Eva’s Byte #200 – Bicentennial “Best of” Blog Bytes

In celebration of my 200th blog milestone, I’m citing excerpts from five of my favorite Blog Bytes—every single one originally published on my web page at Authors Den (2015 – 2019).  By the way, the bytes I’ve chosen have nothing to do with my writing career.

Eva’s Byte # 19 – That Which Kills Me!

If I weren’t concerned about health risks, impaired judgement, premature aging, an expanding waistline, tarnished reputation, threats to my well-being, serving prison time, financial ruin, compromising longevity, or suffering my soul to eternal damnation—you can be sure, I’d embrace hedonism wholeheartedly by indulging in that which kills me and makes my life worthwhile! A for instance:

I’d beef it up by eating Texas burgers more often, enjoying the sumptuous repast of ½ lb. ground sirloin topped with melted cheddar, bacon slice, onion ring, and barbecue sauce on a bun.

Honky tonk dives, here I’d come—those joints from yesteryear where smoking and drinking were suitably mated until ordinances took effect nationwide in every public place. I didn’t smoke or drink in excess, but loved the ambience. Go figure.

Eva’s Byte #22 – Swingers!

Ring-a-Ding-Ding!

The 1961 album by Frank Sinatra which included only up tempo swing numbers, one of them “Ring-a-Ding-Ding,” is an apropos opening for the swingers I’m about to zing.

Ding!

I’m referring to those callous, careless, cowardly individuals who leave behind their anonymous calling card of a ding or scratch on your vehicle, adding insult to injury from the forceful, wide-arc swing of their own car door when getting in or out of their heap of steel parked next to yours.

 Eva’s Byte #35 – Leopard

The spotted leopard print is both bold and timeless, as attested through our cruise down memory lane. My sister and I recalled the numerous times our Aunt Evelyn chauffeured my mother and us two kids around in her 1959, coral and white, batwing Impala, invariably wearing her leopard coat in winter.  Spreading the conversation forward, my cousin Gail remembered her mother, my Aunt Angie, had a leopard coat and matching accessories. The spots stop there! My cousin Deborah revealed that her mom, my Aunt Viola, wasn’t a leopard aficionado.  While my mother admires leopard print, my sister and I never spotted leopard lurking in her clothes closet. However, she does have a pair of leopard reading glasses.

An animal pattern that comes in a variety of colors and iterations, leopard rounds out a wardrobe by adding glamour and sex appeal. Leopard must be worn in moderation. Paired or “pard” with black, it’s the cat’s meow!

 Eva’s Byte #42 – That One Thing!

Do you know what the secret of life is? (Holds up one finger)

One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean **it. (A Curly quote from City Slickers, 1991)

Enough said!

Eva’s Byte #45 – Letting Go

Letting go is not easy for me. If a fine line exists between hanging on to things and hoarding, I’m straddling the line by not letting go of things past their prime.  Not bearing to throw away pretty soap boxes, I incorporate them into my décor.  Reluctant to part with empty perfume bottles for their design and for the precious dregs trapped inside, my glass goddesses stand sentinel on a bureau.  Treasuring my vintage designer bags, I’ve tucked them away for safekeeping in a closet.

Forget about letting go of a grudge! Should anyone cross me, they’re crossed off my list.  There’s no crossing the Rubicon where I’m concerned.  A Michael Corleone character quote from The Godfather puts it succinctly, Sicilianly, and squarely – “You’re nothing to me now!”

Ciao for now…

 Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Eva’s Byte #193: Determined!

In retrospective review, I’m proud to share that by the end of 2018:

My Contemporary, An Enlightening Quiche (2016), merited the following awards:

2018 Golden Book Award – 3rd Place Winner

2017 New Apple Annual Book Award: “Official Selection”

2017 SIBA 1st Place – Best Contemporary

2017 ATAI (Authors Talk About It) 5-Star Badge

2016 Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Seal

*1st for Books Set in Rhode Island (Goodreads Listopia)

My Nonfiction Memoir, 100 Wild Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s (2017), merited the following awards:

2018 New Apple Summer eBookAwards for Excellence in Independent Publishing: Solo Medalist Winner

2018 TopShelf Award Finalist in the Category of Memoirs (Other)

In 2019, I’m determined to further my WIP, resuming from chapter 16. By nature, writing is a slow process for me, often further exacerbated by life’s hairpin turns over which I have no control. Que sera sera!

No one from any walk of life is exempt from strife and setbacks which hinder our goals.

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” (Vince Lombardi)

Therein lies my determination to roll with the punches on my terms and timeframe.

Best wishes for a prosperous and productive year ahead!

 Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Eva’s Byte #192: On Thin Ice!

