Monday, February 25, 2013


So, guess what I did on Friday?  Yep!  I finished the romance novel I was writing. I think the only thing I've ever been that thrilled about in my life was getting married and giving birth. If my hips hadn't been hurting, I think I could have done some sort of end zone dance or maybe jumped off the roof in joy.  But I just kinda danced around the house and got a lot of hugs from my kids.

These kids (characters in my book) were conceived eight years ago and I just now finally gave birth! Now we are in the editing stage right now.  The senior is an aspiring English teacher so she is doing all of the punctuation/grammar editing and then I and my friend will do content editing. Someday, hopefully, I will be able to hire someone to do the editing because I hate hate hate doing it myself. Layout is pretty much set (and I must say the interior is going to be pretty), we just have to plug in the finished project when I type in all of the changes.  Sigh....Someday I will hire a typist. I used to love to type, but I just can't sit and do it like I want to, because of my hips.

So what's next?  Well, I have to decide on a cover. I never thought this part of the project would be so hard! I want it to be super special though because I can't afford to buy rights to a lustful couple picture to put on there. I have three options right now that I love, but I JUST CAN'T DECIDE!  I have been asking for opinions and it still doesn't make it any easier, because once my friends chose one, I find another style I like.  So, my point with this? It might take another eight years to publish because I can't chose a damn cover! Haha!

So, after the cover is picked we will wrap up all loose ends and it will be time to publish.  I am so excited I can't even concentrate sometimes. lol  It looks like the book will be 5 x 8 and about 313 pages or so (not counting title, copyright etc. pages)  I thought I was going to be lucky to get 200 pages out of it.  So that was a pleasant surprise. This book has a little bit of everything; drama, love, passion, heartbreak, comedy, fun and SEX, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised at how long it is.

So, would you all like to read the synopsis that will appear on the back of my book?  Okay, here it is:  VIRGIN VOYAGE
Example of interior layout

"I've waited a lifetime to touch you like this"

Mari Mannon and Graham Blake always loved each other, but life kept getting in the way. An Alaskan cruise vacation might be just the place to overcome their demons and rebuild the love they once had--to discover a passion they’ve never known. But first, Mari must cast aside her inhibitions to become the independent, carefree woman she once was. And Graham must  learn to believe in love again. Can they find their way, or will everything fall apart for good?

And the good news? There will be four more books in the series. One about each of the Mannon Children - Next up is Alaskan Ambush! If you want to read excerpts of Virgin Voyage visit my other site 
Coming soon: Sneak peek at the cover! (If I ever chose one :/)

Until next time...Follow your dreams no matter how long it takes.  Keep at it, and no matter what, you have to work hard! 

Friday, February 22, 2013


You know that new car you want so bad you can barely stand it, but then you either can't find one you can afford or one that is just right? Or maybe that new gaming system? Or the new big screen TV? Or the new house? Or the new computer/tablet?

Then suddenly, one day you find just the right one and you can afford it and you finally get it!  You are so unbelievably excited.  You tell everyone you know about it, even strangers. And the minute you get it home/drive it/move in, it is all you can think about and you do everything you can to make it perfect and you don't want to leave it for the first month or more! So much excitement and joy in something so trivial right! You dance, you sing, you jump around and give people high fives (strangers and your kids mostly). But best of all, you embarrass the kids. (**evil grin**) Can you tell which one of those things is my favorite? Remind me one of these days to tell you about dancing in my chair and lip syncing to 80's music while I type my novel.  The kids hope and pray their friends aren't over then. (**another evil grin**)

This is it! (points and jumps up and down)
Well, the other day, I experienced the joy of finding that one perfect thing I have wanted for years. Can you guess what the product was? It was a desktop copy holder. You know, one of those mini easel looking things that hold your papers while you type.  Yep. I had been looking for one for years that would be just right. They were either too expensive (when I first started looking many years ago, they were in the $40.00 range and they all had to be ordered which meant shipping cost too) or I couldn't find just the right one, even at office supply stores. Well, I finally found the perfect one!!! With shipping I will be spending under $16.00. I am so excited I want to shout it from the rooftops. I just have to wait for it to arrive and then I will not let it out of my sight. I will probably even sleep with it. (Don't laugh, it will make me more likely to sleep with it. I'm defiant like that.)

