Monday, October 17, 2016

Am I Really Doing This?

National Novel Writing Month
November 1-30
The world needs your novel.

I've just signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

I'm out of my damned mind.

If you're doing NaNo, you're basically making a commitment to yourself to write a 50K word novel in the month of November. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

No. No, it's not.

It's SO not easy. I did NaNo back in 2008 and I didn't make the 50K word mark. But I did build a little story I want to get back to someday.

This is not that day.

I've been in a major depressive slump and haven't done any writing since last fall. Well, that's bullshit.

A friend of mind at work keeps asking me if I've been writing (she's read my first book and claims to love it, bless her) and I keep telling her no. But now she's holding me accountable, largely because I told her to. Just before a recent business trip, I told her to check in with me when I was back in the office, and to ask me if I'd made a fucking writing plan already.

She did. And I had.

It's NaNo. Because of course it has to be.

I broke out my monthly planner and penned (not penciled!) in when, and for how long, I'll write in November. I'll be working on the story I abandoned last fall, which has two chapters (that need revision, which I'll work on during the rest of October, as well as finishing up my research for the project).

Whether good, bad, or indifferent, I will bloody well finish this draft in November 2016. You know, barring Act of God or hangnail, or whatnot.

Who's with me???

Friday, July 15, 2016

Why May 2016 Mostly Sucked

So, mid-June I put up a long post detailing the shocking and untimely news of my ex-husband's death, which I had to break to our son, Balthazar, the day before he graduated college on May 28 (and two days before Balthy turned 21 on May 29).

I poured a lot of angst into that post. I was still in shock, I reckon (and perhaps I still am). I didn't give a hot damn about all the raw ick I laid out into the Blogosphere at the time, and I don't regret doing it now. I did decide, however, to remove the post, as it served its purpose of explaining why I'd become even more incognita than usual while providing me the outlet I needed at the time. I just didn't want it up anymore, but I did feel it right to bookmark the event, if you will, on my blog, as it's had quite an impact on my life.

Other reasons why May sucked:

  • I'd been putting aside money in anticipation of moving out of my parents' place (which I'd moved back into in the fall of 2012, as it was either pay rent or pay for Balthy's schooling, and Balthy's schooling won out, as is right and proper). I had a tidy sum set aside. With the death of Balthy's father, and the realization of there being no will (thus, no executor for the estate), I've had to fork over almost all of my savings to retain an estate attorney, who's to work on securing Balthy's right to administer his father's estate. The thing is, Balthy doesn't get anything in return for this right, it just means he gets to deal with wrapping up his father's life. The only benefit of being the administrator, really, is that he'll have the legal right to learn the entirety of his father's assets--though it doesn't qualify him to inherit them (because his father died while still technically married to someone whom he'd planned on divorcing anyway, but she'd only moved out and there was no legal paperwork citing a split, so she's legally entitled to quite a bit, actually). Ugh. Anyway, retaining a lawyer seemed the best way to protect my son's interests, so that's what I felt compelled to do. So moving into a home of my own again doesn't seem likely to happen this year after all.
  • My boss at my day job announced her departure for pastures greener. This was also an unanticipated event which rather blew my mind. We're to begin interviewing the folks who've passed the first phase of a phone interview with my boss' boss (my grandboss?) next week. Next week is also my boss' last week. I've worked with the gal for over a decade here, and while we've had our ups and downs, I love her like a sister and feel a bit at sea thinking of working without her. It's a bit weird, really. The other unsettling bit, of course, is not knowing how things'll be with the new boss. Fingers crossed for goodness.
  • Mid-May, a bunch of us from the office attended a week-long conference to learn a new software product we've just signed up for. The shit imploded my brain several times. As well, I developed a nasty allergic reaction to something on my face that week, which took about two weeks to heal--I initially thought it was a new skin-care product I'd tried but after another recent business trip which saw a minor version of the allergic reaction flare up, I'm beginning to think it's whatever's used to clean the linens. (I had the same problem from one other hotel, years ago.)
  • I lost my wallet. Had to cancel my debit/credit cards, file a police report, the works. GAH!
  • I started smoking again. Not at the level I used to, but after I had to deal with telling my kid about his father's death (!!!), I did fall off the wagon and haven't managed to clamber back on. Tentatively, I'm thinking I'll kick the cigs again on the three-year anniversary of when I initially quit (August 19). Right now, I'm forgiving myself for the crutch because I'm only human and dayum, shit got really real.

