Friday, October 31, 2008

The Black Window (not the spider...)

I'm sorry Picture of the Day is late. I needed new batteries to upload pictures and didn't get them until after work.

Today I went to work dressed up like a black dress, black veil, black cape. I even had some dead flowers! It was a lot of fun.

There were a few other people who dressed up as well.

I have a picture of me and my son too, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. My camera is acting up. Stupid batteries!!!

I hope everyone had a very Happy Halloween! :D

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why I'm a bad friend...and a new interview.

I've been a bad friend. Impossible, you say? Oh, it's possible. Do you remember that kaleidoscope I mentioned the other day? Well, while those thoughts were whirling around, I forgot to mention that my friend Shiela Stewart has been having a Halloween party on her Dark Cravings blog all this week:

You can get to it here: Dark Cravings

Today I posted my interview with a very special guest: Melly's Interview with a Vamp.

But please make sure you stop by often from now until tomorrow! There will be PRIZES! Whoo-hoo! Free stuff. ;)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Interview with Elaine Williams

Today I have a very special interview with author Elaine Williams. Previously published with Silhouette, she has now written a book called A Journey Less Taken: Life After Loss, which is about the period of time after she lost her husband.

As someone who is very familiar with the grieving process, I was eager to hear what she had to say. Oh and she's worked with horses before! Horses seem to come up a lot in my interviews, don't they?

Anyway, without further ado, my interview with Elaine Williams-the uncut version:

On a scale from 1 to 10, how awesome am I? No excuses about how you hardly know me…

You’re awesome for taking on author interviews. How about that?

I see you have teenage sons. Are there any words of wisdom you can give me? My son just started high school and now he’s now a teenager…complete with attitude.

Attitude. Hah! I have you beat. I have a 24, 22 and now 16 year old boys. My youngest just started driving and my children in general wonder, often aloud, how I ever muddled through life until they came along to instruct me in how everything and anything should be done.

Now for the hard hitting question. You ready? What do you carry with you at all times?

Absolutely nothing, unless you count my eyeglasses. I’m blind as a bat without them.

Your book, A Journey Well Taken: Life after Loss, is about grief and the aftermath of losing a husband of 20 years. Since there’s obviously nothing funny about that, is there any advice you can give those who are going through similar loss?

Yes, grief is a funny animal, in that it takes you down a road of which you know nothing and expects you to figure where you’re going before you get there. Strange, huh? The grief experience is individual and yet universal, but totally unexpected until you experience it first hand.. The best advice I can give is to be by yourself to process the grief, but let others in when you need a shoulder to lean on or a hand to help. There is life after loss, it just gets “lost” for a while.

I see your book was a USA Book News Finalist for The National Best Books 2008 awards. (Say that three times fast!) Congratulations! What is that like? Can I touch your hand? Can you sprinkle some of your writing dust on me?

Hey, I’m all new to this award stuff myself. Lol. The biggest thrill I get out of all this is knowing it grants my book that much more exposure. Other women need to read it, to know they’re not alone, and that is my goal.

I see you train and ride horses. Many of the people who read my blog know that the only horse I’m familiar with usually come in pastel colors and you can brush their tail and mane. What kind of horses do you work with?

I used to work with Quarter Horses. I have a lovely little farm I live on, perfect for animals. My youngest son plans to bring in some beef cows so we don’t have to mow the lawn anymore.

I see you also enjoy outdoor sports. What is your favorite outdoor sport? I’m pretty good at “walking my lazy butt to the car” myself. If only it was in the Olympics…

I love anything outside, but especially kayaking and hiking. Thus far, I’ve learned to walk faster than I can eat, but it’s a close race at times.

It’s your turn now to talk about yourself. Promote, etc… I’ll be trying to think of another outdoor activity I do. Does walking to the mailbox count?

I wrote this story about two and a half years after my husband passed away. We’d been together 23 years, married 20 with 3 boys. I began this as a journal to myself. I was having a difficult time with the grief process, and always being a writer, (previously published by Silhouette books) I had to get my angst out on paper. It’s not pretty or neat, but it’s my story, and the story of many women who lose a spouse. When I was satisfied I was done with it, I kept getting this voice that said other women needed to read it. Since it is so personal, I resisted for about six months, then I decided to put it out for all to see, and knew that ultimately, it would end up where it needed to be. It’s been and is a very rewarding experience, one that has helped me heal on my grief journey, as I hope it helps others heal on theirs.

