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Oh how quickly things change! One day everything is going the same as always and the next you have a headache that changes your life. At least that's what happened to me. I was an inclusion aide at my local high school, battling a two day migraine when I decided to run to the nurses office to get some Tylenol. She insisted on taking my blood pressure ( I assure you it was because of my weight) but that's okay, I'm not mad, I'm overweight and I know it. When she took it for the third time with a different cuff I began to worry. Apparently it was at "stroke level" so she sent me to the doctor.
After a wonderful battery of tests that led to the removal of my gall bladder, the introduction of blood pressure meds as well as learning I had Type II diabetes everything in my nice, normal EASY life changed.
No fast foods, no fried foods, no soda, no salt , no sugar, no beef....I was sure I would starve to death because lets be honest what the hell is left to eat once you take all those things out?
What's left is ground turkey breasts, fresh veggies, fruit in small amounts and low carb pasta. Such a huge change should have drove me into a self induced Blue Bell diabetic coma, but with the unwavering support of my husband, who gave up all the things I did except his daily Dr. Pepper I have not only survived but actually THRIVED. I found that after a few weeks I didn't miss those things so much anymore, the icing on that cake being that so far I've lost 35 pounds, my energy is up and I actually crave vegetables now instead of McDonald's French fries.
Even after that landslide of changes there were more on the horizon. My husband got a new job in a town 5 1/2 hours from our home. While his little car gets good gas mileage that's a hell of a commute through both Houston and Dallas traffic! So we packed up everything, kids included and moved from our two story house to a small two bedroom apartment. I love the location, the kids love the pool, my husband loves his new job and bigger paycheck.
To celebrate all the life changes I decided to go out with a very good friend of mine and get tattoos. I know they aren't for everybody, but I love them. Before I got this one I already had three others. And I plan on getting many more. This one symbolizes my life long dream of being a writer, which I am now! Losing Connor is the title of my first self published book.
I guess the moral of this long rambling what not, is even when things look their worse, good things can always come from it! A headache changed my life, diabetes saved it, and now I am ready to get out there and LIVE!

 
 
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No pun intended! Although I have started several "new chapters" in a few new books I hope to have out this summer! 

This is a new chapter in my life, a good one!
After years of toil and endless nights, days and weekends, my husband graduated with his bachelors degree in Psychology and just two weeks ago was hired in the wonderful town of Garland Texas to be one of their full time crime analysts!

It's a huge pay raise, as well as an opportunity to start fresh somewhere that, so far, we really love! My husband is already settled into our new apartment and I am staying in Houston with the kids until the end of school.
It's been a hard thing waiting here for June to crawl over the horizon, but it will be well worth it. I miss him and his wacky sense of humor as well as his sage like advice, but with this job and move he has offered me the chance to stay home and write full time.
Be ready to be FLOODED with new books , shorts and p

 
 
Doing my first giveaway. It will be via RaffleCopter. Follow the link below and enter for your chance to win an autographed copy of Losing Connor!!

<a id="rc-a699d30"  href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a699d30/"
rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
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src="//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js"></script>
 

My Shea

10/20/2012

0 Comments

 
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This is Shea my amazing 11 year old daughter. A few years ago she became sick and we feared the worst. After countless doctors' visits with every kind of doctor anyone could think of, we ended up at Texas Childrens where she was diagnosed with Myalgia (chronic pain) and while there are far worse things in the world, it was a painful blow to think she would be in pain almost every single day of her life.
There are so many wonderful things about Shea that make her unique and endearing. She is quirky and smart, she is funny and brave and a total book nerd just like me. She loves things people tell her she shouldn't, like pokemon, bakugaun, anime, stuffed animals, and for some odd reason goats lol.
She does not excell at sports, she doesn't ride a bike or play freeze tag like the other kids on our street, and I know she is picked on and it breaks my heart, and yet she stands tall. She is always ready to help others, offer a kind word, even to those who would put her down, she loves and watches over her little brother and she ignores the pain as much as she can.
She is my hero. She makes me want to be a better, stronger person. And the fear and questions that overwhelmed us before we had a diagnoses led to my first published novel Losing Connor. I don't know what I would do without her, she is my sunshine! Thanks Shea, you are the greatest kid any parent could ask for!!

