Monday, December 5, 2011

Special Guest:: Starla Kaye!

 There's nothing I like more than someone taking over my blog! And, I couldn't be happier that Starla Kaye has agreed to do so! So, sit back and enjoy her confessions about cowboys! And, leave a comment below with your email address and Starla will randomly draw a commenter to win a copy of Cowboys In Charge and a surprise Christmas gift!

All I Want For Christmas Is…a Cowboy

A cowboy…maybe two or three…or seven. Cowboys in Charge, my newest release from Black Velvet Seductions, an anthology of seven strong and loving cowboys and their women comes out the first week in December. This is a Christmas anthology that I hope will warm your heart.

I’ve been in love with cowboys most of my life. I grew up watching Westerns with my dad, science fiction, too. He was eclectic in what he liked and so am I. Sometimes it was the good guy I pulled for. Sometimes it was the Western bad boy.

When I first started playing around with writing, I did a lot of fan-fic type stories based on old TV westerns and cowboy heroes. Gunsmoke, with Marshall Matt Dillon (tall, strong-willed, big heart), Doc, Chester, and Kitty (the independent woman who could wind them all around her little finger) was one of my favorite shows to play with. It had my perfect set-up: the big, sometimes gruff Marshall, sidekicks, and, of course, the woman he loved and who drove him crazy at times. And it took place in Dodge City, Kansas, one of the most familiar places in the Old West.

The Big Valley was another show that intrigued me and gave me lots of story ideas. A strong-willed, widowed mother, three handsome and very different sons, and a daughter. What a great set-up for a cast for many of my early stories.

One of my novels from Blushing Books, Whiskey’s Rebellion, was loosely based on these two TV Westerns. It was great fun playing with some of the actual people and actual places from Dodge City. And I loved “torturing” a hardened U.S. Marshall by pushing him together with the younger sister of his trail buddy. She was spoiled by her three older brothers and extremely independent, perfect for driving the man nuts.

What in particular do I like about cowboys? Their devotion to the brand they ride for. Their respect for women, even in the times they are most frustrated with them. Their confidence and certainty that they know what is right and what is wrong. Of course, these are the fictionalized, perfected cowboy heroes. To knock off some of that “perfection,” add a bit of bad boy attitude.

I’ve published a ton of cowboy stories, contemporary and historical, as well as heroes from other time periods and other careers. But time and again I come back to writing about cowboys. In this newest anthology, Cowboys in Charge, I have seven cowboy heroes: Joshua, Jason, James, Adam, Ryan, Trent, and Justin. (Wow, I just now noticed I had four heroes whose names started with “J.”) The short stories include a couple struggling over having a baby, a couple facing financial problems because of the wife’s shopping addiction, a couple drifting apart and trying to find their way again, a couple deciding about kicking up the wilder side of their life even more, a couple considering divorce, a couple facing the tough decision of whether to marry or not, and a couple dealing with the too-little-time issue.


Title:  Cowboys in Charge
Publisher:  Black Velvet Seductions
Release Date:  First week in December
ISBN:  978-1-936556-14-4

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I know, it's been awhile!

I know, it's been awhile since you've seen something here, and for that I apologize!

Good news is, I have a new book in the works! Haste Ye Back is another 1NightStand story through Decadent Publishing. In the meantime, enjoy the trailer! It's beautiful and hits the mark perfectly! I'm telling you Katelynn Phillips has an amazing gift!

 Recently, The One He Chose was awarded FIVE CHERRIES from Whipped Cream reviews. I'm darn proud of that story!

And, in a week or so, Starla Kaye takes over my blog for a guest appearance! She chose my blog to confess about her attraction to cowboys!

Hope everyone's been well!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sean Casey, Trace Adkins and Me

This blog originally appeared on Decadent Publishing 1 Night Stand site in August. If you haven't seen it, hope you enjoy it! And to find out more about Deanna Wadsworth and my project for 1 Night Stand, check out Carrie Ryan's blog, Monday, Sept. 12th --a chance to win FREE books as well!

What in the hell would those three things have in common this 1 Night Stand story which is on sale now?!

