Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Is there anything worse than a . . .

    Check my tabs for info about my book, "The Golden Sky" and a chance to enter the iPad2 giveaway.   

    The dog disappeared down the darkened hallway.  The atmosphere dripped of greed and death.  I knew I shouldn't go closer, but my bedroom rested at the end of that hall, and sometimes the best part of the day is when I get some sleep.
     So, defying my own intuition and fighting the good fight, I walked closer.
    Have you ever been someplace where you shouldn't have been?  I have, like the time I dated a younger guy with a big butt.  Well, this reminded me of that time--just scarier!  It was like every horror flick I've ever seen (I've only seen two).  But seriously, I was alone, in the dark; I'm a girl AND I HAD SHORTS ON!  If you're watching a movie and the girl is alone and she's wearing shorts, or just her underwear, you know she's going to die.  It's practically the kiss of death.  So, if you're a woman, LISTEN UP; don't walk alone in the dark, in your underwear--especially outside, Hollywood AND statistics say that's a bad idea!

    Anyway, I worried for my dog then.  That husky is never quiet.  She's always wild and crazy.  Something must have happened to her . . . in the hall, with the collar.  

    I stepped closer, completely worried.


    Darkness consumed my thoughts.  Why hadn't we gotten the stupid light fixed?  Why hadn't I locked the back door?
    Now I couldn't see a damn thing and our dog was in trouble!
    My dog's life flashed before my eyes.  She'd been such a cute puppy--she still was.  We've only had her a few months, but she makes life fun.  
    Who cares if there was some dog-killing villain in the hallway--I have a shotgun--if that jerk hurt my dog, he would pay, redneck style!
    A noise hit my ears after that--a terrible sound one makes while exhaling a final breath!  
    I wanted to call her name.  Luna? I whispered with my heart.  Was she okay?  But I kept my concern in.  I wouldn't let the killer know my exact location.
    I didn't shake.  I didn't even seem fearful, just mad.  
    If there's one certain thing I've learned about people, it's that you don't make a mother OR A PET OWNER mad.
    I rushed to where my dog must be.
    Then a smell enveloped me, burning my eyes and nose.  I knew something BAD had happened.  Worse than darkness, worse than death because there's nothing more disgusting, more vile . . . than a dog fart--truly--unless you're in a dark hallway with it and you're wondering if it's more than it seems.  
    So, that last breath, it came from the wrong end.  And there wasn't enough light to check for poop on the floor.  My dog licked my face after that.  She had no idea I'd almost had a heart attack! 
    She was alive, which was amazing, but I'm willing to say, it was still a rocky start to the night.  Thank God it's morning now!

    Have you ever gone through something like this with a cat or a dog?  Is there anything worse than dog farts?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Review of "A Not So New World" By: Patrick Hatt

    Patrick Hatt is a natural storyteller.  I had so much fun reading "A Not So New World."  Between his amazing descriptions, fantastic characters and gripping plot, I could not put this down.
    He has this wonderful way of pulling the reader in so they can envision everything.
    I even read several sections of this book to my girls and they loved it too.  They had a ball learning about the cat-shaped time machine, the intelligent main character, Jack, as well as the various people he met along his adventure.  His tough female friend, Emily was also a plus since the Scribe practically said a prayer wishing to be as brave as Emily is.
   "You should have named me Emily," she said later.
   "Why?" I asked.
   "Because now I really like that name."
   The Hippie jumped into our conversation then.  "Mama, could I make one of those time machines too?  I'm sure I could have an adventure."
    "Well . . . you can try," I said and she smiled so big you wouldn't believe it.
    But I think one of my very favorite things about the book, is the fact that I've been reading Pat's blog for awhile, and this book had so much of him weaved into the plot and even the characters.  I LOVED that the time machine was shaped like a cat.  And other references you'd easily catch if you read his blog.
    I also enjoyed reading how mysterious the new setting became once Jack used the time machine to escape his own death.  It was almost a mystery at points, and that's what kept me reading so quickly.  You will love the heroes/heroine in this book and hate the villains.
    This is a great read to just sit back and enjoy.  The ending came full circle, but still makes you curious about what will happen next.  I can't wait to tell my nephew about this book!
    Please check out Pat's blog if you have a chance: 

It's Rhyme Time

This is one of my favorite posts he's written:

A Different Approach To The Movie Couch!

 Thanks, Pat for letting me read this fun book!

Barnes & Noble carries this book; find a coupon here

What Kind of Man is Right for You?

    Having one daughter is a bit scary; having three . . . well, that's terrifying.  I hope they'll each marry a good man who's hardworking and kind.  But it's hard to know what will happen.  The Scribe has a knack for liking "winners."
    I'm sure she'll pick wisely when the time comes.  As for now though, the boys she likes might be trouble.
    Do you remember this story?

The Scribe's Blog Backfired

    Seriously, that kid was determined to have a boyfriend.  Things turned sour, and apparently she dated a boy, then broke up with him.  Now I'm paying the price because I'm getting pranked by a boy in a band.
    A mere blog wouldn't do this justice.  I wanted you to hear the messages for yourself.  Keep in mind, this kid is in fourth grade.  I'm shocked that he would call someone and talk about these things.  Call me a prude--a surprised prude--some nine-year-olds must know more than I'd suspected.    

   The dialogue is below the video in case it's hard to hear.

My notes are in white.

Me: We're here today to tell you about some very funny phone calls the Scribe has been getting.  They are crazy.  
   Well, here's the first one so you can hear how silly it is.

Voice mail: Saved message.

