Phyliss Miranda Asks: What’s on Your Bucket List?

give-me-a-texan_jodi_thomas_linda_broday_phyliss-miranda.jpgphyliss_miranda.jpgGood morning from Texas!  

One of the first things people want to know about a writer, besides where we get our story ideas, is how we got started.      

In the summer of 2001, I sat methodically underlining the word “change” with a red Sharpie. I doodled through a list of things I had on my bucket list. You know, the endeavors you want to do before you kick the bucket. Since I had buried my little sister at the age of fifty, I realized if I wanted to achieve my dreams, I had to get off high-center. Make a change; something I have difficulty with.

I took inventory: Conquer the guitar, skydiving lessons, rappelling, surfing, and writing a cookbook. I tossed the guitar idea, when I remembered how the thin strings burned my fingertips. I vigorously scratched off the extreme sports…leaving the cookbook as my best option. Now, this seemed a reasonable goal. Isn’t our first learned skill after holding a bottle, writing? All babies begin with food before graduating to crayons on the wall.

linda_broday_editor_hilary_jodi_thomas.jpgLuck beamed down. The catalogue for the local college arrived that very day. Obviously, God had sent a signal. I evaluated the offerings. The first thing I discovered, no “cookbook” writing classes! Hum? I pondered the listing. How about “Creative Writing”, taught by a New York Times best-selling author? Doable and challenging.  That’s it…I’ll write the Great American Novel, but where should I begin? Registration! I hurried and completed the paperwork. Afraid I’d miss the postman, I broke my personal best getting to the post office. Didn’t want to miss the first class.

Three weeks to wait. What now? I’d need supplies, right? With my credit card in tow, I scurried off to Office Depot.  Two hours later, I returned with an array of pens and pencils, a newly revised Webster’s dictionary and thesaurus, two spiral notebooks, and two reams of paper. Satisfied with myself, I plopped the bag of goodies on my desk. Maybe I should have purchased more paper, but if I couldn’t get a four hundred page novel written using a thousand sheets of paper, I’d better forget about becoming an author. 

books_on_desk.jpgAs if they were the Holy Sacraments, I placed the dictionary and thesaurus on my worktable. I sharpened the pencils and took out the notepads—one for my first book and the other for the sequel. I’ve always been a big thinker. If a little is good, a lot is better. That’s hunky-dory for dessert but a bit shaky for hand grenades and novels. There I sat with a dream in my heart, a dozen #2 pencils, and two empty notebooks. Add a lot of determination, and I had everything necessary to become a writer. Didn’t I? 

While I waited for the class to begin, I wondered what kind of assignment we would get? No doubt, it would  be exciting and exotic. I’d better think of a plot. A couple of dim-witted ideas surfaced. “How about my cousin who married his third wife’s sister by her father?” Too complicated, unless I wanted to write a soap opera. 

purple_boa.jpg“The Day” finally arrived. Off I trotted, toting my books and thoughts. What did a writer look like? Being a New York Times best-selling author sounded impressive, so I figured our teacher would be dressed like Barbara Cartland—wearing the Hope Diamond and a hat. Yes, one with purple feather plumes. She’d carry a Louis Vuitton bag full of her books just in case someone wanted her to autograph one.  I arrived on campus early, and chose a seat up front, so I could get a good look at a real author—truly a phenomenon. Entered our teacher, Ms. Jodi! A pert blonde, wearing a chic pantsuit with a bright scarf, floated through the door, bringing with her an unmistakable aura. Surely she was the greatest writer I had seen. But then, she was the only author I’d ever laid eyes on.  For the next hour, I perched on the edge of my seat spellbound. I’d been to the Tri-State Fair and the circus, but I had never seen anything like her.   

jodi_thomas_phyliiss_miranda.jpg“A book begins with an idea, plus many hours of labor and perspiration,” she said. I knew I could handle the perspiration, but I’d have to think about the hours of labor thing. I remembered labor only too well. It hurt like crazy, I couldn’t sit down for a week, and my husband disgusted me for three months. 

Then there was the “every bad character has a good trait—every good guy has flaws” theory. Add “a villain has reasons, and a hero has weaknesses,” and you have my schizoid cousin on one of her off days. “Let your mind wander!” Now, I certainly could do that. An idea is ”what if?” Isn’t that like: Where would my cousin be today, if her mother hadn’t slept with the milkman? The sponge from within absorbed every morsel of knowledge. 

lost_shoe.jpg“Now, for next week’s assignment,” said Ms. Jodi. My anxiety level kicked into full throttle. She was about to give us the mysterious spine-tingling subject for our first writing assignment. Excitement built.  A shoe on the side of the road! What in the hay? That wasn’t exotic or thrilling. It was boring. The only other word I could think of, without the thesaurus, was, well, boring!   