What does this mean for me? It means no more sore neck and shoulders from having to bend over too far when I spend a marathon five hours at the dining room table working on my novel. (I know, I know, I really shouldn't do that, perhaps I should move to the couch for a bit? But don't you understand, I don't have a copy holder so it is even worse to sit on the couch because then the papers are too far away from me to read. Hmmm, maybe I need new glasses too?  I guess that will be the next purchase I get super excited about. But I won't sleep with those or they might break. haha!)

So, what is the point of this post? Is it to not be materialistic?  Nah, I think for many people we can't help but love our toys. I just try to balance that out with caring, charity and friendship. The point to this post is, even if you are weird enough for your kids to make fun of, keep being yourself.  (They'll either get over it or be embarrassed for the rest of their lives, which is great payback for all of the labor, headaches, and heartbreak.)

Until next time...Be yourself no matter what.  You can't be truly happy unless you are truly you!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Tomorrow is a very sad anniversary for me.  It will be 12 years since my father passed away. I can't believe he has been gone that long. My first two kids were just little and never really got the chance to get to know him as well as I'd hoped.  He never did get to know about the last three. I can only hope he can see what beautiful children they are.

My mom, dad and I
My father raised me. It was my choice and it wasn't because I didn't love my mother. She is the most awesome person on the planet.  I don't know why I chose my dad when the divorce happened. Maybe it was because I just knew that he needed me. Or maybe I wasn't completely comfortable with my mom's new husband. Or I guess it just could have been as simple as I was a daddy's girl from the beginning.  I often wonder if I will ever know.

Growing up, my biggest fear was losing my daddy.  He and I were really close. We were equally proud of each other I think. He was my favorite person on earth. He was so strong despite a sometimes debilitating back problem. He always just kept pushing on no matter how bad he hurt.

He wasn't able to work or he would lose his disable vet benefits, so to make extra money to make ends meet he would collect aluminum, copper and many other metals to recycle for money.  I tell you, that man put his all into it too! He would literally work from sun up til sundown some days.  He put me through college with money he got doing this. I remember one time I wasn't going to have enough money to pay a car payment and insurance one month so he took in a load of 'junk' as we called it, and sold it so I would have the money.  He'd been planning on buying something special for himself with that load.  My daddy would do anything for me and I would have done anything for him.

I will never forget January of 1999.  I got a call from my dad, the call that every child dreads.  He told me that there was something wrong with him and he had to go get some special tests to find out what was going on.  Within a month he had his diagnosis.  ALS - Lou Gherig's Disease.  I knew what it was, one of my favorite Soap Opera actors had it. I also knew it was fatal.  There was no getting around it, My precious daddy was dying. I wouldn't have him anymore.

I wish I'd been in a better financial situation at the time so I could have let him come stay with us, but I wasn't.  He needed constant care and with two small children and a very small condo that we were already outgrowing it would have been nearly impossible to have him come to us. We weren't even paying our own mortgage at that point so it would have been very rough on everybody, but especially on him.  He wouldn't have been happy living anywhere but in the town he loved.  In the end he was worried about the little ones seeing their grandpa deteriorate and die, so I doubt he would have come even if we could have asked.

My daddy as a baby
He found a caretaker in his town (that turned out to be a nightmare in and of itself.  I will someday find a way to talk about it without ruffling feathers and being threatened with a lawsuit). I felt helpless during this stage of his illness because I knew things weren't right but there wasn't much I could do about it. I visited when I could and took joy in the fact that when I would visit his outlook would be much better for a week or so and he would actually start to eat well again!

I remember getting a call telling me that my dad was at the Veteran's hospital in Las Vegas so I rushed over there (only about 20-30 miles from my home)  I was devastated with what I found.  He was barely coherent (morphine) and his speech was almost impossible to understand. I knew it would soon be the end.  He didn't want the lifesaving measures that some get--the feeding tubes, the breathing tubes etc.  He didn't want to live like that.