Boy from the Scribe's school (plugging his nose): I need to give the Scribe a message.  You know how you came into Build a Bra?  Build a Bra--that was witty (like Build a Bear), but why is he talking about bras?  Maybe I'll understand when the Zombie Elf is older.  Umm . . . you bought like ten bras.  K.  They're in, so you have to pay us thirty-five dollars.  Are you aware of that, 'cause I thought you were.
    So, yeah, pay us thirty-five dollars.  Call me back when you have the chance.  (This is my FAVORITE part of the phone call; listen to him backpedal.)  Umm . . . Actually, don't call me back.  
    'Cause . . . 
    'Cause we can't reach your call or messages.  K.  
    'Cause you . . . 
    just . . . got . . . pranked.  Thank you very much.  Bye bye.

Me: So that was the first of the phone calls.  Do you have anyting to say about that Scribe?

The Scribe: That was my ex-boyfriend.

Me: And why do you have an ex-boyfriend?

The Scribe:  I don't know.  I guess I was just young and stupid.

Me:  How young were you?

The Scribe: Second grade.

Me:  And what are you drawing here?

The Scribe:  I have no idea.  I'm trying to draw this little guy.

Me:  That's awesome.  Are you excited for Fishducky to see this?

The Scribe:  Yes, because I like this guy.  Isn't he cute?!

Me:  All right, we're going to listen to this other call.

Voice mail: Saved message.

The Second Grade Ex:  I just want to apologize for prank calling.  I know this is just a message, and I hope you're the kind of people who actually listen to their messages.  I'm not trying to make fun of you or anything, but some people don't even listen to their messages.
    One second . . . Cody!  Cody, stop talking to me.  Look in the mirror you tard!  
    Sorry about that, I don't think you even know Cody.  
    Shut up!
    Sorry about that.  Anyway, you know who this is.  If you get this message, please call me back.  I'm sorry for prank calling.

Me:  So this guy, I'm thinking, is not the kind of guy that the Scribe wants to marry.  But he is in a band.  Is that right?

Scribe:  Yep.  He plays the electric guitar.

Me:  Boy, and how old is he?  Ten?

Scribe:  Nine.  His birthday's in December like mine.

Me:  Wow.  Well, thanks for letting us share this part of your life Scribe.  And thanks for joining me on . . . EC Writes.

Scribe:  I am?

Me:  Yep.  Say "goodbye."

Scribe:  Goodbye.  See ya later!

    So, in closing, what types of people do you think your children will marry?  If you don't have kids yet, are you nervous about the people your siblings will marry?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turbo Driller and the Neutralizer

    I'm addicted to many amazing blogs, but I have to put one in the spotlight today.  This particular blog asks the funnest questions that really get you thinking.  For a taste of their awesomeness, please go here:

The DMS Wants to Know!

   On Saturday, they asked a very interesting question about superpowers.  Cade and I had been talking about this, and I couldn't believe the odds when I opened their prophetic blog and read their post!
    So, I started thinking about superpowers EVEN more--since it was fate.
    "You know how Captain America's gift is basically just what was already in his heart, but amplified?" I asked Cade and he nodded.  "Well, if that happened to you, I think you'd be Turbo Driller."
    He practically gave me "the eye."  The point is that Cade is a superintendent for a drilling company.  He can drill holes up to 200 feet deep, with a 16ft diameter.  Imagine if he fell into a vat of acid--he could drill to the center of the Earth!
   Not to get sidetracked, but I told him I was writing this post, and he wanted me to share these videos from work.  Please note, one naughty word is said during this first video.
    They blasted before drilling this particular hole.  You can tell they were pretty excited.  My husband got to plant the explosives himself.  

   Here's a video of him actually drilling after it had been blasted:

    The final depth of the hole was 40ft by 10ft diameter for a power line pole.  It took approximately 100 yards of concrete to fill.
     So, back to the point, I thought I'd given Cade an amazing compliment!  "Seriously, Turbo Driller, I can see your costume and everything."
    Well, if you haven't guessed, I told Cade all of that because I wanted to see what he thought I would be.  "Turbo Driller?" he said again.  "Why couldn't I be cool like Wolverine?"
    "Because we're talking about amplification!  Now that we know what you would be . . . Turbo . . . what would I be?"
    He smirked so big, I wished I could take the question back.  "You would be the Charmer.  I know what your outfit would be too."
    "Lame!  Plus, why the Charmer?  That sounds like a villain's name."  I pictured a man with a black top hat and a curly mustache.
    "Of course you'd be the Charmer and you'd be so happy no one could be mad at you.  You could swoon villains."
    --Let me just say those were his EXACT words.  He made sure I wrote that correctly.--
    "I don't want to be the Charmer.  But you can call me . . . the Neutralizer."
    "That outfit wouldn't be as cool."
    "But the name's much better.  Only jerks want to be called the Charmer."
    "Really?" he asked.

    That's my story for today.
                                        Signing off . . .

                                                            The Neutralizer

    On second-thought, I googled my name and this is the picture that came up:


     Maybe I should pick a different name.  

    Just not the Charmer.  That costume is even worse!


    I don't think Cade was thrilled with his outfit--at least the bottom section.

    So what would your superpower be if it was something about you, just amplified?  What would you call yourself?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dog Lady Returns

    Check my tabs for the iPad2 Giveaway and information about my book "The Golden Sky."

    Happy Birthday to Stephanie from, The Stephanie Connection.  You've been such a strength and blessing to my life.  Your encouragement and kind words have meant the world to me.  I don't know if I would have been able to finish writing "Bible Girl" without you.  I always look forward to reading your blog and your comments.
   Thanks for your friendship, and may you have an amazing day!
    Please go visit her here: The Stephanie Connection

    For the post of the day . . .
    Do you remember the Dog Lady?
    I've written posts about her before:

  1. Showdown with the Gunslinging Dog Lady

    To make a long story short,

    She brought a dog (that she thought was mine) to my house IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!  Turns out the dog was a boy--too bad mine was a girl.  Then, weeks later, although we didn't know each other well, the woman said I had beautiful children and asked if I wanted to be a surrogate mother--weird I know!  Then, she told me she had no eggs--and no nursing license (since the latter got taken away).  

