Saturday, December 31, 2005

How Come Our Special Place is Never Where We Are?

I really should be in bed. It's 2 a.m. and I'm starting to get philosophical. Not a good sign.

I was going through my email (don't even let me begin to tell you how that's all screwed up because of adware...ahhh...another story for another time) and in my writing group, they were talking about wanting to be in certain places and one of the members asked why is it that our special place is never where we are?

Quite an interesting subject.

When I was young, I traveled a great deal. When I married, my husband and I traveled somewhat. But, for the last twenty years, I have stayed in the same area. It's not the kind of area I envision my dream place to be, but if that is so, why have I stayed here?

There is a big wide world out there with loads of possible destinations in which to hang up my hat, but why is it that I've given up on the hope of ever getting there?

I think it's my age. I'd love to live somewhere else but do you realize what that would involve? Relocating is not for the faint of heart. Or is that feint? I don't know, but I do know that I've become somewhat "settled" in my boomer chick life, and besides that, my special place changes so much that just settling for where I am now seems to be my non-intentional destination to hang that proverbial hat.

Just last year, I wanted to live in the mountains of Tennessee. Last week, I was actually contemplating moving to Las Vegas. What is going on here?

Hm...let's see...mountains, desert, mountains, desert.

Now you see why I've stayed in the same place for the last twenty years? I can't make up my mind!

I think, though, that people envision these special places to live as a means of an escape. It's nice to think of wonderful places to live and we let our imagination take us there, but is that the way life really is? Is the grass really greener on the other side?

I don't know. I'll probably stay here for the rest of my life, dreaming of places to live, but you know, I think the real truth of the matter is we're never happy with where we are and that's why we travel to different places, trying new things out and the end results are we are never satisfied. Never happy. Once we get to our dream destination, it's never really the same as we envisioned it, is it?

Well, it's time to nod off for the night. Night John Boy.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

I Am Getting Soooo Psyched

Christmas is FINALLY over and now I can turn my attention to this trip to Las Vegas coming up.

I have no idea what will be on our agenda but one of the highlights will be in traveling to the California state border and maybe even take a trip to one of the cities within the state, who knows.

I was looking up on Mapquest.com for which towns I would be traveling through to get to the border and it seems to me that Spring Valley is the first one. That's a picture of it over to the right. Isn't it simply breathtaking?

Look at that sky. Look at those mountains!!!

Anyway, I've not been blogging the past few days because I've been working my butt off, plus exploring ways to make my own ebook cover. My ebook "How to Find and Keep Your Soul Mate" is in dire need of a new cover, so I checked out this program called RealDrawPro. It's tricky. Not bad once I get used to all the gizmos and thingamabobs. I still can't figure out a few things but I'm going back in and try.

I was playing around with it and I came up with a cover that will do until I can get one better made. It's to the right there somewhere. How do you like it? If you want to see a better picture of it, go here.

I'm also in the process of writing a free ebook with soul mate facts...sort of a freebie to give away when someone buys my other one. I'll need a cover for that, too...groan....

I still haven't heard from this agent for my hen lit book. It's been one month, eighteen days, twelve hours, fifty-five minutes and thirteen seconds, but then again, who's counting?

And I'm just about done with my non-fiction relationship book, "Are You My Soul Mate? Demystifying and Identifying the Soul Mate Relationship." Kinda neat title, huh?

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Party's Over...

The stockings are emptied and the turkey carcass bares a slight resemblance to the beautiful bird it once was and I am pooped.

It was a nice Christmas, but I'm sure glad it's over. Time to get back to work!

I've already got a few things brewing in my head on what I want to accomplish in the next few months. The soul mate how to book will be finished and I'm going to get back into my hen lits.

Also, in my writing group, we're talking about doing up some ebooks to give away for promotion starting with Valentine's Day. We're already talking about a Christmas ebook for next year. I already know how to put together an ebook so that shouldn't be any problem and I look at this as a great way to show everyone what a great writer's group I have. I'm so proud of'em.

Anyway, I've got to do something to keep my mind off waiting for word from this agent. Still haven't heard anything. It's been one month, fifteen days, five hours, twenty minutes and thirty-two seconds, but, hey, who's counting?

Ooooh, I have a new pet. It's a virtual pet, but I figured that I needed a mascot to give me good luck. It's Fluffy. From the Sisterhood book. That the agent will just love and send me an acceptance letter for. Or phone call. Or email. Or pigeon, doesn't matter.



my pet!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my dear friends who have stuck by me throughout the year. It is because of you I feel that I'm not alone in this big cyber-world and that there are friends out there whom I've never met, yet we share a bond whether it is through writing, talking about our crazy families or just having someone to tell our troubles to. We laugh and cry with each other and build each other up when we're down. It's simply amazing.

I won't bore you with silly little things like telling you how much I care about you or even telling you how much you mean to me, but oh what the heck, I really do. Sniff....sniff...

But, while we're all snuggled up to our families tonight, let's reflect on what a great gift life is and thank our creator for letting us become a part of a world where believe it or not, there is indeed happiness and hope. All we have to do is open our eyes.

I wish every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday and don't forget...

I love all of you and hope that the new year brings you joy, happiness, and above all, peace and good tidings. Of course, that book contract wouldn't be so bad either. *wink*

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Deflated, Decharged and Over the Hill

I thought I'd never admit it. In the words of Bunny Whimpelton, one of the protags in my hen lit book, "Some baby boomers we are, huh? We're deflated, decharged and over the hill."

Exactly my words (no pun intended).

I've been honked at, trampled on, cursed at and this is before I get out of the driveway.

I'm talking about those luntics that we commonly call "Last Minute Shoppers." I know because I'm out there.

I will admit I'm not the fastest driver out there, nor am I the wellest as I've been nursing a cold which wants soooo badly to turn into bronchitis, but I'm a trooper, and well, I needed a few more things for under the Christmas tree.

Last minute stuff. Stuff like what no one tells me they want until the last minute stuff.

"I would love a new, bigger bird cage for Floyd" kind of stuff.

Ack.

So, my daughter and I head out yesterday, thinking that the last minute shoppers will wait until Christmas Eve just before the stores shut down to show their frustrated, angry faces, but nooooo...they're early. Early Last Minute Shoppers who don't want to be out there on the roads any more than I did.

You have to understand our destination. Salisbury, Maryland, is a somewhat small city. No backups unless you hit rush hour which wasn't until hours from the time I hit it, yet you would think we were in the middle of NY City. And they were crazy! They were zipping in and out, growing impatient with my gotta-abide-by-the-speed-limit-driving and where I am nursing a cold-almost-pneumonia, I was tired before we even got out of the car.

Inside the stores was a nightmare. I will spare you the gory details. Go out there right now and look into these people's eyes. They're downright sinister-looking.

I believe this is called last-minute-shopping-anxiety. You have one thing to get and they had this 'I'll be damned if the certain store I knew it was in didn't have it so I'm searching through every damn store all over the city to find it kinda look'. Last minute shopping at its best.

Today I feel like a mack truck has run over me. And I have so much to do. Clean. Wrap presents. Clean. Wrap presents.

Merry Christmas everyone and hope you weren't one of those I flicked off in the mall for butting in front of me. I don't know what came over me. I'm really a nice person. Honest.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Send in the...NUTCRACKERS

Yikes, five days until Christmas. Anyone out there in BlogLand ready?

Speaking of Christmas, in my writing group, where we talk about just anything, we were talking about how clowns were absolutely the scariest things and it reminded me of a story about when my Used-to-Be-Adopted-Daughter (long story) first moved in with me. She's out there on her own now but I'll never forget the night I learned the one thing she was most fearful of - NUTCRACKERS.

I have loved nutcrackers from as far back as I can remember, but it was only in the last few years I seriously started collecting them. I'm not sure how many I have but it's enough to make you sit up and take notice when you come into my living room at Christmas time.

I've got all kinds from the usual to the unusual. I've even got a Goldilocks and a Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Not half as scary as clowns and they sure light up the living room.

At Christmas, I take them out of the attic and line the taller ones in front of the Christmas tree and the smaller ones on top of my computer table and my bookcase. I don't even know why they intrigue me so, but I just love them all.

However, my Used-to-Be-Adopted Daughter never shared my love for nutcrackers and found them akin to Chuckie Dolls, and I'm not talking about the Rugrats.

When she first moved in here, she had to sleep on the sofa right beside the Christmas tree. As she didn't want to make a scene, she casually asked me if I could turn the nutcrackers facing the wall so that they would not be staring at her.

I thought it was hilarious, but as she was already traumatized, I did it.

Granted, she was 22-years-old, but if I had an army of clowns staring at me while I was trying to go to sleep, I would have nightmares for a year.

But, one night, after she had gone to sleep, I did something that will probably cause me to have bad karma the rest of my life.

I took the tall nutcrackers and lined them in front of her, facing her, so that when she woke up, they'd be staring straight at her.

When she awoke the next morning, an army of nutcrackers greeted her and I've never heard a scream so loud in all my life.

