Michigan Winter 2016-2017
I’d like to think I’m pretty easy to please, but to tell you the truth, I’m kind of a book snob. Not in the way you’d think though. So without further ado, I give you the Top 10 Ways to Hook Me as a Reader.
- Screw the rules. I don’t care about the “rules” of writing so much as I care about things being enjoyable. Jump into the story or give me a prologue that gives me some back story. Just make it good and interesting.
- A good cover. Yes, I judge books by their cover. I don’t like cheesy old-fashioned Harlequin Romance-looking covers. I’m not a huge fan of the half-naked headless body cover either. I just want it to be appealing to the eye, have nice colors, and not go overboard with the design. Even a cover with no picture makes me happy if I like the font. 🙂
- Great dialogue. I’m a sucker for good dialogue. I don’t care for teens who have ridiculously huge vocabularies and sound like adults. I just want people to talk like normal folks.
- Awesome kid characters. I’m a sucker for a super adorable kid in a book. The quirkier the better.
- Realistic setting. I enjoy books set in places that I know, as long as they don’t screw it up. LOL If I’m reading YA, I want to see adults popping in every so often instead of there being no adults around.
- Animals. Okay, this one isn’t a given, but a funny pet can be a great hook. Not a talking animal, but one who causes some silly moments. One of my favorite characters I’ve ever written is a dog named Vinnie. 🙂
- Characters to fall in love with. No needlessly cocky guys, or girls, and thinly veiled abusive personalities. Just genuine characters with real problems, real feelings, and real real-ness.
- Comic relief. I love a good drama but I can’t stand when it’s serious from start to finish. No one is happy 24/7, even in the worst situations.
- A favorite author. Once I fall in love with an author I’ll pretty much read anything they write.
- A series. If it’s good, and doesn’t lose its steam (ahem, Anita Blake), I will read a series like a crazy person. I love to revisit known characters over and over again. I won’t, however continue a series just because it’s a series. I have to actually enjoy it.
There you have it! Now let’s see what the other ladies have on their lists.
This week we’ve been tasked with writing about the worst place we’ve been stuck and what happened.
To be totally honest, I haven’t a clue what to write about. LOL. I could tell you about that horrible job I had for 7.5 years, but lets face it, you’ve heard enough about that one. 🙂 I could tell you about living in a house that had a flying rodent problem… but you’ve heard about that too. My struggles with mental illness… wrote it. Dealing with chronic pain and shitty doctors… wrote it. I’ve been stuck in airports, but not long enough to really blog about. Stuck in traffic, sure. Stuck in an emotionally abusive relationship, yep. Stuck in commitments I didn’t really want to keep… uh huh. But still, nothing worth blogging about.
The only thing I can think of is our current political crisis. We’re stuck in the freaking Twilight Zone right now and I’m afraid that it’s only going to get worse. But, I don’t want to talk about that either. LOL not yet at least. Maybe some day soon I’ll be able to wrap my head around what I’m thinking and feeling and put it into words, but today is not that day. So I suppose really what I’m stuck in is trying to make a blog post out of this while I’m more concerned with watching the first night of the New Edition mini series on BET and thinking about going to sleep! Little Ralph Tresvant just sang the lyrics to Candy Girl for the first time and I’m suddenly back in elementary school and totally in love with him again. :). I guess you could say that I’m stuck in my love of boy bands! But it’s not a bad thing so even that doesn’t fit for this darn blog post. I guess I should have really thought about the subject before I committed to this week’s topic, huh? Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike and Ralph are about to sign a really awful contract with Maurice Starr and well… I’m all out of rambling. Perhaps I’ll be better prepared next week!
For now, let’s see what the other girls have to share because I’m sure theirs are way more interesting than mine!
Oh and just because…
Prompt: S/he showed up at his/her door, soaking wet, bruised, and covered in glitter.
“I hate you…” he said as soon as I opened the door.
I looked at the somewhat frightening, and totally hilarious sight in front of me and immediately began laughing. “Oh. My. God. What did they do to you?”
He was soaking wet from head to toe, had a bruise on his cheek like someone had punched him in the face, and most interestingly, was covered in glitter. He shuffled into the apartment, leaving drops of water and glitter on my floor.
I giggled again when I noticed glitter and puff balls on the butt of his jeans. He shot a glare at me and I tried, but mostly failed, to stifle my giggles. “Let me get you a towel…” I mumbled between giggles and dashed off to the bathroom. When I returned and began scrubbing the towel over his wet, glittery, hair he stood there gloomily. “Oh honey,” I said with a chuckle. “Seriously. What happened?”
