February 14, 2014

A Valentine story: It All Started With That Darn Shoebox!

 
 
 
Not all of us are good at romance. This is a story about one of those women...
 
 Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Hope you enjoy the story, originally printed in my short story book: Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories. Paperback and Kindle.
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January 28, 2014

Announcing a new project: videos!

 
copyright 2014 Late Bloomer Video
 
This is the logo I designed for my new projects: videos! What fun I'm having! It all started when I began making frame-based book trailers that I posted on YouTube (search: Janelle Meraz Hooper). I love my YouTube! Now, I'm branching out into using more film that I'm taking with a little Cannon camera that has a video function. I am a late bloomer, so all of my equipment is small and easy to work with. I hand-picked it at Glazer's Camera (430 8th Ave. North, Seattle- Ph: 206-624-1100). My husband and I have relied upon them for years. Now that I am in my senior years and not as strong as I once was, they are still providing all of my camera needs.
 
For this stage of my photography life, I've purchased two lightweight tripods and two battery-operated video lights. I think it will be a while before I advance to more complicated equipment. But I'm not positive. I have a friend who is also a senior, Dorothy Wilhelm, who has just acquired a Logitech 920! What is she going to do with that?! I can't wait to find out! Brad Pitt, look out!
 
So, are we having fun yet? I think so! Of course, I am still writing my books and short stories...and more: I have a one-man show opening in Tucson this spring titled Geronimo, Life on the Reservation. It stars Rudy Ramos, a star of The High Chaparral TV show. It premieres on March 22nd, 2014 and will travel to a town near you. Don't miss it! I'll be writing more about it as we go along.
 
I'll also be blogging more again. I got a little wrapped up in the Geronimo show, but I've missed you. I have another blog (JanelleMerazHooperAuthor.com) but it's format doesn't leave room for me to just chat with you. Am I am a big talker! All of the women in my family were talkers. How I miss them. My grandmother, mother, and her sisters were the inspiration for my Turtle Trilogy ( Amazon and others).
 
What's new:
In music: Daryl's House, on YouTube. Check it out. The music and concept of visiting musicians getting together to play in a relaxed setting blows me away. Check it out!
Dan Mangan, Nice, Nice, Very Nice-also on YouTube but I also purchased the CD.
Bread, The Best of Bread on YouTube, but I also purchased the Cd.
 
On my Kindle: I have been researching historical romances and they have become a passion. The settings, clothing, and vocabulary have enchanted me. My new favorite word is besotted--as in, "He was besotted with the woman". What a great word! Has a man ever been besotted with me? I'm sure not! DRAT! I guess, at almost 70, it's too late now! Ha!
There are too many titles to mention, but if you want to try one out, look for novelists like Sherry Thomas (Start with Delicious!), Tessa Dare (you might try Goddess of the Hunt), Carole Mortimer (the St. Claire series)...
 
Pinterest: This site confounds me. Just when I think I understand it, I get lost again. I have been building my site--off and on--for weeks now. I'm sure you'll do better than I. I am a certified, card-carrying tech-idiot.
 
WorldReader: this organization loads up Kindles with books and distributes them to children in third world countries. I am pleased and honored to have three of my books chosen. More are on their way, I hope! I wish I knew what children think of my books about Native American Indians! Oklahoma! and my Hispanic family!
 
Oh! I am out of time. This blog is over 5 times longer than my normal blogs. I would like to thank my readers for sticking with me. I really have missed you! Please come back soon!
 
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December 18, 2013

Tales From Homer, Conley Stone McAnally, the new Mark Twain

 
 
