Saturday, November 26, 2011

Blessings Come In Many Forms--even Internet access

--By Vonnie Davis

Remember life without the Internet? Days gone by when we weren't connected online with family, friends and strangers. We did our shopping in stores or through catalogs back then. All of our bills were paid by writing checks and stuffing envelopes. If our families were spread across the country, our phone bills were horrendous. We gave out our street address instead of our email address. And we queried agents and publishers via snail mail. Heck, we didn't even know what snail mail was back in the day!

Now we query online to most publishing professionals. Even so, we still present our best side; we write professional and error free emails. Of course, there are those who send queries just like they do texts. My agent complains of email queries with no capital letters and the number two instead of "to." Evidently these wanna-be-writers have never heard Forrest Gump's mother's famous words: "Stupid is as stupid does."

I have a special benefit from the Internet--my husband Calvin. We met on match dot com and were married a year to the day of his first email. He was a retired English teacher and writing his second novel. I was living in a neighboring state, working at a job I darn near hated and doing rewrites on my first book (or would that be mess-terpiece?).

As a grandma, I keep in touch with my grandchildren online through email, Twitter, Facebook and Skype--all free, which never hurts.

The Internet has also changed how many do their jobs. Lab test results at hospitals are now emailed to doctors. Teachers post grades on the Internet so parents can ground their kids before the report cards are printed out. Realtors use Internet listings to find the perfect house for their clients. Need a recipe? Do an online search.

In my book, Storm's Interlude, Sunny, a cancer patient, needs to get stronger for a second round of chemo. She finds my heroine online. Rachel is a nurse with a Masters in nursing and extensive training in non-traditional methods she incorporates into traditional medicine therapies. She travels to the hillcountry of Texas to the ranch where Sunny lives with her twin brother Storm. Fireworks start the minute Storm and Rachel meet--both times. And you'd have to read the book to understand that...

I'm sharing an excerpt below. For a chance to win an eCopy of my debut book, leave a comment telling me the kind of bread on the counter and your email address, so I can contact you should you win.
Storm heard off-key singing when he opened the back door. He quietly toed off his boots in the mudroom before stepping into the kitchen.
An open laptop sat on the wooden kitchen table. Beside it was a mug of steaming tea. On the counter was a loaf of wheat bread next to a jar of peanut butter. Protruding from the opened refrigerator was a cute behind, covered by baggy yellow pajama bottoms, wiggling to the beat of the song being sung. “Shot through the heart and you’re to blame, you give love a bad name.”
The off-tune singing stopped, but that perfectly rounded bottom continued to wiggle. “Pickles...pickles. Surely there are pickles in this huge refrigerator. Maybe some of those sweet little Gherkins. Oh, look, cottage cheese. You give love a bad name…” The off-tune singer extracted a container from the crowded contents of the refrigerator, absently reaching out to set it on the counter.
Sneaking up behind her in his stocking feet, he placed a hand on the edge of the open door of the refrigerator and leaned over her bent body. 
She moved a pitcher of orange juice. “Okay, pickles, where are you hiding?”
“Check behind the milk.”
Rachel yelped and spun around, her hand to her heart. Her big blue eyes opened impossibly wide. “You! Wha...what are you doing here?”
He held out his hand. “Hello, Rachel. I’m Storm Masterson, Sunny’s twin brother.”
“You…you’re Sunny’s brother? Don’t you dare touch me.” She made a fist and had the audacity to shake it under his nose. He didn’t know whether to laugh or paddle that cute behind she’d been wiggling earlier. “You…you just keep your hands and your lips to yourself. You…you naked, kissing bandit.”
Storm leaned his head back and laughed. “Well, I’m not naked now. Just how do I classify as a bandit? I didn’t steal anything from you.”
Rachel fisted her hands on her hips, leaned in and narrowed her eyes in such an appealing way he was overcome with a keen desire to kiss her softly and slowly, the kind of kiss that made you sigh partway through it. “You stole a kiss from me.” Her eyebrow arched. “Or have you forgotten?”
He smiled, his hands itching to touch her. What man walking the face of this earth could forget a kiss like the one they’d shared earlier? “Is it called stealing when the woman gives as good as she got?”
Rachel shook her fist again. “Back up, buster. I’ll not be kissed like that again.”
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Barbara Edwards said...

Hi Vonnie,
Nice insights, I never thought the internet would becomes so important.

Jerri Hines said...

Boy times certainly have changed. When I was younger who would have thought? Now I don't think I could survive without the internet. Instant gratification. Gotta love it!

Jannine Gallant said...

When I was a kid, the new frontier was traveling to the moon. Now we travel in cyberspace. One can only imagine what the future holds. Great excerpt, Vonnie.

Alison H. said...

The internet makes so many things so much easier! Unfortunately, I think it's also rung the death knell for patience.

Anonymous said...

Hi Vonnie,

From your excerpt it sounds as though I wouldn't mind sharing a peanut butter sandwich on wheat bread with Storm.

Val Clarizio

Calisa Rhose said...

Boy, do I need to read this book now that I already have it! I'm into another story right now, but this one needs to be next on the kindle! Ooh! Maybe I should read this one in paper while I have the other going on the kindle? Decisions, decisions... *grin*

Nice post, Vonnie. I love the internet. But the downsides... I can't write for it at times. :(

Mackenzie Crowne said...

Hi Vonnie,
I'm enjoying the hell out of Storm's Interlude, and wouldn't mind sharing peanut butter with Storm, wouldn't even need the bread! LOL

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Vonnie,

Sorry for coming in late. Even an old girl like me has to ask What did we do before we had the internet?
Great blog.