Thank you for the opportunity to talk about A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss. My website is located at and from there you can access my blog, grief/loss related links and articles -- and even buy the book.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Where's Melly?

You might be wondering where I've been. Or maybe not. Maybe you haven't noticed I haven't really blogged in awhile. I don't know. But in case you have, I'm still here. I'm doing fine. Just haven't been able to come up with a blog post for you. Lately, my thoughts have been going around and around like a kaleidoscope and I haven't been able to catch a single thought long enough to write anything.

Maybe I'm crazy. Hell, I know I'm crazy! But that's beside the point. What is the point? I don't know. Where was I?

Ahh...yes. What have I been doing? Well, working for one. That has gotten busy again. Oh and I did join a group of coworkers to make chili for our chili cookoff! I know, I know.... Me? Cook? Yes. Well, I cut the onions! And if you need proof, here is a picture:
See! I told you I could prove it!

Other than that, I've been watching the leaves change and trying to stay warm. I do have an interview tomorrow with Elaine Williams. It's going to be great!

Our company is letting us dress up for Halloween this year and I'm so excited! If only I knew what I wanted to wear! lol If you have any suggestions, please post them here. :o)

Until tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Interview with Marcello and Karate Cat!

Today's interview is with Marcello, an author and graphic artist. He created the cute little Karate Cat, Ronin, which is now the Melly's Spot mascot. He'll also lie for the sake of the interview, so now he's my favorite! ;)

So without further ado, my interview with Marcello, the uncut version:

On a scale from 1 to 10, how awesome am I? No excuses about how you hardly know me…

A definite 10, this is the funnest interview I've done!

Your book is called Karate Cat. Ronin, the cat, is sooo cute! Can he please be the official Melly’s Spot mascot?

He's all yours! He even does birthday parties!

Karate Kid was one of my favorite movies growing up. Does Ronin do any “wax on, wax off” in this book? Are there any older gentleman grooming bonsai trees?

Most definitely, its a homage of sorts because kids of the new generation probably don't know about the great karate movies of the 80's. This has all the the fun cliches from all the old genre movies I love. You have the whole 'Wax On' Montage where he goes through a transformation, and the book wouldn't be complete without an old sensei with absurdly long eyebrows to mentor him.

I also see you’re a graphic artist. Can you make me a picture of a shape-shifting hamster?

Karate Cat's original form is a hamster!! But 'Karate Shape-Shifting Hamster' didn't have a good ring to it.

Now for the hard hitting question… Are you ready? Do you have any strange phobias?

Oh, I can't stand it when there’s time left on the microwave. If you put something in there for 30 seconds and you pull it out at 28 and leave it like that, it drives me nuts!! Sometimes I fear walking into the kitchen because of this.

Are we going to see any new adventures for Ronin?

Most likely, so far this book has exceeded my expectations as far as sales and general attention. I might take a break and create something different, but sometime in the near future I see myself coming back to do a sequel.

I see you’re from Texas. When I interviewed Bobby Ozuna, he mentioned he was a Cowboy’s fan. Are you? Because if you are, I might not be able to post this interview. ;)

You'll be hard pressed to interview a Texan that isn't a Cowboys fan. But for the sake of this interview.....I'm......a......Redskins fan? Yup, Redskins all the way! *looks around*

It’s your turn now to talk about yourself. Promote, etc… I’ll be over here trying out my “paint the fence” moves.

Don't hurt yourself now!

If you would like to purchase 'Karate Cat' you can head on over to and type in Karate Cat in the search bar or visit:

I kept a book creation blog that has inserts, additional information, and news about Karate Cat that you can find here:

You can also contact me here:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Good Advice

Seen on a church sign on the way to work:

Stop, drop and roll does not work in Hell.

Hmm... Well, there goes my whole plan!

Actually, I thought it was pretty clever and definitely grabs people's attention. Now, whether or not it draws people into their church or keeps them away is a whole other story...

