Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: A Puppy Picture Parade

Those of you who know me are aware of my penchant for collecting black (with a little tan to break it up) dogs.  I've got Scooter, the 12/13 years young rescue, mixed breed puppy and Samson, the nine year old purebreed Doberman who is full of (benign) lumps, love, and a whole lot of arthritis.

Since both my boys are getting up there in the years and my Mom's dogs had a litter, I thought when better to add to our little canine family than now?  A puppy would definitely liven up the old crew and maybe breathe some much needed life into my aging pups.

Meet Violet, the Wonder Pup.  The newest member of the Black (and tan) Dog Society here in Nellenbachlandia.

Here she is! My little Violet Moon.  Isn't she pretty?

Wait, Mom! This is my good side.

Violet LOVES Samson.  She loves the cat, too, but the cat isn't too impressed with her just yet.


Family Portrait.
(you don't even want to know how many takes we had to do before we got this one (semi) good shot)

That's our happy little black (and tan) family.  Don't they look like a fun crew?


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bad Days

Everyone has them.  Days where no matter what you do, nothing can go right, and all you want to do to is just crawl back under your covers and hide until all the bad fades away.  When you finally emerge from your blanket cocoon, all is right in the world once again.

Or so you'd think.

At least, that's how I believed "bad" days worked.  Before.

Before I lost all my good days.  Before I really knew what it meant to have a bad day.

You see, folks.  When you're mired in grief a bad day starts out just like any other day.  You wake up.  You lay in bed, dreading the day to come, but knowing you have to get up.  The dogs (and/or cats) need to be let out and fed.  There is work to be done.  Chores around the house.  Laundry.  Cleaning.  Mowing Lawn.  And, bills to be paid.

So, you crawl out of your bed, knowing that you have to, not because you want to feel the sun on your cheeks or feel the warm air kiss your skin.  You've got a routine, one you stick to because if you don't force yourself to put one foot in front of the other, you're going to fall apart.

You make the motions.  Going to work.  Smiling at people you meet.  Engaging in small talk when absolutely necessary.  Put your head down and focus on what is right in front of you.  All the while telling yourself to just, "keep it together. for just a little longer."

You hide that pain behind a mask of feigned concentration on a particular task or of empathy when a coworker complains to you about her latest diet fail.  Mostly, you hide behind jokes and sarcasm.

And you count the seconds till five, till you can escape the office and go home, hide away and just let the tears that have been threatening to take over all day, consume you.  Sometimes, they spill over before you've even left the parking lot.  Other days, you never shed a drop.  And still others find you constantly on the verge of tears, anything, even a sideways look from a coworker might break the dam you'd so carefully erected around yourself.

Those are the bad days.

The really bad ones come when the sun is shining down, birds are singing and you feel happy.  For once.  You laugh.  You joke.  It's all genuine.  And then, someone says or does something that reminds you.  You see a sign for a new video game or movie that brings it all back.

And you crash.  How dare you laugh?  How dare you have fun when the person who you had the most fun with is no longer here?  HOW DARE YOU FORGET? FOR EVEN A SECOND???

Those are the really, really bad ones.  The days that start out good, great even, and then the world comes crashing down around you.

I guess (if you're still reading this post) by now you're wondering what in the flaming f**k I'm yammering about.  I suppose this is a bit of a rambling monologue.  But, really, I warned you all that this blog wouldn't be all sunshine and smiles...didn't I?

Anyway, I do have a reason for this post...sort of.   I heard something the other day, something that resonated with me and I feel like it might resonate with others going through the loss of a loved one.

Ready for this bit of wisdom, folks?

Grief is a suitcase that you are packing for a journey.  Every day, you have to pack up that suitcase and take it with you.  Some days that suitcase is light as air, the journey easy, almost fun.  Others it's overfull, huge, and cumbersome.  You could collapse under the weight of it all.  It's a struggle just to put one foot in front of the other.  

But, no matter how difficult, you pick that suitcase up and take it with you.  Every day.  Light or Heavy.  That case will never leave your side.  Because grief is a burden that never really goes away.  

It does, however, become easier to bear.  Day by day.  Hour by hour.  Until the heavy days become fewer and further between, the light days more often.  

The suitcase will always be with you, because if it wasn't there, you'd have no place to hold all the good memories that right now are so difficult to recall without feeling so much pain.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

(Slightly) New Look!

Hello, Friends!

Long time, no talk, huh?  Well, this is me, saying hello AGAIN.

If you remember the last time I posted (more than a year ago), I made a promise to you all. One that I broke almost immediately.  Yep, I disappeared on you all.  AGAIN.

This time, I'm making no such promises.  As my great granny used to say, "Don't let your mouth write checks you can't cash."  Wise words, my granny used to throw around.

So, I'm not going to do that now.

