Looking Back With a Grateful Heart

The journey back from 2015 to now has been a long one. I’m not a great blogger. Never have been. I love to share inspiring, intelligent things I learn. I love to pass along what other bloggers/writers have so generously shared. But sometimes life sucks. And when my life sucks I withdrawal. I’d been in the suck zone for a while but I was recently reminded of some wonderful people I needed to thank and draw your attention too, you know, if I’m not the only one here on this blog 🙂 Some times I think it’s just me and the crickets…

There is a contest that happens in October  called PitchSlam (also happens in March). It’s an amazing Twitter contest. Go check out Kimberly VanderHorst @Kymburleev. She was the Pitchslam Captain in 2015 when I was involved… yep, I said it was a long journey. Just a word or two about Kimberly, who I only just met through this contest. She was so enthusiastic and helpful and I wasn’t even on her team! Another fabulous lady, Leatrice McKinney, find her on FB or follow her on Twitter @ElleOnWords. She is a no-bullshit kinda gal, a wealth of knowledge, extremely generous with what she knows and funny as hell. Read back into her posts and be enlightened. I did not get the chance to work as closely with these ladies and the rest of the Harry Potter crew (that year’s theme) because I was chosen for Michelle Hauck’s team in Nightmare on Query Street, another  twitter contest. I was so sad to leave Pitchslam after my initial feedback but also so thrilled to work with Michelle Hauck and Michael Anthony, the co-host. Find Michelle @Micheleel4Laughs and Michael @RavenousRushing. I had an absolute blast with them!

Just a few other names, Jamie Corrigan, Laura Heffernan, C.M. McCoy, Caitlin LaRue, Melyssa Mercado, Cindy R. Wilson, Kirk Kraft, Kirsten Carleton, Eric Smith, Michelle Richter, Stacey Donaghy, Patricia Nelson, Danielle Barthel, Nina Haberli, Tegen Wren, JodiG and Karen M. McManus who you may recognize from the NYT Bestselling list as the author of One Of Us Is Lying. Which by they way, if you haven’t already read this book, and you probably have cause it’s been on that list for like 44 weeks now – but OH! So much to love about this book! And Karen is just so nice, and so normal. So yeah, go read it.

Some of these people have cheered me, read for me, helped whip my query and first few chapters into shape. Became my friends. Some of these folks are agents I really admire and when I asked them questions didn’t treat me like a leper. Thank you all!

Here’s my advice. If you’re not on Twitter, get on it. Follow these people. Follow the links to their blogs. Then search who they follow. Follow them and their blogs. You’ll make friends, gain CP’s (critique partners) and learn the business of writing and selling your work. It’s like going on a little treasure hunt, one link leads you to the next, and then another to another and so on and you will be amazed at all the greatness you find.

So to all, thank you. Most humbly, thank you.

I would also highly recommend following Brenda Drake who created Pitch Wars. Go to http://www.pitchwars.org for more information.

All of my experience with these contests has been extremely positive. I have learned so much and since I’m a writer, in for the long haul, learning something new everyday is what I need.

I’m not a post-every-time-I-go-get-a-coffee or take a pee type person,  although if I find a latte that is the bomb-diggity, I will shout it out.

When disaster strikes, I disappear. Even in public, I’m very good at hiding. Most people don’t usually know anything is wrong with me. Well, they probably think I’m a little strange, but that’s different then wrong. My life was undergoing construction I didn’t authorize.

I just didn’t want any of my writer friends to think I’d forgotten about them or that I’d just totally flaked out but life went to utter crap in November 2015.

I had back surgery four days before Christmas that year which was super duper bad timing but a cyst was causing nerve damage down my leg into my right foot so it couldn’t be helped. Then our family dog bit me two weeks after surgery and I really messed myself up getting the dog off me. I ended up with seven stitches and then had to put our dog down. He’d already bitten everyone in the family several times and we’d tried EVERYTHING before our vet convinced me there was no other alternative. I loved that dog. It broke my heart. I ugly cried for months after that.

But then we rescued Hershey and that helped heal my heart.

So my plan had been while my back was recovering I was going to get so much writing and reading done. HA! I had a bad reaction to one of the medications they had me on. And when I say bad I mean F’d up. It’s like when you’re trying to say cup but you can’t think of the word. It made me slur the words that did come out and lose other words in my head. Just as I would have a sentence, it would burst like a soap bubble and be gone…THE worst kind of medication you could ever put a writer on. So if you had spoken or texted with me at that time, I promise you I wasn’t drunk.

It took some time to crawl out of that dark hole. But I made it. My back is awesome now thanks to Dr. Abbed and I’m writing as full time as some one who has a day job can 🙂

2016.  I went back to work. I was on the mend and my friend Melyssa Mercado encouraged me to enter PitchWars. So I did. And the way it works is you enter to work with a mentor before the agent round. I entered the mentor round and then we lost my mom August 16th and life went to crap again for a while. I was with my mom the day she died. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through and yet I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m not ready to share that story yet but one day I will ❤

2017 – Present 😉

I’ve almost finished writing my fourth book. Yay me! Took a creative writing class with author Vance Briceland that I loved! It was offered at our local high school. That’s another avenue worth looking into. You never know where you’re going to find gems in the industry. Be open to learning everywhere! I learned a lot about people over this last year. Some of it was good. Some not so much. Some situations and people were bringing me down. So I changed them. Will Smith said it really well recently. He said, “Look around you. Who is pissing on your fire and who is fanning your flame?” What that means is are you surrounding yourself with haters or people who build you up and make you a better you? Some times you have to take inventory of those you keep close to you. Make sure they’re fanning your flame. If a person or situation is causing you grief….change it. You can not change another’s actions. You can only change your own. Surround yourself with awesomeness. Fan your flame. So that’s what I’m doing…fanning my flame. How about you? Maybe it’s time to do some of your own spring cleaning 😉

And that’s just how life is… a roller coaster ride. Sometimes you’re up. Sometimes you’re down, but it’s always interesting what’s around the corner. Okay. Enough rambling, but I did have three years worth. LOL.

Until next time. Be kind. Be well. Peace and love my friends.

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The color of your graduation robe– Does it define you? It does in Greenwich, CT

WARNING: THERE WILL BE CURSING. If you’re easily offended you can leave, I’ll wait. Okay, last chance. Here we go-

I don’t blog often because quite frankly I’m busy as all hell. And when I do blog, it’s usually about something going on in the writing community but I have to address this local issue.

This past week there has been an absolute, all-out-shit-storm over the color of the graduation robes at Greenwich High School.

