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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Friday, June 28, 2013

Cephalopod Coffeehouse Meeting

Good Morning! I'm still working my way around the blog roll, trying to catch up with everyone and what they have been up to. And as I promised, I will be posting some of those Gettysburg pictures in the  very near future, but today's post has already been reserved for The Armchair Squid's Cephalopod Coffeehouse. If you want more info go check out his blog and click on the link for more details!
Behold: the best shot of a cephalopod I have. It has attached itself to The Husband's face :)

By far, the best book I've read this month was a YA high fantasy called Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson. It's something  I picked up for my two older daughters to read and I always pre-read what I pass along to them. I can't tell you how many times I am so pleasantly surprised at how good the YA selections are and I wind up liking what I choose for them more than what I selected for myself!! Well, this was definitely one of those times.

Girl of  Fire and Thorns first caught my attention because the main character and heroine of this gripping YA high fantasy is fat. Not chubby, not pleasantly plump, but FAT. And I loved her.  I loved Elisa from page one when she didn't fit into her hastily sewn wedding dress. I was immediately pulled into her struggles with food and weight as it panned out across the pages. Her struggles as a fat princess are so believable and heart-breaking I knew my girls would relate well to her too. But don't expect Elisa to be riddled with the usual self-deprecating fat humor, because that is not the case. Her struggles are related by her stark candor and raw pain. Her battle with weight is honest, real and very well done.

If I had to compare this novel to another, I'd liken it to a mini-sized, teenage-like Game of Thrones. (Major Spoiler Alert Here) - Characters you really like die. The pacing is quick and the setting is ever-changing and vast. Overall, Rae Carson is a new author to look out for. I can't wait to see what else she has up her sleeve for the sequel.

The reviews of this book have been all over the place. The only negative comment I have to say about it was that the initial cover chosen for this book was wildly inappropriate for it. It showed a skinny white girl and clearly, Elisa is none of those things. Apparently  after protests began to appear the publisher wised up and quickly changed it to the cover they have now, which is much more fitting.  

There you have it. Best book I've  read this month so far. What's the best  book you've read so far this month? Tell me about it!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I'm Baaack!

I'm baaack! Did ya miss me? I sure missed you! SO, so, very much has been happening over here at the Bird's Nest it's going to take me a couple of posts to cover it all.  I can't wait to see what's been happening with you. Please bear with me as I work my way through the ole blog roll and catch up with everyone. If I somehow miss you, know it is not intentional and I'd appreciate it if you'd pop in and let me know. Feel free to use all caps and lots of exclamation marks (which is the equivalent of shouting) to really get my attention. Try something  like this, "HEY JAYBIRD YOU DIM-WITTED, NEAR-SIGHTED TWIT, YOU MISSED ME!!!!!!!" I don't think I could miss that :)


Couldn't resist this mamma bird shot on a monument in Gettysburg! So cool.
On Sunday, The Husband and I decided to take the girls to Gettysburg, PA for a few days, in honor of the 150th anniversary of the battle. We went a week early, the true anniversary fun doesn't really commence until July 1. But they are expecting crowds in excess of 200,000 during that time and this Bird doesn't do well with those kind of  crowds. Even though most of the festivities didn't begin yet, the small town of Gettysburg and surrounding area was already pretty darn packed. It's close to impossible to find a parking space now; I have no idea how they are going to accommodate all of those people next week!

The Husband was in full paparazzi mode and took -get this- a whopping 850 pictures!! 8-5-0 freaking pictures! Although it was supremely hot, humid and painful to keep stopping and waiting for him to take the "perfect" shot, I have to admit it was worth it. Some of the pictures he  captured of the monuments and surrounding countryside are simply breathtaking. Of course, there are plenty he took of me I'd like to burn in a massive pyre.  Yep, my picture taking curse lives on. You'd think out of the hundreds of pictures he took at least a handful that had me in them would come out decent.  No such luck. I think there are only a select few where my eyes aren't wonky or closed. Welcome to my life. Oh well. I will share them anyway, even the bad ones, just because I have given up long ago on looking good in the pictures I post. :)

