Thursday, January 31, 2013

I wrote another book :0)

How many heart attacks can a woman have before her spouse becomes suspicious? Sure, that old standby—the headache—has served both men and women well for years. But aren't you sick of the same old routines? It's time for a change and this guide is the perfect solution. 
Click the picture to view it on Amazon

Get ready to discover ten creative (and hilarious) ways to avoid having sex with your partner!

I had so much fun writing this one.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Twenty-ager Crisis! And Asking a Favor.

I'm almost thirty years old . . . I had one hope--to gain 100 book ratings on Goodreads.  I'm at 97!--almost there.  If you've read my book(s) and haven't left a rating on Goodreads yet, would you HERE?  I'm so close to my thirtieth-year goal ;) 

Also, I'm sure most of you know about Slam Dunks and his very thought-provoking blog.  Some of his weekly topics include:

--Missing Person Monday

--You-Tube Video of the Week

--Officer Dummkopf

If you know him, you'll understand how thrilled I was after he read Bible Girl AND related it to an actual case!

You can see that post here: Reading Bible Girl... and Relating It to the Brianna Maitland case

If you haven't read Slam's blog before, you should.  It's one of the best out there! 

Now, about turning thirty . . .

Yes, my birthday is on groundhog's day. I can't wait to look for my shadow.  But I also can't wait to turn thirty!
    Confused? Let me explain.
    On my birthday two years ago, a friend called and said how sad it is that I'm not thirty yet.
    "Why?" I asked.
    "Because women in their thirties appreciate life so much more than women in their twenties. In fact, if you have kids when you're over thirty you appreciate them even more. Plus sex is better in your thirties."

    I'll turn thirty next week  Maybe a light bulb will suddenly turn on in my head and light will shine from my nostrils. I'll finally be able to sing the alphabet backwards; I'll do that front-handspring I never mastered as a kid and my husband will be a very happy man. There's just one problem, a week can be a long time to wait.

    So, like a bull being taunted by a man in tights, I'm actually excited to get older. When you turn thirty angels sing. You lose that extra pound you've been hiding in your butt, and your boobs get bigger than a fourth grader's. At least that's what it sounds like--but I don't really know. I'm just an uncool twenty-ager--the crap age.         
    I'm not a teenager (thank God for that, they keep looking younger and younger) but I'm not in my thirties yet either. I must admit I'm a little scared though. I already appreciate things so much since Zeke died, if I become more appreciative I might explode with gratefulness.

Here's my awesome list for why I want to be really old--at least 90.


*** If in a hostage situation I'll get released first. 

*** If I grow nose hairs I won't have to pluck them because everyone expects old people to have nose hairs. 

*** When people are mean, I can poke them with my violin bow and call it an accident. 

*** Sexual harassment charges won't stick. 

*** No one will expect me to be the hero, I'll get to be the victim who needs saving--for once. 

*** My husband is gonna look sexy as a bald old man. 

*** There will be nothing left to learn the hard way. 

*** I won't have to worry about anything wearing out, I can just take it to the grave. 

*** My birth certificate will say "expired."

*** Gravity will be my worst enemy and my only friend. 

*** I won't have to sleep with my teeth anymore. 

*** I can say, "I remember when gasoline was less than a dollar, Sunny." And my dyed purple hair will glisten beautifully. 

*** I'll have a clear conscience and no memory. 

*** And finally, my kids can put me in a home for awesomely nutty people. My roomies will tell me stories I can write in my blog and we'll get to eat hospital food all day long.

What do you think, is life better after you turn thirty???

Thursday, January 24, 2013

You ordered hot? I ordered mild!

The very handsome Indian waiter sauntered over to our table.  His strong hands held the platter at shoulder level.   
    My mouth nearly watered as steam twisted from the vegetable curry dishes my mother and I had ordered.
    Mild curry, there's nothing quite so wonderful!  "Thees ees being a mild curry deesh for you, Ma'am," the waiter's accent entranced my mother--I swear she'll never think of an Indian telemarketer quite the same.  "With theese bee-bee carrots, onions, ceelery and peas. It ees being glazed in a perfect sauce."
    I gaped at the man, then my mother.  I tried not giggling because it WAS hysterical.  The man practically jumped from a soap opera's set.
    The restuarant's music jangled and clanged.  I closed my eyes for a moment and inhaled the scent.  To think--the entertainment made me smile--and I'd get my mild curry next!
    "And thees . . . " he said turning those chocolaty eyes on me while sliding my plate onto the table. "Thees ees your veery, veery spicy hot, hot curry."
    Now back up.  
We just went from this:

To this:

 To this!!!

