Sunday, April 7, 2013

You’ve Got to Enjoy Your Life, Cher. By Elaine Calloway

Today's much belated blogpost come to you courtesy of author Elaine Calloway. Take it away Elaine.

You’ve Got to Enjoy Your Life, Cher
By Elaine Calloway

Wait, don’t panic! This is not a blog post about the 1970s pop star!

For those who aren’t from Louisiana, let me let you in on some information: “Cher” is a Cajun slang term for
friend, and it applies perfectly to the tale I’m about to share with you.

In WATER’S BLOOD, Book One of the Elemental Clan Series, my main character Brooke is a Water Elemental
stationed in New Orleans. Her “cover job” to blend in with other humans is being a bartender in Mid-City.

I love the Mid-City area near City Park, lined with massive live oaks draped in Spanish moss and the beautiful
Bayou St. John which snakes through eclectic neighborhoods and around grassy banks. This is why I set the
location there and then created a fictional pub called Armand’s, which is where Brooke works.

However, this fictional bar was inspired by a real pub called Seymour’s, which is nowhere near Mid-City but is
one of my favorite places to go when I’m home. The pub is like Cheers, the old TV show. Everyone knows your
name, the locals talk about their week, and everyone is always warm and welcoming. It’s hard to find such an
atmosphere anymore.

During these visits home, I’ve had the unique opportunity to meet some fascinating people. One man in
particular personified the resilience of the New Orleans culture, of how its people never give up--no matter
how bad things may get.

During heavy rains in 1995 when most of the city flooded, he lost everything. His life turned upside down, but
he chose to rebuild. Ten years later, Hurricane Katrina happened. He lost everything again. He rebuilt once
more, taking the scattered pieces of his life and somehow molding them into a reason to keep going.

Stunned by his persistence, even his choice to not relocate elsewhere, I asked how he managed to survive 2
such major losses and what kept him going.

He offered a wide grin, and with a gleam in his eye, he said, “You’ve got to enjoy your life, cher.”

He proceeded to tell me how much he loved the region, how sitting at the edge of a pier and fishing under
a crimson sunset made all the hassle of rebuilding worthwhile. He spoke of living each day, and more
importantly, enjoying each day.

Some days I think I am the ideal poster girl for stress. But when things get overwhelming, when I think I can
no longer cope, I try to think back to the interesting souls I’ve encountered, particularly the one who so wisely
said, “You’ve got to enjoy your life, cher.”

Elaine Calloway is originally from New Orleans and can still do a decent Cajun accent upon request. She is
currently writing the Elemental Clan Series, a series of paranormal tales set in iconic cities such as New Orleans.
Book One, WATER’S BLOOD, is available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Book Two, RAGING FIRE, will be released summer 2013. For more information or to connect with Elaine online,
visit her web site at

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