Before I get into all of the stuff I have been up to I just wanted to take a minute to plug The Armchair Squid's Cephalopod Coffeehouse, which is a ton of fun. The next meeting is scheduled for this Friday June 28th. We meet once a month to discuss the best book you've read during that time period. Best part, zero pressure here. You can choose whatever book or genre you'd like to discuss. Hope to see some of you sign up! For more info, here's the code for the link list:http://www.simply-linked.com/listwidget.aspx?l=A199C3EC-8B7C-4BE1-BA4B-E930EED810F0

How cute is the smile on my 6th grade graduate? Love her.
OK, on to some of the fun stuff that's been going on over here! On, June 20th, Faith graduated from 6th grade. And, holy moly did that kid leave on a high note!! For those of you who read my Field Day post, here's where I get my vindication. This is where I sit back and watch my daughter shine like a diamond.  So, screw you Field Day and all of the suckidy, suck, suck that you represent for me, because Faith was brilliant at graduation. She was a bit embarrassed at having won so much, but I was, of course, proud as a peacock, bawling like a baby and clapping and cheering like a lunatic. Faith works her butt off and puts her all into her work. And guess what? Best news ever. We just received word this morning- Faith was accepted into the STAR*GATE (gifted and talented) program she interviewed for!!!  We are beyond STOKED. 

**This is what Faith won at graduation** (See footnote at bottom)
1.  $100.00 and a medal for Excellence in History- she  took 1st place for writing the best American History DAR essay (Daughters of the American Revolution)
2. $50.00 and a medal from the Rotary Club for Achieving Highest Honors
3.1st place in the Spelling Bee for school
4.Highest Writing Achievement Award
5. Highest Reading Achievement Award
6.Highest Class Average Award
7. Outstanding Achievement in Art Award
8.L.E.A.D. Essay Contest Winner! (t-shirt and gift card for $15.00 to our local ice cream parlour)
9.A.D.P.(advanced placement) Award for Academic Achievement and Dream House Project
10. Certificate of Academic Achievement for making Honor Roll, every marking period, for every year she attended Elementary School.


Grandma Bird, Faith and Grandpa Bird so proud of her!

This is what ugly, red-eyed, make-up smeared, booger crying Jaybird looks like  :)

**Sorry about the bragging-if you think it's obnoxious, please know that this is coming from Jaybird, who spent most of her early education daydreaming in the remedial math trailer. The fact that I have such talented kids, throws me for a loop. So please, don't hate, join in the happy dancing and celebrating with little ole remedial me.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Still Crazy

Yep- everything is still crazy here. But I promised to keep everyone up-dated, so here is the latest news on what's been going down in the Bird's Nest. Still haven't heard a word from the GATE (gifted and talented program) my daughter interviewed for. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing. Usually no news is good news. Not too sure about that, in this case. Every time I go to the bathroom, I make sure I bring the phone with me, just in case it rings. Oh, sorry, was that perhaps TMI? :)

Last night I attended my niece Caitlin's 8th grade graduation ceremony. I cried so hard I gave myself a migraine. I was very happy and bitterly sad to see her graduate. As with any milestone my nieces pass, without my sister being here, is just bittersweet. At one point in the ceremony, the Principal handed all of the graduates a flower to "hand their parents". My niece had this expression on her face when she handed the flower to her father, that just killed me. My brother-in-law leaned over and handed it to me. That did it. I was a mess. I'm still a mess. The loss of my sister is a raw pain that never goes away, a wound  that may be years old, but one that will always ache, fester and never close.

Thursday, I will be attending my daughter Faith's 6th grade graduation which holds it's own share of aches. How the hell did I become the mom of a  middle schooler? Hopefully, I won't forget the camera again, (like I did last night for Cait's graduation) and I will be able to post some pictures of the event.

Today is a Family Picnic and Yearbook Signing event at the girls school, which is always a fun time. Although it has presented me with a little dilemma. I always pack my girls their lunch. We are chubby, so I make sure that their lunches are very healthy and not chock full of calories and fluff. Despite my best efforts and the fact that my kids eat healthy food, we remain, chubbed.

I am not an ogre. I still allow my kids treats. There are special times we all eat ice cream, s'mores and birthday cake. But here's the problem. The girls asked if I would bring them McDonald's as a special treat, to the family picnic today. Ugh. That kind of rubs against the whole- eating healthy lunches we do all year long. And you would not believe how people perceive me and my kids. The stares we get when we do indulge in treats is  really hard for me to endure. I even had one ignorant woman laugh at my daughter when she picked up a cupcake and said to me "Don't you think that kid has had enough cupcakes already?"