I wish I could've taken a picture of it for my Picture of the Day, but unlike other people I know, I don't take pictures while driving. ;)


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Interview with Bobby Ozuna

Today my interview is with Texas based writer Bobby Ozuna. As a Redskins fan, I usually wouldn't allow a Dallas Cowboy fan on my blog since there should never be a reason for anyone to Google Dallas Cowboys and get to MY blog. Unless I write something like Dallas SUCKS. I feel better. Where was I?

Seriously though, Bobby also has a blog that gives tips for other writer's trying to market their books. It's very helpful! He even featured my blog on there which shows he has good taste! (Other than his choice of sports teams...)

So without further ado, here is my interview with Bobby Ozuna-the uncut version:

On a scale from 1 to 10, how awesome am I? No excuses about how you hardly know me…

Haha…straight and to the point Melanie…that automatically earns you a 10 in my book!!!

I see from your website, that you focus a lot on marketing. Would you agree that asking various people to rate your awesomeness is a good marketing technique?

Hmm, another deep methodical question from the world of Melly’s Spot…not sure how to respond, but let me say this: I am not sure if asking people to rate your awesomeness can be considered effective book marketing, but it does (at the very least) get people talking about you—which is a good thing. I would say anything that makes people aware of your dukedom will surely help in the long run. It’s truly worked for me and my Mojo is through the roof these days!!!

What advice can you give me? My newest idea right now is to make a t-shirt saying, "I'm with Awesome" with an arrow pointing to the right (where I will presumably be standing). It will be part of my fall Mellywear line. What do you think?

I think it reminds me a lot of a shirt I wore as a kid (early 80’s) that said something like: “I’m with stupid.” Again, if anything positive were to come from this T-shirt idea (which we know is sparked from true genius…the same way Forrest Gump (the one people call Forrest Gump) helped that man sale t-shirts that said, “Have A Nice Day”—I say go for it! I think it’s ironic that today we are conducting this interview and all week leading up to this moment I was working to determine my Fall fashion for this coming season. Problem solved! Thanks!!! Can’t wait for my shirt!

I see from your website that you are the father of four children. Are you crazy? Err…I mean, that's great! Are any of them interested in following in their dad's footsteps and becoming a writer?

Not crazy for having four children…just getting crazier as the days and nights go on!!! My children are wonderful and I am very fortunate to be part of their lives. They range in age from my 13 year-old volleyball/softball player Elizabeth (Stay away boys!!!), to Lazaro my 12 year-old soccer player, followed by Mini-Me—Dominic—who plays baseball like his Daddy and lastly, Damian, my very big 2 year-old. I think he will be a wrestler when he grows up. Oh! And I have a wolf-hybrid…his name is Akai.

Both Elizabeth and Dominic have shown interest in writing with my daughter already writing a couple of short-stories; Dominic contributed to a school book where he wrote some text and illustrated a picture of the “Sneaky Snake.” I have learned [that] when you include them in your passion for the (or any) arts, you show them the power of creative and free thought and the relationships which seem to lack in so many households is fortified when you give them time…which is all they really want from us. Our time.

Now for the hard hitting question… Are you ready? What is your favorite website to visit?

Oh that’s easy! Melly’s Spot!!!! (Do I win a free “I’m with Awesome” T-shirt or something for that???) Seriously? Is this an adult only website? Careful Bobby…careful. Okay, I’ll keep it clean. Well, I don’t have a favorite. I subscribe to roughly 20 different blogs ranging from writing, editing, publishing, marketing and technological aspects of blogging, to cooking sites (yes, I cook), money/tax tips and (of course) the Dallas Cowboys. If the content is good…then I am all over it…responding…commenting, etc…and if they post new material frequently enough…I subscribe. (Like I want my fans to do with my blog!! Hint, hint!)

Your book Proud Souls seems very deep. If I was to read it, are there any big words that might trip me up?

