Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Best Laid (Up) Plans

Never fails right? Career plans get made, actions are being taken, things start looking like they could shift for the better financially and then boom! Some random health symptoms that even Doctor House can't explain move in just in time to fuck it all up. Thanks body, that was so very nice of you. Jackwagon.

Guess I'm at the anger stage now.

I know that its possible I was moving too quickly, doing too much for my own good and I needed to slow down. And its pretty likely this had to happen to ensure that I took a breather. I get that. But breather taken, its so time to get back to my life again. I miss being able to work for more than 3 hours a day without feeling lightheaded and I miss the time when I could drink coffee or a beer without my body staging a revolution.

No coffee in well over a week, no booze since about 5 days ago and I'm down to 2 cigarettes a day. Sounds great but I still feel like crap so what's the point of quitting or cutting back at all? I'm hardly scared anymore so much as just totally over it. I want an answer last week. I want this fixed so I can get back to my life. I want to work. I miss my friends. I miss being comfortable behind the wheel, going shopping, eating, drinking & being merry in public. I miss doing anything besides laying on my couch, drinking water and pretty much only getting up to pee.

Last week I had an appointment with a Cardiologist my PCP referred me to as a precautionary measure. He was the world's biggest asshole with such a lack of compassion that a handful of Facebook friends suggested I send a letter describing as much. He scheduled me for an artery ultrasound & echo cardiogram but couldn't have been too concerned because the soonest they could get me in was the 28th. Terrific. I guess it's not my heart. Or at least there's a very strong chance it isn't. I don't really know because I can't seem to get a straight answer from anyone because no one has a clue what's going on and the circle of referrals continues.

Next we move onto girlie doctors. If that isn't it I'm going to find a Chiropractor, massage therapist and likely an Accupuncturist as well because if Western medicine can't figure me out I might as well start heading East. I'm just going to need someone else to drive me there.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Doctor's Orders

When I was in sixth grade my mom invited my aunt over for dinner one night. My sister and I were helping out with the cooking and I thought it would be nice to have some fancy French cut green beans instead of the boring round kind. After a few beans were successfully halved, the next thing I cut was a big old slice through my thumb.

The cut was so severe we ended up skipping dinner for the emergency room. One full surgery to repair my thumb's tendon and an overnight stay later I was wearing a cast on my left hand. The doctor was emphatic about keeping my hand still to make sure it would heal correctly. About three or four weeks in the cast cracked at the bottom of my thumb and I was thrilled to have some motion back. Eventually the cast was replaced but the same result ensued a short time later.

When we went in for the final removal the doctor assured my mom I'd need physical therapy to regain the mobility of my all important digit. The cast came off and he measured my flexibility. I swear he ran his little silver tool back and forth between my good and bad thumb three times because he couldn't believe what he was seeing. I was just shy of 100% mobility. No PT needed.  Apparently I'd moved just enough to make my thumb heal on its own.

But that was then. I was eleven years old, young, spry and stubborn. Now I'm thirty-nine, hopefully wiser and certainly more cautious. So when I finally heard back from my doctor about what might or might not be going on with my body, and his instructions were to limit my activity until all this is under control, this time I'm listening.

The bloodwork came back and nothing major presented. That was the first sigh of relief. Nothing bad with liver, kidney, not anemia, not cancer. Psychologically that was all a huge weight lifted. Physically however just hearing that news didn't solve my lightheadedness.

Instead of dinner, this time I'm skipping going to Vegas to see my friends renew their vows in the middle of a marathon they've both been training for over the past many months. Does this make me sad? So sad I actually sat sobbing when I sent the message to my friend after cancelling our hotel. But there are some things I just won't fuck with and woozy feelings that have no definitive answers while I'm over 300 miles from home is way up on that list.

Over the weekend I'll be experimenting with some suggestions from the doc and his PA. First is to start taking sodium tablets. When we reduced salt to almost nil with Matt's HBP diet shift it's possible my body went "um, wtf!?" My doc also thinks I might be a low blood sugar candidate which wouldn't be a surprise as it runs in the family. Additionally I'm going on a multi vitamin in case of deficency and amping my water intake to a little over sixty ounces a day.

It is driving me crazy just laying around all day. I miss working but I don't want to do too much. Which of course is stressing me out but until I know what is causing my lightheadedness I'm not taking chances. The good news is that this time my thumbs are at 100% capacity so I can blog on my phone while I lie on the sofa.

At least its something because watching re-runs of 90210 was only fun the first day.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Getting Rid of Clutter and Other News

Yesterday I wrote a big long post over at my website about getting organized so I can start making money as a freelancer. The post is pretty complete and I’m not going to rehash all of the details I included over there because if you really want to know about it then you can go read that one. I’ll wait…

Now that I started the process I’m finding a LOT of stuff that has been taking up mental, emotional, and physical space in my online world that really has to go. Files I haven’t opened in years, documents with print screen shots from paying bills in 2009 (yeah, seriously), websites that aren’t even operable anymore clogging up my favorites – all things I’m working on deleting. And I hate to say it but many blog links are going to be deleted from my sidebar as well.

The reason I hate to say it is because many of these blogs are written by friends. People I love, people who have become such an important part of my life that they are individually thanked in my acknowledgement page in Reckless Abandon for goodness sake. But our once blossoming blog exchange has fallen by the wayside for some people and it’s time for me to move on. Many of them already have so it’s time to face the truth.