“First graders, that’s what happened.”
I had to bite my lip so not to giggle again. “Okay…”
“First graders who you said would be so much fun and easy to handle.”
“Well actually I said they’re usually easy to handle… I technically didn’t make any promises.” He aimed another look aimed at me that would’ve killed me if he had super powers. “Sorry…” I mumbled and continued trying to dry him off. I pulled him by the hand toward my fireplace and pushed the button that turned on the instant gas heat. I also grabbed a throw blanket from my couch. Before wrapping it around him I hesitated. “You might as well take the shirt off. Pants too.” He obliged quietly and once stripped of the sopping wet clothes down to his boxer-briefs, wrapped up in the blanket with the towel on his head. I picked up the horribly wet, cold, lump of clothing and threw it in the bathtub.
When I returned to the living room he was sitting on the floor in front of the fire. I joined him on the floor and ran my hand up and down his back hoping to help warm him up. There was so much glitter in his hair that I shuttered to think what had happened to him. All he was supposed to do was take my place on a school field trip with my niece.
I’d signed up to chaperone the trip to the art museum across the street from my apartment building, but then had been called for jury duty. So while I sat on day two of a horribly boring case about a chick who was bitten by her neighbor’s dog, my wonderful boyfriend went on what I assumed would be a pretty easy field trip with my little Peanut.
As he started to warm up, he pulled the towel off of his head and looked at me. “They put me in charge of five girls. Everyone else had three or four but I had five. And apparently all of these girls, except for Peanut, were members of the Hyperactive Club.”
I covered my smile with my hand, “Oh no…”
“Oh yes!” he said and nodded. “At lunch, they all had to have their afternoon does of meds. I thought, ‘Sweet! They’ll calm down…’ Oh no… no no… the meds don’t actually kick in until about 15 minutes before the school day is over.”
“Oh, honey… I’m so sorry.” I reached out to gently touch his bruised cheek, “How did…”
“How did I get the shiner? Oh that’s easy… Little Fancy Pants decided that she wanted to climb one of the art sculptures, you know… like you do.”
I giggled, “Who is Fancy Pants?”
“I lost track of their names. They were all named similar names so I gave them nicknames. Fancy Pants, Sassy Pants, Cranky Pants, Mildred, and Peanut.”
“How in the world did you come up with Mildred?”
“She looked like a little librarian in her little glasses and her hair up in a bun. I dunno, but she did not act like one… she was the worst of the bunch.”
“Okay, so Fancy Pants decided to climb?”
“Yeah, and I’m like, ‘Please get down… we’re not supposed to climb the sculptures!’ And she’s all, ‘You’re not my dad!’ And I was like, ‘You’re going to get us kicked out, please come down.’ And she’s like, ‘You suck! You can’t tell me what to do!'”
“Where was the teacher?!”
“Heck if I know. Every time there was a disaster she was conveniently not around. She was probably like, ‘Yeah, this sucker can take all of these crazy kids and I’ll get a day off!’ So I’m looking around in panic and the other chaperones are literally no help because they’re all with their own kids and sweet little angels who wouldn’t dare do anything crazy. And I’m like, ‘Fuck it…’ and I reached up to try and pull Fancy Pants down.”
“Oh…” I said and winced waiting for the rest of the story.
“She KICKED me in the face! Thankfully her shoe had fallen off in the climb but she KICKED me! The museum security had to step in and pull her down off of the sculpture. By then I was seeing stars and the teacher finally showed up. She took Fancy Pants off of my hands and someone got me an ice pack for my face. We moved on to the next exhibit and things were okay for like ten minutes.”
“Was Peanut being bad too?”
“Oh gosh, no… She was her wonderful usual self. She looked at me a few times like, ‘Please don’t hate me because of these people!'”
“Aww… my poor girl. I bet she was mortified.”
“Yeah well, this exhibit was all about water and waves, and how if you add coloring to the water you can see different patterns blah blah blah…”
“Yikes…” I said and reached for his hand. Thankfully his skin was warming up and he didn’t feel like he was going to wind up with hypothermia anymore.
“Little Mildred and Sassy Pants decided that it would be hilarious to trip me every chance they’d get all day. Every so often they’d stick out a foot and trip me up and then laugh like it was the best thing ever. Hell, even Crabby Pants smiled a few times. I was this close to losing my shit, but I kept telling myself that we were almost done. That is, until they tripped me and I fell into the part of the exhibit where the kids were encouraged to experiement by adding things to the water. I went in ass first and fully submirged. It was basically like a big dunk tank.”
