Saturday, March 24, 2012

My Lyrical Mind......

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

There’s a song by George Strait that is awesome. It was written by Hank Cochran who recently passed away. It’s called “The Chair” and basically George walks into a dance hall and starts crooning to to some woman by saying “Well excuse me but I think that's my chair.....”

I am a lyrics person. I rarely listen to George Strait although I do admire his Wrangler ads. The only reason I know who Mr. Cochran was is because after playing 20 questions the other day with husband, I learned he wrote one of my favorite songs which happens to be by George Strait.

When we lived in Temple and would drive anywhere, husband would stick his CDs in the car player (at that time he didn’t have an MP3 which I have since remedied for his ears only) this song came up. He asked me to listen. I was immediately drawn in as he knew I would be.

I had this guy's chair it seems. No I wasn’t with anyone, oh you either? Yes, I’d love to dance. You get the message of this song?

When it was over I was really quiet.

Husband asked “So, what do you think?”

“Who was that?”

“George Strait.”

“The guy in the Wranglers?”

He’s laughing by now but placated me and said yes.

I remained quiet. I mean how do you tell your husband that within the realm of what? Five or less minutes I was in a dance hall, apparently alone and this guy lumbers over to me and insists I’m sitting in his chair and we strike up a conversation, dance and then I let him take me home!

It took me awhile to figure out that George is the only one in the song that talks and “I” answered every question! What a clever song and sneaky way to entice a lyric person like me.

I remained quiet but he pressured me. I knew it was because he knew exactly what I’d done (in my mind) because he knows me so well and I write romance fiction!

I didn’t budge.

“So….what did you think about that song?” He just wouldn’t let it go.

I tried to decide how to let him how my overworked, over creative, crazy and visual mind works.

Finally I answered. 

 “So how much do you like George Strait?”

He laughed because he does know how my mind works!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Writer Workshop in Lubbock with Jennifer Archer

Penning the Pitch-Perfect Proposal

Are you tired of sending your book proposal out to agents and editors and hearing, “Thanks, but no thanks?”

In this 6 hour workshop, you’ll learn:

·         What a synopsis/query should be, as opposed to what you probably think it is

·         The # 1 thing agents and editors look for in your proposal   

·         How to write a query and synopsis that will make agents/editors want MORE

·         The importance of structure in a proposal

·         How to find your hook – or the “hot premise”

·         The importance of conveying the tone of your book in your query/synopsis

·         How to use turning points to structure your synopsis

·         AND MORE….!

            Bring your current query and synopsis if you have one . . . or just your story idea. Bring paper and something to write with. Bring an open mind and a willingness to learn! I will use as examples the proposals that sold my books THROUGH HER EYES (currently available in hardback and ebook) and ONCE UPON A DREAM (currently available in ebook at Amazon for Kindle and for Nook). It will be helpful to you, although not mandatory, if you have read at least one of these books prior to the workshop.

Jennifer Archer has written eleven novels and three novellas, as well as numerous non-fiction works. She has been a finalist twice for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart award, and in 2006 was a finalist for the prestigious Rita Award and a nominee for a Romantic Times Bookclub Magazine Reviewer’s Choice Award. Her debut Young Adult novel, Through Her Eyes, was an April, 2011 release from Harper Teen.  Archer has taught creative writing and has presented numerous talks and workshops for educators, students, writers' organizations and bookstores. Visit her website at

Saturday, April 21, 2012 from 9:00 to 3:00

Room 209, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Texas Tech University

(email for directions)

$25.00 per person (mail check or money order to below address) (limit 25)

Alisa Dollar

PO Box 98376

Lubbock, Texas 79499


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bullies are not cool.....

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

On Facebook one leaves a status relaying a message to anyone allowed as a friend. Several messages lately are reminding students ready to start classes to be mindful of those alone or being bullied or both.

It used to be perfectly okay to knock the soup out of someone who tried to bully or make light of clothing or hair or brains or societal standing. It was okay for someone to knock the soup out of said bully in someone’s stead should they be unable to stand up for themselves. All metaphorically speaking- - of course.

It was okay for a teacher to send someone to the office for discipline which may or may not include a swat on the “brain” of a person who finds satisfaction in being habitually cruel to a peer or a teacher.

It was okay for administration to administer whatever discipline was needed in order to teach said person respect while on school grounds. Most times, isolation is a fantastic deterrent.

There’s something inherently out of balance when society seemingly creates a situation that a bully is protected more than a victim of said browbeater.

What’s happened when some parents think their child can do no wrong and other parents who think their child can do nothing right; and a school where teachers are afraid to speak out for fear of losing their job or worse yet, losing government money?