Needless to say, her stay at my house only lasted a couple years but it was fun while it lasted.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Happy Birthday, Dallas!

There comes a time in a person's life when they find someone that touches them so and that someone just so happens to be celebrating a birthday today. His name is Dallas but he goes by FTS. I'm not even sure if Dallas is his real name...he's so secretive. But while he may be secretive about his identity, he's not secretive about the love he has for mankind as shown through his many blog postings I have read in the short time I have known him.

I'm not even sure how I found his blog, but am I so glad I did. I was astounded at the number of people who faithfully read it. And I can understand why.

FTS, or Dallas, or whatever, writes with the true humor spirit. I swear he must be channeling the great humorists who have seen better humorous times and is up above beaming down humorous thoughts into his little Dallas head. But, whatever or wherever it comes from, he's got it.

After I commented a few times on his blog, I was itching to email to tell him how great a humorist he was. I write humor, also, and have started many, many books on the subject and one day they'll actually, if the humor publishing gods are with me, be published, but I didn't want Dallas, FTS, Whatever, to slip away without me telling him how great he was.

He took it like a true blue hero. And started.

I'm not even sure how far he's come on it, but he's started on a book that is going to make Dave Barry look like that guy on American's Funniest Videos that isn't funny (can't blame him, though, blame the writers).

But, anyway, it's his birthday today and I would greatly appreciate it (you won't be sorry once you get there) if you'd go over to his blog and wish him a Happy Birthday. Tell'em Dorothy sent you and while you're there ask him how his book is coming. Gotta keep the little guy going. Especially when he'd rather cook sweaters in his microwave.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Having a Celebrity Moment

"You're the one who wrote the soul mate book, aren't you?"

I was minding my own business, trying to watch the Grinch save Christmas and waiting for my relief to come relieve me of my boredom so that I could finally go home and get some real work done and the words "soul mate book" alerted me to the fact that someone out there in Realityville was talking to me.

Just as they were about to get the good part where Cindy Lou was trying to talk the Grinch into coming to Whoville to accept his "Cheer" Award, someone stepped closer and said, "It is you. I recognize your picture on the back."

Well, hel-lo, I was experiencing a celebrity moment and didn't even realize it.

"My book?" I asked, keeping one eye on this weird person and another on Cindy Lou.

"Yes, my boyfriend gave it to me."

Well, that was neat and all that being as my damn book isn't in any bookstore in any land outside of Whoville.

"Uh, may I ask you where he bought it from?"

"I have no idea," she said. "But, I love it. I've almost read all the stories and my boyfriend and I are definitely soul mates."

Well, for fear of being Grouch unpolitically correct, I said to hell with the Grinch and focused on this girl who I had never seen in all my life. This was the first time that anyone where I live (not counting family, friends and those other poor souls that I begged to buy the book) has ever walked up to me, out of the blue and recognized my picture from the back of a book that has been out for over a year.

And, you know what?

I was at a loss for words.

I mean, how do celebrities handle this? Do you say thank you and bore them to tears with all your upcoming books so that you'll have an instant sale when they are released? How do you handle this?

I did thank her. And scribbled my website down on a torn piece of paper. Why in the hell did I do that anyway?

Because I couldn't think of anything else to do.

I'm not used to anyone coming up to me out of the blue like that and I was totally unprepared.

At booksignings, you're prepared. But, not while trying to watch the Grinch on the company's television. And not after you have resigned yourself to the fact that your book will not be on any bookshelf unless you do it by consignment which I absolutely am not going to do. I would rather sell them by hand and make more profit.

So, anyway, after she left, I really felt good. Someone had recognized me from the back of a book. A book that someone had bought them as a gift. A book that took three years of my life to put together. A book that is so special to me that I'll probably put it in my will to put a copy in my coffin with me.

Lord even knows where he bought it, but it's driving me insane trying to figure it out.

After she left, I sighed and sat back down to finish the Grinch and escape back to Whoville. Gotta love that green guy.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I Found My Dream Ornament!!!

Okay, here it is!

It doesn't look EXACTLY like the one I bought but it's the closest I could find on the internet. What this is is a lady from the Red Hat Society. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. My book-to-be has three women, in their fifty-something stages of life, who break bad, do the impossible and live to tell their story. She's kind of cute, isn't she?

I hung her up, said my wish and now it's up to the creator up above to determine whether I deserve it or not. I've done my part. There's nothing more I can do.

The Sisterhood Girls want to go to NY. Please, God, let them have their wish.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The War on Christmas Continues...

Hi, I'm Frannie Foxworthy, standing here at the North Pole with the one and only Santa Claus just days before Christmas when he makes his yearly pilgrimage delivering toys to all the kids in the world. He has granted Foxworthy News this special interview because he has a message he wants to tell the world and you're about to hear that message right now.

"Mr. Claus, thank you so much for granting us an interview right in the middle of peak season. I know you are quite busy right now, but can you tell us why you contacted us and what is this message you want us to hear?"

"Thank you, Frannie, and welcome to my corner of the world. As you can see in the background, my elves are gearing up for my yearly visit to all those good little girls and boys who are waiting for me to visit them, but I have a problem."

"What's that Mr. Claus?"

"I'm afraid I can't make it."

"What do you mean, you can't make it?"

"Well, you see, I was going through this famous tale someone wrote about me called 'The Night Before Christmas'."

"I love that story, Santa!"

"I'm sure you do, as well as I. This story has been told to generations after generations of children, but I'm afraid it's all about to come to an end."

"What do you mean?"

"I'm afraid I've gotten word that the President has outlawed saying 'Merry Christmas' because it offends a certain part of the world. And when I shout, 'Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night,' I'm being politically-incorrect. And if Santa is being politically-incorrect, then I just can't set a good example for the children of the world anymore."

"But, Santa, you've been doing this for generations and generations!"

"I know, but the world has changed. Before you know it, they'll outlaw me even, saying that I represent something that some part of the world doesn't believe in anymore. I don't want to offend those who don't believe and I certainly can't be politically-incorrect. I may not be what some people think I am, but I'm certainly not a hyprocrit.

"So, I'm getting out before it comes to that."

"But, what about the children? What about when they get up and there's no presents under the Christmas tree for them?"

"Don't you see, Franny? Eventually, they're going to change the name altogether anyway. The Christ in Christmas offends a certain percentage of the population and the President must keep those votes, too. It's all about politics, don't you see that?"

"You mean you think that one day there won't be a Christmas?"

"Oh, there will be a Christmas, but the name will change. I'm not sure what they're going to call it. They've got top brass talking about it now but it's all top secret."

"But, what will you do, Santa, if you can't do what you've been doing for thousands of years?"

"Maybe it's time I gave it a rest. Before long, they'll outlaw me, too, so I'm thinking of a new vocation."

"New vocation?"

"Yeah, I'm thinking about going back to school and making something of myself. Try out a profession where I'll make lots of money and can buy all those material possessions that I've been painstakenly making by hand. See what's it's like to have things handed to me instead of making them myself. Receiving instead of giving. It's a new concept that I'm not sure whether I'm going to like or not, but as they say, you can't fight city hall."

"I don't know what to say, Santa."

"You don't have to say anything. Santa knows what you are thinking and I know what the rest of the world is thinking. Maybe I'll become a psychic, who knows. But, Ms. Foxworthy, I do want to say this. All this crap about the holidays is getting on my nerves and I've had it. People aren't happy unless they change this, change that, but who am I? A lowly pilgrim just trying to make the children happy. My world doesn't exist anymore. I'm not sure what the new world is going to be like, but I have a choice. I can either join it or not. I have no choice. Even though we live in a democratic age, our choices are being squashed like a June bug. So, I believe I need to hang up the suit and put Rudolf out to pasture because there is no need for me anymore."

"Santa?"

"Yes?"

"Can I still believe in you?"

"Of course you can."

Santa got real low and whispered into my ear out of the earshot of the microphone and said, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

(Please feel free to post a link to this article on your blog or wherever else you'd like to help us to save Christmas!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Don't Come Near Me When I've Had a Rejection

Can I rant a little?

I had one bummer of a night last night.

First of all, that morning, I found out a contest I had entered and just knew that there was a good chance I'd at least place, announced their finalists and my name wasn't on the list. It wasn't like I wasn't prepared for the blow because I had heard that they'd already contacted the finalists days ago and I thought for some ungodly reason, my email from them got eaten up in cyberspace. No such luck.

So, of all days, BF and I were going Christmas shopping that night. On the way, he asked me why I was so quiet and I replied with "nothing" and tried to change the mood.

I was doing a pretty good job of hiding the fact that something I wanted so bad was just not going to happen, that is, until BF stopped at that nutrition store they have in the mall.

It got to be sooooo boring, so I told him I was going to the bookstore which was right across from this store and to meet me there when he finished.

I went in the bookstore and gazed at what books was on the shelves by people I either knew or knew of, but then that also got boring. I mean, we had been shopping for a couple of hours by that time and all I had to show for it was a toothbrush with my daughter's name on it. I was impatient and wanted to get things done and get the hell out of there and back to my house where I could sulk in complete privacy.