Separate and apart from my life as a writer/published author—most days I’m skating on thin ice. When you’re a caregiver, and I’m not even as hands-on as others who wear the crown, you live by the creed, “When you least expect it…”

Such was the case on Christmas Eve, infiltrating Christmas: pondering whether or not a trip to the ER was called for. The mid-morning stabilization provided a reprieve for two people who avoided languishing in the hospital for hours on end. This unexpected pardon enabled me to embrace a semblance of inner peace and harmony, providing relief from the doldrums.

Each of us has our own reference point to rally from. When you’re skating on thin ice, you truly appreciate a lifeline when you least expect it, and when you need it the most.

As for the fate of my characters who reside in the genre of Contemporary, there are those who succumb, and those who survive the perils of skating on thin ice. Such is life.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Eva’s Byte #191: Redefining the Magic of Christmas

As cited in Memoir #68 – The Magic of Christmas (100 WILD Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s; 2017) For a child growing up during the Sixties, it took over seven million twinkling lights illuminating Edaville Railroad to open my eyes wide and flood my heart with holiday magic.

Despite the passage of time and all the changes it has wrought—some for naught, it’s in my best interest to redefine the magic of Christmas. I achieve this by focusing on the true meaning of the holiday which incorporates themes of healing, harmony, renewal, and good will towards others.

Nowadays, I redefine the magic of Christmas by blending the old with the new:

My heart is illuminated from basking in the warm glow of precious family memories, many of them recaptured in my nonfiction collection. My heart glows from the inner peace attained by living life on my terms.

May each of us redefine the magic of Christmas to accommodate our own set of beliefs and circumstances.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Eva’s Byte #190: A Holly Jolly!

Have a holly, jolly Christmas
And in case you didn’t hear
Oh by golly have a holly jolly Christmas
This year

(Lyrics from “A Holly Jolly Christmas” written by Johnny Marks in 1962)

Is the sugar-spun notion of a “holly jolly” Christmas unrealistic?

Before his redemption, Ebenezer Scrooge thought so: “If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart!”

An Indie author who aspires to the assertion, “art imitates life”—I’m inclined to agree.

Although Christmas is an integral part of my Contemporary, An Enlightening Quiche, realism jingles all the way from the perspective of my protagonist, Augusta Bergeron:

A vision of myself as a ghoul from Christmases Yet to Come appeared in the guise of a long-in-the-tooth trollop flicking fried-dyed hair and wearing age-inappropriate, skintight attire tautly stretched over my butt of a joke. A comparable image satirized every night by Cohen at closing time inside the chamber of Chuggers put the fear of God in me.

‘Tis the season to indulge in a reprieve from the doldrums and humdrum. Against my better judgement, I indulge a Hallmark movie from time to time, in willing suspension of disbelief.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Eva’s Byte #189: Home Sweet Home

Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays,
‘Cause no matter how far away you roam,
When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze,
For the holidays, you can’t beat home, sweet home.

*From: “(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays”; published: 1954; best-known recordings by Perry Como

The lyrics may hold true for many of us. For some, heading home for the holidays is stressful. Assuming there’s no place like home, where exactly is “home” for the rest of the year?

If home is where the heart is, I feel at home in my native state of Rhode Island which affords me access to the ocean, my favorite place to be. Throughout my childhood and young adulthood, I felt at home in the town of Lincoln. In that regard, I’m glad I preserved details of the past by writing/publishing my nonfiction memoir collection, 100 Wild Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s (2017).

I never felt at home in South Kingstown where I resided for 15 years because most of that stretch was spent out of town during my teaching career. These days, while my abode is homey, I can’t say I feel at home in the town of East Providence either, a stranger among many who keep to ourselves in an apartment complex.

I’ve come to believe that “home sweet home” is not tied to any particular place. It’s a headspace where we bask in the sunshine as we define it. Until we’re comfortable in our own headspace, books provide an outlet for us to lose and find ourselves while homeward bound.

 Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

 

Eva’s Byte #187: In Gratitude for “Enough”

One who knows firsthand how life can turn on a dime so things are no longer quite the same, I’ve learned to pivot from the notion “this is as good as it gets”.

A pragmatist, cynic, and skeptic rolled into one, I’m grounded in gratitude for the blessings of having “enough”.

Since money is the great enabler, having enough enables me to take care of the bare necessities: paying bills, putting food on the table, filling up the gas tank and maintaining my vehicle.

Without going off the deep end, having enough allows me to indulge in superfluous, simple pleasures I never take for granted: going to breakfast or lunch; having fresh flowers in a vase on my dining room table at all times;  getting my hair styled at the salon.

An Indie author who dreams of becoming a best-seller, it’s enough for me to sell a book every now and then. I’m filled with pride and gratitude for each merit badge my books have earned for their literary merit.

Retired, I’m grateful for having enough time to ply my creativity to white space for my work in progress to grow in spurts. As for my imagination—I’ve more than enough to further this novel in the genre of Contemporary to the end.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Eva’s Byte #184: Nom de Plume

Why do published authors choose to assume a pen name or pseudonym?

