About Me

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Jersey Shore, United States
In case any of my friends or family members actually read this Blog, please consider all Names, Characters, Places and Incidents to be the product of the author's imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely COINCIDENTAL...Muaaah!! Now, really, about me: I bring the crazy wherever I go, so I've been told...I make fun of myself more than anyone else ever could. I hate: the awkward silence in elevators, watches with no numbers, picky eaters, Cancer and legalism. I love: coffee, stalking Hugh Jackman, my Spanx, COMMENTS, sarcasm and writing: Middle Grade, NA, YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

TO QUERY, OR NOT TO QUERY, THAT IS THE QUESTION.

AH, QUERY WRITING:
This is how I feel when I  work on my Query....

This is where I fear my Query will end up....


 

I recently received some really AWESOME feed back on how bad my query letter SUCKS IT from:
Uber Agent, Suzie Townsend. Who, BTW, is super sweet and way too nice to say it as harshly as I just did. ..but the truth is, it really, truly, SUCKS IT. And I know it.

I have worked and reworked my stupid query so many times I don't even want to look at it anymore. AND I love to write.  I have been writing my entire life. I'VE EVEN BEEN TOLD (and won like some awards and stuff..) I'm pretty good at it. I think my manuscript is ALL KINDS OF AWESOME. But if I don't get mad QUERY WRITING SKILLS, STAT, no one but me and my mom will ever actually read it!! Boo. Hoo. 

Here's my motto:



Me vs. Those Two Damn Paragraphs
Ah, those two damn paragraphs. I need to write two amazing paragraphs that sum up my 400 page manuscript. They have to be absolutely perfect.  But so far, THOSE TWO DAMN PARAGRAPHS have eluded me. They've won every single match. What I really need to do is get serious. Do some sick training, and then shout out for a REMATCH. But talk is cheap.Cause here I sit, writing this blog, instead of calling my challenger out for a rematch. Can you say, pro-cras-ti-nate? But I will never give up! I will never surrender!  

Any one else ever feel like they've gone ten rounds with the Mike Tyson of writing?



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Much Needed R&R

Me, Taking a Much Needed Break 
So, if any of my four followers read my blog entry titled "Worst Week of My Life" you would know that I was in desperate need of a few days off. My family and I went to our fav B&B in Pennsylvania.

I returned, with an adorable little kitty and the conclusion that no matter who or what comes at me in this life, I will never, ever, give up. And that kinda makes me the world's worst pessimist. So, after a mini nervous break down "vacation", I am back to being my usual, able to look on the bright side, forgiving, sunny, OPTIMISTIC, hopeful, self.

I can't be the only one who struggles with/to:
Get places on time;
A laundry pile that's higher than my head;
Three kids a year apart (all girls);
 A Husband who is never, ever, full;
A house that needs HELP and no chance a maid is going to show up;
PTA meetings and psycho PTA moms;
Friends you would love to see but can't even find the time to have a cup of coffee with;
Girl Scouts;
Your Fifth grader's math homework you can't figure out; 
 Sunday School to teach;
A muffin top you can't get rid of no matter how hard you work out;
One part time and one full time job;
Having a pizza place on speed dial;
Time to work on a query letter that's so amazing it lands me a Super Agent of all Agents, who wants to sell one of my books almost as much as I do!!

I could keep going, but I'll spare the four of you. Anyone else out there ever been so overwhelmed you wanted to give up? Throw in the towel, QUIT. I would love to hear about your last straw. And how you managed to pull it back together : )

Newest Addition to the Family

Meet our new kitty.
Her official name is Princess Filamena Joy
But she also responds to: Princess Foo Foo, Mena and The Cuteness

We are highly allergic.  But just look at that face! Yep. That's why we don't really care. I have always had dogs, so this is my first rodeo with a kitten. Have to say, I am enraptured. Not one accident, and no mess. Mena jumped into her litter box from the get go. No prompting necessary, she just instinctively did her business. Ridiculously simple.  She loves to play, stalking acorns and leaves, is a favorite pastime. She also loves to pounce on unsuspecting toes.  This little girly had me at "Meow".   

Saturday, October 22, 2011

New Scary Movies, Ghost Adventures and Paranormal Activity.

With Halloween fast approaching, a resurgence of scary movies and TV shows always rise. Some movies, I love to revisit. Today, I watched the original version of The Fly. I remember being so frightened of it when I was a little kid. Help me, help me..it seems so  ridiculous, now. Yet, there are other old school movies that still scare the crap out of me  (i.e., the 1930's banned movie called FREAKS)  And even though my parents absolutely forbid me to, I watched some scary movies on the sly, thinking I could take it. Wrong!! Some of them still haunt my dreams. (One of us, one of us, we accept her!! Yep, those Freaks still scare the crap out of me... ) Today's scary movies/TV shows, however, are a whole new ball game.
There are so many new paranormal movies/TV shows popping up. Take, for instance, Ghost Adventures. Ugh. No one makes me want to bitch slap them faster than ZAC on Ghost Adventures!!  I'm so not a hater. Usually. But everything about that kid and  that show, annoys the heck out of me. He tries to act all cowboy tough, swaggering into supposedly "haunted" buildings, and talking trash to spirits. He is ridiculous! One day, all of his begging with the other side, to make contact, might just back fire. Suffice it to say, even my daughter, who's seven, knows better. After watching approximately two minutes of that show, she actually said, "Mommy, that boy Zac is so dumb. He keeps inviting demons to mess with him!! What's the matter with him?"  Whether you believe in them or not, I strongly suggest NEVER inviting a demon to tango. Ever. Even though Ghost Adventures is a completely faked reality show, what he is potentially opening himself up to, is no joke. And that's truly frightening.
These new paranormal activity movies and the true ghost/hauntings stories, really get  me. Michael Myers, Freddy, Jason, none of those clowns ever did it for me. Being a Paranormal Romance Writer, with an extremely overactive imagination, you can only imagine how my mind  can run with stuff like that. I can psych myself out in a heartbeat. On Friday, I went on a "Night Hike" through the woods, with  my daughter's Brownie troop. There I was, marching along, eating  smores and singing a bunch of  Girl Scout songs, meanwhile, in my crazy head, all I could think about, was how those woods and that scenario, could be the start to a dozen scary movies!!!  Everyone laughed at me when I emphatically refused to be either the first one or last  one in  line.... But I'm not beat.
What was the first movie to ever scare you? I guess it all depends on what frightens you the most. Is it Zombies? Then maybe, Night of the Living Dead was what did it. Are you afraid of  Vampires? (Maybe I wasn't the only one who cried the first time they saw Salem's Lot...)  Leave me your all time scariest movie, I'd love to hear it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The worst week of my life.

This has been one of the worst weeks of my life. And when you consider my life, that's saying something.  The worst part, is that throughout all of my life's ups and downs, through all of the pain and suffering, this week did something to me, that many others did not. Could not. I did not think it was possible, but here we are. I am no longer an optimist. This week stole my optimism.

I have always prided myself in being able to see the bright side, or find some good in all people. Maybe that was my first mistake, PRIDE.  For the first time ever, I find myself not knowing where to go from here, or how to see my way up  and out of this. I've fallen without my safety net; the true belief that things can and will always get better.

What do pessimists do? How do they live like this? It's so depressing to not look on the bright side. It's killing me!  I want to go back to the days of ignorance when I was hopeful and immature and so blindly optimistic, nothing ever kept me down. If I could will myself out of this, I would have already. But it's just not there. I don't think I will ever be able to find it again. It's dead.

My optimism has passed on to the other side.  Sadly, it's moved beyond my reach, beyond my grasp and beyond my control. I shudder to think of living the rest of my life this way, but there is no alternative now. My stomach is in knots, I can't keep anything down, and I haven't been awake for more than a few hours at a time. I just can't deal. 

How do you combat such depression? How do you ever recoup from such a loss? I am desperate to find some answers, but sadly, I now know, there are none.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Now Stop, HATING IS BAD!!!

This Beautiful Lady is my friend. For some reason (jealous?!?), people have been hating on her.  And that just pisses me off. I've known this girl since I was five years old. She is a wonderful, loving, sweet, kind, generous woman.  She lives for her kids and her family and would help anyone who was in  need. Why do people have to be so mean? It makes me nuts and I want to go off on all of those hating jerks. PEOPLE, big boobs and lots of make-up does not make a bad girl!!! Stop assuming. You know nothing. And  BTW, "There is only one Lawgiver and Judge...who are you to judge your neighbor?" James 4:12  Just saying.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

October is Going to Be a Great Month for Stalking Hugh Jackman!

This is going to be a great month for those of us who waste/spend a lot of time hunting down
 HUGH JACKMAN.

Hugh is opening on Broadway with his one man show!! Of course, Front Row seats must be procured for optimal stalking advantages!! I am trying for FR seats on my b-day,  which would, absolutely, positively make my day....Woo hoo.

REAL STEEL OPENS NEXT WEEK!! 
No matter what movie  he appears in, even if it's a guaranteed bomb, I'm still going!!!