Quite intimidated, I walked away from my first class, recapping as I drove home. To become a writer, I had to perspire, let my mind wander, appreciate my schizoid cousin, remember my labor pains, and write a short story about a shoe.           

whatahunk.jpgAt home, I wrangled with the topic while I removed my makeup. Dang it, this writing thing might get complicated. To begin with, I had to find something unique about a shoe on the side of the road! How in the world could I tell my wonderful, supportive husband that my first story was about a shoe? When asked, I didn’t exactly lie. I professed it was about a nurse and policeman. They wear shoes, don’t they? 

Still dwelling on how I beat the truth around a stump, I crawled in bed. Sleep melded with story ideas and darted around me like a screensaver going awry. Suddenly, my eyes popped open. That’s it! That’s my story. I shot straight up and scurried off to my office. Correction, my little self-proclaimed cubicle in the sunroom. I didn’t know pajamas would become my creative wardrobe. Forget pencils and paper; boot that computer! I flipped on the lamp, hoping not to disturb my husband. Didn’t want him to think I’d become obsessive-compulsive. Later when Ms. Jodi told me, “You need an almost demonic compulsiveness to write,” it all made perfect sense. 

By candlelight—it was really a nightlight disguised as a mini table lamp, but candlelight sounds more like what a writer should say—I wrote my first short story…”Footprints on the Heart”. Yep, about a policeman and a nurse, and a shoe found on the side of the road. 

linda_broday_phyliss_miranda.JPGNow, six years later, this lackluster assignment brought me to my first release “Give Me a Texan,” which I co-authored with four talented, totally awesome friends: Linda Broday, Jodi Thomas, and DeWanna Pace. I’d love for you to check out book trailer and an excerpt on my website:  If you feel adventurous, follow the link to our cover model, Nathan Kamp, and all of his book covers. My excitement is just as real today as it was the day I attended my first writing class. No, I haven’t written the cookbook, but it’s still on my bucket list.  

And, as you’ve probably guessed, my teacher was USA Today and New York Times bestselling novelist, Jodi Thomas.

DRAWING: I’m giving away an autographed hardback copy of GIVE ME A TEXAN, signed by all four authors, AND a T-shirt with the cover on the front to one person whose name I’ll draw Sunday evening, so leave a comment!

So…what’s on your bucket list? 

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67 thoughts on “Phyliss Miranda Asks: What’s on Your Bucket List?”

  1. Hi Phyllis! What a cleverly-written blog. And congrats on your first release. You are in marvelous company with that anthology! My bucket list topper: going to Cape Cod. I am definitely not an extreme sports person or Rocky Mountain climber. Although I would like to see an eagle fly. Yes, that’s it. An eagle soaring.

  2. Well, thanks to Felicia Filly’s rescue squad, I pulled into Wildfire Junction at first light, in spite of those ornery mules. Waitin’ on me with a cup of coffee was Miss Tanya. Auh, Cope Cod, couldn’t be a better place to have on your bucket list. We have friends in Vermont, so when we visit, we all go to Cape Cod for a couple of days. I can almost taste the clam chowder. That’s always our first stop. One of my fondest memories, two years ago my husband and I went off alone and drove up to Provincetown and toured the ol’ lighthouses. Also, as you go into Provincetown there’s one of the oldest cemeteries in America and it sits right on top of a hill, really right in the middle of town. An awesome site to behold. Definitely, keep Cape Cod on your bucket list, Tanya. And, an eagle in flight … should be at the top. Thanks for stopping by and having some Arbuckles with me this beautiful morning. Hugs, Phyliss

  3. Good morning and welcome, Phyliss! And congrats on your first release. What an awesome cover to have for your first. 🙂

    On my bucket list … a trip to Scotland with my husband. I want to see the rolling hills and ancient castles that I love to read about. One of these days . . .

  4. Hi Phyllis!
    I enjoyed your story very much. I know as my children are getting older I’m starting to think of what I want to do when they are out on their own. When you think about it, there are so many things out there to explore. Well, I’m off to check out your website. Congratulations on the book.

  5. Ah do declare, Miss Phyliss, you’re creating quite a buzz here in Wildflower Junction! Just received a telegram from one of your friends in New York.

    This is what she says: “Hilary here (Phyliss’s editor in New York)…just so you know, Phyliss was spotted not too long ago roamin’ the high plains of Fifth Avenue and eyeballin’ some purty dresses at the Bergdorf Goodman Mercantile and sparkly rings-n-things at the Old Tiffany Gold-Diggers Mine & Trinket Emporium. And when it came to subways, she and Jodi Thomas needed only one word of advice to cope with rush hour in Manhattan: Stampede! She’s pure Texas, of course, but quite the traveler. Looking forward to seeing her and a lot of other good friends at the Big Texan and Sam’s Place too!”