     Now that you have some history, let me continue on with the story . . .
        I took Doctor Jones back to the pediatrician.  "She is getting better," he said.  "But just to be sure, we'll give her a steroid shot.  The croup is lingering more than it should."
         My other children cringed, because when you're a kid NOTHING is worse than getting a shot.  You could get held back in Kindergarten, forced to vacuum the whole house; you could miss seeing Santa at the mall

    . . . and still it wouldn't compare to getting a S-H-O-T. 
        "Why?" you ask.
        Because (as a kid once told me), "When you're little, shots are of the devil."
        But, back to the point.  Doctor Jones got a shot.  She acted brave and tough, then she curled into my brand new wool sweater and rubbed her snotty tear-streaked face across my collar. 
        We left after that, and I must admit that my older girls and boy cried harder than Doctor Jones did.  I tugged the Zombie Elf by his sleeve, then told my girls to stop crying and watch where they were walking.  My legs nearly gave out from exhaustion.  I thought my life might end because I was surrounded by four CRYING children.
        Then it happened, I saw an angel baby at two o'clock.  His mother pushed him in a stroller and I couldn't get over those baby cheeks.  "You have such a gorgeous baby!" I yelled, through my cyclone of children. 
        The woman didn't hear me.  I'd practically given what was left of my beating heart, JUST to tell her how gorgeous her baby was, and she couldn't even acknowledge my presence?
        "I said," a deep breath filled my lungs and my nostrils flared, "you have a GORGEOUS BABY!"
        So, I know it started off as a compliment and I was being nice, but didn't she understand, the Zombie was running in place (since I held his armless sleeve), Doctor Jones was wailing and my older girls weren't helping me at all. 
        I wanted to give the stranger a compliment.  Would it kill her to say "thank you?!"
        The woman turned then, you know the one who had a baby cuter than Zeus.  I'd kept looking at the baby, but as the woman turned, I swallowed my gum.
        I knew that woman!  Why hadn't I kept my stupid mouth shut.
        "Oh how nice to see you!" she gushed.  "This is my little boy."   
        "He's darling."  It was the truth. And now that she'd turned, I wanted to run.
        Had she found a surrogate mother?  Had she conceived?  I never found out because the Zombie Elf--who suddenly turned into Samson--pulled me away like a reckless train.
       "I'm so happy for you."  I waved goodbye, thankful for inhumane strength.
       "It was nice bumping into you," she said.  "Seeing all of those kids, though . . . wow, it's good birth control for me.  I only wanted one.  What were you thinking?"  She laughed, this insane talk-show host laugh.
        I should have screamed back, told her how there may be four of them, and they may be wild, but they're my zoo of crazies!  And even if they cover me in snot and pull me in different directions, I wouldn't trade them for anything!
       As we drove home, I couldn't quit wondering, had she found another woman who would give her their eggs?  If she had, the surrogate must have been beautiful! 
        I may always wonder, but at least I learned one thing . . . I should never compliment people unless I know who they are first.  Yeah . . . that's a good plan.   

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday eBook Extravaganza and How to Write Dialogue

Check my tabs for the iPad2 Giveaway and Blogfest. 
    I want to write about dialogue and how it's turned hilarious for me and my husband, but first, I need to tell you three things . . .

It's Black Friday, and
"The Golden Sky" is now an eBook!
Click HERE to include on your to-read list. 


    Its normal eBook price is 10.99, but for today (Black Friday) only, it will be $4.99 and 20% of the proceeds will go to help families who are suffering with infant loss.
To purchase it as an eBook or download a free sample, please go here:
    To purchase a physical copy of the book, please click this button:


     For a review about "The Golden Sky," a very helpful one was posted yesterday.

    Also, like I wrote in my previous post, two of my short stories were published in a Christmas anthology called "Christmas Lites."
    I hope you'll enjoy this sneak peek of the first story I wrote.
    The mint air swirled around me. I hate the stupid waiting room. I never know what The Receptionist will say. She has mile-high blonde hair, blue eyeshadow, bubblegum, and fake nails. The aquarium in the middle of the room is filled with miniature sea monsters from the cretaceous period. It’s not what it seems, though.
    I stared at everyone in the cluttered room and noticed the men next to me--they reeked of death.
    Wasn't it enough that I, Grace E. Garner, had died, perishing on Christmas day at the age of twenty-six? Now I was stuck in the same room with a bunch of physcos, a dead female televangelist (the Receptionist), and some monstrous fish. I wondered why the Receptionist worked there and not for Lucifer on the first floor.


    Dive into a world of variety—a world of spirit with this Creative Reviews anthology. What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with some short stories that entertain and encompass the true meaning of Christmas? All proceeds of this book will be donated to the NCADV. Debut authors and published authors have come together in this one-of-a-kind compilation—please help support a great cause and plunge deep into our imaginations.

"Christmas Lites" can be purchased through
    The last order of business, before I begin this post about dialogue, is that "The Golden Sky" blogfest has been going on for one week.  I've still been reading a few posts each day, and they are life changing!  Although, the Ipad2 Giveaway is still continuing, and the winner won't be announced until December 17th, I wanted to award the smaller prizes today.
A Mourning Mom
Have each won a physical copy of my book.

A Year On... Our New Beginning {hopefully}
Have each won an eBook version of my book.

Have each one a copy of my music CD.

In addition to those prizes, Tarah Scott has been generous
and contributed two of her books as prizes!
Have won those books.