    I was taken aback.  I could tell him of his error OR light my intestines on fire.  But I never correct people, so what was a girl to do?
    My fancy mother immediately cleared her throat and raised a jeweled hand.  "Ummm excussie." (Yes, that's pronounced = /ik'skyo͞oz'i/.)  "Elisa . . ." My mother twittered her eyelashes, smiling widely. "I think you ordered mild."  
    I smiled fakely, saying through suddenly gritted teeth.  "This is fine."
    "You ordered mild," she said, still smiling at me.
    "I'll try it hot." My strained face turned toward the waiter, while my eyes stayed on my mother.
    "Mild!" She suddenly said.
    "Hot!" I countered.
     The waiter's eyes bounced back and forth like balls on a pool table until he suddenly held the empty platter to his side and bent over, laughing so hard I thought he'd forget to breathe!
    "Ohh.  Ohhh," he said, gasping between throaty laughs.   "You Ameericans are beeing so funny."  He pointed toward my food.  "It's jeest mild!  I loved watching your reactions.  I jeest knew teeasing you would be fun."
    He strutted off, his mouth spread with merriment and his white teeth gleaming in contrast to dark, flawless skin.
    As soon as he left the room, my mother and I giggled over our food.  "I can't believe how I reacted," my mom said.
    "And how I reacted too!"
    She mimicked my voice then, "This is fine. This is fine."  
    We laughed about it for the rest of the night.  Before we left the restaurant, the waiter looked up from the front desk and said, "How was your veery mild curry?"
    "Just wonderful!"  I said and laughed, thinking next time I might order my food extra spicy. 

P.S. How do you react when people mess up on your order(s)? 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Wedding Crashers; Part III

To recap: It was the Scribe's birthday.  All she wanted was to meet a princess who she thought lived in a nearby castle (a.k.a reception center).  I couldn't afford the admittance fee AND there was a wedding going on that day anyway.  That's when Grandma Gertie (a dear friend) suggested we crash a wedding and hope for the best.
    We (the Scribe, the Hippie, Gertie, my mother and I) went in and some fancy woman grabbed the Scribe and said the bride just NEEDED to see her darling dress.  Too bad the bride was about 90 sizes too big and I almost fainted wondering what my honest Scribe would say to her!

Bridezilla or Princess . . . that is the question!

    There are certain times in life when God tests us.  It's different for everyone.  We might not even know it at the time, but I guarantee that when we die, we'll suddenly realize what was going on.  Some of those times for me were graduation day, when I got married, when I pushed my first baby out of my butt and when my son died.
    It's those moments where you can either shine with goodness or crash and burn.
    Some women hurl threats while having a baby.  Some people aren't nice on their wedding days.  On my graduation day, I personally failed.  It was shortly after that when I ran away to Hawaii and became a homeless street musician.
    Anyway, back to the point--God tests us and I was about to see someone get tested firsthand.
    The Scribe walked up to that bride.  Would the woman be kind or would she explode into a million tiny pieces of estrogen?
    Do you remember what I wrote yesterday?  The bride wasn't your average bride.  She wasn't this strange . . . 

    But the fact remained that she was still an "eye catcher."  I'd never seen a woman that big--seriously--especially on her wedding day.
    The skinny groom stood beaming next to her.  The elderly woman nudged the Scribe closer and I couldn't help but follow.
    That's when the Scribe looked up at the bride.  I watched her eyes grow big as they gathered every detail.  She lightly touched some of the fabric of the woman's wedding dress.  
    "I like your dress," the bride said.
    "I like yours too," the Scribe whispered.  
    "Do I know you?" the bride asked.
    "No, but I feel like I know you.  I'm surprised though . . . you're really--"
    I jumped through everyone around me and flung myself at the Scribe's side.  I'm sure my hair hung wildly and I looked like a nut.  I was so desperate to save that woman's day.  She didn't need to hear the "F" word (fat) on her wedding day.
    The woman looked at me, gazing up and down.  "Who are you?" she asked.
    I glanced back at my mom and Gertie.  They silently begged me to remember their words Act like you belong.  Don't blow this for the Scribe; she doesn't need her mother going to jail on her birthday.
    Once again, the bride spoke, "Do I know you?"
    My mom twisted a cloth napkin in her hands.  Gertie practically chewed on her nails.  The Scribe and the Hippie looked longingly at the wedding cake and I THOUGHT HOW MUCH I'D HATE TAKING SHOWERS IN JAIL!
    "Are you a friend of my husband's?"
    "Ummm . . .  Well . . ."  I didn't know how to respond.  Was she a bridezilla?  Like I wrote before, I've seen plenty of those. Once a bride screamed at her bride's maid because her makeup looked too good.  When she threw her bouquet--it was at someone's face!  I didn't want to be honest if this bride was someone like that.  Her bouquet probably had roses in it and that would hurt.
    As I thought about all those things, the Scribe suddenly took over.  She grabbed the bride's hand.  "I wanted to tell you before, but then my mom went wild.  What I was saying was that you're . . . really . . ."