    Miss Phyliss, if any more telegrams come in I’ll be sure to run ’em over to you. Have a good day.

  6. Hi Phyliss! Welcome to our little community of writers. I’m glad you’re here. Loved your blog subject. So funny. You always make me laugh, even when I particularly don’t want to. 🙂

    I’m going to talk about my bucket list in a little bit but while I get some coffee and get woke up, why don’t you tell everyone about your story in Give Me a Texan????

  7. Hi, Phyliss

    What a wonderful blog. I once thought I would love to write and did write poems in my teens but I seem to be just a great reader. I congratulate you on your book release. I am still looking forward to reading it. I love my shirt (husband, no so much).
    I guess the biggest thing on my bucket list would be a trip to Ireland. Always wanted to go.

    It is crazy but my sister and I was just having this conversation yesterday. Among my other things where to see Texas, Arizona & Montana. I have always wanted to see places especially history related.

  8. Sherry and Andrea,thanks for dropping by. You gals need to get together (with hubby’s of course). Ireland and Scotland. What wonderful places to visit. I can only imagine the rolling hills and castles. I’ve always been interested in history and love antiques, so wouldn’t castles be wonderful to explore? I think many historical readers are history lovers. And, Maureen, if someone would have told me early on that I’d be an author, I would have known they were a liar and wondered about their mother, too! One never knows what’s in store for them in life.

    Hi Sherry! I just realized it’s you … the winner of my contest for last month! Glad you got the shirt. I’ve been scratching my head for a few minutes here wondering “what shirt”? LOL Ladies love it, and honestly most men do, too, but not sure how many want a picture of a hunkaramius like Nathan on their significant other’s chest! Thanks for coming by. And, if you can’t visit all of your dream places right now, what better way to see them but through the eyes of an historical romance writer! Hugs, Phyliss

  9. Congratulations on your release. What an interesting blog which is uplifting and unique. I would love to travel. Never having had this opportunity I think that it is the most inspiring, and wonderful experience which is an education in itself. My destination would be Italy, concentrating on that entire gorgeous country and most of Southern Europe.

  10. Phyliss, I guess that is some of the reasons I read historical romance, to visit places I’ll never go. I just revisited your website and looked up the links to Nathan’s covers they are great. Not sure if I like him best as a pirate, indian or cowboy. Heck, I just like him. LOL!

    Sorry about throwing the shirt out there without a clue.

  11. Good morning Phyliss;
    Thanks for reminding us its never too late to experience life! Especially for women, as we keep doing for others while pushing our dreams to the back burner. (As I write this note my oldest son has picked this moment in time to tell me everything he knows about snake eggs.) I loved hearing about your road to being a published author, and I’m looking forward to reading many, many more of your books. As a sidenote, I just read this morning that Laura Ingalls Wilder was 65 when she published “Little House”. Great blog Phyliss. Oh, and the place on my bucket list is Alaska.

  12. Hi Phyllis,
    I enjoyed reading your heartwarming story which was lovely to learn about. Having your dream realized must feel extremely satisfying. I hope that you enjoy great success with further novels. My fascination with travel just began a few years ago and now I have the motivation to explore and would love to go to Italy, France and Spain.

  13. What a wonderful blog, Phyllis! I love hearing how other people have dipped their toes into the writing water, so to speak.

    I have so many things on my bucket list! First and foremost would be to finish “the book.” Second would be to see the aurora borealis, I think.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post. I’ll have to think more about my bucket list . . .

  14. Loved your blog today, Phyllis! Congrats on your first book. I enjoyed learning the background about your work and publishing success.
    I would love to take a Mediterranean Cruise. Travel was never an option and I think that it is important in learning, broadening our horizons and experiencing this world.

  15. Phyliss, I think my bucket list would involve the mountains of Colorado. I’d love to walk out on the front porch of my vacation home with a cup of coffee in my hand and look at tall pine trees, high mountains, hear the twill of birds, taste the fresh air, and know pure satisfaction.