 
 
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Hey my fantastic readers! I am so sorry I have been away for so long! About 2 weeks ago I had to have my gall bladder removed (it was a suprise) after 24 hours of writhing in pain and begging people to take it out.
Today was my first day back to work and I am to the bone exhausted.
I want to thank everyone who sent me well wishes and healing thoughts and prayers before and after the nasty thing was removed. It means the world to me! (The thoughts and prayers not the gall bladder, I hope that thing rots in hell like it deserves too!) When I build up a little more stamina I hope to pounce back on my works in progress as well as pushing my already published work Losing Connor.
Thank you all again for being amazing! Feel free to leave me messages here or on facebook, or email them to me

 
 
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I have fully accomplished a life long dream, and it is far more amazing than I ever could have imagined. All my life all I have ever wanted to do was write books for people to read. My friends and family have always encouraged me, but like most I am my own biggest ctitic. I put it off, even stopped writing for a long time, but not anymore!

Losing Connor is officially out there in the world. Available on Kindle, Nook and in paperback. I couldn't be more thrilled.
There are few things in my life that I think I do well, I make a good lasagna, my kids are adorable and I love helping people, but now I can add author to that list. Am I good at it? I will probably never think so, but my friends and unbiased group of beta readers seem to think so, I guess only time will actually tell!
So if you have a dream, keep going for it! Reach for the stars and beyond. One day it will be in the palm of your hand, and it will be amazing.

 
 
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Well, today is the last day of my summer break before like many students next week I will trudge back through the doors of my local high school. The end of summer break is a bit of a double edged sword for me, I'm always happy to go back and see the students, hear about their summer and spend the year helping them grow and mature. But the end of summer is also the temporary end of my writing.
There are just not enough hours in a day for me to work, pick up kids, drop kids at various activities, attend ball games, help with homework, cook dinner, clean house AND do things for myself, like write. I sneak some writing in here and there. I carry an ideas notebook with me just incase a story idea sneaks up on me during a chemistry class, or as I am pushing a cart through the local grocery store. But it's not the same as having entire endless days to just sit and mold my characters into the people I want them to be.
This has been an amazing summer break. We took a wonderful family vacation and I finally got my first finished work published.
It's been such a roller coaster ride of ups and downs I amhorr that it's over. And that horror is what will keep me going and keep me writing! I have several works in progress and I will continue to shape and polish them until they can join 'Losing Connor" on the virtual shelves of the internet!
So if you have a dream, a wish, a hope, never ever give it up, no matter how many hours you need in your day. Keep pushing forward and one day, before you know it, that dream will be real!


 
 
I have an almost finished WIP (work in progress) that in essence I LOVE. But as I reread and attmept to edit and finalize I also kind of hate it. The story has evolved greatly from the original story I started and I am now torn on which way it should actually go. Keep in mind I have already begun the sequel to the book.
So I thought I would put up some excerpts from the story, one from how it is and one with major changes and see what you guys think! Any and all comments are welcome and appreciated!

Little background info: This is from my wip "When No One was Listening" which is featured right now on my site. It's the story of Sloane Christianson, a troubled teenager who still hears the voice of her dead twin in her head. Her mother is a lazy, loose woman who sees Sloane  "as an unmatched sock" and a burden. Recently returned to her hometown, Sloane falls into the "popular crowd" and finds herself on the arm of her childhood crush. Bullied by the town ourcast, leered upon by her new step father and badgered by her dead twin Sloane must find a way to live a normal life.

My problem is finding a way to insert Sarah (her twins) thoughts and conversation and have it still feel natural, for some reason right now when I read it it feels choppy and wrong. Italicised words are Sloanes internal thoughts. Bold type is Sarah and italicised and bold is the two together.

Excerpt one (this is how the story is now)

My  fist slammed into her perfect face, pushing five grand worth of a nose job
sickeningly to the right. Detached I watched as the most popular girl in school
stumbled, holding her hands over the wreck I’d made of her looks, no one would
ever believe it was my dead sister’s fault.             
Oh crap, I just punched the prom
queen.

