Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Opposite of Blue

What’s the opposite of feeling blue? There is no color equivalent to describe a happy emotion, is there? Not really. Not in the simplest of sentences.

For example, ‘I’m blue.’ is pretty much a full sentence. Two tiny little words and people know just how you feel – depressed, melancholy, forlorn, like the world has killed your inner child piece-by-piece for a full year.

But, say ‘I’m’ with any other color and it just doesn’t work to convey happiness. Red, orange, yellow, green, purple, brown, black, white, grey, mauve, chartreuse, hell even pink. None of them are happy colors on their own. Not like the word blue conveys sadness.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the past few days as even more of the heroes/celebrities/path-blazers of my generation have been snatched out of this plane of existence. All of us social media peeps can’t avoid the outcry, the memes, the articles that detail every blue detail of the past 365 days.

Silver lining? At least it wasn’t a leap year. Oh, wait…

366 days for the waves of ice cold water to slam into all of our brains. All but numbing us to the constant barrage of names thrown at us this year. Names we will never again hear used in present tense.

Zsa Zsa Gabor, John Glenn, Prince, Carrie Fisher, George Michael, Glen Frey, Patty Duke, Harper Lee, Alan Rickman, Gordie Howe, Alan Thicke.

That list is just off the top of my head too, if you want a complete listing of all the amazing souls the world lost this past year you can check out this link, seems pretty comprehensive. Albeit way too long for my liking.

Awards season this year is sure to be a hoot as they spend a half hour per show honoring the fallen. In fact, this year has been so bad, some guy actually started a fund-me type account to order protection for Betty White. 2016 only has 3 days and about 14 hours left.

This year has been a true roller coaster in many ways. Since January, the world beyond my problems not only lost all those people but there was a year-long political campaign fueled by so much vitriol and hate that I almost guarantee anyone reading this who is on social media unfollowed and/or got rid of people they never expected to care that much about.

Views, primarily political made an appearance over here (and hereand here, and in 3 other places) this year. I wouldn’t think of that as strange except the last political related post I wrote before this year was in November of 2012.

And that post was the first since 2008. Yeah, this space isn’t usually a place I discuss world issues unless those issues are directly related to pop culture. (Like every fucking celebrity in the world passing away in a year, for example.)

This election got lost in the blurry lines between culture and pop culture. And, yes, those concepts used to be two different things. Not anymore.

And as if that wasn’t enough, radical people with issues and differing viewpoints on how to be a human, did some scary and shocking shit in a night club in Florida, in the streets of Dallas, TX, and in other countries. Many other countries like Belgium, France, Turkey, Germany.

We killed a gorilla to public outcry and tried to find an alligator like A Cry in the Dark was set at the Grand Floridian.

We watched enormous earthquakes impact Italy, Ecuador. An unconscionable hurricane hit Haiti and the United States.

By the time I got the news that Carrie Fisher had died it felt like emotional and mental whiplash. I just want to lie down now and take a big old nap from all this world shit until 2016 is over.

Because this year was supposed to be fucking awesome. The native people protected their sacred land and water. We had the first ever female nominated for President. Weed became legal in some way shape or form in all but 1 state that had it on the ballot this year. We had the Olympics. The Cubs won the World Series for goodness sake.

On a personal level, this year was pretty awesome. In fact, many super things happened.

I got to see my oldest friend and soul sister who traveled out here to visit us for a few days.
Matt turned 40.
We were fortunate enough to spend time with family we rarely see, as well as some people we saw a lot this year (another bright spot!).
My in-laws moved back to town.
We traveled to a beautiful tropical destination for a literal once-in-a-lifetime trip.
I got to celebrate my birthday in California at a Billy Galewood show.
We finished our final major renovation.

See? All awesome things.

So in 2017 I’ve decided to be more about the day-to-day wonderfulness, the personal victories and beautiful moments like the list right there. Because I’m done with the heaping pile of smelly trash that 2016 tried to become. Moving along. This is all behind us now.

Next year I’m going to be the opposite of blue.

Orange you glad?

Hmm, I agree, that’s weak. I’ll work on it. Next year.

• • • • • • • • • • •
In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.

Friday, December 16, 2016

From the Front Lines of a Failing Author

It’s raining today. Started last night around ten-ish. After leaving Boston and moving somewhere with abundant sunshine I not only appreciate rainy days, I kind of crave them now. And this winter Phoenix doesn’t seem to want to disappoint me.

Thanks weather patterns!

Rainy days bring out the melancholy, no matter how cliché that might sound it is 100% true. They let me access that place in my head where I sometimes need to swim around in order to pull out the emotions necessary to craft a realistic fiction story.

Speaking of which…

The last update here was all about my cranky attitude and NaNo.

Well, I failed. In grand fashion.

29k words. Just over halfway to a win.

But, as always, the experience/journey is what everything is really about. Right? That’s what I’m going with because it makes me feel better about losing the challenge.

I lost only this one battle though, not the war.

Not a single word of all 29k words I typed during November made it into this book. The one that’s still in-process. The one I plan to finish writing by the end of 2016 and publish in early 2017.

After failing the NaNo challenge you might be wondering how I can say I’m going to publish “this book” in the next couple months.