YEP. DEFINITELY GOING.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Some People are Just Born Cussers

"I DON'T REALLY TALK DIRTY TO BE DIRTY. IT'S JUST A WAY OF COMMUNICATION. SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST BORN CUSSERS!" ~ Dolly Parton

Oh, Dolly, I couldn't agree with you more.  Cause no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to stop. I guess I was born a cusser too! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

There is nothing we can do.

There is nothing we can do. How do I hate those six words, let me count the ways... You sit and wait and wait some more in agony and torment, knowing it's only going to get worse. Well meaning people say the stupidest things. And you want to punch them in the mouth, hard, but it doesn't help. You scream, wail, and buck against everyone and everything around you. Nothing and no one can help. Not even the Almighty. No amount of begging and pleading before Him helps change His mind. He comforts you, and you may even let Him, for a while. But then you get angry. Oh, so angry. You watch, hands tied, desperate and raging as she gets weaker and thinner and starts to fade away. Fading away from you and everyone else she loves. He's taking back His angel now, I guess she was just a loan.

You rally deep, trying desperately to find the strength to go and see her. But your knees go weak and your stomach clenches in pain. Don't crack. Don't break. Be strong for her. Don't let her see the fissures in your skin. You are crumbling, falling and breaking apart, like stinky blue cheese. But you go on pretending, cause that's what she wants. Avoid the obvious, think pos-i-tive.

Now you know for sure hearts can't really break, cause yours is still beating. Thump, thump. It just goes right on beating, mocking your pain. You feed her, bathe her, talk as soothingly as you can. Thump, thump. When you do manage to sleep, you dream about her. Happy dreams that everything is still alright and you are not living this nightmare. Thump, thump. When you first wake up, you forget for a minute. But then it all comes back, like an enormous wave pounding and crashing relentlessly on the sands of your mind. When did your nightmares, become a reality? You are failing her and you know it, but you are powerless. What can you do to help? Nothing. Not a damn thing. It breaks you. Everyone is walking on egg shells around you, because, obviously, they must. You are a fiery inferno, getting ready to spew angry, violent flames. The anger and pressure of it all is building and building and its bound to erupt soon. Time stands still and flies by.

Tick tock, tick tock. The clock keeps ticking. You're losing her. The world is ignorant. It keeps on spinning. People are laughing and loving and walking by you, oblivious. Life as you know it will never be the same. The man at the bank, says, Have a Merry Christmas! Ignorant fool. Your Christmases will never be merry again.

Something startles you in your sleep. You sit up and immediately suck in a deep, hard breath. You know it's her, and you know with a sick certainty, she's gone. She's not tethered to this world any longer and there's a void and a pain that's so great inside, it defies description. A minute later, when the phone rings, you are not surprised. He is only confirming what you already know. It's a truth you thought you had been preparing yourself for, but there is no way anyone could possibly prepare themselves for this. There are no words. There is nothing.

For the first time in your life, you oppose the Almighty. Why? Why did you have to take her back? Why now? She was so young, so talented, so genuinely good. And why her? Why leave great parents with the inferior daughter? It's senseless. But there is no answer, other than, I AM. And you have to trust that. There is no alternative. She must be there with Him. Otherwise, all hope is lost.

Let the craziness begin! Everyone has gone mad. People who love each other deeply, turn, turn, turn. You sit by, numb and useless while all the insanity starts. There is nothing left inside you anyway. Nothing. It's all gone, shelled out like a cantaloupe. Nothing left but rind. Green and rotten to the core. Sick, sick, sick. You are supposed to what? Comfort others? Are you out of your ever-loving mind? What are you supposed to say, to comfort someone else, when you are full of terror and sadness and black and nothing? Nope, sorry. You get nothing. Nothing. Because that's all you've got to give.

There is no magic time limit to your mourning, but no one cares. People spit words at you. She shouldbebetterbynow, sheneedshelp, whenwillshesnapoutofit! Their words fly around and around, buzzing by your brain, never landing on anything solid. Findanewnormal. Lifewillgoon. Timehealsallwounds. Sowhat'sfordinner? You have to hold yourself back from kicking them in the head! Never have you imagined being in so much pain, but your pain is nothing compared to what she suffered through, in silence. Not one complaint. Somehow, you feel like you have failed her, again.

All of this emotion is too much for you to feel. You wish you could just vomit it up, get rid of it. But you wouldn't, even if you could. Because if you forget the pain, you forget her. The tremendous hole that's been blasted into your family since you lost her. What do families do? How do they survive this? Yours is fractured, splintered straight down the seams. Hearts are still so broken, but you put on a happy face. Slap a smile over your psychosis. Try to act like you have gone on, went on. Meanwhile, you know it's never going to happen. Because from now on, there is always someone missing. All your pictures are off center. Every holiday, one less place at the table. Your table is full, but it still feels empty. Every day without her is empty.

You look at your nieces, those two most precious, precious, little girls. And you thank God for them. Because every single time you look into their eyes, you see your sister smiling back at you. They sound like her, look like her, smell like her. You miss her so much. You try to give them their space, but you really want to hug those girls, and never, ever, let them go. They are the part of her that's still here, what's still tangible. It's like looking into the past and the future all at the same time. And that is the one shred of hope and sanity you have to cling to.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

E-books Are Spineless...




When I found out Borders was closing their doors for good, I was very upset. Let's just say there was extensive whining involved, as well as ranting Facebook posts, and a last visit to Borders where I started to cry/sob a little and my sister kind of had to push/drag me out the door. But I pulled it together and tried to console myself by focusing on the positive: at least I still had Atlantic Books around the corner. UP UNTIL YESTERDAY!

Yesterday I found out that all of the Atlantic Book Stores in my area were also closing!! Son of a...For an avid reader, this is insanity. All of my local book stores GONE. Out of business. Though it's no fault of mine, since all of my paychecks usually went right from my hands to theirs. Nope, I blame it all on E-books, Amazon and freaking Kindles.

Please allow me to explain why I hate E-books. Let me start by stating the obvious, they are spineless! What kind of legacy is an author leaving behind on a computer screen? Quite frankly, I love the feel of a book in my hands. I love to FLIP THE PAGES. And, yes, sometimes, I like to read backwards and forwards and refer to different chapters. I do not like the feel of an E-book. I do not like the smell of an E-book. (If I sound a bit like Dr. Seuss's SAM I AM, GOOD!! That's how I learned to read. My mother and I, sitting on a sofa, sharing the holding and page turning duties on an actual BOOK!) I feel the E-books new found popularity is to blame for my book stores closing. My fear is one day, real, live, tangible books are no longer going to be available. What's next?

Will libraries start closing their doors as well? Am I the only one out there who abhors the idea of buying a Kindle? Am I alone in my thinking, that if this is the future of books, I want no part of it?

Can anyone, anyone at all, explain to me, what's so appealing about an buying an E-book? (Other than, you don't have to actually get up off your bum to go to a bookstore and buy one, or go to the library to check one out?)Please, send your comments. Do your best to try to persuade me. In the meantime, I will mourn the loss of yet another one of my favorite places to hang out, drink coffee, pick out books with my kids, attend author signings...sigh, etc., etc.



Thursday, August 18, 2011

A message for Hugh Jackman.



Dear HUGH-If you ever want my stalking of you to cease and desist, you really must refrain from taking pictures with your shirt  off. Just when I feel like I've gotten a handle on things, there you go, flaunting your ridiculous hotness, making it impossible for me to ever get over you! Just thought this might be something you should consider, before you rip off your shirt and bare your magnificence for me to drool over, in the future! xo xo xo

Friday, August 5, 2011

Happy Birthday to The Husband


Here's a little look at The Husband's reading material. Is he an Alpha Male or what? In all seriousness, I know I take a lot of liberties, always teasing and poking fun at him, but he is truly the other half of my whole. He makes me crazy..but I return the favor!

The Husband is absolutely everything I'm not. Which, I guess explains why I was so attracted to him in the first place. Yes, we are as opposite as two people can get, but I love that about him. I look to him to fill in my weak spots. He has helped me "man up" so many times I couldn't count. Just knowing he is standing behind me makes all the difference in the world.

The Husband is: ridiculously strong, confident, rough around the edges, outspoken, (well, OK, maybe we do have one thing in common) able to keep calm in a crisis, he can fix/make absolutely anything, and above all, he is so freaking sure of himself, no matter what. All of the hobbies and activities he excels at, like: scuba diving, flying, sharp-shooting/sniper, outdoor survivalist, hunting, deep sea fishing, I suck at. Hard. And have zero desire to even attempt. Yet, I am very proud of The Husband and super happy he is able to do them all.

Although his type A, Alpha Male, testosterone filled personality may not make him the most popular, most PC guest at cocktail parties, he is a SURVIVOR. You see, I am certain, like the cockroach, my husband will survive, if there is ever nuclear war. The post-apocalyptic husband would adapt. He would hunt, live off of whatever he could and he would SURVIVE. Whereas, I would crumble. Completely. Especially without refrigeration, Internet service, coffee...or any of his emergency survival kits.

