Monday, August 28, 2006

Life in These United States...or rather...My Back Yard

I live in the country. Sort of. At least out my back door, it's country.

And I have a wonderful oasis set up, complete with patio, pool and a garden that is providing me with lots of bounty - string beans, tomatoes, lima beans, and other delectables including my prized Silver Queen corn.

Now, this is the first year I've grown Silver Queen, and only the second attempt I've made trying to grow corn, but this year, I not only have enough to put in my freezer, but it's SILVER QUEEN CORN.

Silver Queen corn is the best, if you want the sweetest corn you've ever tasted in your life.

Well, this afternoon, it was harvesting time. I plan to freeze a few bags and eat some for dinner, of course.

I started on the back row, as I really wanted to take a few pictures of my prized SILVER QUEEN CORN crop before I harvested the first couple of rows.

I was pulling the stalks out of the ground, and pulling the ears off the corn, when something about 2 feet away caught my attention.

I focused better because my gut instincts was telling me what I was seeing, but it was so yuckily unbelievable, it was like I had gone in shock, and stood there for a few minutes to see if my gut instincts and I were in synch.

Well, we were.

It was a freaking black snake, either eating another snake or mating.

I backed up and ran, yelling, "I'm so done....I'm so done..."

My daughter pulls up and I'm yelling, "There's a freaking black snake in my corn field...and it's eating something looking like another snake...or it's mating with another snake...I am so done...I am so done."

She laughed, saying it was probably shedding.

I took her by her arm and led her to the corn patch. "Go look!"

She cautiously took a peek in between the rows and said, "Well, it's a snake all right."

Wonderful. I knew it was a freaking snake! "So what is that strange thing in its mouth???? Or if that's his mouth, it's bigger than a bear's mouth!"

Anyway, long story short, it didn't take too long to get back inside the house.

So, I ask you...here's the picture...

What is this freaking snake doing????


Saturday, August 26, 2006

My Daughter, The Nurse

Last night, my daughter graduated from nursing school. Can I get a woop-woop? Cried through the whole thing, but it's over. It's finally over. I wrote in my journal last night...

"Melissa graduated nursing school tonight. How can I put these emotions down? I cried all the way through it...so embarrassing. I was doing fine, actually, until the speaker started talking about when the new hospital was built - 1971 I think. And it brought back memories of my grandmother, who was an LPN there. She worked her ass off to take care of my sister and I, and I guess all those memories did me in. There was one girl who had the same physical form that she did in her later years and man I just couldn't stop the tears. This was a night I'll never forget...a wonderful tear-filled night, but these were good tears. I know my grandmother would have been very proud of Melissa, as well as her own grandmother, Baku. I'm sure they were there, watching from the top row seat, smiling, and knowing that Melissa has finally become who she is meant to be."

It was a real emotional night. Oh, I have more pictures to show you. This first one is the graduating class of '06...

















And here's a picture of her posing afterwards with two of her best friends in all the world...

















Can we say happy?

I am soooo proud of her. ;o)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Slave to Sensation - A Blogging Experiment

I am participating in a blogging experiment hosted at dearauthor.com. To enter the contest, put up this blurb, image, and trackback and you are entered to win the following prize package.

$200 Amazon gift certificate
Signed copy of Slave to Sensation
New Zealand goodies chosen by Singh
ARC of Christine Feehan's October 31 release: Conspiracy Game

You can read about the experiment here and you can download the code that you need to participate here.

SLAVE TO SENSATION
Nalini Singh
Berkley / September 2006















Welcome to a future where emotion is a crime and powers of the mind clash brutally against those of the heart.

Sascha Duncan is one of the Psy, a psychic race that has cut off its emotions in an effort to prevent murderous insanity. Those who feel are punished by having their brains wiped clean, their personalities and memories destroyed.

Lucas Hunter is a Changeling, a shapeshifter who craves sensation, lives for touch. When their separate worlds collide in the serial murders of Changeling women, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities…or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.

