Friday, October 20, 2017

Flashback Friday: Halloween, Subdivision-Style!

Oct 1997:
The reason I wanted to live in a subdivision was simple.  We'd have neighbors, and I could turn the kids out on Halloween Night, and let them run around the neighborhood as I did, collecting candy and staying out after dark.

But in our spanking-new subdivision, the houses were so spread out, my kids didn't want to walk/run in their costumes.  The night air was a little chilly, and when it became apparent all the other kids were having one parent drive them around, I put my shoes on and away we went.

In a way, it was fun, getting to meet the neighbors, and my kids were thrilled with the amount of candy they were collecting.  But I was also terrified, because I didn't see well at night, and trying to turn around in a tight spot had me praying I wouldn't accidentally hit something, or damage my car.

When we'd visited the other 25 houses, this mama breathed a sigh of relief and told the kids their father would be driving them around every year from now on!

Next Month:  Early Snowstorm and Being Rescued By The Neighbors:)

Present Day:
Had to make a trip to Lafayette this week, due to a friend's mom passing last week.  Enjoyed catching up with old friends at both the visitation and funeral, esp R's younger siblings, whom I hadn't seen in over 30 years.

Celebrated my parents' 54th wedding anniversary yesterday!  Mom wasn't feeling well, so she didn't go to the funeral, and since she didn't feel like going out to eat, we ordered take out from Walt's Other Pub.  Yummy!

Heading home tomorrow, since choir is singing Saturday night.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Flashback Friday: "Wait, You're Going To Do WHAT?"

Oct 1987:
Brief Recap:  I'd begun seeing CS, whom I'd met the previous winter, and began driving down to see him every weekend.

Several things began to happen the month of October.
-CS 'picked' me over the other girl, and I was thrilled, but after a while driving down every weekend began to take its toll.  C attended night classes, and wanted to stay up all night, watching movies.  I was on 'day shift', and wanted to fall into bed around midnight-1am.  After a month of flipping my schedule upside down, it became a regular joke that I would turn into a 'bitch after midnight'.  In hindsight, I should have put my foot down and stopped seeing him.  But no.....

-I met my future hubby.  C and I walked into a local diner for a late night breakfast, and there was this guy who radiated warmth, so I snuggled up to him.  I'd taken my camera with me, and several goofy pics were snapped that night, and I'm VERY thankful social media didn't exist back then!!

-I went home for Fall Break and thoroughly confused my parents by meeting the guy I'd briefly dated in June for lunch, then by going out to the bar with the guys from Wabash Nat'l.  Mom soooo didn't understand why I could be dating one guy, have lunch with another, and go drinking with my ex-co-workers in the evening!  We were going to attend a wedding on Saturday, and I don't remember where my mom and sister had gone, but my dad and I had a 'bonding' moment.

-BL (guy I'd dated in Aug) and I had decided to get together for drinks, and we ended up in a motel. B set his alarm, but it either didn't go off, or we didn't hear it.  Since I 'knew' my dad slept in on Saturdays, I took my time going home, even stopping at Burger King for breakfast.  Imagine my surprise when I opened the door and found my dad in the living room!

"Do you often stay out all night when you go out?"

"No; B and I were talking; we've been at Denny's all night." (yes, I lied!)

"I'll make a deal with you.  I went out with co-workers, thinking it was going to be dinner, but it only turned out to be drinks.  If you don't tell your mother I got drunk last night, I won't tell her you didn't get home until 7am."

"Deal.  Wake me up at 11, so I can shower before we head to Mike and Dianne's wedding?"

It would be at least 20-25 years before Mom learned that story!

When I returned to BSU, CS was on his Fall Break, so I stopped by his house and kidnapped him, then sneaked him into my dorm room after hours.  We only got caught once, and that's because we played Trivial Pursuit with friends, and lost track of time.  We were only 5 mins past curfew, but spent the night downstairs in the lobby, watching movies until I could safely sneak him back upstairs.

Next Month:  Bar Fight!

Present Day:
Recuperating from last weekend, plus kids on Fall Break, plus sick kids, has caused me to do absolutely NOTHING  this week, other than watch TV, shuttle kids to doctor appointments, and forget all about getting the trash and recycling out.  In fact, Kenzie nearly forgot to even blog this week for the blog hop!