Well, it all goes to the process of how I write. I 'see' a character and I start writing about 'them.' I usually have NO idea what the women look like, but the men, well, no problem there. Now, granted my idea of a good lookin' dude might be completely different from someone else's. My mother once said about my being 'hooked' on some movie star, 'You have all your taste in your mouth.' Oh, well, to each his own and beauty IS in the eye of the beholder.

  But, back to Sean Casey. I just think he's cute as a button in a older athletic-guy way. Helps that he's a strappin' 6'4" and, at one time, played a mean first base. I needed an unassuming, all-American type for my hero and he just fit the bill. (I will ignore his one flaw- he hasn't returned my Tweets!)
Trace Adkins, on the other hand - well, you can blame that on Deanna Wadsworth - she got me into this whole 1 Night Stand thing, to the tune of THREE stories! Yes, there will be more (granted the Gods of Submissions look kindly on us) because to find out what happens to her massive bear-of-a-character, pseudo-Trace-Adkins look-a-like from Bear It All you'll just have to read The One He Chose! 

Then to find out what happens to my Sean Casey-esque character, well, who knows what Deanna will call her next 1NS story!

It's been a hoot working on this story. To be honest, I feel closer to them than I do/did with my characters in Respite. Don't know why that is, but maybe it's a 'writer thing.'

Anyway, The One He Chose has made people cry. I quote Valerie Mann (submissions editor), 'I read this and couldn't find one stinkin' Kleenex in the whole house and had to resort to toilet paper. You are scum for making me cry.' Best acceptance email ever!

The trailer has been well received as well. 'It gave me goosebumps,' one comment read.

I'm thrilled to find out what you think of it! There's an excerpt below.

Happy reading! 

“Grace.” The deep voice worked its way into her consciousness.
She sighed in her haziness and clutched the imaginary hand resting on her tummy. Whoever or whatever held her carried a familiar scent, one that elicited trust and caring.
Out on the porch, the mountain air had chilled. Despite the comfort of the presence around her, her body responded with a shiver.
A hand slipped into the lace triangle of her thong, caressing the area between navel and Nirvana.
Definitely not a dream.
She blinked, slowly coming to life. The frightened tone of her inquiry shocked even her “Who are you?”
Relax.” His lips lovingly met her shoulder. “Ben sent me.”
He didn’t seem to have any malicious intent—well, at least not at the moment. And Madame Eve wouldn’t allow something hurtful to happen.
“What do you…?” The hand cupped her waxed-for-the-occasion pubic area. His callused digits followed a natural path. It’d been so long since someone had touched her in this manner, nearly two years. She didn’t blame Ben for the extended dry spell, only the disease which had dampened his interest and stamina.
 “I want you to relax and let me make love to you. That’s what you want, isn’t it?”
So, this is how this Madame Eve stuff works.
With little thought, she relented to her physical loneliness. She closed her eyes and shoved the lace below her hips. The stranger assisted until her legs were completely bare. “Yes, please.”
He was strong, agile, and wonderfully gentle.
A warm, sincere, somewhat familiar voice tickled her ear. “Grace.”
She leaned into him, wanting to sigh in happy relief and cry in terrible sadness. His arms about her, she slowly turned into his embrace. She closed her eyes, waiting for the initial kiss.
Then, it came, gentle yet deep and although he was a stranger, she felt a profound connection, a silent conversation. She raised her hand to touch his cheek in encouragement. Blinking in the darkness, desperately wanting to see her soon-to-be lover, her eyes finally focused and the world came to an abrupt halt.

Wendy is a displaced Cheesehead, proud to have been born and bred in Wisconsin. She was a migrant worker for years in the radio business, until she landed in Ohio and refused to leave. When she isn’t writing for pleasure and publication, she is a TV newsroom assignment manager.She shares her clean, yet perpetually dusty, house with her chef husband and two spoiled rotten cats.  Decadent Publishing has been a godsend for her as she can finally stop talking to the people in her head and allow them to speak for themselves!
Find her on Facebook (Wendy Burke Author), Twitter @WendyBurke1994 or send her a nasty email: 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Bit 'Spicy,' but....