Greenwich Free Press

Greenwich Free Press

 

In the past, “Traditionally”,  boys have worn red robes and girls have worn white robes.

This is me the day I graduated from GHS and I can honestly say the last thing on my mind that day was the color of my robe. Any one who knows me, or knew me in high school, knows that I was just glad, and mildly shocked, to have graduated.

Class of '87

Class of ’87

It’s a different world now, as you can clearly see by my choice of hair style in 1987, which I totally and freely admit is hilarious. I wish this post was also going to be funny because that’s what I like to write, but it’s quite the opposite.

On Tuesday, Feb. 23rd, Head Master Christopher Winters sent out an email stating:

“In a break from previous GHS graduations, this year all graduates will wear the same color gown, Cardinal red with a white stripe on the sleeve. Why the change?” I’m going to paraphrase most of what he said to spare you from having to read for an hour.

“First, at Graduation, except for class officers and Valedictorian/Salutatorian, all students come in together and sit together as one unified class. It’s a day when we honor all for graduation.”

His second point for the change, and I think (just my opinion) this is the one that freaked people out, “Second, we are increasingly aware of student choices with gender orientation. In an effort to respect all students, we will cease using separate-colored gowns for males and females. We strive for GHS to provide a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment for all. This small change of tradition demonstrates our commitment to those principals.  It is very common for colleges and high schools to have all graduates wear the same color.”

And by God, he was right…I found photos to prove it!

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I thought Dr. Wintters explained it all perfectly. I was very proud to be part of such a forward thinking school. Dr. Winters also said, in keeping with tradition, students would still be able to decorate their caps any way they liked to express their individuality. Brilliant! We are trying to get these young men and women to move to the next level and as a bonus we are all-inclusive.

Unsplash Free Images

Unsplash free images

 

THEN THE SHIT-STORM.

I saw petitions about keeping our “traditions” and parents asking the question why do we have to change? I read people bashing Dr. Winters and his decision. In general–people freaked-the-fuck out.

So, on Thursday, Feb. 25th, Head Master Winters reversed his decision. You can read the entire story at http://greenwichfreepress.com/schools/gender-neutral-graduation-gown-policy-at-greenwich-high-school-graduation-stirs-controversy-59615/

Greenwich Free Press

Greenwich Free Press

I asked him via email how the change came about. Dr. Winters responded that he sent a poll/survey to the students with three choices: All red gowns, all white gowns  or a choice to wear red or white. Headmaster Winters said that 89% responded (in about 20 minutes) to the third choice.

Now this seems reasonable. But is it? We should be shouting, hooray, the majority wins!

Let’s talk about who loses; the 11%.

I can’t help but think about the fabulous words of Dr. Seuss, “A person’s a person no matter how small.” So I went to the small community that Dr. Winters was trying to be inclusive of… which I applaud you’re efforts, sir!

I interviewed several people from the transgender and nonbinary community. I explained I have two children, one girl, the other a boy, both heterosexual and have no gender issues, so I do not know any of the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) struggles, or the struggles of their families personally. I wanted to represent them properly for this piece. This is what they had to say to me.

#1: “It’s not fair to any of the students, because they’re being forced to conform to traditional notions of gender just by being told what they can and cannot wear. Being fair and inclusive of trans-kids gives everyone more freedom to be themselves. There’s already so much pressure to conform in high school, and so much ridicule if you don’t.”

#2: “I feel like having all students wear the same color would be more trans-friendly as a means of not forcing people out of the closet before they’re ready. I feel like if students could choose red or white, many transgender males will stick with red and transgender females will stick with white, which would kinda out us back to square 1.”

#3: “Having one robe color is the absolute best possible thing the school could have done. ‘Allowing’ students to choose, isn’t really a choice at all unless the young person has come out about how they feel about themselves. Having one color robe doesn’t impact cisgender (people who identify with the gender they were born into) at all, but it does worlds of good for the trans-people. But that’s some how wrong.”

So, what we’ve done by keeping our precious “tradition” is we’ve made everyone who is part of this transgender/nonbinary community feel ostracized. Yay us!

I went on to research how exactly these young people feel at http://www.yspp.org/about_suicide/statistics.htm.

*At least 50% of transgender youth will have had at least one suicide attempt by their 20th birthday.

*More than 1 in every 10 high school students reported having attempted suicide; nearly 1 in 6 students between the ages of 12-17 have seriously considered it.

*More than 30% of LGBTQ youth report at least one suicide attempt within the last year.

So, you see for some it’s just upholding tradition. But, for others it may be the last straw, the icing on the cake, the final “you don’t belong.”

I also interviewed a PsyD (child psychologist) from another district who said, “Students should all wear the same color. Graduation should be a time of celebration as a group with your peers. This shouldn’t be a time to point out individual differences or to be put in a position in which you have to make a choice whether or not to expose your gender choice.”

Diversity means, variety, many different types. Aren’t we striving to be a diverse community? A diverse nation? Maybe that’s just me. But whether you agree with or understand or support the transgender community, ignoring them isn’t going to make them go away and could contribute to the sad suicidal statistics.

Compassion and empathy are not just politically correct words to use at parties, they are ways of life.

I’d like to point out the things I saw bouncing around on social media were not being said by bad people. They are people I know, people who may at this very moment be un-friending me, and that’s okay, but they’re good people. Maybe they’re just not considering how the other people involved in this are feeling.

Some of you know me as a CCD teacher. Isn’t this the “Holy Year of Mercy”, per Pope Francis? Past my being a Christian, I’m a human being, and I can certainly feel for those struggling with things I couldn’t possibly understand. And for me personally, I don’t ever want to be part of the statistics above. “Love everyone as I have loved you”.

I think the “choice” for this year is a done deal, but I certainly hope Headmaster Winters revisits and reconsiders for next year and the years to come.

I welcome respectful conversation on this blog, but please know, if there is any bashing or attacking of anyone I will remove/block you from everything I am on. I have diverse followers who I am grateful for, and I will not have them disrespected on my site.

We are all wonderfully and beautifully different. Let’s embrace our differences. We all lose when we don’t.

 

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PEACE & ACCEPTANCE

 

 

 

Book Review: THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher

I’ve just read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I know, I know! All my writer buds are shaking their heads at me that I’m just now reading it.  *hangs head in shame*. But whatever, I’m a slow reader and my reading list is frickin HUGE! *High-five to all my slow readers*

This book was Jay’s debut novel. It won fourteen different awards (maybe more now) and earned blurbs from some very heavy hitters in the literary world such as Sherman Alexie, author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Ellen Hopkins, author of Tricks, Identical, Crank and Collateral just to name a few. EXTREMELY IMPRESSIVE. And….it’s going to be a movie!