There are friends who do update occasionally, I’ll see something new pop up a few times a year, and I want the 411 when they come back. But there are many friends who haven’t posted on their blog in six months (or more) and in an effort to reduce the overwhelming vibe in my brain I just can’t have those links floating out in space for no reason. I’ll completely understand if you all remove me from your linky-lists as well.

However, if you discover that you feel compelled to start blogging again someday please let me know! I always enjoyed reading your updates and would be very interested in continuing to do so. Otherwise we’ll probably just see each other on Facebook.

• • •

In other news I’m going through some freaky health shit right now. For a few months I’ve had this weird pain in my left abdomen which I wrote off as being part of my job because I sit all day and rarely exercised anymore. I started exercising and sometimes it would go away. We bought a new sofa and it seemed to improve.

But over the past month or so I’ve started to notice it again and then the past couple weeks I’ve been having issues with a somewhat weird form of lightheadedness. Well more like light body because I never feel like I’m going to pass out or get dizzy or anything.

That was the last straw though and I finally went to the doctor this week. Not a kidney stone (his first guess). Not central nervous system (his next guess). I’ve been eating okay, consistently, and drinking about 60 ounces of water a day (more if I work out). Working out is no issue, I don’t get weirdness. Standing or lying down is no issue. Mostly it comes and goes when I’m sitting.

He took blood and is supposed to get back to me in a few days. Last night I started obsessing over not knowing what is up with myself and I almost had a panic attack.

I’m wondering if its early onset menopause because I do get hot flashes and cold sweats sometimes. Insomnia started a year or so ago. I’ve always had social anxiety but it has increased in spades in recent months. I tend to cry at the thought of anything these days. In fact based on this list I have all but maybe four symptoms. I’m freaking out and it’s hard not to think about it. Saying that makes me think more. And then I get more anxious. And that depresses the crap out of me.

Guess I’ll find out soon. I really hope so because Dr. House isn’t real but if I’m being completely honest, I’m really afraid
.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Yeah, I’m Breaking the Rules

My self-imposed rules that is. What’s that you ask? Am I going out of the house shopping today or something? HELL NO!! Not those kinds of rules. I mean the part where I announced I wouldn’t be online or writing anything all weekend. Hey, it’s not my fault. My family was supposed to be my buffer and everyone is still passed out from family, food & festive fun yesterday.

When left alone in the house at 7:00 in the morning what the heck else am I supposed to do other than whip up a blog post and eat blue cheese mix on Ritz crackers and a slice of apple cranberry pie for breakfast? I mean Thanksgiving only comes once a year and those are my cheat foods.

But I digress (as usual) because this post isn’t about food…

There’s really only one reason I got online when I wasn’t supposed to and that’s to tell everybody that Reckless Abandon**, my Romantic Suspense novella released last month on Amazon, is free to download this whole weekend! Woo hoo!

The best ranking I’d reached up to now was about 48,000 in my top category. Which as far as I’m concerned for a relative nobody Author like me (at this moment) I was pretty stoked about that. When I woke up this morning I checked before I even started promoting the thing and HOLY CRAP!!!


Though ranking numbers change by the hour as of right now (8:00 AM in Phoenix) it’s at #7520 in the Free for Kindle store. But those numbers aren’t the ones I’m tripping out over. The part where I’m dropping my jaw in astonishment is where I’m #72 in the Women Sleuths category and #90 in Romantic Suspense.

Hang on and let me let that sink in a second…of the 5,453 books on Amazon Kindle store that are Romantic Suspense my little novella is at a ranking in the top 100 after only 8 hours on the free list.

Okay, my mind is officially blown! I need to do a little more digging around my Author tools to see just how many downloads it has gotten but I may not let myself do that until Sunday after it comes off the promo weekend.

I’m really, really proud of this book and to see it move up the ranks like that makes me overjoyed! Well that and it also makes me want to keep going. To write more, to continue on with this series, and to release a quality piece of fiction to accompany this effort.

If you’d like to check out the book you can see Reckless Abandon on Amazon Kindle store here. If you download the book and read it please let me know what you think! I’m an Indie Author and we live by reviews. Thanks in advance!

Hope you’re all having as wonderful a weekend as I am over here. SO MUCH to be thanks full for this year!

**Reckless Abandon - FREE download Friday - Sunday & you don't have to step foot inside a store

Friday, November 16, 2012

Which Team Are You On?

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 opened last night around midnight. Premiere day is today. I can’t believe I was able to sleep through the night without being shaken awake by the millions of tween girls screaming their love for whichever side they’re rooting for to sweep Bella off her red eyed feet – Team Edward or Team Jacob.

SQUEE!!!

Okay, in all fairness I have to be upfront and say I haven’t read the books. I may never do so because YA fiction isn’t my go-to first choice. Regardless that Stephenie Meyer is a Phoenix based Author. Years ago my friend and sister tried to get me to read them. I resisted then and that was before I ever knew there were going to be four epic saga movies. Before I knew I was going to have to choose a side.

So let’s talk about those sides shall we? Because I think Bella has an awful difficult choice on her hands.

Let’s start with Edward Cullen.