During the first week of December I pulled an empty journal off the shelf, gathered my arsenal of black ballpoint pens, and sprawled across the sofa to tuck in and write.

So far I’m over 10k words. All by hand.

And let me tell you all, this is how I’m going to write everything from now on. I got away from pen and paper in favor of the much faster keyboard. But there’s nothing personal about plucking away on keys.

My main character, Deb, had no face and no discernable characteristics when I was blindly typing thousands of useless words. Editing that mess of shit would have taken me until 2018. And I guarantee the book would have made a complete 180 anyway so I figured it was better to just go with it and start over from word one.

Now, her character, as well as the MMC, side characters, and the setting, are firmly entrenched in my head. I can see it all. See them, who they are, where they are, their motivations.

Why does that matter you might ask? Because no author can craft a believable story, where characters portray unique voices, without essentially living in that character’s world.


And I don’t care what kind of book you write. From a reader’s perspective, if you can’t insert yourself into identifying with at least one character in a book you likely won’t finish reading the thing.

The important shit that makes a character seem more real. Relatable. That’s why motivations matter.

So, once again, I failed at NaNo but won at the challenge of producing a book. Almost. Not quite there yet but well on the way. I know I will finish this story because they are all but jumping off the page now.

And, aside from putting the wheels in motion to finish this book, I accomplished a couple other things while handwriting that I didn’t expect.

First, I developed a basic formula for all the books to follow. Now, before you ugh and roll your eyes the only thing I plan to formulate is the pace and overall structure of the stories. Because that’s the second thing I figured out. Every book in my California Dreamin’ Series (for now) will be based around characters you already know.

So, let me explain. As a teenager I always wrote stories that revolved around the meet-cute (despite not knowing what the heck that even was at the time) and the initial falling in love of the two main characters.

In Carol + Chad 4-eva! Carol talks about her life and the lives of those close to her. A huge, almost endless pool of potential characters.

If the stories about Jess, Cherry, Lara, Deb, and maybe more, were to be the focus of this series, I needed to figure out what part of their life stories I wanted to tell.

I started handwriting Deb’s girl-meets-boy story and it all clicked.

Every one of the people in Carol’s life had a someone. They were all in different stages of their relationships – some having just met before the end of Carol’s book but others had been together for a while.

But all of those people had to meet their person at some point. And that point was the 1990s, in California.


The proverbial lightbulb clicked on and it all made sense.

They meet, experience some type of conflict, eventually realize they’re supposed to be together, end up in happily ever after. Like I said, formula for structure.

But, just like Carol, all of those characters will struggle to get their HEA ending.

The conflicts will change from character to character, but they will always be there and in roughly the same timing.

Because the bud eventually falls off the bloom, right? No matter how hot they may be for each other at first, at some point they’re going to see the real other person and face a struggle to overcome that defines if they can make it together or not.

Just like life.

So now I’m filling in the blanks of Deb Martin’s life. Who was she before she appeared in Carol’s diary? Who is that boyfriend Carol mentioned her friend moved in with? How did she meet him, where, when, etc.?

Failing is never failing in this life as a fiction author. It’s only a chance to start again. Build a new life for the character. One that fits who they are, where they came from and where they want to go. No matter how disrupted they end up after falling in love.

On this mellow, rainy Friday, I’m looking forward to getting more of Deb’s derailment onto the page.

• • • • • • • • • • •
In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Words are the Worst

I’m cranky. And if you’ll allow me a small moment to have a little pity party, the crankiness is all because I decided to take part in NaNoWriMo this year. So, like I said, you have to allow for the part where I’m all ‘woe is me’ because I’m fully aware I brought this pain on myself.

According to my page, this is my fifth time participating in the challenge. That equates to (as of today) two wins, two losses, one in process with potential to win, and, are you ready for this craziness, 176,266 words. So far. If I happen to pull off the win, add another 24k to that figure for a cool 200,000.

Since 2009.

And that figure only accounts for the words written for NaNo. Toss in anything I did for clients, blog posts, articles, everything else and no doubt I’ve written well over a million words in my lifetime as a professional writer.


So it goes to reason that some days, no matter how badly I want to shape any combination of the available words in the English language, I just don’t have the creativity to form sentences.

Fun fact? When I looked up how many words exist in the English language it turns out the Oxford Dictionary says there are 171,476 available for use.

Less than the number of words I’ve written over the course of four and a half NaNos.

Again, damn.

Anyway, today is one of those days where I have time to spare, nothing to do but write. But something inside tells me I should be penning words for anything other than my book today.

That something is one of two things: fear or exhaustion.

I’m going with exhaustion and here’s why.

Back in 2009 when I sat down (on my mom’s suggestion, BTW) to tackle the motherfucker that NaNo actually is, I had no clue how to write a book. I’d never finished one before. So I opted into the challenge just so I could finally say I crafted a long form fiction story and typed The End for the first time.

Goal achieved.

And then some. Because, since that month seven years ago, I’ve finished and published seven titles. Five fiction, two reference.

Some of those titles came out of my NaNo experiences. One of them in particular, Reckless Abandon, came out of a Camp NaNo in August. A year I actually lost the challenge.

