Sunday, August 28, 2016

I don't belong.

I spent many years not understanding why I didn't fit in.

I remember in fifth grade, moving to a new school, and one of my friends was friends with the "in" crowd.  Cute little nicknames and whatnot.  I didn't make the cut because my dad was a truck driver. Stung a bit.
Jr. High was hell.  Puberty was not kind to me in any way, shape, or form.  We didn't have money.  So I wore an incredibly old coat, think 70's, and sported a hair style that absolutely did me no favors. Try feathering hair that's naturally curly.
Dear God.  It was horrific.
High school brought good friends and other misfits.  And I got along with anyone and everyone. From the rich to the poor.  From the strait-laced to the druggies.  Didn't bother me any which way.
But I didn't belong.
Always that feeling of not quite smoothing my edges to fit into the hole that would have guaranteed me some sort of acceptance.
Fast forward.
Several decades later, I've come to the realization that I'm not meant to "belong", so to speak.  I live in my head quite often.  I talk nonsense sometimes.  I'm fanciful and often impetuous.  Other times I could think something to death, revive it, and think it to death again.  I don't need anyone's acceptance but my own.
I remember reading a horoscope years ago that plainly stated, "your way is not the usual way".
Well.  No shit.
It's never been.
Many people have a straight line from Point A to Point B.  I never had.  And that's quite alright.  I used to wonder what was wrong with me that I never had that straight line.  But, perhaps I wasn't meant to.

Part of me often wondered if it was because I skipped a grade and somehow altered some part of my life that was meant to be different.  But, no.  The decision was sound and one I've never regretted.  Maybe I zigged when I should have zagged.  Maybe.  *shrug*
Or maybe I'm simply one of those people that doesn't quite fit the constructs of this world and am renting space in a place I've decided to visit while en route to something greater.
My soul believes that.
So while I'm here, I'll spin my stories and love my people and wax poetic about life and its fancies and foibles.  Live with little regret and lots of love.
Because this place?  That's why it exists.  It's meant for experimenting to find what truly speaks to us.  To find those in our tribe.  To explore the depths of ourselves.
It's incredibly easy to be shallow.  To smile when we don't feel like it.  To answer "fine" when someone asks about our mood.
But it's so much harder to be real and authentic.  To give whispers of yourself to others every day in your truest form.
Because some can't handle the light that radiates from a found soul.  It's too bright or cuts too deep.  They turn their heads and refuse to see.

Truth is, I don't belong.  None of us do.  We form our friendships and weave our families and love those near and dear.
But when you connect to yourself and uncover your truest and deepest self, you'll be home.
No matter where you are.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Ode to Russell Westbrook

I wasn't going to spend my lunch hour blogging.
But how could I not???

Westbrook has signed with the OKC Thunder again.

I believe I can truthfully say that we were ALL sweating it.
KD taking off for the coast.
Russ's roots deep in California.

But I can also truthfully say that I would've watched Russ play ANYWHERE.
He's that type of player.
I own Westbrook shirts.
None of KD's.
I've also got a Perkins.  ;)

I admire the way Russ lives his life both on and off the court.  His passion is evident in everything that he does.
I love that about him.

Years ago, when he was tossing up basketballs at the ends of games, and there were collective groans and pissy comments across Thunderland, I rarely joined in.  Because that's Russ.  He will try until he has nothing left to give.
He ELEVATES those near him.
I respect that.

He's an amazing young man who strikes fear into the other players because they don't know what in the hell he's going to do next.  His vision is keen.  His plays are highlights.  He's grown as a player, and a man, and we're all better for it.

I'm incredibly grateful that he'll be playing with the Thunder.  That shows that he believes in his team and this state.
That's the bottom line, isn't it?
Win, win win???!!!???
Yet, Russ stayed and opted to play with us for the next couple of years, at least.
That shows faith.  That shows commitment.
And it's our turn to show it right back.

Glad you're still here, Russ.
Thunder Up!!!

Saturday, July 09, 2016


Most times, if someone asks you how you are, you reply:  Fine.
Sometimes, you may reply:  Okay.

I'm neither.

Usually I answer truthfully and tell the person inquiring that I'm tired, cranky, or maintaining. Because why lie?
The question may be perfunctory, but my answer never is.

With all the events of this last week, I'm ANYTHING but fine.

More black men murdered.  White men assassinated.
For the love of GOD.

We've sunk into this abyss of killing those different from ourselves.

I'm a fortysomething white chick.
And I'm scared shitless when a cop pulls me over.
To be honest, it's rarely happened.  My first ticket was last December.  But I've received a couple of warnings previously.
STILL scared the shit out of me.
I'm defenseless.  I'm at the mercy of someone with complete power over me.  I feel that he/she could shoot me, and I could not prevent any of it.
I cannot IMAGINE the fear from the African American community.  Don't breathe wrong.  Don't twitch.  Jesus Christ.
Alton Sterling was murdered.
Philando Castile was murdered.
These events were recorded for the entire world to see.
Their lives were brutally taken by men in blue.

Then Dallas.
And five more good men were shot because of the color of THEIR skin.
Assassinated because they were white men in blue.

My heart hurts.  My soul feels bruised and lacerated.

Killing each other is NOT the answer.  It is NEVER the goddamn answer.
Education.  Caring.  Coming together as one people instead of this divisive bullshit because of the pigmentation of our skin.
No good will come from staying silent.  We must raise our voices as a nation and say ENOUGH.  Our love for each other MUST surpass our ambivalence of another's pain.
Care for your neighbor.  Be their keeper.  Love them as you would love yourself.
Then, and only then, will the brutal killing of our brothers and sisters stop.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sum of the parts

It's always a sad thing when celebrities of any sort pass away.  We, as the spectators, may not have known them or have even met them, but we feel the loss.

Anton Yelchin passed away early this morning.  He was in Fright Night 2 and played Chekov in the newest Star Trek movies.  I enjoyed watching him on the screen.  I thought he did a great turn as Chekov.  And as someone who watched the originals, that's saying something.

It's easy to say that we "love" this celebrity or that.  I love that actor.  I love that writer.  I love that artist.  And some people don't take that in the way its meant.
I don't say that I "love" anyone of this ilk because I have an expectation of time, money, or anything else from said object of love.  I use the word "love" because something that this person has done has touched me.  It's really quite simple.

I bawled like a baby when Jim Henson passed away.  I remember watching the Muppets do a tribute to him and just sitting there with tears rolling down my face.  He's what my childhood is made from.  I love the Muppets.  I love Sesame Street.  It's so woven into my earlier years that I felt that keen sting of loss deeper than I might with someone else.

When Prince passed, I felt melancholy.  All those high school days came back with a flash.  Times in college when I blasted his music.  Buying a 45 at the local Walmart because I HAD to have that song.  The scandal when "Darling Nikki" came out.
But when Alan Rickman died, I went into a minor tailspin.  Everything that I ever watched him in was simply amazing.  Not to mention that the Harry Potter movies were the kids' and my thing to do together.  We always made time to go together and watch them all.
I loved him in "Die Hard", Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" (only he could make me laugh as he's trying to force himself upon Maid Marion), and, of course, his turn as Severus Snape.  It took me nearly a week to snap out of it.  He is woven into several pieces of my life.

So while we may not have broken bread with these famous people, we often feel the loss deeply because they're a part of our life in ways that we can't even fathom sometimes.  We're not missing a son, daughter, brother, or sister.  But we're missing the gift of the person's presence.  We're missing the energy and love they brought to bring things to life for us.  Whether it's a movie, book, or art, we are touched by these gifts.  We mourn their loss.  We mourn the emptiness of the space they left behind.
Because we loved them, too.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Moving on

I'd like to think I'm a linear person most days.
Truthfully, I'm simply not.

I've come to a place in my writing where I've decided to simply publish most of my works.  I work faster than most publishing companies publish, and I like having the control, quite frankly.  So instead of wringing my hands and bemoaning the lack of response by others, I'm going to do what I always do:
Get shit done.

I have my five-book series that is halfway finished.  First two books written with a great deal of the third also jotted down.
Erotic Paranormal.
Contemporary Romance.
Fantasy series.
Philosophical Fiction.
Numerous short stories.
Paranormal Romance.

They don't write themselves.  And I'm not one to wait on others' timeframes.  These works need to be written, and they need to be written by me.

I caught a radio interview with Brad Meltzer yesterday.  And he spoke of an idea he had for a decade before it came to fruition.  But then, and I'm paraphrasing here, he mentioned ideas in general.  He said something along the lines of ideas inhabiting us, but if we don't utilize them, then they will inhabit someone else.
I've always thought this.  It's why I write so close to the chest and don't put out character names and titles unless near completion.  I'm a firm believer in writing what you love and what comes to you.