 
I want to share with you an excerpt from Conley Stone McAnally's new book. What a fun read!
He has that Midwest style reminiscent of Mark Twain. I think you'll enjoy it; suitable for the whole family!
“The Doodenville Men’s Club” 
An excerpt
Conley Stone McAnally
 They don’t talk about who has the best dog in town anymore.  No sir, not since last December.
It was the middle of December and cold, gosh it was cold, and snow, I mean you couldn’t see from the window of Jessie Miller’s General Store to the street side of the wooden planks that make up our sidewalks here in Doodenville.  Everybody’s always said that it was the worse snow storm ever to have hit these parts.
Even though it was plumb miserable out, we all showed up about the same time we always showed up at Jessie’s place.  We had what you might consider a men’s club.  We didn’t call it that, but every Saturday about sundown, or perhaps a little later, Steve Branson, Digger Johnson, Judge Johns and myself would get together and play checkers, tell stories, and more or less just brag to one another - which some might say was stretching the truth.
This one December evening, the bragging turned to our dogs.  No man in Doodenville went anywhere without his dog.  A man is judged somewhat on what kind of dog he has and how he treats it and it him.  Now everyone cannot see how one is treating his dog all the time nor he him so we felt like it was our duty that night to tell one another.  That is where the others always get into trouble because they exaggerate a mite and this night they exaggerated a lot.  Not me, of course.
The checkers match had gotten over and we began to sip a little of the stuff behind the counter that Jessie kept for snake bite.  Jessie was always there but he seldom joined in because he was too busy keeping track of how much we were sipping and eating from the cracker barrel.  Anyway, we were doing what we always did when Steve Branson popped up and said during a lull in the conversation, “Now we have been talking about our dogs for nigh onto three hours and Lord knows how many nights we have been doing the same.  Let’s settle who has the best dog once and for all”.
Everybody seemed to think it was a pretty good idea because each man thought he had the best dog and would win any type of such a contest.  We all thought a little and tried to come up with some sort of criteria that could determine who had the best dog.
Steven Branson suggested that we could have them run a race but that idea was scuttled because there was too much snow on the ground and too cold.  “And besides,” Digger Johnson said, “being fast don’t mean nothing anyway”.
He was right, of course.  We all knew that Crazy Jimmy Twofoot’s oldest boy, Jimmy J., was the fastest thing on two legs in three counties and the boy couldn’t find his way to the outhouse without someone helping him.  At least that is what Crazy Jimmy always said.
Then Steve came up with another idea (he was always coming up with ideas, being an engineer and all.)  He suggested that we have the dogs bark real loud and whose ever dog barked the longest and loudest would be declared the winner. (I didn’t say all his ideas were good, though.)
That idea was ignored because everyone knew that Jessie’s wife was sick with the virus and noise would wake her and cause some discomfort.  Steve must have gotten the point also because he snapped his fingers like something had just occurred to him and mumbled, “oh, yeah!” and sat back down.  It seemed as though in all the years that I had known Steve he was always snapping is finger about something.
We all sat around the stove and thought some more.  Then Judge Johns cleared his throat.  Now when a man clears his throat, those in hearing distance don’t pay much attention, but when Judge Johns cleared his throat you knew he had something important to say.  He was also real smart so naturally we all started paying close attention.
“It seems to me,” he began, “that we want to find out which one of us has the smartest dog.  The smartest dog, gents, not the fastest nor the loudest, but the smartest.  Intelligence, friends, is the true test of greatness”.  Judge Johns could always be counted on to get right to the heart of the matter.  “So it seems to me,” he continued after grasping his lapels and clearing his throat again, “that each dog ought to be judged on his reaction to a single command and whose dog reacts in the most intelligent manner will be considered the best dog in Doodenville”.
We all thought about that for a while and by and by it seemed fair enough.  But then Digger said, “You know each man here might think that his dog done the best no matter what the other three dogs did.  If that happened, we would all be in a stalemate and be right back where we were.”
That sounded kind of correct.  We knew we were all men of integrity, but we also knew each other and understood how sometimes a man’s judgment could get clouded in important matter like this one.
“Well,” Judge Johns said after he cleared his throat, “it seems to me we need an unbiased judge”.  You know, to this day, I get plumb amazed on how the Judge could always grasp things and have a solution so quickly.
The natural judge, of course, was Jessie.  I say ‘of course’ because Jessie didn’t have a dog.  At least not since last spring when Old Clem Thurman’s horses kicked Jessie’s dog Cracker in the head.
Jessie agreed to act as the judge and took charge right away.  “Since there are four of you,” while grasping his suspenders, “one of you will have to go first and one will have to go last, and two of you will have to go in the middle, one ahead of the other”.
I sat there and blinked because he had lost me at first.  I did not think that was possible because we always thought Jessie was a mite slow.  He continued: “So it seems to me we ought to go by age, starting with the youngest man.  I will give you all five minutes to decide what you want your dogs to do”.  He fixed his one good eye on the clock that hung over the Buster Brown sign that hung behind the counter.
 The contest would soon begin.
 
Conley is on Facebook & Twitter (Stone@639)
 
Presented by:
www.JanelleMerazHooper.com
Check out my books!
 
 


Got Kindle (et al) for Christmas? Get Custer! Paperback too!

 
Here's a good read for readers  who need a break from Christmas. Paperback and Kindle (et al).

Custer and His Naked Ladies, an excerpt

Janelle Meraz Hooper
 
Newly divorced, Glory’s biological clock is pounding like a powwow drum. She heads back home to Oklahoma, where she meets Soap, a sexy Comanche lawyer who wants to do something about that powwow drum pounding in her head…
 


1.      Dumped 

     Glory was on her way to join her husband on a NOAA research vessel when she tried to call him to say she was running late. That was when she discovered he wasn’t on the ship; without telling her, he’d pulled out of the offshore project days before. With that failed phone call, all of her recent, uncomfortable inklings fell into place. Her marriage was over. He just hadn’t gotten around to telling her yet.