“I’m so sorry…” I said with a chuckle.
“But no, it doesn’t end there! So a class of thirty kids are around this tub of water and pushing sixteen billion buttons to add things to a vat that would then be stirred into the water. The instructions are actually like, ‘Push the buttons until the container is full! Then watch as it cascades down into the water and mixes around!'” He shook his head and chuckled, “I’m literally up to my armpits in water but I can’t get out because the sides of the tank are slippery. The teacher’s running around like a chicken with her head cut off, the other chaperones are looking on in horror, the kids are all laughing, and the staff are freaking out. But the exhibit is automated, so once the vat is full, it will automatically dump into the water and then get stirred around with air jets.”
He nodded, “Yeah. Glitter and more glitter. Plus some sequins, some puff balls… anything bright and annoying. It comes pouring down into the thing and pretty much pours directly on my head and then the water starts swirling around and their air jets are plastering the glitter to my skin.”
“Baby…” I said and giggled again. “I owe you so big.”
“Uh, yeah… So they pretty much kicked the class out of the museum while staff helped me out. By the time I was back on my feet, the kids had all been loaded on the bus. Except for Peanut who refused to leave me because she’s amazing. I walked her to the bus, hugged her as best as I could without drenching her, and put her on the bus. I told the teacher that I would not be riding the bus back to the school with them since you live right across the street. She started to complain and tell me that as a chaperone I had to return to the school but I think I must have scared her with the look on my face and she quietly told me that she would let the principal know that I would be picking up my car later.”
I leaned in and kissed his cheek that wasn’t bruised. “I’m so, so, sorry. But just think of the Hero Points that you earned from Peanut today.”
He chuckled and shook his head, “She’s lucky I love her so much.”
“I love you too…” I said with a smile and another kiss.
“You better…” he grumbled but then laughed.
I ran my fingers through his damp hair and came away with glitter stuck to my hand, “I actually kind of like the glitter, it sparkles like your eyes.”
“Oh you do, huh?” He said and pushed me onto my back on the floor and hovered over me. I squealed as he tickled at my sides. “You like the glitter? I’ll totally share with you…” He shook his head like a wet dog and both water and glitter sprayed down on me as we laughed.
“Okay, okay, I give up! I’ll never ask you to chaperone for me again!”
He stopped tickling me, “Promise?”
“Promise.” I said and reached up to cup his face in my hands. “At least until we have our own kids.”
He grinned and lowered his body down toward me and placed a kiss on my lips. “Deal.”
Now let’s see what the other girls came up with! 🙂
So I’m watching President Obama’s final address and it’s breaking my heart. I wanted to reshare something that I wrote back in my old Livejournal on the night that President Obama won his first presidential election. Although we’re in a very uncertain time, everything I wrote on November 5, 2008 holds true today. I am still proud, I am still willing to fight for positive change, and I still believe in a wonderful man named Barack Obama. ❤ Please don’t forget all of the amazing things we’ve seen happen in the past eight years. It’s been a struggle, and unfortunately we’ve seen some pretty awful things too, but there is still good in the world and still love in the world. Please don’t let hate win. Don’t let what brilliant change we’ve seen happen before our eyes be forgotten.
Yes We Can
11/5/2008, 11:12 p.m.
I’m sitting on my bed with goose bumps all over my body and tears streaming down my face. I’m so beyond touched, amazed, proud, excited, and just wowed over what is happening tonight. A few minutes ago I stood in front of my television in my bedroom as Barack Obama was announced as the next president of this country. A biracial man is going to be the next president of this county. I can’t even type that without starting to cry again. I hoped, and maybe even prayed, that one day we see a person of color as president. I believed it would happen eventually, but I honestly didn’t think it would be so soon. Months ago before I even knew who Obama was and the relentless political ads began bombarding our senses I had hopes that maybe tonight I would see the first woman president in our history… but this blows my mind.
I know tonight is historic for everyone in the country and even in the world, but as a biracial woman I can barely begin to explain how important tonight is to me. My parents met, fell in love, married each other, and had my brother at a time when it was still illegal in parts of this country to marry interracially. Stop and really think about that… it was illegal. They fought for the right to love each other and eventually chose to bring me into this world as well. To think that 39 years ago when my parents met and Obama himself was just a little boy that people were dying in the fight for civil rights and now we are about to have a president who was born of interracial love, an African American First Lady, and two beautiful multiracial little girls in the White House… it touches my heart.