While I was there he kept saying Kitty and I couldn't understand why. He hadn't had a cat in probably ten years and his caretaker didn't have one so I was stumped.  Years later, I found out that my aunt Kitty had passed away back in the mid nineties and I have always wondered if he was seeing his sister calling him to come be with her.  A couple of days after the hospital visit I received the dreaded final call.  The social worker who'd been working with him called to tell me my Daddy was gone. It was February 21, 2001.

For years I had regrets and many what ifs about my dad but I think I have finally come to accept that things were the way they were for a reason. I truly believe that he is looking down on us and keeping watch.  If I ever miss him really bad, I just look at my son. He looks exactly like his Grandpa did when he was a kid.

Until next time...hold your loved ones tight and never forget to tell them you love them. You never know when giving them your all might not be possible so you have to settle for giving them comfort from the love in your heart.

Monday, February 18, 2013


I have had kids home for a five day weekend and there is constant talking going on here (and usually driving me nuts) So I started to think about things that kids say. You know those silly, crazy, funny, scary, insane little gems we all know and love.

 I list this stuff into three categories:

1. Words they make up themselves as they learn to talk:

  • Beenum Beenum - In our house this started out as peenum peenum first uttered by The Senior when she was first learning to talk and she wanted to say peanut butter.  Pretty soon, anything that was close to the consistency or look of peanut butter was called this. Eventually it morphed into beenum beenum.  The official definition now?  Diaper rash ointment. 
  • Tampertakes- This was the word for pancakes when The Senior was little. We make sure the kids know the proper way to say stuff but once they do, pancakes become tampertakes again.
  • Cooper-pons. This one I can't credit to my kids.  One Halloween we were handing out coupons for free donuts instead of candy and a little one asked what it was. When we told him a coupon for free donuts, he ran to his parents yelling Cooper-pon, Cooper-pon in the most excited little voice ever.  It was one of those super cute moments that makes you smile even years later. 
  • Pupcakes - One of my oldest and dearest friends has a little girl Miss Crazy's age and she has always called cupcakes, pupcakes.  It is the cutest thing ever! 
  • I think you could also put into this category things like how Little Butt calls Mickey Mouse hot dog because of the hot dog song. Instead of saying Gangnam Style she calls it Opp Opp again because of the word Oppa in the song and she is always asking us to play it again. 
2. Things they say that they aren't supposed to or that you aren't expecting them to:

  • You know when a bird craps on the windshield and a child yells Bird Shit and it turns out to be there first real words.
  • Or how about when my darling husband's brothers teased him that if he could ask for a cookie they would give him one (thinking he couldn't say it) and he said plain as day' Cookie Brubber'
  • Or when a two year old is having trouble carrying something and drops it on their foot and instead of crying they drop an F bomb. Yeah, that's a fun one.

3. Things they say when they are trying to act grown up:

  • Kids can be quite philosophical at times, without meaning to be. I've had a child tell me not to be sad because life was too short and I needed to get on with things. This was a 4 year old, and the thing I was supposedly sad about was that there was no more milk in the fridge. 
  • The other day Miss Crazy was playing a game where she was an adult and she said: I'm old, i'm 105 but i'm dead now. Umm okay.  Not sure what she really meant, but at least she was having fun right? 
Until next time...Enjoy every minute of what your little kids say because they are only little and cute once. Before you know it they will be back talking, brooding, grumpy teens.

Friday, February 15, 2013


What is your biggest distraction? Right now for me it is YouTube. I have to listen to music while I write and the easiest place to make a set playlist is on my YouTube. Pandora plays songs I don't like and that is completely unacceptable when I'm working. (I know, I know, picky picky me) Besides, it's really annoying when I have to let Pandora know whether I like a song to have them play it again - even when i'm not working. I have Spotify too,but it doesn't work well on my computer for some reason so I haven't had a chance to figure out how it works yet.

So you might be asking me why YouTube is so distracting for me. The answer: It's the official videos/live performances! All of the songs I have on my playlist are ones that I have loved for years and most of them have videos/musicians that I grew up with. I can not keep myself from watching some of these over and over again. So, while I'm watching the videos my work has to wait until I am done.

I know what you are going to say next. "Don't put the videos on your playlist, use fan made vids and lyric vids to play the songs." You know what?  I've tried doing that and for some strange reason, I just can't.  For some reason it is just not the same and I end up deleting the play list to start again - with official videos/live performances.