...sometimes you just have to 'go there.'

If you object to stepping over the 'moral' line of what is 'acceptable,' you may want to stop reading now, because ---yes--I am going to push my pal, Deanna Wadsworth's latest story, Bear It All. (and, 'bear' is used properly in the title.)

DW and I became fast friends when we ran into each other (nearly physically) at a Maumee Valley Romance Writers of America meeting. At the time we both wondered what the HELL we were doing there! But, since we both had 'people running around in our heads,' we were obviously destined to be friends. 

The people in her head, however, are a bit wilder than mine! She writes erotica...m/m erotica. And yes, I too had to ask - 'What is m/m?' Well, that would be man on man. Fill in the blanks yourself!

But, she writes m/m so well! Really!  She keeps telling me to 'come to the dark side,' and maybe some day, I might just venture there, because she certainly is selling books! (I would have to change my name again, but...)

There is another reason for mentioning Bear It All. Along with it being released on my birthday, (purely coincidence) it's also the first story in a short series DW and I are writing together. Read BIA, then my latest The One He Chose (release date August 9th) and you'll find out what happens with John and Travis in BIA.(See the woman on the cover here, well she is John's sister.)

So, whether it's m/m, m/f, m/m/f, s/D or whatever - everyone deserves a HEA or HFN. Hope you will find that with our characters in all of our stories!

( the way...HEA=Happy Ever After and HFN=Happy For Now.) 

Happy Reading! 

Bear It All is available now. The One He Chose on sale August 9th.
Check out all of DW's titles at Decadent Publishing - and mine (well the one!) is there too!

See the trailer here!

When not playing with the people in her head, Wendy is a TV newsroom assignment manager. She lives with her chef husband and two furry feline children in the Great Lakes region of the Midwest. You can find her on FACEBOOK,Twitter @WendyBurke1994, and lurking about the internet!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What's really important?

 I know I've been absent for more than a month now. Well, I was a bit busy. Doing what? Well, finding out what's really important.

And, what really IS important can be summed up by this photo: my brother Denny and me circa 1965. As you can tell, he's a bit older than I am, which made for some interesting interactions growing up. I stayed with him for more than a week in June as he's again battling another serious health problem. Yep...that's what's really

Even more important than getting books written, edited and published. More important than any steady employment. It's a wonderfully-accepted duty and the ultimate honor to help him in any way I can. He's my biggest fan, not of my writing, but of just plain-ole me. Which is the highest compliment.

So, that's where I've been, zipping six hours over turnpikes and interstates to and from where I live, to my hometown where he lives. Even though his couch is lumpy (and always has been!) and I have limited access to Internet (which makes me feel a bit closed in), the important things are getting done - he is getting better, and I've been spending some busy, paper-work entrenched time with him. And, you know what? I actually enjoy climbing over those little bumps in the road with makes us both stronger, and it's what's really important.

At the same time, I can't neglect this 'side-profession' I have.

I don't concern myself with book sales, as to be honest, I don't know what they've tallied! It's said you have to 'spend money to make money.' In my situation, that means GIVE STUFF AWAY. Which I am, Tuesday, 7/19 at Deanna Wadsworth's blogspot and Saturday, 7/23 at The Romance Studio. Go to either site and register to win a copy of my first release, RESPITE, from me and Decadent Publishing. The low spots as of late, have been lessened by some great reviews!

And, what's next? Well, working on the next story for DP. A short, 1 Night Stand series work titled, The One He Chose. Keeping my fingers cross for an August release date.  Dara England of Decadent Publishing again hit the mark with this beautiful cover.

So, that's what I've been doing - finding out what's really important. Those 'dark days' can be harried and stressful, but if you sit back, relax and let 'nature take its course,' you will find those nuggets of peace, joy and happiness in the midst of the chaos.

I know...because I have.

Thanks for reading!

