Download Dark Pretense, my 

   latest novel, from Amazon.


      Download Sara's Sleep from Amazon

      Perfect for gifts!



   Check out my Amazon

  Author page:    Click HERE










Writer's Etiquette by Alexander

Alexander M Zoltai  from Notes From an Alien has graciously consented to sharing his writerly wisdom as my guest blogger.   Please make him welcome by leaving some comments and make sure to check out his Blog which is informative, thought-provoking and always interesting. 

I think you will enjoy his uniquely well-read perspective as I have and will want to return again and again.  Welcome to Terri's Little Corner, Alex, and thank you so much for being my guest!

You can also download a free copy of his new book, Notes From an Alien.   Such a deal!  Without further ado, I give you Alexander:


When Terri asked me to Guest Post, she offered me a choice of topics and I chose "Writer's Etiquette" because I'd never purposefully thought about it.

 So, let's explore the concept...

 Since etiquette means, "Rules governing socially acceptable behavior", we'd first have to decide what constitutes the social part of a writer's life.

 Most writers spend vast amounts of time alone out of necessity. Many have social lives that let them relax from the demands of writing. So, what activity would qualify as a writer's earnest social time?

 I hope you'll put your ideas in the comments; but, one I can offer is the time writers spend getting to know people in their attempt to build what is usually called an audience or platform.

 The reigning rational model for promotion is "Relationship Marketing". And, relationship marketing that's done dishonestly, by faking the relationship part, can be smelled miles away...

 So, we've got at least one social milieu for a writer where some form of etiquette may be appropriate. Yet, "etiquette" implies socially "acceptable" behavior.

 What's acceptable?

 I think it depends on the type of audience or platform the writer is developing. If they're writing vampire novels, acceptable behavior could be distinctly different from the behavior necessary for a science fiction writer.

 In fact, I think most of the etiquette that could be acceptable in various writing arenas depends on at least three factors: the writer themselves, the genre or theme of the writing, and the potential readership.

 Matter of fact, if you put writer's + etiquette into Google, you won't find much appropriate material dealing with the etiquette of relationship marketing.

 What you will find is a lot of information on what publishers and agents consider acceptable behavior. Thing is though, I can't really feel like I'm being "social" when dealing with agents and publishers...

 OK, that's my first ever attempt at writing about writer's etiquette. How did I do??



Freaking Out Friday

When I woke up this morning, I did my usual Friday morning things.  Bathroom, coffee, computer, kissed honey goodbye, AND THEN I FREAKED OUT.   I realized this is my last Friday of freedom.  Beginning Monday, June 6th, I will again be a part of the work-force.  Fridays will have a new meaning to me after some 21 months of unemployment.  “TGIF” will be significant for me, once again.   So now the question is…should I be celebrating or mourning?

I should celebrate (along with my creditors) because, financially, things will be easier.  However, I mourn because 40 hours of my personal freedom per week will no longer exist.   Don’t get me wrong, I am so excited to have a job, finally, after all those job applications, interviews, letters and emails of rejection and dry cleaning bills.   I have a job!   It doesn’t pay a whole lot, certainly nothing near what I was accustomed to, but it pays ok and has benefits and actually sounds interesting.    And, I will be among people, not just four walls.   I guess I’ll have to keep certain noises at bay now, such as talking to myself, singing out loud, and those unmentionable bodily noises that I won’t mention…..hence the unmentionable reference.   But I digress.   (Don’t you hate it when people write that?  I do.  And then I write it anyway.  Don’t judge.)

So my next question is, WHAT am I going to wear?   I’ll be in training at first, and the dress code is ‘business casual’.  Only problem for me is, I have ‘business wear’  (not casual)  and I have ‘Casual”  (definitely not business).  Quandary.  I can’t even mix and match because, quite frankly,  I wasn’t privy to the fashionista gene, thus I have no idea what works.   Mostly, I go for what fits.   I’ll figure it out, though. And even if I don’t look stellar on my first day, everyone (and I mean Everyone)  will LOVE my purse.  I know my handbags.  As you probably know if you’ve read me for long, I would trample a room full of 90 year olds to get to that one special handbag in Kohl’s.  I just roll that way.

So what do you think about Dockers khaki slacks, my Denver Broncos John Elway signature jersey, my black penny loafers and my Vera Wang sexy purple bag?    Steaming HOT, huh?

Hells yeah, bring on the water cooler and the donuts…..hide your staplers and your cute secretaries.


