A Slice of Orange


Love Is…

February 3, 2006 by in category Archives tagged as

By Catherine Snodgrass

People measure romance differently. For most it’s flowers, quiet walks on the beach, a romantic candlelit dinner, or perhaps a box of candy. For me, nothing says love more than ice chips. My husband and I had been married nine years when I had to have major surgery. Now, he’s always been the traditional romantic, but I knew the man really and truly loved me more than anything else in the world when I woke up in my room and he was sitting by my side. All I could have was ice chips. Not only did he have the ice chips ready, but he also made “the supreme sacrifice of having an ice cream sundae” in order to get a plastic spoon to feed the ice chips to me. All the hospital had were wooden tongue depressors and he knew I hated to touch rough wood much less put it in my mouth.

Catherine Snodgrass
aka Cailtyn Willows www.caitlynwillows.com
Author newsletter: CatherineSnodgrassNewsletter-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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Valentine’s Day? The Truth Comes Out

February 2, 2006 by in category Archives tagged as

By Barbara McCauley

When I was asked to write a Valentine Day’s blog for OCC, my mind absolutely went blank. I mean blank, as in, nothing there. Empty. No memories of long-stemmed roses. No intimate dinners arranged by my darling husband. No diamonds that say, “I love you.” No box of chocolates or surprise trip to…well, anywhere.

I wracked my brain. There had to be something I could write about—even one romantic Valentine evening or hastily picked up bouquet of flowers from a corner street vendor. I rummaged through a box of cards I’ve kept throughout the years (got distracted reading all those cute hand made cards from my kids) I was hoping something would jog my memory. Nada.

This was downright embarrassing.

I was feeling just a tad inadequate, knowing that all the other blogs would be heart warming, sigh evoking stories of romantic husbands who bring home champagne and sprinkle rose petals on the bed. (The only rose petals on my bed would have been the ones stuck in my hair when I came in from the garden) I thought, well, I am a writer. I could make up a story. Who would be the wiser?

I would.

Whatever I wrote, I knew it had to be true, and it had to be heartfelt.
So I thought about my husband and everything he does do and has done, not what he hadn’t….

He always fills my car with gas for me (he knows I hate to) He stays up late to help me with website projects. (because I don’t know how) He rubs my back. (my favorite) He’s very very patient when I’m having a hormonal day. (often) He’s building a storybook garden for me and did all the heavy work in the garden, even when he’d rather be doing a hundred other things. He makes me coffee in the morning before he goes to work and leaves me notes wishing me a happy day. If we wake up in the middle of the night, he’ll always tell me he loves me.

Jeez. I could go on and on.

So maybe he isn’t that great at remembering birthdays and anniversaries and special occasions. I realize I don’t care.

He remembers what’s most important in a relationship. The little things that in the end mean a lot more to me than a diamond necklace or roses or even a trip to Paris.
I don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day for him to show me he loves me. He does it every day, in a hundred ways.

I’m one hell of a lucky girl.

Barbara McCauley

PS. And what do I do for him for Valentine’s Day? A card,(sometimes) a heart shaped meat loaf or macaroni and cheese. (Two of his favorite meals) Aren’t we a pair?

Barbara McCauley
NAME YOUR PRICE, December Desire, 2005
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February 1, 2006 by in category Archives tagged as

By Charlene Sands

Once upon a time in a decade long, long ago, there was this great looking boy with long dark blonde hair and incredible blue eyes whose locker was two away and one up from mine. He was older than me and didn’t know I existed – I was in junior high school then and I would watch him as he passed me in the hallways, not in a stalking sort of way, but just because he always seemed to catch my eye.

And on those wonderful occasions when we’d show up at our lockers at the same time, I’d hold my breath and stand there, trying not to appear obvious, trying to seem busy, just to spend a few minutes in his presence. He was so cute and had an understated way about him.

It became a ritual each semester to keep him in my sights and hope to meet up with him between classes at our lockers. I remember thinking that “if only” I could get the chance to meet him. If only, somehow he would ask me out on a date. If only, I could be his, then I’d be happy for the rest of my life. At the tender age of fourteen, that’s what made my world tick. Boys … and this one in particular.

Sadly, the boy with the blue eyes and dark blonde hair graduated from junior high school and I don’t even remember who got his locker. Whether it was a male or female it didn’t matter, because my “locker fantasy” boy was gone.