    STOP for a minute.  This is when I almost died.  What would you have done?  Seriously, my daughter was standing next to one of God's biggest creations; I couldn't let her say something terrible?!  Would you have made up some story, told a silly joke, grabbed your kid and ran?  That's normally what I would have done, but for some reason, standing there in the castle, I wanted to see what the Scribe would say, plus this was fate.  A woman's heart was being tested.  If she reacted poorly, then she had a terribly soul; if she acted kindly, she deserved that wonderful wedding and all the fine guests who obviously loved her.
    I thought all of that in an instant.  I also thought about how ludicrous it is that some people think bridezillas are a myth!

    "You're really . . ." the Scribe said and I held my breath, "real!  My mama told me there was a princess here."
    The lady blushed, then smiled.  "You think I'm a princess?"
    "Because you are," the Scribe said.  "And now you've met your prince and you can finally leave this place.  This is the best birthday ever.  Hey, can my little sister meet you, too?"
    The bride nodded and as the Scribe ran to get her sister, the bride and groom both turned to me.  "How do we know you?" the groom asked.
    I paused.
    "Do we even know you?" the bride asked.
    I could lie . . . I could go to jail OR I could hope she'd pass the test.  "No," I said.  "I don't know you.  It's my little girl's birthday though and all she wanted to do was meet the princess of the castle.  I couldn't afford the owner's fees, so we came here . . . during your wedding.  I'm sorry if we ruined anything for you."
    "Are you kidding?" the bride said.  "Your daughter just called me a princess.  I'll never forget this.  How many brides have a magical story like this to remember from their wedding day?"  
    The groom kissed her with so much love.  It's rare seeing that kind of joy between a couple.  
    "I'm so happy for both of you," I said.  "You have something special."  I grabbed the bride's hand a squeezed.  "You're something special."  And she truly was, one of the most beautiful people I've ever met.  
    As the Scribe brought the Hippie, my mom and Gertie closer to the bride, the elderly lady who'd first found the Scribe had tears in her eyes.  My mom looked terrified and Gertie's face shone with mirth.

    We left shortly after that.  And I realized how amazingly good people can be.  That woman could have sent me to the slammer but instead she saw the bright side of things: a little girl who needed a fun birthday; a wedding that would always be remembered, and the fact that she'd found the love of a lifetime.
    It's been five years since that memorable wedding.  I hope the big princess is happy, living a life some people can only dream of.   

    "She wasn't what I expected," the Scribe said later.
    "Really, why's that?" I asked.
    "Because, she was even better.  I never thought a princess would want to hug a nobody like me.  Maybe it's because I'm not a nobody, not really."
    I nodded and wiped a tear from my own eye.  "She hugged you because you're special, and special people, they know how to find each other."   

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Wedding Crashers; Part II

   This is a continuation from yesterday. 

To recap: It was the Scribe's birthday.  We lived near a castle and every time we drove by, I told my girls a story about how there was a princess locked in that castle.  She could only come out when her prince came and gave her true love's first kiss (not very creative--I already know, just give me a break).  Well, for her birthday, all the Scribe wanted was to meet the princess in the castle.  I couldn't afford the admittance fee AND there was a wedding going on that day anyway.  That's when Grandma Gertie (a dear friend) suggested we crash a wedding and hope for the best.

    Now, if you know anything about Grandma Gertie, it's that she's ballsy.  I'm not sure what day and time her woman balls dropped, but it should be written in the history books.  She's tough and brave--like fairy tales say.  She's witty and funny, the sweetest lady, but you still don't mess with Gertie.  Make Lucifer mad--sure.  Pee into the wind--absolutely.  Make Gertie mad--you won't be able to win that fight because some people are practically demi-gods.
    Do you remember that time she came over with a billy club?  Enough said . . .

