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, May 30, 2014

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse Meeting

Hey All, it's the last Friday of the month and that means it's time for a meeting of The Cephalopod Coffeehouse. If you are not familiar with this fun, informal group of book enthusiasts or it's illustrious host, the Squid, I strongly urge you to go check it out.  For a list of  participants click here:  The Armchair Squid.

The month of May has been so busy, unfortunately, it's left very little time to read. Somehow, I still managed to squeeze in a little book time and steal a minute or two here and there to finish a couple of books.  Out of the few I managed to read, I'd have to say my favorite was the debut novel of Sally Green called,  "Half Bad".

Initially, since it's YA, I picked this book up to pass on to one of my daughters. Once I read the first sentence on the jacket, I decide I might have to read the book myself.. This is what caught my attention: "Sixteen year old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill."   Whaaa?  I wanted to know what happened to him, what landed him in the cage, why is he shackled? I had so many questions. I decided I would read the first chapter. Because for some inane reason, I assumed that the first chapter of this book would provide me with all of the answers to those questions. Guess what? Spoiler alert: it doesn't!!! So I had to keep on reading. And reading...

This book is written in flashback and out of order. It can seem confusing at first, and I was pissed because I just wanted to know what the heck is going on. But if you stick with it, all of your questions will be answered. The not knowing is oddly compelling. It sucks you in and makes this a real page turner. As I have stated before, plot and pacing are important, but I am basically a character driven reader. Nathan is one of those characters that is unique and flawed and yet you cannot help from championing him. His choices, good and bad, will keep you turning pages until you finally, finally find out what will become of him.

Half Bad is book one and an awesome beginning to this unique trilogy. I am quite interested in continuing to read this series, not just for my daughter, but now for myself as well!  Any of you read Half Bad? What did you think? What was the best book you read this month?  Drop me a comment and let me know- Jaybird

Friday, May 16, 2014

Wrestling with Deja vu

This morning I was struck with a bad case of deja vu. Butterflies are swirling around in my stomach and my mind's swarming with all kinds crazy thoughts. These anxious feelings are ones I'd previously fought and thought I'd overcome. But here they are again, trying to reel their ugly little heads.

I am but a few short weeks away from my daughter Farrah graduating from elementary school. Since my girls are only a year apart, last May I faced these same feelings with Faith, daughter #1.  Let's just say, I took Faith's  graduation and subsequent move up to middle school about as well as one takes a colonoscopy prep. It was vile, messy and tough for me to swallow. I fear change, so much! I love the familiar. The familiar is so awesome because it gives us that illusion of having some control over our lives...LOL. Even though I know it's only an illusion, I still find myself desperately clinging to it.

Oh man, last year, at Faith's graduation, I had worked myself up into such a state, I was a fast disaster! Hot flashes assaulted me one after another in a relentless wave of  fury and nuclear heat. The flashes melted the foundation right off my face and left my cheeks, both sets, soaking wet and dripping with sweat. Any traces of dignity the hot flashes didn't rob me of were completely obliterated by the loud, booger filled sobs and subsequent nose blowing that ensued whenever the Principal announced my daughter's name. It was ridiculous. I was being ridiculous. (Can you imagine what I'll be like when they graduate high school? Arggh!)  Why couldn't I just enjoy her success and milestone? Why was I such a hot mess? Nope, this neurotic mom was consumed with her own trepidation and fear. My old nemesis had come up and bit me hard on my sweaty butt checks: stupid, stupid change!!

Because I allowed my stupid fear of change to cripple me last year and I was so stinking angry at myself about it afterwards, I never thought I'd be going down this road again. I thought I was over this. How could these feelings I felt with Faith (and I thought I had defeated) come right back up again this morning with Farrah? Yet, here we are. Just like when I eat hot peppers, those lousy feelings are crawling right back up my throat again, repeating themselves.

Thoughts of losing my darling, sweet, innocent elementary school student and exchanging her for the dreaded middle schooler haunted me. I was terrified of losing Faith to the age of puberty and hormones and disrespect. The age wherein your mom suddenly goes from being your center, to persona non grata.  Oh yeah, I wallowed in that sad cloud of self-pity and lament over my baby girl growing up and possibly not needing me or gasp, wanting me around anymore, for the entire summer. When Faith started school in September, I cried every day for three weeks. I cried because I felt like I lost her. She went from being home every day at 2:30- to not coming home until 8:00 at night!! Between her sports and activities and new academic commitments, I never got to see her! I missed her SO much. Somewhere, deep, deep down inside, (that rational part of me that likes to hide a lot) knew, this was what was best for her. Growing up is part of life. But I couldn't help myself from feeling so bereft and lost without her. I'm ashamed to tell you how long and how hard I had to pray before I finally yanked my head out of that cloud of negativity and self-pity I was wallowing in and pulled it together.