    Thank you, everyone, for participating in the blogfest.  I'm still going to continue reading your posts.  They have brightened my holidays with hope.  Although life can be hard, your strength and perseverance are inspiring.

    And now, onto the post of the day.
    I've been polishing the prequel to "The Golden Sky," and I let Cade read it.
    Apparently, I have a hard time writing male dialogue.  Cade says that in one section his dialogue is all wrong because he sounds like a woman!  There's nothing quite like having a real live character complaining about how they talk in a book.  Note to self--ditch non-fiction. 
    Half of me is tempted to make it even worse, though.  I could have Cade talking about how much he loves romantic movies (since there is one he loved).  I'd like to see his reaction then--ha ha. 

    Welcome to . . . Male Dialogue.

    The other day Cade talked to me on the phone.  
    "I finished 'Bible Girl,' but you have my dialogue all wrong in one chapter.  I didn't say the word lovely.  I'm sure I said the mountains were nice.  I didn't say they were lovely."
    "I swear you'd say something like that."  I stifled a giggle.
    "I've never used the word lovely.  "
    "But you just said it, right now."  
    "I bet I said the mountains were nice."
    "Even though they were breathtaking . . . gorgeous?"
    He stayed quiet, a man of few words.
    "Seriously, would you ever use the word 'lovely' in a sentence?" I asked.
    "Well, what if you thought something was lovely, what would you say then?"
    "Like a lovely wedding dress, flower or something."
    He paused.  "I'd say it was nice . . . not lovely."
    "So that's your only beef with the male dialogue in that chapter?"
    "Yeah, I guess . . . Just don't use the word lovely when I'm talking."
    "'Cause tough guys don't use the word lovely?"
    "Exactly.  Tough guys use the word nice.  If it'll help, I can go through my dialogue and rephrase things to how I'd really say them."
    "Ummm . . . sure.  Thanks for your help."
    I'd had him go through the book to see if he could remember any more details from the past, I didn't think he'd notice something like that.  It's a good thing he did though.
    It suddenly felt strange.  Fiction writers never deal with this.  Yet I talked with a real life character from my books, and he was upset about misrepresentation!  
   How would you deal with this?  Of course I'll fix it and welcome any help I can get, but what would you do if one of your characters came up to you and complained about their dialogue?
    I guess writing non-fiction can be a good thing.  I learn more about my characters a.k.a. family and friends everyday. 
    As we ate Thanksgiving dinner, I hung onto every word Cade said.
    "What are you doing?" he asked.
    "Just listening to the way you talk . . . but my, it is lovely."
    "Right."  He laughed and took another bite of his mashed potatoes and gravy.  "So, lovely."
    I knew he'd use the word someday--I just knew it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

This Year An Angel Saved Thanksgiving

   Check the tabs to buy my book "The Golden Sky," enter the iPad2 giveaway or see the blogfest posts.

    Two of my short stories have been published in a fun Christmas anthology that will be released tomorrow!  Please check out the book "Christmas Lites" (on Amazon) if you have time on Black Friday. 
    Here's the beginning of one of the stories I wrote: 

    I’m a turkey and yes, I hate Thanksgiving. Why do 
people always ask me about the holidays? I hate them—
shocking, I know. Maybe you think I’m just stupid, or 
being an ungrateful, ornery cluck, but you’re wrong. 
I’m known for my bravery and keen insight. I'm a 
gobbler who knows right from wrong. I was raised by 
wolves. Trained by one-eyed chickadee ninjas! Other 
birds call me the Turkey Avenger—well, they would, if 
I could avenge a turkey.
    I had a ball with those stories (I'll give you a sneak peek of the other one tomorrow).  There's nothing like writing from the POV of a Turkey Avenger, even if he was just in training.

    The next order of business is that I'm going to have a HUGE sale on my book tomorrow for Black Friday.  That will be fun. 

    And finally, the most important thing I wanted to say

    We've had a rocky start to the holidays.  Doctor Jones, my one-year-old, has been sick.  I took her to the pediatrician yesterday and found out she has croup.  We were supposed to spend Thanksgiving with my side of the family today, but Doctor Jones's fever went to 102.5 and she's contagious.
    Anyway, yesterday we decided we'd have to stay home.  My older girls tried acting strong even if they did sob a little bit in the front room.  The Zombie Elf ran around like he was an airplane.  Doctor Jones coughed like a seal, so I took her out of the room and tried rocking her to sleep.
    "Poor, baby," I crooned.  "We'll get you better."
    My girls' crying died down and I heard them talking quietly.  
    "We don't have a turkey," the Scribe said.
    "We won't get to hang out with our cousins," the Hippie replied.
    They sounded so terribly sad.  I didn't know what I could do.  Various thoughts ran through my mind, but all of them involved going to the store and Doctor Jones was too hot for that.
    "You know what?" the Scribe said.  "I'm done crying.  Look at the Zombie.  He isn't sad.  These are the times that can make a person strong.  Hippie, I think we need to save Thanksgiving."
    Although I still held a hot coal baby in my arms, I wanted to laugh from the other room.
    "You're right," the Hippie said.  "But how are we gonna do that?"
    "Well, all we need are some homemade games and a turkey."
    "But Mama said we can't thaw one in time.  We can't even go to the store."
    "Don't you remember what's down the street?" the Scribe asked.
    "Oh, yeah!  The peacock farm!  That's perfect.  If we catch a peacock, it won't need to be thawed.  We can bring it home and mama won't even know the difference.  I bet she thinks turkeys look just like peacocks anyway."
    WHAT?!  Who in this world would confuse a turkey with a peacock.  Talk about the ugliest bird and the prettiest.  If they brought a peacock home, what was I supposed to think . . . It was the Aphrodite of it's kind? 
   "One problem, how would we get the peacock home?"
   Oh this would be good!  They didn't think it would be hard catching it?  That would be my first concern.
    "We'll put it in the basket on my bike.  It won't know it's dinner.  And if that doesn't work, we'll tie a long ribbon around it's neck and walk it to the house."
   So, that sounded wonderful from a kids' point of view.  It seems all cartoony and sweet, like this:
    In reality, do they even know how big a peacock is?