Now my problem is this - how do I get a decent amount of work done when I have these videos tempting me time and time again?  I really have no solution.  Is it safe to say that I enjoy these distractions and really don't want to do anything about them?  YES!!! OMG I love watching videos while I work, but then I feel guilty when I don't just sit down and bang out twenty pages in a row. (Okay, maybe not twenty, but a lot.)

For now I think I will teach myself to be happy with the joy the videos/live performances give me and the energy I get from them to eventually do my work. I find that I am a bit more creative after one of my many 'breaks' to watch the videos.  Maybe someday I will learn to balance things, but then again maybe I won't. I am kind of enjoying myself and I know I can be trained to not feel guilty anymore.  So for now....Please carry on, I guess the status quo isn't so bad. (I may change my mind when I get picked up by a traditional publisher and my deadlines are no longer my own though! ;))

Until next time...Guilt can be so very powerful. However, we all need distractions (to a point). In the end, I believe they make us perform better. If you want or need a break, take it when you get the chance! And by all means, don't feel too guilty about it. :)

Monday, February 11, 2013


I know it probably sounds like I am in a pretty bad self pity mood a lot lately, but I'm really not.  I am the happiest I have been in many many years.  The kids are doing really good (although we had a slight stress induced altercation between two of them the other day), My relationship is better than it has been in a long time and some of the spark is reignited. And my writing is going great. So what the hell is wrong with me now?  I am in some serious pain lately.  I think my hips are slowly but surely being helped by the exercises I have been doing, but that means I am hurting more with ever newly stretched muscle and popped joint, or could it be something else, something more sinister.

Emotionally I feel the most unbroken I've been in years, but physically I feel unbearably broken.  I am 42 years old and I feel as if my body is falling apart.  I start to feel great and my hips are able to move and the pain is at a minimum one day and then the next day I feel like I'm going to die. So what seems to be causing this problem.  Of course I truly believe the exercises help bring on the good days, but what brings on the bad....Two words...WAL MART.

I swear to you, every time I go to Wal Mart, the following day, I am in so much pain. You see, once upon a time, not too long ago, I worked there as a cashier. When I started working, I was healthy and happy.  About two months in, I started to suffer from intense foot pain. When I went to the doctor to find out what was going on (and maybe fix it so I could keep working) I was told that 90 percent of the foot pain patients they see work at the mart. Wow, my co workers weren't lying when they told me the floors would be the death of many feet, hips, backs and knees.

Come to find out I had plantar fascitis and although I probably would have developed it eventually anyway, it was brought on quicker by the floors I was standing on. I ended up only working there for two and a half months (and a month and a half of leave of absence) before I gave up the glamorous life to be a SAHM again. Within a month I started having my hip problems continuously instead of once or twice a year...and the rest is history. I know that if I have to go shopping, the pain will be worse for awhile, it's just how it is. (and please don't suggest I go to a different store because it really isn't possible.) I hope the exercises I am doing will eventually make me not fear shopping. Stronger hips will make better feeling hips.  And as for the foot, well that's just going to have to wait until I can afford 400 dollar custom inserts. :/

Now here comes the fun part.  I know I was destined to be broken , but I like to mess with people, so when they ask me how I became physically limited, instead of telling them that it is a birth defect (hips/back) or severe allergies (dizziness, sinus, migraine) or my lot in life (plantar fascitis) I just say Wal Mart. You should see the looks I get, especially from The Shooter's Co-workers as he still works for the corporation. I had all of these problems before I started working there, but only occasionally. After a couple of months standing on those floors I became a complete and utter mess. Coincidence? We may never know. It will be one of the greatest mysteries known to man. Um... I mean, who knows right? But I often have to wonder why I don't hurt nearly as much if I wander the mall, or Kmart, or Sam's Club...

Until next time...There are some things in this life that we may never know for sure.  Instead of continuing to dwell on it, we must accept it and move on. 

Friday, February 8, 2013


This is one of those rare days when I really don't want to write at all.  I just finished a chapter that I thought was going to be awful and it turns out that I actually really LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Then I start on the next chapter and I just can't concentrate. The baby is fussy and I would rather snuggle her.  She will be 2 soon which means she's not going to want to snuggle much longer (most likely) so I get in the time when I can.

