Liz Durano

Share Your World – Week 11

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It’s time for Share Your World hosted by Cee’s Photography, and these are the questions for Week 11. Can you believe how the weeks are just flying by?

If a distant uncle dies and you were always his favorite and leaves you $50,000 (any currency) in his will, what would you do?

I’d pay all my debts and put all but 10% into some kind of savings account—or at the rate the world is going maybe hide it under my mattress, who knows. And then it’s business as usual with that 10%. Maybe a bit of travel which would probably use up the 10% pretty quickly with the family in tow.

What sound or sounds do you love?

I like the sound of a babbling brook or the wind rustling the leaves. When I went to Sun Valley, Idaho one summer, I couldn’t believe that one didn’t need a sound machine to hear that babbling brook sound because where I stayed, they were kinda everywhere. Same with Nevada City, California where little streams that fed into the Yuba River snaked through this one property where I stayed for about two weeks. Add the sound of the wind ruffling the leaves and it was bliss.

What’s your middle name?  Why?

My mom named me after her favorite actress, Elizabeth Taylor and the character Liz played in National Velvet. So I have both her names. But for years, my mom told me that she had actually named me after the horse and it wasn’t until I saw the movie when I was about 22 when I learned that the horse’s name was Pie.

 

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I always marvel at my son’s ability to entertain himself after school, just before we head to the car. Sometimes he plays with other kids and sometimes he just plays by himself while I talk to his behavioral aide about how his day went. On Friday, they had a treasure hunt for St. Patty’s Day. Apparently, leprechauns left glitter around the campus along with glittery green and gold shamrocks. So now we have them all over the house as well…

Share Your World: Week 10

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Here we go for the tenth week of Share Your World hosted by Cee Photography! Here are this week’s questions:

What did you or did not like about the first place you lived without your parents?

I liked being independent. Not having to worry about coming home late and getting punished for missing curfew. I was the only one with a curfew as my older and younger brother could stay out all night and no one blinked. But one thing I hated about the apartment where we lived (my two brothers moved out with me) were the rats that were bigger than cats. We lived in one of my grandmother’s apartments right next to the sewer and dang, we had rats and no cats in sight to catch them because if there were any cats, they probably bailed at the sight of the rats. So needless to say, there was lots of screaming in that apartment.

What is your most favorite smell/scent?

Probably jasmine although you can’t beat baby smell or baked chocolate chip cookies!

Would you prefer snowy winters, or not, and why?

As long as I don’t have to shovel the driveway or have to get in my car to drive anywhere, I’m fine with snowy winters.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

My little prince and I went to the Automobile Driving Museum for a birthday party and he had a blast sitting behind the wheel of many old cars. His first choice, of course, was this:

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There’s a kid behind the wheel!

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I can’t believe my little guy is growing up so fast! He loved sitting behind the wheel and “driving” me places. I’m no longer sure if it was okay for us to get into some of the cars but it was fun.

My favorite piece was the phone and it became the perfect tool to get my son to recite my phone number back to me so he could see how I’d have to dial it. He could never remember it and I’ve been working on getting him to know my number by heart in case of an emergency. Yesterday they had a “lockdown drill” at school which was basically an active shooter drill. What a scary world we truly live in now…

Another thing that made me smile this week was my walk with a friend around the lagoon. She brought duck feed with her and it was hilarious seeing the coots, ducks and one goose race toward her the moment she took out that bag of feed. I’m totally buying feed next time! And the flowers are also starting to bloom.

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Share Your World – Week 9

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This Share Your World hosted by Cee Photography post is actually for last week but I forgot to schedule it to post yesterday. So one day behind but here we go!

Here are this week’s questions:

What are you reading right now?

Redeployment by Phil Klay, both the ebook and the audiobook. It’s one of the many books and audiobooks I have about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and they’re all just… so far from my usual fare of fiction reading and it’s unsettling only because I actually prefer reading these things over the stuff I write, romance. Ask me what fiction novel I last read and I can’t tell you what the heck it was. Anyway, here’s a bit about what it’s about:

Phil Klay’s Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned.  Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos.

