Monday, September 30, 2013

Losing Faith in Humanity

You may have seen this video. It's actually from 2011, but has recently gone viral.

This wicked woman actually steals this ball out of the hands of this little girl.

This was a foul ball hit by Juan Miranda, then actually thrown up by a Diamondback to the little girl.

It's deplorable that this woman is then cheered and high fived by her friends. If I were that little girl's parent. I would have stormed my ass right down there and stripped the ball right out of her greedy, evil hands. What a bitch!

She's not the only adult to have stolen a baseball from a child, there's this dude, and a few in this video too. Luckily the stadium officials usually get wind of this and the kids get balls anyway, but still, WHAT'S WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?

Were they bullies when they were children? Were they just not taught manners? Are they just that
selfish and greedy that they would steal a stupid baseball from a kid? It's not even signed! And these are grown adults. Other kids, sure, I would get that. But of the videos I've seen, the kids are the ones giving their balls up to the younger kids.

Maybe I shouldn't be losing my faith in humanity, maybe these younger generations are better than us. Maybe they're watching the greedy, evil adults and saying to themselves, I don't want to be like that.

One can only hope I guess.

Friday, September 27, 2013

F³A: Relationship Rant

So, you know I sometimes rant about relationships on here, so I'm going to again and yeah, it has a little bit to do with writing, so there it is.

I've broken up with my latest boyfriend. I'm not really worried about him reading this, of the handful of relationships I've had since my divorce I think only one of them still reads this and probably only on occasion.

At my age, and I'm sure most of you know at least around how old I am, I'm not secretive about it, I'm pretty set in my ways. I would expect that most everyone is. In our forties we have our families, we have our careers, our activities, etc, etc. At my age, when I meet a person of interest, I don't expect to change things about them and I don't expect them to change things about me.

I'm a busy person. I don't see that changing. There is nothing in my life right now that I can give up.

My kids. Um, yep, not an option, and with them comes soccer games, music gigs, and other mom/daughter stuff.

My job. Again, unless you make bank and you want to take care of me for the rest of my life (which I would never expect of anyone btw) and we have a legal binding contract that states that, um, yeah, I need my job, I love my job.

My health. I NEED to exercise. The only time I can go to kickboxing is at night and I was a super
duper flake about it while I was dating the BF. You like this body? It ain't staying this way by itself.

I need my time to myself and my time with my friends. At our age, any age actually, I think it is healthy and necessary to have interests outside of one another.

My writing. This is not a hobby for me. I love this. I work a job because I have to.  I will not date anyone ever again who does not take my writing seriously. Um, I was published by one of the top publishers in the world. Do you know how hard that is to do? Seriously?

I will also not date anyone who tells me maybe I need to go to work full time. The part time job I have pays more than many people's full time jobs and it pays my bills. Do I bitch about money? Yes. Sorry. Doesn't everyone? Even though the job pays my bills I'd still like some new Uggs or a bigger barbecue or to vacation somewhere sunny in the middle of winter.

The breakup was a hard decision. It was painful. I care for him a lot. We had fun together. He made me laugh. I tried to let him down easy. I told him I was just too busy. I had things I needed to accomplish, goals to reach before I could commit fully to the kind of relationship he wanted.

He pushed me though, did he really bother me that much, was he really that bad, did he suffocate me?

Yes. Yes he did. I had no time to myself. No time to write, to exercise. I was exhausted all the time.

Every Sunday night I would go to my girlfriend's house and watch Dexter. Every Saturday and Sunday up until the point that I left he bitched about it incessantly.

Why must I change my routine to please someone else?

I don't watch TV, I work. Go ahead, you watch TV, I'll just be working right here, next to you.

I'm going to kickboxing, why don't you go do something?

I'm going out with my girlfriends, why don't you go out with some friends?

I need to be alone, see you in a couple days?

No? None of that works for you? Bye.


Believe me, the space wasn't the only issue, just the biggest one.

To add insult to injury, he kept wanting to see me after we broke up. I said we could be friends, but it was too fresh, it was painful, I needed some distance first.

On his birthday he called me late and told me how miserable I'd made him since I'd broken up with him. How nice it was to hear my voice. How much he'd missed me. How much he loved me. How he just really wanted to see me. So I agreed to see him this Sunday.

Then I found out that two days after I broke up with him he had scheduled a date.

And that he'd been pursuing a beautiful blonde woman I went to high school with (did I mention I've known him for 40 years?)

So I called him on it and told him I couldn't see him Sunday. That I was hurt and we could probably be friends one day, but I needed some time and distance.