Excerpt

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Boomer Chick is Going on a Road Trip

In two weeks, I'm going to be hightailing it to the Great Smokies. It's a ten hour trip with my daughter (28), son (23), friend of daughter (29) and myself (50-something). Now do you see a problem with those numbers? Not me because I'm going to have the most fun of my life and dragging the whippersnappers to so many places, they're going to think their mother has disappeared and the Energizer Bunny has taken over her body.

I've done this road trip two times before - once with my adopted daughter and the following year with the same gang I'm taking in two weeks. That trip was rushed...we were determined we were going to see the Smokies all in one day, spend the night, and then get up the next morning and go home. Didn't work quite so efficiently but we still got in some pretty good sights. Didn't get to Dollywood, but opted to go trail-blazing instead.

Now, trail-blazing can be simplified by saying a trail already pathed out by millions of visitors that visit the Smokies each year combined with scenery that will just make your mouth drop. No rugged terrains, but I have to admit I was out of breath a couple of times there.

Here's one of the pictures taken from that trip...absolutely beautiful...




And here's another...not real clear...of the boomer chick in front of the Smokey Mountain National Park Visitor Center:



So, anyway, I'm psyched. I'll have pictures from this upcoming trip to show you, too.

Now, the thing that is stressing Boomer Chick to the point where there's one too many grey hairs sprouting is that to get from Virginia to Tennessee, you have to go up, then down. Is there any rationality to that? It would make more sense to me to go straight across the state, then into Tennessee, wouldn't it?

But, nooooo...you have to go all the way up through Norfolk, Williamsburg, Richmond, Charlottesville, then Front Royal. Then you go down....

Just doesn't make sense to me. I think the guy who designed the road systems must have been on drugs or worked for the gas company. Arrggg....

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Self-Publishing Bug Has Bit

I don't know if any of you know this, but the Boomer Chick is really getting into this self-publishing thing. Not self-publishing books, but self-publishing eBooks. I think most you might know it, but for those who wonder why in the heck would I do such a thing and what in the heck is an ebook anyway, I'm going to tell you why in 100 words (more or less) and how I got started.

I have books published by small presses. In fact, I even have a children's book that is published by an epublisher. But, one area I find so exciting, and can be very profitable (if done right) is self-publishing my own eBook.

First of all, an eBook is a book in pdf format. You need Acrobat Reader, which you can download free, to read it. It reads like a book except you need a computer, of course. Or a handheld eReader.

Now, normally, I don't buy eBooks, but the ones I have bought have all been how-to eBooks. They're generally cheap and it's that information I need that I either can't find anywhere else or I want it NOW. That's the charm of eBooks. No waiting.

If you really want to know how I got started in all this, go to www.thewriterslife.net/TheWritersLifePublications.html and read the excerpt of my second self-published eBook titled A Complete Guide to Promoting and Selling Your eBook for FREE. It's not available until September but I have spent months (translate that to five years of research) putting this together.

Oh, yeah, I've set myself up a publishing company with an ebook store to sell it. Cool, eh?

Now, this is something you might be interested in...putting together an eBook for yourself and selling it right off your website. The extra income could come in handy, don't you think?

I'm so excited about this eBook and I can hardly wait for it to come out. I've done the research and it's a one-of-a-kind in that it shows you step-by-step what to do to promote your own eBook. And the charm of it all, every step won't cost you a dime so that what money you earn is all profit. I'm just surprised more people haven't thought about doing this.

The first step you need to take is to find a subject you know a lot about. Once you have zeroed in on this, put it all in a word .doc. It doesn't have to be long, either. With how-to eBooks, you need to cut out the fluff and get right to the basics. People don't want to sit at their computer reading an eBook all day, so you really have to be concise.

Then, you put it in pdf format and use Paypal to handle the financial end of it.

Like to travel? Pick a travel destination and write about it!

Have a short story collection or enough poems to put into an eBook? Do it!

I sound like one of those infocommercials, but I'm serious, this is a great way to earn money with your love of writing.