Yeah. I've heard all of that, and worse. People seem to make allowances and accept drug addicts a whole lot kinder than fat kids. I know I shouldn't care what stupid people think or say, but I have to tell you it's becoming really hard for me to keep from punching some of these people in the head :)
What would you do? Bring your kids the treat or hold it back for another time and place, where they won't be ridiculed for eating it? I'd love to get someone else's perspective on the topic.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Field Day

Over the next two weeks, things at the Bird's Nest are really jam packed full of activity.  My presence in the blog-o-sphere may be a little spotty.  I apologize if you have not received the usual amount of comments, from me. I am trying to pop in as much as I can, and thought it would be fun if I posted about some of the stuff that's been keeping me busy- So Far, I posted about Living History and Gifted and Talented. Today's post is all about Field Day.

I  look forward to Field Day at my kids school about as much as I look forward to getting a root canal without Novocaine.  Every year, it's always the same. Hot, humid and buggy. The air swirling with dust, dirt and ripe with the smell of sweaty pits...not exactly my cup of tea.  There is never anywhere for this old lady to cop a squat that's safe from fly balls or the blaring sun. Besides the less than stellar setting, my kids are not gifted athletes and it pains me greatly to sit idly by and watch them get pummeled. But bless their little hearts, even though they lack natural athleticism, they absolutely love Field Day and unlike me, look forward to it, year after year.

When I say my girls lack natural athleticism, I am not being modest on their behalves, I am being truthful. I take full responsibility here; it is I who lacks the prolific sports genes. I had really hoped they would inherit their father's talent and ability and not mine, but that didn't happen. Oh, my girls are such troopers too! They refuse to give up and always try their best. But to no avail. We have long since come to terms with the fact they will never be stellar athletes. My girls are very talented in other areas and The Husband and I are very proud of them. No matter what, they always have our unfailing support. 

So, off I went, ready to lend them that support, despite the hot sun, bugs, dirt and my own overall lack of enthusiasm. After bumbling my way over to the field, (almost tripping on an errant soccer ball along the way I told you they get it from me!) I scanned the horizon in an attempt to locate my girls. My eyes quickly zeroed in and found Farrah. It's never too hard to find her. She is the biggest kid in her class. She is also, by far, the strongest. It looked  like this year the boys on her team finally conceded this point and placed Farrah in the anchor position for tug-o-war. She grabbed that rope, planted her feet firmly on the ground and readied herself. When the whistle blew Farrah rose to the challenge and pulled with all of her might. It didn't take long before the kids on the other side toppled, hard. Sweet victory! It was nice for her to be able to experience a win and revel in her teams adoration for once. All in all, for daughter #2  Field Day had gotten off to a rare, wonderful start.  I wondered, could this year be different? Did I dare to hope for a Field Day miracle- where my nonathletic girls might be able to enjoy victory for a change?

Those hopeful thoughts were squashed as soon as my eyes landed on my oldest. Again, it didn't take me long to spot her. It was a sad but familiar sight that greeted me. My daughter Faith's cute little tush waving back and forth in the air, as she failed to make it up and over the top of the obstacle course wall. She unsuccessfully tried to pull herself up at least a dozen more times before she finally  made it over. But despite her struggles, she never gave up. And I have to give her props for that. Many kids who didn't make it over the first time would have just thrown in the towel. Not  Faith; she was truly determined to make it, no matter how long it took. Of course, that delay cost her team precious time and they lost spectacularly. 

Last but not least, I walked up and down the field in search of my youngest, to see how she fared this Field Day. Our school and field are not very big, yet my eyes must have swept back and forth at least a dozen times and I still couldn't place her. I changed tactics and instead of looking for her, I searched  for her classmates. I found the Third Graders right away. There were all gathered around something.  Ah, it was a crumpled form on the ground, clutching an ankle. I knew instantly in my mother's heart that form in the dirt, belonged to me. I rushed over and sure enough, it was Francesca, crying her little eyes out.