When not playing with the people in her head, Wendy is a TV newsroom assignment manager. She lives with her chef husband and two furry feline children in the Great Lakes region of the Midwest. You can find her on FACEBOOK, Twitter @WendyBurke1994, at her local writers' website and lurking about the internet.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Respite's First Review

Well, Respite has been out about three weeks. Review copies were sent out a few days prior to its release on May 20th. I didn't know what to expect.

I'm not a pessimist, but a realist. There would be people who didn't care for the story, or decided to pick apart the most mundane infractions.

But, SURPRISE - no such thing. It's hard to believe...and some would say 'why'?...but my first review got a 4.5 out of 5 stars from Manic Readers, a review site. Click on the link and you can read the review.

Thanks Manic Readers for a hearty pat on the back the first time out of the box!

I'm hoping they'll like what I'm currently working on- The One He Chose.  More importantly, I'm hoping YOU will like The One He Chose!

And, THANKS Decadent Publishing for the support and the opportunity!

Monday, May 30, 2011

What can I say?

The cover is gorgeous! Thanks Dara England!
The One He Chose-coming soon from Decadent Publishing - 1 Night Stand.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Moving right along...

Sean Casey
It's hard to believe that a week after RESPITE's release, I have the first mock up for cover art for my next story with Decadent Publishing. (Yes, that would also be a blatant plug for a possible book purchase!)
The One He Chose is a DP 1 Night Stand story, as I mentioned in my last blog. And, because I have this 'thing' for baseball players, the main male character looks like Sean Casey, as you know.  As soon as the cover art is complete, yep - I'll share it with you ASAP.
Brad Ausmus

The whole baseball-player thing with me just can't be helped. If I haven't mentioned it before, the first 'book' I ever really wrote was/is A) WAAAY too long, some 300,000 words and B) the main character was/is a baseball player who just happened to look like former Detroit Tiger/Houston Astro/San Diego Padre Brad Ausmus. The odd thing about this situation is, the photo of Brad Ausmus seen here was taken by me in the lobby of the Cincinnati Westin Hotel- and still I had to Google search for it and find it on some other! website!  (Just to clear the air here - I am a patron NOT a stalker!)

What can I say, I have a thing for athletic heroes!

Anyway, another reason for today's blog is to direct you to yet another blog for Monday, May 30th. I'm musing over at the Maumee Valley Romance Writers blogsite. A little insight on the impetus of RESPITE. Memorial Day holds special meaning to me.

So, Happy Memorial Day. Happy 'First' Day of Summer Attitude!

Wendy Burke can be found on Facebook – Wendy Burke Author, the Maumee Valley Romance Writers of America blogsite, TWITTER @WendyBurke1994 and of course, at Decadent Publishing. When not playing with the people in her head, Wendy has a fine life with a chef husband (YES – no cooking!) and two furry feline kids and a full-time job that keeps her from writing fulltime in ‘beautiful’ Toledo, Ohio.   Oh, yea - and she has a book out as well!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

News and blogs and blogs...

Howdy everyone...

Well, you already KNOW the news - RESPITE releases Friday at Decadent Publishing. In the near future, watch here and other sites for your chance to win a copy!

Sean Casey
And, speaking of releases, the fine folks at Decadent's 1 Night Stand division has accepted a little ditty I wrote, titled The One He Chose. For those of you who are baseball fans, the main male character looks a little like Sean Casey. He's pictured here as a Boston Beaner, but he was a darn fine Detroit Tiger, along with being on other teams! TOHC will be in edits soon.

And, last but not least - check out ADDD - A Daily Dose of Decadence tomorrow - Thursday - for the things I'm thankful, thoughtful and thirsty about.

I can't say thanks! enough to a bunch of folks who are making Friday and this little 'job' possible - DW insisting I submit, Heather & Lisa for accepting and holding my hand, Meredith for repaving the road, Katy for pulling me and RESPITE out fo the muck, Val for being a great blogmaven (and allowing me to make her cry with TOHC), Dara for an amazing cover, Colleen for keeping track of author minutia, Katelynn for the super trailer, MVRWA for constant support and my dear Ktn - for allowing the people in my head to compete for his attention on occasion! I hope I didn't leave anyone out!