So, do you have an eBook in you?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Day from Hell

And that's putting it mildly.

For the past week, I've been stressed over my domain name and website host. The problem is...CREDIT CARD HELL. For the domain name for my writing site, The Writer's Life (www.thewriterslife.net), well, it had expired and I was trying to pay it only...it was maxed out.

Not a good thing.

So, between fifty million emails back and forth to registerfly.com who is where I bought my domain name from, this has been a nightmare. There is a feature there where you can pay by online check. I thought, wow, okay, let's try that. I try that and it was denied...AND I HAVE MONEY IN THE BANK. So, I'm freaking out. I hurriedly put money on the credit card and tried again. It didn't work, so I figured, hopefully, by the grace of God, it just hadn't taken effect yet. Well, today, it took.

Oh, but that's not all.

My domain host...Homestead...my site's payment is due so I go in and find out that the credit card they had for me (you can't pay by any other means than a credit card), I tore up and no longer use. So, I email them asking them if I can pay by check (before I read THE RULES) because my other credit card is maxed out and the one they have on file for me is in no longer use.

So, they send me an email saying to update my account with the new credit card information. Well, IT DOESN'T TAKE A ROCKET SCIENTIST to figure out that how can I pay with a card that is maxed out?

So, I'm freaking and the only thing I can do is put more money on the credit card and hope for the best. We're talking my whole freaking business is online and it could be wiped out all in one click.

Wait, there's more....

I've been under stress for this for days and I'm still asleep (9:30 am) and BF comes in and turns the TV on, making all kinds of racket and says, get this, "Are you asleep? What are you doing asleep?"

Well, I don't know what I said, but it must not have been very nice.

All I know is I heard him say, "I'm getting out of here," and leaves.

What a baby.

He'll be back, he always does, but doesn't he realize I need my beauty sleep under all this stress?

What nerve.

So, I've had a day from hell. Hope yours was better and try to have a nice week-end. I'll be holed up trying to save my website...groan....

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Little Known Truths About the Over the Hill Generation

I have a little secret and you can’t tell anyone, especially the young’uns, because if word gets out, we of the Over the Hill Generation will never be able to get away with this. Oh, no, it’s nothing sinister, nor unlawful…just…devious.

I was talking to a friend today about old age. She said that she relies on her family to do things for her such as things that require getting down in the floor. Her beef was that once she got down there, she couldn’t get up, and she hated it. And, she hated it when she had to get others to do things for her and couldn’t do them herself.

Well, I’ve not gotten to that point yet, although I do feel a certain uncomforting feeling trying to hoist myself back up on any nearby piece of furniture with people staring. It’s something about my broadening backend hoisted up in the air that gives me the feeling that it’s nothing that should be observed by passersby.

So, it’s a matter of modesty, I think, and because of it, I have resolved to…

Not doing it.

Instead, I say, “I can’t do it,” and guess what…PEOPLE DO IT FOR YOU.

I didn’t know it was going to be this easy being over the hill. Sure, blame old age and you can get out of all kinds of things.

Don’t want to spend money on car payments? Say you’re too old to drive and have everyone cart you places!

Say you’re too old to work and, omg, you have agencies and people donating money to your checking account!

Have dogs and want to watch TV instead of walking them? Call up someone and tell them your legs aren’t working today, could they please come over and help?

Oh, there are millions of things you can do.

How about forgetting normal things like losing your glasses or forgetting to pay the utilities bill? Blame it on old age and people excuse you! They’ll search for your glasses for you and pay the bill before the electricity gets cut off!

It’s remarkable!

Want to sit out in your garden and read romance novels all day instead of clean? Tell everyone you were too tired and, bingo bango, they clean the house for you!

The truth of the matter is, we’re not too old, but when you get to a certain time of life, people automatically give you leeway. Take advantage of it!

The so-called twilight years can be the most wonderful years of your life once you learn that people have this misconceived notion that you can’t do anything for yourself anymore. Let them believe it, because now you’ll be able to do all those things you wanted to do but never had time.