 I  have these kinds of moments far too often. Tiny blips in time where nothing else
matters except Sarah, moments when I can still hear her in my ear urging me
on.
I think I’m crazy.
 I know for sure that I am alone, I am broken, and I am a murderer. Some things can
be pushed down deep inside of you, but if you can still hear your dead twin’s
voice in your head, even if it’s not that often, well then they aren’t deep
enough. 
I looked back up at Bitsy, thin drops of blood stained her porcelain white skin as
it rolled, splattered and pooled at her feet. The dirty grout greedily sucked it
up. The sound of the room rushed inside my ears, pounding in my head, her gasps,
the jeering of onlookers, the sound of feet slapping against wet cement and
loud, shrill laughter. The smell of chlorine, wet clothes and iron swam up my
nose.
My perfect unbroken nose.
My sides ached with laughter. Stuttering breaths and every bit of my will power
couldn’t stop the cackle rolling forth and ricocheting off the walls. Years upon
years of repressed guilt and rage poured to the surface, falling from me in
shrill peals of amusement. Everyone
stood and stared in utter disbelief of the chaos I created. I found very little
composer in the harsh stares, and lost it again as Bitsy
whined,
“My nosth sthee brothke my nosth” 

Can prom queens be raccoons? Cuz that’s
what she’ll look like by this afternoon.


I learned years ago I couldn’t quite the sound of my sister in my head, so why
fight listening? Sarah was always the adventurous one, the brave one. I was
forever hiding behind her, afraid to look people in the eyes, afraid to stand up
or speak my mind. Days like today, it was like she pushed my buttons and forced
me into actions I would never take, like punching the most popular girl in
school right in the face. 
I went willingly as Mr. Hawthorn led me toward his office. The resounding slam of
his door brought forth thoughts of jail cells clanging closed. I needed a cell,
a padded cell to hide in. One where Sarah couldn’t find me or remind me of who I
really was, a broken, lonely girl who killed the only person who ever cared
about her.

Sloane Christianson cheerleader slayer, priceless.

Stop, you got me in trouble!

Well you got me dead so I guess we’re even
for today.

             
“Sloane, it’s been a hard year for you.” Principal Hawthorn
sighed.
             
No kidding? He’s a  genius.
             
Shhh…

His chair creaked forward, as he looked at me intensely. I’m sure he was trying to
grasp how he missed the hidden psycho lurking beneath my pale exterior. My knees
slid up to my chest, putting a wall between us. Even though I knew he couldn’t
see the disembodied voice that floated in my head I hid my eyes behind my hair
just in case.
 
“With the sudden death of your  grandparents and the unexpected family trouble we have tried to be lenient on you.” He continued. The words fell from his fat, spit covered lips. Sarah urged
me to scream, to stand on his desk and tell the whole world how good ole Hackthorn had come to my house the
weekend my father bailed. Let them know he soothed the pain by sending me to the
movies and being my mother’s “special friend”. That’s what she called it, like I
was 12. 

“Sloane this is my ‘special friend’Donnie, Tommy, Randy, Joe…”pick a name my mom’s
friends with them all. 

“Can you tell us what happened today Sloane?” The lifeless voice of the counselor
slid over me. She sat cloaked in shadow in the corner, the slant of light and dark on her round,
pasty features hid her face. As always her pencil hovered ready to attack the
notepad with her overzealous analysis. My eyes traveled toward the floor,
falling on her feet. I wiggled my toes, praying mine never got wider than they
were long. 

Like hams shoved into loafers
.

 I hated the way she stared at me, like a kid looks at a bug in a jar. Her eyes
filled with a mixture of intrigue, fear and threat. She wanted to pin me down
and cut me open because I frustrated her. I frustrate a lot of people, I
frustrate me. I could have been her‘breakthrough student’, if only I would open
up for her. Little did she know I didn’t even open up for me, so what made her
think she was so special? From day one when I was transplanted here with my
thick student file she seemed to be everywhere I went, going so insanely far as
to follow me from elementary to junior high to high school. I sat and waited for
her to pluck my wings off.


Psycho kid stalker and I’m
suppose to be the crazy one!



You’re a lot of things sis, crazy isn’t one
of them.



I think you’re proof that I
am.