First he denied it, but you can't really deny things you post on Facebook.

So then I didn't hear back and was unfriended on Facebook and that's where it's at.

I'll tell you, it's painful, it hurts and I don't understand it. Maybe I don't understand men and all. Maybe I was just meant to be alone for the remainder of my life. Or maybe I'm just meant to finish the things I set out to accomplish before settling down or even dating. I don't know. I do know it shouldn't be that hard, not only to have a relationship, but to remain friends with someone. I don't know...

Okay, longish rant I know, just lots of crap on my chest. If you have any insight, bring it.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Serious Heterosexual Guys Literature 101

Okay, I'm not even sure that I'm offended by this article really. I think one of the commenters said it best by saying, "What is this fuckery?!"

I'm more just feeling like O.o.

The professor said, and I'm paraphrasing (and making part of this shit up) Um, I don't particularly like Canadian writers. Or Chinese. Or women. So I can't possibly teach them. In fact I also don't like left handed writers. Or writers with 'm's' in their name. Or writers born on Thursdays. Or writers with clubbed feet. Or writers who named their child Charlie, or writers pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman...(Can you tell which ones I made up?).

But you see how ridiculous that sounds?

If the class were named as the title of today's blog, Serious Heterosexual Guys Literature 101, fine, teach your Proust and your Chekhov and your FItzgerald and whoever, leave off Wolf and Plath and all those Canadians and Chinese you don't love.

But if your courses are called things like, Love, Sex and Death in Short Fiction, don't you think it's your duty to give your students a well rounded taste of the kind of literature that encompasses that subject matter? Just sayin'?

hey look his favorite writer likes women writers!
Or maybe if the school is going to have a guy like that teaching there,  they should
offer a women's lit class. (Do they? Maybe? I didn't go so far as check, there are only so many hours in my day.)

I love my men, I do. I love my King, and my Lehane, my Miller (Arthur, not Henry), my Shakespeare and my Hawthorne, my Keats, Whitman and cummings, but I'm not sure my literary experience would be the same without having read Wollstonecraft Shelley, Atwood, Erdrich, Morrision, Lee, Plath, Rowling, Bronte, Dickinson, Angelou...and so many other women's words who have touched my life in profound and evocative ways.

If the history teacher only taught us about the U.S., we'd know nothing of the world.

If the science teacher taught only the earth, we'd know nothing of the stars.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Writing Wednesday : A Tattered Life

Well I'm up to about 5600 words in this book. It's coming slow, but I've not had a lot of writing time lately. I will now, as I once again have more writing time on my hands. I'm liking this MS, though I find it a challenge to write from the alternating perspectives of a journal writer then the reader 8 months later. But I'm always up for a challenge. :) 

 Setting this scene, Jaden is waiting for Payton out in his truck. He's read more of the journal, and about the "white trash" girl's life, and he sees similarities between her and Payton and starts to worry...