So I will.
Stay tuned.

Monday, June 13, 2016


After Orlando's attack, I have an incredibly hard time even checking the news or perusing my Facebook feed.  Little pieces of my soul have been chipped off, and I'm a mass of ragged edges.
I've taken to unfollowing a few friends because of thoughtless remarks or rejoinders.  Memes posted against the president.  And some utter fucking nonsense about taking guns.
An assault rifle killed and will continue to kill.


I have several friends who are responsible gun owners.  That's great.  I respect that.  I don't want to take their goddamn guns like they don't want to take my switchblade I carry in my purse.  I do, however, want assault rifles banned.  Period.

And let's talk about the victims.
Forty-nine people lost their lives.  Forty-nine brothers and sisters and sons and daughters.  Forty-nine young people who will never live another day with their families.  I don't give a ripe fuck if they're gay or not.  They are PEOPLE.

What if another lunatic decides to target white woman with blonde hair over fifty with small dogs.  He/she opens fire on them during a meeting.  They're killed because of who they are.
Do you understand now?

What if another lunatic decides to target middle-aged men at the gun range who drive trucks and wear glasses?  They're killed because of who they are.
Do you understand now?

What if another lunatic decides to target young Hispanic women with green eyes who are new mothers?  They're killed because of who they are.
Do you understand now?

What if another lunatic decides to target young black men recently admitted to college taller than six feet?  They're killed because of who they are.
Do you understand now?

I've seen many public faces recognize the lifestyle of these victims.  I've also seen Conservative Republicans whitewash the hell out of it.  I'm done with it.

This was a hate crime.  Pure and simple.  These victims were targeted for who they were, and it's UNGODDAMNACCEPTABLE.


Friday, June 03, 2016

Look, but don't touch.

I like my eyes.  Even though I've had to wear corrective lenses since I was twelve.  They're kind of like my throat.  I know they're there.  But I really don't worry about them.  They do their thing.  I do my thing.  We do things together.  Like my throat.  I eat food.  Drink drinks.  We all go merrily on our way.
Until we don't.

I went to the eye doc in early May for a new pair of glasses.  I absolutely love these frames, by the way.  Thank you, Ben, assistant eye frame picker outer extraordinaire.  But I found out that I have pressure behind my eyes.
So, when I tell you people you make my eye twitch, SEE WHAT HAPPENS???

Anyway, doc set up my appointment for yesterday.  They were going to take four pressure readings.  9:45.  11:45.  1:45.  3:45.
Alrighty then.
I show up at 9:45 a bit stressed.  There's been talk of dilation and tests and poking.  I'm not a fan.  But lo and behold, I'm ushered right in, and she takes the pressure in both my eyes.  It was maybe a minute and a half in the office.  Out I go.
Ran around and finished some errands.  Back at 11:45.  In and out.
I'm liking this.
Started becoming a bit more tired around 1:45 visit.  Haven't been sleeping so great.  But, in and out.
Then I go in at 3:45.
I already knew I couldn't sashay in and out.  They were going to dilate my eyes and whatnot.  So I wait a minute while they pull my chart.  Go back.  Madison takes my pressure reading.  I return to the waiting room.  Then the blonde assistant comes and ushers me back into that room for "tests".
I like tests.  I do well on tests.
I had no idea what any of this was going to entail.

I put my eye on this little lens and looked inside.  Three black dots.  Two big dots on the outside.  Little dot in the middle.  The middle dot was about to put on a magic show.  It would change colors, and I was supposed to click on my clicker anytime I saw it "shimmer".  Oh.  Kay.
Wasn't too bad.  Right eye first.  Then I sat there and hummed a little tune when Ben saw I finished and moved me over to the other eye.  Done with that one in record time.
Then I scooched over this other machine with a tiny black square in the middle.  And I had to focus on it, and whenever I saw the black lines anywhere on the screen (checking my peripherals), I would click my button.  It was five minutes PER EYE.
That's an eternity in eye time.
After awhile, I'm like...did I see those lines?  I think I did. that them over there?  Maybe.  Light, but I think I see them.  So I'm straining my eyes trying to see every one of those damn lines, all the while stressed out that I'm missing like half of them, and my blindness is imminent.
Done with one eye.
Thank God.
On to the other.
My left eye had been shut the entire time, and I said, "Wait!"  Good God.  Let me adjust my eye before I put it on this lens, and you test me.  Criminey, people.  I'm still seeing shadows where there aren't any.
*deep breath*
Left eye.  Started having the same problem toward the end.  Did I actually see those lines?  Am I seeing really light ones?  For the love of God...
Finished.  Finally.
Felt pretty good about that.

Then we walk over to a room where I sit myself down in the chair.  You know the one.  It's all professional eye-checking room.  I tried to sit in one of the regular chairs, but the doctor was having none of that.

Then she said that my numbers looks good.  Pressure was high, but no other damage.  Woot!
She leaves, and Ben comes in to dilate my eyes.
I've NEVER had my eyes dilated before.  At the grand ol' age of forty-four, I'm like...what the what?  He hands me a tissue, and I'm holding it and looking at him like I haven't the faintest, and I ask, "You're going to do something to me, and I'm going to cry?"  He turns and looks at me.  I explain that I've never had my eyes dilated, and he can't believe it.  The blonde is assisting him.  He tells me that he's going to drop some drops in my eyes.  That's it.  I may feel it a little bit.
He holds my eye open, and drops the drops.  Seriously???  That shit burns.  Not like acid, but pretty close.  Then he boogies around to the other side and does that one.  He further explains that the drops will help when they stab me in the eye.
I adore him.
I pointed to the door and told him he had to go.  He laughed all the way down the hall.  I'm sitting there waiting for dilation.  Doctor comes back in and says she wants to check the thickness of my cornea.  Well, shit.  Sure.  Why didn't you say so???
Madison comes back in holding a small green plastic pencil case.  Something that comes out of that case can't be that bad, right???
So.  So damn wrong.
Madison tells me I probably won't like her.  I arch my eyebrow.  I ask why that is.
She's putting MORE EFFING DROPS in my eye.  Not just one...two.  Then she's laughing and says she would pay to see me have lasik done.  (the whole office is sadistic...I love them)
I reply, have you SEEN what they use?  It's like the jaws of life on your EYE!  They hold it open, and it looks absolutely terrifying.
But I digress.
She drops the two drops, and asks me if I'm ready for the other two.  I say, sure.  I had so much fun with the first eye.  Two drops in my left.
Then...THEN...she opens up her little green plastic case and removes something from optometric nightmares.
She explains that she is going to put this contraption ON MY EYE.  And she will keep it there until it gets a reading.  And I should be as still as possible and not move my eye and if I do then they will have to keep doing it.
I'm in hell.
It's this little damn sucker a bit bigger than a contact, and I can see it coming toward my eye, and it makes this HORRIFIC sucking sound when it touches MY EYE.
It took forever in eye time.  So maybe ten seconds.
That is finally done.  The blonde is now going to measure my cornea.  The lights go off to set the mood.  Then she takes this Polaroid camera on steroids (you young people can Google Polaroid...I'll wait) and puts one end on her eye and the other on my right eye.  I'm supposed to stare straight ahead.  And then like these deadlights (yes, a Stephen King reference--this is my eye horror story) are brighter than hell in my eye.  Checking on cornea size.
She gets what she came for.  I feel so used.  Then the lights come back on.  Dr. comes back and says that everything looks good.  Cornea is a little thicker than normal which could be good news since it may be able to handle my eye pressure better, BUT...let's schedule me for some type of optic nerve hoedown since all these tests were horizontal, and now we need a vertical.
Um, excuse me?
I go have my optic nerve jacked with on the 17th.  I'm sure there will be a story there, too.

Monday, May 30, 2016

My name is Crystal, and I'm a Sprouts addict.

I love Sprouts.
For those not in the know, it's rather like a Whole Foods but better.
I used to have to haul my butt several miles out of the way to shop at one.  Now, they've opened one about a mile away.
I've been the last two days.  I'm pretty sure I'll be visiting tomorrow after work.

Their fruit and vegetables are fantastic while being reasonably priced.  I decided to actually MAKE some of my pins on Pinterest, this is a rarity, and I picked up the ingredients from Sprouts.  Made Calabacitas con Elote.  Mmmmmmmmmmm
Also made a veggie loaf.  So good.
There is something so spectacular about the taste of fresh food.  It explodes with flavor in your mouth.  And you can tell yourself that you're doing something good for yourself.
Best of both worlds.