- Vampire
- Skin sparkles in sunlight
- Pale as a hipster in the corner of a Starbucks in January
- Non-stop brooder
- Kind of a chauvinist jackwagon
- Telepathic ability on anyone except Bella
- Freezing cold skin
- Has a pretty cool “sister” Alice
- Doesn’t have to sleep
- Tries not to drink human blood and only that of animals – a vegetarian vampire!

Then we move to Bella’s other point in the triangle, Jacob Black.


- Werewolf
- Tanner than any Jersey Shore cast member
- Lets you see that tan all the time since he never can seem to find a shirt
- Low laundry bills
- High clothing budget since most clothes are destroyed when he goes all wolf on everyone’s ass
- Snarky and delivers a great one liner
- Bound to protect Bella’s kid forever
- Doesn’t eat blood of people but probably not a vegan
- Hot tempered and hangs with a pretty rough crowd

Now maybe it’s just me but neither of those choices sound very, um, smart for a seventeen year old girl. But I’m not seventeen so who am I to judge them right? Because between Edward and Jacob is one man who pretty much didn’t know what to do about his daughter’s growing love for these guys – Charlie Swan.


I’m all about Team Charlie!

- He’s cute in that authoritative kind of way
- He’s a cop so you know he’ll be able to protect you
- He’s just the right mix between snark and brood
- He knows something isn’t quite right about everyone in town
- He likes to chill with a beer and the game
- Oh yeah, he doesn’t turn into anything supernatural, drink blood, chew on puppies or treat his daughter like she’s less than for being a girl
- And seriously, the Magnum P.I. ‘stache just works

Though you all know if there was one vampire to choose, of all the ones I’ve read or watched over the years – The Count, Lestat, Dracula, any of The Lost Boys, Spike (though Angel was better looking and got his own show), Count Chocula, Stefan Salvatore, Edward Cullen – there would only be one who I’d pretty much let sink his fangs into my neck anytime.


Because seriously, when it all comes down to it I’d much rather be on team Damon Salvatore any day. Bella is just an idiot picking between those other self-obsessed dudes when she could have this one! But that’s okay Bella, I’ll be happy to take him off your hands. Why?

- He's chock full of hilarious one liners
- He’s just gorgeous
- He is man enough to let go of the woman he loves because he thinks she loves his brother even though he knows she really loves him
- Doesn’t make friends easily but when he does and they die he continues to buy them a drink at the bar for old time’s sake; now that’s loyalty
- He’s just gorgeous
- Though he can’t dance (really, after 150+ years you’d think the guy could have found time for a lesson or two) he’s willing to take you out to a frat party and dance the night away
- OK, to be fair that’s only so he can drain the blood of a bunch of college idiots and watch you do the same (if you’re Elena) but whatever
- He’s just gorgeous
- The man can hold his liquor
- He drives the coolest muscle car you’ve ever seen
- He lives in a pretty sweet pad
- Sadly his brother lives there too but you’ll have plenty of privacy because the place is huge
- He’s not so shy with the gratuitous half-nakedness but unlike Jacob doesn’t run around shirtless all the time, most of the time he’s threaded up pretty nice
- Come to think of it that whole leather jacket wearing, bad-boy loner simply because he can’t seem to find a woman who doesn’t love his brother (really?) thing is probably the most attractive part of all
- Oh, but did I mention that he’s just gorgeous?


Photos from IMDB found

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Not A Chance In Hell You Will Catch Me Shopping on Thanksgiving


This afternoon I was over visiting my friend Suldog’s blog. For the past seven or so years he’s been running a campaign on his blog and requesting that other bloggy friends take part. The premise is that Thanksgiving comes first. I don’t think I really need to explain the overall gist to any of you right? Check out the Facebook page for more info.

Each year I intend to join the fight in my own quest for normalcy during the busy holiday season but every year I read his plea before Halloween. To me all the holidays should have their own time. Halloween is one of my personal favorites, nothing to do with candy and perhaps someday I’ll share all the details why but today is not that day. Anyway, because I love Halloween I refuse to start talking about Thanksgiving until that day has come and gone. By the time that’s over I end up getting busy with other things and never fully support his cause.

This year is different. Because this year I’m livid.

If you go and read his blog post in the link I linked to above you’ll probably get the gist why. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

See what I mean? What the hell gives Walmart, Kmart or Sears the right to dictate that their employees show up to work on one of the precious few days during the year the retail community gets to enjoy having a day off? Fuck that.

I started writing a long winded comment back to Jim because I come from a personal place of irritation over this matter. I’m a former assistant manager, employee, and manager of retail establishments. And let me tell you something right now, if I were still in that industry working in a mall somewhere and anyone tried to tell me I had to show up for work on Thanksgiving I’d probably pop a vein. And promptly close the gates in a very personal fuck you to the bullshit consumerist regime that was trying to force me to show up on a holiday of national significance.

Here’s what I planned to write out in the comments over on his blog

Petition signed. That's the most outrageous and blatant attempt at power and control that I've ever seen in my life. The employees in that industry already have too much stress at the holidays can't they get one flipping day off? What sucks is that their jobs will probably be threatened if they choose not to work. Millions of people out of work will mean that someone will be willing to do it. Which as far as I’m concerned is total lunacy.