There are various reasons, and mine certainly has nothing to do with insulating myself from “aggressive fans stalking me”. My anonymity is intact wheeling a shopping cart at the supermarket in my own neighborhood.

Even as an aspiring writer ten years ago, before realizing how difficult it would be for an Indie author to rise above the ashes of obscurity, I had made the conscious decision to take a nom de plume. One who values privacy, I like the separation between my personal and professional life.

Oh, I’ll admit to conjuring up a pseudonym indicative of a romance writer—which I’m not, preferring to write in the genre of Contemporary where I include romance amidst weightier issues. Ready? Halo Rhodes.  “Halo” was part of the user name I maintained at a perfume forum. “Rhodes” represented my native state of Rhode Island.

In keeping with the realistic “lit with grit” I write, eventually I came to my senses and assumed a pen name based on the emotional consideration of honoring my parents—that of Eva Pasco.

On every Acknowledgement Page, I pay them homage:

As always, heartfelt thanks to:

My mother and namesake, Eva, for her unwavering faith and pride in my literary accomplishments cultivated by reading stories to me when I was a toddler.

My late father and namesake, Pasco, for the independent streak he instilled in me.

 

*To assume or not to assume a nom de plume, is the writer’s prerogative.

 

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Eva’s Byte #183: Resilience!

On October 23, 2018, a tornado made its touchdown in my childhood neighborhood, less than a half-mile from my former home on Angell Rd. in Lincoln, Rhode Island. One of the newer plats off of Angell, on Riata Dr., sustained downed power lines, uprooted trees, shorn roofs, and weighty windblown debris strewn helter-skelter. Miraculously, no one was injured by a tornado that gave little warning for preparation when it approached.

So, how does this tie in with my weekly blog which primarily relates to writing?

An Indie author who strives to make a touchdown—scoring readers and reviews for my published novels—over the years I’ve expanded my writing repertoire to increase my likelihood of gaining more contacts. In that vein, I’ve written memoirs, essays pertaining to Rhode Island, and recollections of the Sixties.

Of all the many important universal themes conveyed in literature, my novels included, “resilience” strikes a chord with readers. Due to the unprecedented tornado which occurred after I’d written my latest memoir published on my web page at Authors Den, it’s the perfect fit for this week’s blog.

On that note, an excerpt from “Still Standing”:

Standing strong against time…

The three stone walls my father built at the edge of our front lawn nearly 60 years ago!

In 1962, my father built three stone walls at the edge of our front lawn, not so much for a boundary line, though they certainly contained and defined our property. But, rather to serve as retaining walls to obstruct the devastating effects of run-off and erosion that accompanied heavy downpours. A part-time project my father engaged in after work and during weekends, this summer endeavor stretched into autumn. His venture evolved into an obsession which recruited the labor force of my mother, sister, and me to gather stones.

As of today, those three stone walls still hold their ground, resilient, for having withstood the pummeling of hurricanes, blizzards, and a tornado that touched down on Angell Rd., October 23, 2018.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Eva’s Byte #182: The Horror of Self-Revelation!

The celebration of Halloween nears, festooned with the likes of costume parties, carving pumpkins, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, watching horror films, and telling scary stories.

Personally, I embrace the element of “horror” all year long. More preferable to me than slashers, growlers, or biters—the psychological horror of self-revelation.

An Indie author who writes “lit with grit” in my primary genre of Contemporary, I expose the emotional vulnerabilities and fears of my characters by revealing the darker parts of their human psyche they’ve either repressed or denied.

I take perverse pleasure in creating discomfort or dread through artistic realism:

From Chapter 15, Underlying Notes ((First Printing – 2007; Second Printing – 2009; available: Kindle Edition @Amazon) :

Carla: This marked the end of the worn trail I had advanced and retreated on over the years, too fearful to pass beyond that point into the untamed wilderness that was booby trapped with prickles and thorns. Mindlessly fanning pages of a magazine induced a hypnotic state empowering thistles, blackberry bushes, and wild roses to unleash their fury and stake their claim by tearing at my flesh as I forged past them. The devil’s fetid breath tainted the rose note in Paloma Picasso so she no longer wafted nostalgic enchantment, but spiraled into the nightmarish twist of cloying entrapment. Underlying notes of patchouli and oakmoss flanked the fickle rose, intimidating her to convey the ripe earthiness of a freshly hollowed grave.

I brushed aside tree branches that had shielded me from the vacant stare of death and gingerly made my way past protruding tree roots and ruts along the unmarked trail to that cabin in the woods numbered 237—my father’s barbershop. Just as I willed myself to turn the handle to open the Fury’s door back then, I would summon the courage to do so again surrealistically…

 *What are your preferences in the genre of horror?

 Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco