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Showing posts from November, 2016

Book Excerpt!

So, ya'll. My goal for 2017 is to complete my book and have it published. It is a book of short stories about fictional women's lives; some amusing and some, as you will note below, not so funny. I just wanted to provide an excerpt of some of the writing and I hope you'll find it on a shelf sometime soon! 

This is an excerpt from Chapter 3. 

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MaryJean’s old Tercel was in the carport, so she was home. Janey rapped on the door and heard nothing. She did note an odor that she equated with those patients in the ICU who were being unmercifully kept alive by family members in denial. The odor of early decay, it was familiar and sad, bringing her back to the critical care unit bedsides where patients would begin the process of putrefaction before even breathing their last breath. You don’t forget that smell.
Suddenly panicking, Janey pushed the door open, which had been left unlocked. The smell became forceful and unmistakable. “MaryJean!” she cried out pleadingly, “Ar…

Somebody's Watching (A Flash Fiction Story)

Closing the front door to my condo, I heard the familiar thunk as the deadbolt slid into place, ensuring my nerves would calm for the night. Peeling off my nursing scrubs after a brutal thirteen hour day, I showered, put on my most comfortable pajamas, went downstairs to retrieve a glass of water and trudged back upstairs for bed. I crawled in gratefully, letting my weary bones settle into my plush mattress. I put on my sports talk radio app, so familiar voices would keep me company as I drifted off to sleep. I didn’t want to feel alone.
Yet I did want to be alone.
The condo creaked as the building settled and I shuddered. After a stressful day, I drifted off to sleep with my jaw clenched tightly.
At 3:16am, I awoke with a start, assumingly from a nightmare. I tried to sit up in the darkness and felt as though something had lifted off of me. I felt smothered and struggled to breathe. I was sweating, my heart was racing, my pajamas were clinging to me. My comforter was twisted, sig…

Men Vs Women: Thanksgiving Planning Edition

The Holidays are such a busy time a year, aren't they folks? Ahh, yes. A chorus of ladies yelling out "Yes! Oh my gosh I am going to lose my freaking mind! There's too much to do!" as they march off to the grocery/department/black friday store with detailed, meticulous lists in hand, soft leather handbags slung over their shoulders, sensible flats covering tired Mama feet, a messy ponytail swinging behind them.

Where are the guys? I didn't hear any of them call out. Hello? (Adele voice), "Can you hear me?"


Absolutely nothing.

Because, though I love me the male persuasion, holidays are significantly less harried for their kind. 

And so, I bring you the Thanksgiving Brain, Women Vs Men:

Woman Brain on Thanksgiving:

"Oh God. It's a week before Thanksgiving. After work I'm going to need to peruse Pinterest for seven hours and start planning ridiculously complex side dishes and fondant shapes so as to go down in history and having the gre…

The Women Before Me

As my nine year old daughter stands on her stool, tearing toast into pieces, dropping it into a large bowl and complaining about HOW MUCH BREAD there is yet to toast, I am there, also nine, next to my Mom, complaining. "Mom, oh my god, why is there so much?!" and in the back of my mind "Why the hell is my brother not doing this?" (to date: he still doesn't. He just shoplifts all of the dressing from the rest of us. But this year, I'm making a secret stash of our own to keep at home, and no one remind him he has a key to my house. Thanks in advance). 

I do it because I'm female, and that's just what we do. For generations. We cook Thanksgiving dinner like nobody's business, and pass it down. And now I get it. All of the complaining has led to a feeling of gratefulness for having those memories with my Mom. I try and tell my daughter, "Somebody you'll be the Mama, and you'll do this with your daughter and tell her about how you used to…

How To Battle Anxiety and How It Started For Me. (Newsflash: It Sucked).

It started the week I woke up suddenly, night after night, with my heart pounding, my hair sweaty and stuck to my face, usually around 3am. My life had been turned upside down. 
I had grown up introverted, self-conscious and loathing social activities. It was built in. Books were my best friends and I was more than happy to stay at home. In school, I felt the creepings of it in class; the desire for perfectionism unfortunately affected by a mind that wandered. I would feel stuck and panicky sitting somewhere for extended periods of time listening to teachings that in no way held my interest. It made me squirmy and impatient. 
But it wasn't until those nights I started to awaken in a blind panic with no resolution, seemingly nowhere to turn, that the anxiety switch flipped on. 