I was an assistant manager of a very successful retail store many years ago. My first Christmas as a manager in that store I was so busy (mind you this was YEARS before what's going on now) that I literally lived on coffee and cigarettes while working double shifts at least 3 days a week for the weeks between Black Friday and 2 weeks after New Year’s (don’t forget about holiday return season!). Generally I worked upwards of 75-80 hours a week covering for my manager who took so much time off to deal with her court troubles I was surprised she retained her job at all.

Luckily I was in my early 20's but it didn't matter. I dropped to about 89 pounds and could barely function. What happened at the end of the Christmas season? My car broke down on the way to work, I called in to say I needed a day off & it was approved. A week later my manager*** told my district manager I'd never called (even longer story) and I was fired for falsifying a time sheet weeks later. Of course this was after I worked a shift for her when another employee came in and stole money from the register that they tried to blame on me (which led directly into me requesting to watch the tape of me stealing money, which they didn’t have because I didn’t steal anything, and my manager telling the DM that I had to go - hence the timesheet instead). The time sheet thing couldn't be proven either way because back in those days we hand wrote everything.

I left retail then and there and never looked back. The way the things are going now I’m surprised every store isn’t open 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

You can bet I will NEVER shop on a day a retail employee should have the day off. Consumerism is out of control. Employees get no respect for their hard work and even less pay for being the thing that allegedly holds up the economy of the entire country.

I don’t just support Jim’s stance on the fact that Thanksgiving – a day to celebrate all we have in our lives that isn’t material – comes before Christmas but now I’m just off the rails that Thanksgiving may not even be a recognized day of rest anymore.

Because let’s face it, if Walmart, et al, opens the rest of them will do the same so as not to lose out on the revenue.

When I was in retail we opened at 8:00 instead of 10:00 on Black Friday then stayed open 2 hours after usual closing time as well. I was already mystified by stores who felt forcing their employees to come to work for a 6:00 AM Black Friday opening was insane. Then the midnight openings started.

And now this?

I can assure any retail establishment out there if they open even one minute earlier – aka Thanksgiving – I will stop shopping there for good. And let me just tell you how my broke ass can appreciate Walmart’s prices. But if they can’t appreciate a holiday and the people who are employed by them then they can say goodbye to my business forever.

Please stop this insanity. Please stop supporting this insanity. And please have a happy Thanksgiving until the moment it’s over. Which is not 8:00 or 10:00 PM.

This information is very real. You can read the Chicago Tribune article here

You can tell Target what you think by signing the petition started by an employee. They’re shy only a few thousand signatures now so spread the word!

Find it on Jim's post.

***update: one of my readers brought to my attention the fact that bipolar and crazy may not be medically accurate since I couldn't diagnose my manager so let's just say this instead, she was

a two-faced lying bitch who used me for her own personal needs and as soon as those needs were met she threw me under the bus as fast as her bleached blonde head would allow her to, since my DM had noticed her absences and someone was getting fired (but she had the upper hand in communication with the DM so it certainly wasn't going to be her).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Forty-Four for Four More

Yeah go ahead and say that four times fast! Well we all are waking up to the news, if we didn’t stay up last night to watch it first hand, that President Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney in the United States Presidential race. How does everyone feel? Wait, don’t answer that…it’s a loaded question.

But this is my blog so you better believe I’m telling you how I feel this morning.

First of all there was this circulating all over the internet last night:


Cute right? It is, and that’s the thing that gets me every time about this guy. The fact that he actually gives a crap. The fact that he seems to connect with his people. Because you know something? Regardless of who gets in they may or may not be able to do anything about anything. But there is no way to fake compassion. There’s no way to fake it that you still love your wife.

He may not be able to fix it all but at least you have to give it to the President, on a truly human level the man does care that its broken to begin with.

Because no matter who is in the position of power in this country there are a few things that are true.

First, we’re a bunch of big babies who have nothing better to do than bash the opposition. As evidenced by the barrage (and I mean flipping barrage) of political commercials telling us how much “the other guy sucks” that I’ve been watching for the past couple months.

Second, when someone in a top political position makes a mistake it’s okay to harp on that forever as long as it gets the other guy the win. Because after all, real politicians don’t ever make mistakes, right?

Finally, and perhaps most important of all, no matter who wins it is our right as citizens to complain about it ad infinitum instead of actually getting off our lazy asses to do something about what we don’t like.

Don’t like Obama? No problem. Just call him an idiot on Facebook, post a photo showing some fabricated statistics that you haven’t even bothered to fact-check and tell your friends to share it. Within minutes half of Facebook is high-fiving you for your brevity in taking a stand against the President, the other half is rolling their eyes and de-friending you.

Then I’m over here like, is this politics or Hollywood? Because I’m pretty sure the lines got blurred at some point. And you know what? So what.

Personally I’m happy the President was re-elected and will be serving for a second term. It isn’t strictly because I trust in his views and plan. It isn’t only because I watched Mitt Romney successfully run Massachusetts into the ground so I would never have voted for him (for us less well-off folk that is, the wealthy were probably holding up rally banners for the guy). It also comes down to that photo up there.

Because if the lines between politics and Hollywood are going to be blurred I’m voting for ‘happily ever after’ ride off into the sunset with your Prince Charming every single time. I love that he loves his wife. I love that she loves him back. I love that the two of them are, dare I say it, a genuinely happy couple with two cute kids and a good family dynamic. From what I see of course. I get that I don’t live with them so who really knows but if there were ever two politicians that seemed genuinely happy together these two are those people.

