The King of Rock ‘n Roll is Dead

It’s been 36 years today since the King of Rock n Roll passed away.  I was in my room listening to one of his albums when my mom came in and gave me the news as it broke on the t.v.

I was barely 17 and completely devastated.  The thought of his voice never crooning new songs in my ear was unfathomable.  There had to be a mistake.  I’d just seen him for the 3rd time in concert in May 1977.  But we all know there was no mistake.  The King of Rock was gone.

He’d captured my attention and grabbed me as a loyal fan nine years earlier.  I was going through my mom’s ’45s when I stumbled upon a record titled “I Got Stung” backed with “One Night”.  The singer’s name was one I’d never heard before and it was “One Night” that stole my heart, and I never looked back.  Up until then, I’d never seen his face.  When I realized what he looked like…O.M.G.! 

His voice mesmerizes me to this day.  It is a shame he couldn’t sort out his personal problems and get off the prescription drugs.  The world lost a great singer and a good man on August 16, 1977.  Thankfully, his legacy lives on.  May the world never forget.

It’s Elvis’ Birthday!

Yes, today is Elvis Aron Presley’s 78th birthday!  I guarantee, if he was alive today he wouldn’t look like that dude dancing around up above.  I wonder what he would look like today.  Nah, I don’t want to go there.  The thought is too scary.

My first ‘meeting’ with Elvis came when I was nine years old.  At the time, my mom kept all of her LPs and 45s stacked in our upstairs hallway.  I had one of these , and when I wasn’t listening to the top AM stations (FM was kind of new and there weren’t a whole lot of stations when I was growing up), I was spinning records.  I remember sitting in the hall on the floor and going through all of my mom’s albums looking for something new to listen to.  Her collection included the greats:  Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Glenn Miller Orchestra.  I abandoned her LPs as I’d heard them all and turned to her 45’s.  Flip, flip, flip.  More and more of the same.  And then I came upon a name I’d never seen before:  Elvis Presley.  The songs:  One Night With You backed with I Got Stung.  It was One Night With You that turned me into an Elvis junkie.

In a music world saturated with the sounds of Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, and The Beatles, I find it rather ironic I fell head over heels in love with a dude who hit it big a decade before then. 

The year was 1969,  (yeah, do the math. I’m old as the dragons I write about), and the man’s voice captivated me.

Like him or not, Elvis is probably the most written about and imitated celebrity ever.  YA author Rick Riordan even takes his readers on a whirlwind tour of Elvis’s Graceland estate in his book, The Red Pyramid (great book if you haven’t read it).  

Elvis recorded his first record (That’s All Right, Mama) in 1954.  He was 19 years old. A true rags to riches story about a poor boy from Tupelo, Mississippi making it big. Fifty-nine years later, the King of Rock ‘n Roll is still selling the cds, and Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee sees around 600,000 tourists a year.  Nine and ten-year old kids are still discovering Elvis and are becoming fans.  Now that’s a hell of a legacy to leave behind.

I was lucky to see Elvis perform in concert 3 times.  They were all magical moments, even though his health was failing in the end.

I was devastated when Elvis died.  I wept horribly.  I hadn’t cried so hard since my father died five years before.  I couldn’t imagine a world without his talent.  His music and his voice pulled me through some very difficult times in my life, including my father’s death.  His music and voice still pull me through my difficult moments.  I can’t explain what it is, but his voice soothes my soul.

So Elvis, if you can hear me, Happy Birthday, and thanks for the memories.  They do sweeten through the ages just like wine.

Touched by an angel – Austin Criswell

I’ve always loved music.  As a writer, it’s a necessity in my life.  It inspires me, comforts me, lifts me and cries with me.  Very few musicians touch the core of my soul.  Elvis Presley, John Denver, Carrie Underwood and James Taylor are four singers that capture the very heart of me when I hear them sing.  There is something about their voices that tug at my heartstrings.  I could get lost in their voices, their music for hours and never regret a moment.

Thanks to Amy at TBNRanch, I just discovered singer and guitarist, Austin Criswell, who makes me feel the same way.  I don’t know anything about this guy except that when I just heard this version of Bob Dylan’s Make You Feel My Love, my soul almost wept.  Austin’s voice crawled deep within me and stays there still.