What am I going to do, you ask?  Easy.  I'm going to say hello.  *WAVES*  Then, I'm going to tell you all what has me crawling out of the woodwork after all this time.

Two things.  Why? Because, with me, there are always AT LEAST two things.

ONE:  The publisher who brought you my first two books, ALWAYS AND FOREVER and A SLIVER HOPE is now no more.  Booktrope closed its doors at the end of May, thus closing the chapter (for the moment anyway) on those two books.

Can I republish them myself? Of course.  But, before I do, I'm going to be taking a long look at both books.  Can I make them better? Most definitely.

A&F definitely had a handful of typos that no one (the editor, the copy editor, the formatting person, or even I caught), so there's that.  Also, I've been batting around the idea of writing a short novella from Kal's point of view, a sort of peek into the lives of Mia's loved ones after the whole tragedy of losing her has settled.  So, before the republishing thing happens, I need to make some decisions.

And, don't even get me started on SLIVER.  I wrote A SLIVER OF HOPE a long time ago.  Long before I ever experienced real tragedy myself.  SLIVER was an exercise in how I THOUGHT the aftermath of losing a close relative to suicide would be like.  Now, that it's something I've experienced for myself, I can honestly say, SLIVER was not a true representation of what I went through.  Did I get some things right? Yes, but for the most part, I feel like the whole book is just so wrong.  For that reason alone, I may not republish.  Or if I do, it will need to have a complete overhaul done, one that I'm not sure I'll be strong enough to undertake any time soon. If ever.

Which brings me to reason number

TWO: It's been close to two years since my little brother passed away.  And, after almost five months of counseling, I can finally say the word suicide.  It nearly breaks me into a million tiny pieces and there are definitely tears in my eyes as I write this, but the point is that I can say the word.  That's so much further than I was just six months ago, when I was teetering on a ledge I wasn't sure I could cling to any longer.

Complicated Grief.  Apparently, that's a real thing.  Who knew?  I sure didn't.  But, it's something I'm working through.  And, hopefully some day, I can tell you all about what a fun, snarky kid my brother was.  How many shenanigans we got into together.  How many times we traded text messages late at night and how many hours we logged on Rock Band, while touring the world as the notorious super-group The Righteous Hemorrhoids.

Today, though, really isn't that day.

Today is only the first day, the first step, the first words of a (more than likely, LONG) journey of learning to live my life as the girl with a missing piece of her heart. A big chunk, really.

So, peeps, this is where my blog comes into play.  I've revamped it, slightly.  The color combo, the layout, all that is basically the same.  But, I've taken down the book/writerly stuff involved.  One, because with Booktrope's closing, my books are currently not for sale, and Two, because this blog, for better or worse, is no longer going to be focused on my writing endeavors.

Will I still be writing? You betcha.

But, this blog is going to be focused more on healing and learning to live my life again.  It's going to be a diary of sorts.  Someplace I can come to talk about all the crazy/bad/weird/good stuff that happens in my life.  There will still be posts about the things I read and/or write, but those will be few and far between.

I know that many of you follow me for writing news and/or reading recs and I apologize in advance if this new direction is not what you signed up for.  Which is the main reason for the very long winded (with no pictures WHO IN THE FRACK DOESN'T INCLUDE AT LEAST ONE PICTURE IN THEIR BLOG POSTS?!?! ESPECIALLY ONE THIS LONG?????????) post full of excuses and without a single bit of humor.

If after this post, I've lost you, I just want to say that I understand and I've enjoyed spending time with you.  If you stay on, I can't promise constant laughs or shenanigans, but I can promise puppy pics, random Friday Fives, some tears and hopefully some good times sprinkled in there.

Happy Hump Day, peeps and I hope to see you around the Blogosphere or the Twitterverse again real soon.


Friday, March 27, 2015

The Return of the Friday Five

So, that thing I promised you guys I wouldn't do again? I did it.  Yup, as you can see from the fact that it's been over two months since my last post, I disappeared on you all.


So, what have I been doing, you might ask? Since today is Friday, I shall give you five excuses reasons why you haven't seen me in a little while.  And, what better way to do that, than with a Friday Five Picture Parade. (I'm a giver that way)

Hockey Fun Times! Tampa hosted my beloved Red Wings. Yay-ness! My wings lost, tho. Boo-ness

I gave into peer pressure, folks. I am now lost in the Who-verse. I'm still on the fence about this show tho...

Yup, you're seeing that right. I got to be one of the first to read Linda Grimes' newest book. Lookit how pretty!

The time change really wore us out. My boys still haven't recovered.

And then, this happened! My partner in writing crime and I are now repped by the super shiny and oh so fabulous Laura Zats of Red Sofa Literary.  Woot!!!

So, I've been a little busy lately. I apologize for leaving you fun peeps.  Hopefully, that won't happen again.  How have you been getting along in my absence? Everyone playing nice? Anything fun and exciting happen for you? Do share.