As BF was nowhere to be found, I went back to the nutrition store and he was gone. I went back to the bookstore and no BF. By that time, smoke was starting to pour out of my ears that even the worse hot flash couldn't touch. I mean, think about it, it's Christmas so you can imagine how many people were in the mall that night. As we both don't have cell phones, finding BF again was probably going to be almost impossible.

I started freaking. Do I go back to the car? Do I go to customer service and have him paged?

I walked and walked the mall. Up and down. Peeking in every store, cussing under my breath, vowing to kill him slowly when or if I ever did find him. Meanwhile, time was running out and I wasn't going to go home with one lonely personalized toothbrush.

And then, I saw him. At a freaking vendor in the middle of the mall with some guy trying to sell him some kind of pillow thing you put on your neck for aches and pains. Doesn't he realize to avoid contact with those people, that they'll grab you and insist and insist until you just have to walk away?

Nooooooo.

So, I find him and I want to wring his neck, but he's going, "Hey, honey, look at these, aren't they cool?"

"Fine, they're cool," I said, "Buy the freaking things and let's get outta here."

But, no, it didn't stop there. All he had to do was buy the things and we could finish our shopping and go home where I could pout, scream and do whatever it took to get over my rejection, not to mention the fact that shopping with your BF or anyone of the opposite gender is going to turn normal, healthy hairs into a nice shade of ugly grey the more you do it.

"Put this on your shoulder," he said.

"I've seen'em, I've had'em on my shoulder, I want to get outta here."

"But look at this!" he said.

He had some strange concoction in his hand. The closest I can come to describing it is it looks like a big spider with steel legs that you place on top of your head and by raising it up and down, it massages your head.

That's when the beady-eyed little foreign dude made his appearance.

Before I had time to say to BF, "I'm ready to go," the beady-eyed little foreign dude was pulling at the barrettes in my hair saying, "Take these off."

Do whaaaat?

"Take these off and I show you how it works."

Like hell I was. I kept resisting and he kept insisting.

"Take these off."

"No!"

"Take these off."

"NO!!!!!!!"

"Take these off."

Weeeell...by that time, something happened inside of me. I became what I never wanted to become this season....the typical Christmas shopper who had had enough of Christmas, enough of ho-ho-hoing around and I screamed at him.

"YOU'RE THE REASON WHY I SMOKE!"

I stomped off, leaving BF yelling for me to come back and I high-tailed it to the nearest exit and huffed and puffed away.

And vowed next year, I was doing all my shopping online.

I walked back into the mall and sat down in one of those chairs where you put in a dollar and they massage you (now that's ingenuity in the making...no beady-eyed foreign dudes involved) and I fumed away.

Finally, BF walks over to me and says, "He talked me into $80 worth of stuff, but you ought to see all these neat things..."

It served him right. I hope the little foreign dude took every last dime of his and we could finally go home.

I hope your Christmas shopping is done because, take it from me, it's a madhouse out there.

Ho. Ho. Ho.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Christmas Anxiety Syndrome or Where Did Christmas Go?

Well, it hit.

Two weeks left to do my Christmas shopping and my list to buy for Christmas goodies isn't even complete yet. Not only that, I have yet to find my dream ornament.

And I'm panicking.

I have no idea what happened. I started early, but did I start too early?

By now, the Christmas-decorated yards are looking a little passe and I'm ignoring the guy ringing the bell at the Salvation Army set-up they have in front of all the local stores with disdain. My dream tree, while still beautiful, sits in the corner and I haven't oohed and aahed at it for a week now. My heart is pounding because I haven't finished my Christmas shopping and I feel that time and money is running out.

Why couldn't I have finished the shopping last month anyway?

Nooooo...I just had to have that Christmas experience of going out among the masses of shoving, impatient and rude last minute shoppers. Where is my brain?

Well, now I'm having it and wishing that I could have had it last month instead.

Tonight, we are going out to try to finish. In the cold. With the mobs of shoppers who are going to be pushing and shoving. I have things to get and it's going to be a mad rush to try to find them before I a) lose my mind, b) buy something that is too overpriced because I want to get the hell out of there and c) completely hate Christmas altogether.

Oh, yeah, here's the clincher. I got an irate email from someone this morning blasting me for my views on being allowed to say Merry Christmas. I tried to explain to her that Christmas started out as a religious holiday anyway and what's the fuss all about, but she insisted that Yule was first. What's this Yule? She's pagan, so I figure it has to do with something to do with it. I don't know. I'm religious-challenged, I guess.

So, my day is going swiftly. Hope yours is going better than mine and hope you don't get Christmas Anxiety Syndrome. Can we trade lives?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Search for the Dream Ornament & The Perfect Punk

I have two weeks left to find that ornament I need to buy to represent what dream I want to happen and yesterday's search ended up zilch. If you are confused on what in the heck I am talking about, click here. Don't you just hate it when you walk in on a movie that's half over and you don't know what in the heck is going on? That link will explain.

I've got to find that ornament. I know what the dream is; I just have to find an ornament to represent it. More than anything in the upcoming year besides good health, a lob cabin in the mountains and do nothing but write, I wish for a book I have written to be snatched up by a dream agent who will find me a top NY publisher. Heh. Hey, this is my dream!

I took my son and daughter Christmas shopping yesterday, fully intending on buying their Christmas clothes (I can't buy for them for I take the easy way out..here's the credit card, have a field day) and finding my dream ornament.

Found the Christmas clothes but the dream ornament has yet to surface.

The crowd wasn't bad, though, and our spirits couldn't have been in better sync with one another as my daughter, son and I ploughed through a few department stores and the mall, stopping at Texas Road House for a steak and baked potatoe dinner. Ymmm.

I bought jeans, bought shirts, bought underwear, bought shoes, but didn't buy my ornament.

Oh, I could have if I wanted to plunk down eleven bucks for a personalized ornament, and I really did give that one some thought. I could put my book's name on it! But, eleven bucks for an ornament sent my pocketbook to trembling. I'd put it through enough stress already.

After we finished shopping, we went out to eat at Texas Road House where my Adopted-Daughter-Used-To-Be (long story) and her step-sister was already in the restaurant.

My Adopted-Daughter-Used-To-Be walked over to us and I have no idea how this happened, perhaps we were all giddy from the Christmas shopping, but someone came up with the perfect plan to "punk" Adopted-Daughter-Used-To-Be's step-sister.

Now, you have to know Texas Road House. If it's anyone's birthday, the whole staff comes out of the back, clapping and marching in unison until they get to the victim's - oops, birthday person's - table, then they take the overhead light and shine it in the victim's - oops again, birthday person's - face, then go into this ear pitching, hee-haw sort of birthday song. Then, they walk away, leaving the person completely red-faced, vowing that whoever told them it was their birthday would not walk out of the restaurant with both of their legs. Or arms. Or whatever else they could chop off.

Now, the thing was, it wasn't even Adopted-Daughter-Used-To-Be's step-sister's birthday.

Okay, you get the picture. It was the perfect punk. It's bad enough to have this happen to you on your birthday, but when it isn't, well, I wouldn't want to be the person doing the punking, I'll tell you that.

My Adopted-Daughter-Used-To-Be went back to her table and when our waitress came over to check on us, my daughter oh-so-innocently said, "I don't mean to be a bother, but do you remember the girl who was sitting here with us? Well, it's her step-sister's birthday and I know how you all hate doing that hee-haw thing you do, but could you?"

The waitress got that oh-another-victim! gleam in her eye and said sure.

We waited. My daughter gave my Adopted-Daughter-Used-To-Be the thumbs up.

We waited and waited.

Sure enough, we heard the clapping. It started off faintly, then as it got closer to us, we knew it was...SHOWDOWN.

My daughter, son and I were dying, trying to keep a straight face, but we couldn't.

They all hee-hawed over to their table, and the girl? She went, "But, my birthday isn't until July!"

Didn't matter. They didn't believe her.

It was the perfect punk. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I would have never believed it. The girl wanted to die.

But, she took it like a trooper. It was the perfect ending for a perfect night.

I never did get my ornament. But, seeing the expression on that girl's face was the next best thing.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Strange Encounter of the Santa Kind

When I was a young kid, even after I "found" out on my own about the possibility that there might not be a Santa Claus, my mother, on the other hand, insisted that there was and for many years, I had to pretend just to keep her happy.

This went on until I was a full-fledged teenager.

However, Santa meant that someone would be bringing me whatever my heart desired and there was comfort in that. My step-father was in the army and while I don't remember being poor, I do remember that whatever my heart desired didn't happen and I knew that at least I could count on one person to give it to me, or at least I could wish for it to happen.

Santa was magical back in those days.

I would create long lists to leave out on the coffee table alongside his cookies and milk every Christmas Eve. As we had no chimney for him to climb down, I'd make sure the door was unlocked before I went to bed (thank goodness we didn't have much crime back then).

Even though the kids in the neighborhood insisted there was no Santa, I still believed, for to lose that belief meant that my dream Christmas list was only going to sit on the coffee table and be completely ignored by my parents (who the kids said was the real santa) who only gave me things they thought I needed like things to develop my intelligence instead of fun things like shoe skates and dolls that wet in their pants.