That was how she ended up at Sea-Tac Airport, halfway between Seattle and Tacoma, with her hair in braids, wearing a pink Where’s the Powwow? sweatshirt. She carried only her wallet, a camera, and a faded blue gym bag. The bag was filled with the same kinds of clothes she was wearing, a few books, and a photo of her husband. The photo—frame and all—she chucked into a trash barrel outside the airport. She would have liked to toss it out of the airplane, but she was pretty sure it would make the stewards cranky if she opened the emergency exit at 35,000 feet.   

            Her original destination, the research vessel, was scheduled to drop anchor over the undersea volcanoes off the coast of Washington State. The scientists on the ship were to study the marine life that thrived in the hot water that spewed out of the craters.

            After the research trip, she and her husband, Rick, were to take a much-needed vacation to Mexico and reconnect. They hadn’t had any identifiable problems, but her husband had been moody and refused to talk about it. Glory had hoped he would open up after a few days rest on a hot sandy beach with a Margarita in his hand. Rick hadn’t been in favor of the vacation, but Glory had insisted. Finally, he had thrown up his hands and given up.

Before the research trip, he had convinced her to put all of their things in storage because they didn’t know if they’d be back in Seattle when the project was over. There was no use, he’d said, in paying rent while they were gone.

It made sense.

Sort of.  

But why hadn’t she been suspicious when he’d insisted on putting all of his things into separate marked boxes? How dumb was she? The dirty rat! And what would she have done on the research ship without him for three weeks? Her specialty was in freshwater turtles; there would be no real work for her there. No paycheck. He was the specialist in coastal underwater volcanoes. He belonged there. She would have been nothing more than a guest with no way off the boat. Her cheeks burned at the embarrassment she felt. What was he thinking?

Her new destination was her mother’s in Oklahoma. Getting a last minute ticket was expensive, and Glory was thankful for her credit cards. No one ever went to Oklahoma unless they had to, and airline tickets to the Sooner State were never a bargain. Glory handed the woman at the check-in counter her credit card and mumbled a quote from a rich friend, “All it takes is money.” The woman briefly looked up, then, expressionless, continued adding up the full fare charges on her keyboard.

On her way to the airplane boarding area, over and over, Glory thought, this isn’t the way normal, educated people get divorced.

I’ve been dumped!

With no explanation.

No discussion.
Facebook, Twitter (@JanelleMHooper)

 




December 16, 2013

Wilson Bay by Conley Stone McAnally

 
Are you still Christmas shopping? This will help!
 
An excerpt from Wilson Bay, Conley Stone McAnally's new book on his experiences in Alaska. This is such a good read. I treasure books like this because they remind me of an epigram in one of my books: "Sometimes we forget that everyone else is living their moments while we're busy living ours." The world is a big place. Don't miss a bit of it!

Wilson Bay
...The meat is divided among the hunters in proportion to the help each provided during the hunt. It is cheaper than buying beef at the village store.  
The intestines will be sold to a craftsman that will produce a water proof rain coat to sell to the tourists that want to show people after they return home how ingenious Eskimos can be.  
The skin is used for ceremonial clothing and repairing of artifacts that the Eskimos keep around more to impress the tourists than anything else.  The best part of the skin, however is taken to the eldest of the Elders.  He or she makes the selection as to who will be given the task, and then the village waits.
A three foot diameter circle is made by the selected craftsman by carving, bending, heating, and pressing driftwood together.  It is held in place by a stone vice while a handle made from ivory or still more driftwood is attached by sinew.  The length of the handle depends on the size of the beater. 
 The skin, after being cured, cleaned, and scraped to a shinny surface is stretched tightly across the circular frame.  The instrument is left to dry and harden in the sun, thus further stretching the skin tighter, thereby giving it it’s haunting melodious sound.  
The eldest of the Elders directs how the product is to be decorated.  A different craftsman provides the ceremonial decorations.  The item is then presented to the eldest of the Elders for approval. 
 After an ancient blessing, that no one now alive knows how long it has been chanted, a crafted willow stick strikes the middle of the drum and it resonates though out the tundra as all previous drums on the tundra have done for ten thousand years...
 
Note:  Conley's first book is Tales From Homer.
 
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October 15, 2013

...sometimes, Naked Ladies are just old women in capri pants...