I have relied on the strength of The Husband for so long now, sometimes I wonder whether or not I could actually survive without him. He is my backbone. He is my greatest protector, loyal advocate, and biggest fan. Whatever weaknesses I have, he sees as his job to fulfill for me. And whenever he puts his foot in his mouth, way oversteps his bounds, or knocks somebody over, it is my job to pick them back up, apologize and smooth things out. (Good thing I worked in Public Relations as long as I did! I had no idea I would be marrying the client from hell and calling upon all of those skills I developed, quite so frequently.) See, together we make a great team, or an outrageous, hilarious, reality show. (That's kind of true, cause we have been approached, on more than one occasion, by people telling us we should do it. Especially after we sat next to a certain couple who are in the industry, at a wedding recently. The entire table tried to convince us to say yes. Ha!)

So, today, cheers to my Husband. Happy Birthday to the other half to my whole. Albeit the infuriating, loud, obnoxious half. J/K. Seriously, I don't know what I would do without you, I love you. xo

Thursday, July 21, 2011

some old /new poetry

Found these today, in one of my old files of poems.

The golden circle

there is no beginning and no end
it wraps itself around and around
a golden circle shining in the sun
slipping itself around my heart
like a noose
it tightens
I choke, I gasp, I pray
leave me be
let me live
keep out
it keeps clawing away at my soul
stealing one little piece at a time
chip, chip, chip
stop it, stop it, stop it
but there is no beginning and no end
I'm suffocating, I choke, I sputter
I'm gone
peace
I float up into the sky,
my essence mingles with the air
and I am flying, flying, flying
It claws, it clutches, it catches me
I am coming back down, down, down
the golden circle shines in the sun
it blinds me
now it holds on tighter
there is no beginning and no end
and there is no me

Empty

empty, loss
Death
pain in my chest
no breath
death of us
alone and cold
no love
no life
no you


Untitled.

I miss the sound of your voice,
I miss you telling me how I was closer to you, than anyone else in this world.
And I knew it was the truth.
I miss knowing what you were going to say, before you said it.
I miss your intelligence and your unique way of seeing things, like no one else.
I miss being best friends, and how we understood each other, so completely.
I miss being able to talk to you about nothing, for hours.
I miss being able to tell you all of my secrets, knowing you would die before repeating them to anyone.
There was a time when I lived to hear the sound of your voice.
How is it that you lied, but one of the things I love most about you, is your honesty?
Every once in a while, I dream everything between us is uncomplicated and right.
Then I wake up and I am sad. But oh so happy, for you. Truly.
I just wish I knew you were happy too.



Eating Crow for Khal Drogo..The Real Reason I Watch Game of Thrones


I feel compelled to rescind my former blog post titled "Khal Drogo, The Real Reason I Watch Game of Thrones..." This is a first for me as I have never, ever, taken back what I've said before, but in this instance, I must. Because, I have spent the better part of this summer with my head stuck in George Martin's Seven Kingdoms...and I don't ever want to come out!!!

I really would not want any of you to label me disingenuous, so I had to come clean. Although, I do still stand firmly by my statement that Drogo died way, way, too soon for me, (which has an awful lot to do with Jason Mamoa and his amazing ABS and not the story line) I will most definitely keep watching Games of Thrones!! I am in awe of this story. Although I will always find myself pining for what will never be, (Khal Drogo and his Khaleesi riding off in the sunset together...) I can't stop reading this series, and am, in all honesty, quite obsessed with it.

So, please accept my apologies as I humbly beg all of your pardons. I am withdrawing my former blog post as I spoke in too much haste, as well as lust. Please forgive me. :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Best Day Ever.



Taking my daughter to the McQueen Exhibit and enjoying the Metropolitan Museum of Art with her was an EPIC, UNFORGETTABLE DAY, for sure. And it all started with a huge surprise. The Husband actually sprung for a LIMO to take us into the city! What?

Yep. A limo. I would post some pics here, but everyone knows what happens in the limo, stays in the limo.... (too funny to not include at least one shot of my girls gone wild...)

We arrived in style, but, my daughter's happiness quickly turned to dismay. The woman at the information desk informed her there was an extremely long wait to see the Savage Beauty Exhibit. (Close to two hours) Now, we had only a very limited amount of time before the limo turned back into a pumpkin and our fine clothes back into rags! What to do, what to do?

There was so much she wanted to see at the MET, but what called her here was the sweet siren song of McQueen's designs. While she was lamenting her decision, we walked towards the never ending line and tried to think positive. Face crest fallen, and eyes full of unshod tears, she decided to forgo Savage Beauty in order to maximize our time, and still be able to view other exhibits. She was not a happy girl. But then, out of nowhere, a little miracle happened.

This wonderful, amazing, insightful museum attendant looked into my daughter's eyes and saw her inner torment. She stepped in front of The Husband, blocking his egress! (Which is a very ballsy and brave move, since, The Husband is built like a Mountain and moves with the all of the grace and ease of a Rhino) She practically shouted at him, with her bold, loud and heavily accented voice.

"Vhat's vrong? May I help you?"

Her stature and frame were small, but that voice and her nerve HUGE! It was love at first sight, for me. Right then and there I decided to make her into a character for one of my books! How she managed to stop The Husband short without being trampled in the process, and then speak around his general largeness and elicit a response from my little girl, was truly awe-inspiring!! In any event, a teary-eyed Faith retold her tale of woe. How she longed to see the Alexander McQueen exhibit for her b-day, our lack of time to stand on line and see anything else, the decision she lamented and ultimately had to make for the good of the family, etc. She remained quiet until Faith finished, then, our little matron started barking at us, again.

"You stand there, I vill help you."

When she started shouting rapid fire questions in our faces, I imagined she must miss her former life as a KGB Agent. However my wild mind imagined her past, this amazing little woman handed us a golden ticket to our future. A Savage Beauty VIP pass for five, to go to the front of the line!!! The last thing she said/yelled into my little girl's astonished face was:

"Now You Vill Have Happy Birthday!"

It sounded more like a threat, than a wish of good will. And after a command like that, my daughter wouldn't dream of not enjoying her special day. While we breezed past no less than 300 hot, pissed off, impatient New Yorkers, waiting on that line, I hoped our little Natasha keep a weapon hidden somewhere under the curator's guise she now wore.

In any event, the exhibit was absolutely FAN-FREAKING-TAB-U-LOUS!! There were no photographs allowed inside, otherwise I would share them here with you all. My daughter was overjoyed! We felt like VIP's all day long. I will not soon forget our benefactor, as I will be featuring her as the star of her own short story on my blog sooner than later. All in all, it was the BEST DAY EVER according to my little girl, and that makes me the happiest mom in the world. :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

A shared love of Alexander McQueen, and other wonderful things!!


This morning I asked my daughter what she wanted for her 10th b-day. Brief pause, then, "Can we go to the MET and take in the Savage Beauty Exhibit?" Um, can you say, HELL TO THE YEAH!!

OMG I want to see that McQueen exhibit so freaking bad!! And I am over the moon my daughter asked to go see it for her b-day, but, a little warning bell started ringing in my head. I began racking my brain, trying to remember if I ever, mentioned wanting to go, in front of her. I don't think I have... but I wanted to be absolutely certain. I don't want her to want to see the exhibit, just because I want to. (Are you following my cracked logic here?)

As a rule, I keep almost everything I want to do, to myself. (Unless you count when I blog/whine about it, LOL!) The opportunities to pick up and go do whatever I want to do, now that I'm a mom, just don't happen very much anymore. When something I would love to do crosses my path, I usually just sigh and pause for a moment. Then I think to myself, how nice would it be if I could just go into the city and...take in the McQueen exhibit? Or how nice would it be if I could just go out and meet some friends for a drink....but then someone barges into the bathroom and interrupts even the thought of me doing something for myself. (Like using the bathroom!)

Don't get me wrong, I am very, very happy in my role as a momma. There is absolutely nothing in this world I love more than my three little girls. And I certainly don't ever want my children to feel or think for a second I resent giving up doing things, for them. I chose this life. I chose to have THEM. And I would, without hesitation, make the same choice, again and again and again.

But now I'm faced with a little dilemma. (This is a very similar situation to one I was in, not that long ago, with the very same kid in question here. This same kid won the opportunity to go to the Young Author's Conference with her excellent writing skills, and I wigged. Big time. Look back at that blog entry for a little writing sample of hers, and a laugh.) And yet here I am, back in a similar situation, with this same kid, and I'm wigging out, all over again.

Did I mention how much I love her? She and I are very much alike. If she were an adult, she would be, without a doubt, one of my BFF's. Is it wishful thinking, that this child of mine and I, could genuinely share the love of writing, art, fashion, books, and music??? Or, am I just kidding myself and this is the very same delusional thinking a Toddlers & Tiaras mom has, (who I abhor, BTW), while swearing up and down to the camera, trying to convince herself and all of America, her kid just LOVES competing in Beauty Pageants? OMG, my mind is reeling.