But I won my own challenge.

As a kid I was always a procrastinator, floating aimlessly along some vast ocean of possibilities and never wanting to choose a path. How limiting, I always thought, to pick just one thing to be. Couldn’t I be anything, everything I wanted to be like everyone told me back then? Sort of.

Wheee! Never settle into anything! Stay in the background of life so you never really need to commit to anything! Skate by! Hooray for choices! So many shiny choices!

And then I woke the hell up. Because no matter what I’d ever done to “pay the bills” (or more accurately, what I did for work and play without a care in the world for the future) it didn’t matter to me at all. I met some terrific characters at all those jobs, in all those clubs, at all those parties, but the only thing that stuck with me before, during, and after that time in my life, was writing.

There are few months, let alone years, in my past where I didn’t write. If I let myself dwell on the number of trees killed and ink expelled for my love of words over the years, it would scare me on an environmental level.

Bottom line, no matter what else was in or out of my life – love, money, work – I always had writing.

Right before Matt and I got together in fact, I was dating a guy who asked why I was home on a Friday night, writing, when I could be out doing whatever was cool to do back in those days.

We broke up shortly after that question arose.

Because if you don’t get why I’m doing that then you don’t get me. And I don’t need to waste my time being with someone who doesn’t get my love-hate relationship with words. The place inside me that is words.

Once I finally found myself able to say The End on a long story I knew it was all I would do for a career for the rest of my life.

I got over the fear of turning my deepest passion into a career years ago. That’s an entirely different blog post, one I’ve probably already written so I won’t write it again. But, suffice to say, the fear is long gone.

Honestly, I think that moment came when I finished NaNo in 2009 when I came away with the rough first draft of a finished book. It all became clear, I realized I could actually do it. Not just dream about being an author but I literally just made it happen.

With a shit ton of support, love and encouragement of course but in truth this is a very solitary profession.

I don’t get to take vacations while other people pick up the slack. I don’t get co-workers unless I decide to write a book with someone else. And even then, it wouldn’t matter because words are constantly forming in my head. Wherever I go, whatever I’m doing, I’m always working.

Last night a friend came over to give me a haircut and we got to talking about jobs. Matt mentioned how crazy his work is while he’s at work but that he gets to leave it behind at the end of the day.

I had a bullet of emotions pass through me. Jealousy being the predominant feeling. A little bit anyway. Because I’m never “off” in this life. I am my job and vice-versa. Every conversation I have, class I take, person I meet, job I do, everything in my life is tied to the work I do. Because how else am I supposed to create fictional characters that feel real without soaking in all that life shit from actual real people?

And that’s the hate side of things sometimes. I can’t just go out every Friday, sometimes I need to slave to the words because I’m already at capacity. Instead of overflowing from collecting, I need to drain a little off the top. Or the bottom I guess.

Either way, it’s like a sick form of bulimia being a collector of information from the world and then using it to inform an entirely new world. Binge and purge.

People who get me understand when I disappear that binge-purge is likely the cycle I’m going through.

So now I’m in NaNo and I’m not sure I really need the word-count accountability anymore. I love my process. I like taking a day off to refill the cup then shoot it down the next day only to vomit it all out onto the page in grand fashion the next.

Writing everyday isn’t a problem for me anymore. But sometimes I need to mix up what I write.

Once I broke through my own proverbial glass ceiling – finishing just one - there was no stopping me to keep going. Using NaNo like I used to seems unnecessary. So I’m flipping it over to the B side and using the challenge the way I need to in order to type The End once again.

Character and story development has me just over halfway on word count. Funny. Even though I’m not thinking I need the NaNo challenge with this book I might just harness my third win anyway.

But I’ll never get to that point unless I force myself to love words today and go write some about my characters.

You bet your ass that means I’ll be copy-pasting all 1350ish words from this blog in at the bottom of my manuscript. December is for edits!

Just kidding. I won’t even cheat that bad.

• • • • • • • • • • •
In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

This Will Last for 1461 Days, and then a Lifetime

I tried, really hard, to stay up last night until the results came in on the last few states. Instead of making it through, Matt and I went to bed, fingers almost literally crossed, that the outcome didn’t play out as it appeared.

As I slumbered, I dreamed of Wisconsin. Of New Hampshire and Maine and Pennsylvania. I imagined that, when I woke up today, my fears about the state of our union were fruitless.

I was fucking wrong.

But, then, I’m a woman so I’m usually wrong. A liar. A criminal. Right?

For everyone who voted for the Republican candidate for President, congratulations. Your candidate won.

The schoolyard bully took what he wanted, by presenting zero plans for why he wanted it in the first place and even less of a plan for what he planned to do once he got it. Except some vague promise that he would make our country great again.

Because all that mattered to the man was that he won. There was nary a consideration for what would come from the 1461 days the office would be occupied. There were no plans laid out of how to get there (wherever there is). No clear-cut paths to pulling the country out of this hole we’re allegedly buried in right now. Being un-great.

Policy, foreign or domestic? No need to share those plans with the country you’re going to represent because, in your own words, we should blindly “believe me” that it’s going to be “tremendous.”