Before Christmas arrived, we heard there was going to be a television show where kids could come on and tell Santa what they wanted. Aha, I said, now's my chance to find out if Santa really existed and, if so, tell him all the things I wanted that year.

When we got to the studio, the line of kids was humongous. I was really young and the crowd intimidated me, not to mention I was about to go on live T.V.

By the time it was my turn to sit on Santa's lap, I froze. The cameras were aimed at me and all of a sudden I found myself sitting on Santa's lap with millions of people watching me and monitoring my every word. For some ungodly reason, my Christmas list disappeared from my memory banks.

"And what do you want Santa to bring you this year?"

I could hear this fat man in the red suit saying something to me and I just sat there with beads of perspiration dripping down onto my frilly little dress that Mama bought me just for the ocassion.

Santa repeated, "Little girl, what would you like Santa to bring you this Christmas?"

I knew I had to say something. His breath was right in my face and the cameras were rolling and my parents and everyone else on God's green earth was staring at me, waiting for me to respond and I thought I was going to die, but somehow, some way, these words came out:

"A baby doll."

Hell, I thought. Well, back then hell wasn't allowed in my vocabulary, but I was thinking it.

It reminded me of that kid in that Christmas movie they play every year when all he wants is this BB gun and the words just wouldn't come out no matter how hard he tried.

Santa smiled and said, "What else would you like?"

"A baby doll."

"Yes, I can see what I can do, but what else would you like?"

"A baby doll."

Santa saw that he was getting nowhere with me, so he nodded, then gave me a candy cane and told me to have a Merry Christmas.

I got out of his lap, took my stroll down the ramp, and fell completely on my toosh in front of everyone. I was humiliated beyond my wildest dreams. In front of millions of people. Completely mortified was a bit of an understatement.

When I got home, I panicked. I had one chance and I blew it. I sulked for days, wondering if there was going to be ONE gift under the tree - a doll baby - and that all the rest of the kids in the neighborhood would be getting so much more and I'd be getting a stupid doll baby because that's all I could muster up the strength to say.

Christmas morning came and I peeked into the living room. My note was gone. The cookies and milk were gone. I crept over to the tree and there was my doll baby. I picked her up and there was a note attached to her little blanket. I read it and it said,

"Here is your Christmas wish. Because you were not selfish, I
decided to give you a bit more than you asked for this year. I only wish
that more kids would follow in your example and I will hope that you can teach
these kids that Christmas is all about the spirit of giving and not
receiving. You have been a good girl and I'll see you next year!
Love, Santa."


I'll never forget that Christmas. Sometimes our gifts in life comes to us whether we ask for them or not. But I learned a lesson that Christmas. Never, ever, ever, let anyone ever, ever, ever talk me into going on T.V. again, no matter what's at stake.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Christmas Experience

Well, I'm going out tonight to find my dream ornaments and do a little Christmas shopping. Brave soul, aren't I? I could have had it done back in November, but then I'd be missing out on THE EXPERIENCE and I certainly want to be Christmas-politically-correct as I've managed (forced) myself to do over the years.

The experience has come in all sorts of shapes over the years from sheer joy to downright nausea, but I'm happy to say I've lived through fifty of them so far and have come away unscathed. It's a brutal world out there and nothing compares to the Christmas gift-buying season except maybe a nuclear attack. Not that I'd want to find out what that was like.

If I had to narrow it down to which Christmas buying season I liked the best, it would have to be the time when I was living in Ft. Ord, California, and it was Christmas Eve and for some ungodly reason back then it was Christmas-politcally-correct to put the dang tree up on Christmas Eve and not months before like it is custom now.

Well, we're all there, my mother, sister, step-dad and I, and we're putting up the tree in true Americana style and lo and behold my mother shouts, "These lights aren't working!"

She throws the old lights down on the floor and tells me to grab my coat, we're going to the store.

I don't think there were malls back then, and by that time, only one department store was open that late and god help them if they were out of lights.

My step-dad stayed back, watching my sibling, and my mother and I took off on foot across this big field on the way to this store. I'm not sure why we didn't drive; maybe the car was broke down or something. And Lord only help us if someone tried to jump us, but I figure back then it wasn't a problem like it is now.

Well, we take off. The stars are out which helps lead the way. My mother and I trekking across this field of bramble bushes on our way to get these lights before my sibling nodded off.

It was magical.

I'll never forget the peacefulness that overcame me even at seven years old. My mother and I talked about a lot of things, but the one thing that stood up was the fact that she told me I walked like I was pigeon-toed. After she told me that, I made a conscious effort to walk straight, but it didn't work.

But, if you could have been there, it was as if God was leading the way, making sure we accomplished our mission without any harm. It was, after all, Christmas Eve, and even thieves must have been gathered around their own Christmas trees that night because it was only my mother and I. Together. No one else.

I think back to that journey many times over my life. What was it that made that memory stand out and others disappear? Was it the fact it was Christmas Eve and the next day was Christmas, the most joyous of all holidays?

Maybe. But, I think the real answer lies in the fact that on that starry, starry night, the spirits of both my mother and I were in sync. It was a bonding moment and I am so glad I wasn't deprived of this memory.

But, also, I found out when I grew older and had children of my own, most Christmas Eves were spent exhausted, putting together toys, throwing things in stockings and collapsing in bed at 4 a.m. in the morning.

This season I'm going to bring all that back. My kids are older and I don't have to stay up all night putting together toys and stuffing stockings (I buy bags now and have them filled to the brim in appropriate hiding places). Everything is going to be in order and I'm going to take them for a walk under the starry sky and hope I create a memory for them, too.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Blast From My Past - Another Karmic Soul Mate Found!

This is just the most incredible thing. I got home from work tonight and found an email from an internet friend, Kathy Holmes. While I feel she's more than an internet friend, I never would have even guessed what exciting news she had for me, which only goes to prove she's my soul sister for life (that's her and her snazzy red mustang in the picture to the right)!

After reading my post from yesterday in which I told the story of my need to have some closure after my mother's death and coming to terms with never having a "real" family after leaving my homeland, California, she gave me some startling news.

Seems her dad was stationed at Ft. Ord, too, the very place I used to live when I had a "real" family! This has to be over forty years ago!

While this may not seem all that big a deal to anyone else, you have to understand how long I've been looking for my lost family and friends from my homeland, California. As I was a young child when I left, I don't have but first names of people and that led me nowhere. I'd put my old school (Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Burbank) in Google and try to find out anything about my past and that even turned up fruitless. I'm not even sure why this is all so important to me. Is it my age? Do other boomer chicks find themselves looking up their past like it's so very important to them?

So, anyway, let me tell you how all this ties in with Kathy. It's funny how you can relate to some people and with others there's just nothing there, and then something happens like it did tonight, which leaves you completely dumbfounded.

I never knew Kathy before meeting her in the chick lit group on the internet. For some odd reason, I clicked with her. I knew she came from California, but I didn't think that was it. I knew she and I both wrote hen lit and was encouraging each other all the way, but there was still more that neither her or I really understood. I would joke that she's my soul sister, but I felt that it was because we seemed so alike and, also, I felt like there was some weird spiritual communication with her, as if I have known her all my life.

And, omg, I find out of all the people in the world, and not being able to find one person from my past, I find out that she was at the same army base as I was when we were kids! Did we play with each other? Did we happen to see each other in passing and perhaps smile at each other and then go on our way? And is this why we feel this bond now? It's crazy, isn't it???

Well, I'm just beside myself. I actually have found part of my past. Incredible. Simply incredible. The pieces of the puzzle are slowly coming together.

But, wait, there's more. She was so enthralled by my post yesterday that she wants my story for a book about fatherless daughters. Her agent has given the nod, so she's going to be starting on that in January. And she wants me story. By the way, if anyone has a fatherless daughter experience and wants to share it with her, click here and you can read all about it.

Life is surely incredible, isn't it?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

You Can Never Go Home Again...Or Can You?

They say you can never go home again...or can you?

In February, as some of you know, I will be taking a trip to Las Vegas for some kind of promotion thingee that was bestowed on BF from the casino he frequents a little too...uh...frequently.

When he told me about this free trip, I was elated of course, since it means VACATION TIME, but it wasn't until tonight did I realize that even though I've never even been to Las Vegas ever in my lifetime, I will be going home.
You see, as a child, I lived in Burbank, California, and duh me, I didn't realize that Nevada was right next door to my blessed homeland.

But, let me explain a little something to you that I rarely talk about before I get to the point of this post.

When I was seven, my mother married a man named Robert Manders who was stationed in the army. Right after they married, he was given orders to be stationed in Fort Ord, California. My sister, aunt, mother, new step-dad and I drove the 3,000 miles to a place I'd never been before, but was looking forward to it never the less.

For the first time, I was NORMAL. I had a father again, since my own father left me as a baby, and I felt like this was a new beginning as a family - something I'd never had up to that point.