Terri’s heading back to work!


(Images from Google Images)

Poking Fun Really Is Fun

Can I be funny without poking fun at myself?  The answer is a resounding No.  Who doesn’t want to laugh at another’s expense?   I do!  I do!   I even like laughing at my own expense.  I think there may be a very disturbing diagnosis for what ails me out there somewhere.  I’m not going to go looking for it, though, for fear of straight-jackets and shock treatments and Nurse Ratchet (bless her heart and that hairdo.  You have seen that old movie, right?).

Seriously, I find self-deprecation a fun way to draw attention to myself, and I love being the center of attention.  Since I don’t have my stellar looks perky boobage anymore I have to go with my wit.   I must say, I was a bit jealous of several of my young bloggy friends when they posted their “Senior Hottie” pictures.   I’m so old I couldn’t find mine.  Maybe they didn’t have cameras back then.  Or proms.  Or hotties.

The fact of the matter is, I am a senior hottie.   Well, I’m a senior.    The hottie part only comes in when I’m sitting at a video poker machine, alongside a 90 year old man who keeps winking at me  (it could happen).   I feel pretty hot then.  And, since I like to tease, I continue the hotness by rather coyly moving to the next machine over.   Am I playing cat and mouse?  Uh... no.  But that would be a much funnier scenario than the fact that he probably doesn’t smell all that good  so I just need to remove my delicate nose tissues to a safe zone outside the radiation area.

I hate the word “Senior”.  I guess it beats old, geriatric, retired, tired, wrinkled, gray, sweetie, honey, and my personal  fave, “Elderly”.   And when did I become a senior anyway?  I’m 57 and I still like rock music. Ok it’s classic rock and the Rolling Stones, and they are fossils.  But still.  In Vegas, it seems the senior age starts at 55.    Somebody forgot to tell the AARP about that because I started receiving their recruitment flyers ads for funeral homes when I turned 49.   I still haven’t joined.  I’m a rebel that way.  I will decide when I am old, and if I’m not ready to be old, the AARP doesn’t have enough muscle to make me old.  Those bullies!

So back to the “Senior Hottie” idea.  Yes, I am a Senior Hottie too.  Apparently,  I’m considered a sweet young thing in my circles.  But I’m still not giving it up to that 90 year old man.   I have standards, you know.   I’m just going to put that out there right now.  And so….

OLD  DUDES:    Do not sit down beside me at the video poker machine unless you  1) Have a seriously large bank account, a Mercedes and a mansion,   2)   Just want me on your arm for eye-candy, because I am not having sex with you, and,  3)  can still drive and hold your water.   If you can’t handle my rules, you can’t handle me.   Well… unless Rule Number 1 is substantial.  Then we can negotiate.

It Took Me 57 Years

Artistic expressionism.  Drive.  Passion.  I get it.  I finally get it after 57 years and 9 months.  And I’m one of the lucky ones.  Many people go their whole lives without getting it.   Many people go through their entire lives in robotic motion, sans emotion, taking up space…wasting precious time.  I don’t want that to be me.  That will not be me!

I saw a beautiful human being rendered a crying, hopeless, helpless mess on a reality show this week.  The show was called, “So You Think You Can Dance”.  The man was so engulfed in his dancing that he failed to connect with his audience and, unfortunately, came to this realization mid-performance.   The poor soul ended up in a pitiful crying-heap, mid-stage, with not one understanding or compassionate comment offered to soothe his pain.   He simply gave too much of himself and we, the viewing audience, were ill-equipped to accept this raw and disturbing emotion, and consequently did not know how to respond.   What a shame!

This set me to wondering how often this behavior triggers negative/confused/hurtful response from people in everyday life…to those just trying to share their passion, to express their feelings in the one way they’ve discovered does it for them, whether it be dancing, writing, acting, art, poetry, sculpting, singing, mothering, loving or those who want to open their minds but haven’t quite grasped the means by which to do so.   How do we all come together?   How do we all understand one another?   I just wish I had the answer.  I can only ask the questions, and hope I open some minds and lubricate the thought-processing mechanisms that are our brains.