And you want to know why old people always have more money than the younger generation? Because they are smart.

So, don’t you believe that over the hill people can’t do things or aren’t coherent. They are, but they just don’t want you to know it.

I think I’m going to love this over the hill thing.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I'm full of wrath?

I couldn't resist posting this. I was over on Miss Cellania's blog (btw, do check out that wonderful book she has to the very right...you know...the ones that are lined up vertically that'll take to you Amazon...one of them is something about soul mates on the cover...really draws you in...don't think it's expensive either...maybe a meal out to McDonald's would cover it...it's really really good...really) and I found this quiz that's supposed to tell my what my deadly sin is. Wrath. WTF? Ooopsie. I don't understand it, but who am I to doubt these crafty quizmakers. I sure hope they make a living off of making these things because their humor sure isn't going to cut it. Wrath. Hmm. Wrath. Okay, I've repeated it enough and I still don't know what they're talking about. You mean I get mad and then get even???? Well...uh...guess they could be right...sometimes...when I don't have my happy pills anyway....



Which Deadly Sin Is Yours?

Which Deadly Sin Are You

Wrath

Make war and not love is your motto. Better to rise up in anger and strike someone down than be pushed around.

Find out your Deadly Sin at Quizopolis.com

Ode to Mother Love

Thirty-three years ago, to this day, my mother passed away.

It didn’t occur to me until yesterday that today would the anniversary. I was reading someone’s story and maybe it was the words that triggered the memory, but I actually stopped whatever I was doing, turned around and yelled to BF what day it was.

“It’s the 13th,” he said, nonchalantly. "Summer’s almost over.”

I turned around in my computer chair and looked out the window. I wanted to see what it was like on this day thirty-three years ago when I found my mother dead.

But, mainly, I wanted to see the sky, that same sky of the day my mother left me. For good.

It’s not that I wanted to relive the moment, but there was some strange psychosis going on that wanted me to imagine myself at that time of day, and to feel what it was like on that horrid day.

Some things you just forget, even though, sometimes, it’s best that way.

Yes, it was summer, the dog days of summer. I had just gotten married a month before and lived a couple miles outside of town in a little trailer in the woods.

Mother lived in town. She hated it, hated the whole Eastern Shore, but was trying to get her life together. I think. It was hard to know what she was thinking most times.

The night before, I had visited her and she was stretched out on the sofa. She had a sheet over top of her, was sweating, and white as a ghost. She wasn’t feeling well, but wasn’t deathly ill, so I really didn’t pay it any mind. I asked to borrow tomatoes and she said to take all of them. I thought that was strange as she loved tomatoes.

I hope I asked her if she was okay. I just can’t remember. I took the tomatoes and left. I don’t remember anymore of the conversation, but I do remember the whiteness of her skin and that she looked like crap.

The next morning, I really didn’t feel like going into work. I helped Mother and her “so-called husband” run a taxi service in town. I had just gotten back from Florida a few months before I got married and the pickings for jobs were pretty slim.

We must not have had a phone because I remember going over there in the early morning to tell her I wasn’t coming in.

I parked on the road in front of the house and walked up the steps. As soon as I entered the house, I knew something was wrong.

Peedle, the Chihuahua that my mother adored, was sitting in one of the chairs in the living room. This was unusual because she was ALWAYS with Mother.

I left her sitting, alone, and walked down the hallway. With the door to my old bedroom to my back, I headed toward her room.

Before I even got a few yards from her room, I screamed.

Mother was on her knees, with her arms outstretched, just inches from the top of her bed.

Mother was only thirty-seven.

And was dead.

I don’t remember much after that, except for running next door to my grandmother’s house. I remember an ambulance, her body covered from head to toe with a white sheet, and people. Everywhere people.

I wanted to get away from them so I ran to my Mother’s backyard and started screaming.

My cousin heard me a couple houses down and came running toward me. I didn’t want her with me. I wanted my Mother back.