Thank you, Amy for introducing me to Austin.  This is such a beautiful version of Dylan’s song.  Your post came along at a vital point in my W.I.P., and the words completely echo what my David wants, but can’t say, to Charlotte.  I had forgotten about this song, and if David could sing, I would give him Austin’s voice.

Hit play, close your eyes, and listen.  When over, let me know what you think.

Blog award follow-up

A couple of days ago, I thanked the wonderful people who passed on blog awards to me.  You can read it here.  I love blog awards.  I think they’re pretty and I enjoy handing them out even more than I love receiving them.

The other night I was so dogged tired, though, to pass on the instructions to the winners about what they needed to do.  If you’ve forgotten who won, they’re listed below.  🙂

For the Versatile Blogger Award Winners:

  • Thank and link to the person who nominates you. – check 🙂
  • Share seven random facts about yourself. – check 🙂 (see below)
  • Pass the award to five more blogger friends. – check 🙂
  • Contact and congratulate the blogs nominated.  – check 🙂
And the winners were:
For the Sunshine Award:
  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog – check 🙂
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself – check (see below) 🙂
  • Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers – I nominated some and reserve the right to nominate more at any given time.  You never know when you might get some Florida Sunshine on you.  🙂
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated – check 🙂
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you – and done!
And the winners were:

Before I get to the next award (because it is rather lengthy), let me answer the little known trivia about moi since that’s part of the game.
1.  I love Arizona Green Tea.  I could drink it all day long.
2.  My very first rejection for my writing came when I was 11 years old.  I sent an article about baton twirling and a local competition to my local newspaper and they turned me down.
3.  I was a majorette for 12 years.  Placed 2nd and 3rd in a few competitions, and was solo majorette in high school.
4.  I used to perform in a lot of plays.  My first one was when I was 12.  I was a green monster who broke into a candy store and destroyed all the elves’ candy.  I forgot my lines.  The audience cracked up.  I recovered.  It was tons of fun.  🙂
5.  Dial is my soap of preference and it has to be bar soap, not liquid.  (don’t know why that’s important but, hey, this picking things about myself is hard to do)
6.  I love Scrabble, Yahtzee, Taboo, Pictionary, and Backgammon
7.  I despise house cleaning.  I really need a maid since I’m a princess in my other life.
8.  While You Were Sleeping and Kate and Leopold are two of my favorite romantic comedy films.
9.  My first concert was Elvis Presley.  It was July 3, 1973 at the Omni Coliseum in Atlanta, Georgia at 8:30 pm.  I’ll never forget it.  His music still soothes this savage beast.
10.  I had natural childbirth with all 4 of my kids. Two were born at home (on purpose), and two were born in a free-standing birth center.  Wouldn’t have done it any other way.
Now, onto the HUG award.
There is much content affiliated with The Hug Award, and while it is lengthy and seems a bit extensive to me, I do not want to maim or corrupt its potent message by leaving anything out.

Please do not change or use another image for the HUG Award Image©.  Please do not alter–by changing, shortening, or adding to–the text about the award and how to share it with others.  Either copy the entire article as it is on this page, or please include a link back to this article, when you post on your blog or share award with others.

I ask you to please honor this request and help me keep the integrity of the award as originally designed, so that future award recipients will know what an honor it is to receive this award.  Thank you, Connie Wayne


Hope is an expectant desire; a confidence in a future event; a ground for trust and confidence; to think; to look forward to with trust and expectant desire.”

 The HUG Award© was initiated by Connie Wayne at A Hope for Today athttp://ahopefortoday.comwhich promotes hope, love, peace, equality, and unity for all people.

 The HUG Award© is for people with an expectant desire for the world, for which they:  Hope for Love; Hope for FreedomHope for Peace; Hope for Equality; Hope for Unity; Hope for Joy and HappinessHope forCompassion and Mercy; Hope for Faith; Hope for Wholeness and Wellness; Hope for Prosperity; Hope for Ecological Preservation; Hope for Oneness

 The HUG Award© recognizes and honors those who help keep hope alive in our current world, which is plagued by war, natural disasters, and economic recession.  They nurture hope, in any of the above areas (in italics),  by the work they do, or in their personal lives with things such as blogging, public speaking,charity work, etc.