    Another thing I want on my bucket list is to make the Times Bestseller List–go all the way to the top. And I’d like to win the lottery while I’m at it. Might as well think big. 🙂

  16. Now, Miss Felicia did all this build up about me being out in the prairie gettin’ to Wildflower Junction with two honyock mules leading the way … even sending a rescue party to get me here on time then comes along Miss Hilary sending a telegram letting you all know that she spied me on 5th Avenue in NYC not long ago. Well, part of this is true … I’ll let you all be the judge of what’s true and what’s not! That’s the good thing about being a writer, you can tell the tale the way it best fits the situation and not lie an iota. Yep, Jodi and I were in NYC during the Christmas season a year ago and really got the hang of the traffic pretty dang fast. Never in my life had I ever had to take a bus, a subway and then walk what seemed like ten miles to Kensington’s office! It didn’t take us long to tame the beast in the famous “A Train”, but I wore out my favorite pair of boots walkin’ around. NYC can surely make a woman poorly, walkin’ so much. We did learn the true meaning of “Stampede” but couldn’t have meet folks any nicer. Yep, I did a little gawking at some thingamajigs at Tiffany’s. We even saw a bull right there on Wall Street. A big one, too. And it ain’t the writer in me making that part up! Thanks for hollering, Hilary. See you next week. PS: For those not from around these here parts, The Big Texan Steak Ranch (home of the 72 oz steak fame) is where we’re having our official release party for “Texan” but our first official signing is that morning at Sam’s Club a/k/a Sam’s Place! Hugs, P

  17. This is my first ever time to put a comment on a blog, so I hope it works. Phyllis, I thoroughly enjoyed your bucket list. I started writing years ago, but now, at my advanced age, I’m trying to write long fiction & study the craft. That was #1 when I quit work 2 years ago. #2 is spend more time with grandkids. #3 is lose 15 more pounds. #4 is travel, travel- I have several places on my list for that. #5 is after I publish (this is me thinking positive) I would like to speak for classes, women’s retreats, etc. Oh well, God give me energy. Hope to meet you in Wichita Falls in Feb. when you come for booksigning. I think y’all’s web site is awesome & look forward to getting your books. Congrats from JKB

  18. Welcome Ruth, (my mama’s name. I love it.) You and Anne need to get together and go to Italy and Europe. I’d love to tag along. Think I’ll become a travel agent! I’ve not traveled far from the US, except Canada, Mexico, and the Bahamas. I don’t care for water (unless it’s on a beach with a Pina Colada in hand), so that really hampers my desires to travel anyplace where my feet aren’t on the ground (except to fly, but no water under me for long, as if it’d make a difference).
    And, Diane, I hope you get to take your Mediterranean Cruise someday and it’s as awesome as your dreams are. I couldn’t agree more that travel will expand ones horizons and make you see the world much differently than you once did.
    Oh, Linda, Colorado! I love the mountains, clean air, and just plain ol’ relaxation that the Rocky’s bring. And, I hope you reach each of your goals, especially the lottery then you can travel everywhere you want and hire a pool boy (maybe like our cover model) to bring you Margaritas and bonbons. Sherry, you are so right, our cover model is wonderful as an Indian, pirate or a cowboy. The total package! Go over to Karen Kay’s blog on January 15th “Medicine Men and Shamans”, Nathan is her cover model on “The Last Warrior” which comes out pretty soon. Man, this is one time I wouldn’t mind playing cowboys and Indians. I’m gonna go fix us some vittles, and will check back in a while. Thank you for dropping over for coffee and a visit. See you all after dinner.

  19. Welcome, Phyliss! What a fun post. I love hearing about other authors’ inspirations and journeys across that wild and winding road to publication 🙂 As for my bucket list, it’s to be a world traveler. I hope to take trips to Egypt, South America, Ireland, Australia…would love to tackle some of those while my boy are still at home, to give them a headstart on seeing the world 😉

  20. This was a great blog post and welcome! Congrats on the release and I look forward to reading many more from you!

    As for what is on my Bucket List…finish the TBR Mountain Range, but that’s not likely to happen…unless I quit buying or (GOD FORBID) romance authors quit writing. I also have a list of countries I want to travel to and visit…as well as visiting every state in the US. I want to travel more.

  21. Linda, I’d love to tell everyone a little bit about my part in “Give Me a Texan”. When we decided to do an anthology together, we had to decide on a central theme. A founding filly of this blog-site, Lorraine Heath,had just written “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” for Kensington, so we figured since they liked song titles, we’d do one too. Naturally, “Amarillo by Morning” by George S came to mind, especially since 3 of the 4 authors were raised here and still reside in Amarillo. We got our connection … every story had to have the H/H needing to get to Amarillo by Morning. I love the Texas Rangers and all the lawmen of the old west, but thought I’d like to write about heroes in other professions; thus the newspaper came to mind. For the life of me, I can’t remember why, but that’s how it began. But my hero still had to be a cowboy and a complete opposite of my heroine. Suddenly, I had Quinten Corbett who had become the editor of the Amarillo newspaper as a favor to his mentor (our sidekick, Monk), and to provide him money to get his ranch up and going again. The newspaper had recently been purchased by a Boston publisher. They demanded changes, and sends an apprentice, the owner’s grandchild, fresh out of Boston College. Quin is expecting a snot-nosed, shave-tail kid but is surprised when his new help shows up … all 112 pounds of ivory skin, and a scowl that could halt a gunslinger in mid-draw when she overhears him telling Monk everything he wouldn’t put up with from the new apprentice! The only thing he’s interested in, getting the paper to the folks of Amarillo by morning, but she sees things differently. The publisher bought the stories, and immediately changed the name to “Give Me a Texan” … which of course we love. So, that’s how we got this show on the road. Thanks for asking.