And as far as I’m concerned that counts for a lot. Maybe more than policy. Frankly I think the entire country could benefit from dropping some of their fear and falling back in love again. I don’t care who or what that love is expressed for, just love.

Love cheeseburgers? Get passionate about it, fight for your cheeseburger! Love your spouse? Show it. And who cares who sees it. Maybe it will rub off and a few other people will start to realize they love someone else too. And then others will see and feel it, share it and express it…

See how it can grow?

A few states pointed their middle finger at fear last night.  Let’s start with Washington, Colorado and Massachusetts. I applaud all of you for taking another step toward the country’s prosperity by approving measures on marijuana reform. Talking about this as a benefit in that tax dollars on the product could assist with reducing the national deficit (or at least at a state level to begin with) deserves its own post. So I won’t go into the specifics here but suffice to say I couldn’t be more pleased to see there are states that get it and want to try to get right with their budgets.

Now, for the naysayers, just because those states approved it doesn’t mean they’re going to force it on you. Believing that you’ll be forced to smoke it and that everyone will be sitting around on their mom’s basement sofa getting high all the time if it becomes legal is, again, just fear. Get over your fear and embrace the revenue this product can support.

And speaking of…possibly the most glorious of all ways to show that love is better than fear, Maine and Maryland** I’d just like to extend a big high-five to both of you for telling the rest of the country that you support love no matter who is in love with who. Gay marriage is legal.

Straight? Great! Gay? Okay! Yeah I’m rhyming here to make a point. What the fuck does it really matter if the two people in question are in love, happy, want to get married? LOVE, remember? Politicians shouldn’t be able to tell anyone who they should and shouldn’t love. Why it’s okay for some people to be happy but others get no benefit for spending their lives together other than the knowledge that they were happy.

And believe me, I get that to a point. Lots of people run around saying that it’s just a piece of paper, why do they need it so badly to prove (to all the straight people) that they’re happy? Flip that argument on its head for a second…why do the straight people give a shit? That’s my question. Does it value love any less if two men are holding hands? Two women kissing? Two happy people are raising children to understand that being in love means being in love and it doesn’t matter who it’s with as long as it’s real? Perhaps they should ask themselves the real question – what is it that really makes them uncomfortable? My guess is that deep down inside, on some level, they are afraid of love.

And that’s a damn shame because love rules.

So personally I’m pretty thrilled that Obama will be in the White House for four more years. We get four more years of seeing that through struggles and difficulties, through real issues we all face every day, in the end the Beatles were right.

All you need is love.

Congratulations President Obama. Please never lose your passion or compassion for the people you go to fight for every single day. And you know I mean Michelle, Sasha and Malia. Because even though the rest of us are an important part of your country, and you are dutifully bound to protect and serve us, your family is truly where your love lives.

And every single American could benefit from learning to appreciate the lesson you’re teaching.

**A side note high-five to Wisconsin for electing the first openly gay Senatorial candidate!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Day After Today

Better known as tomorrow there sure will be things going on that are causing me a bit of panic. First and biggest news to talk about is the storm, Sandy, that’s currently only a couple hundred miles off the shore of the northeast United States. She’s huge, evil looking and apparently going to bring so much surge with her as she makes landfall that the southern coast of Connecticut and north shore of Long Island could see eleven foot swells.

For places that are already at sea level (or below like marshes) an eleven foot sea is going to be like a nor’eastern tsunami. To all my friends and family up and down the coast, but especially those in the northeast which looks to be the hardest hit, please take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Get to higher ground if you’re right on the water. And for those who do flood it will suck but its only stuff. The most important thing is that you are safe.

For those who do stay home but experience a healthy storm with all the fixin’s there’s a few things you can do:

1. Pull out the board games (Remember those? Some of us do.)
2. Charge your electronic devices & only use when necessary (This does not include playing Angry Birds all day because some Governors declared your day off before the storm even approached your area, be smart!)
3. Cook some meals in advance (Especially if you’re Ann.)
4. Fill your bathtub - in case of water issues you can use it to flush toilets or boil to drink if things get really bad (this one is serious)
6. Pull out extra blankets in case the power goes out & it gets dark/cold (Which is totally different than it is most of the time in mid-fall in the northeast of course.)
7. Stay the heck off the roads, crews already have enough going on, they don't need to deal with stupid motorists (another serious request)
8. Change your name if it’s Sandy (Who wants to be called a bitch for the next few days, weeks, months?)
9. Build an ark and get the hell out of there (But watch out for those tall waves, we all know what happened to Marky Mark and Clooney. That was a disaster!)

I joke but this shit is serious people! The most serious of all of course is #2 above. I mean, if your device isn’t charged how on earth are you going to be able to download and read my brand spanking new novella, Reckless Abandon, when it comes out tomorrow?

(Nice segue huh? Like I’ve said a million times, I’m a shameless self-promoter. This means that, yes, I will use a hurricane to promote my work. Good thing you all love me.)