As I sit here, staring out my window, it’s the same August sky as before. The same summer August sky.

This is the reason I need to get to California. The first thing I’m going to do is look at the sky. I want to see it as I saw it as a child because, after all, it’s the same sky and it doesn’t change no matter how many years go by.

There’s something about life that no one tells you about. People and buildings can come and go, but the sky stays the same. So when you look up and see it, it’s the same sky that was there when you’re born and the same sky when you die.

Much the same with mountains. When I go back to California and look up at the same sky and the same mountains, it will be the same sky and the same mountains I shared it with when Mother was still alive.

I need to go back home.

It’s like my guts are wrenching and nothing can help but to get back there. And soon.

I’ve postponed my trip to April. I don’t know if I can last that long.

I guess I’m being silly. I’m fifty-two years old and still haven’t found closure. I guess that’s what the California trip is all about…finding the closure I need.

Mother, wherever you are, I still love you, and I shall see you in April.

Friday, August 11, 2006

What's Up with the Boomer Chick

Just thought I'd check in and let you all know what's going on with me and why I haven't been posting much. I don't know whether I mentioned this but I lost the final draft of my promoting ebooks ebook, A Complete Guide to Promoting and Selling Your Self-Published eBook...and I panicked to say the least...but...my first draft which was being held hostage by my word program...long story...was still intact only I couldn't work on it because some table had become corrupted. I mean, word wouldn't even let me get IN it. But...it would let me print it out...so I had to print out all 110 pages of my first draft and then start over. But, all of that was needless worry because that first draft had quite a bit of information on it so I think I was able to get it in shape much like the final version which I lost. So, I've been spending the last three or so days rewriting a 110 page ebook. But, I think this ebook is tighter and I should still make my September deadline.

Also, my publisher wants the new soul mate book I wrote, The Soul Mate Triangle: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Soul Mate Relationship done in two weeks from...uh...last week. I would have thought that would be no problem but I didn't count on word holding my promoting ebooks ebook hostage. So, I've got to absolutely work on that after the week-end and have that done by the end of the week. She said that if I worked fast enough, it could be published around March or April of next year, so I guess I'll be holed up doing that all next week.

Speaking of March or April, I have to move my trip to California up to then instead of October. I don't know why in the heck I thought I could save for two big trips one month apart. The first trip is the first week of September when I'll take the kids to the Smokies. That'll be their trip to make up for mama going to Vegas. But, then, today in the news I heard it's terrible to fly because of the restrictions they are putting you through when you go to board. Because of what they found (not sure where...I think Britain)...people were going to blow up planes only they caught them...now we can't get on planes with toothpaste or anything liquified...even make-up...even books for some odd reason and I said no way was I flying without my books since I wanted to take some of them out there with me. I hear now you can have them in the cargo area, just not on board, but I can't imagine not having anything to read for that long journey.

So, we've moved it to March or April and we're leaning more toward April because the weather will be nicer. I wonder what kind of weather Las Vegas and Burbank has at that time of year?

Anyway, just wanted to check in and let you all know this.

Oh, yeah! Abraham Cherrix's next court date is on August 16, but it will air live on Court TV that day so you might want to check that out. I haven't talked to the family...been really snowballed with work...but will check on them soon and let you know how they are doing.

Okay, gots lots of work to do so stay cool and have a wonderful week-end!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I'm Singing the Blues

You know when you're a bad parent when your child does something so terribly awful and there's no explanation for it.

A few days ago, I lost a valuable manuscript. One that was so close to being published, it's not even funny. My writing group helped me try to retrieve it, but it was hopeless. It was gone.

So, I'm starting over with a rough draft I started and thank God never deleted. And, today, while working on it, trying to restore it to the final version, I find that this manuscript is tighter. Partly because I forgot half the stuff I wrote and I'm thinking much of it was filler.

Not that I intended it to be.