 It’s hard enough to be normal with the
dead nesting in your ear, throw in the nagging guidance counselor shadowing your
  every move and I never stood a chance. I wonder what she would have done if I
  unloaded on her, if I stood on the desk and screamed, ‘Make the voices stop’and
then crumpled to the floor sobbing about murder and deep water. 
 
Heart attack…

 no  doubt..

 she woulda fell right outta those
  shoes.

 
I stifled a laugh. As annoying as it was to have Sarah in my
head, sometimes we agreed.

Excerpt Two would essintially remove Sarah's words and thoughts from the book altogether and she would only be refernced as a character that died before the book started.

My  fist slammed into her perfect face, pushing five grand worth of a nose job
sickeningly to the right. Detached I watched as the most popular girl in school
stumbled, holding her hands over the wreck I’d made of her looks, no one would
ever believe it was my dead sister’s fault.


           
Oh crap, I just punched the prom
queen.



I  have these kinds of moments far too often. Tiny blips in time where nothing else
matters except Sarah. I think I’m crazy.


I know for sure that I am alone, I am broken, and I am a murderer. Some things can
be pushed down deep inside of you, but if you can still hear your dead twin’s
voice in your head, even if it’s not that often, well then they aren’t deep
enough.


I  looked back up at Bitsy, thin drops of blood stained her porcelain white skin as
it rolled, splattered and pooled at her feet. The dirty grout greedily sucked it
up. The sound of the room rushed inside my ears, pounding in my head, her gasps,
the jeering of onlookers, the sound of feet slapping against wet cement and
loud, shrill laughter. The smell of chlorine, wet clothes and iron swam up my
nose.


My perfect unbroken
nose.



My  sides ached with laughter. Stuttering breaths and every bit of my will power
couldn’t stop the cackle rolling forth and ricocheting off the walls. Years upon
years of repressed guilt and rage poured to the surface, falling from me in
shrill peals of amusement. Everyone  stood and stared in utter disbelief of the chaos I created. I found very little  composer in the harsh stares, and lost it again as Bitsy
whined,


“My
nosth sthee brothke my nosth” 

I went willingly as Mr. Hawthorn led me toward his office. The resounding slam of
his door brought forth thoughts of jail cells clanging closed. I needed a cell,
a padded cell to hide in. One where Sarah's memory couldn’t find me or remind me of who I
really was, a broken, lonely girl who killed the only person who ever cared
about her.

            
“Sloane, it’s been a hard year for you.” Principal Hawthorn
sighed.             
        
His  chair creaked forward, as he looked at me intensely. I’m sure he was trying to
grasp how he missed the hidden psycho lurking beneath my pale exterior. My knees
slid up to my chest, putting a wall between us. 

 “With the sudden death of your
grandparents and the unexpected family trouble we have tried to be lenient on
you.” He continued. The words fell from his fat, spit covered lips. Sarah urged
me to scream, to stand on his desk and tell the whole world how good ole Hackthorn had come to my house the  weekend my father bailed. Let them know he soothed the pain by sending me to the
movies and being my mother’s “special friend”. That’s what she called it, like I
was 12.


“Sloane
this is my ‘special friend’Donnie, Tommy, Randy, Joe…”pick a name my mom’s
friends with them all.


“Can you tell us what happened today Sloane?” The lifeless voice of the counselor
slid over me.


She sat cloaked in shadow in the corner, the slant of light and dark on her round,
pasty features hid her face. As always her pencil hovered ready to attack the
notepad with her overzealous analysis. My eyes traveled toward the floor,
falling on her feet. I wiggled my toes, praying mine never got wider than they
were long. I hated the way she stared at me, like a kid looks at a bug in a jar. Her eyes
filled with a mixture of intrigue, fear and threat. She wanted to pin me down
and cut me open because I frustrated her. I frustrate a lot of people, I
frustrate me. I could have been her‘breakthrough student’, if only I would open
up for her. Little did she know I didn’t even open up for me, so what made her
think she was so special? From day one when I was transplanted here with my
thick student file she seemed to be everywhere I went, going so insanely far as
to follow me from elementary to junior high to high school. I sat and waited for
her to pluck my wings off.