This is an amazing book. I could not put it down. The story is told on cassette tapes- thirteen of them- by Hannah Baker who is dead. Love this premise. It is a journey through some very distraught days of her life, choices she made, choices others made. Clay Jennings, the boy who receives the tapes, does not want to take this journey and yet he must. He has no choice but to listen to the end. What he learns changes his life forever.

This is one of those books that will stay with me forever.

WARNING! SPOILER ALERT!! WARNING!  YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

This book is about bullying. Bullying is not just about one person punching another person in the face. In fact, it’s rarely ever that anymore. It’s about what’s said, whispered, and written.

It’s about sexual assault and rape. It used to be “no means no”. But my daughter informed me from her health class, “without an enthusiastic YES, it’s no”. Which means unless both parties are enthusiastically saying YES, it is sexual assault or rape. Don’t ever assume you can put your hands on another person.

It’s about turning the other way, not helping when you could have. Doing nothing makes you part of the abuse. Nobullying.com reported for 2014, 64% of children who were bullied did not report it. Only 36% reported bullying and more than half of bullying situations stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied.

It’s about not perpetuating bad behavior. I don’t believe in the mentality of “It’s a rite of passage” when such rites hurt other people. Or “It happened to me and I survived”. Let’s stop that BS and do better.

After reading this book I started thinking about my actions as a young person. Did I have an effect on someone else’s life? Was it good or bad? In a perfect world there’d be no hate, everyone gets three cookies and a glass of milk at the end of the day, and we all hold hands singing “We Are The World” and not just at Christmas time. But that’s not the world we live in. But it could be better. I could be better. We could be better. Better us, better world. *Sigh*

Not everyone likes me. *Gasps* You all better be gasping! Here’s another shocker- I don’t like everyone out there either. I never claimed to be the Blessed Mother! We don’t all have to be besties but we should try to be open minded and not wound anyone with our words or actions. I don’t always get it right. When I was younger I got it even less right, but that’s part of growing up, isn’t it?

I don’t have a time machine — actually really pissed about that– so I can’t go back to the 1980’s and right the wrongs that I may have done. You’re probably thinking, “well I’m sure you didn’t kill anyone, so what’s the big deal?” And you would be right. I’m happy to report; homicide is NOT on my resume. But did I ever cause someone irrevocable damage with my words or actions like Hannah experienced? Could I have ever made a difference in someone’s life who may have been struggling? Did I partake in gossipy bullshit that could have ruined someone’s reputation? I don’t like gossip. Never have. So I’m pretty sure I’m safe on this one but for the rest, I honestly don’t know. Just for the record, if you are a person from my past, those middle school-high school years, and I wronged you in any way, I’m truly sorry.

So no time machine, but what I do have is my voice, my words. That is power.

I’m a parent of teenagers now. CRAY-CRAY. So even though I can’t go back in time, I can speak to my kids about making the right choices today. Sure, they’ll make some wrong choices anyway on their own, because we can’t control everything our kids do and we’re human, imperfect. We just need to put our best effort into not making mistakes that mangle someone else’s life.

I talk to my kids all the time. All. The. Time. They will roll their eyes and totally attest to this fact. I have one boy and one girl. They each come with their own unique ideas and personalities. And neither one of them came with a hand book. Whoever said God doesn’t have a sense of humor doesn’t have kids. It’s a challenge at times to say the least. But it’s worth it. It’s necessary. If we don’t tell them not to criticize the way someone else looks, they won’t know.  Nobullying.com also reported that “The reasons for being bullied reported most often by students were looks, body shape and race.”

Looks. Body shape. Race. Really?? Come on! We are like a box of chocolates, thank you Forrest Gump. We are different shapes, different colors and we are all fabulously de-lish!

If we don’t guide our kids on what is acceptable behavior, shame on us.

And it’s not enough to just speak to our own kids. We have to reach out to other kids too. If we don’t show them love, kindness and respect how will they show it to others? I know it’s cliché, but still true, we lead by example.

Gossip is poison. Don’t do it. If your friends are doing it around you, stop them. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt and judge no one.

Be kinder. Not because of what someone can do for you or what you can get from them but because it’s the right thing to do.

It is my opinion that Thirteen Reasons Why should be required reading from seventh grade up. A young man in my daughters school killed himself the second day of freshman year. Bullying was a huge factor. I heard about a teacher that bullied a student in front of the whole class just yesterday. This is unacceptable! We can do better. We MUST do better.

I have not had the pleasure of hearing Jay speak in person yet but I do stalk, achem, follow him online and you can too!

www.jayasher.blogspot.com or on Twitter @jayasherguy #ReasonsWhyYouMatter #50StatesAgainstBullying.

 

Until next time…PEACE, KINDNESS AND COOKIES FOR ALL!

2015…BRING IT!

Happy New Year fabulous people!!

Sorry I was MIA for a bit. I was stuck in a funk but I’m done being funky.

Rejection is the suckiest of all suckishness. My finalist #PITCHARAMA status is officially over. The editor who was interested in JESSICA MARCO PI has passed on the project. There, I’ve said it. I was sad. I was distressed. There was a day or two of immature pouting, kicking, rolling around on the floor. It wasn’t pretty. I’m over it. Overall, it was a really GREAT experience. The editor, Katie Teller at Curiosity Quills, was helpful in getting the book into the shape that it’s in. Now I just need to find the agent/editor that it is right for. Although this project wasn’t right for Katie, I would definitely submit to her again . If you’ve got a story, hit her up. She’s super cool.

Don’t go feeling sorry for me. This is the game I’ve chosen. It’s just part of the process and I learn from every experience, even the ones I don’t particularly like.

Let’s move on! *fist in the air. feet marching*

While I’ve been away the holidays came and went… Happy Happy, Merry Merry EVERYTHING! (((Hugs Abound)))

I spent some great time with friends and family– eating, drinking, watched awesome movies, read fricktastic books, spent a day at the zoo, and visited an indoor trampoline park TWICE! I have no pictures of the amazing back-flips I did without killing myself or any small children in my vicinity– you will just have to take my word for it.

Some of my writer friends are choosing a word for inspiration in 2015 instead of resolutions. Cool with me. I pretty much have the same resolution every year: Be a better me. If I’m a better me, hopefully I’ll inspire you to be a better you. Better me. Better you. Better world. Simple.