    "I can't ride my bike really great, though," the Hippie said.  
    "That's all right.  God is on our side.  I'll teach you how to ride, then we'll go get ourselves a peacock for Thanksgiving dinner!"
    The baby fell asleep at that point.  I covered her sweetly in her bed, and then went to talk with my girls.
    "Do you two want to make some games for tomorrow?  We can't have a turkey, though.  I'm so sorry."
    "But Thanksgiving . . ."
    "Say a prayer if you're really that serious.  I don't want you two sneaking off trying to wrestle a peacock."
    They just stared at me like I was physic.  "But you were with the baby.  How did you know our plan?"
    "I'm a mother . . . I know everything."
     "Even the difference between a peacock and a turkey . . ." The Hippie was stunned. 
    I loved the faces they pulled--especially this morning after realizing Cade brought a turkey home late last night.  It's in the oven right now.  Those peacock wrestlers keep turning on the oven light so they can stare at the turkey.
    "Did Daddy really bring this home?" the Hippie asked.
    "I'm not sure," I said seriously.  "When I woke up this morning, it was already in the oven."
    "Oh my gosh!" the Scribe said.  "An angel saved Thanksgiving."
    So, it will be a wonderful day after all.  We have family, homemade games and a turkey.  Now, if I just had some peacock feathers, that would be amazing.  Wouldn't that be funny to stick some feathers in the turkey's rear, right before I served it for dinner?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I saw my ex-boyfriend today

    Check my tabs to buy my book, enter the giveaway or see the blogfest posts.
 For an AMAZING review of "The Golden Sky," please go here: The Review Girl
    I didn't really see my ex today; I saw him last week.  The funny thing is that he didn't recognize me.

    But let me back up; I need to start this in a different place.
    I woke up really early that day.  Cade had to leave on a business trip, so I got up and for the first time in my life--practically--I did my hair and makeup.  
    After Cade got up (late), he didn't give me his regular goodbye.  He didn't even really look at me.
    Honestly, I don't know what I was looking for.  Maybe I just wanted him to stay a moment longer and wish he didn't have to go--who knows--I'm a woman--this emotional stuff confuses the crap out of me too!
    Regardless of that, he was in a hurry AND really stressed about work.  It was still hard though.  Instead of a kiss on the sassy, red lips, I got a peck on the cheek.  He hugged me halfheartedly, grabbed his boots, didn't even put them on and ran out the door.
    "Love you, Sweetie," he said.  "Your hair looks nice.  I wish we had more time, but I'm late."
    I was alone in the cold doorway.  The damn tank top I wore seemed terribly inappropriate, and I hate crying when I have mascara on.
    I watched him speed away.  The man didn't even wave because he was putting his boots on as he drove.  Now, looking from a regular person's point of view, he was late.  From a woman's POV--what the Hell was he thinking!
    The Scribe and Hippie woke up since I was clanging and shoving dishes into the dishwasher.
    "Wow," the Hippie said, and was so excited to see me all done up, she insisted on taking a couple pictures. 
    "So we can always remember you this way," the Scribe said.  
    That made me feel like my normal appearance sucks worse than pond scum.
    The point is that, these are the pictures she took:

    Maybe it's sad how I can fake "doing all right" even when I'm sad . . . I need to work on that.  At least my feelings always come out in my writing.

    And this is what I normally look like:
Minus the bill.  
P. S. Isn't Melynda awesome!  I LOVE that woman!
    You get the point . . . I hardly ever wear makeup.  My hair stays in a ponytail.  I'm just one of those fun-loving, natural girls who would rather spend hours writing, than fighting with a hair straightener.  Maybe I should do my hair every once in a while though--moderation in everything?  After all, I do have a theory that everyone can look nice, if they just try.  For some it takes a few minutes.  For me, it might take hours because I suck at applying base!