Big words huh? No, nothing to fear here…Proud Souls has a little bit of everything a reader could possibly want from a book…I know…I was a reader long before I became a writer… How about a summation? A quick list of key words found throughout Proud Souls??? Consider this your literal book trailer…

Accident…Wife… Son… Lost… Buried… Forgotten… Fart… Bar… The Hawk’s Nest… cheap whiskey… old pickup truck… masturbation… balcony… bath time… reputation… alcohol… arguing… love me? Ignore me? Leave me alone! Understand… God… answers… giving up… tearing down… kicking in… leave him alone… Why? Pebbles in the pond… choice… Life… Death… grocery store… church… cabin… naked… sex… leave me alone… push me away… fall to sleep… hold me… wake me… it’s hot…it’s raining… he’s horny… cemetery… closure… defend… gunshot… NO!

I see a lot of people write to you for advice on writing as well. I have a friend who is having a hard time writing. This person (who shall remain completely anonymous) is blonde and can't seem to get the characters to speak to her-uh-this completely anonymous person. What can I-uh-they do about it?

Well, the first step towards getting past any form of writer’s “block” is to write—daily and often. I know you post content regularly on your blog site (or rather, if she were just like you, she would be posting content regularly) but that isn’t necessarily enough. We write one way when we blog—informative—and another way—creative—when we are drawing a story. I make it a habit or goal to try for five new pages of (creative) content per day.

If you want the characters to begin speaking to you, you have to start working with them like an artist. Give them personality traits, like you would a stick figure on canvas. Give them hair, arms, legs, movement, speech, and most importantly—a background and some history into their life. The more you focus on them—in the stillness of your life—the more they will reveal themselves to you. Take what you learn from them and write it…create it…and then as I say, draw their story…with words.

I see you help coach PONY baseball. I love pony’s as much as the next girl, but I didn’t think they had very good catching skills. What is PONY baseball?

Well it’s hard to get them adjusted to wearing cleats but after hours of practice, they adjust…

Honestly, PONY stands for Protecting Our Nations Youth and what started out (long time ago) as an organization to help protect children and keep them active with sports, has become one of the nation’s largest youth baseball organizations in this country. Essentially PONY baseball is “Little League” baseball, but “Little League” baseball is its own regulated association. I have been coaching since 2006 and I love it as much as I love the game of baseball.

Now it’s your turn to say whatever you want…promote, etc. I’ll be over here brushing my My Little Pony’s hair.

First I want to say thank-you…thank-you for giving me this opportunity to entertain your audience. I hope I have made an impression. Here is my closing argument…my final thoughts…for all your fans…

I am the author of the novel, Proud Souls, which you can read for FREE (well, 90% of it) online via the Search Inside feature on My website and blog URL’s are listed below. I pride myself in helping as many writers as I can on their journey, whether it’s advice on marketing, book and author promotion, writing and publishing, being I am an independent author. I answer every reader’s questions with relation to my writing career as I can and I post many of those “reader interviews” on my blog as part of my “PS: We Wanna Know” category.

I can be found on Facebook, MySpace and The Book Marketing Network (among a few others). If you have questions about this literary business, ask me, I’m not reclusive. On the contrary I think an artist should be available to any other artist seeking their help and advice and especially the fans. I don’t know everything about the literary/writing world…but I’m resourceful enough to help you find the answers…

I look forward to hearing from each of you!

~Bobby Ozuna

Blog: “Drawing Stories…With Words”
Bobby on Facebook
Bobby on Myspace
Proud Souls on Amazon

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday Ramble

This past weekend was spent getting used to this big hole in our lives. Every time I go out to the garage where Sheena lived for the past couple weeks, it feels so empty. I was so used to stepping over her to make my coffee or go into the refrigerator. My husband took out her bed and her blanket. I guessed he couldn't stand to look at it anymore.

Saturday I spent all day in bed with a heating pad. If you're a woman, you'll understand what I mean. I was going to watch some movies but instead ended up watching a Living Single marathon on TV. I love that show! This was a celebrity costar marathon as well. It was really funny. I wonder if they have that show on DVD yet? No, Melly! Bad girl!

*cough* Sorry about that.