Reckless Abandon, my Romantic Suspense novella, is on my website for preview. I’ve posted a synopsis and a short excerpt. What do you think? I’m so very proud of this book and I’m panicking a teensy bit over it being released (all joking aside, the hurricane has nothing to do with it other than I feel Sandy took up residence in my head and is swirling around non-stop leading up to this release!). This is my first attempt self-publishing a suspense genre of any sort. The book is short, only 30,000 words, so you can read it in a couple hours.

Or during one day curled under a blanket on your sofa by the light of your fully charged electronic device while you ride out a hurricane. Just sayin’.

I’ll be posting the link to purchase over on my Writesy Blog as well as my website tomorrow once it goes live on Amazon for Kindle. My first eBook!

For those who pre-ordered my first title, Ripple the Twine, when I released it this past April be on the lookout for an email to arrive a little later today or first thing tomorrow morning. I have a surprise for all of you!

And in all seriousness, please family and friends, if you live in the northeast stay safe and check in somewhere as soon as this thing passes by – blog, FB, twitter, email, text, phone – because we’re all crossing our fingers that you stay warm and dry and that you kick Sandy’s ass!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Insert Sound of Chirping Crickets Here, Again

It’s the obvious question, ‘where the hell have you been?’ I’ve been working like a little maniac that’s where! Yesterday I uploaded my deposit, as it’s called, to the copyright.gov website so my novella, Reckless Abandon, is officially on its way to completion. And I’m thoroughly exhausted mentally and physically after getting this thing ready for release.

Driving back from a hike with a friend yesterday I told her that I’d been working on this since August 1, that it’s been slow and steady, and she said no way, rather that I pulled it together really fast. I started wondering – was it fast? Sure didn’t seem like it on this side of the fence.

Admittedly there were days tucked in there when I felt like a slacker who did a whole bunch of nothing but sit on my lazy ass and watch cheezy cable television. But for the most part I’ve been putting in ten hour days, on average six days a week, for the past twelve weeks to get this thing hammered out.

That’s a sixty hour work week for three months straight. 720 hours of needing to become multiple other personalities as I tell their story. A distinct lack of anything on my calendar other than ‘write & edit MS’. With the obvious exception of promoting my Blog Tour for Ripple the Twine back in August, a couple critique meetings editing 10 pages for 3 people, a few Writer’s meetings, my ten year anniversary, some happy hours with friends, trips (though not many) to Tucson to visit family, and starting up a workout program again. I’d say on average I write about 25-30,000 words a week between all of the above plus blogs & emails, etc. Um, uh-huh.

I’m fucking exhausted!

Can you blame me?

But two people have now told me how fast I pulled this novella together and it got me thinking. If I need 720 hours to complete a 30,000 word novella and worked like a normal person of 45 hours, 5 days a week, it would have taken me a full month more to complete the manuscript. And if I had an Agent/Publisher that’s about right for getting the book pulled together enough to send out (and have it ripped to shreds by their editor then sent back to be re-worked for production within the following two months).

The thing is, this is my job. I write full time. I don’t go leave my house to do other things during the day and I generally don’t fuck around. There’s a laptop or keyboard attached to my person all 720 of those hours. I have a career and this is it. So I dedicate myself to it all the way.

To do this job full time without making more than $4 a month in royalties is a mental siege, believe me. I struggle every day with wondering if I’m doing the right thing. If I should be out there in the trenches. Workin’ for the weekend. Workin’ for the piece of paper everyone else gets on a Friday afternoon that says here’s what you’re worth for the hours you put in. The validation that what you’re doing is worth something through financial gain. I admit, there are times I miss that.

But does it make me more valid to have a job that has a guaranteed number of hours with a guaranteed commute and a guaranteed paycheck? Does it matter that people don’t understand that I do work? That I work hard. Every day. Because see the real trick is dedicating myself to doing it. That’s where the real work comes in.

Most people would have trouble working the way I do - from home with no boss, no schedule, no set plan of what they’re supposed to do every day. Most people need the routine. And don’t get me wrong, “some money would be nice” but above and beyond that, this job feeds my soul. And not too many people can say that. I hate even admitting it out loud but I know for a fact my husband can’t say it about what he does for a living. But he has graciously given me the flexibility to do this job full time by going to a job he’s flipping amazing at but has no personal connection to doing other than the number of years he’s been doing it. And he does it partly to allow me to work my career with no promise, no guarantee that it will ever produce financial gain. And I couldn’t begin to thank him enough for that gift.

But of course we’re both secretly (okay, not so secretly) hoping that I will become the bread and butter maker in this household. I’d love to make more money than he does. He’d also love me to make more money than he does. And it isn’t exactly like we’re rolling in the dough over here. Quite to the contrary there are more times than not when our budget doesn’t allow for us to do the things we want to do.

Knowing that if I was making a paycheck we’d be able to do them, but that if I was making a paycheck I wouldn’t be writing books, is a constant battle I have to rise above in my mind. Because if I let that spin I’d go insane. Not to say it hasn’t happened. At least twice a year I have a nervous breakdown over what I’m doing. That conversation tends to go like this:

“At least when I was running Chucka Stone I was making some semi steady income.”
“Yeah and your writing took a back seat.”
“I know but…”
“But nothing. Shut your pie hole and keep writing damn it.”

And that’s not the conversation I have with Matt (though those usually end in a similar fashion) this is the one I have with myself. Yeah writers do tend to not only talk to but answer themselves. We have too many characters floating around in that brain of ours not to.