FYI: Naked Ladies!
Dear readers, it came to my attention yesterday that there has been concern about the content of some eBooks. I want to assure you that my novel, Custer and His Naked Ladies, is not an erotic book. I agree the title is unfortunate, but where I come from in Oklahoma, Naked Ladies are a type of flower that suffers--and even dies--if it is moved. I used it for a metaphor about old women being hesitant to leave their homes to go far away to live with their grown children. Of course, there's a little romance in the story--I am a romance writer, after all--but I would put this book firmly in the literary field. Please email me with questions. My email in some places is wrong. Please write to me here:
JanelleMHooper@comcast.net



October 14, 2013

Kickstarter fully funded! Geronimo, Life on the Reservation

                                                          Copyright 2011 art by Sherri Bails
 
 
I promised Rudy I'd thank you all for your Kickstarter pledges. I'll keep you posted here about his latest news. You did hear that Steve Railsback will be directing, didn't you?
 
Rudy is mapping out theatres all over the Southwest for his show. Of course, March 22nd, 2014, will be the premiere at the High Chaparral Reunion in Tucson! Rudy's website for his Geronimo show is: http://www.geronimolifeonthereservation.com/ 
 
 Years ago, John Wayne told my husband that he was tired but if he retired, all of his film family would be out of work. I think of that conversation when I see how much work this show is generating even though it is billed as a one-man show.
 
The next time you watch a movie, try to count how many worked on the production on the end credits. Read the jobs. Everything from actors to caterers. Whatever you paid for that movie, whether it is on cable, Netflix, or in a theatre, the economy got a big bang for your buck!
 
Well, I got sidetracked. I can do that. I'm a writer. but I'll quit now because you may have your own work to do!
 
Thanks again for helping Rudy! Janelle
 




October 02, 2013

Invest now in Kickstarter for Geronimo, Life on the Reservation (A Historical Fantasy)

 
5 days to go! Act now!
(Ends October 8th, 2013)

Kickstarter link:


 Dear friends, I have written a one-man show for Rudy Ramos* that is very special to me. It is about Geronimo’s life on the reservation and  I consider it to be my valentine to the Apache people. So far, Rudy has had a reading of the first scene at the 2013 High Chaparral Reunion and the 2013 Memphis Film Festival. It was rewarded with standing ovations! The whole show premieres March 22, 2014, at the High Chaparral Reunion.
 
This is the last week of the Kickstarter project. Please consider pledging any amount from a dollar up and visit the site to see available prizes. With Kickstarter, no money will change hands—and no prizes will be awarded—if the goal isn’t met.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart, Janelle*

* Rudy Ramos, bio:
The acting career of Rudy Ramos has covered six decades and started with an appearance on the television show, “Ironside” in 1969. Six months later he was cast as a series regular, playing the part of Wind the volatile half-breed Indian boy in the legendary television western “High Chaparral.” Since then he has done over sixty guest shots on episodic television including recurring roles on the hit TV show, “Hunter” in 1987-88 and “Resurrection Boulevard” in 2002-2003.

Mr. Ramos has done numerous movies for television including the ground breaking Helter Skelter (100 million viewers over two nights) playing the part of Danny DeCarlo, Everybody’s Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure and Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman: The Movie as the villainous Captain Ruiz.

Feature film credits include The Enforcer with Clint Eastwood, Walter Hill’s cult classic The Driver with Ryan Oneal and Academy Award nominee French actress Isabelle Adjani, Defiance with Jan-Michael Vincent and Art Carney, Quicksilver with Kevin Bacon and Laurence Fishburne, Colors with Sean Penn and Robert Duvall and the 2001 sleeper Road Dogz directed by the up and coming talent Alfredo Ramos to name a few.

The stage has been a big part of Mr. Ramos’ life with appearances in the Los Angeles area at the Mark Taper Forum, Taper Too, The Met, Matrix Theater, Los Angeles Theatre Center, and Nosotros Theatre. He also was a member of the Los Angeles Actors Theatre and performed in the award winning hit show Shorteyes by Miguel Pinero playing the part of Cupcakes. The ensemble won the 1977 Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for Best Ensemble.

 *Books by Janelle Meraz Hooper:
       A Three-Turtle Summer ( novel, 1st in my Turtle Trilogy, one award)
      As Brown As I Want: The Indianhead Diaries ( novel, 2nd in my Turtle Trilogy, two awards)
      Custer and His Naked Ladies ( novel, 3rd in my Turtle Trilogy)
      The Slum Resort (novella, 2013 honorable mention in the Great Northwest Book Festival)
      Bears in the Hibiscus (novel, romance)
      Boogie, Boots & Cherry Pie (novel, romance)
      There’s a Mouse in the House! (Title poem voted one of the best poems by iPad for children 2-6 on YouTube)
      Free Pecan Pies and Other Chick Stories (mixed genre)
      Old Joe and His Pink Cadillac (Kindle Short)
      Surviving Arthritis, How to Live on a Rocky Beach (Kindle Article)
All of these books and articles have at least one YouTube trailer.