I *should* be back to *normal* next week.

College Kid attained his Orange belt in Tai Kwon Do, and has a tournament tomorrow.  Unfortunately, it's at the same time as when our Reverse Osmosis water purifier is being installed.  Hopefully, we'll be able to go see part of his tournament?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Home From Conference:)

Oh, did I not mention I was off to Louisville this past weekend?

Friday, Nancy and Brooke picked me up and we headed east.  Changed drivers in Corydon, since B didn't feel comfortable driving in heavier traffic.  Thanks to Carol P's texts earlier, we had no problem finding the motel, checking in, and locating our room.  Then it was off to dinner.

We were told to seat ourselves, which we did, and I kept an eye out for Carol.  Finally, a server told us to go ahead and help ourselves to the buffet.  C arrived, and by that time, a server came around and took our drink orders.  The pizza side only had 3 pieces of pizza, so I opted for a salad until more pizza arrived.  Moments later, I fixed myself another salad, since the 4 pizzas brought out were swarmed upon, and not my chosen flavor.  When I was told a cheese was on the way, I stood by the buffet and waited, and only took 3 slices.  By now, our drinks finally arrived, with the exception of C's.

I'd seen a guy come out and the other server point to us and two other tables...."Those are yours."  He then did an about face and disappeared. 

C finally got her beer about the same time as her bill, and the guy who'd been told to be our server arrived to bus our tables.  C and N paid for their food and left.  B and I hung around for karaoke.

I sang at least nine songs, plus we managed to get B up on stage for two.

You Never Know Who You'll Meet:)
A woman came in and asked if she could sit with B and I.  We said sure, and it turned out to be Rochelle Weber, the founder of MFRW!  We were thrilled when we made that connection!  Plus, Frank got to hear me sing 'Let Me Be There' and 'I Will Be'.

Went down to breakfast and while the food was excellent (scrambled eggs, country potatoes, sausage links, pancakes, danish, and fruit), the service was again slow.  I opted to wait for C while B and N went over and set up; I joined them a while later.  Was happy to see friends I'd not seen in a while, and set up my display, then started on my panels.

Kindle, KDP, and KU:
Really felt as if I needed to be on the other side of the table, lol!  Didn't have a lot to contribute, until an audience member asked a formatting question, and about royalties.

Navigating The Blogosphere:
Felt as if I was in center court of a tennis match.  Could not get a word in edgewise, so gave up after a while.  Did manage to sneak in a word or two at the end.

Revving Up The Romance:
Had better success with this one, but at times it seemed to be a one-or-two woman 'show'.  Still, had great audience questions!

Crickets.  Absolutely no one came over.

Electrifying Your Erotica:
This one was painful.  Daniel the moderator's questions were answered with many pauses; it was if we were all going brain-dead or on sensory overload.  There was NO participation from audience, and with ten minutes left, we were asked to come up with a one line erotic scene.  I hadn't brought a pen, and absolutely struggled with it, coming up with a lame one at the end, and remembering my favorite ones from Teacher's Pet, which saved me.

Developing A Series:
Only three of us showed up, plus no moderator.  I explained the crucial need for a series 'bible', plus we all spoke about how we wrote them out of order, and timelines.  Small amount of audience participation.

End of the Day!
I couldn't get back into the vendor hall, and was slightly pissed, because my wallet, Kindle, and charger were under the table.  I'd also used my rolly cart to transport my series CDs and books, so had to store them in the car.  N paid for my dinner at Fazolli's, then we found a Walgreens for some Advil.  I put on my Danaerys costume, but by 9:15, was beginning to decompress, so went to bed at 9:30.

Had another delicious breakfast (courtesy of B this time), then headed upstairs to finish packing and to check out.  Rain had moved in (remnants of Hurricane Nate), so B and N let me and my books out under the portico while they parked the car.  I wanted to attend the Religion In Writing panel, and it wasn't what I'd thought, but still had a good time.

Building Your Blog:
This panel was a little more balanced, and thankfully we did have wonderful questions from the audience.  The one thing I took away from this was I. Need. To. Start. Using. Tags.

