Thursday, December 18, 2014

When You Can't Walk Away

Years ago on a river rafting trip, I was standing next to a raging ice box dressed in a wet suit arguing, yes arguing, with a good friend of mine. I was an art student then and completely submerged in the world of creating art. Everything I experienced traveled an imagined canvas wonderland. People who knew me, knew this. For whatever reason I blurted out, "If I went blind I'd quit art." This sent my friend Myron into a total fit. "You can't quit art!" "If I'm blind, I'm totally quitting. Of course I am." "No, you can still paint." "How? No, I'll quit." We went back and forth. He argued with all his heart that an artist is an artist and you can't walk away from that no matter what. I argued that I wouldn't be able to see shit. Our other good friend Christine tried so hard to play a part in the argument, but she was too busy laughing her ass off. Remember, we were wearing wet suits. Everyone else on the trip was getting excited to climb into boats and we were fighting over my hypothetical blindness.

I think there are some things you can't quit no matter what. As much as I loved painting and drawing, I walked away. I'll return one day, but I don't hurt all the way through because I'm not working a new composition and daydreaming about colors. Okay, so I still do both of those things in my head, but creating stories, that I don't want to play any hypothetical games with. I make no money at this gig. I'm terrible at managing . . . every freaking thing, But I'll figure it out. I have to because I have to. That's what Myron thought painting was to me. And now I see he was right.

For December and on, I'm reading and writing (and holiday treat eating). I'm thinking of you all that are close to my heart and wishing I had more time in the day. I miss chatting and visiting blogs. And I'll be back to do those things. I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. If you need me, I'm still here. Drop an email.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? [12] Christmas favorites!

I wish everyone a wonderful December. This year I jumped back into the workforce after being a stay at home mom for over a decade. I also published two books, Shadow Town and Soul Twister. I was on track for more book releases and writing projects. Then my mom gig, that wonderful, exhausting, lucky job took over completely. I actually stopped thinking of myself as an author. Craziness! Recently a very sweet, yet mothering coworker told me she wanted so much for me, to find a nice doctor (not kidding), get a degree, and find a better job. "But I have a degree and I really like my job," I replied in a total whine and cracked up immediately. I imagined the future she wished for me and a single fear shot through me. There was no room for my writing dream in her pretty picture. So I remembered I'm a writer and I'm back at it. Promise. 


Baby It's Cold Outside by the Glee Cast! I just love this song!!


Sleigh Ride by The Carpenters! Classic and fun!

Christmas Wrapping by the Glee Cast

John Denver & The Muppets sing Christmas is Coming!
This Christmas by Nat King Cole always makes me so dang happy!



My mom initially chose a song by The Brothers Cazimero, but I couldn't find it on YouTube. Man. She went traditional after that, but you can't go wrong with Barbara.

My sister picked John Denver & the Muppets singing The Peace Carol. She's a total sap because she got all teary-eyed when I played the song.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

12th Man girl on her wobble board

12th Man RainbowSo I'm new to this whole loving football thing. I started out sitting in my big chair with my laptop clicking away and checking the game every time my mom and sister told me to look at the replays. Today the computer sat downstairs while I stood on my wobble board (those balance boards you always trip over if you have one in your home) for the whole game. I shouted and cheered...along the lines of "Get em'! Negative yards! Intercept! and of course my staple because I'm a mom "Have fun guys!" I jumped up and down, twisted back and forth like some oldies tune was playing, and stood on one foot in total kick ass Zen mode. I was voted loudest in the house and when we won, and boy did the Seahawks win, I jumped on my mom and sister who were sitting on the couch, I mean crowd surfing jumped. How the hell do people sit and watch a game? It's impossible.

Go Hawks!

"By SeahawkScreamer (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons"

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Birthday goodness!

The first time I caught a glimpse of my youngest was at the 20 week ultrasound appointment when I was pregnant with him. "...a boy..." Who cared what the tech said other than that. The bump was real in that moment, but within minutes of her tinkering with measurements, I caught something in her face she quickly hid, but too late. Bad news. I know bad news. A person can be down the block and have bad news and I know it. His kidneys, both of them, were enlarged. "But he needs at least one good kidney," I said to her like she could change things and take back the worried look or the scary news. We watched and waited because that's all you can do when it comes to kidney issues (I learned that over the next 20 weeks and a year). 

A week after he was born he had his first invasive test. Not fun. I paced in the background as the techs tried to get him to pee. They looked at me like I was telling him to hold it and be a stinker. And then he let loose. He tagged both techs and an extra person (whatever he was there for), the equipment, and the ceiling. Despite my worry and all the other stuff a mom feels when her one week old is strapped down for a damn test, I laughed until I cried. That is my John. And it's his birthday. He's so neato.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sidekick Showcase [55] National Homeless Youth Awareness Month

Sidekick Showcase is a monthly bookish meme, hosted here by Jaclyn at JC's Book Haven. There are many secondary characters that are as great as the primaries. In some cases, the sidekicks actually steal the show and you like them better than the heroine or hero. Maybe they didn't have enough page time for how great they were. Anyone can play along! I will post my Sidekicks on the first Saturday of the month, then whichever day during the month that you would like to post yours, you can put your link in on my page. Just do the following:

• Choose a sidekick *or someone other than the hero or heroine* that you would like to put in the spotlight that fits in the week's topic
• Share a picture (if you can) and information about the character
• Give the title and author of a book the character can be found in
• Please don't include too many spoilers when describing why the character is such a great sidekick
• The day of your post, click the 'Sidekicks' link in my header and enter the link for your post. Here, you can also see anyone else that posted during the month to visit their Sidekick Showcase's as well.