I need to write. I need to have the book ready for final editing by the time my kids have a five day weekend next week so they can help me but it just isn't going to happen.  I still have six or seven more chapters to rewrite/edit.  I crave the work, but I just couldn't tonight.  I had to take a break for the evening. I did not work from eight pm on.

Why did I not want to work today?  Well it wasn't just the fussy baby or the high/low of coming off a fabulous chapter.  It was a mix of many things. I finally didn't have to drive the husband to work everyday so I was thrilled but then I found out that a friend suffered a devastating loss{I love you sweetie!} and then my car broke down so we are back to the one car thing.  Then I found out that we have a huge storm coming and I'm not quite ready for it. Oh and lets not forget that I don't have a comfortable place to work. I don't have a desk right now and can't get one. I can't sit at the table because of my bad hips so that leaves the very uncomfortable couch where I can't spread out and work the way I like to.  Now some of these things are actually stupid reasons to be upset (and a couple aren't) but when you add them all up it comes out to be a 'not wanting to write a word for the book' kind of night for me. I needed a break!

Will tomorrow be any better?  I sure hope so. I hope to finish the chapter I am on and at least half of the next one. If for some reason I can't, I think I will have to do the self diagnosis of writers block.  Because then it will be more than just not wanting to write it will be not being able to write.

I hate days like this.  They really mess up how my brain works. But I really am grateful for the novel I am working on and I will love it again soon.

Until next time...Just go with the flow and if that little voice inside you tells you to take a break, DO IT. Don't stress yourself out or you will just make things worse. <3

Thursday, February 7, 2013


She's getting so big!
Well, in three days my last baby turns 2.  She won't be a baby anymore (although I will probably always think of her as a baby). I just want to know where the hell the time has gone. It was yesterday that I woke in the middle of the night feeling funny and took my blood pressure. It was high so I called my doctor and she had me go in the next morning to be tested.  Every sign of pre eclampsia was there and within two days I was holding my baby girl in my arms for the first time. It was yesterday wasn't it? I mean come on, it feels like yesterday.

But no, it was two years ago. We've been through birth, recovery, immunizations check ups, teething, rolling over, sitting up, standing, walking, talking, and tantrums.  Enough time does not seem to have passed to have gone through all of that.

My little comedienne!
It really is true what they say. The older you get, the faster time goes. When I had the senior 17.5 years ago every day seemed to drag on and I feel like I got to enjoy every second.  The same with the Freshman. But Miss Crazy, Mr. Insane have grown up so fast that I almost feel like I have whiplash. I know I experienced all of the same milestones with them that I did with the older two, but they just didn't seem to take as long. And for this I have mourned and moved on.

I often wonder if the fact that Little Butt is definitely my last baby has something to do with how I feel about her turning two. Don't get me wrong, I am so happy that my baby girl is growing up healthy and happy but Damn why did it have to happen so fast. I will never get to experience the milestones of the first two years again.

My last two babies <3
I may get to watch my grand kids take first steps and say first words (or I may not) but it just isn't the same as having my baby do it.  If given the chance would I have another child.  Well, you can just stop the train of thought right here and now because it ain't gonna happen. No way in H.E. double hockey sticks. But that doesn't mean that I am not sad about not being able to experience the baby years ever again. My emotions are so jumbled over this, and I think it is totally normal to feel this way.  I've spent a huge part of my life either becoming a mother or being a mother and the fact that Little Butt is turning two now really hits home that it is OVER. The baby years are over for me and although I don't want any more kids, it is still kinda sad. It is time to move on to the next step of life. I will enjoy the kids I have and then when the time comes I will enjoy the grand kids and then send them home to their parents ;)

Until next time...  Please allow yourself to grieve the little things that make you sad. It doesn't have to be a huge, drawn out process. Just a little sadness and maybe a few tears and then realize what you already have and move on to enjoy it.

Monday, February 4, 2013


We have a morning bird living in a house of night owls and it isn't easy on anyone! Miss Crazy is our one and only morning bird.  For her, it means she wakes up earlier than everyone in the house and really, that's quite rough on a kid.  She wants to play but is constantly being told to go play quietly while everyone else sleeps, and to NOT under any circumstances wake up her brother, who is her #1 playmate.