  22. Well, Miss Miranda, looks like you’ve received another telegram! My, my, but you’re a popular lady I do say.

    Here it is:

    “What a precious story. I laughed, sighed, and said “awe” a few times. No wonder you have grown from Shoe by the Side of the Road to Give Me a Texan. You’re good!” signed Molly

  23. Hi Phyllis, congrats on your release. Lets see whats on my bucket list. I would love to see the highlands of Scotland, but I don’t think that will ever happen. I want to see my son get through college, which he just started two weeks ago. The main thing is to get through life living confortable and have lots of books to read on the way and the time to read them. To live a fairly healthy life at least whats left of it.

  24. Hi Mary Beth and Janet, two of Linda and my RWA chapter members. Thanks for dropping by. I know you both will reach every goal you have set, because you are both awesome writers who work very hard to reach your goals. And Janet, I don’t see you as an “advanced age” person. Heck it’s all in how you feel about yourself (not considering what poor ol’ Arth Ritis sends along the way). As Natalie pointed out (Hi Natalie) Laura Ingalls Wilder was 65 when she published “Little House”! I didn’t know that. Nat, since you’re a writer too, you never know when the knowledge that your son showered you with this morning about snake eggs will come in handy! Above all, we all have to make time for our families while juggling a busy schedule whether you’re a mother, grandmother, professional or a combination thereof.

    And to Julie, I say … get that book finished! It’s your baptismal in fire. The first one is the easiest in so many ways, but I think it’s some of the best fun I’ve had in writing. I wrote a sequel and between the two I think they’re like 1,500 pages! WOW, did I ever get my back story in. The neatest thing though, somewhere along the line I learned that you needed to know everything about your main character’s background. In searching my antagonist’s reasons for being so ugly I discovered the characters that are now alive and well in several other books. Stick in there. I hope you see the aurora borealis, too. Hey, you and Nat could get together. She’s got Alaska in her bucket list. Gotta go have a glass of iced tea. Yep, in Texas…sweet tea, too! See you around. P

  25. Oh Phyliss! Love your blog today and Congrats on Give Me a Texan! I can’t wait to read it.

    I haven’t really started a bucket list, but of course the first thing on my list would be to get published, whether it’s only one of my novels or the whole kit and caboodle! Another thing would be to travel to Italy and Ireland. I hate water myself, but I would love to ride in a gondola, just once, with my husband. I think it would be terribly romantic.

  26. Hi Molly. Wish everybody could come over to my house and have a glass of tea. Thanks for having one with me in cyberspace, and for the kind remarks about our anthology. I bet anything you’d be the first in line to join Linda by the pool with the poolboy she’s gonna hire when she wins the lottery! Keep those dreams alive and well. Tarya Raye (my middle name is Ray), hope you reach every one of your dreams. Never, never give up on being published. I have other projects with Hilary before “Texan” and she wrote me more than once: the right project+the right time=success for all! That’s one of the things that kept me going. Don’t ever give up on your dream! Love, P

  27. Good afternoon, Phyllis. What a heart warming and inspiring blog post. I bet your granddaughter and your other family members are so proud of all you have accomplished. I lost my aunt last month who hadn’t even reached the age of sixty and it does make you think. I never thought about making a bucket list, but now I plan, too. The first thing on there is going to be to travel more. There are so many places in the romance stories I read that I’d love to visit. I’d like to learn how to ski, too.

  28. Gail, congrats on having a son in college! How proud you must be. It’s a long road to graduation, but it’s very rewarding when you see your son walk across that stage…and you have a little, well a lot, more disposable income when he’s out of school! As long as there are readers, they will always be writers. You all are the reason we write. Without you, we wouldn’t have a job.

  29. Kim, thanks for the kind words. One objective of most writers is to inspire, and my personal goal, if I can only make a difference in one readers life, it’s worth every rejection letter and gray hair in my head…well, frankly, gotta think about the gray hair thingie. I think one of the reasons I kept hope alive was when my younger daughter wasn’t too keen on my writing and told me pointedly that I’d never done a project long enough for it to become a hobby,much less a second career… so what made her think I’d become a writer! Well, that’s what you get for sending kids to college. My response, when she comes to my first booksigning, I’m going to ask her if her name, Jennifer, begins with a “J” or a “G”. And, I did! She’s really proud of her mama, though.