Topic ideas for November are Soldier (November 10 is the birthday of the United States Marine Corps), Children (National Homeless Youth Awareness Month) or bearded folk (No Shave November).

My sidekick pick this month is Julie from the world of Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews. We first meet Julie in Magic Burns. She's a tough street kid you could accuse of being broken, but the girl never quits. Despite the total crapfest that is her life, she lights up ever scene because she is just that kind of person. I guess she's like Kate, just not beat down in the same way. I'm not sure what would have happened to Kate if she hadn't met Julie, but my guess is that Kate would have continued on the path of no attachments. She would have run from love or even the chance of love. She would have died somewhere around book 3 and then we wouldn't be biting our nails for book 8! Go Julie!

If I were to cast Julie, I'd choose Shailene Woodley (think her angsty role in The Descendants). 
Shailene Woodley - Flickr - nick step
"By Nick Step (Shailene Woodley) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons"

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Simple Pleasures

A while back I decided to write a sports book. I love sports movies. I love YA contemporary romances. And I freaking love basketball. My five year old had just joined his first basketball team. It was inspiring (and adorable).  

Obviously I needed to get into the head of my main character...meaning I had to get back to shooting hoops, something I hadn't done in over a decade. So I escaped every chance I could get and shot around. Forty-five minutes here, an hour there, and man, sore bloody fingers everywhere. I became obsessed. 

Then one day with the sun setting and the outdoor hidden away court getting dark, I tried a hook shot. I do not shoot hook shots because I sort of suck. And it dawned on me. I didn't give a shit about writing this story, not really. I didn't even have a name for my main character. I stood frozen with the ball locked in place with my feet and a scene running over and over in my head. My dad visiting from Colorado passing the ball back and forth with my son in the garage because it was raining outside. "The leukemia makes me tired," he said as he bent down to pick up the ball. Shit. 

My dad wasn't going to teach John how to play when John reached his high school years the way he taught me. Those nights on the court with my dad built a relationship I'd never had with him. We talked and laughed. One time I cussed, but we were playing 2 on 2 so it was okay. I wasn't good enough of a player to teach John. That's all I could think before I shut it down, before I gave myself the lie that a paranormal romance writer who loved the world of weird was suddenly going to go straight up contemporary. 

I shot around here and there, but it broke my heart a little each time. Then the boys were back in school. I was back at work. Life distanced me from the lie that drove me and the truth that stopped me, and the ball sat in the trunk of my car.

Yesterday after growling at my flat ball, I walked across the street and asked my neighbor if he had a pump. He did. It was the very best feeling to dribble that ball again. I smiled and shot. Maybe I bounced a little I was that happy. And then I tried a terrible hook shot and laughed. It was good stuff. 



Friday, November 7, 2014

Pick me ups for your Friday!!

If you need a boost just in case it being Friday isn't enough (crazy talk!), here are a few pick me ups!
Say It, Just Say It by The Mowgli's 
I first heard this song at the end of the movie Blended with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore (fun movie). It's a dance with both arms while bouncing around and smiling kind of song.


Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt is an awesome ride! The preview and that song make it out be so dark and desperate. But it's funny too! The first time I laughed I replayed the scene because I thought I was possibly just loopy. Nope. Not loopy (people who know me don't even). And the relationship between Cruise and Blunt is a slow build. In his previous sci-fi movie Oblivion, Cruise scored with 2 different chicks even though the world had ended and the human population was close to nil (uh, I still liked it). If you want a fun, action packed movie, with tons of shit that blows up, and a dose of dark humor, jump in!

I'm late to the party, but The Mysteries of Laura is so good! Debra Messing rocks as a working mom in a tough job with a new ex-"man child" husband, two kids, and a badge. Check it out because the writing is fresh along with the snark.

And finally a book because...no because.
This looks like your typical paranormal/urban fantasy/sci-fi romance. Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews is not so much a romance as a kick ass book with a kick ass girl who kicks ass. A bit much? There's humor, family bickering/bantering, a shitty hot guy, magic, a messed up caste system, a hot guy who throws around fire so much he always ends up shirtless (don't blame him, it's his magic's fault), and to top it off, you'll fall into a mystery that only builds as the story moves along.

You all have a great weekend!! Any pick me ups you can share? Cats falling off furniture vids? Those really get me.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? [11] Foreign language time!

Did November sneak up on anyone else? The year is almost over and I haven't been the most productive author girl. But the kids are good and I'm loving my job and it's fall! So it's all good. I've been wanting to do a foreign language song theme for a while now and here it is! I'm cheating and doing a runner up just so I can have two songs. hehe
I fell in love with Via Con Me by Paolo Conte from the French Kiss soundtrack.


And I just had to include "I Love You for Sentimental Reasons" by Karl Zero from the X-Files episode titled "Improbable" guest starring Burt Reynolds. It's one of my favorites!


How about you all? Are there any songs you love that you try to sing along to even though you have no clue what the words are?