I loved California. There were so many neat things to do and see which was so different from life back on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. But, most of all, I had a family just like everyone else with a mama AND a daddy.

However, as all good things come to an end, they didn't get along and separated three years later. I was taken by my aunt by train back to the Eastern Shore to live with my grandmother, which I did until the eleventh grade when my mother came back home and I lived with her for a year before she died.

For all the years since that tragic day when I had to leave my homeland, I've always had a secret desire to go back. Actually, it was more than that...

California represented family to me, something that was stolen from me and I knew I'd never get it back. It was like it represented a time in my life when my mother was alive and we were doing all sorts of fun things and I can't even remember a time in my life when I was so happy. I had it all. And then, in the dark of the night, my aunt whisks my sister and I off to live with my grandmother in Virginia. It was like my life ended.

I sunk into a shell afterwards. I lost everything. I lost my possessions, my mother, my life as part of a real family.

When I was in the eleventh grade, my mother came back home. She had remarried and rented the house next door to my grandmother and I moved in with her.

About that time, I met my husband and we married. One month later, I found my mother dead in her bedroom. I screamed and ran next door to my grandmother who called the ambulance.

We never found out why my mother died. My step-father was nowhere to be found and we suspected him of being involved, but it was never proven. Her death certificate said that she died of heart implications, but the coroner told us otherwise. He said that there was carbon minoxide found in her system and we never found out how it got there.

The years passed and I grieved for my mother. Holidays and birthdays were never the same. Instead of being happy, I was depressed on those days because of some unknown psychosis I suppose, but I knew why. Those days represented family, something that was stripped away from me at the age of ten. And, of course, there was the death of my mother which I never came to terms with.

When we initially made that trip to California, my step-father took a picture of my mother, sister, aunt and I standing in front of the California state sign. I saw that picture every now in then throughout my youth and marveled at how happy I looked in the picture. In fact, we all looked happy. We were on our way to a new home with new adventures...as a family.

Over the years, my aunt died and she took along with her that picture for I have yet to find it again. That picture symbolized so much and just like my mother's passing, it disappeared, too, leaving me empty inside.

When I found out about this trip to Vegas, I did a random search on the internet to see just where exactly it was. I thought it was more in the middle of the U.S., but you should have seen my expression when I found out where it really was.

Forty-five minutes from that same "Welcome to California" sign. It might not be the same exact sign, but it is in the exact same area.

I need to go there. I need to cross that border and have my picture taken underneath the sign. No, it will not be the same and no, it will not bring my mother back, but then again, will it?

Will she be standing there beside me, grinning that Marilyn Monroe sexy grin like she used to do? Will she reach over and put my hair behind my ears that irritated me so much as a child? Will she finally have a chance to tell me that she's okay and that I can relieve myself of the demons that have haunted me for the thirty years since she died?

I will get that chance to find out. It's my only chance and maybe my last chance. I need that picture more than life itself and I will get it.

For, standing there at the California border, I will have come home again.

*Note: This picture was grabbed off the internet and I hope the owner forgives me for borrowing it. It is where I need to go. To find that picture of my mother and I standing at the California border forty-four years ago. I need it to clear up the demons that have haunted me all my life and to prove to myself that you really can go home again.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Barbie Faces Mid-Life Crisis

Well, honey, aren't we all? *grin*

In looking for dolls to resemble the characters in a book I've written, I came across a tidbit of information that you might find interesting or totally boring.

Barbie, the epitome of everyone's childhood, is facing a huge slump in sales. Seems there's too much competition because of something called a Bratz doll? I went searching for a Bratz doll and this is what they look like if you don't know either.



Oh, okay. I see the fascination. Hipper. Chicker.

Well, it seems the Bratz dolls are giving Barbie a run for their money and the bigwigs at Mattel are sweating their darling little heads off. They tried running some kind of storybook Barbies which went over well with the real young set, but bombed with the nine-year-old and up crowd.

But, let's look at the real picture. Barbie is getting on in years. It isn't but so many romps with Ken left in her and there's always going to be something new and improved which is going to make anything old seem, well, less than attractive.

WAIT A GOLDARN MINUTE HERE.

Do you hear what has come out of my mouth?

Does that mean that Barbie, the queen doll of all dolls, isn't worthy just because she's...er...OLD?

Okay, the bigwigs at Mattel need to come up with an idea and I just might have the answer.

Turn Barbie ELECTRONIC.

Make her dance on the little Barbie tables while singing the national anthem.

With a click of a switch under her foot, turn her into an iPod and it'll be on every child's Christmas wish list this year.

Instead of boobs, under her shirt she can have a mini boombox complete with stereo sound and Gameboy capabilities.

Twist her arm a certain way and out of her mouth, she can recite all the answers to any tests any teacher gives you.

Part her hair a certain way and mini strobe lights can dance on the ceiling and the colors representing whether there is any artificial intelligence in the room or anywhere in the galaxy.

Hit the remote that is cleverly disguised as sunglasses and you can instruct her to cook a full course meal, give the kids their bath and make love to your significant other while you catch up on all those television shows you never could watch because there just wasn't enough time.

Oh, the possibilities are endless!

My question is...why hasn't Mattel thought of that?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I'm Going to Vegas!!!

Omg...my dream tree is already working! No sooner did the tree and the lights go up - and the ocassional ornament, not too many because I'm saving it for my "dream" ornaments - I get the fantastic news. I'm going to Las Vegas!!!
(picture to the right is where we're staying)

Jeez, I'm still hyperventilating, which isn't real good for a boomer chick, is it?

I'm telling you, you really need to get a dream tree...it performs miracles! Okay, I'm spacey, but, if you've been reading the last few posts in my blog, I've put up a new Christmas tree this year - deeming it the dream tree and I'm going to adorn it with ornaments reflecting what I'd like to accomplish in the upcoming year. I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd get a Vegas vacation out of it and it's ABSOLUTELY FREE.

BF won this free trip thingee through one of the casinos he frequents. Everything is free - plane tickets, hotel..man, it's unbelievable. It's not until February, thank goodness, because I have no clothes! With Christmas right around the corner, buying for myself is unthinkable, so if anyone wants to buy me a present, I could use about five pairs of jeans, maybe two or three new t-shirts and about six pairs of new Victoria Secret panties. I think I can handle the rest. Omg...I need another suitcase to lug all this stuff out there because it's for six glorious days and god knows if they have a washer and dryer on the premises. Probably. Omg...I need a laptop. How can I check email and everyone's blogs without one????

One thought does scare me, though. Ever since 911, going by airplane ANYWHERE scares the shit right out of me, soooooo...don't know how I'm going to handle that one. And what do you do on a plane for THREE hours, will someone please tell me?

I remember the last airplane ride. Eighteen years old. BY MYSELF. Some jerk old fart beside me tried to hit on me. Nice. Not.

Anyway, been too excited to get anything written. Barely have answered email. I'm just so freaking excited. I did think of another ebook I'm going to put together and sell on my site. If I can just calm down for two seconds enough to get some thoughts down.

And...it's been two weeks and one day since I sent my hen lit to DREAM AGENT. Not that she's even going to accept it. She's that huge. Would be nice, though. That's the first ornament I'm buying! Something to do with travel, since my book is about this cross country trip. And the characters do it in a psychedelic RV. So, hm. Anyone know where I can find a psychedelic RV Christmas ornament? That ought to be reeeeal easy to find, you think?

Friday, November 25, 2005

It's Official - Christmas Buying Season Has Begun!

It's official. Black Friday is here which symbolizes the beginning of the Christmas buying frenzy. Are you out there? Not me. Only because I have to work, but I'd love to see it in action.

However, instead of camping out in a tent in front of a department store, I'm in the comfort of my own home doing most of my shopping online. But, there are great bargains out there if you're willing to brave the elements and those loooong lines, not to mention frenzied shoppers wall to wall.

Great savings on electronics and toys seems to be what's on most of these buyer's lists. Since my kids are grown, there's no need for toys and Amazon is having a great electronics sale, so I'll be doing some of my shopping there. In the comfort of my own home.

According to a news release today, Walmart is planning a different strategy. Instead of focusing on Black Friday, they will be having their sales throughout the month of December because according to last year's statistics, the Saturday before Christmas outdid Black Friday in sales by a landslide. I know. I was there. And so was a million other last minute shoppers.

So, did anyone partake of any of the bargains today? What did you buy and were there mobs of people? Who had the most bargains?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Turkey Day is finally here! I've got my greens soaking in the bathtub, waiting to go in the pot, and my turkey is just about ready to go in the cooker. We're having a late dinner because the kids are eating at their father's first and well, my dinner won't be ready until tonight anyway.

We're having a special Thanksgiving here at my house anyway. As soon as the kids get back from their father's, we're going to put up the Christmas tree! Yes, I got my DREAM tree! For those that didn't read my last blog post, I decided that this year was going to be the year when everyone's dreams come true and that I was going to buy a new tree to symbolize a new beginning! But, what makes it a dream tree is because we're all going out and buying a special ornament to symbolize what we would like our dreams to be. For my daughter, I suppose she'll buy a nurse ornament to hopefully give her that nudge to graduate in September. As for me, I need two of them. One to symbolize my hen lit that PLEASE IF YOU ARE A PUBLISHER THIS BOOK WILL KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF...heh...sorry... a little personal dream of mine...and then the second to symbolize my new soul mate book I've been working on and is just about finished. I don't ask for much out of life and I know these are material things but hey it's my dream...lol.