If you've the mind, you can find me on Pinterest.  I'm always looking for inspiration and unusualness and humor.

Sprouts vegetables are so damn pretty.  I've seen workers there trimming up the cabbages and cauliflower so they looks presentable.  Stacking things just right.  Removing undesirables.  And most of them are friendly.  So much love.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm still a meat eater.  Yes.  Carnivore for life.  *grins*
So I'll be noshing on rib eye this evening with my corn on the cob and oven fries.  But I'm at least attempting to incorporate other things into my diet.

I'm the type of person who needs plans.  I cannot go into something half-assed because all intelligence goes away in the face of necessity.  As in, if I don't know what I'm eating for lunch at work, I'll probably find my ass at a drive-thru somewhere.
Not good.
So now I know what I'll be eating on at work and home this week.  I'm calling it a win.

Hope it's not going to be a long short week.  But at least I have some plans in motion.

Hello, Sprouts.

Friday, May 27, 2016

It's not fair

Popular lament for children, and, God knows, teenagers.  But lately?  Most everyone.

All my children were born in October.  Oldest at the end.  Middle in the middle.  Baby at the beginning.
And let me just tell you that the Oldest did NOT like that at all.  Being the oldest and having the LAST birthday?  Are you kidding???
So sorry my reproductive system didn't take that into consideration.

Then there's Christmas when everyone HAD TO HAVE the same number of presents.  Never mind that perhaps one present was fifty dollars while another one was twenty.
Oh, hell no.
Never mind all that.

Younger people do not have the werewithal to translate these instances into a mature episode.  They have been disappointed beyond all measure because things are not equal.

Guess what, buttercup?
They're NOT equal.  They will never BE equal.

If life were fair, we'd all live happily to be a ripe old age with the mate and/or children of our dreams.  We'd have the perfect job.  Be the perfect size.  Be paid commiserate to our position.

But it's NOT fair.

I've seen people at jobs who can't count change back to a customer.  I've worked with people who don't care to take on any responsibility because they "get paid by the hour".  Making blanket rules and statements, punishing many while not dealing with the few, is horseshit.  Yet, it continues.
I've been shot down while others have been praised for exactly the same thing.  I've seen people lose relatives and close friends at too young an age.  I've tasted tragedy too many times to count.  I've gone without.

We all have.

Life isn't fair.  You don't get to bitch and whine and moan about the complete unfairness of life in general.
But you can work on changing what you're able to change.

What's the difference between a homeless person with a job and one without?  Drive.  I've seen teenagers live out of their cars.  I've known of some who walk miles to work every damn day.  So having a meltdown because you don't have a car and life isn't fair because how can you do so much with so little???
Shut it.
Help yourself.
Make an effort.

I wanted to pop on here and bitch about the Warriors' referees last night.  Funny thing about their winning home record when those exact three referees are working the floor.
But guess what?
It doesn't matter.  That's past.  We're moving on.  Nothing can be changed there, but I guarantee we're going to hand them their own ass Saturday night.

Be good.
Do good.
And let the whiners worry about what's fair and what's not.
It's simply not worth it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

First World Problems

I need a sign in my vehicle that states:  USE. YOUR. FUCKING. BLINKER. YOU. BITCH.

My tortilla around my green chile burrito was hard this morning.  And why is Blogger underlining "chile" like I've spelled something wrong?

Draymond Green should have been suspended for kicking our Steven Adams in his kiwis. Favoritism is bullshit no matter the flavor.

I don't want to be at the day job today.

People who do NOT look back at the toilet after they flush.  SERIOUSLY???

It started sprinkling on the way to work, and I had to close my moonroof.  *insert sad face*

Thinking up a great title only to find out it's been used.

Noticing that it's incredibly hard to teach some people what a work ethic is.

People who don't pay attention.

People who try to talk to me when I really don't want to hear any voices but the ones in my head.

NO ink pens near the work stations even though I put FIVE of those bitches out yesterday.

Adults need a summer vacation, too.

Watching my lone ivy plant thrive at my desk when I DON'T water it.  This flies in the face of my miniscule horticulture conventional knowledge.  ???  And why is Blogger underlining "miniscule"?


Not being able to go to my local Sprouts Grand Store Opening because I have to be an hour away at work that day.

Trying to find another good book to read. I sit at my desk.  Out of the elements.  Babies and grandbaby doing well.  Working with some good people.  Getting paid for it.

I still need that damn sign for my car, though.


Sunday, May 22, 2016


Storytellers are simply the best.  

Whether it's Eminem:

I'm friends with the monster that's under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head
You're trying to save me, stop holding your breath
And you think I'm crazy, yeah, you think I'm crazy

Garth Brooks:

That summer wind was all around me
Nothing between us but the night
When I told her that I'd never
She softly whispered that's alright
And then I watched her hands of leather
Turn to velvet in a touch
There's never been another summer
When I have ever learned so much


And it's been awhile
Since I could look at myself straight
And it's been awhile
Since I said I'm sorry
And it's been awhile
Since I've seen the way the candles light your face
And it's been awhile
But I can still remember just the way you taste

Storytellers walk the fine line between genius and insanity with bus routes to both.  They take those 26 letters of the alphabet and do amazing things with them.  They make us laugh and weep and feel so deeply in our souls that we ache.
Whether the storytellers medium is song, book, or television, these words and feelings become part of our make-up.  
How many of us cried during M*A*S*H*'s last episode?  How many of us laughed at the end of Newhart?  How many of us remember seeing those legs walk up the stairs by Cheers after Sam Malone said that they were closed and felt a sense of loss?

THESE are the moments that creative people crave.  They've touched you with something they've plucked from their mind and introduced to you.  They've pushed a thought outside of themselves and offered it up in this oftentimes harsh world.

Books and songs and television changes lives.  It's really that simple.

Why would I want to do anything else?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Give me a break

We are an amalgamation.

I'm completely tired of white/black/red appropriation.  Done with it.  White people can have dreads.  Really.  They can.  As far as SACRED costumes or clothing, then that's a different story.  There is honor in those threads.  Not everyone deserves to wear them.

But let me tell you a little story about my lunch time today.

My beloved grandbaby boy had an extremely swollen left side of his face yesterday.  His Mom shuffled him off to the ER.  The local ER.  The local ER sucks.  So she took him to Children's in the city.  So much better.
I went to see him at his apartment yesterday, and both his parents were there.  His dad was picking his hair with a pick.  Little Man wanted to play with the pick.  His Mom told everyone that I had a pick, too.  I use it on my bangs.  So I dug out my little blue pick.  Little Man and I took turns putting it in each other's hair.  I'd put it in his, and he'd grin and laugh.  Then he'd walk a few steps, pull it out, and try to put it in my hair.

I actually forgot to grab it before I left yesterday.

Went back over today to check on Little Man.  My blue pick was there.  So we played with it again.  Then he wanted to grab my sunglasses that slip over my eyewear.  I found his Spiderman shades, and we played with those for awhile.  Oldest child was watching Little Man.  Middle child came over a bit before I left.
I checked the time, stood up to gather my things, when Middle Chicken looks at me and says, "Do you know that's still in your hair?"
Oldest Chicken, hereby known as Oldest Asshat, falls out laughing and said, "I wasn't going to tell her."
The little shit.

Here my 44 year-old self would be, bipping back into work, with a pick hanging out the right side of my hair/head.
Absolutely no disrespect to anyone who does wear a pick in his/her hair.  I was simply playing with my grandbaby and having a good time.

There are ways to handle situations that don't alienate others.  And I'm not saying that we should disregard what some may view as theirs, and only theirs, ancestry/lineage/traditions.

But this world is made up of people holding tight to where they came from while also embracing the good pieces of others out there.  Other people.  Other regions.  Other traditions.
None of us is pure anything.
Sorry, not sorry, if that offends you.

We are an amalgamation.  I'm incredibly thankful for that.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Social Media Saturation

I know who Kim Kardashian is.  I've never seen any of her shows, but I could pick her out of a crowd.  Same with Snooki.  Same with Nicole Richie.

I'm sure you have a few of the same.  Whenever you pop on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram these social media "celebrities" are all over the damn place.  Kim takes her clothes off.  Done to the nth extent.  Paris Hilton does something incredibly stupid.  Exponential numbers here.
And I don't care.  I honest to God do NOT care.