Fifty Seven years is a long time to walk this earth and not have a passion, not have a voice, but somehow I managed it.  Fifty Seven will forever be my very favorite age because at 57, I discovered writing.  I discovered my voice.   For those of you who do not have a passion, you will not comprehend my journey, and I would strongly and desperately advise you to find that passion.   For those of you who know how it feels to write something that moves you to tears…those of you who know how a poem represents your sadness, in a way nothing else can….those of you who know how drawing a picture of the clouds viewed from your bedroom window completes you and helps you sleep at night…don’t waste your discovery, your passion!  Use it to fulfill you.  Use it to make your life sweeter.  You’ll never use it up, as long as you keep using it.   It dries up when you quit.  Funny how that works.

Tonight I write from my heart, and to my friends with love.  Don’t worry about me because I’ve found my voice, my passion, and my life is so much sweeter because of it.  If you haven’t found that passion, look for it.  Find it and embrace it.  You won’t believe how much fuller your life will be when you find your voice.

Much love from a happy 57 year old writer/mother/grandmother/sketcher/humorist/lover/friend/daughter/human.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts on my thoughts.     

(Image from Google Images)



This week’s Red Writing Hood prompt was to write a short piece that begins with the words, "This was absolutely the last time" and ends with "She was wrong".  My offering is fiction and I hope you enjoy!


This was absolutely the last time she would ever attend a conference without first researching its prospective speakers.  What the heck was she thinking?   This seminar had turned out to be a short nap shy of a coma.  She was bored to tears.  Her feet started shuffling under her chair, back and forth, up and down, covering every inch of allotted foot-space.   She was having an anxiety attack and had to get out of that meeting hall.   She reached down to find her shoes, found one, slipped her foot into it and felt around for the other.

She promptly knocked over a can of her neighbor’s Pepsi, which produced much noise and a few annoyed looks.  She glanced at the woman to whisper an apology and was met with lovely green eyes and a warm smile.  “It’s ok.  I’m restless too.  Want to go for coffee?”

She was intrigued, found her shoe, and while slipping into it, replied, “As if we really need any more caffeine, right?  But, yes, I would love to!  Let’s go.”

They gathered their things and tried to slip out without much drama.  Unfortunately, she wasn’t built that way and tripped over her own coat just a few rows from the door.  She plopped down quite unladylike and while trying collect her wits, her new friend offered her a hand.  She gratefully took it and they finally made their way to freedom.

“Are you always so graceful, or just showing off for me?”  asked her lovely green-eyed rescuer.

“I like to make a splash, an entrance, a first impression not soon to be forgotten!  How’d I do?"  she said, clearly up for this flirty rhetoric.

“I have chills.  Your command of the preposterous is commendable, your clumsiness enviable, but quite frankly, your recovery techniques need a little work.”  There it was again, that lovely, amused smile.  “My name is Addison, by the way.  Yours?”

“I’m Sandra and if I don’t find a comfortable chair in which to collapse, I may just get cranky.  Trust me, I don’t do cranky well.   People tend to back away slowly.  You might want to stay at the ready.”  Why was she flirting so profusely with this stranger?  She didn’t even know if the woman preferred women.   What a shame if she didn’t!

Addison, not deterred for a second, said “I know where we can get some well-deserved comfort.”

Oh really? Your room perhaps?  Or mine?” Sandra thought.   Oh God, she had to snap out of it.  This woman was only trying to befriend her.  But still, thoughts were running through her head, of candles and wine and a long interesting night.

Addison led them to the hotel’s retro bar and they were seated in a cushy booth that provided privacy and was surprisingly void of loud music, to Sandra’s delight.   She took her shoes off, making a production of it for Addison’s entertainment.  Addison giggled and mimicked her new friend by shaking her own shoes off, with one flying across the room to the next booth.  They both broke into fits of laughter as the waiter arrived to take their drink order.

“I’ll have a margarita rocks, and my shoe, which is right over there, if you don’t mind.  Thanks!”  chuckled Addison.    Sandra ordered a dirty martini and they settled in to get to know one another.

The afternoon flew, many drinks were ordered and much wit and wisdom was exchanged.   Sandra still hadn’t a clue as to Addison’s sexual orientation, but was more determined than ever to find out.   However, since Addison had made no clear indications, Sandra was coming to the conclusion that her friend was not interested in her romantically.

A little later, when Sandra excused herself to go to the ladies room, Addison accompanied her.  Once inside, Addison turned to Sandra and said,"I was waiting for you to make the first move, but looks like it's up to me".  With that, she pulled Sandra close and kissed her.   

Smiling, Sandra remembered that earlier, she had thought this would be a boring conference, but turned out, she was wrong.