Anyway.

One of my very favorite Authors, Jen Lancaster, came to read in Phoenix recently and announced that she’s on a two book per year schedule. It isn’t unheard of in the industry these days. In fact I imagine the ability and dedication to pumping out two books a year keeps you pretty active on the internet. And we all know the internet is the way to market these days right? Wait, it is, isn’t it? Because I keep hearing these rumors…

I’m doing NaNo in November so this week I’m using to my advantage in catching up with some people, blogs, guest posts and completing the formatting of Reckless Abandon for Amazon. It probably sounds like a lot but to me, well let’s just say I’m looking forward to what will surely be a slow week in comparison to the usual.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Tornado of Life, a Week in Briefs

I finished writing Reckless Abandon this past Friday. It felt good to be done. Matt read it yesterday and offered feedback. I’ll edit it and get it to my mom for cover art. Almost there!

Hockey is still locked out. Looking like this season is going to be another faded memory. Sucks. So what to do when its winter in the desert and I can’t get my NHL fix?

Exercise, that’s what. Started up with P90X again and feeling sore but amazing! Week one just ended and unlike the last time we tried doing this I’m looking forward to starting week two. After I get to relish in the fact that I have today off, that is. I need it. This old lady don’t move like she used to. Guess that’s the point of why I’m doing it huh?

Signed up for my first Writers conference. It’s in about three weeks and I can’t wait to check out how they work. There will be writers, editors, agents, publishers and all kinds of other industry pros there. And I’ll be one of them. Holy crap this thing is real!

Which means I should probably order my business cards like two weeks ago. Especially now that I have a snazzy new Jenn Flynn-Shon Author Website to direct people to. Have you seen it?

Tell your friends!

Someone I’ve never met cleaned out the contents of my Etsy shop. Seriously? I hadn’t sold anything there since May, announced I’d likely be shutting it down (not out loud/in a blog or anything, just to my mom on the phone) and a week later I was selling my merch again. Maybe I should announce closing it daily? Become a best-selling zine-ster? I don’t plan to renew anything but there’s still two items over there. They’ll probably sit dormant until February when the above cycle begins again. I just don’t get it but I MORE than appreciate the sale and support!

I registered to vote in the November elections. We’ll see if I got my application in on time to actually go and do it. If I did, fine. If I didn’t? Well as far as I’m concerned that’s okay too. Because here’s my issue – I kind of just don’t care. Sounds terrible, yeah I know it does, but I’ve never been into popularity contests, broken promises or being told what I’m supposed to do. Sadly government is all three of those things no matter who you vote for. Twice in my life now I’ve gotten all jacked up about elections – the one when I could first vote and four years ago when I started pulling myself back out of 9/11 PTSD and found myself hopeful for the future again. Through the history of time no President has ever managed to keep every promise he made while campaigning. The U.S. citizens are just in a highly dysfunctional relationship with their top hierarchy of government – they beat us (proverbially) then buy us flowers and tell us how sorry they are and we believe they’ll change every time. Ugh, I’m not trying to get on a soapbox here but turns out I did. Suffice to say, I will probably go and vote but there isn’t a single candidate (for the big job) that I actually believe in anymore. It’s all a bunch of malarkey.

Yeah, my Grampa used to use that word. Actually, my whole family did. We’re Irish, it’s just a part of the lexicon.

Goals set this week:
  • Quit smoking
  • Lose enough weight that I go back down at least one full cup size (PLEASE dear lord of the workout, make it so because I can NOT carry these things around anymore, seriously)
  • Release my novella by the end of October
  • Learn how to format an eBook for Amazon sale
  • Leave the house to write at least once a week – library, coffee shop, I don’t care but get out and work on something fresh even if it’s only random babble about the smell inside a bakery.
  • Find a bakery in Phoenix that sells traditional Italian almond cookies (new goal recently added, yup)
  • Figure out a way to get back to Boston twice in 2013
  • Write a memoir and two McLeary series novellas in 2013 and release them (not necessarily in that order & not necessarily all have to be released in 2013, just written by the end of next year)
  • Add these goals to a tabbed button at the top of this blog and use it as a way of holding myself accountable to work towards each of them

I’ve run out of stuff to say, this is far too disjointed and boring already, and I’m in need of going and having breakfast so bye for now.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Unveiling of My Long Awaited (?) Novella Title

At about age 11 I wanted to be called J. J. Flynn. But sadly that wasn’t going to happen. Yeah my real first name is Jennifer but I have no middle name. There was this alleged fight between my parents over it being either Dorothy or Joy. You can guess by the initials I chose which I would’ve preferred but because they couldn’t agree I got a whole lotta’ nothin’.

Gipped!

Then this novella I’m working on started taking shape and so did my main male character (MMC). His name is JJ Anderson and no matter how much I’ve tried to convince myself I could take J. J. Flynn as my penname and change the first name of my character there’s just no chance that’s going to happen. He is a JJ. Not that I know any…well other than him.

And I guess he only partially counts since I brought him to life.

Anyway, I’m sticking with Jenn Flynn-Shon for this one. And probably the rest because I’m intending to turn not only JJ but also my MFC, Shaw McLeary, into a series-worthy couple of characters. Who knows how many I’ll write. I guess I’ll find out if I can be a “pantser” and come up with at least one full novel next month.