I slide into the truck and pull the notebook out of my bag. Flipping through the pages, I try to find where I left off. Just as I get to the right page, I jump, startled by a loud knock on my passenger window.  I look up and Payton’s standing there, shaking her head, rolling her eyes and motioning for me to unlock her door.
“Jesus, you scared me to death.”
“That was my intention,” she says looking at me strangely, like she’s seeing something new about me. “What are you reading? You looked, well, engrossed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you that interested in something before, aside from football and cheerleaders, that is.”
I shove the notebook back in my bag and throw it behind the seat.  “I have interests beyond football you know?”
Now she looks at me like I’m mad as a hatter. “Oh, you do, do you? And what might those be?”
Staring into her eyes, I pull a classic Jaden move. “You.” Her breath catches and I scoot closer to her, caress her cheek and move in for a kiss.
Unexpectedly, she shoves me away. “Not here! Are you crazy? We’ll be seen.”
She’s right. I don’t know what got into me. I’ve never been that flagrant with our relationship. If anything, I’m beyond paranoid, always looking over my shoulder, careful not to be seen by anyone, especially Ava. I don’t say a word; I just scoot back, turn the key in the ignition and head to our spot.
We pull in and draw near each other. My hands immediately heads under Payton’s shirt, hers clasp the back of my neck. We lean in and our tongues find one another, dancing, and swirling in the other’s mouth. My mind starts to race, but not like it usually does to things like the color of Payton’s panties and how fast I can get her bra off. No, today it travels to the girl in the notebook and her secret rendezvous with Noah. I push Payton away.
Confused look on her face she says, “What is it? What’s wrong?”
I don’t really know what, if anything, is wrong. My mind just keeps going back to those last two entries. I have questions. “Nothin’. Nothin’s wrong.” I grab her hand in mine. It’s not like Ava’s, soft and smooth like milk. It’s firm, a little rough around the edges like her, but nice —and warm. “Our relationship—”
“Relationship?” Her brows are furrowed.
“You know what I mean. This thing we have, you know it’s just for fun, right? That it’s just what it is or what it will ever be.”
“What the fuck are you talkin’ about?” She sounds pissed.
“What I mean is, I’m with Ava, you understand that, right?”
She pulls her hand away from mine. “Jesus, Jaden, you think I’m an idiot?”
“No. I’m sorry. I just wanted things to be clear between us.”
Slamming up against the bucket seat she says, “It’s crystal.”
I lean over to her and whisper, “Sorry, babe.” I kiss her ear, her neck, make my way down her chest when another thought hits me. I sit back.
“Now what?”
“Your step dad — you guys get along okay?”
“What? Are you writing a book? Yeah, we get along fine.”
I look in her eyes; try to tell if she’s lying. “He doesn’t like, uh, you know—” she stares at me expectantly, shaking her head, waiting for me to finish. “He doesn’t hurt you does he? Touch you?”
At first, she looks pissed, but then her expression softens.  She reaches up and cups my cheek in her hand. “Jaden…,” she says so soft I can barely hear her, “…you’ve been watching too many movies.” Then she giggles, throws her arms around my neck and kisses my cheek and I feel relief. So much relief that I get choked up and I grab her and hold her tight. I don’t want her to see me like that, so I just keep holding her and I let her kiss my neck and the side of my face and wherever she wants until is subsides.

Friday, September 20, 2013

As if I wasn't busy enough...

...I've joined in a new venture with a co-worker. Upon learning the ins and outs of the self publishing world and how much of a bitch it can be, we've decided to offer indie publishing services. 

Yep, we're going to offer consulting, editing and formatting at first. 

We'll probably get into cover design, websites, a little marketing, like small publicity kits, including postcards, bookmarks, and business cards. 

We'll put together press releases and sell sheets. 

I've already done video trailers, so we can do that as well and part of our job here at the law firm is SEO, keyword research and social media marketing, so we'll get into that as well.

Together we have a wide array of skills and talents and we work very well together. We're in the midst of putting our website together. Creative Chaos Media.

We may eventually also offer to publish people's works under my Sock Puppet Press and other imprints I'm planning to start.

We're putting our pricing together right now, but we will be competitive. Keep checking the website for updates.

Happy Friday, here are the scribbles.

Random Pandora song: Life in Technicolor II by Coldplay (Imagine Dragons Radio)

Book of the Week: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Starting reading it so I could finish before the movie came out. Took a little to get into, but now I'm hooked.

Netflix of the Week: Breaking Bad, first half of Season 5. What can I say. I love those bad boys.

Quote of the Week:“Finite to fail, but infinite to venture.” ~ Emily Dickinson

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Proof copies can be hazardous to your health

You've seen this cover on my blog many times now, right. Her pants are clearly blue...

The first proof copy I got back, the cover was sooooo dark. When I mentioned it to Lori, she told me that the covers come back about 5x darker than you send them.

So I lightened it up to what you see here to the left. Lighter skin. A glint on the glass, purple fingernails, BLUE pants.

Yeah, the pants look black. And this time the cover is off center. Don't know how that happened. UGH!!!

So here is the disclaimer on getting proof copies: May cause frustration, anxiety, depression, nausea, vomiting, headache, heart pain. May cause hair loss in the form of you pulling it out by the root. In severe cases, could cause death.

This process is definitely a learning curve. A BIG one. After this round though, the second time, which I'm going to start ASAP with Girl in Motion, will be a breeze, right? RIGHT?!?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dissected Giveaway

Now that things are coming down the line, I've decided to host a giveaway on Goodreads. Click here to enter. I'm giving away two copies. You have to live in US, Canada, UK or Australia to enter. The end date is November 12, which is what I'm hoping is the release date for the book *fingers crossed*.

My proof copies should be coming in the mail today if all goes as planned. I have one person who is going to read one of them as I don't think I can stomach another read of the novel right now. If you're a writer, I think you know what I mean. If you're not a writer, think about reading the same book 20 times in a row. Even if it's your favorite, you'd get sick of it after about the 3rd time.