So, I guess I'll see you all Thursday at ADDD and Friday, when RESPITE is released.

Thanks again!

Wendy Burke can be found on Facebook – Wendy Burke Author, the Maumee Valley Romance Writers of America blogsite, TWITTER @WendyBurke1994 and of course, at Decadent Publishing. When not playing with the people in her head, Wendy has a fine life with a chef husband (YES – no cooking!) and two furry feline kids and a full-time job that keeps her from writing fulltime in ‘beautiful’ Toledo, Ohio.   Oh, yea - and that book of hers is out as well!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Holy Crap - RESPITE is REAL!

Do you believe it?
If you havent heard - RESPITE - will be FOR SALE (released!) Friday,  May 20, 2011. You'll be able to find it one line at Decadent Publishing.

Portions of this blog appeared last month on a Daily Dose of Decadence and includes an excerpt from RESPITE.

     If you haven't seen it yet, check out the trailer for RESPITE.  This is a wonderful little piece put together by a very talent young lady, Katelynn Phillips. She told the story of Maddy and Ryan with just the three paragraphs of a blurb to go on. And she hit the mark perfectly!
   So, if you watch the trailer and read the excerpt below, you'll get a little taste of my 'baby.' RESPITE was originally the prologue of a contemporary story I was working on, but my Beta Buttkicker, fellow DPer Deanna Wadsworth, insisted it had to stand alone and forced me (with the threat of withholding beer!) that I finish and submit it.

   So, thanks to everyone who helped this story on its way - DW, Katy (!!), Meredith and Heather & Lisa. Soon it will be absolutely 'real.' Enjoy!


Madeline was hot, thirsty and dirty. She wanted to sit under a moving fan, in an unladylike manner chug a few continental beers, and then wash her face…and in that order. Maybe she had entered the establishment a bit more noticeably than she would have liked; after all, she wanted to appear she actually belonged in this part of the world as opposed to running away from another. She centered herself, took a deep breath and tried not to get angry with the somewhat backward way of thinking that many of the men in this region exhibited.

“No ladies!” the bartender admonished, “No alone ladies.” He waved his hands across the bar, insistent that she not sit. Ignoring the barkeep, she stripped off her fedora, shaking out her thick, dark curls. “No alone ladies.”

Madeline tossed her hat on the bar, then carefully eased herself onto a stool. After stretching her neck for another good look out into the street, she relaxed a bit. Without thought of local mores, she dug into her shirt and pulled out a slightly damp ten franc note.  “Whatever you have that’s cold will be fine. I have my own money.” The owner glared at her. Maddy was sure he’d never seen a woman touch herself in public in such a manner. “I’m not looking for a date…I’m not a prostitute.” His eyes widened, but it didn’t faze her. “Listen, I’m hot, you have cold beer and I have money. Let’s do business.”

“Fahz, give her a beer,” a male voice called.

“You vouch, Mr. Ryan, you vouch?” The proprietor wanted to know.

“Give her two, Fahz, my tab.”

Madeline turned toward the comforting American accent. “Really, that’s not necessary.” She hadn’t travelled alone all this way the last two months, to suddenly need the assistance of a man. Especially since she was still trying to make sure she had ditched the two who thought she needed their accompaniment. She was a young independent woman and could take care of herself. Her autonomy came much to her parents’ dismay. They were the old-fashioned type, wanting her to find a nice young Italian man, settle down and happily crank out a plethora of progeny. That life was theirs, however, not hers. Maddy wanted adventure.

As much as she flaunted her unwillingness to need the assistance of the male gender, one glance into this American’s cobalt eyes had her thinking about bending her own rules. Maybe she could make an exception.

Wendy Burke blogs regularly for A Daily Dose of Decadence and is dangerously close to getting RESPITE, a post-WWII romance published by Decadent Publishing. She can be found on Facebook – Wendy Burke Author,  at her local writers’ group site, MVRWA and Twitter - @WendyBurke1994.  When not playing with the people in her head, Wendy has a wonderful life with her handsome chef husband and two furry feline kids. She has a full-time job behind the scenes at a Toledo, OH television station which keeps her from writing fulltime, but does give her great ideas and interesting contacts which somehow end up in her stories.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Neighbor STILL isn't wearing pants!