Life has shown me in my short 43 years on this planet that people who say “trust me” or “believe me” with a level of frequency, generally can’t be trusted or believed.

But none of that matters. We’re going to be great.


And that’s the real issue for me. The writer in me thinks words are the most important form of communication. I also know that nothing said in a presidential race is done without careful consideration. Every word is used to affect/effect change.

So now I sit here thinking of the republican campaign slogan. The one printed up on so many hats, tee shirts, bumper stickers donned across this country. The one that actually managed to get that guy a boat-load of blind sheep following him right into the proverbial gas chamber.

Four tiny words. Ending with the word ‘again’.

To say ‘again’ means that something has already happened and the same thing is going to happen another time. Perhaps multiple times but at the very least, twice. Need more? Here are some examples of how to use the word ‘again’ as we all wake up this morning to hear the news:

- I’m throwing up again (meaning, I already threw up at least once).

- She lost her access to healthcare again (And if she gets pregnant, that lazy bitch had better not try to live off welfare now that we’ve removed literally every other option for her because she can't get birth control OR an abortion. Ha ha!).

- My gay friends are celebrating their anniversary again.

Oh wait, no they’re not.

In fact, after this result, most people I know and spend time with will never be the same.


Because I keep going back in my mind over the last 240 years of history in this country, trying to pick out the time period when we were great for the first time. As a collective nation. As democracy became a thing and hearken back to that point in time when we were all treated as equals.

Like I said, the ‘again’ can only be used if there was a first time occurring.

And truly? I can't come up with one single time period that all people were treated as equals. Let’s consider a brief overview of the base history of this nation:

The world is flat.
The world is not flat.
I can sail to India.
You landed in Florida.
That’s okay, we can send hundreds of people to the place I just "discovered."
Uh, people already live there.
No problem, genocide is cheap!
You want to wipe out an entire population so you can have religious freedom?
Sure but really I just want more than I had before. Land! Freedom from tyranny unless I'm the tyrant!
So, what’s theirs is yours because you have the guns?
And now that you “own” all this land, what’s the plan?
Why, get rich of course.
The homeland wants their cut.

Systematic decimation of the Native people’s entire culture.
Industrial Revolution.

You forgot to include the war on, well, everything (which of course has brought more of that thing into the country) and you also forgot some teeny tiny issues like slavery, literal witch hunts, racial profiling.
Oh yeah but nobody cares about all those losers anyway because us white dudes rule!
Uh, the majority of the population no longer looks like you, talks like you, thinks like you.
Yes. They do. We proved it last night. We win! Again!

So in my very truncated history of time in this country there is one glimmer of promise in what we might see ‘again’ – a time when white, male, aristocrats got rich. er.

Well shit, as a female I can’t wait until all the men make all the money! Take back their formerly great country again!

In fact, I think I’ve been looking at this all wrong.

If the men are the only ones making money we ladies can go back to the days where we had nary a care in the world. Our dinner was always on the table because we put it there. With a huge fucking smile on our face and a bow in our hair. We didn’t need concern ourselves with silly things like paying bills, not desiring sexual advances, having jobs.

Ah hahahahaha!

We don’t work outside the home. That's what men do. We don’t do anything unless it serves our man.

Our rich, white man with the terrific job that is so difficult and complex he needs to have sex with his secretary to take the edge off.

Is this a 1984 comedy flick or the real world? 

Oh, or are you upset because I generalized an entire segment of the population into a stereotype you don't like very much? Wait, that can't be right. Republicans don’t care about that stuff, they have generalized every segment of the populace so saying shit like that out loud definitely shouldn’t bother them. Right?

Then again the bully really hates being called out. And he will make up whatever rhetoric he needs in order to discount every single one of our logic based views. I’ll likely be strung up and burned at the stake any minute now.

So as I consider all of the above facts I want to share three thoughts to conclude this article:

As defined, Democracy - a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges – is very likely over in this country for real because ALL citizens will not be afforded that equality of rights necessary to live up to the term. Don't believe me? Read all about the dude about to become VP.

Get your honey-lemon tea ready Charles Schumer, we really need your long-winded conversational skills now more than anything.

A huge majority of people reading this article will have no clue who Chuck is, why that last statement matters, or how politics actually work in this country. But congratulations anyway because that shit no longer matters. The soon-to-be POTUS doesn’t know either.

Hate breeds hate. And a country driven by hate is where we all started out to begin with. Back in the early days of this country and this presidential campaign.

Now here we are. Again.

Or, perhaps, in this case, still.

• • • • • • • • • • •
In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Defining a Generation

I tried to stop it, this creeping feeling that I have to say something about the election, but I literally can’t avoid those words anymore. Not after last night.

As a writer, a documenter of the human condition, and a person who generally tries to operate from a place of logic, I feel that sitting back to simply watch it all unfold is, at this brief moment in time, a useless waste of my voice.

So here I am. And here you are too.

Maybe you’re here by mistake. Maybe by some miracle Google actually brought you here through a search and you have no idea what this blog is all about, who I am, how long I’ve been sharing my snarky opinion with the interwebs.