Psycho kid stalker and I’m
suppose to be the crazy one!


I wonder what she would have done if I  unloaded on her, if I stood on the desk and screamed, ‘Make the voices stop’ and  then crumpled to the floor sobbing about murder and deep water.



Heart
attack…



 
 
 
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I am a huge believer in being yourself. Something I had a very hard time with growing up. Not because I didn't know who I was but because I grew up in a time and place where people judged the parents by the kids, and maybe they still do and I just don't care enough to pay attention. I wanted to be one of the wild, blue haired, nose ringed goth kids that protested everything, didn't eat meat and listened to music that was considered "made by the devil". Instead I was a proper, well behaved ,charm school girl, like everyone wanted me to be.
Now I'm an adult and sadly being the wild blue haired girl is out of the question (unless I become rich as a writer, fingers crossed!) But I do have children of my own now, all special and unique in their own way. I have a hard headed do as you please 17 year old daughter that knows what she wants and how she wants it and although she sometimes has a mouth like a sailor she has the heart of a saint. I have an 11 year old  daughter with fibromyalgia and anxiety who is quirky and strange and loves pokemon and dinosaurs and never wants to get married just wants to adopt a baby girl. And I have a 5 year old son that wants to be a girl because they are beautiful and they get to have babies, and I wouldn't change a thing about any of them. But there are those that try. Year before last when my son Atticus  was in preschool he wanted to paint his fingernails just like his big sisters. So we ran to the store, let him pick out some colors and we painted them. At his request we painted them in an A, B pattern. Blue , purple, blue , purple. His teacher was outraged. She told my mother who picks him up after school that it needed to be removed, that the other children had mocked him and bullied him. My first question was why would she allow them to? But when I asked Atticus if his friends laughed at him he said no, only his teacher said something to him. A parent teacher meeting followed. If my son wants to wear fingernail polish or a neon pink tutu so help me he's going to.
There is too much judgement in this world, to much conforming to a cookie cutter ideal of good and perfect. I like my kids the way they are, and I will stand up to anyone who tries to change them. He may grow out of his "girl" stage and he may not, either way he's perfect. I guess this rant is to say,when you look at someone don't look at their clothes, or hair or tattoos, look at their heart. I don't want my son or any of my kids to ever be ashamed of who they are. No child should feel that way. Where would this world be if we were all the same? If there were no inovators, no risk takers, no one willing to say let's try it this way instead? Celebrate our differences what ever they may be and be you, no matter who the people around you are being!
Thanks for coming by as always I appreciate your time!

 
 
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I recently clicked on a blog link on Twitter, by recently I mean literally 15 minutes ago. And what I found there prompted me to write this blog.
The name of the blog and the author will remain unmentioned, but I imagine I am not the first person to fall into this conumdrum.
Lurking in said blog were powerful moving poems, words that clung to one another and screamed epic bard song. And I was taken with them. And I wish I had stopped there.
Alas I ventured further into the new literary world of words, only to stumble upon another writing that although it was extremely hard to do I read three times. The basic underlying story was wonderful, the plot, the theme, the everything was wonderful, EXCEPT littered about on almost every line sat multitudes of harsh curse words and racial slang. How could someone write such deep, moving things and follow them up with 32 uses of the "N" word.
I understand there is a global arguement over the use of this particular word and many are confused on if or when it is okay to use it. As noted in the Gwyneth Paltrow upset. I say it's never okay, others say there's a place for it. That debate is neither here not there for this post. What I am really trying to grasp at was how torn I was over the literary work. I loved the short story, I hated and was repulsed by every other word of it. I left a comment on the post, in a wild attempt to explain my feelings, I simply stated I loved the authors work, found it inspirational and had enjoyed this particular short story but was saddened by the language choices in it. Am I crazy? Am I wrong? When is it art and when is it just ugly slang words? Can a story be told and be as moving or dramatic without harsh language? Does it reach the right audience with it or the wrong ones without it. Is it worth the ones it turns away for the ones that will stand and applaud it? I have no idea. I was hoping maybe you did! LEt me know how you feel about racial/abusive/or demeaning language in books.
Thanks for coming by! Always glad to have you.