Grandma Gertie and the Break-in Patrol

    Sometimes in life, we can meet people who are twice our age.  We might not know it at the time, but those people will end up being some of our closest friends.  Well, that's what happened the day I met Gertie.  Too bad for Gertie, I've been calling her every day since--for the last eleven years.
    What cracks me up, in that Gertie and my mom get along.  My mom was a beauty queen.  She's dainty and sweet--religious--quiet really except for when she's playing the drums and winning awards because she's so awesome.  Don't believe me?  Go here:

My Mom Plays the Drums!

    So, the second Gertie decided we should sneak into the castle, we both agreed to drag my mom along.
    "Will she really go with us?" Gertie asked.
    "Heck yeah.  She might act like what we're doing is terrible, but inside, she'll be giggling about adventure."
    We tip-toed toward the castle.  About a million cars were there.  They were nice cars as if the bride only invited people who could afford nice gifts.
    The Scribe and the Hippie were dressed to impress.  They both wore beautiful taffeta dresses I'd made.  Ribbons hung in bows around their waists.  Their hair bounced in stunning ringlets.  They were gorgeous, ready to blend in at a wedding--I hoped.
    "This is the best birthday present ever," the Scribe giggled as we walked up to the huge wooden doors.  "I feel like the princess."
    A stone lion next to us looked like Aslan, judging me for being a schmuck.  I tried moving away, but he kept staring with those heartless eyes! 
    "Yes, Honey.  You're our little princess" my mom whispered.  "Just don't talk so loud."
    "Why?"  My girls had no idea what we were doing was illegal.
    I looked at my mom and Gertie.  "Because," Gertie chimed in, "the princess might be sleeping."
    So, we walked in and saw we could either go left or right.  The hall stretched far on either side.  A few sets of armor propped against the walls.  Gorgeous stones lined the floor and walls.  There were rugs and fancy decorations everywhere.  
    I knew the halls went into various rooms, but at the end of each one sat a spiral staircase.
    I was just about to walk forward when a man stepped from the wall and scared me so badly my soul almost split from my spirit!     
    "Welcome to the Smith's wedding.  If you'd like to head to the left, everyone is eating dinner."
    He was a butler.  I was talking to a flippin' butler!  Was it my birthday too.  I'd never been in a real castle with an ACTUAL butler.
    "Thank you, dear sir," I bowed SLIGHTLY and everyone looked at me like I was an idiot.
    My mom propped me up and pulled me down the hallway.  "I still can't believe we're doing this.  But now that we're here, don't act so obvious," she whispered.  "You need to act as if you belong here.  Guests don't BOW TO THE BUTLER!"
    Gertie nodded and my girls kept staring at the butler behind us.  "Where do those stairs go?" the Scribe yelled back to him."
    "To one of the towers."  He smiled.  "I like your dress."
    She curtsied--like mother like daughter.  "Today's my birthday."
    We moved quickly after that.  We looked to the right and indeed about a million rich, high society people ate in the reception hall.  On the left was a massive (empty) room that they'd prepared for a party.  The stained glass windows looked amazing.  I knew the wedding party would probably stay there and dance the evening away. 
    "Hurry, up the stairs," Gertie said.  
    "Yeah," I agreed, and all five of us scurried up the spiral staircase.  When I got to the top, it was amazing.  "Why do princesses hate being locked in towers anyway?" the Scribe asked.  "If I was her, I'd be praying my prince would never come and give me a yucky kiss."
    "No kidding," I said.  "This is pretty cool.  If they have a library, I'd be set for life."
    "Where is the princess anyway?" the Scribe asked.  "And who were all of those people in her castle?" 
    "I'm not sure Honey.  But rumor has it that she met her prince and moved away," I said.
    "Oh."  The Scribe looked a bit let down.  "This is pretty neat, but I thought we were going to meet the princess.  It's still a great birthday though.  Thank you for bringing me here."
    We stayed there and took pictures.  We probably stayed too long and after a moment, my mom seemed antsy.  "We need to get going.  It sounds like everyone is done eating."
    "All right." I nodded, hearing voices drifting up the stairs.
    Grandma Gertie pulled me aside.  "Elisa, just remember what your mom said.  Act like you belong.  Don't blow this for the Scribe; she doesn't need her mother going to jail on her birthday."  Gertie winked, teasing me, but I felt like I might be sick.
    "All right," I nodded.
    So we went down the stairs, but when we got there, all those rich people blocked the way.  DID THOSE JERKS WANT US TO GET CAUGHT?!  They talked--laughing like they were funny--and headed into the dance area slower than molasses.  They laughed again, but they weren't funny, nothing was hilarious.  There was no way to get around! 
    Then, just when I thought we might make it out, some gorgeous elderly lady saw the Scribe and squealed.  "Look at that dress!  Has the bride seen you yet?!"
    "No.  Is she the princess?" the Scribe asked, excited beyond anything.
    "Oh, you're precious.  Yes, today she is the princess.  I need to show her your dress.  Plus. she'll never get over how cute you are.  Wow," she turned to someone else, "it's so nice when people actually take the time to look nice for these things, look at this little girl."
    With that, she motioned for me to follow, and whisked the Scribe away, right over to the bride who stood greeting people at the far end of the room.
    "I'm going to meet the princess," the Scribe waved back to me.
    I gaped at her and then the bride.  She was one of the largest women I've ever seen.  That wasn't an issue for me, but I was terrified about what my darling, VERY HONEST Scribe would say.
    I looked at Grandma Gertie, my mother and the Hippie.  We were toast, we just knew it.  How were we supposed to get out of this one?!  And what in the heck would the Scribe say to that lady on her big day.