I don't ever want to be the type of mom who pressures her kids into loving what I love, just because I do!! I don't ever want them to think I won't be supportive or approve of what makes their little hearts and minds tick. I want my girls to grow up to be individuals, with a very strong sense of self!! All that being said, I have to admit to feeling absolute, pure, unadulterated, JOY when my girl asked to go to an ART EXHIBIT for her b-day!! Did I mention she's only 10? Am I (pushing) leaning my kids towards what I love without meaning to? How do you know? How can you tell if she really, really loves these things too, or she's doing it to make you happy?

Of course, any advice and/or comments, are always greatly appreciated. Especially if you have older children and went through a similar wigging. Maybe, only time will tell where her true interests lie. In the meantime, it is wrong to revel in the glory of taking my first mother/daughter trip to the MET????

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Khal Drogo, the real reason I watched Games of Thrones...



This is the reason I loved watching Games of Thrones. I loved Khal Drogo's character and the whole story line between him and his Khaleesi. Now he's dead.

Ned Stark is also dead. Pretty much every single other character I liked in that show, is dead. How are we going to continue being invested, if all of the likable characters die a horrible death? It's a shame, because the story is really wonderful.

I'm cautiously anticipating Season Two. By the time it airs, I wonder if I will even care anymore. Anyone else thinking about it, like me?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tea Party For My Girls





On Wednesday I had a Chinese Tea Party for my girls and a few of their friends. It was my way of rewarding them for working so hard in school. The tea party was deemed a huge success by all the little girls/moms who attended. As The Husband said, "Jen can't do anything, "half-way" and he would be right. I couldn't help myself and went all out, as usual.

This school year, my girls, (in first, third and fourth grades, respectively) did an outstanding job!!! My little one received straight A's all four marking periods and took home the "Most Respectful" award. It means a lot to The Husband and I, since we try very hard to teach our girls, above all, to be respectful.

My third grader received straight A's this marking period and took home the "Best Listener" award. Which is another one of those awards The Husband and I are extremely proud of, considering, at home, Listening to us isn't always her strong suit...LOL

My oldest took home the "Highest Science Average" and "Highest Grammar Average" with all A's and two B+s. She was all steamed up about not pulling straight A's. The Husband and I put absolutely no pressure on her since no one is harder on herself than she is. No matter what we tell her, she always strives for perfection. So unlike the two of us....

All in all, it was a very productive and successful school year, Thank the Lord. As always, all the glory and honor for raising such great kids must go to HIM. All I can take credit for is PRAYER. Lots and lots of PRAYER. I'm looking forward to enjoying a fun-filled, relaxing summer with the girls before September creeps up and all of the chaos of starting school is here, once again.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

One of the Most Amazing People I have EVER Met!!

I've met a lot of people in my life. Some I don't ever want to encounter again. Others, after meeting them once, I could never live without. This blog is about them.

Did you ever meet someone and instantly feel a connection? I'm not talking about a Match.com moment, there's nothing romantic going on here, at all. (Although I do think it's possible to recognize who you are going to marry in an instant. Most people say they knew the minute they laid eyes on their partner. The Husband says he knew immediately, with me. I, of course, needed a bit more convincing...muahhh!! BTW, I met The Husband on a blind date, set up by a mutual friend, which is a hilarious story in itself, but I will blog about that another time, because, as usual, I digress...) No, what I'm talking about is how you see something of yourself, reflected back at you, in each other. Something that feels familiar and comfortable, even though you just met. And then you know. Your life must, from now on, have them in it! You've made a forever friend.

This has happened to me on several occasions. After friending me, I will never leave you. I'm not talking about the people who I "friend" on FB, or your acquaintance, surface-type kind of friendships. Don't get me wrong, I am happy to friend people on FB and have them friend me, but there are people you like, and those you may not feel comfortable enough with to move 'em into your inner circle, right off the bat. (Or some turn into psychos/stalkers/creeps which has also happened, unfortunately, to me.) What I'm talking about is different. I'm talking about people who were close to me, that maybe moved away, or we once worked together and now we've lost touch, but that doesn't mean I will EVER forget you. On the contrary, you will always be with me. I carry the people that have touched my life in my heart, forever. Once I move you into my inner circle, those friendships, last. I have had the same friends for YEARS. Like 20 plus years. Some, even 30 plus years!

For instance, I've been friends with my BFF Rochelle, since we were five years old. That means we have been friends for 34 years. Although, I remember the day I met her like it was yesterday. It's actually a huge joke between us because the first time she saw me, I was such a disaster, she thought I was a BOY!! I was wearing overalls smeared with dirt, my face was filthy and my hair was equally pathetic, and cut very short. Her first words to me were,
ROCH: "Um, what are you?"
Me: "What?"
ROCH: "What are you? A boy or a girl?"
Me, indignant: "I'm a GIRL!!"
ROCH: "Cool, let's play."

Although I moved to NJ and she stayed in CA, we are still best friends. When we call or visit it's like no time has passed between us, at all. I know she will always be a part of my life, and I hers. TO this day, no one else knows me better. She is the first one to call me out on my crap. (And, the only one I let get away with it!) But, when tragedy strikes, just the sound of her voice soothes me. She always knows what to say to help me pull it together. I have no doubt, our meeting, all those years ago, was no coincidence. I knew from the moment she looked at me, besides seeing an awesome candidate for her first makeover, see saw through all my flaws and accepted me, even as flat-out busted as I was. And I knew, when I looked at her, I was seeing no ordinary girl. I was seeing someone, amazing, and I wanted to be a part of her life. Forever.

There are other people who have come roaring into my life, and others who have crept up a bit more subtlety. I Thank God for every one of them. I often joke around and comment on the diversity of my friends, but that's what makes them so special to me. I love my goths, preppies, pastors, gays, young, old, Asians, blonds, plastic fantastics, Africans, vegans, giants, smurfs and so on. You know who you are. I LOVE every last one of you, so much. Because as diverse as my friends are, they have this in common: all of them have touched my heart and my life and made it better. They make me better!

Today is my friend Matt's birthday. I met him at an engagement party a few years ago and I swear I absolutely LOVED AND ADORED HIM, at first sight!! Not just because he is a young, tall, blond, gorgeous model, which he totally is, but because he is one of those people I met once and right away felt like I had known forever.. Matty just felt so familiar to me, immediately. We share a love of books, music, movies, writing, Australian men..bah ha ha. Matt's eyes shine with such light and life, his happiness is contagious. I swear that boy just oozes warmth and fun and is an absolute joy to be around. He is truly one of a kind and I know no matter what he decides to do in life, he will be successful. He is one of the most amazing people I have ever encountered. As I said before, I don't believe in coincidences, I am sure the Lord placed him in my life for a purpose. And there he will stay. As odd as one would think our friendship is, (him being a young handsome grand boulevardier, and me, being an old, tired, married, mother of three, I don't care) Because he will always have my prayers, support and a place in my heart, forever.

I urge you to keep your options open. Don't allow prejudices to color your point of view. Never limit yourself on who you think should or shouldn't be part of your life based on age, gender or political affiliations or more importantly, WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK!! If you do, you will be missing out on some of the best opportunities for growth and a chance to enrich your life!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

This Morning I Woke Up With A New Voice In My Head




This morning I woke to the sound of a new voice in my head. I know, I know, but everyone who reads/follows this blog is well aware of the fact that I'm CRAZY!!!
Why can't I be normal and just wake up to the sound of my alarm clock, or the bright, beautiful sun, shining through my window, like everyone else? I don't know. But to quote one of my fav lines from Gaga, "I was born this way". I got over it, embraced the crazy, and here we are.

So, back to this morning. I woke up with a new voice in my head. I'm always pretty jazzed when this happens, since I never know what to expect or what road the voice might lead me down. Today, however, the voice that broke through my subconscious was arrogant, overtly male, and wildly insistent. This voice was accustomed to demanding people's attention and was not very pleasant nor patient, while being left to wait for a response. Not such a fun voice to wake up to.

At first, I thought, oh, it's just The freaking Husband; cause, if I'm being honest, his voice is a perfect match to the above description. But as the sleep faded from my conscienceness, and I became completely aware, clarity came. I was wrong. This arrogant, demanding voice in my head was, for once, not The Husband's. And it wasn't because he was still sound asleep, snoring obliviously beside me, it was because the voice that woke me held an underlying sadness to it that caught me completely off guard.

It was so subtle, and he, being a master at masking it, at first, I almost missed it completely. I guess that's why he was being so insistent. Don't we all want our voices to be heard? I mean, really, really be heard by someone? All his overbearing, intolerable personality traits are just a cover for the deep-seated, debilitating sadness that he endlessly suffers from. This voice was in some serious pain. And, therefore, I, am in some serious trouble.

Until I get him written just right, this is the kind of voice that will haunt me. Yep, I have a feeling, he is going to make my life a living hell from now until I do. He will be whispering in my ear at the beach, in the grocery store, at work, while I'm driving in the car.... What we have here folks, is the absolute worst kind of voice, I've gots me a brooder!