I of course wish for health and happiness and maybe a special ornament is in store just in case. Wouldn't want to jinx things.

I hope you and yours are having a special Thanksgiving, too, and that you achieve your wildest dreams in the upcoming year!

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Dream Tree

Is there anyone out there in Blogland that is just dying to get out there and do some serious Christmas shopping?

WHAT? HAS SHE GONE MAD?

Oh, don't get your panties in a bind. I'm serious. This year is the first year in ages that I'm really in the Christmas spirit. And I'm going to do something totally different this year.

I'm going to buy a new tree.

Yep, but it's not because our old tree can't hold up another year and it's not that I have millions of extra dollars and can afford it. It's a symbol and I'll tell you why.

My daughter came out into the living room tonight where I was playing in email and she plopped down on the sofa.

"This is going to be the worse Christmas ever," she said. "I don't have any money at all and I just wish it would never get here."

I listened to her complain about having one night at work because of going to nursing school and how upset she was that she could barely give me or the rest of the family anything for Christmas, which was quite the opposite of past years. This is a girl that no matter what, there'd be presents up the ying-yang for me under the tree. I'm not one that needs presents, but she's one who feels the need to give them.

After she was finished, I said, "You know, this is the way I'd like Christmas to be. I don't want it to be about gifts. I want it to be about being together. I think that the upcoming year is going to be an exciting one, filled with surprises that will show us all our hard work is going to pay off. This new year coming up is a new beginning for all of us. And...for starters, I'm buying a new Christmas tree."

"A new Christmas tree?" she asked. "Why when we have a perfectly good one up in the attic?"

"The old tree symbolized our old lives," I explained. "I bought that the year just before your dad left us. We've carried that tree around for years, living from one house to another. We've been living here for ten years and things have gone from bearable to simply fantastic as each year goes by and I want a new tree to celebrate our new beginning because I have a feeling that this upcoming year is going to be the year to remember."

I could tell she knew what I was talking about. Next year, she graduates nursing school (her dream) and I WILL get my subsequent books published (my dream). So, this new tree is going to be called The Dream Tree. By the time it is one year old, everyone will have achieved their wildest dreams.

Anyway, she seemed happier after my speech and went back to her room to study and I turned back around and started pounding away on the keyboard.

These are the kind of dreams that turn into realities - confidence that what you are doing is going to happen.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The "Bambi Effect" in Action

As most of you know, I wait on tables to support my writing habit until the acceptance gods grant me with lots of mullah for any of my bestselling-wannabe manuscripts I've got out there, but I wanted to tell you about an interesting experience I had today.

Two men in camouflage *great, I know that's misspelled..uh...maybe not, but anyway...* came in and requested a table by the window in which they could see their pick-up that was parked outside. As they had camouflage gear on, I asked them what they had back there that they had to keep an eye on. I knew what they were going to say, but I just wanted to make sure before I started casting judgment their way.

"Deer, little lady. Two full-grown bucks. I wouldn't want anyone to take off with them, you understand."

O....kay. This confirmed my belief that that's exactly what they had back there and my stomach started doing back-flips as I imagined dead Bambi carcasses lying in the back of their truck. But, what really got me perplexed was WHY would anyone even THINK about grabbing dead Bambi carcasses out of a truck with blood leading to their trail?

I mean, think about it. You come across a truck full of Bambi carcasses and what's the first thing you think of?

"Wow, man. Nice dead deer back there. Let's steal'em and take'em home to the little missus to cook up for us."

Not only is this probably the last thing anyone would want to steal unless they were positively absolutley starving, but wouldn't it be the most absolutest red-neck thing to do?

I couldn't pass the opportunity up.

"Deer, huh?" I asked, while handing them their Buds (of course, they'd be drinking Buds, what else?). "And you shot them?"

"Of course, little lady," the one with the pot-belly gut said. "Who else is gonna do it?"

Both men broke out in hysterics.

I, myself, saw nothing funny in it and wish I had spit in their beer before giving it to them, but I continued, "And killed them?"

One of them looked at the other said the one with the beer gut said, "You aren't one of those PITA people are you?"

"PITA?"

"Yeah, PITA, as in PAIN IN THE ASS?"

O...kay. But then my blood was about to come to 1,000 F, but I remained cool and collected.

"Dear sir," I said, "I'm thinking you mean PETA? As a matter of fact, for the record, I can't believe anyone in their right mind would shoot something as innocent as a deer unless you were starving and had no other recourse. I take it by the beer guts you are not starving and that you shot the deer for the sheer fun of it. How would you like it if someone were to come up to you in your own home, minding your own business and waited until they saw the sparkle in your eyes and shot you right in the middle of them just for the fun of it? Would you call this an act of violence or would you call it a fun time?"

I figured they heard all they needed and I walked away.

I doubt I made any difference, but I hope I gave them something to think about.

They ate their meal, paid their check and when they were about to walk out the door, one of them waved me over to him.

I sauntered over there, and he said, "Little lady, I must say you've got a lot of guts, but it's been this way a long time. If we didn't kill'em, they'd be overpopulated and this is our way of helping out the cause."

He started to walk away, but then turned around and said, "Enjoy your turkey this Thanksgiving, Little Lady. That is, unless you're against shooting them, too."

Damn, I hate it when they have the last word.

Yes, I am having turkey. And, yes, he was right.

Maybe I'll have jelly sandwiches instead. I hate being a hypocrit.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

No More Merry Christmas?


I have a baaaaaad cold. Just when I thought that having a sore throat and congested head for three days, I had finally licked it, I got up this morning at SIX A.M. sneezing my fool head off. And what happened to that nice weather we we were having? Brrrrr.....

After a few days hiatus from working on the soul mate book, I tried going back in it last night. I'm afraid it's something about having a head full of mucous and finding your muse you had only a week ago that doesn't mix. I'm hoping the muse will find its way out soon because I'd sure like to get this baby finished.

Now, the main purpose of writing this blog this morning...last night, I was waiting on an older couple and the woman told me something that really confuses the heck out of me. She said that it is now against the law for store clerks, what not, to say "Merry Christmas" to customers. Okay. Something about offending some ungodly person out there that doesn't believe in Christmas. I have never heard of such a thing. I am not Jewish but if someone were to say Happy Hannuka (probably bad spelling...remember...head cold), would I get offended? Why? It's another holiday just like Christmas, isn't it?

I don't know what's wrong with the world today and my head is too stuffed to really try to find the answer. First they mess with the pledge of allegiance, now they're messing with one of my favorite holidays, Christmas. I'm wondering if one day, it'll be against the law for someone to wear a red suit and ring a bell collecting money for Unicef? And how about Easter? Can we not say Happy Easter anymore either?

Can someone please tell me who we are offending anyway?

Ah well...guess I'll try going back to bed and imagine a world that used to be....night...oops...morning....

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Every Writer's Gotta have a Little R&R

Every writer's gotta have a little R&R, don't they? I just got back from an overnight stay at one of the biggest gambling casinos on the east coast, Dover Downs (Dover, Delaware), known for their NASCAR and horse races, and of course, SLOTS. I'm not much of a NASCAR fan (don't kill me!), but it was kind of neat watching the horse race outside the restaurant window. But, the biggest thrill of all was those little greedy slot machines they have sprinkled underneath the hotel rooms to entice you to spend your hard earned bucks on.

I was fighting a head cold, but it was fun while it lasted. BF & I both lost our money, but we got a free room out of it anyway, plus FREE FOOD.

After the last of my hard-earned money was eating up by the machines, I went back to the room and tried to indulge in comfort, but this dang head cold was making me miserable. I took some cold medicine and went to bed and had this crazy dream. I was wearing my "Support a Starving Author...Buy My Book" t-shirt, going house to house peddling my book like an encyclopedia salesman. I REALLY hope it doesn't come down to that.

The next day, we got up and did some Christmas shopping with what little money we had left in the hotel room and came on home. Broker for sure, but it was sure nice to get away.

Now that I'm back home, work is staring at me - a how to article on promoting, my soul mate book that needs finishing, a relationship column and emails up the ying-yang. Arrggg....

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Goose That Almost Wasn't

I don’t remember having a television as a young child. We weren’t exactly poor, but let’s just say we had to stretch the food dollar a bit by relying on the generosity and good will of family and friends.

I never noticed. I was too busy playing “Red Rover, Red Rover” or “Hide-n-Seek” with the cousins and trying to think of ways to keep out of trouble. I wasn’t a mean kid, just ornery. Stubborn might be a better word for it.

One particular Thanksgiving Day, one of the cousins (sneaked) brought a goose over for the Thanksgiving main course. I was outside playing with my dolls and minding my own business when something caught my eye on top of the rusty oil tank at the back of the house. I knew that back yard like it was nothing and I knew this was something that wasn’t there yesterday.