    So, back to the point, I thought Cade had lost that loving feeling.  He didn't call me.  He didn't notice my powdery skin!
    I ended up taking the kids to tumbling later that night.  The Scribe got out early and I took her over to the gas station to get a cookie.
    That's when I saw him, my ex.  He walked right past me, turned, glanced at me again and smiled.  THAT MAN had no idea who I was.  I mean, I'm not asking for an award or anything, but am I that unmemorable, or did I never wear makeup even then?  If he did recognize me, would it have killed him to say "hello?"
    Anyway, I didn't tell him who I was, or say "hello" either (because apparently I'm a hypocrite). 
    "Mama," the Scribe said, "who was that man?"
    "Just someone from a long time ago," I said.
    "He sure keeps looking at you.  I bet he remembers you, or thinks he knows you." 
    "He doesn't recognize me." I laughed.  "My hair isn't in a ponytail."
    We got the cookie, came back out and that man was still in his vehicle.  He looked at the Scribe, it was this strange look.  I still don't know if he recognized me, but that look he gave the Scribe and then me, like he'd always wondered what happened and finally had a sense of closure.  He nodded, smiled, then drove away.
    "He looked a lot like Daddy," the Scribe said.  "He seemed nice and happy, but I'm glad you picked Daddy."
    "Me too, even if he doesn't notice my makeup!"
    "Did all of the guys you knew, look like Daddy?"
    "Maybe some of the guys I dated.  But most of them were named Jonathan, Mike or Adam.  Seriously, if a guy asked me out, I knew he'd probably have one of those names."
    She laughed so hard.  "When Daddy told you his name was Cade, were you surprised?"
    "Oh, yeah," I said.  "It was almost a world record.  Plus he charmed his way into my heart.  He had a big black biker jacket.  He could play the guitar, oh and his voice . . . he used to sing all of the time and his voice could just carry you away."
    "Eew," the Scribe said and I stopped talking.  I missed Cade so badly then, I wasn't even mad about him rushing out the door earlier that day.  
    My phone rang as we got into the car.  "Hello?" I said.
    "I just got reception.  It was the longest day . . .  You looked so beautiful this morning.  What was the deal with that, you know I have to leave, so you got all dressed up to celebrate?  I bet you looked nice all day and I wasn't even home.  Who are you trying to impress, anyway?  You never dress up like that when I'm home."
    I smiled, this huge smile that wouldn't go away.  "You noticed my makeup?"
    "And you were feeling a little jealous?"
    "Oh yeah," he said.  "I have to leave, and you go make yourself look nice."
    I told him how I'd been feeling and we laughed.
    "So, after ten years, you still love me?" Cade asked.
    "Of course!  What about you?"
    "I saw my ex today," I said.  "I'm not sure if he recognized me, but he looked awfully happy.  I heard he recently got married.  I'm happy for him.  But he looked so happy, it made me wonder . . . are you sure you're happy with me?"
    "Yeah, why?"
    "It's just that when I go after something, I really go after it.  There's no halfhearted efforts from me.  When I tied you down . . . I really tied you down.  We've had five kids . . . a house by the time I was nineteen and you were twenty-two.  
    "That ex, well, he probably doesn't even have kids yet.  That could have been you."
    "And miss out on a life with you . . . never."
    It's one of the sweetest things he's ever said.  The day started out terrible; it turned into a mystery when I saw the ex (did he recognize me); but it ended with the best line ever.
    I guess everyone has times like this in their marriage, where both people just need a little extra attention.  
    The next time we go through this, I'm going to take a break from whatever I'm doing and see if there's something Cade needs.  
    I'd felt lonely, worrying about myself . . . I guess I didn't realize that Cade felt the same way too.

    Have you ever gone through something like this?
    Have you ever ran into an ex?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An Online Family

    Check my tabs to buy my book, enter the giveaway or see the blogfest posts.

   Onto today's post:

    Yesterday I got a package in the mail.  I'd talked with Fishducky a few days before.  She said, "I'm sending something to you.  Open the package when you're alone and then follow the instructions."  
    That sounded epic!
    So, when I saw the package yesterday, I felt like a spy.  But I had instructions to open that thing alone--my kids couldn't see it! 
    "Look over there," I screamed and pointed, using the oldest trick in the book.  All of my children looked out the window as I snatched the package from the porch and tip-toed up the stairs.  I shut my bedroom door and locked it after that.
    Life seemed so bright!  I had a package.  Plus, I don't think I've ever been in a room alone, not really.  Usually someone's hanging on my leg, or trying to wipe snot on me.  I'm changing diapers or cleaning milk off the floor. 
    I'm not complaining--not really--I'm just saying that sometimes change is nice, and my room seemed awfully quiet.
    So with shaky hands, I opened the package, and pulled out a note.  This is what I read:

Dear Elisa-

Please follow these step by step instructions:

1-There are 7 duck nose masks--one for each of your kids, plus one for Mr. P & one each for you & Melynda.  Give everyone a nose.

    I stopped right there.  I mean seriously--Fishducky is awesome.  Melynda (from Crazy world) and I are always saying that she's our kind of duck!
    I smiled and pulled a sack out of the package.  Yes indeed, there were 7 duck nose masks.  
    So, I read on:

2-Put all the other (5) animal noses on a table.  Tell the kids Fishducky said: EVERYONE PICK YOUR NOSE!!


    I called Melynda, and she brought Mr. P right over.  I handed them each a duck nose mask and this is what they looked like:

Melynda and I--ducks in training.

    I put all the other noses in a sack on the coffee table.  That's when the urge to tell a story overtook me.  
   Fine, I'll admit it; I've gotten good at B.S.ing my children.  
    "Once upon a time," I said.  "There was a man who was born without a nose."
    You should have seen Melynda's face.  That woman is A DOLL!  I bet she was thinking, "Oh no.  Where is this story going?"  
    "Yep, a nose-less man," I continued.  
    "Like Voldemort?" the Hippie asked.  "How sad."
    "No."  I laughed.  "Just a kind man . . . with no nose 
. . . or nose holes.  Sure he could hear better than anyone.  He saw the details and beauty of flowers since he couldn't smell them.  But that poor man refused to be happy the way he was."
    "Yeah," the Scribe giggled.  "'Cause he didn't have a nose!  That would suck."
    Mr. P started laughing then, these huge laughs that made me giggle.
    After a moment, we all calmed down.  "Well, he prayed to God, and the Lord took pity on him.  He sent down a stork . . . who carried this sack from Heaven."
    "Don't storks normally carry babies?" the Scribe asked, always calling me on my crap.
    "Fine . . . it wasn't a stork . . . it was a duck!"  That was witty AND it fit perfectly.  "It was a fishducky who carried this sack from Heaven."
    I opened the sack and set the noses on the coffee table.  "Do you know why God sent the sack to the man?"
    They all shook their heads, everyone except Melynda who tried not laughing as she looked at the table.
    "He wanted to let the man pick his very own nose.  The only problem was . . . He sent animal noses!"
    The kids didn't laugh, they didn't even smile.  They were in awe.
    "Cool," Mr. P whispered. 
    "So, children!  Fishducky sent these noses today, and she said, 'Everyone pick your nose!'"
    They were so excited.  The oldest ones rushed to the table, but the Zombie Elf looked confused.  
    "What's wrong?" I asked him.  "Come on, buddy.  Come pick your nose."
    He stayed sitting on the couch.  I watched as his finger went closer to his nostril . . . closer and closer.  
    "No!"  Realization dawned on me.  "Pick THIS nose."  I pointed at the table, and after seeing the noses, he seemed so relieved.  
    The children hovered around, and we went youngest to oldest.      
    Here are the noses they picked:
    The kids had so much fun, that the Zombie Elf even hugged his trunk as he went to sleep.
    "Mom," the Hippie said, "I felt bad for the nose-less man, but now I think he was kind of lucky."
    "Why's that?" I asked.
    "Because it's fun trying on different noses."
    That night when my kids said their prayers, the Hippie said she's thankful for her face, the Scribe said she's thankful for Fishducky, and the Zombie Elf said he's thankful for elephants . . . And me, well, I'm thankful for my online family, because that's really what a lot of you have become.