Sunday I read some ebooks and did laundry. Not to mention watching football...of course. I watched the Redskins get beaten by St. Louis. But I had already predicted they would. When I saw how bad St. Louis's record was, I said, oh yeah, they are going to go into this game thinking easy win and then choke. And I was right! Sadly, enough. Three turnovers??? WTF? C'mon! I need to hurry up and get ready. I'm moving slow this morning. Oh, but I do have an interview set up for this week! And I'm still working on the many other I need to do. This blog will be back to normal in no time! Whatever normal is...

Happy Columbus Day! To those who have the day off... I hate you! ;o)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bye Sheena

We lost another member of our family today. Sheena has been laid to rest at my mother's new house. I'd been planning on writing a long blog entry, but I find I can't.

All I can say is that Sheena was the best dog anyone could ask for and that her lost will be felt for a very long time. When my husband took me to the spot he buried her at, I wanted to say something, but I couldn't. All I could say was, "Bye Sheena."

No matter how much you feel you're ready or how much you tell yourself it's for the best, it still hits you like a ton of bricks. For the past five or so months, we have gone out of our way to make sure she was comfortable and even though we knew her life wasn't the same, she was never without love.

Even in her last days she would still lean against me asking to be petted. Losing a dog leaves an emptiness behind that can't be described. The kind of unconditional love they give you can never be replaced.

I hope she's up there with my dad and all of the others we have lost recently.

Bye Sheena...we miss you already.

(Below is a slideshow I put together of our last trip with her this past Sunday)

The iPod Experiment

About an hour before I left work yesterday, my coworker came up to me and asked if she could borrow my iPod. Her iPod had died and she was going on a bike ride with one of my other coworkers. I hesitated. As you know, I listen to mine in the car and that's a long ride home listening to nothing but the radio and God forbid, commercials! ACK!

She noticed my hesitation and suggested we swap them for the night. My car iPod player would charge hers while it played so it didn't matter that it was dead. I was intrigued. Different music? That would make the ride interesting.

After we agreed we both got a little apprehensive. We knew we had similar tastes. She listens to country, but not as much as I do. She listens to groups like Dave Matthews Band, who have never really done anything for me. But it wasn't like she listens to opera and I listen to rap. It couldn't be that much of a culture shock, could it?

We thought about it for a second and then immediately started warning and apologizing to each other about our music. I explained how I had a lot of Conway Twitty on mine and she mentioned Dave Matthews again.

As I was driving home it occurred to me how private an iPod could be. The iPod for the most part was designed to be listened to with headphones. Yes, there are devices you can buy that will play them out loud, but for the most part, people use them for things like working or exercising. That way none of your coworkers will ever know that you are listening to Barry Manilow and not someone cool like The Pussycat Dolls. (Are they really cool? I had to look at the Billboard website. Yes, I am a dork).

My point is that suddenly someone is looking into that private place you hardly show anyone. And that's why me and my coworker made a pact that we would never discuss what we learned from the iPods. And I'm still honoring that pact. Kind of.

I do have to say though that it was totally cool that she had The Beatles on her iPod too. She's almost ten years younger than I am and it amazes me how The Beatles will appeal to every generation. Even my son is a big fan of theirs now.

Oh God. I hope she didn't get any Neil Diamond! Why didn't I clear that off??? Dammit. OMG...

Air Supply.

Yes, we will never discuss the iPod. Maybe we should've sealed the pact with blood or something...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Baby

Some of you might've noticed the book cover that has been in the sidebar of my blog. It's a short book I wrote called Happy Anniversary, Baby and is now available to steal. Why do I say steal? Beecause it's FREE! Yes, you read right. FREE!

This book revisits the characters we first met in On the Run: Pam and Gary Foster. Here is the blurb:

It’s Gary and Pam Foster’s wedding anniversary. Gary’s been so busy, it seems he’s forgotten. Deep down Pam knows that her marriage is fine, but there is a small kernel of doubt, the kind of doubt that only Gary can erase. Will Pam run away again, or will the hot-shot racer get to her in time?

Because it's a free book, it's only available in ebook format, but it's so short, you won't even notice! And if you've never read any of my books, this is a good way to meet the characters from my racing world.

Here is where you can "purchase" it at: Happy Anniversary, Baby

And yes, the title does come from the Little River Band song. *grin*

What now?