    Because it was getting too long, this will be continued tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Wedding Crashers; Part I

    Writing makes me happy, so does being a mother.  Now, the great thing about being a writer AND having children, is that you suddenly have a captive audience who can't get away.  Plus, kids will give you instant, HONEST feedback.  If they don't like something you've said, they might throw a shoe at your face.  If you've created a dumb subplot, they'll be the first to let you know by spitting up on your shoulder!
    When the Scribe was almost five and the Hippie was two, I remember taking them for car rides.  We'd drive everywhere and the whole time I'd tell them stories.  They couldn't run; they couldn't get away, and after a time (although it was tough at first), I think they grew to love my stories.
    There was this one road where a castle sat.  The Scribe would point and ask, "Mama, do you know the story about that castle?"
    "Heck yeah, I do."  
    The truth remained, the place was a wedding reception center.  I'd loved the place so much, I'd wanted to take pictures of my clothing designs there.  (Remember how I used to own a sewing business, but I closed it to pursue a writing career?)  Well, here are some of the sets I made around that time, hoping to have someone model them in the castle: 

These little models were so sweet to work with!  
Whenever a child would model, I'd pay them in clothes--I think the parents loved that.



    Anyway, I called the owner of the castle, told him about my business.  He said he'd charge $50.00 a person to come inside of the castle--it would cost even more to take pictures there.  
    I found out later, they held free tours every Wednesday night!  The man must have thought I was made of gold or something.  Anyway, after finding out what an intense rip-off it was, I was pretty ticked.  So, when the Scribe asked if I knew the castle's background, I wanted to tell her everything about a scam artist and his tricks!  I didn't tell her that, though.
    Instead I made something up, something much cooler.


    "Once upon a time," I said. "There was a stunning princess, and she had a stepmother!"  
    The Scribe gasped because she knew as well as I did, if you have a stepmother in a fairytale, that's just begging for conflict.
    "The princess grew up in the castle, but her stepmother was so jealous, so evil, she put a spell around the place.  It was like Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Snow White all the greats . . . even Fiona.  The princess couldn't get out, unless her prince found her and saved her with true love's first kiss."  
    "Wow," the Scribe said and I suddenly understood why so many people keep using that storyline; kids just think it's epic.
    We drove for a while longer and I thought the Scribe had completely forgotten about the castle.  "So, your birthday's next week.  What do you want to do?  You'll be five this year.  Name anything and we'll do it."
    That was a bad thing to say.  I didn't think an almost-five-year-old could be so creative, but she was.
    "Anything?" she asked, and I'm sure my face paled.
    "Ummm . . . yeah, that's what I said.  Any . . . thing."
    "Great," she smiled.  "I want to meet the princess who lives in that castle back there."
    "Seriously?" I asked.
    "Yep.  That would be the most amazing birthday ever!"  
    So much hope shone in her eyes, so much joy.  I knew I couldn't afford the greedy owner's fees, but somehow I had to get my child into that place.
    I called Grandma Gertie later and told her my problem.  "Even if I could afford it, a princess won't be in the castle!  Plus, someone's getting married there on the Scribe's birthday.  It won't even work if I could scrounge up the cash."
    "Sure it can," Gertie laughed. "Have you ever crashed a wedding?"
    I never had, and the thought of meeting a bridezilla scared the crap out of me.  But still it might be worth a shot.
    "No," I said, "but that is something I want to do before I die."
    "Great," Gertie said.  "I'll see you then."

