Lucky Friday the 13th

The kids are back in school, which means Mom and Dad have plenty of time to read.  Right?

I’ve teamed up with some awesome authors to bring you the amazing Clean Authors Back to School event.  Most of our books are $0.99 or less TODAY ONLY.  All five of my novels are a part of this event.  You will also find books from some amazing authors you may not have heard of yet.  Check out the Clean Authors website for the full list of participating authors and descriptions of their books.  Be sure to share this with your friends.  They won’t want to miss, and there are plenty of eBooks to go around!

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Andrew rolled his eyes.  “Leftovers,” he said with an air of disgust that only a preteen can muster, “are disgusting.”

His younger brother breathed an exaggerated sigh of agreement.  “Can’t we just order pizza?”

I squeezed my eyes shut, took a deep breath, and counted to ten.  All calming tricks I’d learned in my years of therapy.  None of which seemed to be working that night.  As much as I wanted my boys to get along and not fight with one another (after all, it had been less than ten minutes since I told them to stop fighting or I was going to make them sit side-by-side on the sofa, holding hands until they could be kind to each other,) I did not need for their one moment of solidarity in the week to come at my expense.  It had already bee a stressful day, dealing with a client who adhered to a very rigid deadline where work was concerned but was not nearly so rigid about the deadlines on payment.  On top of that, the boys’ father had called me that afternoon to apologize that his child support would be late.


He had the money to take his new wife and their daughter on a week long trip to Disneyland, but he couldn’t bother to send basic support for his two sons.

It wasn’t a new thing, and wasn’t a complete surprise.  Still wasn’t something I was happy about.  I’d done nearly $600 worth of work for a client that I wasn’t being paid for and how the $200 of child support that should have bought enough groceries to get us through the week until my paycheck from my steady teaching job came in wasn’t coming.  And the boys were moaning and complaining about having to eat leftovers.

Oh how I wanted to send them to their father that night!  Then he’d have little choice but to pay something for them. 

The thought of my ex’s face if I were to drop the boys on his doorstep and drive away did more to calm me than anything else.  I was finally able to smile.  I opened my eyes, smiled at the boys, and said, “We can have pizza, no problem.”  I reached into the open fridge and pulled out an aluminum foil covered plate.  “We made homemade pizza two nights ago, and there is plenty left for tonight’s dinner.”

My oldest son repeated the rolled eyes.  But he did step aside so I could pop the plate into the microwave.

“Well,” my youngest said, “it’s better than what they made us eat for lunch at school today.”


I am not a big fan of fruits.  As far as I can remember, I never have been.  It’s not a taste thing so much as a texture thing.  Most fruits feel odd and squishy in my mouth.  Makes me squirm just to think about it.  And then there are the seeds.  I cannot stand seeds.

I don’t know.  I am just not a fruit fan.

Once upon a time, though, I was a fan.  At least I was a fan of one particular fruit.  There is a picture—oh how I wish I had a copy of it that I could attach to this post and share with the world—of me sitting on the porch steps at Grandma’s farm, eating a slice of watermelon.  One of my older sisters is sitting beside me.  I couldn’t have been more than three or four in the picture, wearing my brown framed eyeglasses and my long chestnut colored hair in two curly ponytails, one on each side of my head.  Yeah, I was an adorable little thing.  From the smile on my face and the watermelon juice dripping down my chin and covering the front of my shirt, it sure looks like I am enjoying the watermelon.

So many times over the years, I have thought about that picture whenever anyone has offered me watermelon.  I don’t remember eating it.  I remember a lot of summer days spent at Grandma’s house.  I remember a lot of family picnics in that yard and eating a lot of sandwiches sitting on that front porch.  Good memories, all of them.

Well, most of them.  I’m sure there are some not-so-good memories in there somewhere. They are not what I choose to remember, though.  When I think about Grandma’s house, I choose to remember only the good times, only the fun.  There are enough other places in my life that I associate with negative thoughts and feelings.  I want to keep one place with only the good, happy memories.

Is that so wrong?

Memories that are like that picture of me eating watermelon.  A little grainy, and a lot a sweeter than they would be if they were experienced today.

memoriesmonologgingrandom thoughtsthoughtswatermelon


Groupons?  What in the world are groupons?