Celebrities don't float my boat.  I find some of them interesting.  It's true.  I'm more drawn to the good works that they've done or continue to do.  Some idiot taped another idiot saying he cheated on his fiance.  Move on.  This isn't news.  It's a damn clusterfuck, but it's NOT news.
In this day and age, when a celebrity passes gas it trends.
Spare me.
Overexposed much?

But isn't that social media sensationalism?  Who can have the most tweets or likes or whatever the blue fuck passes for approval these days?
It's enabling the needy.  That's it.  And those who have a need that isn't met up the ante.  You can only take off so many clothes, people.
And before I get whacked for stating the obvious, I have no problem with my own or anyone else's sexuality.  I write Erotic Romance.  Nudity is fine.  Art is beautiful.  I find the human body fascinating.

However, being a type of role model should probably include doing something worthwhile other than creating an app that sucks young people in so you can buy those new shoes.  There is power in celebrity.
Why would you piss away an opportunity to do some good in the world?
Give back.  Find a place that needs something only you can give.  Work with abused children or animals.  Give to the Red Cross.  Volunteer.  Read to children.  Make a damn difference.  Find a cause that speaks to you and give of yourself.

Don't buy into your own flimsy celebrity.
Believe me, that shit is marked down.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Heroes vs Villains

The only difference between a hero and a villain is perspective.

I remember discussing happily-ever-afters and heroines and heroes during a talk at the Red Dirt Festival.  I stated that I thought every one deserved a HEA and proper romance.  I brought up the fact that Medusa was not evil.  She'd been punished for something beyond her control and TURNED into a monster.  Cinderella's step-sisters deserve their own HEA.  Good God, they'd lived with their mother for far too long.  She'd twist a nun into a psychopath.  They never stood a chance.

Readers love villains.  I'm not talking about the pure evil character who tortures, rapes, and kills.  I'm referring to characters who have their own agenda and don't understand why others are so against said agenda.

Tom Hiddleston is Loki.  Loki is, perhaps, one of the most misunderstood characters of our day.  When I read Norse Mythology in my younger days, I thought he was quite the fucking asshat.  Trickster, indeed.  But the Thor movies cast him in a sympathetic light.  And you really can't go wrong with Mr. Hiddleston.  Even when he is shoving some multi-pronged eye-fucker-upper into some man's ocular orifice and grinning maniacally while doing so.  He is burdened with glorious purpose, and we love him for it.
Readers/viewers simply want to sit down with him over a cup of tea, pat his hand, and tell him that they will try to fix whatever the problem may be.

The Green Goblin in the Spiderman movies.  (Toby not Andrew.)  Dafoe's character becomes deeply twisted when exposed to the green badness.  He completely loses his shit and tries repeatedly to kill Spiderman.  But even in his death throes, his love for his son shines through.

And for some brilliant anti-heroes, how about some Boondock Saints???
Connor and Murphy just living their lives.  Working and drinking.  Then they becomes mixed up in a clusterfuck of gang wars and bodies start hitting the floors.

What do you do when you're a killer and have all these horrible predilections???  You become a serial killer of serial killers.  Thanks, Dexter.

Being a hero isn't simple.  But being a villain is beyond complex.

Have you seen Megamind?  Yes.  The Dreamworks picture with Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, and Will Ferrell as Megamind.
It's amazing.  In the beginning of the film, it shows baby Megamind in his little ejection pod heading for a wonderful affluent home with acres of land and money to spare while his planet blows up behind him.  But Brad Pitt's little ejection pod pings our Megamind away from the house and to the penitentiary.  Brad Pitt's hero character has every possible need met while our little blue-headed friend doesn't have the best role models.
Their lives are shaped accordingly.

Not every hero is a pure hero while every villain is not a pure villain.  There are too many nuances in their stories that need to be peeled away in layers to reveal why they are who they are.  Therein lies magic.

We, as authors, need to be able to craft characters in such a way that readers empathize/sympathize/understand why our characters are the way they are.  We need to let their deepest emotions and secrets bleed through the work so that readers can understand and not simply dismiss.

Not only are we the voice of the hero and heroine, but we are the voice of madness and fear.
Nothing better.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

I just...can't.

I work around the beloved books.  Sometimes one will catch my eye, and I'll discover a new author. LOVE when that happens.
Other times, I'll see something so outrageous or funny that it haunts me.
A couple of examples would be:  Dick and Jane and Vampires.  Her Dearly Unintended.

Now.  I thought this whole Dick, Jane, and "creatures of the night" shit was a joke.  I grew up on Dick and Jane and Spot.  They are SACRED to me.  SACRED.  So when I stumbled across this book where this bloodsucker was a misunderstood miscreant who simply wanted a friend or two, I lost my shit.  It's a children's book.  I would have found it a bit entertaining if there was an adult riff on it.  There would have been some humor in there.  This?  Not so damn much.

Came across "Her Dearly Unintended" and simply gaped at the cover.  I think it may be a Buggy/Bonnet Romance (Amish), but I'm not sure.  I'm quite sure, however, that it would be rated G or PG if such things were applicable.  Or, at least, that's what I would think before I got a good look at the cover. This girl is about to fuck some shit up.  She has a hammer and some rocks in a bucket. Say hello to your maker because your time here is through, sucker.  I think the trees behind her are where she'll hide the body.
Anyone else feeling "The Lottery"?

Book covers go through stages/phases.  I remember when all romance showed a man's pectorals. Then we moved to only legs.  The "clean" romances usually show a young woman with a pastoral backdrop looking off into the ether.  Do they all live on farms or around livestock?  Curious about this.
I watched a TED talk one time where a gentleman who spent his professional career putting together book covers for clients spoke of tying story to art.  THAT, I understand.  But if we're going to cookie cutter it, at least choose something BETTER than that instead of worse.  Put as much effort into the cover as the book.  Don't simply slap that shit together and think it will ride.
It most certainly won't.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Thunder Up!!!

It's no secret that I love our boys.
I've loved them losing, and I've loved them winning.
I love the community activities and book bus.  I love the Why Not? Foundation.  I love Serge's foundation.  I love KD's multiple charitable acts.  I love Dion's playground.  I love the fact that these wonderful young men give back to our local and national communities.
I'm so incredibly proud of their good works both on and off the court.

But can I just say...DAMN!!!

I mean, holy shit!

I'm, unfortunately, used to ESPN and cable analysts gushing and fangirling all over our opponents.  Waxing poetic about Nowitzki and Ginobili and Duncan.  My NBA twitter feed was exploding last night with gifs about Leonard's makes and steals and whatnot.
The Thunder?
Not so much.
I found it incredibly rude.

All these naysayers need to grow up and move on.  We're not a first-year team.  We are, however, being coached by a first year coach.  As much as I like Pop and Leonard and Duncan, I just have to say...BOO-YAH!!!

As Russ so aptly pointed out, we've been here before.  It's not our first rodeo.  Our young men are locked in.

Yes.  The Warriors are a great team.  With a record like theirs, you can't show much except admiration.  And I heartily concur with Curry being the MVP.  Fine.  Great.  Good.
Moving on.

Our team is better.  It's deeper.  It's multi-talented.  We're a cohesive group that works together for the betterment of the entire roster.
I'm sure we'll beat the Spurs and move onto the next round with the Warriors.
I'm also sure that NBA will continue its lovefest with Curry and Company.
But that's okay.
Because we know what we have.  We know what we need.  And we are not scared to take it.
Warning shot fired.

Monday, May 09, 2016

What it's worth

I tend to keep an eye on Oklahoma authors.  I like to see what they're writing.  See the new releases. Things of this nature.

One of my FB friends follows Gena Showalter.  And I thought she put out an AMAZING post that my friend liked.

To sum up, apparently she had been receiving a plethora of displeased emails from fans because her newest release would be hardback.  Instead of backing down, God bless her, she doubled down.  It was a wonderful post stating that she had worked her ass off for five years before being published.  That she continued to work on her craft.  That she was intensely PROUD of the fact that this newest offering would be in hardback.
I may have stood up and cheered.
Because that's the thing, isn't it?
Those of us with artistic bents are expected to nearly give away our offerings.  Painters, writers, dealers in the abstract making it concrete.
It's horseshit.

I'm pretty sure that no one, other than the above, realizes exactly how much time is put INTO our work.  There's not a per hour wage.  There's not usually a set fee for work.  It fluctuates.  
And it's as important as teaching or plumbing or driving truck.
Because it's OUR craft.
When I first began to write, I couldn't believe how many people wanted me to simply give them the stories.  Just email it to them like I hadn't birthed and slaved and bled over each page.  
Like my work was less than.

Fuck a bunch of that.