Or maybe you’re one of the people I know and love and you’re going to agree with everything I say here because we have similar views on the world and the people who inhabit this planet.

Regardless of who you are and what your political views might be, I hope you’ll stick with me through to the end and leave an informed comment if you should choose. I welcome debate. I do not tolerate hate, bullying, or meme-based “facts.”

While watching the debate last night nothing particularly mind blowing or shocking occurred. He talked, she talked, he lied, she tried not to laugh, she attempted to make points, he stalked around interrupting her at any chance he got, she tried to at least touch on some type of answer to the questions the audience members asked (sometimes), he proved he has no idea where or what Syria/Aleppo are and gave an actual answer to only one question all night (despite repeated attempts by both moderators to force his hand)– what do you respect in the other candidate.

As I listened to the words pour out of their mouths, I started doing math. Someone who is just eligible to vote today was born in 1998. Two years before Bill Clinton was voted out of the presidency.

Wow. Way to make myself feel even older.

Because the first term for, then Governor, Clinton was my first chance to vote. 1992. I was 19 years old. It feels like a freaking lifetime ago now but, still, I can remember my level of excitement at having the chance to vote in the next POTUS election.

My vote mattered! I was making a difference!

And you bet your ass I voted for Bill.

Because he was progressive. He was just a dude who thought he could unite our country under a common goal of reducing our deficit and lightening the hell up. Loosening the collar we’d tightened around ourselves to the point of a total loss of American air. He wanted to show that a President could be a human. That they could bring back fun.

And I was 19. That’s pretty much all I cared about or knew about at that age.

He seemed more like me, an average person with issues of my own, not just an old rich guy I couldn’t even understand or relate to. Not a guy who I felt fearful he could lose it one night and push “the button.”

I felt so confident that he could fix our country. Though, at 19, I had no idea what was even broken about it. I just knew he sounded really sure of himself and his eyes told us he gave a shit.

Because, and I’m being brutally honest here, I didn’t know a freaking thing about politics, how it worked, or what the hell I was doing. But I voted for him and then he won! Imagine how proud I was, that I had something to do with him being elected. I DO make a difference!

After that election I learned about red states, blue states, electoral college, crusty old politicians and how nothing actually happens unless they orchestrate it into existence. I learned my vote doesn’t matter as much as I originally thought, that, of course Clinton won my state because I lived in Massachusetts.

Fast forward all these years later to an older and (hopefully) wiser (or at least jaded enough to look at all the facts on both sides of the coin) me. I’m a bleeding heart living in a state that pours red from its very core.

I am the obvious political minority in Arizona. No matter who I vote for other than a Republican my choices are all but guaranteed to lose. There’s no hope for another candidate.

Or is there?

The AZ Republic publically denounced support for the Republican candidate (RC) and threw all their support behind the Democratic candidate (DC) for the first time in over a century.

And that was before RC’s pro-sexual assault tape was released.

But even here in our state where it’s guns for everyone, tent city for criminals, quality public education for nobody (AKA: the polar opposite of the place I grew up) even the Republicans are finally asking “what the actual fuck is wrong with that guy?????”

And with good reason. He has shamed, belittled, marginalized almost everyone on the entire planet with the exception of (hate to say it even if it’s true) rich, white people. And again, I almost hate to say it but at this critical time in our human history we need a leader who actually gives a shit about ALL people, not just the ones who can help that leader make more money or so they can say “I WIN!!!!”

All of us are so wrapped up in the he lied-she lied battle we’re missing the bigger picture.

The human race being the most important point of contention. Because, hello, without humans all that fighting over walls and emails is completely moot.

The Earth’s resources are dwindling, our food supply is being Frankenized, energy options are ignored instead of explored. While they orchestrate this glamorous meme-driven puppet show, the human race is literally imploding and everyone is so busy calling him a misogynist and her a liar, they’re too blinded to notice.

But that brings up a point.

I’d like to share a few definitions for words that have come to mind over the past 6 months or so while watching this debacle unfold because I believe being informed means turning a critical eye on all candidates.

Their pros and cons at being professional con artists.

Democracy - government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. <-- words to note: vested in the people.

Narcissist - a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish. <-- every politician with Presidential aspirations because you pretty much have to be one in order to have desire to “run” the free world.

Demagogue - a person, especially an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people. <-- words to note: arousing prejudices.

Egomaniac - psychologically abnormal. <-- for more, see narcissist.

Liar - a person who tells lies. <-- so let’s be honest, everyone’s pants are on fire.

Remorse - deep and painful regret for wrongdoing; compunction. <-- saying sorry doesn’t cut it, you actually have to mean it.

Apology - a written or spoken expression of one's regret, remorse, or sorrow for having insulted, failed, injured, or wronged another. <-- deep and painful regret isn’t something a politician can afford to show otherwise they’re deemed “weak.”

Misogyny - hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women, or prejudice against women. <-- don’t try to tell me this doesn’t apply because the extensive and exhaustive ringer DC has been put through has everything to do with her vagina and sheeple being afraid to admit that’s why they don’t like her.

Fact-check - to confirm the truth of (an assertion made in speech or writing), often as part of the research or editorial process. <-- a useless job in this election because nobody cares if it’s true, just how they feel about the story they read on Facebook, because that is considered research.