And that is where the problems begin.  That girl can think up 101 excuses to bother those who are sleeping and she does not care how much trouble she gets in when she does it. But then again, I see her plan - bother bother bother and they will be forced awake to deal with me and I get what I want - everyone else awake with me. Hmmm Yeah, maybe I need to re think how we deal with her on that one.

And I know you are thinking hey why don't you just keep her up later and she will sleep in with the rest of you.  Haha nope. Over the summer last year we kept her up til midnight on a regular basis to try to get her to sleep later. Guess what time she slept til each and every time? 8:00 am. Um, not late enough kiddo.  We even put a sheet over her curtain so absolutely no light would get in. Still no luck.  Our dreams of staying up late and waking up late kinda didn't come true at all.

For us night owls, of course the problem is not being able to get enough sleep because of one awesome, but sleep challenged little girl. I'm serious, the child really does not know how to sleep.  She is one of those people who tosses and turns all night and wakes up a million times and then wakes up early...every day.  The only time she has ever slept longer than usual is when she is sick, but then once she wakes up she doesn't sleep again until that night. No sick day naps for her!

There really is no solution to this problem.  She just isn't a sleeper yet.  The Senior was a lot like this too but now would sleep the day through if I let her. So I guess we can just hope that Miss Crazy follows in her footsteps...someday. But then again she might follow in her daddy's footsteps and still be a morning bird when she is in her twenties and I won't be able to sleep in until she goes to college. (BTW The Shooter can still be a morning bird when he needs to be for work, but he makes an awesome night owl when I need him to be :))

So until my beautiful morning bird becomes a night owl (or moves out), I will gladly deal with no sleep so I can stay up late where it is quiet and I can actually think straight.  After all, that is what naps are for right?

Until next time...Differences happen in families, so as a parent, just suck it up and live with it.  Oh, um was that a bit harsh?  Yeah, well I need to be harsh with myself so I remember not to be too rough on my sweet little morning bird. :)

Friday, February 1, 2013


Have I told you how much I hate having to get up at 4 am to take the husband to work? Wait, what? Oh yeah, that was the blog from Wednesday. Let us talk about missing household items instead then.

Every household has something that goes missing. All. The. Time. (At least I hope so, because if not, that means we are the most unorganized group of Yahoos on the planet.) In our house the main thing that goes missing are hair brushes.  At this point in time we have 5 and today I can not find even one of them. The older two kids are already at school and that means they brushed their hair with their hands instead of waking me up to do a mass search of the house. Damn kids - now everyone is going to think I don't make my kids brush their hair :/

So how do brushes go missing so easily?  My kids, although I have been trying to train them for years, will not EVER put anything back where it goes when they are done. God forbid they have to stop reading, watching TV, or playing on the computer to do something as easy as putting a brush on a bathroom counter. I don't think they realize that their chore time would also be cut in half if they would just put stuff up as they go.  99 percent of their chores are putting stuff away that was left out through the day. I used to try to lead by example, but sometimes I just can't when my hips start hurting and I have to sit down. So now I am all about the old saying, 'do as I say, not as I do'.

I hope someday that it will all click with them and they will understand. (Maybe when they have their own messy house to clean and no one to help them???) I think it did with me so maybe it is just a normal right of passage. I guess we shall see. The Senior is 17 and will probably be moving out in two years to head down state for the last two years of college. I've done my part and now it is up to her to remember what I taught her.

Now, the second biggest thing that goes missing in our house - Pens. And the reason?  Just read above and insert pens where it says hairbrushes.  The third biggest thing that goes missing in our house - socks.  That one I can't blame on the kids though.  I have no clue where those things go.  I've contemplated aliens, a sock eating monster that lives in my dryer, a black hole in the laundry room...but then again, maybe it is the kids' fault.  Maybe they throw them away so they have less laundry to do. Hmmmm now that's an idea. But nah, I could always refuse to buy them birthday and Christmas presents to pay for new socks so I think I'm going with the sock eating monster living in my dryer.

Until next time...Don't blame your kids for everything that goes wrong in your house (although it is kinda fun)  There are just times when you have to blame the monsters that live in appliances.