It wasn’t quite as much fun going to my locker anymore.

There wouldn’t be anyone quite like him to see, or fantasize about. But life went on.

Yet, I never forgot my locker fantasy.

I’m a true believer in destiny. I always have been, even at a very early age. And so when the blue-eyed boy with the dark blonde hair approached me one day in high school and asked me out on a date, I wasn’t completely startled or stunned. I was immensely pleased AND somehow it all felt so right … like it was meant to be.

He took me to a Halloween party. It was our first date and we had a wonderful time together. And later, when he dropped me at home, we shared our first kiss.
And we’ve been kissing ever since and celebrating the anniversary of that first date on October 24th, for the past thirty-five years.

They say be careful what you wish for.

I say, be specific.

You never know when your fantasy might come true.

I know mine did.

I married my “locker fantasy” but he’s more than a husband to me … he’s my destiny.

Charlene Sands
RENEGADE WIFE is on sale now!
Heiress Beware 6/06
Bunking Down with the Boss 8/06
Abducted at the Altar 9/06
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Announcing: 25 DAYS OF ROMANCE!

January 31, 2006 by in category Archives tagged as

Announcing the 25 Days of Romance Contest on A Slice of Orange Blog

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, OCC’s blog, A Slice of Orange will feature 25 romantic stories for 25 days, beginning on February 1st. A committee will select a winner of the 25 stories, and that selection will be read into a pod cast and featured on the OCC Website.

Pretty cool, right? So how do you enter? Send a romantic story of 250 to 1000 words to our Blog Editor, Jennifer Apodaca at Jenapodaca@aol.com . It can be a true story or a work of fiction. Hurry, slots are filling up!

The winning entry will be announced on the OCC/RWA website and on here the blog on Monday, March 6th.

The podcast will be recorded by Jina Bacarr and posted on the OCC/RWA Website http://www.occrwa.com/a_slice_of_orange.htm by Saturday, March 25th.

We encourage you all to read the entries and tell us your favorite story! Feel free to leave positive comments or email Jennifer with your comments.

In addition, Jennifer is always looking for blog articles. If you have an idea for a blog, what are you waiting for? Write it up and send it to Jenapodaca@aol.com !

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2006: The Year of No Excuses

January 26, 2006 by in category Archives tagged as

By Louise Knott Ahern

This time last year, I was heading back from the holidays fully resolved to meet all of my writing goals: Finish my book, send it out, get published, and earn a fabulous advance.
It didn’t happen. A year later, I’m still working on that work-in-progress. I haven’t sent out a query in more than two years. And that fabulous advance check is just as far from my reach now as then.

I could list all kinds of reasons for my lack of achievement in 2005. I could say, legitimately, that my full-time job as a magazine editor and PR pro left me scant creative energy at the end of the day. I could say that my two-hour commute drained me physically and ate up precious writing time. Let’s not forget that I was pregnant, and my first trimester was a blur of puking and sleeping. Oh, and there was that cross-country move in the middle of the year that was just too stressful for me to be able to focus on writing.

Yes, my dear fellow writers, on any given day in 2005, I could have listed any number of obstacles blocking me from my writing dreams.

But let’s face it. Those aren’t REASONS for my lack of success. They’re EXCUSES. Nothing more than whiny, pathetic attempts to justify my own lack of discipline. The fact is, nearly all of my published friends landed their first book deals while juggling full-time jobs and, in most cases, parenthood. They managed to finish their books, find agents, and get published with just as many other responsibilities as me. Did they whine about lack of time? No. They did whatever they could to FIND the time.

So, as we enter 2006, I have just one resolution. NO MORE EXCUSES.

I am just as busy now as I was a year ago. (Busier, actually. I have learned that being a full-time mother is far more draining than being a magazine editor with a two-hour commute.) But no matter how busy I am, the fact remains that I will never see my dreams come true if I don’t crack the whip against my own back. There will be no book deal if I don’t finish the darn thing first. And I will never finish it if I continue to make excuses.

Happy New Year! Happy Writing!

OCC member Louise Knott Ahern is a freelance journalist
and public relations coach who writes contemporary romances.
She’s the author of “Opting Out:
A Career Woman’s Guide to Going Home Without Going Crazy,”
a blog for mothers at www.optoutguide.blogspot.com.
She is also a contributor to The Writer’s Vibe (www.thewritersvibe.typepad.com),
a blog for professional writers.
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