Simply because my work is a titch different, that doesn't make it free to whoever wants it.  Could you imagine?  Going to a car lot and picking one out and simply driving it away?  No money for those who put the vehicle together and hundreds of man hours for nothing???
It's the same damn thing.

I research.  I write.  I edit.  I pick apart and put together.  I will not apologize for charging for my stories because it's my WORK.
It's my heart, but it's also my job.
So before you pop off with some nonsense about writing being easy, or start making noise about a "real job", I strongly suggest you put that in check.
Before someone does it for you.

The Human Condition

My silly ass is sitting at my desk right now with a heating pad stuffed down the back of my shirt because I decided that doing weights yesterday, after a two-week hiatus, would be a splendid idea.
I'm full of such ideas.  Some I discard.  Most, I implement.
Mom calls it "getting a wild hair".
I frequent this mindset often.

I think that trying new things and being open to change are incredibly important.  I subscribe to the thought of "I'd rather be ridiculous than boring."
I believe that the only way people grow and not stagnate is through healthy forays into different settings and places.


I see a wide demographic of people daily.  I see rich, poor, male, female, literate, illiterate, functional, and dysfunctional.
Sometimes I want to weep.  When a young man in his early twenties cannot spell the word "south". Or when a thirteen-year old girl doesn't know her address.  When a mom in her forties with a daughter in her twenties and a granddaughter on daughter's hip cannot write down their address correctly, it takes my breath away.
These people will likely not be given chances for a different life.  And most are so downtrodden that they don't wish to try.  Drugs are a huge issue.  Alcoholism.  Abuse.  No sense of self-worth.  People who slipped through the cracks so often they should have one named after them.
And so much apathy that I nearly choke on it.  Some want a better life.  Most don't.  They go through the same routine day after day after day.  Existing but not living.

I don't understand it.
I suppose that's a good thing.

So while I'm in my mid-forties, I haven't given up the ghost yet.  Nor do I plan to anytime soon.  I want to embrace this time I have.  I want to spend it as productively and lovingly as possible.  I want to push my boundaries and do stupid shit.  There's simply so much out there to get into.  Why wouldn't I want to give it a go?
I would.
I will.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

An app that tries to kill you

I want to be a runner.
Not some long-distance marathoner all lanky and muscled with 2% body fat.
No.  I simply want to run.

Thought I'd download Couch to 5K app so I could get a hold of that.
Holy Mary, Mother of God.
I can easily walk an hour and a half on a treadmill.  I'm all sweaty and funky, but I can DO it.
I created a playlist with songs containing 123 beats per minute and had that in the background while this sadistic animated bitch with red hair told me when to brisk walk and then jog.
I  made it 12 minutes of the 20.

I'm unamused.
My body is also not laughing.

Right hip is trying to secede because she's saying she didn't sign up for this shit.  Poor girl has arthritis.  But not so debilitating that she can't run.  She just doesn't WANT to.
Neck is all stiff and out of sorts.
And the calves?
Mutiny, I tell you.

Doesn't mean I won't try again.  Simply means I need to ease into instead of cannonballing, which is my way.
Think I'll pick back up Wednesday after work.
See if I can convince myself that baby steps forward are better than sprinting and then crashing.
Wish me luck.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Potatoe Potatoh

Had an eye appt yesterday.  You know, on that RARE day off.
I've worn glasses since I was twelve.  So I became rather pleased when I realized I could take my glasses OFF to read books.  This was whole new territory and rather exciting.
Unfortunately, the eye doc did not concur.
I have a prescription for "progressive" lenses.  That would be...bifocals.
Color me displeased.
Also seem to have a bit of pressure behind my eye so that's all sorts of fun, too.  Going to have to go back beginning of June to have some more tests.
Good times.

I never wanted to wear bifocals.  Does anyone else think of Ben Franklin, or is that just me?  Won't be offended if it's just me.  Oftentimes, it really just is.

Doc was asking about people in my family, and if there was a history of eye issues and whatnot.  I had the pleasure of telling her that no.  I believe I was the only one with such issues.  Along with the only one to wear lenses at such a young and tender age.

It sucks.

Speaking of days off, what a rot.
On those rare days, we are expected to shove everything we don't have time for during the week into a day or two.
This also sucks.
Sucks butt.
Both cheeks.
Do you ever simply want to WALLOW in your non-working day?  Stay in your pajamas?  Leave the toothpaste on the side of your mouth?  Look like Einstein on a bad hair day?  You know...just not give a shit?
Me, too.
Until the realization dawns that at least one of those two days will be spent running around with a list on your phone from five different places that needs to be done before you can go home and collapse.
Is this just me, too?

Working the day job today.  Off tomorrow.  Already have a couple things I need to do.
Of course I do.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

It's a trap

I don't understand why I'm not independently wealthy.  Just doesn't seem right.
Bought a new car Friday, and I want to quit adulting for awhile.  Just want to open the moonroof, crank the tunes, and annoy the shit out of everyone driving around me.
Not too much to ask, right?

I would have loved to have anything remotely like I have now back in the day.  Couldn't have afforded the SOB, but man, it would've been brilliant.
And now that I can afford the SOB, I have to work in order to do that.
What fresh hell is this?

So.  Must work to afford car.  Just want to go drive car but can't because of work.
Quite blows.

I always thought it would be a great thing to be an adult.  All adulting and stuff.  Making decisions. Working for my own money.  Spending my hours like I want.
Ha some more.

It's a trap.
I didn't have the knowledge I have now when I was young and so were my kids.  I didn't realize, at the time, how precious that time was.  I don't remember any Christmas Break or Spring Break with any degree of clarity.  But I do remember grabbing books from the library and going home to read FOR HOURS uninterrupted.
Total.  Complete.  Bliss.

Now most of my hours are spent doing something else for someone else so I can afford my shiny new car.  Her name is Pearl, by the way.  She's a good kid.

I will, however, instruct my precious grandson about what I've learned.  Teach him to embrace the moment he is in.  To not wish away time because it doesn't slow down.  It spins faster and faster.  I'll try and show him to appreciate what he has, when he has it.
And maybe view childhood and adolescence with a little more love instead of disdain.
I'll enjoy those moments with him.  Treasure them.  So when I'm old and dotty, he'll know that our time together was one of the best gifts I had ever been given.

And Syrus, don't grow up too quick.
It's a trap.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Three day weekend

I love three-day weekends.

Took off Friday but didn't rest.  Went car shopping.  Now I have a beautiful Honda CR-V something or other with a moonroof.  The process is incredibly exhausting.

Saturday was grandson's first birthday party!!!  Can't believe Little Man is already one.  We drove an hour and a half, one way, to get there.  All totally worth it.

Came home to watch Game 1 of the second round of NBA Finals.
Holy shit, the Thunder stunk it up.  Awful damn game.  Painful to watch.  Hoping they watch film, adjust, and come back to beat the Spurs' ass.
So that was Friday and Saturday down.

Picked up a few groceries this morning.  I've actually been awake since 6:45 am.  This is the highest order of horseshit.
I HATE mornings.  Not so much mornings, per se.  I loathe WAKING UP.

Now it's the last day of the weekend with Monday looming like a zit on prom night.  And I'm tired as hell.  But I don't want to take a nap because then I'll feel as though I wasted the whole day.
Man, talk about a dilemma.

I'll work on the writing a bit and see what pops.  Maybe notes.  Maybe editing.  Maybe I'll amaze myself, and my grey matter will rebound with a force that is unstoppable.
I kill myself.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

More short stories

I tend to forget what a writing blitz I had with my short stories.  Found at least two more that I can publish after I look through them and add covers.
I had one each in seasonal offerings.  Then another Winter one.  Looked through my zip files to refresh my memory.

Weather didn't do much here the other day.  While I sometimes become increasingly agitated with local weathermen, they try to outdo each other daily, I am happy that we have some of the best radars and equipment available.  Now we're looking forward to a wet Friday.  Meteorologists in this state are bashed quite a bit with some in particular exposed to more venom than others.  They do, in fact, need to dial it down before they "cry wolf" one too many times.

Off tomorrow with boy child's first birthday Saturday.
Yes.  Caps. grandson.
I'm sure he'll be burnt around the edges from overstimulation by the end, but I'm sure he will enjoy the festivities.  Going to a local children's museum.  Since Little Man is walking now, it'll be interesting to see what he gravitates to.

I like to read cookbooks.  Read them like regular books.  I have simple tastes and often look for recipes that I can try at home.  Good luck with that.  More than half a dozen ingredients, and I will move on now matter how good it sounds.
Put "It's All Easy" on hold and received it at the library today.  Gwyneth Paltrow's offering.
Let me start by saying that I've read quite a few stories from and about her.  Most of it stating that she can't possibly understand what less affluent people need or want.
But this cookbook is kick-ass.