OMG WTF funny picture
Funny Stuff & Myspace layouts

Right after I posted yesterday's blog, I walked outside to leave when I noticed my hood was up and my driver's side door open. Umm...WTF? I knew immediately this wasn't right. I walked back to the house to get my husband. He told me to try and start the engine. It wouldn't turn over. He looked down into the engine and said, "Someone took your coil wire."


Yes, someone overlooked my BIL's expensive car and went straight to my Chevy Blazer. And..stole...a...coil...wire. My husband went out and bought a new one for $39.99. And it only cost that much because you have to buy all the wires in a kit. This was worth committing a crime over?

My glove compartment was also opened and my registration on the floor. I'm not sure what that was about. Our only theory is that they needed to know the year of the car.

We called the police and an officer from the sheriff's dept came out and took a report, but WTF? I'm still not sure who would do this, but my husband had me park the Blazer in front of the house (so he can look out and see it) and lock it tight.

*sigh* What is this world coming to?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The New House

On Saturday, we went to see my mother's new house...

No, that's not it! That's a dog house! But isn't it cute? It's going to be named Sheena house after our dog when she's not with us anymore...

Here is the house:

Isn't it pretty? That's actually the side of the house since it was put in sideways.

This is what you see when you pull in:

The stables: (Where I'll keep my pony I've always wanted, but not really...)

The first thing my mom did was put my dad's boots in the garage:

Dad's home!

I have more pictures, but I really needed to get going. This is where we'll be living in the near future...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ok, I lied...

We had internet for a couple hours last night and then it cut us off again. Grr... I'm not sure if it will be fixed when I get home tonight or not. *sigh*

On my downtime, I've been doing my critique thing with Shiela's new book (soooo good!) and reading a book called, Novelist's Boot Camp, by Todd A. Stone. 101 Ways to Take Your Book from Boring to Bestseller. Yes, it's gotten to that point now. I need boot camp! But this is a great book. I know I've said this before about my hundreds of other writing books, but this one is great because it's broken up into many small chapters (or missions) and gives you ways to get the book done in a very direct manner. Which is what I need!

Even if it doesn't help, it definitely can't hurt! Oops, almost time to go home. Maybe we'll have internet! Fingers crossed!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I'm Back!!!

Whoo-hooo! We have internet!!! I'm so relieved! But hey, I did get out of the house this weekend, which is always a good thing. ;o) Right?

We went to my mom's new house and where we will eventually build something to live on. It's very nice!

I'll be back this week with updates and pictures from the house! :o) Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Get a free ebook!

Maybe even mine... ;o)

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Fashion Challenged

I went shopping yesterday. It was some retail therapy to cheer me up since I still can't find anything I need. It's awful when you have no access to your "stuff".

I bought a few new outfits for work since a few pieces are still missing and because what I do have is getting a little ragged. Does anyone else still get excited about wearing new clothes? It was like when I was in school and I couldn't wait for everyone to see my new outfit. I wake up all excited to take my shower and put on my new clothes. It's not like these clothes are really very exciting. Just some slacks and tops. But they are new!

My son also picked out some new clothes for himself. On the way to the store, I told him he needed clothes and he whined and cried about how he had enough clothes. But when I got done in the woman's section, I found him in the men's section (men's!) with a cart full of clothes-including jeans, t-shirts and sweatshirts. He even bought a hat! And he doesn't usually wear hats. It cost me an arm and a leg, but I'm happy to see him interested in his own clothes. I used to just pick out things for him and it was always hit or miss whether he'd like them or not. It was a PITA.

He seemed to be a little more upbeat about getting ready to go to school this morning too. He was dressed in all new clothes and was out to the bus stop early! Although, as I was watching him get on the bus, he did lose his shoe. He was stepping on the bus and oops! Shoe fell off. I gave a little sympathy groan for him, but I'm sure he played it off. *grin* He is my son! "Shoe fell off? I meant for that to happen. Yeah...that's how I roll."

Now it's time for me to get ready for work. In my new clothes!!!

P.S: I still need to work on interviews. So again, if you're waiting for one, please be patient with me! My routine is all out of wack so it'll take me a little while to adjust.