May your cow kneel, a Christmas blessing

Okay, bear with me.  Like many, many people I’ve been feeling depressed and fearful over the daily horror show that is the president-elect – his strange, awful fascination with nukes, the blaring headlines with Russia! China! Obamacare! Muslim registry! And on and on.


Tossed into the mix is the piercing loneliness I feel every holiday season that my partner/best friend/love of my life is no longer walking this earth.  Like the protective covering I’ve used for the past five years is shredded.


My writing is not going well, and I’ve missed deadlines.


Then this morning, I woke up thinking it was 4 or 5 a.m.  On the TV (yes, I fall asleep with the TV on) was an old b&w movie I’d never seen. Normally, I’d turn over and fall back asleep but this one caught my attention. It was called Tenth Avenue Angel during the part when the pregnant and sick mother tried to soothe her daughter (who had just broken her cow bank) and said it wasn’t broken because cows kneel on Christmas when they feel the Christmas blessing.

The kid believed, for a second, then asked the mom if she’d ever seen a cow kneel and, props to mom here, she says no. Later, after more lies are revealed, kid runs off upset that everyone lies to her, mom falls down the stairs, yada yada yada.

At the end, though, I found myself crying with hope for this little girl and her Christmas blessing.  So, on Christmas Eve morning I have hope that…somehow…. that our politicians will rein in (or impeach) the prez and work for the people they represent.

Yes, I still miss Steve but this Christmas I’m so much stronger than that first Christmas so I know I am healing and heading in the right direction. This tiny happiness is enough.

I’m going to work like hell and finish this story and further vow to protect my writing time like it’s the gold it is.

This right here is my Christmas blessing and I’m deeply grateful to be reminded of this by an old movie in the wee hours of the morning. The cow kneeled.

The oddest part of all this is that it was actually after 6 a.m. , a half hour after my alarm goes off (which it didn’t or I have absolutely no memory of turning it off). If I’d known what time it was I would have gotten up like usual and missed this perspective shift entirely.

Christmas blessings to everyone! May your cows kneel.


Cover Reveal: Luminous Dreams by Alexa Piper

Cold winter is just around the corner but take heart…and heat (fans self), readers, because so is Luminous Dreams by Alexa Piper. Her seductive collection of stories arrives December 13th. And the cover reveal is NOW!


It’s eerily beautiful, right?

Relax, close your eyes . . . and dream.

Nine tales, nine sensual dreams of enchantment, wanderlust and lovers’ longings, of searching and finding; these dreams tell of birds of fire, curses that lie like bridges between night and day, and hunger for sweet seduction.

For those daring to dip their toes into the steamy waters of paranormal erotica, here are the links:

World Weaver Press



About The Author:   Alexa Piper enjoys writing, romance, and the paranormal. This said, becoming a paranormal romance writer seemed perfectly reasonable, but for Alexa, it is more than that; it’s fun. Alexa’s work has appeared in the anthologies Demons, Imps, and Incubi and The Naughty List. Luminous Dreams is Alexa’s first collection, and she hopes her readers will have as much fun reading it as she had writing it. Check out Alexa’s online home ( for all things related to her writing and be sure to follow her on Twitter @prowlingpiper.


The Writer’s Job Description



WANTED: Writer

The world is looking for an organized and motivated writer to entertain, inform, and affect us. Candidate should be able to elicit a wide range of emotions at the stroke of a few keys.

Skills and Abilities:

Must be proficient in a wide range of plot choices and tropes as well as character quirks and flaws – but make sure they aren’t  too flawed or quirky.

Self motivated, independent and highly-driven to get the words just right is strongly preferred…in the editing stage. In actual writing the eh-eff-it-it’s-good-enough-for-now words are, well, good enough for now.

.An aversion to adverb-filled dialogue tags and purple prose is a plus.

Capability to slaughter your darlings mercilessly with minimal tears is required. And by slaughter I mean move to a Cut or Delete file to use on another WIP. Jeez, we’re not monsters here.


  • Maintain extensive knowledge of your characters’ jobs, quirks, personalities, nicknames, clothing preferences, hair and eye colors from two books ago if writing a series.
  • If writing romance, ability to keep track of body parts is a must (avoid the oops he’s got three hands scene). If writing sci-fi, ability to keep track of species, planets, etc. is a must. If writing fantasy, ability to…you get the picture.
  • Elicit customer satisfaction on the endings – if you’re gonna leave a reader hanging on a cliff, a heads up is essential. You can leave them crying or leave them laughing, just leave them satisfied.


Familiarity with grammarology is required. They’re/their/there are not interchangeable.  Ditto for your/you’re.  Those who think otherwise need not apply. You may also silently correct other people’s grammar. To do it out loud is a writer faux pas, also known as being an asshole.

Must be proficient in Word or Scrivener or similar writing program. Long hand scribbling on yellow legal paper is fine but no editor or agent will touch that, so learn it, love it, and BACK THAT SHIT UP. Trust me.  *sighs* June 27, 2016, the day I lost it all (well, most).

Words that strike fear into a writer’s heart: hard drive unreadable. Omg BACK UP YOUR SHIT


Must be able to lift 30 pounds of ideas daily and discard 29 pounds nightly without crying…much.

Flexibility to work nights, days, weekends, and lunch hours at our day job for little pay. Enjoy!


Ability to go days without showering. Maybe that’s just me?

Must maintain plentiful stash of coffee, brain food i.e. peanut M&Ms, and a variety of alcoholic beverages on hand during the sprint to deadline. This task can be passed off to family members who may be frightened of you during this time and looking for an escape anyway.

Proven experience leading and implementing a project across multiple locations, fancy talk for extensive travel to coffee shops, backyards, and libraries with laptop (or yellow legal pads and multiple pens) will be required.

But that moment when the story comes together – omg

It. Is. Bliss.


That makes it the best job in the world.  Lucky, lucky us.


This (now updated) post originally appeared on the awesome Em Shotwell’s blog June 2016. She’s the author of Blackbird Summer. Check her out at

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