Well, back up a few days ago when I lost the manuscript. Not only was it due to come out in September, but my publisher wants my new soul mate book and wants it in two weeks. At the time I promised it to her, I had not deleted my other manuscript and being as I figured that was almost done, finishing up the soul mate manuscript would be a breeze and I could make deadline.

So when I lost my other manuscript, all I knew was that now I'm dead meat.

My computer had been acting up for some time and that is the reason I lost the manuscript in the first place. A stupid mistake. And it was all word's fault, not mine. I also counted on that manuscript to be published a month before I took off for this California trip and the monies would help pay for the expenses, being as I was self-publishing it and there is already a demand for it. Actually, it's a one-of-a-kind. I've not seen any other eBook (it's an eBook, btw) like it.

So, when it disappeared right in front of me, I called my son who had promised months ago to come over and take my computer apart, clean it and get all this adware off (I think that is the source of my problem).

I called him and I didn't expect his response.

"I don't give a %$#@ and I don't care."

What's up with that? Where is that little boy who I brought up with tender loving care?????

He is 22 now...or manybe 23...I'd have to think but I'm nursing a terrible headache. He doesn't work because he has Marfans and it's not like he'd been out working all day and I hit him with it just as he's gotten home. He goes nowhere. Sits at his father's house and does nothing.

So, I can't speak. Tears are forming and I'm getting choked up. This was really important to me and he's all I have as far as someone fixing this dadblasted thing.

So, I hang up on him.

It's been a few days since then and the end result is that I have a bad headache. It's like losing a lover...you know how bad that feels?

I want my son back, only I don't want him as he is now and that is a terrible thing for a mother to say.

He hurt me to no end and it's bothering me to the point where it's affecting my health.

I'm a trooper...I can get hit with all sorts of things and bounce back, but when it comes to my son, it just kills me.

I hear about sons all the time telling their mother they love them. I hear about sons helping their mother (especially at that age) but I get nothing but harsh words in return for the love I want to give him.

If you didn't know he had Marfans, you'd never know it. He's perfectly healthy otherwise. Or is he?

He swears he's fine. I take him to doctors who can do nothing. I take him to disability who turn him down. He's at the point where I think he feels that life is hopeless.

And he backlashes at the one person who has always been there for him.

Will he say he's sorry? Hasn't happened yet and won't happen.

Does he feel bad for what he did? Hard to tell.

But, I'm in a funk and the only way out of the funk is to make amends and I feel that it's his call on that.

I also have a daughter who I am supporting through nursing school. She's my best friend and is upset the way my son is acting, too, and tries to help, but I don't think there's anything in either one of our powers to be able to do anything.

It's hopeless.

And, I'm sitting here singing the blues.....

I've Been Tagged!

I've been tagged by Kathy and the subject is on blogging, one of my most favorite pastimes even though it seems to be hard to get my arse over here lately, so here we go....

1. When did you first start blogging and why?

Great. You're asking an over the hill boomer chick to REMEMBER? Okay, for posterity sake, let's just go with a few years ago. Not long, maybe a couple. I started another blog, not this one, because I saw it as a wonderful way to promote. Okay, so I'm shallow...lol. I had a new book come out and I thought, well, let's write about things about the book and maybe here's hoping someone might pop in and be interested. And BUY.

Then, after that, it was like this wasn't about promoting a book anymore. This was about expressing my feelings for the world to see...a scary thought, but you know, it was kinda neat. And the people...man...the people I have met...they are really really nice.

2. What do you talk about?

It seems I've really wandered, talking about anything that's going on in my life. When I first opened this blog, I wanted to talk about things that boomer chicks might be going through and then like I said, I wandered. Different subjects. Never focused on one particular thing, but people don't seem to mind. ;o)

3. Are you and your blogging persona the same person?

Yep. In the flesh. Can't get any closer to the real thing than right here.

4. How do you use blogging to build friendships?

Well, this is a question I could go on and on about. The people I have met since blogging are just like family to me. I try to stop over and visit their blogs and keep forgetting to stop this crazy thing called writing books long enough to check in on them. I cry with them, laugh with them, really get into their personal side. I believe blogging encourages friendships and is really good in that regards.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

You mean, in here? Freestyle, I suppose. Whatever floats my boat, you might say.