As I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I couldn’t see exactly what it was and curiosity got the best of me. I ran inside and asked my mother, who was standing at the kitchen counter cutting up celery and onions and doing all those Thanksgiving-like things, just what it was.

“That’s the goose for Thanksgiving dinner,” she exclaimed rather too excitedly for my own tastes. “Wasn’t that nice of your uncle to bring it by?”

Uh. Yeah. My taste buds were just budding over.

I was aghast, putting it mildly. I had never eaten goose before and wasn’t about to start now. Visions of Baked Mother Goose danced in my head and I frantically raced back outside.

I stood there at the oil tank, gazing up at the white atrocity, but it was much too high to get at it.
Dinnertime would be here before you knew it and I had to think fast.

I searched the yard for something to climb up on and that’s when I heard an innocent mew coming from behind the lilac bushes. It was our cat, Boots, looking at me kind of strange-like. What a stroke of good luck, I thought!

I figured that if I throw the cat up high enough, he would land on top of the oil tank, grab the goose, take off with it and no one would ever be the wiser.

I grabbed Boots with all my might and with one gigantic thrust, I threw him into the air.

Mrrrrowwww, he growled, plummeting to the ground with all four paws outstretched.

He started to run off figuring this was some sick game I was playing with his life, but I grabbed the tip of his tail just before he got away.

I threw him up a second time and this time, he almost hit the target, missing the goose by inches.

My mother, who was known for never missing a beat, saw me throwing the cat up in the air and yelled, “Dotti Lyn! What are you doing out there?”

“Just trying to see if Boots can fly, Mommy.”

“Well, stop your horse-playing right now, young lady, and leave that cat alone!”

“Okay, Mommy.”

I waited until she moved away from the window and was out of site. I was making sure I wasn’t going to be picking any switches that day!

I found Boots, who was eyeing me pretty suspiciously by then, and threw him a third time.

This time, we hit bulls-eye!

I peeked around the corner to evaluate the situation, keeping one eye on the cat and the other eye on the kitchen window and I’ll be dang if that cat wasn’t just sitting there.

“Go on, you dang cat!” I yelled. “It’s a goose! Eat the darn thing or do something other than just sit there!”

The cat just sat there, ignoring the goose and making sure he was going to sit up there the rest of the day so I couldn’t get my hands on him again. I guessed he didn’t like playing airplane, after all.

“Dotti Lyn! What’s that cat doing up there on the oil tank with our Thanksgiving goose?” yelled my mother.

“Mommy, guess what?” I yelled back. “Boots can fly!”

I don’t remember how Boots got down that day, but I do remember eating goose for the first time. And I’ll tell you one thing. I’ve never eaten it since.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Special Holiday Savings on Romancing the Soul

Is it the holidays already? YIKES.

Are you hard up for finding that special present for that special person in your life? Does she/he have EVERYTHING and there's nothing else you can think of and it's driving you crazy?

Do you fear the mobs of people at this time of year when all you want to do is sit at home and do something meaningful like sleep or something?

How about the price of gas nowadays? Oops, that was last week. Well, gas is still gas and if you don't have to put gas in your gas tank, you can spend it on other wonderful things like...uh...beer?

And how about that mall. Isn't it the most fearful place you can think of going to? Eek.

Well, do I have the solution for you. See that pretty picture over here?

That's my book. It's a really neat little book. It took three long years of hard work putting that thing together and guess what. It's on sale. Only at Amazon, though. Yessiree bob, for a limited time, that little sucker is on sale at 32% off...I couldn't believe it myself (why, if I didn't have all these unsold copies sitting in my spare bedroom, I'd buy one myself!). That saves you $7! Just think what $7 can buy! Oh, lots of things. More beer? Extra toilet paper? A supersized meal at McDonalds? Heck, yeah. Doesn't get better than that, does it?

Oh, but it does...

I have a couple of presents for you, too! Man, I see you smiling now! All you have to do is head over to www.dorothythompson.net/holiday.html and read all about it. There's even a special holiday greeting waiting for ya.

Happy holidays to you and yours and don't forget, when that little missus or mister of yours opens up the package, I don't want to be responsible for any disorderly conduct, you hear? I'm not responsible, you hear me? Ha...enjoy the holidays and if you are one of the lucky poor folks who stumble upon this, I'm really a sane person. Really.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Childhood Sweethearts

Childhood sweethearts – that first time we feel the stirrings of romantic feelings – is a magical time in which pangs of heart-felt emotions touches us in a way that we’ll remember the rest of our lives and will shape our future in the romance department. Where boyfriends or girlfriends come and go as we grow up and eventually have families of our own, it’s that childhood sweetheart that we remember most. It’s something about our first real young love that we recall with fond memories because it is the first love that was genuine and bittersweet. Our heart is but a virgin organ until our childhood sweetheart walks into our life and changes our lives forever. It is that first love that we carry with us throughout life, never forgetting those sweet moments of innocence. They leave with us a legacy that time cannot erase.

Everyone remembers their first kiss and the first time they had intimate, physical relations, but do you remember your first childhood sweetheart where there were no pressures on either side? Why is it that this one sweetheart is unforgettable of all the other relationships you’ll ever have?

As we get older and fall in and out of love, it’s that one soul mate, that first soul mate – whether you are seven or seventy-seven – that introduces you to what it feels like to be in love. The reason why it is so memorable and so magical is that this is the time when you love someone outside of the family circle and it stirs emotions that are new to you, yet oh-so-wonderful. While it leaves you with many confused feelings because it is your first, it makes you feel alive like never before.

Just like any other kind of soul mate, our childhood sweetheart will, in time, leave us to embark on their own life journey, but they leave with us an urge to experience that same feeling with someone else again. It is that first experience with love that gets the ball rolling in a quest to recapture that exhilirous feeling of having someone love you and you giving love in return.
As a child growing up on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and then in Burbank, California, I was painfully shy. If a boy were to so much as say hi to me, I’d run. However, I found that boys didn’t want anything to do with girls at this stage so the most contact I had with them was trying to beat them up for different, odd-like things that boys of a young age do.

Also, there was a stigma associated with having a boy like you and that you’d get a bad case of cooties and would have to spend the rest of your life in bed which was something close to called “the kiss of death.”

When I entered into the fourth grade, I still had this mindset that boys were to be avoided, but there was one boy who stood out from the rest. His name was Bruce (his last name escapes me). Bruce and I attended Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Burbank, California, in the early sixties. The face escapes me, but it wasn’t so much as physical looks, but what he was as a “person” that made me rethink the cootie theory.

Bruce was well liked by everyone. I don’t recall why, but I do remember that he had this unmistakable charisma that made you want to respond to his “hi” if the situation warranted it, even as red-faced as you were.

One day, the class was playing some kind of game where you take your fist and hit the ball against this backboard and the opposing team member did the same. They might have called it handball; I’m not sure.

I was terrible at sports. But, Bruce let me win that round that day.

The feeling that gave me is so hard to put into words. I knew that he could have beaten me hands tied behind his back, but he let me win. It was that very day that confirmed that Bruce and I were soul mates. He was the first boy in my whole short life who wanted to see me do something great and feel good about myself and that stuck with me the rest of my life.

I never found out what happened to Bruce, yet every now and then, I’d get this urge to see if I could find him. Internet searches turned up not much as I didn’t have a last name to go by, yet I’ve always had this urge to want to contact him. Why? I’m not even sure, except maybe to thank him for showing me a side of the opposite sex that was quite surprising, even for a nine-year-old.

Another reason I think he holds a candle to my heart could be that he was a part of my past – a part of my past I will never be able to capture except in my memories. And it is that past that people want to hold on to as it’s part of their history – part of them that shows them who they were at one time and, although our past has a lot to do with who we are today, they can never relive.

We can’t go backwards in time, but it’s those small things about our past that stand out more than the rest. It is our childhood sweethearts that we hold a special place in our heart and which shapes our future relationships in more ways than you’ll ever realize.

Do you have a childhood sweetheart that still holds a candle to your heart? If so, please email me at thewriterslife@yahoo.com or leave a comment here. There is a section in my book on soul mates (and another book in the works) that explains how our childhood sweethearts have an influence on our lives. If you would like to tell me your story, and would like to be interviewed, please let me know. It's an important part of our lifetime of relationships and my books will show you why. Thanks!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief...Dreamer?

Okay, I'm going to relieve you of all this soul mate stuff and give you something else to read here tonight. I took a test and well...here's the results....

You Should Get a MD (Doctor of Medicine)

You're both compassionate and brilliant - a rare combination.
You were born to be a doctor.


They are sooooo wrong. I don't even like looking at PICTURES of hospitals and those TV shows where they gruesomely show you every aspect of an operation down to blood and gore and human insides? ACK.

Before I graduated high school, I knew what I wanted to do when I got out and that was not stepping a foot in another learning institution the rest of my life. Where everyone else was talking about what college they were going to after they graduated, I was holing myself up in the bathroom dreaming of the day school was history.