  30. Copngrats on your first book, Phyllis!
    I don’t have a bucket list. I am happy with my life the way it is and I have no desire to travel.

  31. Estella … that’s the way life should be! So many people worry about what could have been or what might come about instead of enjoying their life the way it is. What a great attitude, and thanks for your kinds words.

  32. Jennifer Y. I hope you travel to your heart’s desire and always take a romance novel with you! Thanks for comin’ in for a chat. And, Stacey, Egypt…WOW! Now that’s history to its fullest. I’ve always enjoyed traveling and it is a great learning tool for kids. Memories are made that way, so I also hope you get to be the “world traveler” you want to be, but don’t quit writing those stories. Well, Miss Felicia said I had to go take care of those mules, silly fools, so guess I’ll trot down and see what they are up to. Might stop off for a glass of sarsaparilla while I’m out. LOL

  33. Hi Phyllis. I loved reading your blog post. Congratulations on your new release. I really haven’t thought what would be on my bucket list.

  34. Oh that was a wonderful post. I give you so much credit for just going out and doing it. I’m a total coward and have no self confidence but hearing stories like this is always such a touching thing and I love the happy ending. Instead of a bucket list for me, I now have them for my children. One is engaged after graduating college and trying to find a job in her career choice and my other daughter is into “art” and after two years of community college is going to transfer. Actually art was the field I wanted to get into but seeing how much talent my youngest has gives me hope that she will make it in this field. Great post – thanks!

  35. Phyliss! Welcome, welcome! Forgive me for not popping in sooner. I thought about you all day–alas, we were out of town until about an hour ago. My brother-in-law is recovering from a stroke, and we went down to see him, and while there, swung by the university and spent some time with our daughter.

    Your blog was absolutely delightful! Great fun to read how you got started as a writer–and girl, you started with one of the best.

    So-o exciting that your first release is out. Enjoy, enjoy!! Your hard work and perseverance has paid off!

  36. Hi Phyllis,
    Sorry I’m late, I’m on west coast time though and had a very busy day, but I wanted to say Welcome officially to Petticoats. You’ve moseyed on over often and it’s great to see your blog today. I love your website and the book trailer. Wishing you much success! I write and love Texans too!There’s nothing like seeing your book on the shelf. I hope it’s a great experience for you!

  37. Miss Phyliss, I have another telegram for you. We’ve really kept the path hot today going back and forth between the meetin’ hall and the telegraph office. It’s sure been fun though.

    Here ’tis: “Stopping by to say hello. Can’t wait to read what you wrote.”

  38. Crystal, thanks for stopping over, and don’t worry, not everyone has a bucket list. I think most of us are too busy to jot something down with family responsibilities and all. Jeanne, family is everything, and I can see you are proud of yours. WTG, girl. Pam, thanks for the welcome, and I hope your brother-in-law has a quick recovery. And, yes, I’ve been very fortunate to have a great mentor and wonderful writing friends to keep me on track … sometimes with a hug and others times with a kick in the backsides. I think all writers need a little of both in just the right proportions. Charlene, thanks for the nice welcome and comments on my web-site. Before I even had a contract, or was near one for that matter, I’d go the bookstore and find the place where I imagined my books would be shelved and moved others around, so I could see exactly where mine would be. I bet I’m not the only author who has done that. What a grand feeling. I was more excited when I saw my character’s name on the cover than my own name. And, thanks to each of you for your comments and hospitality.

  39. Well, ladies, I think it’s about time to meander over to the bunkhouse and check up on my lazy mules. (Honestly, I’m fixin’ to go in and watch the PBR!) I’ll be back come sunup and hope to visit some more with you all. Had a great day chattin’ and everyone sleep well. Love, Phyliss

  40. How exciting to have your first book released! Congratulations!!! What a great title for the book…I can see myself now, I’ll go up to the bookstore counter and tell them to “Give Me a Texan!” And wouldn’t I be surprised if behind the counter out came a handsome cowboy ready for me to take him home…LOL..but I guess only in my dreams! I’ll have to settle for the book 🙂 🙂

  41. Hi Phyliss!
    I’m so excited about your book coming out, and that I’ve gotten to know you a little bit. Sorry I missed checking in earlier today while you were chatting – two of the things on my bucket list that are very homespun are learning to weave and learning to throw a pot! Don’t know why, as I was born without the decorating gene. Writing and getting a book published used to be on that list, but it slipped off for a while. Knowing wonderful writers like you and your co-authors on Give Me A Texan is about to get it back, tho!
    Hope to see you on the 2nd at the Big Texan!