    We had a ball.  This is a memory we'll never forget!
                                                                           (a duck in training)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mixed Messages and How My Husband Almost Died

    Check out the tabs above this post for info about the iPad2 Giveaway, the blogfest and my book which has been released. 
    For a new review of my book, please go here:

The Golden Sky by E.C. Stilson

    Now, for the story of the day . . .
    I am not a construction worker.  I know this may shock you since I seem tougher than nails and stronger than Samson.  But, really, I hate to ruin the picture you had because once again, I am not a construction worker.
    This does surprise me a bit, still, because when I was a kid, I wanted to be a pastor or a drill rig operator.  Neither happened.  I sinned too much to be a pastor (which doesn't stop some people) and no one would hire me to drill.
    Back to the point; Cade asked if I'd go with him to the dump.  We'd take the dump truck and everything, so that's why I said, "Heck yeah!"
    When I was little, there was nothing better than going to the dump.  I didn't have to get out of the truck.  The whole time I visited with my daddy.  And then, at the end of the adventure, that sweet man would buy me a slurpee!  (That's a slushie, in case you didn't know.)
    Anyway, Cade drove us to the dump.  "Can we get slurpees on the way home?" I asked him.
    "Ummm . . . Elisa, why are you so excited about this?  And why are you asking permission?"
    "Because it's nostalgic, and we're in a genuine dump truck."
    He shook his head and tapped the wheel.  "Now pay attention.  When we get to the dump, I'll lift the back section, and you'll need to be in the driver's seat."
    "Yeah?" I said.  Was he serious?!  Did he think it was my birthday or something? 


    We were almost there.  "I'll show you some hand signals.  When one person's in the front and the other is back there, this thing is too hard to hear over."
    So, the man, who practically looked like Zeus with tan skin and bulging muscles, he showed me some hand signals.  "This one means backward, and this one means stop.  This means forward and this means turn, right and then . . . left.  This means cut the engine.  This means boom down."
    "Hold up, boom down?" my joy screeched to a stop.  He'd distracted me with his charm and plus, there was another problem. "Two of those signals looked exactly the same . . . and why do I need to know how to boom down?"
    So he did them again, like he was either deaf or the master of air kung fu.  "Did you see the difference that time?" he asked, pulling to a stop near a stretch of garbage.
    I absolutely did not, but I wasn't going to sound like an idiot.  "Well . . . yes.  Of course . . . I saw the difference."
    So Cade jumped out and I scooted in the driver's seat.  I sat there--it was epic.  Maybe if I did a good enough job, he'd say some great words about me and I'd finally accomplish my dreams . . . after years of sitting on my butt, writing, I'd finally become a construction gal.
    Cade motioned to me.  He looked so tiny and cute in the side mirror.  He'd pushed a button and lifted the dump section of the truck so garbage was about to slide out.
    He gave me a signal, so I pulled forward and hoped I'd done the right thing.
    I looked at him, completely worried.  Would he be proud?  Things moved in slow motion as I waited for his reaction, then reminding me of the ending in "The Mighty Ducks" or one of those sappy movies, Cade gave me a thumbs up.  
    Has anyone ever given you a thumbs up?  Well, let me tell you, it was better than drinking a slurpee in July!  Plus, I just knew, we might have some alone time later that night. But then he gave me another signal and that's when things went awry.  
    Did that mean stop or go?  Backward or forward?  To turn . . . or not to turn?  This is what it looked like:
    I went into reverse, 'cause that sounded right.  (Little did I know, the signal OF DOOM meant 'stop engine.')
    At that point, Cade starting doing all of the signals at once.  What in the heck did that mean?!


    I gawked at him.  Who would have known; he could have been a cheerleader!
    I watched as the dump lifted higher.  I stopped because I heard Cade cussing even over the sound of the truck.  "What the Hell?" he screamed.  "What the Hell!"
    I put it in park, turned the thing off and jumped from the truck.
    Cade gave me "the eye" as he stepped back, and his sandals sunk into something that didn't look edible.  His feet appeared stuck and that's when it happened.  The garbage in the extended truck-bed started to descend.  I knew Cade wanted to move, but his feet were glued to the filth beneath him.
    "Get out of there," I screamed because in life, hand signals are NOT the answer.
    He tried to move again, but barely got out of the way.  A bunch of garbage  landed in front of him.  A poof of nastiness went up in his face.
    "Ahhh," he screamed.  "Ahhhh!  When I tell you to go cut the engine . . . you cut the engine."
    "I DID cut the engine!"
    "After you poured garbage ALL over me!"
    He was so dirty, but still pretty dang sexy.  And that voice, he has a nice, strong voice.
    "So, this doesn't mean you'll ask the boss to hire me?"
    He just glared at me and stomped closer.
    "Do I still get a slurpee?"
    He looked at all the trash that had almost buried him, then stood like a peacock, one who might attack.
    "Do we still get alone time tonight?"
    He tried to be stern, but smiled then, this crazy smile that he gave me the time he proposed.  "Fine, you can get a slurpee.  And as far as tonight goes, we'll just have to wait and see."
    "So, you practically said yes to everything else . . . maybe you'll hire me too?"
    He laughed so hard then, apparently seeing the humor in the moment.  "No, you're better at blogging."
    He hugged me and laughed even harder.  "There," he kissed my cheek, "now we both stink."