Am I the only one who didn't have any ambition?

After I graduated, I flew to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (by myself) fully intending on going to modeling school. What possessed me to come up with that idea is beyond me, but I never went. Again, a dreamer.

After I was bored with that, I flew back home and found a job in a vegetable packing plant. Talk about boring jobs. The conveyer belts made me feel quite nauseaus and since the manager didn't like it that I was spending more time in the john puking my brains out than actually WORKING, they let me go.

By that time, I had met my intended marriage partner and married. I thought...this is cool...no more having to work ever again!

Marriage was a big eye-opener. Bills were another.

I got a job working as a clerk in a record store. Now you would think that at twenty-years-old, this would be a job made in heaven. Unfortunately, I grew bored with standing around dusting the unsold record players and guitars and quit.

By that time, Hamburger Helper was getting pretty old, so my step-father hired me as a taxi driver. This was more my speed as I could get out into the fresh air and have more freedom than I could standing around a shop looking silly. And bored.

That job lasted a few weeks until some woman wanted me to take her dog to the vet and the dog turned on me.

My next job was as a waitress in a spanky seafood restaurant. The dollar bills I pulled out of my apron was such a high and I thought this was going to be a piece of cake. Then, the manager hits on me and I quit. Long story.

Marriage lasted for almost twenty years, I had two children and then when the ex left, I was forced again into the work force.

I tried other clerk jobs but nothing fulfilled me and it wasn't until I got back in waitressing did the money start coming in again and I liked the feeling of constantly being on the go.

While the waitressing pays the bills, I'm still a dreamer. Dreaming of that book deal in the future. Waiting for that lucky break when I can do what I've always dreamed of doing and that is living off my writing. Some authors are lucky enough to be in that position, but very few. I may be a dreamer, but that much I do know.

I don't know if I'll ever get to that point, but meanwhile, I'll keep my dreams and maybe one day I'll be able to do nothing all day but write. What a nice dream, though. They say you should reach for your dreams and make them a reality. That's what I'm doing. Whether I succeed or not, at least I'm doing what I love to do. There is a saying that you should find a job you love to do and you'll never have to work another day the rest of your life. That's a dream anyone can turn into reality if they stay on the right path, don't give up and reach for their highest expectations.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Perils of Being a Know-It-All

You know, the trouble with writing a book, especially non-fiction and one you've poured all your waking minutes into, is that when people see you coming, they run.

It's not that you're having a bad hair day or you forgot to put on antiperspirant, but because they know when that when they see you coming, you're going to give and give and give what newfound knowledge on your intended subject you loooooove to give to the point where they just know they are going to have to stay in the same spot for god knows how long and listen to your blatherings of whatever your intended subject is.

Take today, for example.

As I have to work to pay for my "writing hobby," I am presented daily with all sorts of people who know me pretty well, namely, my co-workers. Now, my co-workers and I get along great. However, they are soooooo politically-soul mate-naive.

So, of course, whenever the timing is right and before they have the chance to get away (run for high heavens), I grab that available opportunity to give my undying wisdom on my intended subject. And I feel that by giving this undying wisdom on my intended subject that I know like the back of my hand, I can help (save the world and have a statue erected in my name) them.

Keep in mind that my co-workers (victims) are all in their early twenties and go through the normal girl/boy relationship problems so as I had just written the section about this age group, I thought that today I was going to give this wisdom to them and they could do with (ignore) it as they want.

Take Paul, for example. Paul is in his late twenties and divorced. He's pining for my daughter who knows he's not her soul mate and he's accepting that. Well, Paul was talking about bowling and how he's aiming for the major league. I almost ignored what he said, but then I walked over him and said, "Paul, do you know that you are in the perfect position for your soul mate to enter your life?"

Well, he laughs of course, and says, "But who is my soul mate?"

He probably regretted saying that because instead of letting him work, I had him cornered, telling him all about how there is no "the one" out there for you, that you have many soul mates and that because he has goals and is working towards those goals, he's in perfect prime for his soul mates to enter his life.

This went on and on, but I couldn't stop.

A couple minutes later, after Paul was shifting from one foot to the other impatiently, another co-worker happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Leon and Michelle had been having major problems. Leon had a lot of inner hostility to get a handle on and Michelle was getting tired of his behavior. I usually kept silent, but I was on a roll.

"Leon, do you know that Michelle is your soul mate?"

Well, after he died laughing and called her a word I can't mention here, I explained that she came into his life for childbearing and sometimes when the "mission has been accomplished" and only negative feelings are present, it may be time to move on.

Well, I think I got to him. I don't know if I got to Paul who had managed to escape and was on the other side of the room, but for once I think I saw Leon really evaluate the situation.

Next was Travis. Well, Travis was smart. He knew what had been going on and no sooner than I started to explain why you have to be in the right place, at the right time, he exclaimed, "Gotta pee!"

I turned back around and my audience had disappeared. I felt like the kid in HOME ALONE. "I made my co-workers disappear!"

I usually don't give advice unless asked. I just hate to be a know-it-all. But, then again, anyone in here need help in the soul mate area? Huh? Where'd everybody go? Oh, come on, you guys. This isn't funny. Help....

Friday, November 04, 2005

I Hit 40,000 Words Tonight!

Eek, I'm so sorry...I've been really bad at stopping off at everyone's blog, but I am so proud to announce I've hit the 40,000 word mark on my soul mate how to book. I made my 5,000 word goal! I'm not sure if I'll hit 80,000 words, but that's my plan. I've still got more interviews to do and add a couple more sections and complete all the chapters to perfection, so maybe I'll come close anyway.

This has taken over my life. I have met so many warm people who I've corresponded with recently and it just warms my heart that there are so many soul mate couples out there. Okay, those without soul mates, hold yer horses, the book is coming!

Actually, I am anxious to get it finished so I can get back into my other books. They are calling but they're going to have to wait. When I'm on a roll, I've learned not to stop or it'll be months before I go back to it.

But, I don't know when I've been so happy or more prolific. Maybe this is my calling after all?

Hell yeah it is. Okay, I'm off to visit everyone's blogs!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Call for Quotes for New Soul Mate Book

Anyone else wake up freezing their tabookas off? Whatever happened to fall anyway?

Well, I got 4,000 more words written on the book yesterday. Didn't make my 5,000 word goal but as I had to take off from work because I was feeling poorly (wanted to work on book), that's not too bad, I guess. Grand total so far is: 32,084 words!

Oh, I just posted this to the Boomer Women board and it's going out in their next newsletter, but I wanted to give anyone who happens to stop by a chance to become involved in my book if you are interested. As you know, this is a how to soul mate book and one of the sections is related to finding your soul mate later in life. Later in life meaning in your later thirties and beyond.

If you have found your soul mate later in life, I have some questions I'd like to ask you.

Also, I'm looking for stories you might be able to tell me about your childhood sweetheart. Did you have one and how do you feel about them today sort of thing.

Be sure to let me know which (later in life or childhood sweetheart) when you respond and I'll clue you in on the details.

I'll probably need quotes for other sections, so mark this blog!

Email me privately at thewriterslife@yahoo.com.

Thanks a bushel and a peck!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Sad Story on New Orleans Writers Flooded Out During Katrina

There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today titled, "Words Can't Describe What Some Writers In New Orleans Lost." It saddens me to think that these writers lost every written word they had, some even on the bridge of being completed and ready to go to the publisher. You can read the article here, but please come back as this is really important.

Reading the article, you could tell the inhabitants of the flood areas didn't realize that the water would rise as high as it did and only placed their precious works only high enough that that thought the waters would rise.

Isn't this a lesson that all of us can learn?

If I had everything I have written wiped out, I don't know if I could or even want to start over. I would sink in a depression and I don't even know if I'd ever want to ever write another word again. Can you imagine what they are going through?

BACK UP YOUR WORK AND PUT IT IN SEVERAL PLACES.

I must be naive because not all of my work is backed up. If I were to have everything I owned wiped out because of this negligence on my part, I would only have myself to blame.

I know there are several ways to back up your work, but the one that works best for me right now is to send entire manuscripts that are finished to one of my email accounts. I can always access my email on any computer.

However, that isn't enough and since reading this article, I'm going to spend the better part of the day backing up my work by several methods and not just the one.

Speaking of my work, I got 5,000 words written yesterday. Is that wowzers or what. I'm now up to 28,148 words and I haven't even begun to write today. Feeling kinda poorly...think it's a cold working on me and I hope it doesn't go into a flu. Or bronchitis which I get once a year, but it's a little too early for that to hit.

I'll tell you what anyone who is reading this can do for me, though. I have a section in my book where I answer soul mate questions. It's a rather large part of the book and I need about thirty more soul mate questions to complete this section and I've run out of questions that has already been asked. If you have a soul mate question or a relationship question pertaining to your soul mate or soul-mate-to-be, would you send it to me? Muchos glacias. The book should be done by the end of the month, so if you could send that to me as soon as possible, I'd kiss the ground you walked on.

Anyway, back up those files and make it your best writing day ever!