Just goes to show.  One man's bullshit is another man's fertilizer.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Not me

I've tried for a small eternity to pull a ponytail up and have that neat fishtail/fan look that women with straight hair have effortlessly.
Mine looks like a pig's tail.  Thanks curls.
I've tried for years to straighten my bangs so they look halfway decent when I get to work.
I have a nice cowlick right in the middle.  And let's hear it for Oklahoma humidity.  Looks like I've been in a sweatshop for three days.
I don't look cute when tired.  I give "resting bitch face" a whole new definition.
My fingernails grow out square.
My middle big toe is the longest.
I won't pretend to laugh if something isn't funny.
I have bags under my eyes that you could pack a whole family's wardrobe in.

I'm not Tigger.  I'm more Kanga without the cool pocket I can put shit in.

Why is any of this important?  There's a war out there about image.  What is "right" and what is "wrong".
How a person should act.  How they shouldn't.

But I don't give a flying fuck.

I'm forty-four years old.  I'm a mother of three and grandmother of one.  I've loved.  I've lost.  I've picked myself up and brushed myself off.  I've cried.  I've laughed.
There are days I simply struggle to make it through.
And I used to kick my own ass for this.  Why wasn't I doing more?  Surely I could add three or four more things to my waking hours to be more efficient?
What a slacker.

It's hard when you're conditioned to go and do and do and go until you drop.  I still kick myself every now and then for not doing "enough" in my opinion.

I used to work a twelve-hour shift from 7 pm to 7 am.  Pick up my kids from daycare at 11 am.  Take the Pre-K and Kindergarten babies to school and stay up with the baby to do it all over again.
I was freakin' Superwoman.
Now I drive an hour to work nine hours and drive an hour and a half back home.
Guess what?  I'm STILL fucking Superwoman.
And that won't change because of what I do or don't do.
I need to accept my limitations and learn to say "enough" even though I sometimes wonder if that's in my vocabulary.
So cut yourself some slack, my friend.
You do you.  Do what you can.  And quit kicking your own ass.  Your time and energy are better spent elsewhere.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A little personal responsibility

Twice within ten minutes, I encountered two people, one on the phone and one in front of me, that tried to convince me that they weren't responsible for damage/loss to our items.
The one on the phone said she was "sorry, I guess" because her dog destroyed our property.  But isn't it too bad that she can't use her card to get movies?  Yes, ma'am, it is.  Maybe the item should have been put up a bit higher out of reach of canine teeth.
Then another person right in front of me saying they have over $100 in bills since they were kicked out of someone's home and left our property there.  And now they can't access said items.  And what should they do?

Let me explain a little something.
When I screw something up, I'll be the first one to tell you.  I'll take the hit.  Because I'm the one that fucked it up.  No problem owning it.  Never have had.  Never will have.

I've done my best to teach the kids the same thing.  Honesty and accountability.  If they told me of a situation that they messed up and were in trouble, and THEY TOLD THE TRUTH, then I could work with that.
Lie to me?
You cut your own throat.
No time for that bullshit.
Thank you.  Goodbye.

I cannot fathom how adults are so quick to slither out of saying it was their fault.  When it obviously was.  What in the hell?
My fear being a new generation of human beings that think NOTHING is their fault.  Good God! I shudder to think.
I've seen this crap on FB and Twitter.  It's ridiculous.

Simple fact...if you've done it, then it IS your responsibility.
Own it.  Try to make it right.  Apologize.

Storm Season

It's that time again.
Spring in Oklahoma which translates to a good possibility of severe weather.

When I worked 12-hour shifts at the factory, the kids were in daycare.  Apparently there was a Tornado Warning one day when they were still there, and baby child was put in a closet for her safety.
That did not go over well.
I'm pretty sure I was the only Mom with a two-year old who could pick out Pottawatomie County on the map and read a radar.  I thought for the longest time she would be a meteorologist.  But her talents lie elsewhere.

They're predicting bad business tomorrow.  I think Central Oklahoma is 6 out of 10 for some major shit going down.  Long-track tornadoes, baseball size hail, and 80 mph winds.  Always a good time.
I've taken to sending my lovely adult children "MMU"'s.
These are "Mom Meteorological Update"s.  I do a group message with pertinent information about the weather.
One time, ONE TIME, I did not update everyone, and I caught hell for not notifying them.
Keep in mind that they all have phones.  And baby child actually has more weather apps than I do.
But I'm better for them than David Payne or Mike Morgan.
And, honestly, I feel better knowing that I've given them a heads-up on some potentially damaging weather.
Factor in to that I have a grandson now, and I guarantee I put the rest of the weather people to shame. Priorities, man.  Priorities.

We Oklahomans are a bit odd when it comes to weather.  Yes, we often are outside filming EF3's or 4's.  We want to ride it out and experience Mother Nature firsthand.
I remember watching a thunderstorm from our front porch one time, and the lightning struck maybe a 1/3 of a mile up the hill from the house on a light pole.
Scared the shit out of all of us.  And thank God I yanked the porch screen open so we could all flee back inside, or I'm sure we would have made one of those holes in it like a cartoon.
Good times.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Wal-Mart will be the death of me

This is the second time in as many months that I've gone to ye olde neighborhood market and come back with a sore throat.
I am not a happy individual right now.

My right nostril has given up the ghost while my throat feels like razor blades are stuffed inside. What in the blue hell is this all about?

I'm religious about washing my hands and using sanitizer.  Yet, here I sit.  At my desk.  With a sore throat and a bad attitude.


Doing a bit of editing today.  Third book of the five series.  Now I need to go back and start jotting down more of the story.  I know we're not supposed to have favorites, but the mouthy redhead would have to be mine.  She's so audacious.  Non-apologetic.  Honest to a fault.
We're a bit over 16,000 words in, and I simply adore her.  Too bad things go a bit...awry.
Sorry, Megan!

Then I had the brilliant idea to look at some other titles and stories that I've either plotted out or actually written some down.  And the hard part is sticking to what I should be doing and not jaunting off to write on something else.  Like another Erotic Romance short story.  The work of Philosophical Fiction.  The long Erotic Paranormal.

I think the work week should be four days followed by a three day weekend.  I simply do not have the time to finish what I need to in 48 measly hours.  Yes, yes.  I know it SOUNDS like a lot, but it surely isn't.
Especially when it comes to the glorious writing.

Saturday, April 23, 2016


My weekend is usually split in two.  One day will be a day of running errands, cleaning up around the house, and basically running amok.
One day will be me planted in front of my computer working on the writing.
Guess which one I prefer?

Today is the running day.  My beloved Simba, Patron Saint of Foo Foo Kitties, has his annual vet appointment late morning.  He is a sheltered kitty.  Doesn't go outside.  Has a water fountain of his very own.  Things of this nature.
After losing my kitty family after the house fire, it took me years to be able to form a connection with another feline.  But now I have Sim.  And he's my heart.
I'm sure we'll both be scarred after the vet appt, but usually I'm forgiven in the early evening hours. And it's only once a year.  Thank God.  So I'll shove his little contrary booty in the carrier and cart him off to the doc.  Sim's my 18 poundish Wonder Kitty.  Add a large carrier onto that, and I'm calling cardio for the day.

Then we're off to the mall to get our rings checked.  Afterwards, I'm on my own for going and doing. Grocery run to stock up the larder.

Actually loaded up all my short stories on Amazon.  The Erotic Romance shorts are on my left sidebar.  I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love the cover for "Taking Pleasure".
It is AMAZING.  Probably need to check around on Amazon and work up a giveaway or two.  Also need to work on my Inman Books page on FB.

No rest for the wicked.
Or the multi-tasking chicklet known as me.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Love and loss

I'll miss Prince.  I'll miss the softspoken genius who defined so much of what it was to be your creative self no matter the cost.  I'll miss the talent and uniqueness that has now gone from this earth.

But I also found out that someone else passed yesterday.
Tim Johnson.

I doubt any of you know him.  But I had the privilege of working with him at Mobil/ExxonMobil many years ago.  I worked in slitting which takes a massive roll of film on a metal core and cuts it down to customer specs.  I don't recall how Tim lost his back-up.  I want to say that maybe she became pregnant.  So I was moved from the machine I was on to 138.  137 and 138 were Camerons. They were located in the back of slitting against the wall, side by side.  And they absolutely flew.