Brooders are always the hardest to deal with as a writer, since their introspection can sometimes also = boredom when it comes to plot. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with him just yet, but I promise, to make his voice known. He will find a home in my heart and one day, in one of my books. His name will be added to the never-ending list of characters I have created and I will try, as always, to do my very best to represent him credibly. In the meantime, I am going to have to do some serious brooding of my own, if I'm ever going to do him justice, and get him to stop whispering in my ears.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!



My mother means more to me than I could express in words,considering I am a writer, that's saying something! All who know her agree, she is the greatest mom EVER. To her own kids, as well as many others she has adopted over the years, she is the epitome of what a good mother should be. God truly blessed me with this woman, and I know He loves me because of who He sent to raise me. Hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

**Writing Exercise Challenge**

A fabulous blog I follow called "Frankie Writes" (check it out, it's awesome)recently blogged about giving her students a writing assignment. She placed a bunch of random items down in the room and told them to write a short shory incorporating every object. The items must show up as organically as possible, could not be bought at the store, or be found in a box. Said items were: a hanger, notepad, a copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales, 3 quarters, 2 batteries, a black shawl,a candle, golf ball, envelope, flower, badminton racket, box tissues, guitar/magnet, plastic fork, tape dispenser,gold Mardi Gras beads, pair of scissors.

Thank you Frankie, I truly enjoyed this exercise. The following story is what my crazy mind did with the exercise, I hope you like it.

*************************************************************************************

It is bizarre enough to wake up not knowing where the heck you are, but to wake up as someone else, with a stranger an inch from your face, takes things to a whole new level. How did this happen to me? I have no clue. All I know is when I went to sleep last night, it was alone, in my apartment, in my own cozy bed, in the year 2011. Yet inexplicably, when I woke up, I found myself transported back in time, trapped inside an ancient, dark, and smelly tower. I have always had a love of fairy tales, and being trapped in a tower is a familiar theme to many. (Consider the love affair I had going with my copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales, officially over.) Usually, the person who's trapped in the creepy tower, is alone. Which brings me back to my most immediate dilemma, I am not. The stranger with me is a pushy young girl, with dirty blonde hair, who seems to think personal space is not an issue. She's also under the impression I am someone named “Maleen”. From the minute I opened my eyes, she has been talking to me like I'm supposed to know who she is. She's also been trying to shove something into my hands. I'm still in shock and am trying to process all of this. And, I'm having a hard time seeing anything at all, much less what she's been trying to give me, since the dim flicker of one candle is apparently the only light in here.

OK. Time out for a little confession... I may have been a little bit drunk when I came home last night. Come on, don't be so quick to judge me. It's Mardi Gras and I live in New Orleans for crying out loud! The details of last night are still kind of sketchy, but I do remember something significant. The very last person I spoke to before waking up in this nightmare was a bizarre, tiny, old woman in a local bar, where I liked to hang out with my friends. There is an abundance of eccentric old women running around in the bars of New Orleans, but this one, stood out from them all.

She marched in the bar, all hunched over, wearing a black shawl, a long black dress, and a brand new pair of Nike's. Here's the kicker, she could barely walk, yet she carried a giant gym bag, with a badminton racket sticking out of the end of it! Of course, out of the entire bar, she made a beeline straight for me. She walked right up and claimed the empty seat next to me. My inebriated friends, who had just gotten done teasing me about my Prince Charming coming in and occupying that exact seat, thought this was absolutely freaking hilarious. The old woman, rummaged around in her giant bag to distract them. Meanwhile, with her other hand, she was expertly swiping some bills and three quarters my friend's had left up on the bar. I laughed into my drink, but didn't have the stones or the inclination to bust her for what she had done. She turned to me and asked if I would like to know my future. “Sorry mam, I'm no tourist and I don't believe in any of that stuff.” She laughed at me and said, “It don't matter none whether you believe in it or not, it don't change the truth.” To be honest, fortune tellers were a dime a dozen in this city and I never paid them the slightest bit of attention before. That having been said, I am a daughter of the South and it's been ingrained in me since birth to respect my elders and above all, to be polite. She was staring at me expectantly, her brown eyes like giant saucers boring into mine, so I caved. “Alright mam, I'd be pleased if you'd tell me my future.”

She smiled at me, then motioned over to the band. At once, they tuned up their guitars and started playing a hypnotic, low rhythm I had never heard before. She snatched up my sweaty hands and turned them palm up. I don't remember a word of what she said, all I know is that when she was done talking, she took off some beads that were wrapped around her neck and put them around mine. I tentatively reached my hands up now, to feel my neck. I was still wearing the gold Mardi Gras beads, but not much else. It dawned on me then what the girl in the tower was shoving at me, clothes! Technically, it was a dress. Relieved, I took it from her and hastily put it on. The material was rough, heavy, itchy and totally wrinkled (I guess hangers weren't invented yet) but it was warm and it fit, so I was thankful nonetheless. I wanted to bombard this strange girl with oh, a million or so questions, but I didn't want to weird her out anymore than was necessary, either.

“Maid Maleen, it's your turn.” She shoved something sharp into my hands and took my place, laying down on the floor. Then she closed her eyes and instantly fell asleep. So much for weirding her out. I guess this Maid Maleen was a freak and slept naked in a cold dark tower often? I looked at the object she placed in my hand, it was a sharpened metal fork. It struck a chord in my memory. I sat there, desperately racking my brain, trying to recall every last detail I could from the story of Maid Maleen. Maid Maleen, ironically, was a character from one of Grimm's Fairy Tales. It couldn't be coincidence that I woke up in a tower, with a girl who keeps calling me by that name. I was fairly certain I was trapped inside the fairy tale and living out the story. My thoughts are going in so many different directions, (all of them crazy) but most of all, I'm wondering what the hell I'm supposed to be doing with the fork?

What do you want to hear first, the good news or the bad news? The good news is, this girl really does believe I'm “Maid Maleen”. To the best of my recollection, the girl trapped in the tower with me is Maid Maleen's servant and not some sort of deranged killer. Her name is Hannah and once I got to know her, I found she was actually quite kind, loyal and sweet. She does her best to answer all of my strange questions. Now, for the bad news. I know what I'm supposed to be doing with the fork. Hannah and I have to pick our way out of this tower with it, bit by bit, trying to break through the brick, or we will both starve to death. According to the tale, I was locked up in this tower by my father as a punishment for refusing to marry some Prince he chose for me to marry. Since there was nothing else I could do here anyhow, I cried and picked and picked and cried until my fingers bled. Somewhere during my pity party I remembered boxes of tissues were not readily available and I had absolutely nothing soft to blow my nose on. Gross.

So time passed, kind of like Groundhog's Day, every day the same as the one before. Hannah went about the tower, surprisingly content, making me weak tea out of some crushed leaves and some stale water. I was never so thankful for the nasty tasting liquid. I needed to take a break so bad; I had developed these wicked blisters on my fingers the size of golf balls! Since I spent every day like the day before, picking, drinking the liquid, picking, thinking, there was no way of telling exactly how much time really did go by. It must have been a significant amount, however, since my hair and my bangs had grown way out. My bangs hung in my eyes, driving me crazy. Periodically, I would blow them out of my face. Oh, how I wished for a pair of scissors! A pair of scissors, a real toilet, a hot shower, a good meal, electricity and a gazillion other comforts of home. Something had to give. After what seemed like an eternity, something finally did. The brick.

Once we were out of the tower, I foolishly thought the change of scenery might trigger something and somehow, I would find myself magically transported back to whence I came. No such luck. My (or rather, Maid Maleen's) father's kingdom had been conquered and completely destroyed while we were locked in the tower. But it was not like I was going to go crawling back asking for help, from the very tool that shut me and Hannah up in that stupid tower in the first place! We stumbled along looking for food or work or anyone who would take pity on us. Hannah picked these nettles for us to eat, which is a kind of flower. They are absolutely disgusting, but we survived by eating them. (Which is exactly what happens in the fairy tale.) Eventually, we came upon a big city with a huge palace. At long last, we were taken in, and told we could work in the kitchen as scullery maids. Hannah did her best to help me, but I bumbled a lot. Learning how to polish and wash dishes was a challenge, especially for a girl who, back home, ate nothing but take out, off of plastic forks and plates.

Again, life rolled along for me, pretty much exactly as Maid Maleen's did in the fairy tale. Incidentally, Hannah did some asking and discovered that the palace where we were working, was ruled by the same King, who I/Maid Maleen had previously been betrothed to his son. Apparently, his father, had finally convinced him to give up on Maleen and found him a new bride. The bride was here now, preparing herself for the wedding.