Because I’m planning to do NaNo. Yup that’s right. With little regard for my own mental health or the apparent safety of others (read: Matt) I’ve decided to live inside the mind of this character for another month straight. And write 50,000 more words of her story in 30 days. Of course in the end I’ll be with all these characters for a lot longer than a month. And longer than just one novel.

And that’s fine. Shaw is a pretty cool chick and I think her Nancy Drew-esque curiosity for solving mysteries or puzzles is directly tied to her being a YA fiction novelist. Write what you know right? So yeah we’re both Writers and we both live in Phoenix. Of course Shaw and I have plenty of stuff in common but there are also WIDE differences in the overall make up of who we are.

Which is good because, you know, this is fiction and writing myself exactly who I really am into a fiction story is just kind of creepy.

So without further ado, because I’m looking at the clock and realizing I need to get my ass in gear here and start editing today, the title!

Reckless Abandon

I’ve registered the domain at http://reckless-abandon.com but there’s nothing over there right now. Once I have cover art and all that hooptie-ha I’ll get something simple up over there.

What do you think? Based on the synopsis and everything else do you like the title? I’m really enjoying it and think it’s pretty fitting for many plot/sub-plot lines in the novella. So far it’s shaping up to be around 32,000 words. But that means I have to finish and release it. Something I hope to accomplish by the end of the month. And then NaNo.

Someone take my temperature, something tells me I’ve gone crazy.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pennames and Websites

Lately I’ve been wondering if I should be using a penname to publish my books. Perhaps I could go with J. S. Flynn, J. F. Shon, or maybe even some variation of initials-last name that just sounds cool. Because there’s a trend among Authors where the initials don’t match their name – J. K. Rowling, E. L. James, V. C. Andrews. Rowling doesn’t have a K in her real name. James’ last name isn’t even James. Andrews’ first name, not the middle, begins with the C.

I could have the name I’ve always wanted! Or at least something more obscure. Call me J. X. Flynn. People will ask ‘ooh, what does the X stand for?’ I suppose there’s something to be said for being mysterious right from the start. That start being the front cover in this case. Especially if I have a hint of mystery in my books it would be a nice compliment.

And that’s a thought I haven’t completely discounted as I wrap up edits on my latest MS. It’s a Romantic Suspense novel that I’m really trying to push to release as an eBook within the next handful of weeks. How does this sound?

Young Adult fiction Author, Shaw McLeary, returns from Whole Foods to discover her husband, Danny, is gone. So is their stash of cash, his clothes, passport, and her wedding rings. He took off in a hurry and left her behind. While trying to piece it all together Shaw witnesses a cop’s murder in her home. Determined not to become the next victim, she flees. She fears dirty cops are involved in Danny’s disappearance. There's only one person she can trust to help her - JJ Anderson, Private Investigator. Also, her ex-fiancĂ©.

A retired Phoenix cop turned PI, Shaw hopes JJ will be inclined to take her case. Despite his resentment for how their relationship ended, he agrees to help her track down leads on Danny. They chase the clues from Phoenix to Manhattan to upstate New York. In such close quarters Shaw finds it difficult to maintain a professional distance from her first real love. Then what happens if she finds Danny? Can she still love a man who abandoned her or is she too drawn to fixing her past mistake to let go of JJ again?

“Catchy Title” is the fast-paced Romantic Suspense novella by J. F. Shon slated for release in the fall of 2012.

J. F. Shon, Romantic Suspense Author (who also writes characters with only initials as their first and middle names, you’ll notice). It sounds pretty cool.

But then what would I do about this…


Yes friends I finally have an Author website! Yippie! Woo hoo! Hooray! And all those other exclamations professing how ecstatic I am to not have to worry about this anymore. Oh but I didn’t do it myself. Well, I designed the graphic part myself & got it looking all pretty but the domain connection – the part I had no idea how to make work - was handled by the wonderful and talented Judi FitzPatrick. Yea Mom!

Here’s a little bit about how it all came together…

Once upon a time, in a mystical land known as Phoenix, there lived an Indie Author who had nary a clue what a DNS Server was. She longed for the day when the www that held her name could be released; set free unto the world. Many frogs appeared that claimed they would help her with her conundrum but when she told them she was just a poor peasant girl they all hopped away, laughing as they went. Little Miss Indie thought she might never find anyone to help her create her website. Until one day when her mother came to visit and little Miss Indie explained her strife. Suddenly the room filled with smoke and mom Indie waved her magic mouse until, voila! In an instant a website was born! And they all lived happily ever after. The End. (As posted on Goodreads forums the other day)

So what do you think of the site? Obviously it will be edited or overhauled here and there but I think everything important is included for now. Because it’s based on a Blogger template I’m also well versed in how to make edits/changes and add stuff to make it snazzy. The one drawback is that Blogger doesn’t allow the tabbed pages to be opened in a new window like they do with links. If that’s the only drawback then how can I complain right?

Come on over! Subscribe to updates! Tell your friends! All that happy crap!

I know I warned everyone that all I’d be blogging about was my writing life. That warning came weeks ago and nothing having to do with my writing seemed to show up since. Guess you’re getting it all now.

Anyway, I’d be super grateful if you could spread the word about my site as well as the upcoming novella and let me know what you think!