The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley

Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

Local authors Christine Collins Cacciatore and Jennifer Collins Starkman have recently completed and self published their first novel:  Baylyn, Bewitched.  It’s the first in the Whitfield Witch Series.
Baylyn, Bewitched is the whimsical tale of an unlucky-in-love, quirky librarian named Baylyn.  She falls hard for the sexy Declan Hughes, but is hiding a pretty big secret:  she’s a witch!
Their ebook is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords, and they’re currently working on the second novel in the series:  Cat, Charmed.  They can also be found on the web with their author page on Facebook or their blog, Cacciatore and Starkman Authors.

I woke up this morning with a terrible guilty conscience.  I actually smoked a cigarette while laying in bed right next to my husband, and when I was done with it, I put it out in a plastic cup with half an old beer in it.  Sooooo sexy.

because I’m pretty sure I was wearing this in my dream. 

Other people dream about winning the lottery, or playing baseball, or having sex with Brad Pitt.  (for the record, Brad Pitt is not anywhere on my to-do list.)

But what do I dream about?  Smoking and putting it out in a nasty, warm cup of beer?  What is THAT all about? 

I looked it up in my dream journal and there were several blatherings on about what it could mean to smoke in your dream.  The biggest one was that “to use it warns you against enemies and extravagance.”   Well, that really made me laugh because those who know me know that I am not close to extravagant.  That is unless you count bringing two cheese sticks to work instead of one extravagant.  Then hell yes, I am.  I like cheese, all right?

And enemies?   I don’t have any.  Well, there was that lady at the grocery store who eyed my typed grocery list enviously.

What did catch my attention was the part where they discuss what it means to dream about liquor

“For a woman to dream about drinking or handling liquor foretells for her a happy Bohemian kind of existence.  (yes, that’s true.) She will be good natured but shallow minded.  (shallow minded, yes, yes, also true.)  To treat others, she will be generous to rivals, and the indifference of lovers or husbands will not seriously offset her pleasures or contentment.”  (How do they KNOW ME like this?)

I was surprised that the book says nothing about laying next to your husband smoking a cigarette on the sly and then putting out a cigarette in a plastic cup of beer.  Hm.  It would seem to me that this type of dream would be had by a great many people and an entire chapter should be devoted to it.  Surely I can’t be the ONLY ONE.

However, I think sometimes the interpretive dream books sometimes miss the point altogether.  Sometimes your dreams are as simple as you saw something on TV, or a certain conversation you had, or what you saw on line or heard at work.  For instance, I dream about writing a lot.  Makes sense, since I write a lot.  I dream about babies because I have a new granddaughter.  I dreamed about smoking because sometimes I miss it, even though I quit back in 1999.

As for the beer, I think they nailed it. 

I’m a good natured Bohemian-like, laid back kind of gal, and I like to drink.

Welcome to my world!

This is OUR new baby.  I guess we’re not too old to give birth.

My sister and I recently finished, proofread, edited, revised, polished, (and every other word you can think of) our manuscript Baylyn, Bewitched, a whimsical story about a quirky witch with a big secret.  We had a lot of fun writing it. 

Well, that’s not exactly true.  It’s hard work.  It’s blood, sweat, and tears.  It’s late nights after your husband has gone to bed.  It’s saying, “I can’t go, I’m working” and not feeling bad that others might say, “writing?  that’s not working.”   It’s early mornings and lunch hours in coffee shops.  It’s taking a notebook and pen every single place you go, just in case you have a wonderful idea for your masterpiece…it’s there, so you can jot it down.  It’s Saturdays and Sunday’s chores being done early so that you can sit down and write in the evening.  It’s staying accountable.  It’s hard.

Like I said, we had a lot of fun writing it.  And despite all that “fun”, we’re already knee deep in the writing of the next book in the series: Cat, Charmed.  That one should be out by the end of the summer.

For now, you can find our book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Happy reading!

Attention all Poets!
In Print is holding several writing contests this year!!  From now until February 28th, we are taking poetry submissions.
Sharpen those pencils, grab your ballpoint pens and a clean tablet of paper and find a quiet place to write.
Are there prizes, you ask?  Of course there are!  Good question!  The prizes are as follows:  $75 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place.   In cold, hard cash.  Not only that, you will get recognition at the In Print meetings, on our website, and in our newsletters. 
Winners of the poetry contest will be announced at our April 13th meeting, where local poet Christine Swanberg will be our special guest.
If you are a member of the wonderful writing group In Print, there is a $20 per fee piece, which includes judges’ feedback on your musings.
If you are not a member of In Print, the fee is still $20 per piece, but no judges’ feedback…unless, of course, you decide that In Print is a splendid writing group to join.  You would be write.  Er, right.  When you join you not only get judges’ feedback but all the valuable benefits In Print offers. 
We are holding two other writing contests this year.  One is the non-fiction writing contest.  Submissions for that are accepted May 1 through June 30 with winners announced on August 10, and the fiction contest accepts submissions from September 1 through October 31, with winners announced at the December 14th meeting.
In Print has a panel of 5 qualified judges to read and critique submissions, and of course declare first, second, and third place.
For more complete instructions on how to enter check out the In Print website and to submit poetry, just use the In Print submission form by either clicking on this link.
The In Print professional writing group is having our second annual Book Fair at Barnes and Noble at the Cherry Valley Mall, Cherry Valley IL, on Saturday, October 20, 2012 from 11am until 5pm.
Featured will be guest authors, signings, readings, panel discussions, and children events. I have it on good authority that there could be some people in costume, seeing as it’s so close to Halloween!
If you mention In Print when you check out, Barnes & Noble will donate a percentage of Saturday’s purchases to our group. Our Bookfair ID number is 10803369.
Come out and support our group, browse the bookstore, and have a warm coffee drink! If you can’t make the Book Fair, visit BN.com/bookfairs online to support us from 10/20/12 until 10/25/12, and use our ID number, 10803369 at checkout.