Next up...I tag Dick!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Soul Mate Quiz & A Challenge!

As some of you know, I write, talk and sleep soul mates. I've got a book of true soul mate stories (Romancing the Soul), an ebook or two I sell on my website about soul mates and now I've got a brand new forum with a brand new quiz I'd love all of you to fill out just for fun. Go to
http://soulmateadvice.proboards80.com/ and you'll see the quiz there. Answer it and I'll post my individual interpretations on the board as they come in. It's been really fun so far. I judge your answers by which category I feel your particular soul mate falls into. That's much the way I did it with Romancing the Soul, only I didn't use letters and numbers; instead I used stories but the quiz operates much the same way.

Why even bother taking the quiz?

I'm trying to find new ways to explain to people what this dang soul mate relationship thing is all about. People make it so complicated and it's really not. While I can't tell you if your relationship is going to last and I can't tell your future, I can tell you just which kind of soul mate your soul mate is so that you can use rational decisions regarding your future with him or her.

No, not all soul mates are meant to stay physically together and no I don't have a magic ball to make that happen, but I can tell you that no matter what happens, once you come into contact with your soul mate(s), the bond never ever goes away because it's that first initial spiritual attraction that draws you together and once you are in its grips, it never lets go. And that is a really neat thing. I like to think it gives people some kind of leverage within their emotions when one of their soul mates leaves them. Nothing hurts worse than the pain of the heart, but if the person can just stop for a minute and figure out why that person came into their life, what good things they brought into your life and how their lives would have been so different without them, they could heal better. The pain will lessen over time but just knowing that that bond is still there gives them a little bit of hope, I think.

An interesting thing happened to me the other day. I found an article on the web that was interesting and so I emailed the author. Turns out he's one of the professors of a big university who is one of the nation's biggest skeptics on anything out of the ordinary. I didn't read his bio until later which was pretty darn impressive. He's been on Larry King and other shows and in many many publications.

We tossed a few emails back and forth and he was determined to hold onto the idea that my ideas was my opinion and no way could I convince him and anyone else that what I believe is what they should believe.

I told him many things, but it wasn't until I told him that all I had to do was ask him a few questions and I could find at least one of his soul mates, if not more.

He emailed me back, asking if I wanted to prove it by answering a few questions over the phone during one of his classes where all the students would be able to hear it via speaker phone.

Never one to turn down a good challenge, I accepted and the soul mate challenge will happen in either March or April. Here's my chance to see if I have the right stuff, for sure.

The article I read to find this guy can be found on http://www.quackwatch.org/11Ind/browne.html. I had written an article mentioning Sylvia Browne and went to the web to find out if her last name ends with an e or not to make sure I had it right and lo and behold I find this guy's article.

So, I'm looking forward to that, unless it's a set-up to land on Quackwatch. Eek.

Now for some rather nice news...I emailed my publisher, Liz Burton of Zumaya, to see if she'd can the last mss I sent her and would be interested in my soul mate book "The Soul Mate Triangle - Unlocking the Mysteries of the Soul Mate Relationship." She did and not only that, she's getting it out as soon as possible. Now how many publishers do you know of that is so supportive and gets right back to you within hours?

Amazing. And, without even seeing the mss, she's sending me a contract on Monday. Boggles the mind.

So, take the quiz for me and see how well I stack up your soul mate and have a wonderful week-end!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

California Dreamin' - Pt. 6 - How I Blew My First Stage Performance

The Continuing Journey of Finding My Roots....

California Dreamin' - Pt. 6 - How I Blew My First Stage Performance

The most I can remember when living on base at Fort Ord, California, was that the houses were so dang close together. Reminded me of the brownstones in New York, only these houses were shaped differently and had yards, but they were dab smack right beside each other.