Here's the one good thing that happened in my life this May: my baby graduated college!

Balthy and GML on graduation day.
His cap is tilted so far back on his head
it didn't make it into the selfie.

He and his band are planning an East coast tour for end of July/most of August. In the meantime, he's doing a part-time internship at a comedy club (a perfect fit for him) and will likely look for more work when he's back from the tour.

I'd told Balthy I knew just the place I'd like to take him for booze once he could drink legally. Still owe him that outing, the prospect of which, I have to admit, is one of the few things keeping up my spirits*.

*Geddit, geddit? Spirits? Alcohol? It's a pun? Hey, It's been rough, give a Goth Mom (Lite) a break, wouldja?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Words, wOrds, WoRDS

Been a while since we played this game, eh what? Let's have at it, then.

Using the Random Word Generator at, I'm going to toss out a word and you're going to share the first thing that comes to your mind, in the comments section below.

Are y'all ready for this?

Today's random word is...


To learn what came to my mind, select the darkened text between the asterisks.


You guys know from tarot? In the average 78-card tarot deck, there's a card known as the "Eight of Swords." The usual artwork shows a gal who's blindfolded and bound, surrounded by eight swords which have impaled the ground around her. Her situation is problematic, certainly, but not hopeless. The rope at her wrists is loose, as is the blindfold. If she weren't so completely wigged out she'd test them and find that she could undo them. Then she'd see that there's enough space in between the swords for her to slip through and escape her difficulties. The main problem she faces, though, is that she can't see things clearly, and her confusion and fear prove an unnecessary barrier against sweet release.

I can so totally relate to this card.


Go on, then. Reveal unto the world what that word inspired in your little gray cells.

If you dare...

Monday, May 2, 2016

This One Goes Out to All You Mothers...

WARNING: This blog post contains a picture of a real-life, disturbing-looking wound. The squeamish should exercise caution and/or go read another blog, maybe one about unicorns and/or fluffy kittehs and bunnehs, or similar.

Have I mentioned that my Senior-in-college son, Balthazar, plays guitar in a friend's band? He met the fellow up at school, but M (the friend) lives in the tri-state area. Anyway, M's a mover and shaker, and hustles to get them gigs, no matter how humble the venue (think unfinished basement of someone's house). Whatevs, folks gotta start somewhere, and I admire that will-play-for-beer/pot spirit.

They regularly gig during the academic year and on breaks. During the January break, Balthy advised me that the band was heading back up to school on a Thursday afternoon for a show, and then going on to New Haven for another performance that coming Saturday. I noted that a blizzard was expected over the weekend and urged caution, a notion promptly scoffed at by the spawn of my womb.

So I went to work on Wednesday and by the time I got home Balthy was already out with some friends. I knew he'd get back in the wee hours and, as it was a school-night for me, I wouldn't be able to see him till he returned from New Haven the following week. Such is life.

Well, the blizzard did hit, hard, and I nervously checked in with Balthy on Saturday. I was relieved to learn the Connecticut gig had been canceled. The Kid and his friends would be driving back from school on Sunday night. My anxiety level spiked again, as the parkway they'd take is hella curvy, poorly lit, and bound to be a snowy mess.

I spent Sunday in a state of useless hypervigilance, frequently sending up prayers that the kids all made it to their respective homes safely. When Balthazar's key turned in the lock around 7:30pm, I let out a whoosh of relief and thanked God for being so utterly groovy.