In “Redeployment”, a soldier who has had to shoot dogs because they were eating human corpses must learn what it is like to return to domestic life in suburbia, surrounded by people “who have no idea where Fallujah is, where three members of your platoon died.”  In “After Action Report”, a Lance Corporal seeks expiation for a killing he didn’t commit, in order that his best friend will be unburdened.  A Mortuary Affairs Marine tells about his experiences collecting remains—of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers both.  A chaplain sees his understanding of Christianity, and his ability to provide solace through religion, tested by the actions of a ferocious Colonel.  And in the darkly comic “Money as a Weapons System”, a young Foreign Service Officer is given the absurd task of helping Iraqis improve their lives by teaching them to play baseball.  These stories reveal the intricate combination of monotony, bureaucracy, comradeship and violence that make up a soldier’s daily life at war, and the isolation, remorse, and despair that can accompany a soldier’s homecoming. (From Amazon)

What was your first adult job?

If it had to do with family recommendations, it would be stringing beads for my grand-aunt who exported handmade necklaces made from coral (hindsight: it was BAD for the environment because they were harvesting actual coral that belonged in the ocean, not hanging around someone’s neck, all polished and nice).

If it’s a job that I earned, like a real honest-to-god job, then it was as a radio newscaster for the station Y101, the local version. They picked me because I could speak with an “American” accent, thanks to my American stepdad.

 What’s your favorite breakfast cereal?

My mom got me hooked on Frosted Flakes whenever I came by to visit but I guess my all-time favorite was Lucky Charms and now it’s my son’s favorite. I have to stick to Honey Bunches of Oats with almonds now and granola.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

I appreciate every soldier’s service and sacrifice that we never hear about. The general public (myself included), really has NO idea what they go through over there and what they have to go through coming back.

Share Your World 2018 – Week 7

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Time to Share My World, a weekly prompt by Cee’s Photography! Hope you’ll join us as well! Anyway, here are the questions:

Are you a practical jokester?

I don’t think I am. I do like a good joke but that’s about it. I’m pretty boring actually.

Who cuts your hair?  You, a friend, or professional.

My friend Bill used to cut and color my hair. He always made me feel like a princess when he was done. I would drive 20 miles just to get my hair done and then one day, I just didn’t have time anymore to drive and see him. I grew my hair long and colored my roots myself using non-Aveda products and that was that. It’s horrible now, of course, and I keep my hair up in a pony tail all the time. Last summer, I even cut over 12 inches from it to start over. He actually moved a few blocks away from me as far as home-wise and I’ve yet to call him or pay him a visit. Now I need to!

Did you have a stuffed animal when you were a kid, if so what kind?

I don’t remember having a stuffed animal although I did have a stuffed doll with long arms and legs. I didn’t get a stuffed animal (that I remember) until I inherited one of my boyfriend’s teddy bears that I learned later, came from his ex-girlfriend. But by then, I fell in love with the little bear – he was unwanted after all – and he’s now been passed on to my little guy although his currently MIA at the moment. The little bear, not my little guy.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I appreciated good ol’ essential oils this week, specifically this product. Last week, a nasty spider bit me and I didn’t realize what it was until it looked pretty bad. The whole time I thought it was contact dermatitis, maybe from the pocket buttons of my jeans. Go figure, but it just never occurred to me that it would be a spider bite but when I finally looked at it closely, there were four spots in succession and if you use Google for identification of the bite, you’d think you were going to die a slow death if you didn’t act fast. But since I was still alive four days after it started hurting, I figured I’d survive.

So I dug out the Everything Balm and covered the bites up all day and night. They healed up pretty nicely and my only problem now is the irritation from the bandage adhesive I used toward the end. Still, it could have been worse. Seriously though, don’t look up bites caused by the brown recluse spider or the hobo spider. They’re bad…

 

Share Your World 2018 – Week 6

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Time to Share My World, a weekly prompt by Cee’s Photography! Hope you’ll join us as well! Anyway, here are the questions:

What would be your ideal fantasy way to spend Monday?