Day and night the bride-to-be called me up to her room to serve her meals. She simply refused to come down and eat with any of the others. Hannah, of course, snooped around again and found out from the bride's maid servant, she was too ashamed to come out, because she thought herself too ugly to be seen! According to her maid, she was truly as ugly on the outside as she was on the inside. She was absolutely right to be afraid the Prince would take one look at her and call off the wedding. How sad, I thought, to be too afraid to show him her face! For me, living in this time period did wonders for my self esteem. There were no perfect, surgically enhanced girls around to compete with. And since I no longer had access to all of the processed, take-out foods I loved, my skin cleared up. My face could almost be described as radiant. Another bonus was, my curvy figure was considered hot here, not fat! Woot. Woot. Other than really, really wishing I had an electric razor and a couple of batteries, I was looking and feeling pretty darn good. It also didn't hurt that Hannah told me everyone in the castle whispered about my “angelic beauty”. How do you like that?

On the morning of the wedding, the Princess-to-be had me summoned to her room. Thinking she was hungry, I brought a variety of breakfast foods up with me. But she didn't want to eat. Because everyone thought I was so beautiful, she asked me to put on her wedding gown and veil and take her place in the church. That way, the Prince would see my face, instead of hers. Later, we would switch places and she would go to the Prince's bed chamber wearing the veil, and trick him. In this era, after the wedding night, divorce was not an option. She wanted to use me to pull the old bait and switch on the Prince! I flat out refused. She threatened to have my head chopped off. Here comes the bride!!!

When the Prince saw me, he said, “Oh, you are so beautiful. You look so much like my Maid Maleen, who I lost, but never forgot.” As a side note, he was not at all what I expected either. After working in the kitchen with a bunch of rowdy, crass, kitchen servants, he was like a breath of fresh air. He was tall, broad and blond, had all of his teeth, did not smell, and carried himself, well, regally.

On the way to the church, I saw bunches of nettles growing on the side of the dusty road. I couldn't help myself from stopping. I leaned down and picked one. I whispered to it, you saved me once, I wish you could again. I am not the true bride. The Prince saw me and said, “What are you saying to the nettles?” “Nothing” I replied. And we marched on. After a little while, we came upon a foot bridge, and I whispered to it, “Do not break, for I am not the true bride!” The Prince heard me and said, “What are you saying to the stones?” “Nothing, nothing, I replied.”

Just as we were approaching the church, the Prince stopped. He came over and placed a gold necklace with a sparkling ruby around my neck. It was absolutely stunning. It brought tears to my eyes as I remembered the old woman, who had placed the gold Mardi Gras beads around my neck and trapped me in this strange place, so long ago. He took my hands in his and said, “A wedding gift for my beautiful bride. I shall count myself blessed to share my life and kingdom with you. I pledge my heart to you now, so you know all that I am and all that I have, will always be yours.” Yeah, so, this guy was really starting to grow on me. I felt really bad I was about to give him the shaft, and he was going to end up with the ugly step-sister.

We exchanged our vows in a long, solemn ceremony. I cried the entire time. When it was over, we had to start the tiresome journey to return home. I became more and more nervous as we approached the castle. There was going to be a huge wedding feast, one I was not to supposed to attend. Instead, I was to feign fatigue and return straight to the Princess's room. This is what the princess and I had prearranged. Instead, I sneaked into to the Prince's room and snooped around. He had a desk, and I thought, if I could just write him a note, I might be able to warn him. No one would think me capable of reading or writing. But of course, I couldn't find one freaking notepad, post it, envelope or scrap of paper to write on. There were no tape dispensers, staplers or hole punches that you would usually find on top of a desk, either. Crap, I keep forgetting where I am! I found Hannah and we went to the Princess's room together. She helped extricate me from the elaborate wedding dress. A sadness for my past life washed over me and filled me with grief. In a moment of weakness, I hid the necklace underneath my dress, feeling the Princess didn't deserve it one bit or the handsome Prince who gave it to me.

As soon as I had changed, I went back to the kitchens. It was a short time later the Princess sent for me. When she and the Prince were alone, he had asked her, “What did you say to the nettles, while we were walking to the church today?” She replied, “I don't talk to flowers.” So he said, then you are not the true bride. She called for me and asked, “What did you say, you stupid girl?” So I told her and she sent me away. A few minutes later, I was called back again. The Prince had asked her, “What did you say to the bridge?” She said, “I'm not crazy, I don't talk to stones!” He said, “Then you are not my true bride!” So she asked me again, “What did you say to that bridge you stupid, stupid girl?” So I told her. Instead of sending me away, this time, she ordered her guard to tie me up in her chambers.

At this point, I had royally pissed the Princess off and I was scared. Sure enough, a little while later, the Prince asked her, “Where is the wedding gift I gave to you today?” When she had absolutely no idea about the necklace, the jig was up. He pulled off her veil and saw how ugly her face was. He shrieked and ran, seeking the King. Furious at his rejection, and her plan backfiring, she came to make good on her promise to chop off my head.

Good old Hannah was, as always, one step ahead of things. She came running up the steps with an ax, screaming like a banshee to come and save me. We were both screaming like lunatics as we attempted to escape. We were, of course, apprehended immediately. For once, however, luck was on my side. All of our screaming was overheard by the King and the Prince. The Prince recognized the sound of my voice and came to our rescue, just in the nick of time. He had the crazy Princess arrested immediately for what she had attempted to do. He took my hands in his and said, “You are the one I married in the chapel today. The one I pledged my heart, my kingdom, all that I am and all that I have, to share forever?” I pulled out the gold necklace with the ruby I had hidden under my dress and showed it to him. He kissed me and said in a loud voice for everyone to hear, “You are my true bride!” And I didn't disagree.

My future didn't turn out at all like I thought it would, but I was truly happy. I had my Hannah; who I adored. She was without a doubt, the most loyal, kindest and greatest best friend I could have ever asked for. I lived in a grand palace and was spoiled rotten by my handsome husband who adored me, and who also happened to be a Prince. All in all, I really had nothing to complain about. I guess, fairy tales really do come true. Sometimes, late at night, I wake up and think about where I truly came from. I wonder if there was a girl, who woke up trapped in another time, in an apartment in New Orleans, in a bed, alone and if she was truly happy.

The End.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What I Ate for Dinner Last Night


My sister and I went to eat at one of my fav places yesterday, The Blue Pig, in The Congress Hall Hotel, Cape May, NJ.

Let me just preface this with the weather. The wind was cold and kicking up like a tornado yesterday. The air would alternate between being extremely hot and humid, with a sunny sky to damp, cold and rain pouring down in buckets. Look at this pic and you will see the results of these extreme weather conditions. Check out my hair, it turned into a hot frizzy mess. I looked flat out busted by the time we sat down to dinner but at that point, we were both beyond caring.






Let me start with desert: Cinnamon Apple Bread Pudding, delicious.
Entree: Vegetable Ravioli with a Brandy Truffle sauce. Holy cow we killed it! OMG it was so good. Literally had to ask them to take it away so I could save room for my desert. Can't wait to have the rest for lunch today. :)
Salad: My only healthy option for the evening. I could have opted for the soup, which was Beef & Barley, but I knew it would leave me too full afterwards.

The restaurant was pretty much empty and I have no idea why, other than it was mid-week. The quality of food and the service were both outstanding. I love that place and it is extremely reasonable too, only $22.00 each. We will definitely be returning.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Australia, feeling the love.




Thank you Australia for giving us HUGH JACKMAN. I can't wait for his return to the role of Wolverine. Let's face it, to me, he IS Wolverine. I have an overwhelming feeling this new movie is going to surpass all the others. I know, I know, some of you doubt me. I mean, really, how could anything surpass the outstanding performances my man has previously brought to the table, especially in Origins? IDK how, but I just know he will be bringing it! The Japanese story line is so amazing and in light of the director recently bailing, I believe they will find someone new and amazing to replace him. I have a feeling he/she will be someone fabulous, someone who's a great visionary, able to take the comic book and brilliantly tranform it to the big screen. Mark my words people, "The Wolverine" will be epic. Just remember I called it here first. Who's feeling the love with me?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

FINALLY! Here is the beginning to "The Manor" as promised. If you want to read more, send me a message. Enjoy



Song of Songs 2:16 My lover is mine and I am his..
There was a time I was dead inside. That wretched house consumed the very essence of my soul. Then she ran back into my life. A light in my darkness. A reason to breathe again...


REGINALD
It's been years since I've laid eyes on her, yet I knew her in an instant. How many times had I conjured her image to give me the courage and strength I so desperately needed to endure the nights at Carlton Manor? As I stand here today, I can recall everything about her perfectly, down to the very last detail. I closed my eyes and once again, gave in to the sweet memories of childhood.

At precisely 2:00 every afternoon, I would wait for her in the rear gardens. I would stand vigil, as stiff and still as the marble statue that stood next to me, reminding myself to breathe evenly and deeply. Ever mindful of my position, I could never breach etiquette and seek her out, but could only wait and hope and pray she would come to me. So there I would stand, crippled with inaction, shoulders back, arms paralyzed at my sides, watching and waiting to see if she would chose to honor me with her presence. There were plenty of proper girls and boys, equal to her station whom she should chose to play with, yet for some miraculous reason, she often preferred me.