If you didn't catch this at A Daily Dose of Decadence awhile back, here's another blog about the weird stuff that seems to surround me!  Enjoy!

Is there no shame? (Or – PUT ON SOME PANTS!)

    My mother used to say about a neighbor as he worked in his garden, “The MOON is out early today!” Needless to say, said neighbor usually wandered about is yard with the most hideous plumber’s crack known to man. Problem was – A) he wasn’t a plumber and B) I’m thinkin’ he didn’t even know it.

     I know, I know, ‘Where the hell are you going with this Wendy?!’ Hear me out.

     My huz and I live in a townhouse condominium complex, on a nice long cul-de-sac, complete with (just recently – those condo association trustees are so clever!) a PRIVATE ROAD sign at the entrance. The turnover in this complex is minimal – we’ve been here almost twenty years.

     I digress – which is common for me ---

     Awhile back, the ‘Clampetts’ moved in across the drive from us. Well, at least that’s when my dear betrothed has deemed them. Unfortunately, it’s in name only, as ‘cee-ment ponds’ are not allowed in our complex. The moniker begins with the fact that most of their stuff for some time was stored in the driveway and once inside the double garage, could be seen trying to bust its way out!

     I don’t have any problem with ‘The Clampetts,’ I’m really not outside enough to socialize. But there is one problem, which I’m sure won’t be addressed by our illustrious condo association - ‘Mrs. Clampett’ doesn’t wear pants!
     Now, I know ole sweet Granny on the TV show was always properly attired  -on occasion, Elly May was skimpily dressed for the times - and Jethro was shirtless now and again….but this woman DOESN’T WEAR PANTS!

     I know you’re sayin’, ‘How the heck do you know that, Wen, and WHY are you dwelling on it?’
Well, the huz leaves for work at about 630. Mrs. Clampett has a habit of going out into her garage, with the big double-door open, to grab a first-of-the-day smoke and yak on her cell phone (loudly) at that time.  (She’s out there every day without fail, regardless of temperature – she’s been out there in a blizzard!) Usually she’s attired in one of many house-dresses/nightgowns she has in her ready stash.

     Let me be the first to say, I don’t have a body like Elle McPherson, I’m not nearly as cute as, say, Rachel McAdams. Yes, I’m a bit self-conscious about my ‘zaftig-ness’ – so, I’m careful to cover anything I wouldn’t want to look at, let alone the public.

     Maybe she’s comfortable in her complete ‘naturalness,’ but do we have to be subjected to it? Her home is obviously her realm and she doesn’t give a crap (or doesn’t know) and doesn’t realize the horrendous mental anguish she’s inflicting upon poor leaving-for-work men as she ‘tupples’ around outside at that hour, dressed as she is.

     I’m getting ready for work one morning and the phone rings. I see it’s my huz on his cell phone and when I answer, ‘Yah?’ and he can give me is a huge ‘OH!’ a la Tony Soprano, then launches into the story about getting a full posterior view on the way out of the garage this morning as ‘Frau Clampett’ (as he calls her) decided to weed the flowerbed at 630 AM and bent over in her ‘housedress’ to give my huz a not-so-stunning view of the WAZZER VALLEY!  (Ah, I think you get my drift!)

     ‘OH!’ indeed. (Thanks to Frau Clampett, my huz now wears completely dark ‘cataract’ glasses when he leaves the house – he’s concerned about a ‘relapse,’ as she continues to waltz about her domain in such a state. Although, I am thinking, the blue nylon spaghetti-strapped number she wears on every Tuesday is becoming my favorite.)

     Anyway, that’s why I ask, ‘Is there no shame?’ It’s the same with people (male and female) who think ‘muffintops’ are the latest in haute couture and the word ‘sassy’ stretched across their size-18-stuffed-in-a-size-4 pair of sweats is ‘cute.’