Historic –I’m straying from the actual definition to remind everyone that no matter who wins, this election will be historic. One party presents the first nominated female in history. Another party presents the first nominated non-public service member/military member in history. If any of the other parties win their states it would be another historical first.

That is the most important thing to remember in all of this: no matter how uncomfortable you are with change, it’s coming no matter what so suck it up buttercup, wake up and pay attention.

When the debate wrapped up I think it’s safe to assume most people turned their attention to the Sunday Night Football-esque commentary, as spouted by the people who were there to cover the debate and report back to you their thoughts on how it all went for both candidates.

AKA: Their skewed, flawed, and human perspective of how the candidates did (based entirely on which channel you happened to watch).

But not me. Nope. I turned my attention back to the candidates in question.

Want to know what I saw?

One candidate stepped further into the circle, shook hands with the people who came to listen and ask their questions of the candidates. The other candidate made a beeline for his family and, RC didn’t attempt to shake a single hand until the people came to him. He just allowed his family to cloak him, shielding his tremendous ego from all the people looking for real answers.

Even Chelsea flipping Clinton made her way over to every single one of his kids, shook their hands and smiled at them. They stood and shook her hand then Chelsea moved on while the gorgeous reality TV stars stood statue still talking to no one else but each other. Unless someone came to them.

There were 30 or so UNDECIDED voters who were right there, accessible, and willing to listen to both of you spit your rhetoric for 2 hours. They were there to make a decision. And maybe most of them don’t know where Syria is either but they do know where RC is.

He’s up in his tower made of money and gold, looking down on the little people. And I’m not being snide when I say I truly believe that he believes the little people are everyone besides him and his family.

He proved it last night by avoiding everyone when he had a golden opportunity to turn public opinion.

Maybe he’s scared because he actually has to be a politician, something he seemed shocked to have to say about himself, but if he actually wants to win over more voters than DC (the electoral college consists of 538 people, including women, FYI), he needs to do some miraculous damage control.

Pretty tough to do when you don’t understand that the first person you should have made a beeline to talk to was the woman who asked the question about Islam-a-phobia. Talking to her, taking an interest in that one person would have been damage control on so many levels: immigration policy fanatics, Muslims, women. But he shanked it by literally turning his back on those UNDECIDED voters to talk to his kids.

At the very least go talk to Anderson Cooper or, better yet, Martha Raddatz so you can clearly demonstrate how you don’t care who got to talk more because you’re classy and a friend to all women, especially those in powerful positions.

He failed to do that and meanwhile DC worked the crowd like a pro. Admittedly she has years of political experience so that shit comes naturally to her. But the fact is RC has been a public figure (if not in public service) for decades. Talking to people shouldn’t be a big deal to someone who dubs himself as that famous.

There’s less than a month until the election. I don’t care if you’re voting for either of the major party candidates, a mid-sized party candidate, or writing in “your mom” on the ballot this year. The most important thing of all is to get yourself informed.

Study. Research. Read. Learn.

Learn about all of it. Every point of contention, every issue that matters to you as a HUMAN and vote your conscience once you have all the facts in hand. Those facts being real actual plans for what any or all of the candidates hope to try to get done while they hold the highest level of public service in the country.

The fate of our nation lies in our hands. It is high time we learned about all the issues and stopped defining ourselves in limited Democrat or Republican terms and started investing in ourselves as humans first and foremost.

Educated humans.

• • • • • • • • • • •
In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

I Feel Like We Were Just Here

And by “here” I mean, me, on the blog, announcing the release of a another new title.

Because that’s also the last thing I shared a month or so ago. Normally that would mean this post was full of apologies, swearing up and down that I’ll never disappear for that long again, that I really want to blog and plan to make a concerted effort to get back over here and load up on the snark.

But not this time.

Why? Because this time was all about getting my job done. And it felt so good I think I’m just going to keep doing that. When I completed the final edits on my most recent title, Carol + Chad 4-eva!, I actually gave myself a high five in the middle of my living room.

Two titles in two months! Thwap! <-- That’s the sound of my hands meeting high above my head to congratulate myself on the dedication to getting it done.

Let me tell you, when working this hard to release two titles in two months a lot of stuff falls away. Like communication with people, spending time outside my house, exercise, and this blog…

Of course that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss being snarky. Or that I don’t miss blogging. Because I do. I so desperately want to share my long-winded thoughts on any or all of the following:

  • The 3-ring circus people are still referring to as this year’s election. (So. Many. Posts.)
  • My very strong feelings on the term “mansplaining” (hint: give me a fucking break).
  • Pumpkin spice taking over the whole damn world and why I fear this phenomenon.
  • How much I miss food in the northeast and why I want a vacation just to eat pizza.
  • The debacle our upcoming vacation is turning out to be (but this story is funny).
  • That everyone who says “you can’t mess up with chalk paint” are wrong.
  • How many fucks I give about Brangelina’s break up (hint: as many as Aniston).
  • Why Toyota’s spokesperson (the idiot man) makes me embarrassed to own my Corolla.
  • A recent moment where I turned into a sheeple and my inability to stop it.
  • The Patriots work ethic and how Bill Belichick inspired artwork in my office.
  • Why it pisses me off that these whipper snappers have to steal ALL of our stuff (the clowns? Really? That’s the scary thing you’re going to revive from my childhood? Note to those idiots: there never were any clowns in my day, it was all about keeping kids from taking candy from strangers. You’re doing it wrong. RU-mor, morons, it was all about fear based on believable rumors. But I guess in my day we didn’t have snopes or knew what an urban legend was.)