The first time I worked on 138, I was moving the giant roll of film off a rack and onto the machine.  I bumped the edge of the film against the end, and Tim said, "Don't do that again."
Bet money I didn't.

We worked for years together.  Twelve hour shifts.  From 7 am to 7 pm and back again.  Three on and three off.
And I loved the hell out of him.
He was the type of man who would take off his wedding ring at the start of shift and put it on a necklace around his neck.  Then he would take it off the chain at the end of the shift and put it back on his finger.
I heard about his two girls and one boy who played ball and did well in school, and I could see the pride written across his face.  He was a family man.  He was a good man.  I had seen him once not too long ago when he brought his younger daughter in for a library card.
The whole crew arrived.  Tim, his wife-Stacey, Lyndsey, and Dylan.  His oldest was probably at work.  He talked about how Lyndsey had been in an accident but was on the mend.  He told me he moved from slitting out to the warehouse.  He seemed happy.  And that's how I'll remember him.
I've not been around a lot of good men in my life, but Tim was one.  And I know that so many will miss him.  I'll miss him.  And the world will be a bit dimmer without him in it.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Burning the candle at both ends

I run until I fall.
Never been a moderate person.  I'd like to think I had more sense when I was younger.  Now, I simply don't care.
If something needs to be done, then I'll do it.
Moving on.

The past two days, I've spent looking over three of my short stories to release.  I edited "Intervention" yesterday during lunch.  (Yes.  It had been edited, but I always go back through to see if I can tighten it up or maybe change the words around a bit.)  Pulled my photo from Shutterstock and designed the cover.  It's now on Amazon.
"Conjuring Cade" was today's editing piece.  It's been loaded on Amazon, and I'm waiting my 24 hours to gaze upon its wonderfulness.
Now I'm editing "A Warmer Than Usual Autumn".  But I don't like that name so I'll need to be figuring out something with a bit more appeal to me.

It makes me mentally tired.  Tack that onto my physically tired.  But I also feel ACCOMPLISHED.
And that's the feeling I love.  Yes.  My brain runs non-stop, and I spent all my downtime for three days working on short stories and publishing.
But the results?
So worth it.

By the time this weekend rolls around, I'll have three more short stories on Amazon.  They're all Erotic Romance, and that suits me fine.  There is one story which I honestly cannot decide whether I want to release or not.  I'll ponder that.  Also knowing I have a document full of titles I can pull from if I want to write some more short stories and pop them on Amazon, also.

I need an outlet for the creativity.  I may be nothing at the end of the day but a puddle of wax, but I rocked that shit.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Should have known better

Not only is this a Richard Marx song, hello 80's, but it was me last night.

I sleep with ear plugs and a visor over my eyes.  If I can see or hear any stimuli, I'm completely screwed.  My brain will latch onto it with the proverbial jaws of life and not let go.  So I tend to try to shut down everything.
Daredevil and I are just alike.
Other than me not being a fictional blind hero.  But other than that...EXACTLY alike.
Oh.  And I couldn't use his water tank bed because I'm claustrophobic and would stroke out.
But really...everything must be dark and quiet.

Silly me started thinking of the writing.  This is akin to opening the window a crack for a little breeze, and suddenly you're in a tornado.

I should've known better.
Because once I start, I cannot stop.

I'd lay my head down.  Mind wandered.  Thought came to me.  Picked up phone and jotted it in notes.
Five minutes later.  Repeat.
Two minutes later.  Repeat.
Two minutes later.  Repeat.

Somewhere been an hour and a half and two hours later, I finally nodded off.
This is better, however, than me literally hopping up out of bed to sit in front of the computer for an hour or so.  I've done that, also.

More good news is that I have lovely tag lines for four of the five book series.

I love this job.

My commute

They're doing construction on the highway I take to and from work.  That tacks another twenty minutes or so to my already hour drive.
This is basically what it's like every day:

Welcome to my morning commute.
1. If you're are going 45 mph and attempting to merge onto a highway that is going 65 mph, perhaps you don't realize you're totally screwing the 11 people behind you. I hate you. I realize "hate" is a strong word.
That's why I used it.
2. If you cut in front of me in your small car, barely missing my front bumper, because you couldn't wait 60 seconds for me to pass and get behind me, then proceed to drive slower than I was to begin've earned a spot in automotive hell. I've already booked you a room.
3. If you think that driving a large farm truck or semi grants you the right to drive like a bat out of hell, 20 mph over the speed limit, you, sir, are a douche.
4. If you move to the passing lane so you can pass a semi and then proceed to drive next to it for two miles, my disdain for you cannot be adequately put into words. But the words "fuck you" have a nice ring to them.
5. If you weave in and out of traffic without using your blinker/indicator/light that flashes on and off and tells people your intentions, turn in your license immediately and satisfy your idiocy playing Pole Position.
6. If you cut in front of me and slow down, I will ride your bumper like Seabiscuit. Saddle up, bitch.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Shutterstock Day 2

I'm trying all sorts of word combinations to find some usable pictures.  Sensual.  Intimate.  Couples.
I keep running into vagina face.  Attractive man.  That beard though...
I'm also seeing a LOT of submissive women.  Not about that life.  Certainly not what I'm looking for to use.
Then there's a naked chick holding an avocado behind her back.  Is this code for something?
Holy shit, there's a lot of ass.  Too much ass.
Or boobs.
For the love of God.

The pattern also holds for men are okay kissing men, but women cannot let their lips touch.  Pop a sucker in-between them.
*eye roll*

I'm having a hard time, haha, finding something I truly enjoy looking at and that I would welcome to represent my work.

Tan lines.  No.
Ass in air.  No.
Models so thin even France wouldn't let them walk the catwalk.  No.

I feel like Meghan Trainor right now.

Better luck later.
Maybe I'll put the cover aside for a couple of days and check through the stories again.


Monday, April 18, 2016

I'm incredibly picky

Realized that most of my short stories rights reverted back to me.  So I'll be finding some covers and releasing them on Amazon.
"Unbreak My Heart" was my first Amazon release solo under C'ann Inman.  I now have around half a dozen more that I'll put up.
But finding the right cover?
Oh.  Good.  Lord.
Trying Shutterstock first.  That's where I found my other cover.  And it was perfect.
Unfortunately, I've been through 106 pages thus far and found only around 7 images.
I don't like models staring at the camera.  I don't like a high cheese factor.  I don't need a pornographic cover, but I'd like something to convey sensuality without the fucktuality.
You know?
There is an incredibly attractive male model with lots of pictures to offer, but he has a beard.
I don't mind a beard.  Never have.  On some men, I actually prefer it.
But every time I see a picture of this guy, it looks like a vagina on his face.
On.  His.  Face.
I just...can't.
Some of the images are all cuddly.  That's great.  Cuddle.  After you screw each other's legs off.
Work with a woman!!!
These are Erotic Romance offerings.

It's like you have the photographic seven dwarfs:  Slutty, Stupid, Cheesy, Contrived, Hopeless, Idiotic, and Pained.
And if I see one more person blowing me a kiss, I'm going to lose my shit.

Puts my short ass in a foul mood.  I found one cover that will fit with one of the short stories.  That's the brilliant part.
But who, in their right mind, needs a woman holding a rose in front of her nipple?  Or, fuck my life, the duckface?  Then you can have the model hold her own boobs, or some guy can do it for her.

There is some weird shit out there, people.  Some damn weird shit.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Family Ties

We watched Amy Schumer last night.  Yes.  She's beyond hilarious.  Like way on the other side of it. Her opening comic was alright.  But the first part of the show was actually her brother, Jason Stein, and his jazz trio.
Even I, who know quite a few words, have none to accurately describe his set.
Picture a grown man assaulting a bass clarinet.  I'm calling his instrument a victim because what he put it through was unholy.

I played clarinet all through jr. high and high school.  I loved it.  I loved band.  And I also love listening to live music.  So my hopes were pretty damn high when they came out.

I'd brought ear plugs because I tend to have sensory overload, and I knew the show would be loud. Mr. Stein hit the first note, and I nearly dropped my purse because I was fumbling around for the ear plugs.  Even when I jammed those bastards in so far they nearly touched, I was still subjected to the sound.

His embouchure was horrific.  That's how his mouth is set on the mouthpiece.  I've listened to purer notes coming from a high school student.  The low notes were splatted out with more spit than air.  The octave above wasn't bad, but there were many squeaks and this awful slurring like he didn't know whether he wanted to hit a high C or the one below it.

I completely understand Amy wanting to support her brother.  That's what family does.  That's what family SHOULD do, at any rate.
But having to sit through his set was auditory assault.  I literally felt pain.