  42. Phyliss, I loved your post. It unfolded just like a great story.
    My bucket list….you know, I need to start one.
    Mostly at this point in my life it’s about beautiful natural things I’ve never seen. Mountains (I’ve seen enough to want more) Forests, redwoods, I’d like to spend time in Washington D.C.
    I’d like to see the pyramids in Mexico, but also the most ancient things in the world. the really ancient things really fascinate me.

  43. Great post! Things on my bucket list: to drive to all 49 (can’t drive to Hawaii!) states and visit the capitals; check out Hawaii; go on an Alaskan cruise; vacation in Australia, Great Britain and Spain; play in a poker tournament in Las Vegas…. I could go on and on and on.

  44. Whow did I enjoy reading this. Also could kick myself because I want to write but keep finding all kinds of excuses to put it off. With income tax season approaching, I am thinking even more serious about taking the writing course I’ve almost took two or three times. I had surgery which postponed a lot but recovery time would have been an excellent time. I wrote memories for my girls I want to make into a book for them.
    I’ve researched author after author’s site. I voted by the way for your book. Congratulations.
    God Bless.

  45. Good morning Wildflower Junction! Thanks Miss Felicia for getting those telegrams to me, appreciate it. Laura, I believe this collection of stories appeal to women of all ages. It certainly not something I’d be afraid for my precious 92 year old mother-in-law to read. She’d get a kick out of it, and loves to listen to my plotting and research. Kathleen, (one of my favorite names, and it actually appears in my story) you’re too funny! That kinda reminds me of some of the TV ads right now. One in particular, women are looking in a mirror and they all are slim and cute, then a man comes up from behind and he’s a hunk and a half … but in reality they are just folks like you and me. Well, I don’t know about you, you’re probably slim and most assuredly cute; however,those days for me went away with polyester. But buy the book, two in fact just in case somebody steals one from you because of the cover, and maybe the cover will come to life, hopefully with the picture we painted in the stories. And, yes my first release is exciting! Thanks ladies, for gettin’ my day started off right … with humor!

  46. I am anxious to read your new book coming out next week. I’ve enjoyed the articles Painting The Town Red and The Shoe very much. You seem to be a lady of many talents and the one I really admire is that you’ve raised two beautiful daughters…inside and out. On my bucket list.. Oh so many!!! I think visiting England would be my choice of travel although I’ve never seem our own New England States here and hear they are beautiful. Good Luck on your new book and those that follow. Your think big and I know your thinking of th next one already! I also enjoy knowing your good for a laugh!

  47. I like the way Kathleen thinks. “Give me a Texan please. Yes, the one with the abs.” Read a prerelease ladies and it is fabulous. Congratulations and keep enjoying yourself.
    My bucket list? River Rafting, Europe, and Mardi Gras. I think it’s obtainable.

  48. Linda, you have an interesting item on your bucket list. I understand the weaving but learning to throw a pot … thought that came naturally to any married woman. Fill us in. Thanks for coming by and by the way, Linda, is the brains inside my web-site. Gotta know more about the pot throwing dream, so hope you’ll write back and tell us.

    Mary C, I love your comment about “beautiful natural things”. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit a few of the places you mentioned, the Red Woods via an antique train in California for one, but the pyramids in Mexico isn’t a place I’ve thought of before. Now, I’ll have to add it to my own list. Ladies, thanks for stopping by.

  49. Before I do the drawing for the book and T-shirt, I’m going to go back and calculate the various places you all want to visit and will post the top winner and a runner up later today.

  50. I enjoyed your blog but the comment you made of your Schizod cousin brought particular interest. Is that possibly an upcoming plot for another book? Tell us more about this cousin!

  51. Oops! Phyliss, this is why you’re the writer and I’m not – I think I HAVE thrown a few pots in that sense! I have watched potters slap a chunk of sloppy wet clay down on a spinning wheel, and with just a little guidance from fingers and thumbs produce a beautifully shaped pitcher – and then apply something as mundane as a comb to the new shape, and create wavy texture. As a creative process it FASCINATES me – plus I’ve always enjoyed playing in the mud!
    As I get older, I find that I treasure ALL kinds of creativity more than ever -whether it’s a well-prepared meal, a child’s drawing, or a an apt turn of phrase. Phyliss, I think your story captures that creative drive beautifully!

  52. Linda, that really fascinates me. I probably am the only one here that hadn’t heard the phrase. WOW what a great goal. It is amazing how a potter works with his hands. Thanks for the explanation and helping me understand.

  53. Oh my stars, darling! You’ve gotten two more telegrams. I swear, you’re more popular than a piece of juicy watermelon to a bunch of flies!