I have always been proud to be biracial. It has always been and will always be something that I so proudly display and never think of as a hardship. I believe it is part of what makes me the person that I am. Being biracial has taught me to be a person who loves, a person of tolerance, and person who hates the word hate because of all of the horrible ugly things people have done in the name of hatred. I adore being biracial and tonight my tears are tears of celebration. Sure, there are still people full of hatred and we still have so far to go when it comes to race relations… we all know this. But tonight we’re closer than we were yesterday. Tonight I am one happy, proud, biracial woman sitting on her bed in the middle of the night in her pajamas crying her eyes out. Tonight I am a happy, proud American.
“Change has come to America…” – President Elect Barack Obama, 12:02 a.m., November 5, 2008
“This is our moment… this is our time…” – President Elect Barack Obama, 12:15 a.m., November 5, 2008
I had way too much fun googling pictures of nostalgic toys. So much that I had to stop myself because I easily could’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time on the task. 🙂 Here’s what I found! I was born in 1976 so I got that awesome 70’s and 80’s era of toys.
I can’t remember what kind of doll this was, but I adored it. I’m about 2 or 3 in this pic. 🙂
I was so good at this game! LOL
FREAKING LOVED my Alphie! They’re not as cool anymore.
I remember playing with this forever.
Such a weird toy but I loved it…
Okay so apparently I’ve always loved monkeys (sorry, Bron… LOL). I had the boy Monchichi and took him everywhere. Then on my 10th bday I got the little mini one but that same day his hair on his head came off so I named him Baldy. LOL He looked so cute with the bald head that we never glued it back on.
Of course I had Wicket the girl Ewok. My cousin Erik who is two weeks older than me had the boy. LOL
I was so sad when we sold this in a garage sale. I was like 19… LOL Hadn’t used it in forever but I fondly remembered it.
True story… my dad bought me a Rainbow Brite but hadn’t given it to me. In the meantime I told him that I thought she was lame. So he never gave her to me. He kept her in his room and tortured me with it. LOL
Pretty sure Erik owned this one… we played with it for hourrrrrs.
I can still remember the sound this made!
Oh yes… the original doctor kit with the case!
Erik had this one too. Fucking hated this game! So much anxiety! LOL this and Jack in the Box…
SOOOO many hours! Never owned one, but Erik had several. 🙂 They had all the cool toys.
So much love! ❤️
So much fun!
And last but not least… the Weeble treehouse with the swing! And the choke-able Weebles. They’re so big now so that littles can’t eat them.
This week we’re talking about how we keep the balance between writing and life stuff. Let’s be perfectly honest, I don’t really have a good balance. LOL. I used to write every single day, and now I write when I have a case notes to write, or when a blog post is due. 😜 Buuuut… since I’ve been trying really hard to get back to a regular writing schedule I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve that I’m going to give a try.
First, I have a new Precious…
I really wanted to buy a Mac but since I don’t have a credit card in order to do so I would’ve had to shell out a whole lotta money in one shot. Then on Thanksgiving Verizon was having a sale on iPads and I thought, “Ooh!” I already have an iPad Mini but it’s at the point where it doesn’t get updates anymore and it almost never has space on it. So if I bought an iPad through Verizon I could get my precious without having to pay full price in one fell swoop as long as I also pay for a two year data plan. I don’t exactly need the data plan, but whatever… I have a new precious that’s bigger than my old one, has a ton of space, and works with my Bluetooth keyboard. Whoot Whoot!
Plus, I don’t have to share it with my mom because she can have the Mini. Wee! Part of the reason that I’ve slacked off with blogging (aside from work and dealing with health issues etc.) was that our laptop screen broke, and my mom started using my iPad on a daily basis, so if I didn’t bring home my laptop from work it meant I would have to blog from my phone which frankly wasn’t going to happen.
Also, in my quest to get organized, I spent an unusual amount of time making cute little notes to put into my Happy Planner so that I always know what the blog topics are. I look at my planner most days and last year’s idea of breaking the blog posts into 3 month groups and printing them to put in my planner didn’t exactly work. But perhaps if the blog topics are spread out and in my face each week I’ll be less likely to ignore them. 😋
There’s also the fact that I have a deadline hanging over my head that’s doing a pretty good job at kicking me in the butt. Like, a real, grown up, writer deadline. It’s kind of frightening, actually, LOL but exciting too. I can’t say anything about it just yet, but yay, writing!
And that, my friends, is all I have for ya. To be honest, I’m currently binge watching season one of the Gilmore Girls and this blog post is distracting me from the teenage version of Jared Packadeli. Hehe…
Let’s go see what the other girls say about how they balance writing and life. 🙂