So perhaps Mr. Stein can work on his chops.  Tighten things up, so to speak.  That would probably be a good idea.

And for those who are looking forward to Amy's upcoming appearances, God bless you.
Warning shot fired.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Wet Weekend

Sounds like a title for an Erotic Romance, doesn't it?

But it's actually describing the real possibility here in Oklahoma.  Saturday may be drizzly.  But it's supposed to give us 1"-4" starting Sunday and continuing through the first part of next week.

We're going to see Amy Schumer this evening.  Grab some dinner in Bricktown before.  Then drag our tired asses home and collapse into bed.
Saturday is writing/editing/playing with the words.
Sunday will be church and more playing with the words.

Then back to the day job.

I'd love to see what I could do with actual free time during the week.  I work 40 hours.  I commute nearly 14 hours.

Ever been on a writing jag?  I remember the first time I hit 7000 words in a day.  I felt hollowed out. Couldn't keep my eyes open.  Brain felt like jelly.  Could barely form a cohesive thought.
It was AMAZING!!!

I need that again.

Pondering writing short stories in my meager free time, in-between the novels, and self-publishing on Amazon.
I simply feel the need to utilize what I have, and there are not a lot of publishers interested in shorter stories.
But some stories are made to be smaller.  They're novel snippets.  Snapshots.  Not the whole photo album.
I'll think on this.
I'm not manic enough as it is.


My beloved grandson is walking now.  He'll be a year April 30th.
I remember the day he was born.  I remember holding him.  I remember the first time he smiled.  I remember the first time he held his bottle.  I remember the first time he crawled (that was to me, by the way).  I remember when he recognized his name.
His year has been filled with firsts, and I tuck them away in my heart for safekeeping.

Milestones are important.  They mark both beginnings and endings.
We tend to have a lot in our lives.

I'm absolutely horrid with dates.  It's an OCD numbers thing, I think.  But I remember experiences and feelings.

I remember the first time I had a piece of mine, a poem, picked for publication.  I remember being incredibly proud when my babies graduated from high school.  I remember their births.

It's funny.  I've had quite a few not-so-great things happen as well.  They tend to dim after time. While the good things continue to shine.

I only remember the blindingly sharp pain of childbirth if I specifically try to recall it. Otherwise, I skip right over it to when they little ones are in my arms.  I try not to remember my house burning to the ground and usually only do so if I smell smoke.  The pain of rejection or abuse fades into the background unless something crosses my mind as a reminder.

But all the milestones are there.  And they're each important.

We usually don't have beginnings unless we have endings.  I think we, as humans, tend to hold on to things that perhaps we should not hold onto as long as we do.  You can't grasp something else if your hand is already full.

While I'm not going to break out into "Let It Go" (a song, which I know all the words to even though my children are adults), I think it's appropriate to acknowledge  all milestones.

Appreciate your life for the ups and downs.  Dream big.  And if something doesn't fit you, or you've outgrown it...Let.  It.  Go.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Subconscious writing

I don't outline my books.  I know the plot, premise, and characters.
And the title.  I won't start a project without a title.

But every once in awhile, I'll write a scene that fits in the story because it "clicks" with me.  And then later realize how important that scene really was.
Same thing with my five-book series.
A scene in the first book between two characters is pivotal to all five books now.
And I didn't realize that when I wrote it.
I did not.  Realize it.  When I wrote it.
True story.
At least consciously.

But as I puzzle out the books, I began to realize how that minor character and the interaction sets the stage for a much larger scene later on in the last book.

I've written up to the last twenty percent of books only to write a scene that ties back to a much earlier one.  And while I recognized it was a good scene, I didn't grasp the tie-in until I'd finished writing the second one.

Makes my toes curl.

I'm no Steven Moffat.  But who is?  That man can arc something for five years.

However, I find myself highly tickled when the words not only come, but they stitch themselves beautifully into the story and leave me feeling beyond satisfied.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


I'm empathic.
Not so much that it's debilitating, but often enough that it makes me uncomfortable.

Sometimes people wonder why I'm not emotional for whatever reason.  Why I tamp down on it. Because crying gives me a headache, and I don't like being at the mercy of someone else's emotions.
It's exhausting.

I would like to think that it helps make me a better writer.  To have the ability to feel deeply the pain/fear/love of others.

Sometimes an event will trigger a memory for me, and I'll see it in my head.  Then I have to figure out if I've actually seen it or read it somewhere.  Because for me, it's incredibly vivid.  It did, for all intents and purposes, happen.

It's one of the reasons I don't watch Reality TV.  Living and dying by choices made and being wound up and all out of sorts is stressful.  I also don't care for the backhanded, back door bullshit that is prevalent.  It chips away at my spirit.

I read "A Hunger Artist" by Kafka decades ago.  Then I had the most horrific nightmare where one of my children and I were the ones in the cage.  It still haunts me.

I can avoid all the emotional rigamarole and only see three minutes of pure emotion, and I'm usually wrecked for the day.

Now.  Having established THAT...

...I'm a HUGE fan of "Bones".  I've explained how I missed it the first time 'round and now I'm glued to it on Netflix.
I felt SICK when Zack Addy was in the hospital, and there was that huge revelation about what transpired.  Now I haven't watched the show in probably a week because the next episode is one in which he guest stars.  But I'm not done with his previous episode!!!
It.  Hurts.
Then there was an episode about having to be a dog down, and I just can't.

I don't fancy myself a wuss.  I'm incredibly strong-willed and put together fairly well.  I'm intelligent and can easily separate fantasy from reality.
But when my emotions are all compromised, it does a number on me.

However, as a song lyric says, "I'd rather hurt than feel nothing at all."

Monday, April 11, 2016

I can't wait.

I'm not a student of the Batman Universe.  And I'm well with that.  I used to watch the show WAY back in the day.  Think Adam West.  Always fond of the Riddler.  Batman with Michael Keaton came out while I was in high school.  Loved him and Jack Nicholson in it.  Kim Basinger did a lot of screaming.  Not a fan.
And I've watched other reincarnations hit the big screen.  Some good.  Some horrid.  I've watched the cartoon which I think is exceptionally done.
But THIS facet of that universe?
Are you freakin' KIDDING ME???  I haven't been this excited since "Jurassic World" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" before that.
What a cast.  What a concept.
With humor and angst and shoot 'em ups.
I'm in Chrys Heaven.
I realize that some hardcore individuals are not happy with Leto as The Joker and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.
I think the proof will be in the pudding, my friends.
And I'm grabbing a big ol' spoon.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Lesser of two evils

"Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before."~~Mae West~~

This reads like a motivational poster for the wicked and amoral.  But it also reads as an instructional booklet.

I tend to, ah, buck up against my boundaries.  I'm convinced it was because I was such a good child.  *grins*

I did what I was told.  I made good grades.  I was a nice person.  
And yet...shit still happened.
Bullying, of course.  Various forms of abuse.  Bad thoughts.  Stress.  Depression.
Evil incarnate.

But then I grew up.  And I made decisions on my own for myself and for my children when they arrived.  I've endeavored to show them how to be good people and help others.  Guess what?
Shit STILL happened.

The fucking nerve.

So now that I'm older and a bit wiser, I've come to the conclusion that most evil is relative.  I'm not talking about the hardcore shit violating the ten commandments and whatnot.  That's a hard line for me.  
I'm more talking about eating at the Cheesecake Factory when you're on a diet and not getting cheesecake.  It seems painfully obvious to me that sometimes you DO need to pick the evil you've never tried before.  
How else will you have new experiences and form new thoughts?  How will you come to appreciate the good for itself if you only choose it and have no comparison?  And, gasp, what if you LIKE the evil you've never tried before???

What would happen?

I think smiting is out.  That seems to be old school.  People may look down on you.  Then again, people will look down on you if you're not wearing the right clothes.  Fuck them, basically.  
What is the absolute WORST thing that could happen?  THE WORST???  
You regret your decision?  The person, food, clothing, or sport is not your cup of tea?
Look at you.  Adulting and stuff.

If no one, including you, is being hurt, then please explain to me the harm in your choice.  Would your mother lose her mind if she knew?  Maybe.  Would your father be incredibly disappointed?  Maybe.  
But they have their own skin.  Own thoughts.  Own choices.  Own life.

This is YOUR life.  Let me repeat:  YOUR.  LIFE.
You have the right to make good choices and bad choices.  You have the right to royally fuck up and then turn around and make the best decision you've ever made.  You have the right.  Period.

Those two "evils"?  You own those bitches. 
Embrace your life.  
And for God's the damn cheesecake.