Far from believing corporal punishment is the answer, I do believe a strict policy should be in place for students who can’t follow rules or are abusive to other children or teachers.

As communities, peer, teachers, administration, we need to pay attention to what’s going on. Most of us think “it doesn’t happen here” or “my child would never ignore the “fill in the blank” going on around them.”

The fact is: it happens everywhere.

Be aware. There are usually signs.

Kids out there, don’t be a wuss and fall into being a part of something you know is wrong just to be in the “in” group, or worse yet, not noticed.

Be noticed!  Take an active role in reporting physical abuse and befriend those being treated poorly by taunts.

Bullies, be mindful behind your back the whispers flourish. You’re not cool. Own it.

I’m thinking maybe send those rebel-rousers to parents’ homes or offices.

Bet they get sent back with halos……very quickly.

Monday, March 12, 2012

My favorite!!!!!

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

There are many ways to get a meal on the table. Some use recipes. Others have long used recipes in their head and many creatively cook.

I’m a use the recipe type. If the recipe says I should jump up and down three times, turn around and do a little tap dance then stir; I do it.

It takes all kinds.

Daughter is a creative cook. It amazes me at some of the recipes she comes up with that are really good. I’d never have the nerve to try.

In Turkey, daughter-in-law uses yogurt for a lot of dishes; I never would have thought of that either.

Friend Kay is a Paula Deen fanatic. Her boxed macaroni and cheese is really good, but Kay actually uses recipes and cooks elaborate meals. I’d be jealous but she reads cookbooks. You heard me. She reads cookbooks. You have to love a person like that.

Bree is a tweener. She seems to bounce between recipes mixed with old favorites that are embedded in her very organized and clean mind….and kitchen. My kitchen is a mess before and after; she should be a TV show. I mean really, if I didn’t love her I’d be disgusted.

Prof and Mr. Prof are fun to watch. They cook together and are never in each other’s way while they are doing it. Husband always is right where I need to be and doesn’t seem to notice.

Little Debbie is the funniest cook. When she makes candy everything is laid out or nothing goes right and if you try to move something around she panics.

Watching people work their magic in the kitchen is fun. I’ve actually forgotten key ingredients even though I was following a recipe to a tee. I’ve also put sugar instead of salt and vice versa. I’ve cooked too long and not long enough. I’ve also nearly burned down the kitchen.

Needless to say I’m not the one to come to when quick and easy meal is needed.

Over the years I’ve found instead of making dumplings, strips of flour tortillas make wonderful dumplings and there’s no mess.

Already cooked bacon is easy to do in the microwave and there’s no chance of a pan fire because you forgot the pan of grease was heating. Maybe I should say overheating.

Everyone has a method.

Mine gets easier and easier every year.

Better late than never!

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

The church youth had a Valentine Banquet last Saturday. It’s always nice to see the youth and parents preparing and serving a meal to us “older folk”.

Everything was great until the Newlywed Game.  We were chosen as one of the couples.  Five couples sat side-by-side and rather than one leave the answers were written to save time. Afterwards I realized it was part of the entertainment.

We proved people can be married for 44 years and not know much about the other and stay married. Either that or husband decided to be a comedian. I’m convinced it’s the latter.

One question was “What is your favorite dish…..” and before the youth director could finish husband blurted aloud and very clearly “Farrah Fawcett”. Everyone laughed. I reminded him she was dead and he said “What’s your point?”

After everyone quit laughing, the director ended the question “that your wife prepares for you”.

I really took this seriously. I haven’t cooked that much since the kids left, so I was hard pressed to come up with a good answer; especially after the Farrah Fawcett fiasco.

I finally answered chef salad. I know that sounds lame but I really do make killer salads. I waited for husband to show his answer and I suppose my gut level reaction was funny and that’s when I decided he was indeed being the comic relief for the “show” because he had written pumpkin pie.

I make a killer salad and I also give a killer look. The one time I made his favorite pie a few years ago, he asked if I went to another grocery these weren’t as good-- what had I done. I told him nothing much, just made them is all. Of course the audience didn’t know this, and husband was enjoying my reaction as much as they and poor me--I couldn’t hold back and he knew it.

I blurted out loud and very clearly asking if the preacher was available for marriage counseling after the show.

Needless to say we lost. We missed our calling as entertainers though.

Maybe we proved the ability to tease and laugh together is a much a part of a relationship as crying or yelling during a bad time.

Unconditional loves comes in many ways.

Laughter is one. It works.

Hope your Valentine’s was full of love and laughter.