Still don't know what an RSS feed is, or how to set one up.  I'll have to PM DJ later.

Finally, I attended the YouTubers panel, since a) I have a channel and b) Will wants to start one.  This one was very informative.

Good News!!!!!
Frank informed me Teacher's Pet (Kenzie Michaels) will be available by the end of the week!  Paperback will be $12-13, which surprised me; I was expecting $10.  Also found out how to order copies, so will have to have the spouse cough up some cash, since I still owe $60 for the Christmas show, and didn't make any $$ this weekend.

Nancy, however, sold 2 books, which I was THRILLED, and Brooke one.  But then again, I never really manned my booth; I was out talking to people most of the two days.

What's On Tap For Next Year:
Might try the one hour thing again, since I'll be an official Stardust author, and if B and N want to get a table again, I'll not do so many panels, so I can be behind the table.  Which means seriously cutting back on craft fairs, except for local ones.  Or maybe not; it's a double-edge sword:  Make money or keep having to order inventory?  Check back with me on this later.

In the meantime, I've had two lazy 'recuperation' days, and should be back to 'normal' activities tomorrow.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Flashback Friday: A Month of Mixed Emotions

Oct 1977:
At the end of September, my great-grandfather, whom we called 'Granddaddy', suffered a stroke and was hospitalized.  I don't remember much, but Mom recalls seeing his angry demeanor while being hooked up to monitors, and asked him if he was ready to go.  He squeezed her hand and a tear trickled from his eye.  Two days later, he died from a heart attack.

This was the first funeral I remember attending, and most of it was spent downstairs in the Hospitality Room, snacking and talking to relatives not seen in a while.  Afterward, I was disappointed that someone had forgotten to come get me for the actual service; I missed my grandmother pounding on the casket in grief; my great-grandmother's irritation at the mispronounciation of his name (minister kept calling him 'our dear departed Brother Geese' instead of Geis).

Still, we were thrilled to have our grandparents up from Florida in time for my sister's 7th birthday, and Mom had made us matching outfits, pants and a vest.  The first time, she'd accidentally sewed the legs shut, then vowed to never attempt that again!  Our cousins Tammy and Richie came also, and we had a wonderful time playing on the swing set.

I think this was also the year Mom put trick candles on her cake.  She was furious when she found out she couldn't blow them out, and threatened to dump a cup of water all over her cake!  Mom came to the rescue, and explained the joke.  We called this her 'Golden Birthday', since she was 7 on the 7th in '77:)

Forgot to mention:  While we had been in Florida in Aug, we'd gone to Busch Gardens, and nothing was air-conditioned!  Not the restaurant, not the brewery, not even the safari ride.  I was dragged onto the log flume ride, and told Mom I was going to kill her when we finished.  We also got some relief on the Flying Baskets and the Octopus (Magic Mamba).  When we went to the gift shop, I got a toy clydesdale, whom I christened 'Clyde', and still have him to this day.  He's got a rubber band around him to hold him together, lol!

The walls began to go up on the den, and I continued to play on the dirt pile, pretending to be an archaeologist.

Also got our 1st cat, Half-Pint, a yellow and white sweet thing:)

Next Month:  Starting piano lessons, and being sick on T'day.

Present Day:
I'm off to the Imaginarium Conference with Nancy Riggs and Brooke Myers!  I'm on six panels:
-Building Your Blog
-Kindle, KDP and KU
-Electrifying Your Erotica
-Creating A Book Series
-Navigating The Blogosphere
-Revving Up The Romance

Plus, I hope to dress up as Danerys at the costume ball (practice for Halloween???) and find out the status of Teacher's Pet!  Frank says he's launching the first few titles this weekend, so I hope mine's included:)

Happy early birthday to my sister Wendy, whose 'big day' is tomorrow!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Oct Reading Schedule

To recap September....
-Do well at 1st Friday  Sold 4:)
-Do well at Community Yard Sale  Sold 4:)
-Do well at Eminence Harvest Fest  Sold 9:)
-Spend a productive week at Mom's LOL....was simply her chauffeur! Check:)
-Find out status of both Teacher's Pet and Anderson quad  TP:  New cover and arriving later this month!!!  UPDATE:  New cover is here, and blurb needs reworked.  Ready for formatting!
-Write Ch. 6 of Heart Song  Not yet....
-Write Ch. 2 of Rikar's Redemption  Not yet.....
-Finalize plans for Imaginarium  Check:)
-Make another payment for Christmas Show  Check:)  Now just need $60 more....
-Continue emptying green/brown houses  Green house is nearly empty:)
-Continue to empty storage unit  Can't do more until we empty the brown house, or do some work in the basement.