The Book Fair is being held in lieu of our monthly meeting.   The next monthly meeting will be at the Cherry Valley Library,  November 10, 2012, from 1-4 pm.

Why is it that time seems to go so fast? 

I find there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything I need to get done…done.

Sometimes when I am planning to sit down and write after work or on the weekend, I notice the bathroom needs to be cleaned.  A co-worker mentions a clothing drive at Hilander.  Our black lab is shedding the equivalent of one dog per day; I see black tufts of it floating into the corner.

While I do like to “keep house”, it is not my passion.

Writing is my passion.

Finding quality time to write is hard.  That’s what I say.

I believe everyone would agree with me when I also say that if I were to have an entire Sunday alone to write, I wouldn’t. 

I’m being honest.

I would clean the bathroom.  Sort the clothes.  Vacuum.  Talk on the phone.

When only an hour or two is left until dinner, and my house is satisfactorily clean, I suddenly find the “zone”, where everything I put on paper is golden

Time flies during those moments until I realize I can hear everyone’s stomach growling, including mine, and off I go to the kitchen to make dinner.

I am upset with myself because I had the entire day to write and I only used a portion of it.  No one really cares if the bathroom goes one more day or if they have to reuse their last bath towel.  It’s just my excuse. 

Why is that?  Do other writers do that?  Why am I compelled to, say, clean the microwave when I get a big chunk of time to write?

I tell myself sometimes, I’m brainstorming.  I’m developing my characters.  I’m plotting out the next great American novel.  I’m not, though. 

I am procrastinating.  I’m being lazy. 

I’m afraid.
I’m futzing away my time, only to get aggravated later when I have to rejoin the real world and put the computer away.  I think, bitterly, I never get time to write.
The honest truth is, I have plenty of time to write.  Yes, I work full time.  Yes, I have a family, a house to clean, laundry to do, a husband whose hand I love to hold.
I also have best sellers floating around in my brain.  Great characters that are just clamoring for attention; funny characters jockeying for the same thing.  Plot lines that would delight, amaze, and thrill you.  Amazing screenplays that would have theater lines out the door, should they ever come to light.

Don’t I owe it to myself to let that creativity come out? 

It doesn’t matter whether or not anyone likes it.  I write for me; I write to please myself.

do have time to write.  I just need to be disciplined enough to take it.

I need to face my fear of failing.  I also need to face my fear of success.

I think I need to quit standing in my own way.

Get down!  Get down!  Go see Daddy!!”   (actual panicky orders I gave my black lab, trying to get him off the couch before he was spotted up there)
That was me, getting busted last week for letting the dog up on the couch.  My husband, in preparation for a trip to Florida, asked me if I wanted to go run errands with him.  I regretfully declined so that I could tweak the article I was working on.  (and had a deadline for.  I wanted to be “prompt” with my submission.)
I figured I’d have a 45 minute chunk of time to write.  I settled in on the couch, pulled my laptop onto (what else?) my lap, and began to work.
In my writing frenzy, I failed to notice (ha! No, I didn’t.) that my dog climbed up on the couch.  He’s 95 pounds and does nothing subtly.  His fur coat looks exactly like a big black blanket, so while I may have noticed him get up there, I became engrossed in writing and forgot he was there. (Ha! No, I didn’t.)
Forgot, that is, until I heard the sound of the back door opening.  Oh. My. Gosh.  Although I couldn’t see who was opening the door from my spot on the couch, from the horrified gasp I realized it was my husband.  He was back very, very early from his errands and opened the door just in time to see Cooper’s back legs hop off the couch.  Dammit.  Caught.
He looked at me while he directed his comments to the dog. 
“Cooper!  Did your mommy let you up on the couch?”  Of course, like every good wife I immediately denied knowing he was even up on the couch, but we both knew the truth.  Also because my hubby felt around on the couch until he located the very warm spot on the couch where the dog had been sitting.  (To my mind, we keep the couch cushions covered with sheets to keep them from getting dirty.  So where’s the harm?)



“what?  me, on the couch?  There’s a first time for everything…”



Also from time to time, when my husband and I are gone, that same dog is also fully allowed on the couch by one child in particular.  This one child (her name rhymes with Banana) has actually taken pictures of her doggie sitting on said couch, and then flagrantly posted them on Facebook, where her dad could see them.



Fast forward one week.   Cooper had a very sore paw for whatever reason.  (Probably because he jumped off the couch.)  He limped around feebly and made us feel very sorry for him.  My hubby couldn’t bear to see Cooper in any pain and petted him anxiously over and over.  I left Coop in my husband’s able care while I went downstairs to fold clothes. 
And came back up to find Cooper happily curled up on the couch next to my husband, who just smiled at me.
I smiled back, in complete understanding. 



(author’s note:  Cooper has made a complete recovery.  And as I write this is sitting next to me on the couch.  But don’t tell my husband.)



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  • Mary Fran Says: Thank you for contributing to Sweeps Week! We make a great team. Maybe we'll collaborate in our next lives? SISTERS! lol :)
  • Mary Fran Says: What's better than a Baby Shower aka Early Baby Birthday Party? Baby's FIRST Birthday Party! (Although it's hard to call them "baby" by one! They grow
  • Ann Jones: I'll have to check it out, thanks for the heads up!

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