One could always hear her before they saw her and it was with loud whoops and shouts she would announce herself. Tearing out of the woods with her long golden hair flowing down her back like a cape she looked like a mythical Fae princess come to life. Today, she had entwined small twigs and some russet colored leaves together, fashioning them into a crown, which she wore upon her head, most regally. She was holding something captive in her chubby, dirty, little hands. When she came closer I realized her captive was none other than a small toad. I immediately felt a kinship to that creature, as I was a mutual captive of hers, held in her tenuous grasp and by sheer whim either of us could be cherished or crushed by those hands forever.

Her sea blue eyes danced and sparkled, alight with all kinds of mischief. Her angelic, perfect face was marred only by several smears of a dark, mysterious substance. The marks found on her face usually proved to be either dirt or chocolate, although the combination of the two was most likely. With her loud, shrill voice she would call my name and demand I play Lord and Ladies with her, immediately. My heart would stop beating and I would melt inside. I loved that rebellious little angel from the moment I laid eyes on her, I love her still.

My loyalty to her was the one and only reason I stayed on here, enduring the endless hell and unspeakable torments that occur at Carlton Manor. I allowed this wretched, cursed land to drain the very life force out of me, like a leach on a man taken ill. Yet I remained, against all propriety and against all odds. Many others have come and failed, begging me to see reason and leave this dark, twisted residence, yet I remained. I remained, ever faithful, to the purity of her memory despite the damning circumstances. I remained, ever vigilant in silence and acquiescence, year after year, silently praying one day, I would be rewarded for my hard work, service, and devotion. I prayed that God would intervene on my behalf before I could no longer fight the horrors of this place and the evil forces at work here won my soul for eternity. I prayed that I would be bestowed the privilege of seeing my love once again. Now that His blessing is upon me, I am overwhelmed. I am overcome, at a loss for breath and feel as if my heart has stilled. In an instant, I am back to being that vulnerable little toad held in the palm of her hands again, silently waiting in agony as she determines my fate.

As I open my eyes, and snap back to the present, even at this distance, I recognized how much she had grown. Her beauty had only deepened in her maturity, as I had always suspected. Her features had smoothed out and have become much more enhanced and refined with age. I was overcome with joy as I caught my first glimpse of her sea blue eyes light up and sparkle as she laughed wholeheartedly with her Aunt. I thanked the Lord immediately for His willingness to answer even my most impetuous prayers. Gwendolyn's eyes had, by the grace of God, retained that fiery spark of mischief in them, as I had prayed that they would. I was so afraid that someone, more specifically, the cruel, ignorant, bitter man that was her father, would be successful in breaking her will and snuffing that glorious fire in her out. As I gazed upon her now, my heart began beating anew with an emotion I hadn't felt in a decade. Hope. Hope was something I had given up on. I had to turn and look away, as my eyes grew full with hot, unshed tears. The Lord is so good to me. The end must be upon me at last, my years of enduring the curse upon this miserable manor, not in vain. The God of wonders has heard the ardent prayers of a man who was dead inside. He has chosen to make me alive again and as this dead heart begins to beat, it is as if I am truly born again! Overcome with His grace and goodness, I had to command myself, “Reginald, man, pull yourself together!” Now was not the time for me to spill my tears and become crippled with inaction, the Lord has given me this opportunity to be with my beloved again and I do not wish to waste one minute of it.


GWENDOLYN

I couldn't wait to escape the city. I truly loathed all of the traditional roles a debutante must play, and now that I was of age, it had become down right nauseating. Society, meant nothing to me, much to the dismay of my parents. I didn't have the slightest interest in coming out this season to procure a husband. Why can't they just leave me as I am? Why must we adhere to the rules? As if the familiar had done them any favors, they barely tolerate one another. Sarcasm. Another personality trait I was supposed to make scarce this summer.

The ferry ride over to the island started out so invigorating. The fresh air did wonders for me and my overall state of mind. This reprieve on Carlton Island was only temporary, at summer's end I was to travel directly back to the city, reformed and ready to play by the rules. Secretly, I prayed none of the gentlemen they lined up would fancy me and I would become a single spinster, like my Aunt Marguerite. Generally such a thing is thought upon as a curse, to me, it would mean nothing short of the greatest blessing.

My Aunt Marguerite was my father's eldest sister and he would often invoke her name, like it was some kind of veiled threat. Hardly! “Young lady, you better watch yourself before you end up like your Aunt Marguerite! You don't want to wind up alone, like her, do you?” How I laughed inside, to the very depths of my soul, at the irony of his threats, because nothing would please me more than to become like my favorite Aunt! He spoke of my personal heroine, like she were the plague or a nasty stain upon his trousers, the epitome of all indignities to be suffered, the route of all evil. Obviously, when he looked upon his sister, he did not see any of the magnificent beauty I saw, or share my glorious opinions about the wondrous life she led, at all.

Aunt Marguerite was free! She had command over her own home, her own thoughts and above all, her own person! She went where she pleased, when she pleased and did whatever she pleased, with no one to
stop her. Well, father tried. He felt like it was his duty and his right to tell her what to do and how to live, since he is the oldest living male in the family. What malarkey! As far as I could see, Aunt Marguerite was living the very life I desired for myself and literally begged the good Lord for nightly in prayer! She had a way of listening to father and solicitously agreeing with him, yet simultaneously ignoring any and all of his advice. Thank God for Aunt Marguerite, she was like a bright star, a beacon of light, sent straight from heaven, shining and illuminating truth and freedom into my life.

Any time spent with Aunt Marguerite was like a treasure to me. My most cherished memories are of time spent with her unchaperoned, in her home. At Aunt Marguerite's, I was expected to be something I was never allowed to be, myself. My opinions were to be given a voice, spoken out loud, instead of left burning a bitter, resentful hole inside my chest. We spoke of anything and everything, even if it was not “ladylike”. I was able to chose what I wanted to eat for my meals and more importantly, I was able to chose whatever I wanted to read! This was paramount, as Aunt Marguerite obtained and facilitated the purchase of any reading materials I requested. My love of literature and the variety of such I desired to read was looked down upon greatly by father. Aunt Marguerite shared my love of reading and we had many heated discussions that kept us up debating until all hours of the night. Inevitably ending with me breathless in delight and her in peals of laughter over my intensity of expression and feeling! Oh, how I wanted to live her life. How could anyone see her existence as anything less than spectacular? Certainly, I found it to be nowhere near the black curse my father tried to evoke it into being.

Aunt Marguerite worked a miracle that outshone all of her previous miracles with father, this time, for certain. I am not sure how she worked it, but that was the magic of Aunt Marguerite, she accomplished what was previously impossible. Somehow, she convinced her brother the best thing for me would be to summer with her, alone, at the Manor on Carlton Island. While he and mother traveled abroad, she would take on the role of my guardian, tutor and chaperone and I would be her sole responsibility. Initially, he vehemently refused and squawked all manor of reasons as to why it would be inappropriate and improper and under no such terms shall he agree.

Like the most skilled solicitor, one by one, Aunt Marguerite refuted all of father's claims. She argued with him in her soft, intelligent voice and countered his protests, until he had no more arguments to stand on and was left undone. Aunt did quietly concede to take me back to the city and honor several engagements mother had previously committed me to. Other than that, we were on our own for the next four months! As wondrous as that may be, come September, not even the most powerful magic Aunt Marguerite could conjure up would save me from my cruel fate.

Once they have chosen my suitor and arranged my dowry, there will be no more laughter or wonderful nights of leisure spent at Aunt Marguerite's. All the literature I wanted to read would be selected, approved and purchased by my betrothed, as well as all of my opinions on such tempered by what he thinks and says. I shall no longer be able to select what foods I like to eat, but must also conform my tastes to that which my “husband” prefers. It burns me up inside and turns me inside out with anger, thinking at any length upon this. It also leaves me with such feelings of loss; I am completely and totally bereft. I mustn't continue dwelling on it, it shall only prove to ruin the last bit of freedom that is mine to enjoy. Besides, I have but to look over at Aunt Marguerite and her infectious smile ignites mine anew.

Her expression, one of pure joy, mirrors mine, as I periodically give way to it and her gloved hand a squeeze. Both of us are thrilled with the knowledge, we now have months, instead of a few stolen hours to enjoy each others uninterrupted company. I for, one, plan on enjoying every last second of it. I shall not allow my self-pity to discredit all that she has done to grant me a reprieve as splendid as this, it is way more than I could have ever imagined or hoped for. I squeeze her hand again, just as the manor came into view.

I guess I should mention there was some polite chit chat amongst the ladies and gentlemen riding the ferry. Although, some of it was not so polite. I overheard one of the ladies making inquiries of Aunt Marguerite, asking her a few pointed questions about her charge, which, of course, would be me, and then turn and walk away. In the next breathe I heard this brazen woman speak ill of Aunt in hushed tones to the others and about me, for the rest of the ferry ride, as if we were not in ear shot!

