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

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 pseudo-summery fall 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.