I am extremely grateful Francesca's ankle is only sprained, not broken. But the image and sounds of my poor uncoordinated kid, lying on the ground crying will haunt my thoughts and successfully provide me with one more reason to dread attending Field Day, once again, next year.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Gifted and Talented

**These next two weeks mark the end of the school year for my girls and  are jam packed with activities, field trips and all kinds of interesting  goings on. All of which have been driving me crazy keeping me very busy! I'm so sorry if you haven't received a comment from me- I will try to catch up with everyone as soon as I can. I thought it might be fun if I  attempted to  keep everyone updated by posting about some of the things I've been busy doing.

My daughter Faith is graduating from elementary school this year (waaaa!)  and was invited by the Junior High  to apply for an elite academic program. The process is very selective and highly competitive. My daughter, being a total perfectionist and a highly competitive kid in general, was  all about this.
Faith on a recent class trip to D.C.
 
As soon as she learned she was eligible, Faith got to work on her application. She spent HOURS, every day, for weeks working on it.  Whenever The Husband or I asked if we could see what she was doing, she told us to go away. "Don't worry, I got this."  She replied, every time.  The applicants were asked to get as creative as possible with their portfolios. Faith took this challenge to heart. The candidates must find a way to make themselves stand out and their applications must be really outstanding for them to get noticed. All kinds of things are taken into consideration- grades, standardized test scores, teacher recommendations, references, work samples, writing samples and anything else that sets you apart. And this is just Phase One of  the process! When she was all finished, Faith finally showed us her application. The Husband and I were impressed by what that kid created. It was time to sit and wait to see if it impressed the panel as much as it impressed us. 

Last week, the Vice Principle finally phoned and told me they accepted Faith's application- she had successfully passed through Phase One! Woot, woot!  We were asked to bring Faith in for Phase Two, which would consist of  cognitive testing, some group activities and a personal interview. Faith was super stoked, dancing all around the house, pulling clothes out of her closet to put together something appropriate to wear to her interview...meanwhile, I was starting to sweat. This was getting real.

Driving to the interview, I couldn't believe how nervous I was. My hands were shaking and my mouth was all dry. Faith was nervous too, but only a little. She told me she was worried about the timed testing, but not the interview. She felt confident in her ability to adequately articulate the answer to any of their questions but she was afraid she was going to have to rush through some of the math, and in her haste would get a problem wrong.

The Vice Principal greeted us at the door and congratulated all the children. She told us they should be very proud of themselves to have made it to Phase Two. Only 30 out of the 50 that applied, made it on to Phase Two.( I'm not sure how many spots are actually available, but I do know this, last year only 17  made it into the final program.) At this point, I couldn't help looking around the room in order to size up Faith's  competition. I swear it was like looking at the middle school version of  The Big Bang Theory. There were Sheldons everywhere! I've never seen so many little nerds gathered in one place, outside of Comic-Con. No doubt the competition here is fierce, and at that point, the parents were all asked to leave.

Knowing how important academic excellence is to Faith- I really want her to get in. That being said, I honestly only want this if it's what's truly best for her. It's her nature to obsess about her work and as her mom I'm not sure if this program is going to push her too hard. On the other hand, maybe that competitive nature of hers is a good thing and she will excel! I really don't know if she is going to make it. Faith did everything in her power to impress the panel and it's out of our hands. Now, we sit and wait once again, hoping for that phone to ring.  Ring stupid phone! Ring!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Living History

These next two weeks mark the end of the school year for my girls and  are jam packed with activities, field trips and all kinds of interesting  goings on. All of which have been driving me crazy keeping me very busy! I'm so sorry if you haven't received a comment from me- I will try to catch up with everyone as soon as I can. I thought it might be fun if I  attempted to  post about some of the things I've been up to...

We were packed into those faded green seats like sardines. I was wedged between my daughter and one of her friends, arms pressed tightly up against my sides, my boobs all squished together in a wildly uncomfortable way. The hot and sticky breath of so many human beings in such a tight close space already fogging up all the windows.  With my butt already bouncing and jostling around in the lumpy, worn seat I closed my eyes and willed  myself to remain calm as the smells and sounds of  a yellow school bus full of over-excited third graders embarking on a field trip overwhelmed my senses.

This class trip to Washington's Crossing, the State House and the Old Barracks Living History Museum was one I had successfully avoided in the past, with my two older daughters. Since I am prone to motion sickness and not capable of  an extensive amount of walking, The Husband has always been the one "elected" to chaperon this trip.  But this year, when my little Francesca literally begged me on her hands and knees to  accompany her, I folded under the pressure. We weren't even out of the parking lot  when I realized what a grievous error in judgment I had made. How was I going to survive the bus ride and this long grueling trip?