Balthazar joined me in my room, plopped on my bed and started chatting. He commented on how good my dinner, which was being kept in the oven so as to stay warm, smelled. In a fit of motherly relief and benevolence, I said he could have it. He thanked me, then gave me his weird, "Boy, are you gonna hate what I'm about to dish up" smile.

Me, on alert: What?

Balthy: I'm gonna show you something that's gonna freak you out. (He stood and his hands went to the waistline of his jeans.)

Me, enthusiastically: Didja get a tattoo?

Balthy, still with the shit-eating grin: Nah... (He pushed down the jeans and showed me the stuff of mothers' nightmares.)

Me, feeling the blood drain from my face: What's that?

Balthy: A dog bite.

Me, through numb lips: From what kind of dog?

Balthy: A big one.

Me: ...when?

Balthy: Wednesday night.

(My eyes shot to his face.) Me: Did you seek medical attention for this?

Balthy, grin widening impossibly: Nah, had to travel with the band the next day, remember? Been puttin' Neosporin on it, covering it with gauze and whatnot. The worst part is that the dog ruined the pair of skinny jeans that I'd just bought that day.

Me, miraculously refraining from throttling him: You're a fucking idiot.

Lest you think I exaggerate the horror that was the semi-healed dog-bite, here's a pic.

Balthy's dog-bite, four days after the event.
Yep, those are puncture wounds. From fangs.

The ruined skinny-jeans.

I made the little blighter eat (my dinner!) while I got dressed and after he finished we slogged our way through the snow-packed streets to the emergency room of the hospital right around the block (thank God for small mercies).

I have to say, that was our quickest emergency room visit to date, as we were in and out in under an hour and I missed only about the first ten minutes of Downton Abbey (What? It was the final season!). At that point, there wasn't much to be done: the medical staff gave the wound a cursory inspection but, as it showed no sign of infection, asked if he was up to date with his tetanus booster, prescribed a course of antibiotics, and took down the dog-owner's contact info so the state health department could follow up and obtain proof that the dog (either a Rottweiler or a Pit Bull) was up to date on its shots.

(OK, there was one gratifying moment when the triage nurse asked when the bite happened and, upon learning it'd taken place FOUR DAYS PRIOR, looked up from her paperwork to sharply admonish Balthy, "It's Sunday!")

Anyway, Balthy has survived the bite (so far!) and, I hope, has learned NOT to let something like that go untreated for FOUR FUCKING DAYS. Also, I've learned that I need to go for my tetanus booster. Maybe y'all should consider it too, if it's been over ten years since you've had one.

The reason I dedicated this post to mothers is two-fold:

1. You all have been through this kind of terror-striking-incident with your own kids and, I'm sure, can so totally relate, and;

2. In honor of all us mothers, I'm making the e-Book version of my Greek-myth-based romance novel, THAT FATAL KISS, FREE for Mother's Day weekend 2016! Be sure to Facebook, Tweet, and otherwise share the hell out of this post to all and sundry and, if you'd like to pick up your own FREE copy, click here from Saturday, May 7 through Monday, May 9, 2016***!

***I think the times for Amazon's promotional events are Pacific times, so don't take any chances and snatch up your free copy on Mother's Day itself!***

Monday, April 18, 2016

Special Order

Hieronymus Bosch 013Mom: I'm going out, need me to get you anything?

Me, thinking out loud: A good-looking, single man...with a good job, a good sense of humor...someone I can trust.

Mom: That's a special order, and you have to wait, because that can only come from Heaven.

Me, after another moment's thought: Think I can place the order over the Internet?

Note to self: when placing order, remember to specify "straight."

PS: As it happens, it does not appear to be possible to legitimately order one's soulmate from Heaven via the Internet. I guess I'll go back to praying, then. Meanwhile, I did manage to successfully order things from Vera Bradley and Sephora which, though there's a significant dent in my wallet, somewhat mitigates my feelings of disappointment from failing in my initial endeavor.


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