Me and My Flat Iron

This is a story about a girl an old broad who orchestrated the melding together of two of her best talents, found quite by accident.   This is a story of me, my velvet blackboard scratching voice and my Flat Iron.

The last few days, I’ve had this old song on my mind.  It’s called Me and Mrs. Jones  (Don’t ask).  I’ve noticed myself singing this song every time I go to flat iron my hair.    Strange union, but it somehow works for me.   You see, I am a newbie at the art of Flat Ironing, and sometimes bellowing like a cat singing soothing  songs helps me with the delicate rhythmic motions needed for a successful taming of the Brillo Pad that is my hair.

I have You Tubed (oooh I feel so young and hip saying that) the song in question, in order to refresh the memories of my older readers and enlighten my younger ones to the delights of Me and Mrs. Jones  (seriously, don’t ask).    Take a short listen, then meet me down below.   You won’t be sorry.


Wasn’t that a sexy song?  If you need a cigarette, I’ll wait.  It almost made me Start smoking, but I refrained.  I have self-control.  Mostly.   Ahem.

And so, in honor of the union of my singing voice, my Flat Iron and “Me and Mrs. Jones”, I have written a song.  

Will my vast array of talents never end?

Please sing along with my new song, “Me and My Flat Iron”…….sung to the music of Me and Mrs. Jones

Me and My Flat Iron

We got a thing goin’ on.

We both know my hair’s long

So it would just be wrong… to stop now.


I see you every day when my hair’s gone astray.

Six-thirty, no one’s seen my horrid hair

Not amused.  As you tend to abuse.

There’s much screaming and gasping for air!


Me and My Flat Iron

We got a thing goin’ on

We know my patience don’t last long

But it would be so wrong

To unplug you now.


We gotta be extra careful

That you don’t smoke my head like a ham

Because I have my own obligations

And can’t afford the doctor, the ER or even Spam   (What?  It rhymed!  Shut up)


Me and My Flat Iron

We got a thing goin’ on

We both know that it’s wrong

And it’s hot.  But I’m strong.

So we can’t stop now.


Well, it’s time for me to be leaving

It hurts so much, on my head I mean.

Now I’ll unplug and you’ll go to sleep, and

Tomorrow we’ll meet and

Do the same damned thing again.


Me and My Flat Iron

We got a thing goin’ on

Now my hair’s sleek and long

Aloe Vera smells too strong

But I need it RIGHT NOW!

Me and My Flat…..My Flat Iron………….

Gosh, I do amaze myself at times.


In the Cards

I decided to try this week's RememberRED prompt in which they want us to recall the games we played when we were young, and write a piece that explores one of our memories.  This piece is true, but the names have been changed.    Hope you enjoy!


It would probably surprise no one to discover that I wasn’t a model child.  I was a troublemaker and the naughty kid.  My cousin Max and I were both ‘black sheep’ kids of the family, and this excited me to no end.   Max taught me most of what I needed to know to be really good at being bad.   Max was a brat and excelled in the coveted talents of manipulation and the pursuit of sneakiness.  He was a master of his craft.

Our path of self-proclaimed world domination began way back before computer games and many of the fun board games.  One day Max came over to visit and I was very excited as we had always watched Superman on TV while reading our Superman comic books.  We would sit right in front of the TV and make Superman sounds and ‘pretend’ fly around the living room.  It was good to be seven.  I thought Max was so wise.   He knew all the coolest kid stuff and he always clued me in.

But on this day when his Mom dropped him off at our house, he wasn’t interested in Superman.  He had something new to show and teach me.  I was ready.  I knew it must be exciting because everything Max did was exciting.  He plopped down at the coffee table and took out a deck of playing cards.   The cards were brand new, and as Max spread them out across the coffee table, he told me all about the new games he’d learned, including Rummy, Old Maid, and War.   I was mesmerized as he explained each game, and absorbed the details like a sponge.  This was a new world for me, a grown-up world of sorts, and I was privileged to enter.  Somehow it felt wrong, and a bit naughty, and consequently, felt really good to me.   Max had led me astray, as he would several times in our growing-up years.

Fast forward five years.  I was twelve and Max and I were listening to a Beatles album in his room.   Max taught me how to french kiss, and once again, I liked it but only because I knew it was wrong.  Being bad and being different made me special.  Max was exciting and wise.  His Mom actually walked in on us, and we spent the entire afternoon trying to talk ourselves out of a whooping, to no avail.   We didn’t try the kissing stuff anymore.