     As my dear pal, Fred, from Queens, New York once commented as were standing in Herald Square people-watching, ‘Nice outfit, did it come in your size?’
    Then, there’s the ‘flannel brigade.’ I love flannel – I have nothing against flannel, I’m wearing flannel right now. BUT – c’mon people, can’t you get dressed to go in public? Really, if you’re 18-35 (or older) and you go to the grocery in your Sponge Bob flannel jammy pants and slippers, sorry, you are not cool….IMHO.

   But – at least you ARE wearing pants!

                                     RESPITE now has a trailer! Click here to see it. 

Wendy Burke blogs regularly for A Daily Dose of Decadence and should have a release date for RESPITE within weeks. She can be found on Facebook – Wendy Burke Author, at her local writers’ group site and lurking around the Internet.  When not playing with the people in her head, Wendy has a fine life with her handsome chef husband and two furry feline kids. She also has a full-time job behind the scenes at a Toledo, OH  television station which keeps her from writing fulltime but gives her great fodder for stories.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Storytelling - another view

If you didn't catch this a few weeks ago at the Maumee Valley Romance Writers blogsite, here it is again! Enjoy!

While most of us might think of stories in written form, probably the oldest form of storytelling is through song.

I admire anyone who can play a musical instrument and carry a tune, because I can do neither!

Think about it - the verses of a song are a story in themselves:
So just where to start the story
Titanic comes to mind
Imagine my excitement
As they cast away the lines

Are you thinking, Leonard DiCaprio and Kate Winslet? (Uh, that was too easy, huh?) Probably, but no one involved with that movie wrote that stanza, which in itself is the beginning of a wonderful story.

A dear friend of mine is an amazing musician and storyteller. Kerry Clark has been strumming a guitar and writing stories for a long time. (And, he's not that old!) It is he who wrote that verse, the beginning of his song ROW from the CD On the Road to Human Being. I first met Kerry some twenty years ago.

It was about 6AM, in one of the concourses of Franklin Park Mall in Toledo, OH. Kerry had graciously agreed to get up at the crack of nothing and perform on the radio morning show, of which I was a part. It was Christmas-time and my morning show partners and I were doing a special broadcast from the mall.

I was standing with a few other women. We had to admire his butter-blond hair which was styled in the style of the early 90s – business in the front, party in the back! I must say, Kerry’s was the most appealing and un-mullet-like rock-star mullet I have ever seen!

And, WOW – that boy could sing! To top it off – he was---and still is! --- a sweetheart!

I have found over the years, the stories Kerry tells in his songs aren’t just his stories. Sure, they may have originated in his mind, were scribbled on a napkin with his pen, arranged, sung and recorded in his studio. But, once shared, they transcend who he is.

For instance, ROW – ya gotta keep pluggin’ away even if the ship is sinking! We’ve all been in ‘that boat’ once or twice in our lives. I often pull up that song on my Ipod when I’m in the car on my way to work, because regardless if I’m in love with my job or not (and many days it’s not!) I still have to yank on that oar and get movin’! Not just to work – but to life.

Which, to me, makes writing and the process of being published that much more exciting. Not that ‘getting a book published’ was on my Bucket List. Writing a story was something I always knew I was capable of doing, getting it published was the pat on the head – from a completely unbiased source – that I needed, that all of us need on occasion to make our lives ‘extra’ worthwhile.

So, dear writing friends, keep putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboards, keep telling stories, because not only may those tales mean something to you, they may mean even more to someone else.

And, to my dear friend, Kerry, if I haven’t done it in the past, please consider your head patted, smooched and yourself hugged immensely. Your musical stories, love and friendship from you and your family mean more to me than you’ll ever know.

Row to the rhythm of your heart - row till you find out who you are
Row like you’ll never face defeat - row till you fill your life complete

Amen, my brother, amen!