Back to my word problem. What word will I choose? Oh, the pressure *back of hand to forehead* Good Lord there’s so many! Triskaidekaphobia? Not a great choice for inspiration since it’s the fear of the number 13. I don’t want the fear of anything. Fear is a real friger!

Fear can frig up the best of plans.

“I want to draw but I’m afraid no one will like it.”

“I want to take a dance class but I’m afraid I’ll look silly.”

“I want to talk to that person I think is da bomb but I’m afraid they won’t like me.”

“I want to write a book but I’m afraid I’ll suck.”

Before even trying, fear can beat you into nothingness. I don’t know about you, but I’ll pass on nothingness. I want to be lots of somethingness. I’ll get back to this.

I want to share some of the books I read.

The first is called Finding Out by Sheryn MacMunn. I had the pleasure of having tea with Sheryn, who is a self-published author, and has had huge success with this debut novel. It’s a story about a young woman in the corporate world whose life falls apart and gets help putting herself back together from her neighbor, a Holocaust survivor. Sheryn marries two very different stories in a cohesive interesting tale that I really enjoyed. She shows how the human spirit can endure and overcome just about anything. I personally find the spirit to be an amazing thing and love to read stories that show that. Check her out at sherynmacmunn.com.

Another book I read is Because of Low by Abbi Glines. I was especially interested in reading this book because it is in the New Adult genre just like my JESSICA MARCO PI and because I heard Abbi speak at the NYC 2014 SCBWI conference. LOVE her! It’s a romance with a great backbone. What do I mean by that? It’s not all about sex. It’s a great story about overcoming some crappy life circumstances told from the POV of the two main characters. Again, it’s that human spirit, that amazing power we all have to overcome. Abbi uses two very distinct voices so you see it clearly from each angle. She even had me sympathizing with the jerk in the story! Find her at abbiglines.com.

And the last book is called Every Day by one of my favs, David Levithan. LOVE! Imagine waking up everyday in a different body. You are always the same age but some days you’re a girl, others a boy. You have no control over who you land in whether they be obese, a drug addict, gay, straight or suicidal. Totally about the spirit of each of us who is really who we are anyway. The body is just a vehicle. It’s like a car for the soul. Trippy right? This book is awesome! For me this is what writing fiction is all about. Being able to step into the shoes of a character and bring you along for the ride. Did I mention LOVE? David has way too many other books for me to mention the love for, so go to davidlevethan.com. Be in awe. Come back when you’re done…. I’ll be here.

Welcome back!

So. My word for 2015? You probably guessed it-

FEARLESS

Fear is the stop before I start. Fear is paralyzing. Fear is anxiety producing. Fear of failing will keep me from ever being published. Not havin it. Don’t have time for it.

Are there an abundant amount of things to be afraid of? Hell yeah, just watch the news for five minutes. Will my worrying about any of it help at all? No. Am I telling you not to be afraid of anything? No. As my mother always said, “a little fear will keep you safe.” If you’re in a house that’s on fire– RUN! There’s a difference from being fearless and being stupid. Don’t be stupid. All you stupid people should be reading some other blog. Everyone else… Be fearless with me in 2015!

Until later this month,

PEACE, LOVE, AND A FEARLESS 2015.

 

 

Nopesville & NaNoWriMo

Welcome to Nopesville! I have been living here in Nopesville for the past week or so. When things are overwhelming I tend to look at them and say, “Nope, nah-uh, nope, nope, nope.” I’m usually saying this as I’m backing away from the thing I’m nope-ing. Nopesville is the next town over from Sucksville. The difference is that when in Sucksville things, well, suck. When in Nopesville there’s a chance that you’ll be okay even though it’s a place filled with anxiety, too much candy eating (the real cheap shitty kind), buckets of self-doubt and some seriously foul language. When I’m nope-ing I’m usually M-Fing too. The trick is to figure out why you’re in Nopesville to begin with.

This all brings me to NaNoWriMo, which all my writer friends know means Nation Novel Writing Month. It’s like the super bowl of writing that happens every November. The goal is to write a novel, 50,000 words, in one month. I have two things to say about it.

1) I’m a HUGE advocate for this challenge. The writing community comes out in full force both with creativity and support for fellow writers.

2) I’m not doing it.

By saying that, I may have just committed author suicide but I have to tell the truth. This year’s contemplation of NaNo sent me twitching to Nopesville breathing deeply into a brown paper bag. My internal alarm was screaming, “Run, you stupid ass, run!” But instead I got caught up in reading all the Twitter feeds about what other people are doing and how well they’re doing it which left me crying into a hunk of chocolate cake wondering why I suck so bad and wishing I could unfreeze my thoughts and fingers and jump on board. Seriously, my entire body was locked up.

I thought, what the frig is my problem, aside from general nutbag-ged-ness, which is my norm. I mean, I’m a writer, I write. So what’s wrong with me? But then it hit me.
I’m 20,000 words into my new YA Futuristic/Light SciFi/Contemporary. Say that shit five times fast! I’m lovin’ this new story. I’ll give you a little peak— four scientists create a society made up of same sex pairs, babies are no longer born, disease is no longer spread and everything is hunky-dory—until Sky forgets to take her “suppliments” and her rose-colored glasses are shattered forever. The story follows Sky and Raven, a pair of sixteens that find a map leading to the forbidden books; the Old World history.

So my deal is this. If I was going to do NaNo I would have to put this project aside and start a fresh new story for the month of November. Nope, nope, nope, nope. It would be detrimental to my progress right now. So I’ve noped out of NaNo for this year, but not to worry…I am writing my ass off this month just the same.

Good luck to everyone involved in NaNoWriMo! I am cheering for you from Nopesville! LOL

Peace, love and listen to your inner voice…even if she’s calling you a stupid ass. It’s probably for your own good!

JUDGMENT AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

There is a ton; I’m talkin’ a mother-cluckin’ boat-load of judgment out there. And when I say out there, I mean on the Web, on the TV, on the street, at your job, your school, your neighborhood, in your own house, among your family. EVERYWHERE. We’re so quick to judge celebrities, authorities, teachers, parents, other people’s kids, our own kids, races of people, enemies, strangers, and even friends.

Why?

Is it because it makes us feel better? Not me. I’ve instantly regretted saying something negative about someone else the moment it left my lips. But I’m certainly guilty of it. I’ll admit sometimes my lips move faster than my brain and I speak with out thinking. SORRY if I’ve ever said something that has hurt your feelings! I am not a mean-spirited person and meant no harm. I’m also guilty of going up to complete strangers and telling them I like their shoes, haircut or fabulous outfit. My daughter says “it’s creepy”. Whatever.