Books Read:  3
           Print:  1
        E-book:  2

Weight:  Lost 6 pounds:)  Began at 239; ended at 233.  Hoping to lose those elusive 3 pounds, then start working my way back to 220.

Karaoke Songs Added:  14
                             Thurs:  7
                                 Sat:  7

What Do I Foresee For October?
-Have fun at Imaginarium and sell at least 5 books  Too many panels and not enough time at table.  But YES to the awesome time!!!
-Write Ch. 6 of Heart Song
-Write Ch. 2 of RiKar's Redemption
-Finish cleaning out Green House
-Empty back 2 rooms of Brown House
-Continue cleaning out storage unit
-Order inventory for November event
-Dress up as Dany for Halloween.  Spouse:  Robert Baratheon; K:  The Mountain; S:  Ramsey; W:  Samwell; A:  Cersei.
-Buy winter clothing for my teenager
-Find out Lyrics/Copyright for Spirit Pottery, or if I have to rewrite it  Going to have to rewrite it; I might get away with one or two songs, but not ten.  Was going to cost me $3200+.  This sucks.
-Spend a PRODUCTIVE week with my parents???  Might not have time this month.  Not sure how 'productive' it will be; friend RRW's mom passed away, so going up for funeral.

Reading Schedule:
Tomb of the Moon-NE Riggs
Devil's Retreat-Brooke Myers  Did NOT see the twist coming!  Good job, Brooke:)
Rachel's Guard -Jillian Jacobs
Maude's Score-JJ
Clayton's Star-JJ

Accidental Kisses-Sandra Sookoo, et al
Secrets and Lies (HOB #4)-Susanne Matthews
Back To School-Dylan Cross

Karaoke Songs:
Where Did Our Love Go-Supremes (have to resing; camera malfunctioned) Nailed it:)
Love The Way You Lie-Eminem/Rhianna  Sang it with Tom, and did well:)
Where The Boys Are-Connie Francis Not too bad....

Where The Streets Have No Name-U2
Make Me Lose Control-Eric Carmen
Where You Lead-Carole King

Wherever You Will Go-The Calling
While You See A Chance-Steve Winwood???
Angel Of The Morning-Juice Newton
Blaze of Glory-Bon Jovi

On My Own-Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald
On the Good Ship Lollipop-Shirley Temple
On The Turning Away-Pink Floyd
One Call Away-Charlie Puth

One Fine Day-Chiffons
One Moment In Time-Whitney Houston
One More Try-George Michael???
One of These Nights-Eagles
Let It Go-Idina Mozel (Halloween weekend, after all!)

*was gone the first weekend, then sick the 2nd.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Flashback Friday: Single Mom Issues

Sept 2007:
I began typing up the story I began writing at the BSA camp-out, and a strange story began emerging.  Instead of a triangle, another female character entered my head and began creating tension between herself and the original heroine's boyfriend.  I decided to hang on for the ride and see what happened next.

K joined the swim team, so afternoons began to get hectic:  Pick him up from school, then drop him off at swim practice; go visit the MIL; return to get him; supervise S's homework; start dinner, write.  S soon began objecting to watching her little brother every afternoon.

She also began balking at getting up in the morning, which one morning resulted in me getting a ticket for making a rolling stop through a 4-way.  I was pissed.

W was enjoying Head Start, thankfully!  I made friends with Robin aka 'Grammy', and when I attended my 1st parent meeting, I wanted to join Council, but decided to let another parent, who 'really really wanted it', to have the position.  I agreed to simply be a peon, a worker bee, and provide snacks for the November meeting.

I also enjoyed 'meeting' more authors online, and reading their blogs.  I signed up for Blogger, and people seemed to enjoy my posts.

