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A coming of Age Story from The Camerons of Tide's Way, available for free on Amazon or Barnes & Noble

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Blogging By the Sea
Tuesday, April 29 2014

A couple days ago, two ladies I’m in a writing group with were discussing cleaning projects they’d launched at their house. They put me in mind of my grandmother, who, in spite of working outside the house in an era when women did not, also gave her entire house a thorough spring and fall cleaning every year. My mom did, as well, at least back when I was growing up. But somehow that particular discipline never stuck with me. Even when I was a stay at home mom. Although I was far more of a neatnik back then and tended to get after dirt and clutter as fast as it accumulated. With four kids growing up around me, it was pretty much a necessity or we’d have been buried in less than a week.

With only a hint of hesitation, I admitted I admired their dedication and hard work. Then proceeded to explain how my cleaning gets done, which is anything BUT organized. My bathroom tends to get cleaned when I’m getting ready for bed. Turning on the lights in there illuminates the need and if I say I’ll do it tomorrow, I’ll forget. The shower gets cleaned when I get in to use it. The rest of the house is more or less the same. I’m looking for something and I disrupt the To-Be-Read pile on my ottoman so I end up sorting through the accumulation of magazines, clippings and books and put them where they belong. If I reach for the alarm clock and knock a pile of books on the floor by mistake, then I end up schlepping that pile to the library and dusting the table they were on, which by then is usually so dusty, I can write my name in the stuff. My desk and my library are the worst.

Full of good intentions, I tell myself as I turn out the lights at night that “tomorrow” I’ll clean my desk. But when I return, I have to check my email. And Facebook. And a few other sites. Then check again in case something new arrived. Sometimes it’s a bill so I log onto my bank site and pay it. Then the snail mail arrives and I sort through that. Among the junk that gets tossed, there’s usually something that does need to be kept and filed, but rather than taking the 60 or so seconds it would take to file it right then, I add it to the bin of things to be filed. If something needs to be done in relation to it, I stack it on the pile of things I need to see to ON the desk. Then, I really need to get some writing done. As I turn off the light at the end of the day, I promise myself that tomorrow, I really REALLY will clean my desk. You can guess how that works out.

    

And then there’s the To-Be-Read piles. I do have a Kindle. I also read books on my iPhone and iPad. But in spite of all the technology, there are piles of printed reading matter everywhere waiting for me to get at them. When I tell people one of my hobbies is trying to keep the To-Be-Read pile from taking over my house, I’m not whistling Dixie! The stuff really does tend to take over the house and every room in it. But at least I’ll never run out of great things to read. That would be far worse.

So, happy reading…. Clean if you are so inclined, but whatever you do, have a fantastic Day.

Posted by: Skye Taylor AT 12:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, April 03 2014

  In just a few more days, FALLING FOR ZOE, book #1 in The Camerons of Tide's Way series will be out. Here's a bonus peek at Zoe's new beginning....

“Hi, Daddy.” Zoe Callahan’s phone had only been connected for a day and she was surprised to hear her father’s voice on the other end so soon. “What’s up?”

“I see you went through with it.”

“Did you doubt me?”

“Not really. You’re as stubborn as your mother when you get the bit between your teeth, but I didn’t give up hope until your sister called to pass along your new phone number. I still don’t think this is the wisest thing you’ve ever done. You used to be so sensible.”

“I used to be so dull, you mean. I did what was expected of me and didn’t ask questions.”

It hadn’t been entirely her father’s fault that his oldest daughter had lived the life she had until now. When Zoe’s mother had died in childbirth a piece of Patrick Callahan had died with her and in his despair, he’d not realized that it wasn’t fair to expect a thirteen-year-old girl to hold the family together.

But Zoe had done just that. Still reeling with grief, she’d given up the carefree life of a teenager to become the nurturer her siblings so desperately needed. There had been a nanny for the first couple years. After all, Zoe was still in school and Bobby, the newborn needed full time care, but as soon as he was old enough to bundle off to a day-care center the nanny had moved on, and Zoe was in charge.

“Bobby wasn’t happy about having to do his own laundry,” her father went on, ignoring her unflattering self-assessment. “The stains in his baseball uniform wouldn’t come out, and the shirt he wore to church on Sunday looked like it never saw an iron at all.”

“Bobby will be headed to college in a few months,” Zoe reminded her father. “It’s about time he learned how to do his own laundry.”

Zoe rummaged through a box marked kitchen utensils trying to find a spatula to flip her hamburger with. Once supper was over, she was going to finish unpacking the kitchen so at least one room was organized.

“I know a good realtor if you decide this whole home-ownership thing was a bad idea.” Zoe’s dad didn’t give up easily. Probably what made him a good lawyer.

“I already love it here. I’ve met both my neighbors, and it’s a great place to bring up kids. I’ll manage with the house. I always do – manage that is.”

Patrick Callahan snorted on the other end of the phone line. “There’s nothing wrong with Wilmington for bringing up kids if you insist on keeping your baby. And there’s plenty of room in this house.”

“Daddy, we’ve had this argument, and I’m not changing my mind. Okay?”

Another snort.

“Would you like to come out to dinner on Sunday and see my new place for yourself?”

“Maybe another Sunday. The Abstinence Board meets this weekend.”

He hasn’t forgiven me for ignoring his advice. Or for blowing my entire legacy from Grandma on a down payment for this wonderful old house. 

It was on the tip of her tongue to challenge him, but she bit back the retort. Her father was her father, and he wasn’t likely to change. If she wanted her life to go in a new direction, it was up to her. This historic old house was her new beginning.

“I gotta go, Daddy. My dinner’s getting cold. I love you.”

Patrick Callahan grunted something that sounded like goodbye and the line went dead.

Zoe collected her rapidly chilling hamburger and a glass of sweet tea and headed to her porch and her spectacular new view of the waterway and the ocean.

And, as it turned out, an equally spectacular view of her handsome new neighbor, Jake Cameron, who was wielding a weed whacker along the fence that separated their two properties.

As Zoe settled into the ancient rocker, she marveled at the glorious pink and gold colored sea as it reflected the sun sinking slowly toward the western horizon. But then her gaze was drawn back to the man. His sun-streaked hair fell into his face as he worked, and when he tipped his face up to flip the wayward bangs back into place, their eyes met. He grinned and waved.

New beginnings were a good thing. A breathless feeling of excitement surged through Zoe’s chest. New Beginnings were a  great thing.

Posted by: Skye Tayor AT 12:55 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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    Skye Taylor
    St Augustine, Florida
    skye@skye-writer.com

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