The HUG Award© is for anyone, anywhere in the world, who meets theguidelines and wants to be nominated for the award. Please leave a comment on this page if you are interested in receiving this award, or if you would like to nominate someone else for the award.

The HUG Award© is for people who, without giving up or compromising their own religious, spiritual, or political beliefs, are able to nurture hope and respect the dignity of all people.

 The HUG Award© is for those who, without bias or prejudice, use their resources and gifts to make the world a better place for everyone.

 The HUG Award©is for people who have a hope or an expectant desire that the work or talents they use in things such as blogging, public speaking, charity work, etc., will make a positive impact on the world.

These people do not have to actively use the word “hope” in their work or creative talents.  They only need be conscious of their desire to make the world a better place for everyone.

These people use their available resources–a smile, a hug, a helping hand, a listening ear, a voice, time, money, possessions, education, personality, talent, websites and blogs—to make a positive impact on the world and make the world a better place to live.

The HUG Award© is not specifically a website or blog award.  It can be given to people in your community, at your employment, at your place of worship, etc.  Please make sure they have a copy of these Guidelines, and please don’t forget to submit their names back to this site.


HUG Award© Image:   Those who receive the HUG Award© may paste a copy of the original HUG Award© image into an Image widget on their website or blog by simply copying and pasting the following image URL into an Image widget:  As the link URL for the imageplease insert


1.  If you receive a HUG Award©, you may nominate others who also meet the above guidelines for the award.  You may nominate as many people, websites, or blogs as you want to nominate to receive the award.  I do ask that, upon receipt of the award, you nominate at least one other person.  The award is also not time limited, so you can nominate new people or sites you encounter in the future.  Please try not to nominate those who have already received the award.

2.  YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CONTACTING YOUR NOMINEESand telling them you nominated them for the  HUG Award©.  AND when you contact them…

3.  Please link this page:  When you contact your nominees for the award, please include a link to this page, they will have the same information you received about the award.  Then, they also can perpetuate the award by nominating others.  AND…

4.  Please post a comment on this page at with the name and the complete website or blog address of the site(s) or person(s) you nominate.

5.  If you know, I would appreciate you informing me of the geographical location of your nominee(s) and /or their site(s).

6.  Social Media Sites:  You may also copy and paste unchanged copies of the original HUG Award© and HUG Award© Guidelines’ wording to other social media sites such as Facebook and Linkedin.  You may also print original copies for your personal use for display, etc.

7.  You may print a copy of the HUG Award© Guidelines for people you nominate, who do not have a website, blog, or social media account to which they can paste award and Guidelines.  If they have email, you may email them a copy of the original HUG Award© and original Hug Award© Guidelines.

The people I have nominated for this award seek to do Good with their blogs by sharing inspiration, kindness, and courage. If you have already received this, please just accept that I appreciate you. Thank you.

The winners of the Hug Award were:

Gloria Richard
Cara Olden
Jennifer M. Eaton
Lori Ann Freeland

Last Night, I was awarded with another blog award from the lovely Jennifer M. Eaton.  It’s the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

I’m supposed to list 7 unknown things about myself and then forward this on to whomever inspires me.  I would have to give this award to the following people for giving me hope and showing that no matter what the odds, we can always overcome with hope, faith, and family and friends.

Pat Bertram – for sharing her grief of losing her soul mate and her journey to move through life without him.

Sharon Howard – woman of incredible strength and forward movement

AmyMarie – for showing us all that if you have a great MS and you send it out to tons of agents/publishers, a lot of fish are going to bite.  Keep it up, Literary Mom!

Rachel Coker– an amazing teen, author of the new YA novel Interrupted – life beyond words.  To be so young and talented…such an inspiration.

Paperclip Award

Thanks to the amazing Victoria who got this award from ElvishJesusFreak who  got it from its creator, teenagejesusfreak, I have been given the Paperclip Award.  From TeenageJesusFreak’s blog, “this award shall be presented to wonderful and amazing bloggers who inspire… well, whoever awards it to them.”

 Isn’t it pretty?

The award comes with some questions so, here goes:

1.When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A veterinarian.