Funny thing is, as I look back and reflect on this year, it was full of astounding growth and change for Faith. Not just physically but mentally. And all of the growth and change in her has been (praise God) completely positive! If only, if only, I could say the same for her mother! How can I even entertain these deja vu feelings with Farrah, when clearly I saw no good come of  them before? Especially since none of my stupid fears even came to fruition! So, I have to ask, have any of you found yourselves revisiting a situation you thought you had a handle on, only to wrestle with it, all over again?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Three reasons I will have a blessed Mother's Day!
Don't forget to show your momma some love this weekend. Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there :) God Bless. Have a great weekend everyone!!
My girls and I in on out trip to Epcot :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Blinking Icons- Insecure Writer's Support Group

Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for another meeting of the IWSG. To find out what this group is all about or to join in all of the insecure fun and games, check out Ninja Captain Alex's site or the IWSG Facebook page for more information.

I have been sitting here for what seems like a century, watching that blinking icon flash on and off  and on and off the screen, in a bit of a trance. One second it's there and then the next, it's gone. Kind of like my thoughts. Oh, I have brilliant flashes and moments of sheer genius while writing. My fingers will fly over the keys pounding out my characters, dialogue, plot and building worlds. When this burst of creativity happens, I can barely contain myself. My joy is complete in my creation. But for some reason, my insecurity will creep up on me and that creative light will dim. My positive feelings and enthusiasm for my work will come to a grinding halt. My mind gets stuck in that disappearing phase of the icon.  And I'm gone.

I struggle to find that connection, that spark again. Instead of fighting through it, I have this destructive tendency to pull into my shell, totally clam up and refuse to share what I'm working on with anyone else. I convince myself that it's all crap and not worth anyone else's time. Why would other people connect with my characters when they are all one dimensional and flat? I've been stuck in these starts and stops for quite a while now. How can I convince myself to push past my insecurities and find the strength to press on? Do any of you suffer from blinking icons? Flashes of pure brilliance and clarity one day, and the next, all goes dark?

Monday, May 5, 2014

A-Z Reflections Post and Jaybird's Sweet Peeps Giveaway Winner!

How is everybody doing after the 2014 A-Z Challenge? I definitely needed the last few days off to rest. As I was reflecting on my participation this year, there were some definite highs and serious lows about the challenge. I'll start with-

The lows:
1. I didn't comment  or follow as many new blogs as I would have liked. I am pretty disappointed in myself about this as it was my #1 goal for the challenge. I really wanted to get around to comment and follow more blogs than I did last year! But every day I found myself, out of time.
2. We decided at the last minute to go on vacation for a week, which made commenting and posting during that time, quite a challenge. It was next to impossible to find  a good Internet connection while on the road, and I was waking up really early and/or going to be very late on vacation, just to finish posts and/or find a place to connect to the Internet. It was NOT easy.
3. Vying for the computer at the same time as my daughter, kind of stymied my creativity. I am not used to waiting to write my posts. Normally, when inspiration strikes, I am jumping right on the computer and typing away (otherwise my addled brain will forget what I wanted to say). But this year, I found that almost every time I thought of something interesting to post, there was Miss Faith, with her cute little bum in MY chair. Ironically, it wasn't until the last week of the challenge that  we realized Faith could post directly from her phone!!! Grrr.
4. I don't think I'm as funny as I used to be. Overall, I think last year's posts were WAY funnier and that pisses me off. I know my inner comedian is in there somewhere! I need to dig deep and find her again.

Here are the highs:
1. I was able to do this challenge with Faith. She was very encouraging and we helped each other push through the pain. I just love that kid to pieces, even when she was driving me crazy and stealing my writing chair and computer.
2. Somehow, I managed to find time to write and post while on vacation! I still can't believe I never missed a day. Some of the posts during the week we were away might have been lame, but I was able to push on through and get it done!
3. When things got tough, I didn't quit. That makes me ridiculously happy.
4. I was able to hit 201 Peeps!! That, my friends, is a huge milestone.

In honor of hitting 200 Peeps, I decided to do a giveaway. To those of you who entered, THANK YOU SO MUCH. Because I'm technologically challenged and don't have the slightest clue how to set up a proper Rafflecopter-giveaway-thingy, I kicked it old school and wrote down all the names of everyone who entered on little slips of paper and placed them into a hat. Then I had my impartial judge with glitter fingers (my daughter Farrah who avoids this blog and knows nothing about any of the names inside the hat) pick out a slip of paper. That system may take a little longer, but it still works. And the winner is:


It really warmed my heart to see their names get pulled out of the (look close for the "made in China" tag) hat, because Brandon and Bryan a/k/a the Beer Boys are two of my oldest and dearest followers. By the way, if you don't follow A Beer for The Shower, you are missing out of some hilarious posts and two really amazing guys. Big Congrats Boys! Shoot me an e-mail me at fvfbfn@verizon.net and I will send your Sweet Peeps Giveaway prizes and surprises right away!  Wishing you all a wonderful week! ~ Jaybird