So, is it because we’re stupid? Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh. Is it because we’re ignorant to the effect our words will have? You say, well the person, be it online or on the street that you pass in a car, can’t hear what you say. What about the person we are saying it to? Does that encourage them to do the same thing or worse? Or does the negativity swirl and fester and carry on to other things throughout the day? I think it does.

How about self-judgment? Sometimes that’s worse than how we judge others. I know it is for me. My skin’s too pale, my hair’s too frizzy, I have ugly feet. Now don’t be checkin’ out my ugly feet the next time you see me in flip-flops!

So why are we so apt to tear someone up rather than build someone up, including ourselves?

Because it’s easier.

Anger comes quick and easy. I have a hot temper. I know right, who’d a thunk it! Anger is an easier emotion to handle. Anger keeps you from accessing a situation properly. I have found, with things that really matter that are out of my control, anger keeps pain from getting too close. But it has its downfall too. Anger keeps out love, peace and happiness.

It takes work to be happy. It’s a choice. Even when life sucks it’s still a choice.

I was recently accused of having a happy life. It’s crazy but I felt like I needed to defend myself. It’s true; I have an amazing husband that after 22 years of marriage I’m still stupid-ga-ga in love with. I have two teenagers who are not only NOT strung out on drugs but are A-students, healthy, beautiful loving people who I truly love to be around. My husband and I both have jobs, we own a house, cars, clothes and we can put food on our table. We usually get to take a vacation once a year. Is there room for improvement? Hell yeah! After three years we’re still renovating the damn house! LOL. I also have a crazy French Bulldog who had to see a psychiatrist recently—don’t ask—and there’s never enough time in the day to get everything done.

I am blessed and I am grateful but no one gave me this life. I’m not a trust fund-kid. It has been hard work. It’s still hard work. And I have skeletons in my closet just like everyone else. What’s that saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence until you get there and they have the same overgrown weeds you do and big holes that need filling and snakes in the Pachysandra and a deck that’s not done and huge puddles when it rains.” I actually may have just made that up, but just go with it.

There is, however, a real quote that a lot of people post: “Don’t judge me. You have no idea what I’ve been through or where I come from.” Isn’t this true of all of us? I’m partial to the other version: “Don’t judge me. You have no idea what I’ve been through or where I come from and I have no problem punching you in the face.” LOL!

When you look at someone, before the judgmental words tumble out of your mouth, think about this:

Are they struggling with an eating disorder? Do they go home to a mother that’s high on drugs? Are they being physically abused? Mentally abused? Do they have scars that you can’t see? Are they an alcoholic struggling to stay sober?

The kid that’s being a pain in the ass in your kid’s class… Is his mother working two jobs because she’s a single parent trying to provide for her children?

The check out person at the grocery store who’s a nasty bitch…Is her father a drunk? Is her boyfriend beating the crap out of her?

The neighbor that won’t talk to you or is just flat-out rude… Is he/she suffering from a mental illness?

The person that just cut you off…Are they rushing to the hospital or a job interview because they’ve been out of work for a year? Now, if they’re texting, and you friggin’ texter-drivers know who you are, by all means show them your finger. What? I meant thumbs down. HAHA!

We all face challenges in our lives. Trust me, I’m no saint, but I know from my own life; you have no idea what I’ve been through or where I come from. Don’t judge me. Happiness and the pursuit of it is a choice.

PEACE

My List of Ten Books…

Thank you cousin Oni Thalheimer and Mark Radzin for nominating me to name 10 books that inspired me or had some kind of impact on me.

I felt like I needed to explain some of them so what better way than to BLOG IT!
Okay so first of all, I have NOT always been an avid reader. I can hear you all gasping so let me explain. I flat-out hated reading when I was a kid. Enough with the gasping already. Sheesh.

All I can remember about reading was reading comprehension tests. I was a slow reader so therefore did not do well on those tests. I felt like a stupid failure or maybe a better way to say it is, I felt stupid and like a failure. I still have an aversion to polka dots because of those tests.
On top of being a slow reader I had a bad case of living in my own private fantasy world. While the teacher would drone on about the required reading assignment, from some boring book I hated, my mind would take me to far away places where I would be the princess in a beautiful castle beatin’ the crap outta the dragon. I was the kind of girl who wore dresses and ripped tights from climbing trees and rocks. I’m still that kind of girl but now I’m an excellent climber…I hardly ever rip my tights anymore.

 
So I made my way through school as a B/C student. I’m not advocating for these kind of grades, I’m just stating my truth. This went on until mid way through Junior year in high school. As luck would have it, I had bunion surgery. Bunions are not lucky. Quite frankly they suck. But because of the bunions the town wouldn’t let me go back to the public high school for fear of someone stepping on my enormously bandaged feet and them getting sued.

The lucky part came in the form of a tutor, whose name I am ashamed I can’t remember and my mother was sleeping so I couldn’t ask her. I couldn’t daydream in front of the tutor. It was just me and her. In a room. For four hours a day. No distractions. Game on.

I became a straight A, honor roll student in high school and in college largely because of this tutor. The first great thing I can remember reading was:

#1. The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe. This was one creepy-ass individual and I dug that about him! He inspires me still.

The rest of the books that I’ll mention are not really in any order.

2. Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read this to my children and have given it as a gift. It is incredibly insightful. A lot can be learned from the simplicity of the messages in children’s books.

3. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I was scared to death of this book because of its sheer fatness. When I looked at it, I thought, good God, it’s going to take me a decade to read this sucker! But since its one of my Aunt Minnie’s favorite books, and I adore Aunt Minnie, I finally gave in. I’m happy to report it did not take me a decade to finish and it became a personal triumph as well as one of my favorite books.

4. The Bible by God. There is some amazing history in that book! Sure, its taboo to talk about it, but a little taboo is okay. I enjoy my freedom to read and believe anything I want and I respect yours to do the same.

5. The Diary of Anne Frank. I actually read this in Jr. High while studying the Holocaust. My maiden name is Thalheimer. Half of my family was in Germany during this time. My grandmother told me a story about my Great-Grandfather speaking out against Hitler in a pub and how the SS military beat him to within an inch of his life and how they came and took over their house, forcing my Great-Grandparents and Aunt to cook and take care of them. This was horrible, yes, but it could have been so much worse as I found in Anne Frank’s Diary. This book put a face on evil for me at a very young age.

 
6. Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret by Judy Blume. This book belonged to my cousin Heidi, who probably never realized I stole it from her. I liked reading this book because I thought I wasn’t supposed to read it and of course because it’s fabulous!

7. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. ‘Nuff said.

8. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. When my daughter (who’s now 16) started kindergarten I went back to school for writing. This was the first thing I read that convinced me, without a doubt, that I am a writer.

9. Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini. This book has great significance to me. I met Kim a few years ago when this book, her debut novel, was coming out. I didn’t know this at the time, how bat-shit-crazy a writer’s life is when their book is coming out, which makes this even more special to me. A mutual friend put us in touch with each other, and by that I mean I got her email and stalked her till she wrote back. LOL! And even though she had that bat-shit crazy thing going on, Kim graciously took me by the hand and led me down the newbie writer path. This book represents what I can attain. Kim, as a person, represents the kind of author I hope to be. THANK YOU MY SISTAH!

10. Mother Teresa’s Everything Starts from Prayer arranged by Anthony Stern, M.D. My love for Mother Teresa was cultivated by my Oma (grandmother in German). Mother T was one wise, wrinkled woman! You don’t have to be Catholic, or even Christian, to dig this lady. Mother Teresa said, “People throughout the world may look different or have a different religion, education, or position, but they are all the same. They are the people to be loved. They are all hungry for love.” Her mission was to love everyone regardless of race, gender, wealth, place in the world, or anything else you can think of. I have learned a tremendous amount from her.

You don’t have to be a writer to love reading. You do, however, have to love reading to be a writer. I read EVERYTHING! Young adult, new adult, adult, mystery, romance, paranormal, fantasy…if it’s got words…I read it! I don’t love everything I read but I usually learn something from it all.
So that’s my list. What’s yours?

PEACE

#PITCHARAMA, JESSICA MARCO PI

#PITCHARAMA

Hi All! This post is for a twitter writing contest. You can find the details at aussieownedandread.com and on twitter #pitcharama.  You can also follow my progress on twitter @jeannieintrieri. Good luck to all participants! This is my story and here’s my pitch:

 

Title:                     JESSICA MARCO PI

Author:               Jeannie Intrieri

Genre:                  NA

Word Count:      59,000

SYNOPSIS

Jessica Marco, a twenty-four year old private investigator, is working on a kidnapping case when she discovers her sister’s piece of shit husband is the kidnapper. He unfortunately gets away by throwing Jess off a small cruise ship where the transfer of money for victim was supposed to happen.

While on the kidnapping case, Jess gets a call from a friend who runs a local funeral home where Fat Sal’s arms and legs have been stolen two days before his scheduled wake. Everyone knows you can’t pull off a wake without arms and legs. They’ll be screaming, serious freak-outs and old ladies fainting at the casket. Who the hell needs that? Jess takes on the case to save her friend’s funeral home from ruin.

Her personal life is just as crazy as her work-life with a mother who steals her laundry, a sister who’s done too much plastic surgery, a grandmother who’s paranoid about the “chill” because that bastard’s always trying to get someone sick and a hot cop/sorta boyfriend.

Her life goes from bad to total goat-balls when her investigation ties both cases together and puts her in the middle of a medical black-market organization that’s killing people for their skin and organs. With millions of dollars at stake, they also have no problem killing anyone who gets in their way.

If Jessica is successful in solving her cases, everyone, except the piece of shit husband, gets to live happily ever after. If she fails, she and everyone she loves will lose their life…and their skin.

WHY ARE NUMBERS SO IMPORTANT TO US?

Numbers are everywhere connected to everything we do.

We use them to measure years, months, weeks, days, hours, and seconds. We count them in dollars and cents. We measure in feet, inches, meters and yards.

The food we eat has a caloric number attached to it.

 

We regard success and failure and distinguish ourselves according to the number of each. We age by ever mounting time. We calculate and distribute. We find comfort in the fact that 2 + 2 will always equal 4.

Numbers have definite effect on us, that’s for sure.

TIME

Time gives us a schedule, a placement, the ability to organize. It also gives us stress and can be more like a noose around our necks than a comfortable guide. But no matter if your day is great or the worst of your life, it will still be just a day, 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds. You can’t slow it down, stop it or reverse it. And it affects our emotional, spiritual state of being.

I’m up at the crack of dawn. I start my day job at 7:30 AM. By the time I’m done with work, driving the kids to various practices and jobs, cook dinner, write and exercise, I get done around 9:00 PM — That’s thirteen and a half hours running and doing. Some days it’s longer than that depending on my writing schedule and homework helping. Anyone in my house can confirm it’s best to leave me alone for at least thirty minutes or suffer my wrath.

I want more hours, minutes and seconds in the day. I never seem to have enough time to get everything done. I don’t want more hours for the day job, thank you very much, but more time to write, to love, to talk, to listen, to play? Yes please!

If I could get another hour, another five minutes, with my Oma (grandmother)- who was fitted for wings and a halo twenty-one years ago- I would do just about anything for that…but it just doesn’t work like that.

MONEYFile:Golden number 10000.png

If you make six figures you’re considered very successful by most people and your life is probably comfortable. Comfortable people tend to smile more. These kinds of numbers are good.

If you’re making minimum wage you are probably barely getting by and are stressed out all the time. Stress sucks. No one is walking around saying, “man I wish I had more stress in my life.” You’re counting every penny and calculating, by numbers, how you will live this fourth month of 2014. The six figure dude is doing the same thing, but it’s NOT the same thing.

When we go to the doctor they show us a chart and ask, “on a scale of one to ten, ten being the worst, how do you feel?” Here, unlike when you’re counting money, the higher number is bad. Take care of yourself and stay out of the high-number- zone!

WEIGHT

How many people look at the number on the scale and wish it would go down ten… twenty…fifty pounds? I’m right there with you! Women. We can be so dopey about weight. Now, if the loss of five or ten pounds would solve world hunger, then by all means, let’s worry about it and do it together! But it won’t. And losing five or ten pounds won’t solve anyone’s problems. Just ask the skinny people.

How about if you’re sick? The lower scale numbers will have an alarmingly different effect on you. We use the measurement of weight as a sign of health or a lack there of. When new parents go to a check up, one of the first things done is weighing the little peanut. The first thing the parents do when they leave is call the grandparents. And what’s the first thing they talk about? Yuppers, it’s the baby’s weight. Or was that just us because of the enormity of my babies? HA!

A person whose numbers on the scale go over what is considered to be a healthy weight, get a different kind of report. As far as the scale goes, how do we know what numbers are the good ones? We have charts and ratios, calculations and formulas, based on other numbers called percentages, and we categorize ourselves into groups of the majority, the minority, or some sideshow weirdness. I say that because I was always freaky-weird-tall in comparison to other girls my age.

