Monday, November 25, 2013

Giving Bloggy Thanks...

Composing a post such as this is difficult for me, as I fear hurting the folks I don't mention (especially since I'm so very grateful for ALL of my bloggy-blog pals' support). But as the American Thanksgiving holiday draws near, I want to give thanks to some peeps whose above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty efforts on my behalf have both honored and humbled me this year, as I self-published my first book:

Allyson Lindt,
you so generously shared with me LOADS of publishing info.

Yolanda Renée,
your encouraging words have warmed my heart, again and again.

Melissa Bradley, Samantha Redstreake Geary, Emma Yardis,
you seem tireless in your efforts to promote me and my work.

Sofia Grey, Mina Burrows, Elise Fallson, Rocky Hatley, Trisha Farnan, Damyanti G., Alisa Anderson, Ari Michaels, Christine Rains, Danielle Bertrand, Heather Gardner, Jackie Felger, Jessica Topper, Juliette Smith, Penelope Crowe, Shannon Lawrence, Tina Downey, and Tonja Matney, you, and nearly all the gals listed before you, welcomed my cover reveal to your blogs and helped me get the word out about my book.

And many of the chicks already mentioned have said such kind, thoughtful things about That Fatal Kiss, that I'm almost speechless. So, given that a picture's said to be worth a thousand words...

And virtual white roses. But mostly thanks.

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Seven Deadly Sins...

Being that I'm a Goth Mom (Lite), you might imagine me to be full of the swirling darkness that compels a soul to all sorts of depravity. If so, you'd be correct; in my heart, I harbor countless sins, yearning to break free. Dani of Entertaining Interests wants me to confess seven of them. (Well, strictly speaking, this meme seems to demand seven specific sins per each Deadly Sin which, if my mathematical skills—such as they are—serve me, makes for 49 sins. But as you may have already heard, I'm lazy as...well, sin. So you'll get one per category and like it, soldier.)

I've been told (by two different people) that I'm the possessor of a "smoldering sexuality" and "swagger." So, *W00F* is me.

I envy the hell outta chicks with preternaturally speedy metabolisms who can consume mass quantities of pizza, beer, and ice cream and never gain an ounce in the wrong place(s). Damn their svelte hides.

Oh, where to begin, where to begin?! Lord, if it's not grammatical errors getting my goat, it's folks who saunter three or four-abreast on the sidewalk and don't get the fuck out of my way when I'm running late for work!!!!!!!!!!

*Ahem.* Where was I? Oh, yes; I was being sinful.

Ha. Ha ha ha. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...

Right now, my hot little hands want to wrap around the entire Brighton catalog.

I'd consume mass quantities of pizza, beer, and Häagen-Dazs Rocky Road ice cream if I had a preternaturally speedy metabolism. (The problem is, I've consumed these things without one.)

Well, similar to Greed, parts of me ache to wrap around something, only it's not my hands, nor do they long to go around jewelry. I feel I'd be at it like the proverbial rabbit if I had a partner who was ready, willing, and able to accommodate me. Say, it's gotten a bit hot in here, hasn't it? ::fans self::

And that's about as self-revealing as I'm prepared to be (while sober). (Which I am.) (Alas.)

OK, so I reckon I should tag seven other bloggers, perhaps some new-ish friends I've made, so I can become better acquainted with their dark sides. To that end, I tag (in alpha order, by first name or initials):

OK, folks, your mission is clear: spill it.
After all, confession is good for the soul...

Monday, November 11, 2013

So Much Win!

Hear ye, hear ye!

The Resurrection Blogfest II participants who won the drawing* for $20 Amazon Gift Cards are:

Carrie-Anne's Magick Theatre
Ashley Nixon
Debbie Christiana - Curious Tales of Love, Magic and Mystery

Congratulations, Peeps! Please contact me at aoorooo (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know to which e-mail addresses y'all want y'alls gift cards sent.

*     *     *

But youse ain't the only winners in the house, yo. Since I quit smoking in August, I've saved up quite a bit of coin. That is, I saved only long enough to treat myself, bit by bit, to keep myself on the non-smoking wagon. Here's the loot I've scored with the monies saved by not smoking:

Acer Chromebook

A slew of stuffs from Brighton Collectibles

Andie Soft Shoulderbag

Apollo Key Fob

Intrigue Reversible Necklace

And finally, a new "mini-makeup bag" and "wallet" for my new handbag!

Coin Purse & All in One Crossbody in Canterberry Magenta

Now, before I hear the gnashing of teeth and cries of envy, I need to point out that these came to me after much suffering in the name of being smoke-free. Also, I'd rather be up close and personal with the man of my dreams, but since these are all I can cuddle up to, I shall. Cuddle up to them, that is. Anyway, yay me, for staying strong. Fingers crossed I can maintain my abstinence from cigarettes for the long haul.