As you can see based on the tangent I spiraled into on that last point, I definitely miss getting my opinion based snark out for all 4 people who actually read this blog anymore.

So, in an effort to get all the books done so I can get back to doing what I love – running my mouth/fingers about all that crap on the list up there – today I share with you the brand new book available through Saturday for FREE DOWNLOAD on Amazon:

Carol + Chad 4-eva! a novelette

Shy girl Carol Williams meets her dream guy in high school but her heart is shattered when Chad dumps her after only one month. Years later, Chad wants to reconnect. Is it a case of fate? Or will Carol make a fatal mistake?

Normally $1.99, and going back up to that price on Sunday, you can go get your FREE copy here: right freaking now!

A brief about this book…

It runs just shy of 15,000 words.
The format is diary style entries written by Carol.
Her friends and family are prominent characters through Carol’s eyes.

Did I mention it’s free through Saturday?

Go download a copy now and don’t forget to review it on Amazon!

Thanks folks, and now, back to work!

• • • • • • • • • • •
In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

It’s Book Release Day!

I didn’t think this day would ever arrive. In fact, last year in November when I started, and stopped, the first draft of Reckless Mind twice, it actually felt like I might leave the whole series dangling like a participle.

Nothing seemed to resonate. Nothing sounded right. Shaw’s story wasn’t seaming up in the way I’d planned and I didn’t know what to do.

So I let the thing fester in the dark corners of my brain while I worked on other stuff. I started a short fiction (novelette length) which is nearing completion now too. I started another book that it’s too early to talk about. I wasn’t writing what I wanted to write but at least I was writing.

Then in March something clicked. Apparently, all the time I spent “not working” on Reckless Mind was nothing more than working on it after all! I sat down and opened a new document. I brought JJ back right away. First chapter in fact.

And it all seemed to fall into place from there.

See, Shaw McLeary takes off for Seattle, WA in this third installment. She needs to spend time out of her natural environment in Phoenix because JJ and all the lingering drama that resulted from her assumptions about him, all live in Phoenix.

Shaw needs to see her mom. She will begrudgingly see her sister as well.

Escape, of course, is fleeting. Isn’t it always for her character? This time around, though, her mother becomes a suspect in a suspicious death and Shaw is going to need as much help as she can get to clear Betty’s name.

And she might get even more help than she bargained for when an unexpected surprise shows up on her doorstep.

And this might be Shaw’s last appearance.

Well, to be truthful, it is her last appearance as far as I’m concerned right now. I can see her story continuing but I’m just not entirely sure I’m up for writing it right now.

Remember those other projects I just mentioned that I started while waiting for Shaw to tell me what she needed to do? Well, two of those projects are mere weeks away from The End!

But let’s not focus on that right now because


Have you read Reckless Abandon and Reckless Hearts?

If not you can find them on my amazon author page here.

If so then what are you waiting for?

Go and pick up your copies of Reckless Mind A Shaw McLeary Mystery #3 at these links:

And now back to your regularly scheduled ranting…

• • • • • • • • • • •
In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

“Started out Clean but I’m Jaded”

I have to be honest here, this post is one of those long winded rants where I talk about everything and nothing at the same time. Where I tie in all the issues plaguing an entire country, world, and bitch about something I can’t ever fix on my own.

Where I also become a hypocrite, doing the same thing I’m questioning about society. Sigh.

After all, a blog is supposed to be nothing more than a marketing tool, right? Stuffed with all the things people search for on Google so it wins in page rank. Nothing about the actual words matter other than their ability to drive traffic.

Then somewhere near the end is where I’m supposed to tell you all what to do next – subscribe to my newsletter, buy my book, be a better human by being more like me by supporting my career!

Isn’t that what all of us online business people are trying to say, after all?

I mean, without selling books I don’t have much of a career and, these days, it’s all but impossible to sell unless you have a full online presence. And so I do. Just like everyone else, trying desperately to convince you and the rest of the world just how very awesome we all are so you read our stuff, invest in our coaching, buy our books…

Buy into our “unique” perspective.

The one that happens to sound as generic as every band to come out during the Everclear/Third Eye Blind/Gin Blossoms/Goo Goo Dolls/Better than Ezra years. I sometimes get all of those bands from the ‘90’s confused with each other because they all sound pretty similar.

Ah yes, the music of my bitter, jaded, cynical generation is there to point out one very important fact – everyone is exactly the same. Nobody has a unique twist. But, these days, as long as you’re loud and in-your-face enough, masses of people will listen to everything you have to say. As if somehow that one opinion is the one we should all adopt, you know, to be different.

Um, what?