I know it can’t be what first comes to mind…a group of tampons.  I mean, really….  Who would care about those?

From what I understand, they are supposed to be group coupons.  Still, the name is so dumb.  It’s really stupid.

Sorry, dear readers, but this isn’t really going to be a short story.  It’s more of a rant about odd words and odd slogans and things that I find just plain, well, ODD.

I mean, really.  The word “groupon” doesn’t sound at all appealing.  Why would I want one?

And then there is the feminine hygiene product with the “Have a happy period” slogan.  Really?  What man came up with that?  I have to believe that was a man.  “Oh, I am having such a happy period,” said no woman…EVER.  (Perhaps they got the idea that this slogan wasn’t particularly popular, as I don’t recall seeing it recently.)

And have you seen the toilet tissue commercials with the little bears?  “Everyone has to go, why not enjoy the go?”  Sorry, but when I go, the tissue doesn’t have much to do with it.  That’s more for cleaning up.  For me to “enjoy the go” would require the kids actually understanding that a closed bathroom door means Mommy needs a bit of privacy.

Oh, and while I am on the subject, your flushable moist wipes might help with the cleaning, but that does not mean I want to go to Facebook and talk about my bum.

There is a pizza place around here that is geared toward kids.  They had a commercial that talked about making things “funner.”  Seriously?  Since when is that a word?  Kids sound unintelligent enough with all the text shorthand that is making its way into daily conversation.  Is it really necessary for companies to use incorrect grammar in TV ads?  Let’s work to make our nation smarter, people!

Oh, text shorthand…. I should not have even mentioned that!!!  That is my biggest pet peeve lately.  The only time I use anything other than “LOL” is when I am texting and in a BIG hurry.  Or if I am trying to be funny or sarcastic.  I never use it with my kids, and I don’t put up with them using it.  Seriously, kids need to learn how to spell.  They need to learn how to communicate in a mature fashion.  Yes, they need to be kids, but they also need to know when to show maturity (and sometimes they need to know when to show more maturity than their parents show, but that’s another story.)  When adults try to “communicate” with teens and tweens using text shorthand, it doesn’t help things.  You want America to be taken more seriously in the global marketplace?  Then you need to help turn out more serious Americans.

Just my two cents….

Sorry if you don’t like it.  I can’t give change.

Why I Write…Again

I’ve talked about it before, and I will probably talk about it again.  Most every writer is asked the question.  And the answer, for many of us, changes as we grow and our writing evolves.  In this blog, I have covered more times than I can count at the moment the reasons that I write.  Recently, though, I found myself face-to-face with one of the reasons I started writing in the first place.  I immediately took a picture of it.

DSCF4843_thumb.jpg My husband and I took our sons on a vacation “Up North,” to Grand Traverse County, Michigan.  My mother’s family has roots in the area, and a cousin now owns property in the small village outside of Traverse City where my great-aunt raised her family.  We were able to stay there.  My oldest son, who is 12 now, helped me tour the property on a golf cart—he drove while I took pictures.  At one point as we drove along the dirt road, I just started to giggle.  The road that stretched in front of me reminded me of my favorite book, Anne of Green Gables.  All I could think as we bounced along that road was, “If this was a horse-drawn buggy, this would be just like what Anne Shirley saw on her first approach to Green Gables from the train station.”  It took me back to the first time I read that book and the reasons I started to write.

I began writing because of Anne’s wonder.  From the moment I first read that book, I was entranced with the way L.M. Montgomery captured Anne’s view of the world, her wondered at experiencing all new things.  Her Anne books are my biggest inspiration.  I can’t imagine that my writing is nearly as good as Ms. Montgomery’s work.  But my goal, especially when I am writing for young adults, is to create characters as memorable as Anne Shirley and Diana Barry, and to craft a love story as touching and enduring as that of Anne and Gilbert Blythe.

Though Anne’s stories take place on Prince Edward Island, Canada, and this photograph was taken in Grawn, Michigan, it reminds me of those feelings I had when I started to write stories.  I plan to enlarge this picture and have it framed to hang above my writing desk.    This is why I write.  Whenever I need extra inspiration, looking at this should help me to find it.

Anne of Green GablesAnne ShirleyinspirationL.M. Montgomery