2. What is your ultimate favorite place to be?

Anywhere peaceful and tranquil where I can hear birds, and the rush of the ocean or the babbling of a brook.  Mountains or sea, it doesn’t matter.  I love both.  I also need to be with my family, friends and my little four-footed critters to make my world complete.

3. Name one famous person who inspires you. (Just one!!!)

J.K. Rowling (love her rags to riches story), and Gabrielle Giffords.  What an amazing story of heartbreak, perseverance and triumph.  She is a miracle.

4. Tea or Coffee?

I like both.  Coffee (Godiva French Vanilla and Chocolate Truffle = heaven on earth) definitely in the morning, Green tea during the day and Chamomile at night.

5. If you could be any other person for 48 hours, who would you be?

Does it have to be a person?  If I had a choice, I’d really want to be my spoiled-rotten kitty, Oliver, for the day.  He’s got the life.

6. What is your earliest memory?

Going to a polo match in SC at the age of 4.

7. If you could ask anyone in the world, living or dead, anything, who would you ask, and what would you ask them?

Bill Gates.  Will you adopt me please?  🙂

on a serious note:

Elvis Presley:  If you loved Jesus and God so much and you truly believed God was the reason for your talent and success, why in His name did you throw it all away and hand your life over to drugs?  Such a waste.

8. What is the scariest thing you have ever done?

Flying down a hill in a 1976 Ford Maverick doing 110 mph!  I was not the driver and I was so PO’d  after the jerk I was with peeled me from the floorboard!

9. What is your favorite book?

Great Expectations with the Hunger Games series and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix coming in right behind.

10. Briefly explain one of the weirdest dreams you have ever had.

I was on a ferris wheel on the beach and all of a sudden it started going really really fast and the cars flew off into the ocean.  They were the seats that were like cages.  Anyway, the car I was in sank, and then something came up beneath me and pushed me to the surface.  I bobbed there for the longest time, watching the lights of the fair.  I could still hear the music, the people laughing.  No one seemed to care that the ferris wheel seats were gone. That’s when I woke up. Weird.

11. What one song best describes you? (Feel free to post a link to a Youtube vid)

I can’t decide.  It’s a toss up between 2


 (with the ‘one’ I let go being doubt and negativity)

12. Pen or pencil?

Depends on my mood.  Usually pen.

13. Is 13 an unlucky number or not?

I don’t like it.  it’s odd.  🙂

Now to give the award away.  I think I’ll give it to some folks I haven’t awarded to before.

Shiloh’s Secret



L.A. Freeland

I can feel the love

The lovely Sharon Howard over at A Day In The Life of  a Busy Gal bestowed the Versatile Blogger Award upon me this morning.  It’s the first time I’ve received this award and I’m honored she thought of me.

Sharon is an inspirational spirit with an ocean of  courage and determination.  I applaud her for tackling the issues before her with her head held high.

The award requires that I (i) list 7 unknown things about me (don’t really like this part because I think of myself as a very boring person), and (ii) give the award to 15 other versatile bloggers.  This one is going to be difficult because I would like to find 15 bloggers I haven’t given any awards to before.


I’ve decided to answer the 7 ‘me’ questions, and then start going through all my new followers who are participating in my contest and award 15 of those new peeps with the Versatile Blogger award.  Maybe one of them will also receive my own blog award:  The Chain  Story Blogger Award.

Happy Writing and good luck to all the participating YA authors (and anyone else who wants to have some fun writing!)

7 things you used to not know about me:

1.  I was 16 years old when I completed my very first novel. It was titled “One Night With You” and was a fictitious love story between me and Elvis Presley during the mid to late ’50s.

2.  Said novel mentioned in #1 was ripped to shreds during an argument.  I never revisited it.

3.  I won 3rd place in a beauty pageant when I was 15 years old.  I still have the trophy.

4.  My first car was a pastel yellow 1966 Ford Mustang.  Pony interior, 302 engine.  I should have never sold it.

5.  I wanted to be a veterinarian all of my life but Chemistry kicked my butt in college.

6.  I have almond-shaped blue eyes and brown hair.  Stop…reverse that.  It sounds like my hair is almond-shaped, too.  🙂  I know, always editing.

7.  I love to glass paint though I have yet to perfect the art.  It’s just fun.