    To be continued tomorrow . . .

Monday, January 14, 2013

"The Blogger's Survival Guide"--A MUST READ

Endorsed by Angela Santomero (the Creator/Executive Producer/Head Writer for Blue's Clues, Super Why! & Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood), Wayman's next upcoming book looks very helpful for anyone in the blogging world.


Lexie Lane and Becky McNeer have already proven themselves to be social media experts.  How exciting that they're sharing some trade secrets! 

Needless to say, I'm really looking forward to this one.

Go here for more info:

Or click the picture (above) to include this on your Goodreads To-Read List!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Review of "Weeds" by McGuffy Ann Morris

I have read many poetry books throughout the years, but this one will always stay with me. The wisdom clearly displayed on each page--the depth of the words that had me reading each section over and over again--the shining beauty and understanding this author has for life . . . for these reasons (and more) I now cherish this masterpiece.
     In my room there's a simple shelf where all my dearest books rest, waiting for me to read them again and again. "Weeds" is now on that shelf. What a wonderful book! 

Click the picture to view the book on Amazon.

I enjoyed this book so much that I also purchased the author's next book, Bedtime Tail.

Here's my review of that:

My four-year-old boy (the Zombie Elf) has been deathly afraid of monsters under his bed and in the closet. With the help of this delightful book, and a new dream catcher, he's actually sleeping through the night! What a great difference this has made in our lives. Fantastic writing and wonderful illustrations!   

If you get a chance to read either of these books, I think you'll love them.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

She said I shouldn't have pulled the plug

Sorry for the delay with my posts. The weather has been wild over here.  We lost internet connection completely yesterday.  (I still had the hotspot on my phone, but it's hard blogging that way.) 
    Here's a picture from my parents' house last night.


The following is a continuation from a previous post:

A Baby in a Laundry Basket

To Recap: I'd been traumatized, by a teenage mother who wouldn't look at her baby, by a grandma who was more concerned with baking than holding her own great-grandchild.  I couldn't get over the baby in the laundry basket, or my friend who turned into her own druggie mother. 

  After I asked about an open adoption, my friend's single line said so much: "I refuse to be like my mom.  She stayed in my life and look what I've turned into."

As I read between the lines, I realized this story applies to so many lives. 

At some point, we've each felt like the teenage mother did. 

Let me explain . . .

    Last week I got another critical email from someone who read The Golden Sky.  She disliked many choices I made. . . .

. . . I pulled my infant son off of life support.  No one really knows how hard it was, except Cade.  People can read my story and feel like they know what should have been done.  But I was the nineteen-year-old who had a kid with defects.  I was the one who tried giving my son a chance instead of aborting him like so many people suggested. It was me. Not them.
    That same woman had a friend who also emailed me, wondering why I stayed with Cade after everything he did when Zeke died.  She just couldn't understand.  And what's funny is that she hadn't read the whole story about my meeting Cade and him sticking with me through Hawaii.  I think she also forgot, Cade was grieving too.
    Despite everything, those emails tore through me.  
    It's hard releasing a journal for the public to read.  It exposed everything though, all those choices I made, some bad and good. I did the best I could with what I had.  That doesn't make the criticism less painful though.
    As I sipped some coffee and stared out the snowy window, I remembered the teenage mother's story.  She'd been fifteen, had a baby, been lost and felt alone.  Yet she'd put the baby up for a closed adoption.  The community judged her harshly and so did I.  We couldn't understand how someone could make such poor choices after her own mother died of an overdose.
    As I remembered though, tears filled my eyes.  She had been so brave.  And despite everyone's judgmental opinions, she stopped the cycle of pain by doing something right.
    I remembered her face when I said, "Maybe I should see the baby.  Did you have a boy or a girl?"
    "Don't know.  Don't care," she said.
    "What?  You don't know?"  I couldn't imagine her not caring, but maybe that's because she did care.
  Looking back, I know she gave up the baby, realizing if she got attached, things could go terribly wrong
    I don't know how she's doing or where she is.  Deep down I'm worried she kept doing drugs.  I imagine her the way she was in seventh grade, beautiful and happy.  I also imagine her baby in a loving home, not knowing all the pain drugs caused for generations in their birth family.
    I read the emails again, people judging me harshly.  And all the sudden it didn't matter quite so much what anyone thought.  All of us have felt like others don't understand our actions; in that respect my friend and I are not alone.  
    I knew what I needed to do, and I did what was right.  That's all there is to it.

For more info about the book I've been writing about, please go HERE.