Wendy Burke blogs regularly for the Maumee Valley Romance Writers of America and A Daily Dose of Decadence. She is dangerously close to getting RESPITE, a post-WWII romance published by Decadent Publishing. She can be found on Facebook – Wendy Burke Author, at her blog site, Whatever Wendy! and lurking around the Internet. When not playing with the people in her head, Wendy has a fine life with her handsome chef husband and two furry feline kids. She also has a full-time job behind the scenes in television which keeps her from writing fulltime in the somewhat pot-hole-free suburbs of Toledo, Ohio.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sheboyganese - Part Twoah

 This blog originally appeared on A Daily Dose of Decadence in February. I've had so many wonderful comments about Part One, I thought Part Twoah might need to go up sooner than later! ENJOY - there will be a test....later...Waaaay later...

 How to Speak Sheboyganese – Part Two

   Well, fellow linguists, if you remember an earlier blog, you learned the finesse of the Sheboyganese accent. For those of you who didn’t  Part One, SHAME ON YOU!  J  Secondly – go back and read it as it is a prerequisite for SHEBOYGANESE II at the University of Wendy.
    Just to reiterate, Sheboygan, Wisconsin is my hometown – I was born and bred there. It’s a beautiful town of 50,000+ on the shores of Lake Michigan half-way between Milwaukee and Green Bay. From last week’s lesson we learned, Sheboyganites have a particular accent, so specific that other Wisconsinites can tell if a person is from Sheboygan.
  But, along with the patterns of speech you can hear from someone from my hometown, there are also words unique to that county.
    I had never grilled anything until I moved to Ohio. Whatever is done on a contraption fueled by charcoal or propane was called frying in Sheboygan. In addition, no respected Sheboyganite would use propane (well, not in my day!) to fry anything! We used charcoal – chunks or briquettes – soaked with starter fluid. (Or white gas if you were my neighbors, the Holler family! Love you guys!)
    But why? ask! Because charcoal is a tasty substance in which to drop meat. Hell, I can’t tell you the number of blackened – and I don’t mean Emeril Lagasse-ized – bratwurst I have consumed in my life which I picked directly out of the glowing embers of the fryer (more on that word in a moment.) Just wash it off in a little butter-onion-beer juice simmering atop said fryer and you’re good to go! In the photo you will see the perfect double brat – served on a Sheboygan hardroll with brown mustard, dill slices and onion!   Man, I haven’t had a really good one in some time! Wash it down with a lukewarm Kingsbury and you’re nearly in Cheesehead nirvana!
   Now you know we fry things in Sheboygan and not grill them. Well, the item full of charcoal on which the frying takes place is one of two apparatus – either a fryer or a Weber.
A fryer is nothing special, just a round, flat-bottomed receptacle on legs, covered with a ‘grill.’
   As opposed to the fancier, Weber Cooker. 
    Now you might not say there is a difference, but growing up in the Bratwurst Capital of the World, I can assure you there is – some families even had a fryer and a Weber!
    And, remember – the above fryer should also not be confused with the fryer  you can get in the meat department at your local supermarket…like The Pig in Sheboygan. If you’re still confused, that fryer would be a nice chicken for frying. (In a pan or on the fryer.)
   Have I lost you yet?  Just two more and you can go shopping in Sheboygan!
   When perusing the frozen treat section of The Pig (see above), don’t forget on a hot summer day, coolers are great eating. Now, you’re saying, why would I eat something that keeps food cold! Well, you’re not…in Sheboygan a cooler is a cold food – namely a Popsicle.
    And if you need some quick hydration…stop at a bubbler and take a nice long refreshing drink. It’s a water fountain.
  So there you have it – you can now sound and speak like a Sheboyganite!
   So much easier than advanced Latin, huh?

RESPITE has a trailer!
You can escape life, but never escape love.

Wendy Burke blogs regularly for A Daily Dose of Decadence and is currently in the editing process on RESPITE, a post-WWII romance to be published soon by Decadent Publishing. She can be found on Facebook – Wendy Burke Author,  TWITTER @WendyBurke1994. When not playing with the people in her head, Wendy has a fine life with a chef husband (YES – no cooking!) and two furry feline kids and a full-time job that keeps her from writing fulltime in ‘beautiful’ Toledo, Ohio. Right now, however, she’s having a helluva hankering for a double brat!