S – Dallas Stars

a-to-z-letters-sLike I said, I am such a homer when it comes to sport. I became aware of the game of hockey on my birthday in December of 1992 when I met Mike Modano at a grocery store appearance.  He was fresh off the plane from Minnesota in town for the press conference that announced the Minnesota North Stars would be moving to Dallas, Texas for the 93-94 season.  It was quite the scandal because at that time there were no southern states with a hockey franchise. The hockey purest said there was no way hockey would be successful in Texas. It was to damn hot.  They were so wrong.

In 1999, in the 3rd sudden death overtime the Stars won the Stanley Cup Finals.  The game ended at 2:00 am and I watched every second of it.  I, along with the rest of the metroplex was hooked and a Stars fan for life.

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My favorite hockey player is still Brett Hull. Are you a hockey fan? 

Photos courtesy of the DallasStars.com

I – Interstates in Dallas

a-to-z-letters-iI have never notice this in any other place I’ve lived, you tell me if it’s common, but each interstate in Dallas has more then one name. So, let me give you some directions. 

Ok, take 121 west to 114 south. 114 south will take you to Loop 12. Get on Loop 12 south to 30 east. 30 east will take you to 75 north. 75 north to 635 west. 635 west to Dallas North Tollway north and Dallas North Tollway north to 121.
 
Or, you can take Sam Rayburn Tollway south to John Carpenter Freeway south to Northwest Highway.  Get on Northwest Highway south to Tom Landry Highway east. Tom Landry Highway east will take you to Central Express North.  Central Expressway North to Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway West.  Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway to Dallas Parkway North and Dallas Parkway to Sam Rayburn Tollway.
 
Let’s try this again . . .
 
I prefer to take 121 north to Dallas North Tollway south to Spur 366 east to 75 north to 190 east to 121.
 
Or, Sam Rayburn Tollway north to Dallas Parkway south to Woodall Rodgers Highway east to North Central Expressway north to George Bush Turnpike to Sam Rayburn Tollway.
 
Or we can just stay home.
 
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Before you attempt to navigate the roads in Dallas, make sure you know where your going or get a really good GPS system.  How are the roads in your part of the world? 

A – Addison Circle

First of all, A is for Arlee Bird, the creator of the A to Z Challenge. Please help me in showing Lee some love and a to thank him for being a supportive presence on the world wide web.

I hope you enjoy my A to Z Challenge Theme:  Dallas – Ft. Worth Past & Present.

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Addison circle is a hip and happening place in North Dallas.  In a state that prides itself on its suburbs with 1/2 acre lots and where people have to have a car to get around.  Addison was the first urban community in Dallas.

In Addison Circle, you can live, work, dine, and get culture all within a 1/2 mile radius.

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I laid out the blanket. Unpacked the snacks, wine and cheese for me, beer and spicy nacho Doritos for him. The blanket was old, but it was the same blanket we used on our first date 5 years ago today. It’s the annual Movie Under the Stars in Addison Circle. It wasn’t really his scene. He felt more comfortable at a baseball game, but on that night I told him we were going to see Star Wars, I just didn’t tell him where. Back then he was smitten with me, so it wasn’t a hard sell.
It took more of an effort these days. It seemed we only saw each other for a few minutes a day, morning and night. I had to remind him of the annual event by text message. I felt bad I almost let the day past like it was any other day. He answered my text, “Ok.” Not really a firm conformation.
I poured the wine as the credits began. Tonight they are playing Transformers, one of his favorites. Mine, too.
Sitting here alone, I try not to put too much emphasis on this night, but I can’t stop my mind from jumping to conclusions. If he doesn’t show up, he doesn’t care. If he doesn’t care, then it’s over.
I rub my arms thinking I should have brought my jacket. I think about the other blanket I have in the car.
The movie begins, but I can’t focus. Sam Witwicky’s anxiety usually makes me smile. Tonight, it’s increasing my own anxiety.  He’s really not coming, I think to myself.
I gather my stuff shove it in the bag. Offer the bottle of wine to the couple sitting next to me. Someone should enjoy it. I walk quickly towards the car hoping to make it before I burst into tears. As I walk across the park, I hear someone calling my name.
“Danni.”
I turn around and see Jeff sitting on a blanket, a pizza and a bottle of wine chilling in a bucket. I walk towards him wrap my arms around him. I laugh when he says, “Your late.”
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The Big Reveal Bloghop – There’s no turning back now.

Big Reveal 032113I am a bit hesitant to participate in The Big Reveal Bloghop because, well, there’s no turning back now. Once you reveal your theme you kind of have to follow through with it. Well, here I go.
The theme for my 2013 A to Z Challenge is My Hometown; Past & Present. My formative years were spent in Dallas, Texas and the surrounding suburbs.  I recently moved back after being away for 7 years. So much has changed. I thought I would play tourist in my own home town, from A to Z.
To take it one step further, I will be penning short flash fiction pieces for each stop on the A to Z trail. That’s right, 26 short stories in 26 days.
Now, a word on these stories. I was going to write all completely original stories written in the setting and using the setting for the day.  Well, I do have a life so that won’t be realistic. Here are the parameters I set for myself and these stories:
Each story will be set in the location for the day.
The story can be original or a memory of something that happened to me in that setting.
It’s up to you guys out their to decide which stories are true and which are from my imagination.