Just when I thought, this can't get any worse it started pouring. Not a sweet little sprinkle either but huge, teaming buckets of rain. The rain was falling in all directions, a deluge with tremendous force, the remnants of a tropical storm. The weather presented an enormous complication. This trek was sure to become a muddy disaster. And the one and only thing keeping me sane up until this point was the fresh air blowing in from the open windows. The windows that now had to remain firmly in the closed position or else risk soaking the people seated behind us. When those windows clicked tightly shut, closing off my only source of sanity and clean, fresh oxygen, I felt as if all the air in my lungs was suddenly pinched off as well. It took major will on my part to not immediately jump up and  start beating on the windows, screaming, "Let me out! " The only thing that held me back was that I knew how badly it would damage my daughter's third grade street cred;  rumors about how jacked up her mother is, could follow her for life. Or at least until high school. With my will to not freak out steeled, we rolled on.

Many places in New Jersey, contrary to what most people believe, are absolutely beautiful. Washington's Crossing is one of those places. After touring the museum and watching a video called "Ten Days" it would have been absolutely gorgeous to picnic in Washington Crossing Park, as planned, had the sun been shining. Instead, we marched our cold, wet and miserable selves, (a bit like Washington's troops) right back to the bus to eat our lunch.

Eating on the bus was a crowded and unpleasant affair, yet somehow that did not prevent my daughter and I from housing two turkey wraps, apple slices and peanut butter, a bag of  chips anda whole crap ton   a couple of red Twizzlers, each :)

Before I could fully digest my food, we were off  again. Our destination: The State House. I was surprised that security allowed our wet, pitiful group entry, no questions asked. The sound of wet sneakers squeaking across the marble floor was painfully loud and I cringed as the sound bounced back at us and all the way up to the gilded ceilings.  I tried to ignore the looks of sympathy and pity thrown our way from everyone we encountered on our tour. Not that I blamed them when I looked back and saw the slimy wet trail we left in our wakes, like a bunch of snails. After a much needed bathroom break, I was pleased to see  how interested my daughter was in learning more about our government and how it works. Unfortunately, she was in the minority.  Most of the other kids had hit their "pay attention" limit and were becoming something very dangerous: bored. A group of 40 bored third graders is not exactly something you want lingering around the governor's office, and I was happy when we were promptly ushered to the door, in order that "other classes" could take  our place. The children eagerly stepped out into the pouring rain, ready to stomp through puddles and more than ready to push on to our final destination. The Old Barracks Museum.

We were met with the same pitying glances and stares at the Old Barracks, but here we were received like old friends and brought in out of the rain quickly. Living history is a wonderful way to get kids interested in the past, if you ask me. I could see the kids perk up and their little bodies snap to attention when they were "enlisted" in the Army. They listened intently and were absorbing many historical facts, without realizing that's what they were actually doing. The actors expertly played their roles and found great ways to include the children. The only time I couldn't contain myself, (or my laughter) was when the nurses of the famous Dr. Otto, Washington's favored physician, began to share how soldiers were inoculated for small pox. After educating the kids on the four different types of pox, with stunning replicas passed around for all to see, the nurses told the kids that it was required that the soldiers be purged before receiving their immunizations. How does a soldier purge? Why, they had their choice of either throwing up everything in their stomachs or having smoke blown up their ass by a very torturous looking instrument (also shown around as an added visual aid bonus). This had me cracking up, shaking my head in utter disbelief. Why the heck would they choose to share that little tidbit of  American history with the kids was just beyond me- but the majority of the children in my daughter's class thought that was "wicked cool".