I don't care one bit about what society thinks of me, but I am not so ignorant as one would think, to the things which society whispered about Aunt Margarite. This is not the first time I had heard my Aunt's name linked with a certain word I knew for a fact was not in any way, meant to be kind. The word they called her was “peculiar”. The connotations of this were not lost on me, as you will recall I happen to be extremely well read. Even my father had once dared whisper the word to mother, in reference to my Aunt, but I happened to walk in the drawing room and hear him. He knew I heard him, and it gave him pause. Before he had a chance to utter another sound, I boldly warned him against it with the weight of my stare. I held his eyes to mine, as I scorched him with a look of pure, unadulterated, hatred. For once, I allowed my eyes to belay to him all I normally held inside. I refused to look away and continued to stare, hard, silent, and full of venom. I pinned his eyes with mine for such a long time, he eventually had to clear his throat and look away, for I had unnerved him. Never again did he utter the word in my presence, much less use it in the same context as to describe my Aunt. Staring with the full weight of my hatred worked for a coward and a bully like my father, but would hold no weight with the society-driven ladies of the ferry. I was hoping my Aunt did not hear them or have to suffer the indignity of such disrespect. I had my own suspicions about Aunt, but that was neither here nor there. Nothing about her, even if she was “peculiar”, would ever separate my absolute loyalty, love, and undying affection I felt towards her, ever. And I shall defend her to my dying breath.

If Aunt heard, she never gave any indication of the sort, and as we took our leave, she even invited the horrible wretches to call on us for tea!
“Aunt, I should not wish to waste even one of our precious afternoons together, standing on ceremony, as society dictates we must, pretending to be the perfect hostesses to such stifling creatures. Being trapped on a ferry boat with them for hours was suffocating enough for me, thank you very much. I should hate to think of what torture it would be to be confined to the four walls of the parlor at Carlton Manor, with ladies such as these. I believe it would be insufferable.”
“Niece, that was quite a soliloquy! I certainly turned you into a free thinker, a speaker of the truth and your mind, the perfect miniature of myself at your age. Now, why don't you tell me how you really feel about them!” She fell into one of her loud fits of laughter that I found infectious but father always loathed and claimed to be most undignified for a lady. We laughed hardily together for several minutes until a thought occurred to me and I sobered.
“In all seriousness, Aunt Marguerite I would give pause before suggesting tea, or inviting anyone to the manor, for that matter, until we see for ourselves what kind of shape our home is in, after so many seasons of non use.”
“It has been years but I have the utmost faith and absolute confidence in our man here. I am positive he has kept everything in the best of conditions, even improving upon them whenever possible, despite the numerous difficulties and hardships he would face in doing so, here at the Manor.”
“Aunt, who is it that runs the Manor? Whom in our service could handle such a daunting task? Surely, it would take a beast of a man to ride out the winters here.”
“A beast you say, that is not a word one would normally associate with young Reginald.”
“Reginald?” That name brought so much to mind I could barely contain my thoughts. I practically shouted at Aunt.
“Reginald, my Reginald? He is here? He is still in father's service? Has he been out here all this time, alone?”
“Yes, Reginald has been here for close to ten years now, surely you must have been informed of such, Gwenny?” I would swear by the intonation of her voice and the use of my childhood nickname, she was baiting me.
“Never! As a matter of course, father specifically dodged my incessant inquiries as to where he was or what had happened to him. I begged father and pleaded with him so many times as to Reginald's fate he finally announced he would beat me to an inch of my life shall I ever raise the matter to him again.”
“Interesting.” Her smug expression had me reeling. Why was she acting so surprised? I believe I queried her on a number of occasions to sort out the truth from father as well.
“Not hardly! Reginald was my only friend and I remember him with nothing but fondness. To be sentenced to serve out his time exiled out at the Manor is unusually cruel, even for father and I can't see why or how Aunt, knowing all of this, you never felt compelled to tell me or intervene on his behalf! I thought you would have at least taken an interest and protected him from so terrible a fate, since I recall you were quite fond of him yourself! It was as if he vanished into thin air, one minute there and the next, gone without a trace. I never even had the chance to say goodbye. You know full well I cried myself to sleep for months!”
“My darling, there are some battles I enter into with my brother where it is the wiser choice to allow him to think he has won. Rest assured, I have never truly conceded, but just go about my business with patience, biding my time, plotting the best course of action that will ensure my victory in the end. The fate of Reginald, would be a prime example of one such battle. I always made sure I was well informed of young Reginald's progress and have kept a close eye on his situation over the years. Now as far as him being your only friend, I take offense and beg your pardon young lady!”
“Forgive me, Aunt. He was my only friend, other than you.”
“Ah, here comes our young man now. Hello there Reginald!”

There was an inexplicable tightness that constricted in my chest as I looked up and met his eyes. I saw it was indeed my Reginald approaching us, although the man coming towards me held barely a hint of resemblance to my childhood friend. At first glance, I may not have recognized him at all. The profound changes that had taken place in him were unnerving to say the least. Yet somehow, I dare say, he managed to enhance, the things about him that drew me to him like a magnet all those years ago. Even as a child, he was an enigma, not just to me but to so many others. On numerous occasions I had overheard father, Aunt, mother, our Pastor, and the others as they whispered and wondered about him. The biggest puzzle was the way Reginald carried and conducted himself, way, way beyond his years and station, and, quite frankly, he scared the hell out of them all.

At only twelve years of age he already stood a head taller than most male adults. Reginald's shoulders were also extraordinarily broad and as wide and as thick as a wall when he turned them to you. In spite of his massive size and his position, where it is most common to do so, he never, ever, stooped. Instead, he held his carriage upright and ramrod straight, his posture impeccable. As if that wasn't odd enough for a servant, there were many more remarkable traits Reginald possessed that held him apart. For instance, no matter to whom it was he happened to be addressing, Reginald had a way of holding his jaw slightly upwards and tilted, almost arrogantly. And he always looked you straight in the eyes. It was as if he knew deep down inside, he was above his position and everyone around him, but endured it to humor himself. It wasn't often he spoke, but when he did, even his elders listened, captivated by the deep timbre of his voice and his extensive knowledge.
The wisdom and weight of his words were as if he possessed the mind of the brightest, most educated of all scholars. All who came to query his advice marveled at his insight and vast information he knew on all manner of things. They would leave asking each other, “Isn't this the same boy that cleans the stables? Isn't this the offspring of two servants? How is it he knows so much about so many subjects?”
His wisdom and knowledge became a bit of a legend, sought after by many. Once, when I posed yet another question to my tutor, who was hired specifically for his grand education, and he could not answer it, I announced loudly,
“What good are you? You never have the answers to any of my questions! Father, you could have just saved yourself all the expense and aggravation of hiring a tutor if you just asked Reginald to come inside and teach me!”
That little breach of etiquette cost me dearly. I couldn't sit down properly for weeks after my little outburst of opinion. Father only became that angry when he knew I was right. Between Reginald's sage advice, bold confidence and good looks, I was completely convinced that he was once a Prince or ruler in a former life.

The Reginald who stood before me now, held himself with the same impeccable posture and regarded me with the same arrogant tilt of his chin, yet I scarcely recognized the eyes of the boy I once knew so well. I sucked in a hard breath as I identified something else in those chocolate brown eyes of his, something so dark and disturbing it terrified me to the core. His eyes no longer glowed with light and life but were, in a word, haunted.

Any trace of boy in him was long gone, the man before me was around two and twenty, fully matured and stood well over six feet. All of the hard labor he must have had to endure out here on the Island showed in the thick, solid muscles standing out from his brawny neck down. His hair had lightened significantly from dark brown to a honey blond and his skin had become like leather; brown, worn, and hard, no doubt from his prolonged exposure to the sun. As I stood there, I realized I had just been staring at him for an inappropriate amount of time and for once in my life, my mouth hung open but I could not think of absolutely anything to say.

“Good Afternoon, Mam, Ms. Colt. I hope your ferry passing was calming and pleasant. The winds were only about 20 or so knots today, which is quiet enough, and the waves were not particularly rough.”
“The ride was pleasant enough for me Reginald, although my niece found the company to be a little lacking. I believe that shall change, now, don't you? ”
“Mam?”
“Reginald?”
“Mam?”
“Please stop calling me Mam. As long as I am in charge out here at the Manor, I would prefer it if you would return to calling me Aunt Marguerite, like you did when you were a child.”
“It shall be as you wish, Aunt.”
“Oh, Reginald, please, let it be the same for me.”

REGINALD
“So shall it be then, Gwendolyn.”

I was proud my voice trembled only slightly as her name fell from my lips. Once again, I had to remind myself to focus, as the last rays of brilliant orange and red light were starting to spill over the horizon. It dawned on me then just how selfish I had been in praying my love come to me here. How could I have thought it at all? It only goes to prove how far gone my mind has become. If I did not get Aunt and Gwen safely indoors before the sun sank fully into that horizon, the unspeakable horrors that dwell on this Island would be awakened. And that, would bring a fast end, to us all.