And it announced it's presence in my life with a vengeance. 

It started that week that I discovered that my marriage, my family was a complete lie. I was on the receiving end of unfaithfulness. There was a w…

That Weekend We Almost Killed Naked Santa and Nearly Wandered Into A Bondage Event

It was my husband's birthday weekend, so naturally, as any good wife will do, I wanted to give him an offer he couldn't refuse (no, not "sleep with the fishes" kind). Well, an offer no man ever refuses, actually.
So, we were going to go lingerie shopping, as normal married couples who still really really like to do stuff with their soulmates will do. 

We were out of town, spending a long weekend on in the sleepy, dreamy town of Carlsbad, California, just outside of San Diego. We had booked a beachfront hotel with a lot of our frequent-travel points and picked up some good novels to read on the beach. It had been a really long week, and we were looking forward to time with just the two of us.

So, we headed out in search of the closest Victoria's Secret. It was a Saturday, around 8pm. Finding a mall, we were dismayed that it looked a little deserted. I ran up to the door to check the business hours, and, sure enough, it closed at 8. "What mall closes at 8pm o…

A Letter To My Kids' New Stepmom

Dear My Kids New Stepmom,

I am writing to you in all honesty and truth, so that we can move forward in the relationships we have with my children. I want you to know that I do not hate you, I do not dislike you and I am not jealous of you. Having been divorced a few years, there are no strings I am left standing here clinging to. When the choice was made for the marriage to end, that was it for me. I accepted it for what it was and emotionally moved on. I am not one to act out of stifled maturity, not wanting to meet you, hating you, refusing my children to be around you or pretending that you don't exist. I have given my children permission from day one to build a relationship with you, even love you. 

Really, it's okay. 

I know I'm their Mom, and I know I'm a damn good one. You've probably guessed that by how easy they are to raise and how respectful they are of you and their father. And that's exactly the way I want it. I do not feel as though you'll "…

Sunday Vibes.

There's just something about a Sunday morning. For me, this is especially true in the fall, when it's football season and in early November, summer in Arizona FINALLY bows out, giving way to hiking weather for us.

The kids sleep in, the football pre-shows are on, I have time to wake up slowly with my husband and we are in no hurry to get out of bed.

This morning, I grabbed one of my current books, made my tea and curled up on the chaise lounge in our bedroom. It dawned on me that I am the picture of Sunday morning vibes, and just wanted to share a moment where life isn't rushed and stressful. No having to take care of a gaggle of kids because who cares if they're still in their pajamas by early afternoon?

Sundays when I was a kid were great times. In the winters, Mom would make monkey bread and coffee, Dad would build a fire. He always has cold feet so the vision of his socks slung over the fireplace screen getting warmed up is tantamount to all of my childhood memor…

Unraveling The Entitlement Psyche: Or, What If We All Thought This Way? (Tongue In Cheek Version).

In keeping with the raucous spirit of protest going on out there, I decided it was time for me to chime on in. Because, if we're going to live in a society where nobody accepts the outcome of freaking ANYTHING, resulting in total societal gridlock, then you betcha (in Sarah Palin voice) I'm gonna let you know all the things that are NOT MY (tongue in cheek version). 

And so.

1. God is not the boss of me. 

Clearly He doesn't know what's best for me. I mean, He's only the omnicient and omnipresent being that created like, every single thing and person in the history of ever, but come on. There's no WAY He knows more than me, let alone what's best for me. Amiright?

2. The Denver Broncos are NOT MY Super Bowl Champions. 

Because they're from Denver, and I've never been there, so they can't be champions. The ACTUAL champions, are the Chicago Bears. The won SIX games, and only lost ten last season. Since this was an improvement on their previous 5-11…

What To Watch When You Need A Day Of All The Feels.