*The drawing for the three $20 Amazon Gift Cards was conducted via

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bringing Back the Dead..., that is.

Hey, y'all, the big day is here! Singing "Happy Bloggiversary" to myself, I celebrate my second year of blogging with my


Not sure what this is all about? Well, click here to learn more! (And if you're reading this before 11:59pm EST on NOV. 7, you can still sign up for it!) (There are, like, PRIZES, and whatnot!)

To sum up, the point of this blog hop is to provide an opportunity for participants to resurrect blog posts from roughly this past year of blogging that they love but didn't get enough attention. Click on the linky-list below to check out all participants' entries.

For my entry, I was torn. Did I want to snark, titillate, or inspire? Well, the snark has already received a good number of views, and the titillating post led to many blushes (I'm guessing), so, since my most recent post was a bit of a downer, I chose to inspire instead. Appearing originally on Thursday, February 28, 2013, I give you...

Writerly Things ~ Making Time

Additional Disclaimer:
Plenty of earthy language follows. Just sayin'.

Dear Reader, I'm ready to bet that at least once in your life you've uttered a sentiment similar to this one: "I'd do {insert super-groovy thing you'd love to do here} if only I had the time." Now, God knows I've experienced phases in which my every day responsibilities to my full-time jobby-job, my son, my parents, even my friends, have overwhelmed me. Everybody wants a piece of me and there's precious little to spare. Yeah, life can suck like that, sometimes.

If, like me, you also battle the demon of depression, then doing that super-groovy thing you love can seem impossible. In part, you feel like when you don't have to do a thing, you just bloody well won't do it, and that's that. You're drained, exhausted. You've got nothing left in you to give, even to yourself. You just can't do it. That is even le suckier, because then you find yourself letting your spare hour/evening/weekend piddle away and guilt floods you, because now  you can do that super-groovy thing, and what the fuck are you doing with this precious gift of time, but a whole lotta nothing???

Well, funk that noise.

First, whether you do or don't suffer from depression, those feelings of guilt are an exaggerated response to that evil little rat-bastard worming his way through your soul and mind and, as such, are pretty useless. Except for making you feel worse about yourself, and who the hell needs that? Pas moi. And pas toi, for that matter. Nobody needs that.

You know what you do need?

You need to do that super-groovy thing you love.

Why do you need to? Because it's medicinal; doing something you love can make you feel better, and then you may want to do more, and feel better still. Because you feeling better will make the people who love you feel better, and then you want to perpetuate that cycle 'cause, you know, you love them. And feeling better is as much a need as food, water, shelter, and Lindt chocolates. (OK, maybe that last one's not a need, but damn; work with me, people.) And, you know, you don't worry too much about finding time to eat, drink, and seek shelter. You do that shit tout de suite because you know you need to. So forget about trying to find time for that super-groovy thing you love; you're going to make time for it.

For me, that super-groovy thing is sex, but since that's not on the table (or on any other piece of furniture, alas), I write. I adore writing. I love my main characters. When I make time to hang out with them, as I've been managing to do more and more, of late, I'm all giddy and infatuated and, frankly, I'm so engrossed in their stories that I've no sense of time passing. The pleasure I derive from writing is just as hot as sex. There, I said it. No, I'm not high. Writing is as good as sex, for me, and if you're a writer, it may be true for you as well, and who the hell doesn't want to make time for sex???

Right; my train of thought just got a wee bit derailed, there. Pardonnez-moi.

Writers, whatever your situation, you can make time for that super-groovy writing you love. Look at your weekly planner, determine how much time you can devote to your writing, and write that jazz down in pen. (Everything's more serious when you write it in pen, ever notice that?) It doesn't have to be a lot of time, but it should be as close to every day as possible. (Ladies taking The Pill: you take that thing on some kinda regular schedule or else the system fails, amiright???) And when that precious time rolls around, you make sure your space for it is set up and just get down to it. Don't turn on the TV (unless you really, truly get into the writing flow when there's background conversation), don't log in to any social media. Just write. Write by hand, if online-goofery's too tempting to resist otherwise. I crank up my favorite tuneage and get cracking. (Duran Duran's got a way of priming my pump.) (So to speak.)

And don't worry about doing it perfectly. Like sex, the pleasure of writing doesn't spring from some flawless ideal; it comes from the sweaty physical contact, the stumbling engagement with the moment, and the breathtaking twists that come along the way to shake, rattle, and roll you. (I know you know what I'm talking about.) I read this nifty piece from Writers Digest today, and the bit about "nothing is ever wasted" really resonated with me. 'Cause it ain't. It's all beautiful. And it's all good. And anyway, we don't need perfection; what we need is to strive.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Memento mori...

