, staring at the colored water in the fountains as they spray far above her head. Many years later she’ll still remember the cool wet spray on her warm arms, and the soft pastel bursts of water, with fireworks in the distance against this Fourth of July night sky.

A nine year old girl in Pekin, Illinois, longs for just one box of the black snakes that when lit, snake along the sidewalk to the delight of all her friends. Everyone but her has their own box. She didn’t have a quarter in time to buy one and by the time she did, the store had run out. She vows to herself that next year she’ll have her own. She never does, and she never forgets watching on the sidelines while everyone else had fun on the Fourth of July that year.

A fifteen year old girl in Washington, D.C., watches the Fourth of July fireworks across the Basin with her first serious boyfriend. The night is dark and romantic and nearby, fireflies dot the landscape while fireworks light the sky, a truly magic moment. She decides right then that the red fireworks are her favorites. She never changes her mind about that, at least.

Four years later she stands with her first child, a daughter, watching the same fireworks, remembering the little girl and her first sparkler. Her daughter sleeps as the red, white, blue and yellow flowers burst across the sky. In a couple of years this child will hold her own sparklers. Life moves on, marked, in part, by Fourth of July in America.

Many years later, in a small town outside of Chicago, the same woman sits with a noisy, wonderful group of good friends, eating grilled corn on the cob, swimming in the pool. There are no children. All their children are grown and gone, so the adults present revert to their own childhoods, lighting their own massive fireworks display, laughing, oohing and aahing at the colors flashing far above their heads, loving their lives and each other. This will be the last time these friends are all together on Fourth of July.

A few years later the same woman rides in her car with her husband, returning on Fourth of July night from a trip downstate to see their grandchildren. The sky is black, there are no street lights on the expressway this far out in the country. You can’t see the towns they pass, but far in the distance, in every town, there are bursts of wild color, beautiful multicolored night flowers in the sky, haunting reminders that everywhere on this night, someone is watching those celebratory fireworks with their own children, loving their lives, their holiday, and their country.

I hope you all have a safe and happy Fourth of July, folks. Hots and I love you all, you know we do. Please come back soon, and remember, as I am on this day, that in spite of all the politically inspired shennanigans going on here recently, how lucky we really are to live and love each other in this United States of America.

May God preserve our union and our way of life and watch over our soldiers in the Mideast. We pray they’ll be back home with us to celebrate our next Fourth of July.

Beth Anderson and Hotclue Herself. (And Sarge says ‘hey’.)

Happy Holiday | 2 Comments  

May 28, 2007


May 28, 2007.

More American Soldiers dead.

More flags draped over caskets we’re not supposed to see or know about.

More flowers laid on their graves.

More hearts and families broken beyond repair.

More excuses. More reasons why.

All unfathomable. All unbelievable.

I fully understand about the terrorists wanting to come here.

I also understand that they’re already here.

So why are we still THERE?

Just thought I’d ask. Seemed like a good day to ask it.

Love y’all.

Hotclue, grieving today for all of our fallen heroes.

Happy Holiday | 1 Comment  

December 31, 2006

Auld Acquaintances

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
for Auld Lang Syne?

Well, yes.

Yeah, some should. Oh, go on, admit it. Sometimes they should. Sometimes it feels really, really good to realize you have finally (well, almost) forgotten the guy who dumped you right before Christmas. It’s an amazing thing to wake up one morning right around Labor Day and realize you haven’t thought about him for days.

It happens. Revel in it. A short memory is a wonderful thing sometimes. This is one of those times.

Or the one who ran off with a good hunk of your money, leaving you with not much but a few misty memories of what should have passed for earth-shattering, universe-exploding O’s, but didn’t, not really. You were just pretending. Eminently forgettable, I’d say.

Then there’s the former girlfriend who got you drunk one fine afternoon (okay, you helped), whereby you spilled all the beans in that secret boiling cauldron you generally keep hidden far, far beneath the earth’s surface, then she splayed them all over your zip code on your behalf like a ton of fireworks gone amok. Yep. You definitely do want to forget her.

What about relatives who drop in uninvited for The Christmas Holidays (Chevy Chase is not the only one with relatives like that, trust me) and proceed to wreck your house, your budget, and your brand new red Beemer. It’d be a real pleasure to forget them, but they won’t let you. They like you, they really *like* you, so they keep coming back.

My advice? Move, don’t leave a forwarding address, and forget them.

See how easy this is? I bet you can come up with some of your own, you don’t need me to egg you on. But what the heck, it’s the last day of 2006 and I’m feeling generous. I don’t mind egging you on.

What about the agent who rejected you. Twice. With the same book. Should you forget him? Really? Oh, hell yes. He forgot you the first time he rejected you, and what’d you do? Came back at him like a bad penny at the neighborhood dollar store where nothing really costs a dollar. Don’t do that. It gives them too much pleasure to reject you again, and you don’t want that, do you? You want to keep some publishing pleasure for yourself, right? Move on. Rewrite. Forget him. That’s okay, don’t thank me, it’s my pleasure. I love helping people.

And the friend who keeps sending you email forwards with those pesky, rotten little angels flapping their fat little wings, which are probably nasty-coded gifs that can and will eat your computer? Block and forget, that’s my motto. 😉

How about the clerk at the bank window who looks at the nice check you received for some book sales, written to XXXX XXXX, Author. Looks up at you with suspicion, surely she’s got her finger on the panic button, the sirens will go off any second now, and says to you, “So is your last name Arthur? That’s not on the deposit slip you gave me.”

Forgettable. So forgettable I won’t even put it in caps.

Boring emails? Boring blogs? Boring Internet news?

Control. Alt. Delete. Forget.

Can you tell I’ve run out of those beautiful Bavarian chocolates the Count sent me and I’m ready to eat my desk lamp before I have to start on yet another New Year’s Atkins diet tomorrow? As an Auld Acquaintance of mine whose name I’ve forgotten used to say, “Nothing but love and kindness in my heart today.”

But the Holidays are almost over. Go Bears tonight! Diet in the morning, right after I polish off the last of the barbecue and chips ‘n dip.

Don’t forget to eat your black-eyed peas tomorrow. That’s an old Southern custom here in the US. They’re supposed to bring you health, wealth and happiness. But you have to eat them on New Year’s day. Even if you only eat a spoonful. It’s the gesture that counts.

I should probably eat some today.

Love y’all, you KNOW I do, so come on back soon, ya hear me?
The Hotclue
(who is itching to jump on a jet and honk on over to the Riviera, where Count Babalallapaloozo’s yacht awaits. I’m not forgetting HIM, that’s for dang sure.)

Happy Holiday | 5 Comments  







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