Ok, so most likely it's a pipe dream that we'd ever get like a whole day to do nothing but watch emotion-inducing crap on tv that gives us all the feels while we lounge braless in our stretchy pants with some fancy coffee and a handful of mini-Reese's cups. Yeah, right. 
Or, maybe we get the opportunity but feel too guilty to actually partake. After all, that cabinet with the good dishes hasn't been dusted out in three years and maybe I should do that instead. 

No. No you should NOT, sister. Don't even think about it. 

Anne Lamott, famous writer (if you don't know her, read her stuff. If you can skip over the overtly liberal jargon and get to the meat of it, you'll love her) has coined a phrase I love: "Practice radical self-care". It's important.

So IF, IF you get the opportunity for a solo day of lounging, practice some radical self-care and watch the things that will give you the feels. IF I got that chance, here's what I'd fire up…

The Dark Underbelly of Nursing

Most people don't want to hear about it, or know about it. Nursing is consistently listed as the most trusted profession, and we've all read the feel-good stories about how compassionate and kind a nurse was, how he or she saved a life, or how they were there in the darkest moments.

That's all well and good, and there's definitely a majority in the profession who behave as such.

But did you know about how cruel nurses are to one another? 

Many people have heard the saying, that mostly stems from the days of old, almost as a hazing: "Nurses eat their young".  Pretty well all of us in nursing were looked down upon, even scorned, by a preceptor or veteran nurse when we were brand new on the floors, fresh in our fun printed scrubs, unblemished by apathy and burnout. We've all been there.

Perhaps the most disconcerting part of the nursing profession, however, is the sheer cruelty that nurses will rain down on one another.

I was at lunch with a nurse friend tod…

Day 7--God For A Day.

I was doing one of my favorite things tonight, watching football, when suddenly a tripping call by the ref made me laugh. Tripping just sounds like such a stupid penalty, and the thought hit me: what if we could go around in life and just throw yellow flags at people who annoy the bejesus out of us and penalize them? Or better yet, what if we got to be God for like, a day, how would we deal with people? 

Me, I'd be an NFL ref of the planet. And I would rock it. I am hard-pressed to believe that I'd be all grace-granting and loving and stuff. I don't know. Because far too many people have just made me want to chop them in the windpipe, especially in the course of the past year. I have thrown out more side eye in the past twelve months than the previous 39 years combined. I'm pretty sure that me, as God, would look something like a pissed off Dorothy Zbornak in a zebra costume.

First off, I'd stroll around in my outfit, seeking out the screw-ups. It wouldn't be …

The Sunday Ughs. (#NaBloPoMo Day 6)

We feel it creeping up on us, like a late afternoon shadow that we try and run from. The sunshine and joy that commenced Friday evening and rolled over all the way to Sunday morning is falling away. We get that "Sunday evening blues" feeling, every week. We know that come 5:30, or 6:00am, the week, the grind, starts all over. 
We have been obedient and trustworthy, hardworking and determined. Respectful of authority and dedicated to our companies. We've done this through the years, since finishing college or high school or whatever road we decided to take in those days. 
We've lived a linear, THIS + THIS = THAT existence. We've followed a formula with a promise that at the end of that equation is the answer to life's questions and the realization of our every whim and wish. 


We have our kids to wrangle to get to school, we have dropoffs and conference calls, grocery shopping, hell--we have to somehow figure out dinner before we even consider shopping. We f…

My Top Ten Perfect 10 Kick Ass Book Recommendations. READ THESE.

I clearly love to write. Like, LOVE to write. If I am not writing, then I'm thinking about it. I've wandered through years of life thinking that something is weird about me because I'm making constant observations, then, in my head, trying to describe them. Putting together how I would write them down to get someone to understand that exact moment, or feeling. I thought that was just a quirk, thought that it was part of being an introvert; I was never uncomfortable being alone, because I either had a book with me or was thinking about stories. Then I read On Writing, by Stephen King. And suddenly I realized I was part of a club of introverts! A club of talented, story brewing people with an overactive creative dialogue on the inside. Maybe I didn't have the talent that most did, but someone out there UNDERSTOOD my inner self.
It was, at that moment, that I realized that though I could study writing, learn how to improve it, read diverse authors to discover my own flow…