Two more years passed, and Max and I were attending a party with dates.   I was fourteen and it was my first party with a boy and unsupervised.   Max had been dating at least a year before me and had been hanging out with an older crowd.  That night, he taught me about pot.  I had my first of many highs, not batting an eyelash at possible repercussions.  I knew it was cool if Max was doing it.  There seemed to be an invisible umbilical cord between him and me.

Fortunately, I was born with a little common sense, and I finally cut that cord after Max fell from grace in my eyes in the tenth grade.  He had already been arrested for drugs and he didn’t have to go to jail, so it seemed to me he got off too easily.  He quit school when he made a girl pregnant, and was forced to marry her.  They had to live with Max’s parents.

I continued with school, had a best friend, a boyfriend and managed to make good grades.  I graduated with honors and went into the Air Force.    The rest of my life has been pretty amazing.

As for Max, his parents died, his numerous wives left him, and he became an alcoholic.  I honestly don’t even know if he’s still alive.  I try to keep good memories of him, though, because all those years, when I was seemingly invisible to my parents and didn’t have many friends, Max saw me.  He treated me special.  We were Superman and we could fly.

Throughout my adulthood, I haven’t sat down to a game of Rummy or Poker without thinking about my playing-card-mentor of many years ago.   Godspeed cousin Max, wherever you are.


One Rave and One Rant

My Rave:

This blogging business can be brutal.   Some of my friends who read my blog can stand witness to this because some of them have started blogs and long since left them unattended like a weed-infested yard of an abandoned house.

Yet others have excelled, offering a blog with a single message that apparently resonates across personal boundaries I have yet to discover.    Lisa over at posts every day and never disappoints.    Her reading audience is varied and not just grandmas read her.  She’s an interesting writer and her blog keeps me coming back every day.

Karla provides humor that makes you think but also makes your sides ache from its comic perfection.  I am addicted to her brand of humor.

Erin, Ash, Nancy and Katie provide blogs from the perspective of young women of education and wit.  I am never disappointed at the range of knowledge and writing from these remarkable and lovely ladies.

Cheryl and Pamela provide the writing-wisdom and professionalism in their posts for which I hunger.  I never know what I’m going to get when I hop over to their blogs, and I look forward to each post with anticipation.

Ally and Eva give me my daily fix of life, love, humor and wisdom.   Words can’t describe my admiration for these women, as writers and as compassionate friends.  And my best friend, Mary, has a new blog of which I cannot get enough.  She has a knack for fiction that brings warmth and tears.

The above bloggers/writers have found their niches.  They have a following and deservedly so.  I am so happy to know and follow them all!    Just sayin…

I don’t really think I have found my niche yet, but I do love humor and I love to write heart-warming-type fiction.  I seem to be well-received and for that, I am so appreciative!   I am now writing a novel that is very new and will not be finished for a while, but I’m proud that I finally started the thing.

My Rant:

Last night, something happened that hurt me and kept me up most of the night, however.   I received a face book message from a complete stranger that bothered me more than it should have, I suppose.  I had requested to join a face book group (I will not name any names here.  I have a bit more class than the person who wrote me) that was compiled of women writers.  I recognized a couple names in the group and thought it would be a fun exchange of ideas and thoughts.

I received a message from one of the group’s administrators that proceeded to degrade me and insult me because of my choice to have cuss words in my posts.  According to her, everyone in the group had been emailing around all day yesterday trying to figure out what to do with me.   They called me a Quandary.   Hmmm.  Oh they didn’t “turn me down”…if only.   No, they pretty much “tore me a new one” by stating that most of the women in the group found my writing to be offensive and “blushy” and they even had to skip to the end to get over the bad words.

And then, she had the nerve to say she didn’t believe in censorship, so that was why they weren’t rejecting me.   They did, however, want me to only post my less-offensive posts, and at the scrutiny of the group, which may or may not be deleted at any time.

The actual message went on and on.  I felt about 2 inches high by the time this woman was done with me.    It was truly ridiculous.  I believe in a person’s right to state her opinion, but her (or the group’s) opinion bordered on “a lynch mob” mentality of which I want no part.

I just had to get that off my chest.   I don’t want to embarrass anyone with my language in my blog, but…

It is my blog.

And it is their women’s writers group.

And never the twain shall meet.       I politely declined.