Probably in bed, under the covers… and preferably sleeping with the hero I’m writing at the moment because, well, it’s research. It’s one of the heroes that belong in my secret pen’s retinue which means he’s O-M-G-H-O-T 🔥🔥🔥

What one person that you are out of contact with would you like to say thank you to?

It’s difficult to really lose touch these days with social media being everywhere (unless you’re my hubby who has no social media whatsoever except for that FB page I set up for him seven years ago and neither of us know what the password is) but I’d like to say thank you to my old friend Galia. She grew up in Yugoslavia (back when it was Yugoslavia) and helped me get through some tough times. I loved her sense of humor and her honesty. She was just one of those people you could be yourself with and still have tons of fun. She was smart and so giving of herself and just plain authentic. I have a bigger picture somewhere but it’s in one of my other external drives somewhere.

List your favorite toys or games as a kid?

My favorite toys were paper dolls of a boy and a girl. I loved to play with them whenever I was alone in my room. I imagined the space under the built-in desk was their house and they kinda lived on their own and had to fend for themselves. They didn’t have any parents simply because I had no paper dolls to represent them.

I also loved to play the board games Monopoly (my older brother always ended up with Park Place and we all would lose!) and Clue with my brothers and cousins. I loved the tiny pewter gun and the candlestick and most of all, the small envelope where the clues would be kept! And who can forget Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, Miss Scarlett, and Colonel Mustard!

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

Well, this week I caught a nasty cold that I originally thought was the flu because my face hurt. Turns out, it was just my sinuses—and a cold. But what made me smile was the nomination of Everything She Ever Wanted for the 2018 Audiobook Listener Award which focuses on works by independently published artists (that would be me and my narrators, Melissa Moran and Joe Hempel). There’s tough competition ahead because all the other nominations are amazing but it’s not like I’m going to give up. So if you can vote for Everything She Ever Wanted in the Romance category, I’d greatly appreciate it!

 

Share Your World 2018 – Week 5

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Time to Share My World, a weekly prompt by Cee’s Photography! Hope you’ll join us as well! Anyway, here are the questions:

If you had an unlimited shopping spree at only one store, which one would you choose? Why?

A bookstore, of course! Preferably one that also has good coffee!

What is the worst thing you ate recently?

I can’t remember. Either that or I banished it from my mine immediately.

Name five things you like watching…

  1. My little prince building something with his Legos
  2. Dolphins
  3. Rain
  4. People
  5. The sky – clouds and stars

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

My little furbaby is about 11 or 12 years old now and she sits by my side when I write and sleeps by my feet at night. She used to sleep right next to me when we first got her but when the allergist determined that my biggest allergen was dog dander about three years ago, my dog was banished to the doggie bed on the floor by the foot of the bed.

The last two weeks, though, I finally said, screw it, and brought her to sleep on the bed and she stays right by my feet like in the photo where I’ve set up her own blanket and cover her up with it in the early morning when the room gets chilly. Sometimes she’ll sneak under the covers and it’s okay. She’s starting to look way older now, with a wider flank and her skin is a bit looser. She’s also slowing down now, unable to walk the three blocks we used to traverse and sometimes her right side freezes up and she gives me this panicked and scared look and I carry her part of the way until she recovers. Twelve years is a long time and I want twelve more.

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Share Your World 2018 – Week 4

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Time to Share My World, a weekly prompt by Cee’s Photography! Hope you’ll join us as well! Anyway, here are the questions:

List 2 things you have to be happy about?

I have to be happy with my upcoming books, especially before they’re written. That way, I actually start working on them. If I’m not happy, no words come.

I also have to be happy about my decision not to eat red meat anymore as part of my healthy diet resolution for 2018. Too bad hubby takes home a lot of meat dishes from his parents’ house that I think it’s a conspiracy to knock me off my diet (it’s already happened a few times). But he did bring home some tofu steaks that his dad fried last night and asked me, “so how do we prepare this stuff?”