I wanted to take a moment to extoll the greatness that is The A to Z Challenge. It is such a blast and I’ve been looking forward to 2013 A to Z since the end of 2012 A to Z. If you haven’t signed up, do it now. If you have signed up, get ready for a wild ride.

If you signed up for 2013 A to Z, tell me your theme in the comments?  If you didn’t sign up, why not? 

 

My Road to Publication by Kathy Lynn Harris

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Thank you, Sydney, for hosting me here during my blog tour for my new novel, A Good Kind of Knowing. I thought I’d give readers a quick timeline of my road to publication for the novel, since it’s not exactly a straight path! In fact, the story began a long time ago, and it includes my first novel, Blue Straggler. So here you go!

1999 – 2000 Completed the first full manuscript of A Good Kind of Knowing while living deep in the heart of Texas.

December 2000 – Summer 2001 Moved to Colorado to live in the mountains and write; began revising A Good Kind of Knowing like a crazy person

Fall 2001 Pitched it to NY lit agents; got picked up on my 10th bite! Thought I was Hot Snot (not really!) Began writing Blue Straggler.

Spring 2002 Got close to a contract for A Good Kind of Knowing, but alas, ultimately rejected by the Powers That Be.

Spring 2003 – 2004 Completed Blue Straggler; decided to leave my NY agent and sign with one on the West Coast who was a better fit for me.

2005 – 2006 Revised Blue Straggler; agent held auction for publishers; got oh-so-close again, but no final takers. Drank lots of vodka. Licked literary wounds.

2006 – Spring 2011 Left novel-writing for a while and published essays and short stories and bad poetry. Adopted a beautiful baby boy.

August 2011 Discussed self-publishing Blue Straggler as an ebook with my agent; she was supportive and I had nothing to lose, so I went for it!

Fall 2011 Blue Straggler as an ebook went viral, and sales exceed expectations. Signed a five-year contract with 30 Day Books of Seattle to publish the novel as a trade paperback.

March 2012 Blue Straggler published in paperback. It becomes a #1 bestseller in two categories on Amazon.

May 2012 30 Day Books passes after reading A Good Kind of Knowing, but encourages me to publish it myself.

October 2012 A Good Kind of Knowing is published as an ebook. Paperback release planned for December 2012. Sales are rockin’ along! Just released a Music-to-Read-By playlist, too.

So there you have it. My steep, winding roads to the publication of two novels.

Good Kind of Knowing is a novel about the power of music and friendship, the relationship two-steps that go on in old Texas dancehalls, and the secret to finding just a little bit of common ground in a world full of distrust.

Sera Taylor’s store is the one place in Lakeville, Texas, where individuals from all walks of life share a universal love for music and a respect for the gypsy-like woman behind the antique glass counter. Readers get a taste of the unorthodox connection between Sera and Mack, a young local cowboy and musician, and Sera’s previously untested devotion to her husband Bill. They learn of her relationship with Ruby D., the vibrant but misguided mother of five; with Louie, the shy high school band director; with Beverly, the religious, upper-class socialite; with Antonio, a local bar owner striving to make a life for himself; with Tommy Lee, a rich and directionless gigolo; and with Wes, the only out-of-the closet gay man for miles. As Sera battles a serious illness, the characters must overcome long-held stereotypes to save Sera’s store, and in the end, large parts of themselves.

Buy Links: 

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Amazon | Barnes and Nobles 

Author Bio:  

OKathy Lynn Harris grew up in rural South Texas—and comes from people who work hard, love the land and know how to have a good time on a Saturday night. In 2001, Kathy made the move from Texas to the Colorado Rockies to focus on her writing and soak up All Things Mountain. She lives in a 1920s log cabin with her husband and son, plus two fairly untrainable golden retriever mixes. Kathy has written two novels, three children’s books, a lot of bad poetry, short stories, newspaper and magazine articles, and personal essays. Kathy’s blog, You Can Take the Girl Out of Texas, but, can be found at kathylynnharris.com.

Connect with Kathy at kathy@kathylynnharris.com or take your pick of social media channels:

Twitter – @KathyLynnHarris

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/BlueStragglerFiction

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5137823.Kathy_Lynn_Harris

Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/kathylynnharris/

Tour Stops:

December 3 My Escape Book Blog Excerpt
December 4 Her Story Calls  Excerpt
December 5  Happiness, Passion, Love & Faith Timeline to publication      
December 6  Nothing Better Then A  Book  Excerpt
December 7 A Buckeye Girl Reads Review 
December 8 Bex N Books Review
December 9th My Devotional Thoughts Review 
December 10 My Devotional Thoughts  Excerpt