Why do we care about the percentile chart? Or the height and weight chart? Because, we all want to be part of the majority(another number) on the chart, the group that makes us feel normal, the calculated sweet spot. This area gives people a feeling of safety.

SUCCESS

We count them, mount them, stack ém, and keep track of them. The more success we can count up, the better we feel. And sure, why not. It’s okay to be proud of our accomplishments. Our successes become a private little parade in our heads with cheerleaders waving pom-poms and holding signs that say, “well done! Keep going! Awesome sauce! Don’t fuck this up!”

My little cheerleaders are edgy. They’re allowed to curse.

FAILURE

Ugh. We count, stack and keep track of these suckers too, maybe even more so. Failure is the glue on the bottom of your shoe holding you back. The numbers of failures we have make us feel bad about ourselves, which translates into, moodiness, hostility and depression.
Kick off the glue-shoes, learn from mistakes and move on! Have you ever heard the term, “chasing yourself in circles?” You don’t go anywhere in a circle except back to the same spots you’ve already been. Stop counting all your failures.

Wait. Let’s count all of them. Tick them off on your fingers, toes, brother’s and sister’s too if you’ve really messed up. Stack them up high until they become the Leaning Tower of Piazza and it’s about to crush you. Feel the shittiness, the enormity. Now, look at them one last time…flip ‘em the bird and let them go to their eternal resting place, a place I like to call, been there/done that. Set a mental bonfire and be done with it.

 

DISTANCE

Oh boy, I’ve really been feeling these numbers lately. My parents and a very dear friend moved away recently. *wails on floor like a fool* I have never felt the weight of stretching miles as much as I do now.

But then there are other long miles that make us feel fabulous; a trip overseas for vacation, a road trip to see something on your bucket list or (if you are into it) marathons.

Fun fact: The New York City Marathon is a 42, 195 meter, 26.2 mile race. The 2013 winner, Geoffrey Mutai, did it in 2:05:06. He set the record this past year running a 2:04 mile. Wicked fast!!

AGE

This one’s worse than weight! LOL
I remember turning ten and thinking it was the absolute bestest day of my life. Whoot hoot, double digits! Maybe that’s just because I’m the youngest of three and my brother and sister had been in the double digits for five years before I got there. I gotta say I’m not nearly as exited now about my double digits!

I wished away a lot of time back then. As soon as I turned ten I wanted to be thirteen. Once I was thirteen I wanted to be sixteen. At sixteen I wanted to be twenty-one. When my kids were babies I wanted to get past the not sleeping phase. When we accomplished that, I wanted out of the diaper phase. With maturity I’ve learned to stop wishing time away. You can’t get it back.

Age also marks places in time. We do ritualistic, traditional things based on age.

Why do we keep track of our age? Who said that was important?

One year olds usually have a big family party. Parents: skip the clowns. Trust me on this.

When you’re five you begin kindergarten.

At seven you make your First Holy Communion (if you’re one of my clan).

At thirteen, you have a Bar/Bat mitzvah or Confirmation.

Sixteen you drive.

At eighteen you graduate high school and you’re legal to join the military and shoot our enemies in battle. But you’re not legal to have a beer until you’re twenty-one…unless you live in Sweden in which case you can drink in a pub at eighteen.

I’m not against the military, NOT by ANY means, and I’m not encouraging underage drinking. I’m simply rambling as it comes to me. It happens. Plus my sixteen year old keeps reminding me she will be in Sweden for her eighteenth birthday.

 

 

 

 

I could go on and on about numbers, highways, routes, longitude, latitude, days and months.

Why is it so important for us to know where we are, what time it is, how long till the next thing we do, count downs, count ups, lengths, distances, spaces…

Does it really matter? I guess in some ways. I mean, if I don’t keep track of the hour the kids will be late to school and I’ll be late to work. Or, if I submit my work to an agent and my category is YA and my word count is not in keeping with my genre, then I look like an unprofessional ass. I try not to look like an ass of any kind as much as possible. So in that respect, yeah, it matters.

We need it to find point B from point A. Otherwise we might end up in the ocean.File:A plat of all the world - Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL.jpg

Numbers are a universal language. Whoever you are and where ever you are, 2 = 1 plus another. If you’re human, you know this, and it works. I get that. I’m on board with that.

What I don’t want is to be defined by my number (age), charts(height & weight), location(longitude and latitude), my ethnicity(majority/minority), or my calculations(success & failures).

And I don’t want to define or judge anyone else by a poll taken or a survey done or a room full of some bodies that determined it to be a certain way based on what’s normal or acceptable.

Normal? What the heck is normal anymore?

I think we have to make our own normal. If you’re not hurting anyone, including yourself, and you’re leading your life by a moral compass– that should be the normal.

A moral compass does not have arrows pointing North, South, East and West, but rather, Kind, Loving, Generous, and Gentle, which equates to a multiplier of peace. I’d like for that to be my guide.

 

I’d like to find a way to make that a universal language. That sounds better than math to me!

PEACE out until next time!

Bullies. Mean Girls. Anger. Let it Go

Happy Hump-ish day! HA! Yeah, I probably can’t get away with that. I know I said Wednesday is my blog day, but believe me, you did NOT want to hear what I had to say on Wednesday. It would have been a lot of F-bombs and A-holes.  So… let’s dive right in. *adjusts bathing cap…3 steps…leap*

I was the victim of adult bullying Tuesday night. And ya know what? It still feels really bad.https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Taunting_0001.jpg

This is what happened. I needed to get my son to lacrosse. I needed to get him there on time because I got him there late on Saturday and he got yelled at even though it was my fault. I felt like shit. But I worked all day on Tuesday and I needed to go home to give the crazy dog his medicine so he could stop being so crazy and my mother-in-law is in re-hab for a knee replacement and I promised I would go to the library to get her Florence Henderson’s autobiography. Don’t judge. That’s what she likes to read. As a fiction writer it makes me a little nuts that she only reads about real stuff. Go figure.