And I told him to just eat it as is.

Have you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?

So glad you asked. I own a few around my house. Some are pretty big and some are small and kinda show up everywhere. There are citrines, labradorite, amethyst, kyanite, to name a few, and a few I’ve forgotten their names already. Most of the big ones were in my old office and when I downsized, I kept only one big one that’s in the living room and one I’m pretty sure wouldn’t fall off its lighted stand and kill someone. I also have a citrine quartz in front of me between my laptop and external monitor.

Yeah, just a few…

Are you a hugger or a non-hugger?

I’m kinda in between. I was never a hugger when I was younger because in the Philippines, we didn’t hug as a greeting; we did the air-kiss, like cheek to cheek but nothing touches. But the first real hug I ever got was when I was sixteen and my cat died. My stepfather gave me this big hug that had me breaking down 1) because my cat had just died and he was not waking up no matter how much I wanted him to and 2) because it was my first real hug ever, just like the ones I saw in movies and read about in books. It was surreal.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I’ve been doing writing prompts on my poetry blog this week and while I’m technically procrastinating on actually writing the next book, it’s pretty inspiring to see that I’m not as rusty as I thought I was.

Photo by Vero Photoart on Unsplash

 

Share Your World 2018 – Week 2

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Time to Share My World, a weekly prompt by Cee’s Photography! Hope you’ll join us as well! Anyway, here are the questions:

Do you prefer a bath or shower?

I grew up in Southeast Asia and there were no baths where I lived unless you were filthy rich. My mom did design our house to look like the ones in the US and so we had the shower stalls and the whole shebang – but not enough water pressure to make them work beyond a trickle. Just like the kitchen stove with the exhaust fan that went straight to the ceiling (there was no exhaust pipe), it was just for decoration. Instead, we had a big ten-gallon tub of water, a tabö (like a quart-sized container with a handle) you used to pour water on yourself.

When we moved here, the water pressure was so amazing compared to what I grew up with that I loved showers from the get-go. I also wonder where all the stuff goes while one sits in the bath so I end up taking a shower after anyway.

What do you do to make a living or during the day?

I write full-time. However, lately, I haven’t been writing much and I need to now set a deadline for those three books I will be publishing this year. Sawyer’s story, Gareth’s, and Blythe’s.

I just started re-listening to Chris Fox’s 5,000 Words Per Hour audiobook, and I also downloaded the book free from his website, and so my goal is to write those words down although it’s really dictating more than anything. Even though I haven’t set the dates when I have to finish each of those three books, I need to get the words down every day.

Is there a stuffed animal in your bedroom?

Yup, there is. It belongs to my son and he’s christened it Monorail. But it’s a full house over on his bed so Monorail ends up in mine.

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What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? 

This week, while waiting for my son’s class to finish, I stood in the hallway and noticed the campaign posters. It made me appreciate children’s innocence… and the fact that Lelani can count money. That’s quite important…

Share Your World 2018 – Week 1

I used to do this on my poetry blog years ago but this year, I want to start doing this here as I need to consolidate all my blogs eventually. If you’d like to join, please click on the banner to learn more.

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What one word describes you best?

Creative.

What is set as the background on your computer?

I have my laptop and an external monitor. The external monitor shows the Swiss Alps (something that came with my Macbook’s default settings) and the laptop monitor shows this, my inspiration for most of my heroes who aren’t blue collar. The hand, the tie, the perfectly cut suit, and those lips. Oh, and the watch. Well, everything.

 

If you have been to a foreign country name those you have been to?

Japan, Hongkong, and Mexico.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

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I made this graphic as something for my Instagram wall, something funny although I’ve yet to post it. With the new year, it’s easy to dream of a life that is easier, maybe with more success and more money and more stability than I currently have. But this little meme also reminded me that I have so much to be thankful for, that the so-called lifestyle I have right now is good.