As a parent, every once in a while a point in time may come, when you are able to catch a glimpse  of your child through the eyes of someone else. This happened while our time at the living history was in it's final throes and questions were being thrown at the kids. Right away, I saw my daughter's hand shoot up. For a  brief moment, my breath caught and I was nervous as I waited to hear how the heck she was going to give an answer to an extremely hard question. Francesca opened her mouth and surprised the hell out of me by giving such an eloquent, well-thought out, intelligent answer. Tears formed in my eyes and a ginormous, proud momma smile spread across my face  I just couldn't contain it. I felt a warm hand lay gently against my arm. I looked over and saw the hand belonged to Francesca's teacher. Her eyes  filled with unshed tears, she was wearing the exact same goofy smile as I was! Witnessing Frankie's teacher, look at my daughter with such pride and joy, made the whole wet muddy mess of a day worth it. I treasured that look in my heart and clung to it like a life vest in the middle of the ocean,  as we bounced and bumped our way home.  :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Heroes & Villains Blog Hop

 

Heroes & Villains. Our world is full of them. I don't think anyone will be surprised by my choice of  favorite superhero- I make no effort to hide my obsession fondness for Wolverine. So today, I thought I'd focus on my favorite real life superhero: The Husband.

Now, those of you who aren't regular followers of Jaybird's blog, please don't run away thinking I'm the sappy, lovey-dovey Kathy Lee type of wife who has blinders on and gushes incessantly over her husband. Nope, if I am posting here about The Husband it's usually because he's monumentally pissed me off and I am outing him for pulling some sort of dick move. As much as I rag on him, the truth of the matter is, my husband is my favorite superhero!

I admire my husband for a lot of reasons, but one of them is his strength. Not just the physical strength he possesses, (which, incidentally, is freakish and kind of non-human) but his overall inner strength. My husband will stand up for what he thinks is right, no matter who or what stands against him. In his kind of  political, ass-kissing job, where the one who sucks up to the brass gets ahead, it is much easier to agree with the masses, just go with the flow and never take a stand. The Husband, is absolutely incapable of doing this. It is not part of his DNA to bend the truth. He is unwilling and comically unable to tell the itching ears what they want to hear or slick the right palm. On numerous occasions, he has stood up to his superiors choosing to tell them what he really thinks, especially if he thinks it will directly impact a fellow officer's safety. Consequently, The Husband will NEVER receive a  promotion or a coveted position in his department. But that doesn't phase him in the least, he says, "At least I can sleep at night."   That, my friends, is what makes him a real-life superhero.  And what makes me very proud to be his wife.

Below is a clip of Clint Eastwood in the movie Heartbreak Ridge. It is a remarkably accurate example of exactly what my husband is like. He is a real life Gunny Highway-who never holds back what he really thinks. Now, I'm off to see who you all picked as your favorite heroes and villains!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group, Potential!



In the blink of an eye, another month has passed and it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, once again. If you'd like to sign up or learn more about it, please see Alex J. Cavanaugh a/k/a the Ninja Captain's blog for more info.

This month, I am happy to say, has brought forth many positive changes in my writing (and personal) life. I've realized something vitally important: I don't suck. Instead, I'm choosing to believe and tell myself I have potential!
 
Characters have always whispered in my ears, begging me to record their stories. And ever since I was a little girl, I have found fulfillment and joy in telling fanciful tales. But somewhere along the way, I allowed self-doubt and a couple of discouraging comments to cloud my head with fear and insecurity.  Being laughed at and told that writing was "just a hobby" and certainly not worth expending so much of my time and energy on, hurt. It crushed my spirit. Because I want to write. I need to write. Telling stories is a part of me, it's what I love to do.
 
I take full responsibility here, I realize that the fault lies within me. Because  I allowed those ugly words to reach deep inside me and take root. Those seeds of doubt grew and before I knew it, I was convinced that I suck. I stopped writing all together and put my WIP on time out. And I was miserable. Taking that little break and stepping away from writing was just what I needed to clear my head and realize that I allowed a lie to defeat me. 
 
I've been down this road before, in my personal life. I let a lot of people walk all over me, abuse me, push my head down until I could hardly pick it back up. Even though I found the strength to remove myself from those situations, the whispers of unworthiness followed me. Old habits die hard. It took me a little while, but once I realized I was doing it again, allowing other people's words and actions to steal my joy, I stopped it.  
 
Did I wake up this morning, thinking I'm the next Tolstoy, Hemingway or Twain? Heck no. I am under no delusions of  my greatness...Nope. But I did wake up and tell myself, "You have loads of potential girl!" 
 
I'm choosing to build myself up and block out the ugly words, dwelling only on the positive. With some hard work and determination, I know I can become a good writer.  I can feel it, deep down inside. Just like with my stomach, somewhere underneath the chubs, there is a serious six-pack, just waiting to be unleashed. And one day, this girl is going to bring it!