Southern Splender

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Today as I went for my daily run the air was thick with Jasmine and the Magnolias lay heavy within the branches of the trees. There was no need for the blaring of my I- pod as the various species of birds filled my ears with their own delicate songs.
Spring time in the South is like no other and I feel so blessed to be able to witness all of its splendid glory. Being allowed to wake up slowly, ramble around the serenity of our home and head outside into such a natural spectacle, is one of my biggest joys. I wouldn’t trade it for any other. I am fortunate to walk out my door with coffee in hand and wander peacefully upon our grounds in admiration over the new buds upon my bougainvilleas or follow the deep scent of my roses to the home of their gardens. It is there that I will dwell and allow myself to reflect upon the words that I will write for the day. My children are grown and my days are now mine to do with what I wish. I have slowed down. Nature has nurtured me into a woman who is at peace with herself and her surroundings. There is no longer the need to fly through the day at a frantic pace. I remember those days with a smile, as I sit with my laptop upon my lap. My romantic southern days are long-lasting. I am in no hurry for life to pass me by. So for those of you who have asked me why I chose this path, it is simply to have the ability to occasionally look up from the stories that I write and admire the flutter of the butterflies outside my window.

One of the biggest  perils of being an Author is sitting daily upon a chair for hours upon hours.  Those of you who work in a office or sit behind a computer, I am sure you can relate and would have to agree with me, but for those of you who are young and lucky enough to have active jobs;  I would like to reveal to you our concerns. It’s the dilemma of the increasing span of our rump. A lot of junk in my trunk  is not something that I personally care for and as each year passes, I have to be very careful that my lady humps do not expand into lumpy bumps. That is why I grudgingly wake up every morning and force myself to walk/run ( Honestly I walk more then I run)  three to five miles  and then hit the weights and finish up with laps in our pool. Besides being intent at keeping the gravity gods at bay, it clears the cobwebs from my head, so I am able to have a perfectly lovely day being scantly mischievous and filling  my pages with  murder, and mayhem. 

Now, as I had written in my last blog, I was very curious over the benefits of the fairly new Skecher Shape up Shoes and ran out to snatch up my own pair. I wore them with great enthusiasm, expecting my forty year old cheeks to perk up like those of a twenty year old, but after only one week of walking in those evil little devils, my left hip hurt so much that I was hobbling around the house like a ninety year old woman. If I sat for any length of time I was hardly able to get out of my chair. The constant pain from my hip joint and lower back was so excruciating that I could hardly sleep and Advil became my best friend, leaving my poor husband out in the cold. No snuggling for him or scratching his back until he fell asleep, as I was unable to lay upon my left side. For over thirty years I have either walked or ran and never once had  any of the physical problems like I did from wearing those nasty little buggers for only that one week.

After great discussion with my husband, I was curious to see if anyone else had this problem, so I began my own inquisition. I  Asked several of my friends and family who I knew had owned their own pair, if they had any concerns. To my surprise, as well as theirs, all off us were having the exact same back and  hip problems. A couple of them were so bad, that they were receiving medical treatment. Becoming even more curious, I expanded my inquiry on the computer and was astounded to find that there was a class action law suit against the skecher shape up company. There were several women who actually had hip fractures and even one young woman in her twenty’s who had to have pins put into her hips. Needless to say; from what I read on the computer Skechers had never done a test study upon the shoes before making their revolutionary claim.

I was one of the lucky ones; even though I still have pain, I was smart enough to discontinue the use of my shoes early enough for no permanent damage.  I am happily back to wearing my Nike running shoes in the morning and my  strappy heels at night. I am sorry to say, that my own vanity made me fall into a marketing trap. Take my advice, if you are out shopping and you see the cutest pair of shape ups and think to yourself; I wonder if these things really work?  Just run….. run far away… leave them behind.  Your hip and back with thank you for it.

T. Marie Benchley,

Author of  “Once Wicked Always Dead”

Finish What you Start.

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Since the September release of my Hard Cover “Once Wicked Always Dead” I have been on tour signing every Friday-Sunday at all the various book establishments across the country. Meeting and talking with the readers is one of my favorite parts of being an author. I am also on a deadline to finish my next Novel, so the rest of the week you will find me  hidden away in my writing room where I am working diligently to finish. 

Ok, that last statement is a lie… Yes, I should be working on finishing this and of course I will eventually finish it and it will be fabulous, but with all of the modern day Internet distractions I  continually become preoccupied… Man I really could use a coffee…. I need to make a Starbucks run, I’ll be right back…..

I’m back,  sorry about that.,  but right next door to Starbucks was a Stein Mart and I thought; Well why I am here, I might as well run over and get a pair of those tennis shoes that I have heard so much about. They are suppose to work my butt off  just by wearing them. (I’ll let you know how that is working out at a later date.) Sorry, I  got a little distracted. Anyways where was I? Oh yes, distractions. 

This is exactly the type of thing which I am talking about. There are so many distractions in the world that sometimes it’s hard to focus upon the topic at hand; which for me just  happens to be finishing this book! So to all of you out there  who wish to be Authors and  approach me saying;

“I have this great Idea for this book.”

 I respond to you; “Have you finished it?”

Your response being;  “Well no, but it’s really good.”

My Advice to you is; “Don’t do as I do, do as I say and finish it already!”

Just think  what a world this would be if we all finished what we started.