So, go enter the contest. If you're in the area, expect an invite to the release party soon. I think it's going to be held at Garfield Books at Pacific Lutheran University.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Indie publishing: The Next Step

I got my formatted copy of Dissected back and uploaded it to both Createspace and Lightning Source. Now I'm waiting to get proof copies from each company. I'm going to have someone else go through the proof copies. I don't think I can stomach doing it one more time.

I'm not sure why if I've explained why I'm using both companies. I'm using Createspace to sell on Amazon, but Createspace expanded distribution does not offer a big enough wholesale discount, so physical bookstores more than likely would not carry it. So I'm going through Lightning Source, so I can distribute through Ingram and set my own discount price, so that libraries and book stores can purchase the book at a reasonable rate. I'll make less money this way, but I'm pretty sure most of my sales will come through Amazon. However, I'd like the book available through Ingram so it's available if I do library, school and book store visits.

I also got my UPC code and added it to the cover. I set the sale price at $9.99.
Now, once I approve the proof copies of the book, that's it. Time to sell. Of course, I've set a release date of November 12th because I still have some marketing stuff I want to do, and I have a release party I want to set up and I need a 6 week lead on that.

It's getting close to go time, and I'm getting nervous...

Friday, September 13, 2013

Response: 8 Reasons NOT to send your daughters to college

Have you seen this article? It's appalling. I was raised Catholic btw. I consider myself a recovering Catholic, but even I know that this is not a Catholic stance on college or women or education. This is one man, Rayman Alleman, hiding behind religion to spout his own anti-feminist agenda. IMHO.

So here we go...

1. She will attract the wrong types of men.  Alleman believes that if they go to college lazy men will basically take advantage of the fact that they are bright and have a career.
Um, so they should just become stay at home moms? Or work a crappy minimum wage jobs to ward off these types of men? This is completely nonsensical. A strong, sensible woman will not let a man take advantage of her. Period.

2. She will be in a near occasion of sin. Yeah, hate to break this to you, but she's always in a near occasion of sin. She doesn't have to go to college for it. She can find it at Starbucks. And the grocery store. And, God forbid, church. And the other psycho-babble he spouts in this one is just bonkers.

3. She will not learn to be a wife and mother. Because of course all career women are horrible mothers, right? Being a wife and mother is not something you learn, it's innate. When you become one, you just do it and whether you stay at home or go to college makes no difference.

4. The cost of a degree is becoming more difficult to recoup. I don't necessarily disagree with this one, but it's the way he explains it that makes me want to bitch slap someone. Yes, college loans are expensive, good jobs are hard to find, but why must it be the man that has to bring a skill to the marketplace while the woman stay home and be frugal. Come on! What is this, the 1950's?

 5. You don’t have to prove anything to the world. Thank you Captain Obvious. The idea of college is "folly". And women are just succumbing to peer pressure when they attend college. Uh-huh. It's not that maybe we want to better ourselves, or the world, or try to find our place in the universe or make a difference or get a good job or maybe just feel some sense of accomplishment? No. It's because mommy and daddy told me to go.

6. It could be a near occasion of sin for the parents. Yes, parents will use contraception to send their other children to college. Dude, there are only a handful of parents who have more than 2 or 3 kids these days. How do you think they're NOT having these other children? Look around at your other Catholic friends with one or two kids...

7.  She will regret it. They apparently have all these women coming forward professing how much they regret working instead of raising their children. Yes, having an education is such a horrible thing to have. Please. In this day and age where more people are getting divorced than staying married, a woman would be stupid not to get an education and a job. Believe me, after being a stay at home mom for ten years, it's pretty damn hard to get back into the workforce after a divorce.

8.  It could interfere with a religious vocation. Right, because we know how many women are allowed to become priests and how many are still becoming nuns these days. Are you serious?

Yeah, so I won't mince words, I think this guy is an idiot. And let's see, all of these reasons could apply to sons as well, could they not?

Let's leave the college decisions up to the individual. I mean, college definitely isn't for everyone. I'm not saying everyone should go, but for those who want to? It's not up to the church (or some crazy right wing faction of it), or some crazy Catholic blogger and his misogynistic following. It's up to the student and perhaps their parents if they have to help pay for it.

Personally, I wanted an education. It took me a long time to get it. I went to college, quit and went back, but I believe it helped me get where I am now, I felt a sense of accomplishment when I did get my bachelor's degree.

And you know what, if girls or boys alike go to college and make mistakes, so what? That's the age. It's the time to experiment and explore, get out on your own and find out who you are as a person. I made plenty of mistakes when I went off to college. I learned and grew as a person. Now I'm an educated woman with a good job and I don't feel like I was a lesser wife, mother, or woman because of it.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


I'm starting this blog without a title because I have a feeling I'm just going to whine and rant without any clear definition of what I'm writing about.