    Has anyone ever confused you with mixed messages?  How did your story end?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Like a Hag in a Fairytale

    Before beginning this wildly-silly post, I have to share some things.

    Have you ever witnessed a miracle?  Think about it . . .
    On Thursday, I did.  Today I witnessed another one.
    The blogfest began (which by the way is now listed as one of the tabs on my blog, along with the iPad2 giveaway and info about my book).  I read stories of hope and loss.  Most of all, I read stories that brought healing.  
    Your kind words about me blessed my heart.  What shone far above anything though, was your kindness to each other.  I felt so very honored to see your beauty--your hearts--and it continues on.  The support and generosity you've shown to me and others--it's amazing!  
    In addition to that, Zeke's story was released on Friday, 11/18, and now, "The Golden Sky" is currently in Amazon's top 100 U. S. books about grief and dying.  Zeke's story is spreading and hopefully helping others.

    Now, onto the post of the day.
P. S. This picture has nothing to do with today's post.  I just have a thing for ninjas.

    On Friday, Cade was supposed to have the day off so we could go visit Zeke's grave and honor him on his birthday.  Well, it didn't work out that way, so I took the Scribe (my nine-year-old) to the mall to sell books and hand out flyers.
    There's something magical about being nine.  I know that sounds strange since wise people say the odd numbered years are the hardest; that's why they're "odd."  But even if it's hard, nine IS magical.  I remember that whenever I hang out with my kid.  
    Every time someone walked by at the mall, she'd run over and hand them a flyer about my book.  She had no idea I'd pay her real money (vs. the Monopoly kind I gave her in kindergarten).  All she knew was that we sat next to The Popcorn Hut, and if she helped, she'd get to try the white chocolate popcorn.
    So, things went well, but what shocked me was when some people were mean.
    "What's wrong with them?" the Scribe asked when two people said they didn't know what we were selling, but they WERE NOT interested.  
   And I had to admit, they were so mean, their faces looked ugly like greed!
    "Well," I whispered.  "Do you remember how you thought craved pumpkins had powers?"
    She nodded because this past Halloween, she was convinced, when you carve a pumpkin, part of your soul goes into it, and when it rots, well . . . then you know what your true soul looks like.
    Realization lit her eyes.  "We don't even need a pumpkin this time!  We can see if people are nice or not.  Wow, salesmen must know everything about how people really are inside." 
   We were like the ugly hags in fairy tales--the ones who sit in the forest and wait to see if the peasants will be nice to them.  It was epic--I've never wanted to be ugly quite so badly!  
    "You're right," I said.
    "Yeah."  She bit her lip, then continued, "We know everything . . . because we're salesmen!" 
   I nodded, suddenly feeling terrible for being rude to a vacuum salesman last week--seriously, what if he was an angel in disguise?!  But thinking about it further, it wasn't very likely; he HAD looked like a hungry wolf in need of cash and my fine china.  
   I pulled myself from my thoughts as I saw a new person walking closer.  "Hey, look at twelve o'clock."  The Scribe, that spy in training, looked right where I told her to.  "That person's going to be nice."  
    "You wanna make a bet?  He's a swerver if I've ever seen one!"
    "A swerver?"
    "Yeah, one of those people who don't even say anything; they just swerve out of the way instead of saying 'no thanks' or shaking their head nicely."
    I snorted.  "He is not a swerver.  He's a nodder, at the least."
    "Seriously, how much will you bet on it?" the Scribe asked.
    "Well," I dug through my pockets quickly, "how about a penny."  I set some change out and we shook on it.
    The man sauntered closer.  He looked at shops.  His plaid jacket reminded me of black licorice and mints all mixed up.  Then, that scoundrel of a man--who once had a twinkle in his eyes--acted mean to the Scribe!  He didn't talk . . . He didn't nod.  He puckered right up like he'd lost his dentures!
    "See," the Scribe giggled.  "Now, that is a swerver if I've ever seen one."
   "But how did you know?" I asked, thinking she's half-spy, half-physic--the best combination EVER.
    "Well, he did seem a bit cranky.  I knew he might swerve since he didn't have a cane."
    "'Cause people with canes can't swerve?"
    "Exactly.  So, they have to nod; it's obvious when you think about it."
    The day went quickly after that.  We met more nodders, swervers and "angels" as the Scribe called them.  We even met a cougher; the woman saw us and conveniently had an asthmatic fit right there in front of a posh manikin.
    It was a wonderful day though, even if it was Zeke's birthday and a reminder that I'll always miss my son who died.  Heck, we even sold some copies of the book, and met a woman who reads my blog--that was a shocker!
    Anyway, all of that was wonderful, but the best part for me was when the Scribe and I got popcorn.  At one point, I giggled so hard, a kernel almost flew into my lung.
    "I learned something today," the Scribe said, pocketing all of the change she'd won from me, plus what she'd earned for helping.  "I learned that it's always good to be nice.  You never know what other people are going through.  And . . . if someone hands you a flyer, you should wait until they can't see you if you'd like to throw it away."
    I smiled through a mouthful of white chocolate.  "You know what I learned?"  I asked and she shook her head.  "I learned that you are a very hard worker AND a good judge of character.  I don't think I should bet against you anymore, though.  You're taking all of my money."
    "But why, Mom?  I like it when we make bets.  You know, I'm trying to earn money for an art kit!"