Anyway. So I’m late. Again. I’ve got my son in the car giving me the worried eyes, the tension neck rub and the pained look. The look that says, “mom you’re screwing up again!” The look that kicks you right in the low belly and cuts you off at the knees. File:Anxiety.gif

I drive a little faster, not crazy fast, but a little faster. There is a big SUV in front of me going 5 miles below the speed limit. I’m checking my clock. Another two minutes ticks by. My son’s leg bobs up and down at warp speed. Panic tightens my chest painfully. I’m a little closer to the SUV than I normally would be. Everything in me is screaming, GET OUT OF MY WAY! No such luck. It takes every turn I need to take. Now my left leg is bobbing too.File:Nervous.gif

Oh, and as an added point of stress, I need to get my son to the field and get back to the house to take my daughter to an appointment, I’m just getting over the shingles so I’m not quite myself but still trying to do all the things myself needs to do, my mom is not well AND Ididn’t get picked for #PitchMadness.  So there’s that. *sigh*

The SUV is going to the same place I am but it takes the first turn into the parking lot. It pretty much comes to a stop as it’s making this turn. I look around it. No cars are coming. I go around and head into a different entrance. I park in a space and tell my son, RUN! Which he does. I’m catching my breath as I watch him get to his teammates when someone bangs their keys on my window so hard I duck because I thought the glass was going to shatter. I turn and the woman, who I happen to know, points a finger at me and yells, “I thought that was you.”

Now, because I know her, I roll down my window realizing she was the SUV in front of me, and start to say, “oh hey, I’m so sorry but-”

“You were right up my ass the whole way, Jeannie! What’s wrong with you? Right up my ass!!”

My mouth is stuck open in mid-sentence. She continues to walk away from me but mutters something, referencing a situation where her child was bullying my child, “It brings to mind bullying,” she spits out in a way that says she’s been waiting for the opportunity to say this to me. At first I don’t understand what the two things have to do with each other and then it dawns on me. They don’t have anything to do with each other. She’s got a problem with me because her child was bullying my child and was called into the principal. I had been backing out of my space. I pulled back in. Steam is shooting out of my head cartoon style. I’ve been known to have a bit of a hot temper. *family snickers in the back ground* My heritage is half Irish, half German, and, yeah, you get the picture.

File:Flag of Ireland and Germany.png

But I don’t get out screaming because I’m not thirteen any more and I’ve learned to contain it. Shaking yes. Screaming…not yet. I wait at her car. The muttering occurred as she was walking away from me, which, BTW, I friggin hate! If you have something to say, say it to my face so I have a chance to respond. Oh, and I’m gonna respond. You can bet your big fat left toe, I’m gonna respond. While I wait, I call my husband. Why? Because he’s my best friend and if anyone can calm me down, preferably before I get myself arrested, he can. And he does. He also confirms that there is a bigger problem going on.

While I’m on the phone with him, this woman goes over to two other women, who are now all staring at me because she’s got arms flailing and fingers pointing as she is talking to them. Grab your pitchforks and torches! Get her! Is what I hear in my head.

File:Angry mob of four.jpg

There’s arm crossing and head shaking and I feel like I’m back in high school. Ironically, I’m standing in the parking lot of MY high school. I continue to wait. There’s more pointing. Now there’s a cop she’s telling her tale of woe to, who is also looking at me and I’m thinking, oh just shoot me now and put me out of my misery. But he doesn’t come over so maybe he thinks she’s crazy too.

I text my daughter we are going to be late for our appointment because there is no way in hell I am leaving with out talking to this woman. She sees me waiting but continues to rile up her “gang”. At this point I don’t know if she’s trying to wait me out or if she’s on a power trip, but frig it, I’m emotionally all-in now, there’s no turning back.

Finally, she comes to her car, because, well she has to if she wants to leave. I approach her and say, “Hey, so and so, I’m sorry if you felt I was too close to you and if I made you uncomfortable.” While I’m saying this she’s shouting about how I was “right on her ass” and some other crap about being on some committee, and blah, blah. I cut in, “Well like I said, I’m sorry about that, but there’s obviously a bigger issue here since you brought up the bullying, which clearly refers to the bus incident. So if you have a problem with me, I’d like to talk about it.”

Her: “I have no problem. You were on MY ASS! This close to me!”*fingers in my face to indicate the fictitious distance I was from her bumper*…BARK BARK BARK BARK!” because that’s basically what it sounds like now. So I put my hands up in front of me and lean back in a, woe, back-it-down-a-notch-sweetheart motion, and say, “Did you not hear the first thing I said when I came over? That I was sorry?”

Her: “Yeah!”

Me: “But you’re still shouting.”

Her: “I’m not shouting. This is my normal voice!”File:Scream crosathorian.jpg

Me: My eyebrows take flight up to my hairline. “Really? cause it sounds like shouting to me. I mean, if you feel the need, go ahead, but my driving and bullying don’t have anything to do with each other so there’s obviously another problem here.”

Her: “I’m on the committee for the safe zone! And I’m working with the police. And you were right on my ass!”

I’m not sure what to say to the “right on my ass” comment anymore so I just say, “Ahh..okay.” My staying calm made her outburst look even more ridiculous.

Her: “I’m late, I have to go.” And she storms to her car.

Me: “Okay,” I say as she goes. Mind you I’m still facing her. “But if you have a problem with me or the situation that happened on the bus, I’m available to talk about it.”

I turn to go to my car and as she’s getting in her car she mutters a bunch of crap at the BACK of my head! UGH!! Motherfrickafrackasaskasass!!!

File:Gnome-face-angry.svg

Wednesday. I wish I could say the next day I was fine and WHAT EVER, with a big finger W, but I wasn’t. It really bothered me that she besmirched my reputation, to two women that I don’t know, and possibly a cop, and there was nothing I could do about it. I hated being pointed at and God-only-knows what was being said about me. It made me feel powerless. That feeling sucks. Really bad.

File:Lilyu - sad.svg

On any given day, I have a full time job four days a week, I have a second full time job as a writer, I am me, I’m a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a teacher, a cook, a housekeeper, a crazy-dog tamer because I’m the only one the little bastard doesn’t bite, the laundry chick and the list goes on and on. But hey, everyone is busy, that’s just life, it’s not an excuse. I’m not asking for special treatment but a little empathy would be great. And it’s not like I’m a constant screw up. For the most part I run a tight ship, even as I’m tap dancing a hundred miles an hour. But, admittedly, I am the occasional screw up.

Not gonna lie, when I began to write this blog in my head I planned to M-F that woman all over the page. But in the same way that I wanted her to think about what might be going on with me, stand in my shoes for a moment, I started to think what might be going on with her. Maybe her day sucked so bad that she was just looking for someplace to unload her emotions and I happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe she’s just one of those holier-than-thou mean girls. I really don’t know. But what I do know is that being mad at her was friggin’ up my mojo. I don’t have time for that (see list above).  I don’t have time for high school nonsense or mean girls.

Forgive and forget? Come on now, I’m not a saint. And did I mention the hot temper? But letting it go for my own good? Yeah, I can definitely do that.

What bag a crap are you hangin’ onto that’s messin’ up your mojo?

PEACE. Keep it and keep your mojo in tact!

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