Click here for more on
Resurrection Blogfest II.
A memento is a remembrance, or a reminder, of something. I'm using it in two senses for this post, the first: a reminder to all that my Resurrection Blogfest II is this week, on November 7. Folks who've already signed up, make sure you've got the badge up on your sideboards—if you don't, you're not eligible for the random drawing/an Amazon gift card. For a refresher of the hop's rules, and for those who've not yet signed up, but would like to, click here.

Mori is Latin for "die" or "death." Thus a memento mori is an admonition that death comes for one and all. This is the second reminder, one which hit me, hard, when I went to snap the pic for the badge.

On a day off, I betook myself to a rather largish cemetery in Manhattan. It occupies at least two whole city blocks, with Broadway cutting through the middle. Banners hung in several places, proclaiming it an "active" cemetery, which made me second guess my decision to go in and snap piccies of headstones. Or at least wish I'd brought a machete with me, or somethin'.

Anyway, a tall stone wall surrounds the place, so unless you've been there before, you've no idea what you'll find once within. The neighborhood was absurdly quiet. As I approached the open gate, with maybe 45 minutes to spare before the place closed up shop for the day, I felt my first serious misgivings. It was a beautiful, sunny day. I could see the Hudson River from where I strolled. But I was about to enter a city of the dead and, even though I had a clear purpose, I suddenly questioned what the hell I was doing there.

I went in, nonetheless. Another internal stone wall blocked the view as I made my way up the circular drive. All was silent but for birdsong, and then I turned the corner. Gently rolling hills and leafy trees met my eyes, several railed stairways led to points up and down, and tombstones, statues of mourning angels, and mausoleums dotted the lush green grasses. I paused to turn 'round, take it all in. My omnipresent tinnitus seemed to ring louder in my ears than even at bedtime. Every atom in my body seemed to riot, screaming at me to get the fuck out of there, what was I, crazy???

But I needed a blogfest badge, and I'd trekked all the way the hell over there so, damn it, I wasn't about to leave without some pictures. Almost panting from the heebie-jeebies, I decided to head past some of the mausoleums, which were up a slope, and remember feeling grateful for the blacktop pathway. Didn't want to tread on the grass and inadvertently disrespect another's remains. And then I felt as though I did that anyway, just by virtue of being alive, in this sacred place, on this gorgeous indian summer day. I took breath, I moved my legs and swung my arms, surely that in itself was an affront to those made dust by time. I began to fancy that if a horde of those yet undusty were to arise to expel me from their home, I wouldn't blame them. Sure, I'd screech myself into a stupor, but I wouldn't blame them.

That symbol is IHS,
a Greek abbreviation of Jesus.
I got some pics of the mausoleums, told myself that the air I sucked in through my nose did not smell strange at all, why should it? Then I backtracked till I was closer to the entrance. I checked my phone compulsively for the time, wondering if groundskeepers typically cruised through the joint to check for (living) folks before closing up the main gate. I finally ran into someone, a handsome young security guard, who told me I should've signed in when I first arrived. I checked my phone, saw it was 20 minutes till closing, and was about to argue the point but then shrugged and followed him down a hill and into an office building. It occurred to me that this was exactly how a horror movie might begin, with an unsuspecting idiot following any old dude in a uniform into the "office," only to get dunked into a tub of embalming fluid. I signed the guest book, allowed him to lead me back out, and finally decided to get the hell out of dodge, as my poor beleaguered nerves really could take no more.

I hiked up a long-ass flight of steps and then scurried along the winding drive, the security guard not far behind me, until I exited via the main gate. Within moments, I heard it clang shut behind me as the young man locked up for the day. My heart racing, I made for the nearest bus stop and waited, wishing desperately that I'd chosen some other point in my life to have quit smoking.

That visit yielded me an acceptable image for my blogfest badge, but left me in a rather shell-shocked state. I boarded the M5 and cruised down the Upper West Side, music blaring in my headphones and thoughts racing through my mind. One thought beat out all the rest and settled deeply into my being, and it was this: ultimately, we don't really know what there is at the end. All we can know, and all we can truly ever have, however fleeting, is a spark of love. Given to us, perhaps, by some divine being, we shelter its easily doused light for a brief time, then pass it on to another. You give it to a lover, your flesh and blood, or to a stranger who gets in your way but you let by, rather than knocking past him with an elbow to his kidney. All we can ever truly have is that love, and we don't have it for long. It seems the only thing we can do, really, is be warmed by it and then warm others with it, while we can.

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