    Vicky writes: “I love the way you write. You bring compassion when it’s needed as well as the laughter where it belongs! I wish you the best!”

    I’ll deliver the next one in just a minute, Miss Phyliss.

  54. Here’s the second telegram today, Miss Phyliss.

    Reader writes: “I caught a comment you made of your schizoid cousin…Now that might be a good idea for an upcoming book…. Tell us more about this cousin.”

    Miss Phyliss, I can’t help wondering if this isn’t your cousin?? 🙂

    Take care now, and don’t break a fingernail.

  55. Gosh and by dern, I hope my cousin isn’t out there doing email no telling what she’ll tell you all about me.

    On a very serious note, I wrote that article that was the basis for my blog years ago. My sister, who I referred to my the article, was mentally challenged and I have total understanding and sympathy for anyone faced with such challenges in their live and family. So, I do want to say hats off to those who are caretakers for a loved one in need.

    Now back to some tomfoolery. Bluecat, you hit a nerve with me…poker tournament in Las Vegas. WOW what a neat thing to want to do. I love the slots and enjoy some Five Card Stud (just like that name, I think) but have never played live poker. How cool!

    Thanks Carol for stopping by. Kimmy and Jennifer, good eyesight! The cover is no doubt hot. During the development phase, I was concerned that we’d get a cover with a background that was nothing like the Texas Panhandle. When I got the first .jpg, I wrote Hilary raving about the topography. She wrote back “…he does have great topography, doesn’t he!” What a hoot to have such a wonderful and talented editor.

    I’ve added river rafting and Mardi Gras to the list of favorite bucket list places to visit. I’m off to sit under a cottonwood and think about what great readers and writers we have out … that’s why we all write!

  56. Congrats on Give Me a Texan! Can’t wait to read it! I love cowboys, Texans and anthologies- a great combination! 🙂

  57. Eva, do you ever have it right, a reader can’t go wrong selecting an anthology, particularly one with cowboys and Texans in it, but then I’m kinda biased. Thanks, Vicky for meandering over and visiting. New England is a beautiful part of the country, but I’m not sure I have a part that I really don’t like, because every region has it’s own beauty. As far as the next anthology, it’ll be out next year around this time and it’s called “Give Me a Cowboy”, same four authors, and it’s about an 1890 Texas rodeo. Linda Broday and I decided to write our stories parallel, so my heroine is the daughter of her heroine and we had a lot of fun seeing things from two different points of view … just like all of us who have daughters know. And, yes, I’m not sure who asked, but I have two daughters and seven grandkids, who are the light of my life. So, see … you aspiring writers, even a Granny can get published! Ms. Johnson, sorry about those nails! -:)!

    I tried to answer everyone’s questions and probably told you more than you wanted to know. If I overlooked anyone, I apologize. I didn’t intend to. There were so many good answers and questions, it was hard to keep track. I’m gonna skedaddle (and can you believe word check doesn’t recognize skedaddle as a word, but it does now cause I just added it.) Going to check on those mules and get ‘um hitched up and ready to head back to Amarillo. Fixin’ to see where the most popular place to visit is, so I can add it to my bucket list. Be back later with the answer. Phyliss

  58. Phyliss. throughly enjoyed visiting with you and all the others especially on their favorite places on their Wish-List to visit before Kickin’ Yhe Bucket

  59. I guess it’s time to say farewell and get ready to head out at first light or I won’t be back home in time for our big shindig in Amarillo this coming weekend. Thank you, each and every Filly would joined in on the shenanigans of the weekend. I hope you all come away with something that will make you smile when you least expect it. Follow your dreams and don’t ever give up. I really enjoyed getting to know you all and sharing some laughs and memories with some special friends…old and new.

    And, a huge thank you for the Founding Fillies for inviting me over to sit a spell. You’re a wonderfulmus bunch of ladies who deserve big pats on the back for doing such a great job with this site. Oh by the way, I’ve never owned a pair of cowboy boots in my life, but it just seemed to be the thing to say at the moment … privilege of writing fiction!

    Believe it or not, we had 26 different countries and regions of the United States that people have on their bucket list of places they want to see before they kick the bucket. I pray each of you get to see at least one of them. And the winner was Ireland with Scotland coming in a close second.

    Dream your dreams and always find time for love. Love and hugs to all, Phyliss

  60. CONGRATULATIONS, Mom, on your book and this blog looking like the start of your fan club! I am very proud of you for making this happen through your hard work, creativity, dedication and determination!! You’re an amazing role model –well, except for the fact that you gave your grandchildren book covers featuring a half-naked, hunky man. I had to confiscate them all and keep them “safe” on my bulletin board where I can check on them several times a day. : ) Anyway… Looking forward to meeting Jodi and your other talented co-authors this weekend.

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