Aren’t we supposed to be authentic? Unique snowflakes of personality so when the people come they will know who we are in an instant?

How can any of us do that when we’re all trying to be authentic in the exact same way?

These days, anyone with a cell phone and an internet connection can record and share anything they like. When we listen to all of it there’s nothing but a big line of white noise ringing in our brains.

Listen/read then, just as quickly as we found and raved about the thing, forget it and move on. Never to return to the original again.

I’ve decided this is the “SQUIRREL!!!!!!!!!!!!!” theory of modern society.

The question, of course, is this: at what point does it depart from snark to outright bitter and devolve into a spiral of fear mongering, anger, uninformed “opinion based fact” because in truth nobody seems to take the time to look anything up anymore. At least, not past the first page of Google.

For one thing, the Republican presidential candidate has now done all the same shit that the Republican party chastised others for doing back in 2003. Back then, one single sentence was enough to almost kill the career of a band. Today, a man is revered, celebrated, encouraged, to question the President and more.

It’s easy to become a candidate for President these days, just refuse to release your tax returns, negatively stereotype everyone to prove how awesome you are, prove that being a hypocrite is an asset in modern politics, and you’re in!

Let’s make America the nation it used to be? Which time? The time we complained that foreigners were taking all our jobs, or, the time all the companies started taking the jobs away from Americans and outsourcing them to foreign lands without most of us even noticing it happened?

A quote from that article I just linked really got me thinking:

“It is essentially capitalism versus socialism in disguise – the government needs to keep the capitalists happy because they bring in the money and drive the economy, but it needs to keep the people happy because, after all, thats what governance is about.”

Is it? I mean, the tiny point missed in all of those words, the between-the-lines if you will, is that capitalists are bringing in money from other places, Americans aren’t making enough so they can run around spending all theirs, and the economy is a disaster because the people definitely aren’t happy.

Is 13 years too long ago to remember how an entire political party has flip-flopped? I guess it is when the majority of people clamoring for their ten seconds of fame were too young to pay attention when all that went down with the Chicks.

I mean, hell, the internet meme world basically got started by using just 2 little words:

“Thanks, Obama.”

Because, after all, the entire world’s problems are obviously the fault of just one man.

The “real world” is so real these days that it has gone full circle back to fantasy.

You know what I mean?

“Real” housewives. Random people posting their moment-to-moment experiences on any given social media platform. Check out my perfect life! The one that’s so hard because I just don’t know how to spend all this money I have. I think the entire world should see just how fucked up I am and why my problems should mean more than someone else’s who can’t afford a TV crew to film their life.


When did educating yourself to facts take a backseat to scripted reality? And since when did wardrobe take a front seat over talent and ability?

Even the Olympics are steeped in the drama that everyone seems to need in order to keep them interested in anything anymore. Why aren’t there any stories about how long shot put has been practiced as an Olympic sport, the years of training it takes to compete at that level, etc.?

Why? Because that shit is bo-ring to society. There’s no tooth in shot put. But the rise and fall of people? For instance, discovering a shot put competitor flipping the bird to a paparazzi? Bring on the negative reporting!

We like to set up gods with the full intention of toppling them. And they gladly fill the role even though they know what's coming. Controversy sells. Controversy keeps people talking. You have to be somebody before they can decide to turn you into someone else. And by “they” I mean the internet.

Test the theory. Next time you’re at a party strike up one of these two conversations:

The men’s Olympic shot put record hasn’t been broken since 1988.


Did you get a look at Michelle Jenneke’s boobs this week? I hear she might run track or something.


Which one of those conversations do you think is going to last longer?

Another case in point, there are countless people commenting on the Democratic candidate’s wardrobe. Which you know makes me mental because, really? That’s the takeaway? Her pant suits are too, something?

Don’t dress like a man because people will think you’re an uptight bitch, but don’t wear something that shows your body, you slut. Boys can’t concentrate in school when your shoulders are showing so cover up or the men won’t learn enough about how to make all the decisions from the teacher who just spent half of her paycheck on supplies you’ll squander.

I personally care about her wardrobe as much as I care if the Republican candidate’s hair and tan are real. Neither of those things has anything to do with being the figurehead of one of the (quote) most powerful countries in the world (end quote).

But these are the things people focus on. These are the things that make someone a “good” candidate for President. Because nobody wants facts anymore. Nobody knows how to research. Our snap judgements are based on the shit we read in social media. Online. In the “real” world.

It stinks that sources and resources are so skewed and biased even when they claim not to be. Because getting informed ends up meaning reinforcing an already existing opinion as opposed to opening up room for understanding and acceptance of the opposition.

And as most of you probably know by now, I will never claim to be unbiased. I have my opinions and just as I’m not likely to change yours, you’re not likely to change mine.

And so it goes, which I’m sure is a direct factor in why we care about the meme worthy events over other more poignant moments that define character, not caricature.

So I’m going to stick to fiction from now on. Books. Movies. Television. Because the truth is that I was shaped by a bitter, jaded, cynical generation. And I’d rather spend my escape time in an actual land of imagination and fantasy.

Sure beats “reality.”

Title quote from Matchbox 20 Bent.

• • • • • • • • • • •
In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.