I shared a room with my sister, who was only two. I loved my room, though. I especially loved to line up my stuffed animals in rows and play teacher. They all had assignments, but it was really boring grading tests.

I was much of a loner, but friends gravitated to me. Not sure the reason why, but that’s the only way I had friends at all. I was never the first one to make the first move and sometimes I felt my personal space being invaded. I guess anyone else would call it shyness. I’m not sure what you’d call it. A need for privacy, perhaps.

I really enjoyed being by myself and would come up with all sorts of projects craft-wise. My little sister especially hated it when she found me crawled up into her high chair using the tray as my desk and working on some kind of project. I was crazy even back then.

But, I had a creative mind, the teachers told me.

Teachers. School. Ugh. Don't even get me started on that one.

Being an Army brat had its consequences. You hated school. You hated starting new schools and you hated attending them when you did.

I think it’s because the traveling bug had bit you and being confined in one room for hours at a time wasn’t your cup of tea. You would stare out the window at the sky wishing you were on one of those airplanes passing over, taking you to God knows where, but you didn’t care. You just wanted to go.

I wish I could remember the name of that school or even the teacher, but unfortunately, I can’t. Even as much as I despised the whole institution for confining me, the teacher loved me. She cast me as Mary (top billing) in the school play at Christmas time and I hated her for it. I think my long blonde hair was what turned this teacher on to me or maybe something else, but whatever it was, I wish I didn’t have it. These people just didn’t realize I wasn’t meant to be in the spotlight and fought it every step of the way.

I got even though. Feisty little kid as I was.

For my part, I was supposed to pick up baby Jesus out of the basket, hold him and cradle him at a certain point of this particular Christmas song. Not only did I hate school and hated being in the spotlight against my will, I was supposed to do something that totally went against by beliefs—hold a fake baby for the entire world to see.

You see, baby dolls were sissy.

Being somewhat of a tomboy, I was never caught with a baby doll in my hands or anywhere near my possession. While I did cherish my Tammy doll (she was hip) and I did think a lot of my grandmother sending me a bride doll from Rhode Island (you didn’t have to cradle her), baby dolls were what sissy girls played with. After all, I was seven and that’s what little girls played with, not me.

I’m not even sure why this was. I had baby dolls as a young child, but once I became “worldly,” they were a thing of the past and to make me pick up this baby doll and cradle it in my arms was the sissiest thing I could think of.

Now, if it was a real baby, then that was fine, but not a fake baby. ACK.

My “boyfriend” (or at least, that’s what he said he was and I have no idea how that happened) was chosen to play Joseph. I think that’s the reason I had this problem with the whole baby thing. If he saw me do this, I wouldn’t be one of the guys anymore and would be reverted back to being a sissy girl and he wouldn’t like me anymore.

The day of the play arrived. Most of the parents showed up except mine. I’m not even sure of the reason. Perhaps I never told them because I didn’t want them to see me pick up a sissified baby doll.

I took my place on this throne-like chair with “Joseph” right beside me. I was nervous as shit. I kept looking out the window hoping someone would throw a bomb inside but I had no such luck.

The song came on and they came to the part where I was to pick up baby Jesus, only…I didn’t do it.

My teacher glared at me, nodding towards baby Jesus, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

“Joseph” leaned over and said, “Pick the baby up, Mary,” with this shit-eating grin almost daring me to do it and I ignored him and made a mental note to can him as my boyfriend just as soon as I hung up my Mary hat.

All the other children were giggling, figuring that I must be the worse actor in the world not to remember my one thing I was supposed to do, but I didn’t care.

I had principles.

After it was over, no one said a word. I guess it didn’t matter after all whether I picked up baby Jesus or not. I was just glad it was over. This was my first stage appearance and while I guess I didn’t make the best actor in the world, I proved to myself that when I believed in something, I believed in something and nothing in this world was going to make me change my mind.

While this was my first stage performance, and possibly my worst, it didn't stop people from trying to get me to perform. Again and again. Stay tuned to the next installment of "California Dreamin'" and find out..... ;o)