 I suppose that was a warning to you, this is nothing but a rant today...

I was going to title it Feeling Insignificant, but that sounded so pathetic.


Lately I feel like I'm standing still while the whole world is running, gaining a greater and greater lead away from me.

I can't get my work done at work.  I have no many duties I can't keep up.

I can't get my work done at home. I finally did laundry and cleaned my kitchen last night after days.

I've barely written a word in weeks. I have a website I need to work on. A book that needs editing. My fall publication is at a standstill. It almost feels as if it will never get released.

I have no emails, no Facebook comments, no Tweets. This I blame on not having enough time to keep up with the world. No time to interact with my virtual people. People who at one time I'd talk to all day. People I miss.

If I'm not keeping up with the world, how will I possibly make any sales on my next book.

I think it's finally time to balance my world lest the rest of the world pass me by.

But how do you balance it all? I've asked this question before, I know, but I honestly
don't know how people do it. I work, I write, I edit. I coach soccer, attend music gigs and soccer games for my girls. I have a house, a yard, a boyfriend. I kickbox.

And then there's still this sleep issue I have. This utter fatigue that makes me so tired I have to sleep a couple hours during the day which drives me absolutely nuts and takes me away from things I feel I should be doing.

Last night I thought I would write. But after working, then having to take a nap, soccer practice, kickboxing...I had choices. I had piles of laundry to fold and a dirty kitchen, or I could write. I chose the former. I can let my house be in a state of disarray for a little bit, but after a while it nags at me, scratching metaphorical claws on the door of my mind.

I'm only 4200 words into this current book. That saddens me. How can I be a writer if I don't write?

I'm frustrated.

I think I finally found a title for this blog...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Response to: FYI (if you're a teenage girl)

I know, there have been a million responses already, and I'm about a day behind, but as the mother of two teenage girls, I felt I had to respond.

I understand some of what Mrs. Hall is saying. I do. I just don't agree with it.

I think it's fine that the Hall parents monitor what their children do online. It's very smart. However, where is the trust in the parent/child relationship? At what point do you let your children use their best judgment as to who they can and cannot be Facebook friends with? When do you stop censoring every little thing they do?

If she's taught her boys to respect females, she shouldn't have to worry, right? Okay, no. Why? Because no matter how much they respect them, they will still look at them at a sexual way if they are a red-blooded, heterosexual teenage boy. 

Scantily clothed. Fully clothed. Nude. It doesn't matter. That's how it works.
Even the Biebs does it.

Boys do the same thing BTW. Have you seen all the bathroom, shirtless pics they post? Are you going to write this same letter to those boys when your daughter is a teenager?

Look, my daughter and her friends are barely dressed in this pic below. You could even say that the one on the right is posing suggestively.

Would the Hall boys be able to be friends with these girls? Or would they be blocked by their parents? I mean, the Hall boys may look at them in a sexual way, right?

And then of course we have the double standard of her own boys in bathing suits flexing their muscles on the beach in the pictures she chose to post on that particular blog. 

Pictures she has since changed. 

Does she not think that a teenage girl would look at that and drool a little? After all, her boys are handsome, shirtless, and flexing.

Okay, admittedly, I really don't appreciate boys/men with their shirts off in front of the mirror, and don't think young girls should be seductively half naked in their Facebook pics. I think parents should teach their children what is and what is not acceptable

Kim K.
Does Mrs. Hall let her boys watch TV? Movies? Listen to music? Play video games? Read magazines? Media has been teaching children for decades how they should look and behave. This is learned behavior from sources beyond our control. Even if you temper media at home, you'll never be able to keep your children from it completely, especially in these days where Google is a god.

When my girls first got their Facebook pages I told them not to friend anyone they don't know and that I would not censor them unless I felt what they posted was way out of control. I did tell them that they need to think about what they post, who will see it, what it might affect, and then to use their best judgment.

And I would never block someone from their Facebook. I can imply and suggest, but they can decide who needs to be blocked. I trust their judgment because I've taught them well.

And in this day and age of self esteem problems, obesity, self harm and eating disorders, is it so wrong for a teenage girl to be confident in her looks and her body.  To feel pretty. I think it's empowering, as long as she respects herself, and that is something they need to learn from their parents.

 Teenagers have bigger problems these days. Bullying, violence, alcohol, drugs, grades...

...scantily clad co-eds isn't one.

Just my two cents on this Friday.

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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