TS and I met for coffee one day, and as we were finishing up, he looked at his watch.

"She should be getting served about now."

*needle scratch*

You mean to tell me that you chose to meet me for coffee and not be home at the exact time your wife is getting slapped with divorce papers?  Coward.

Next Month:  Our 2nd Halloween and My Child Is Socialized!  Plus, Galley Arrives!

Present Day:
We're continuing to empty the green house!  Temps were in the 90s last week and the 1st part of this week; now they're in the high 70's-low 80s.

K is doing well in his college classes (Calc 2, Chemistry, Intro to Teaching, and Intro to Technology for Teachers.)

S has been hired at Perdue Turkey Plant and officially started her new shift (2-10pm) last night.

W is enjoying his Language Arts and Science classes; Math is still a struggle.

A is spelling out everything she sees!  Still can't read, but making progress:)  She now calls her mommy 'Mom', which I find hilarious:)

Kenzie's Teacher's Pet is getting close to a re-release with Stardust/Erotes Press, and the four 'orphaned' novellas, Appetite For Desire, All She Ever Wanted, Class Reunion, and Off The Clock should be arriving either this fall or early 2018.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Flashback Friday: Have We Made A Mistake??

Sept 1997:
Brief Recap:
We moved into our wonderful new home on 7.5 acres of land in the middle of Morgan County.  We'd met a few neighbors, enrolled K in kindergarten, and looked forward to putting down roots.

Growing  Pains:
We moved into our home and that night received the heartbreaking news Princess Diana had died.  Since we didn't have our TV set up, I made it a priority so I could watch the coverage.  My heart ached for Prince William and Prince Harry, who were only teenagers.

We attended a neighborhood picnic, so we'd get to know our new community, and right away, I noticed something 'off'.  Previously, I'd been the one to immediately make friends, while D felt out of place.  During the gathering, I felt out of my element, while D was thrilled to get to know the men.  Only one woman seemed willing to talk to me.

"Pen That Dog Up!  There Are Leash Laws!"
I grew up in the country, and in a neighborhood where the dogs ran around freely.  So, I allowed Shadow, our friendly Norwegian Elkhound, to run around.  This soon angered two of my neighbors.

P would call me and yell about the dog poop in her yard.  S griped Shadow was 'terrorizing' her horses.  We would find bagged up dog poop thrown over the fence.  We went to town one day and left Shadow outside; we found him later tethered to a tree.  S and D informed us he had been 'licking' their 3-m/o daughter's face.  Ummmm, yeah......that's what dogs do???

I called the sheriff's office and asked about the leash law.  Discovering it only pertained to city limits, I informed P the next time she called.  This did nothing to soothe things over; we reluctantly chained up Shadow, who was confused by the sudden policy change.  And continued to find bags of dog poop.

"Call Before You Come Over!"
My next 'beef' with my new neighbors was over kids' visitation policies.  When I was a kid, we cut through yards, knocked on doors, and asked if our friends could come out and play.  I was upset that the two other kindergartners in the area were in the afternoon class, while mine was in the morning.  As soon as the kids came home in the afternoon, my social-6 y/o was off on his bike to find a playmate.  He was confused by parents upset he hadn't called first.  WTH????

My neighbors across the street had a sitter for their son, who was the same age as my S.  One day she and KK came over; S asked if she could play over there.  The sitter and I agreed, and she had a wonderful time.  I would let S go over in the afternoon, and things seemed to be going fine, but then SK called and told me she wasn't paying her sitter to watch my child, and please limit S's visits.  Again. WTH???  The kids were playing together.  It's not like S was also being fed meals or anything!  S seemed confused by the shift in the rules.

I finally 'kidnapped' the twins K and D for a weekend of no drama and playmates for my kids!

Next Month:  Halloween:)

Present Day:
I'm back home after a week at my mom's:)  Attended two events, and did well at one of them.  Mom and I had a busy week:
M-Young At Heart
T:  Retired Teacher's Lunch
W:  I had b'fast with friend Angie, then we went to Small Group Bible Study.
TH:  Lunch at Christos with Cathy C, then I went to Indy for the Sip-n-Shop event.
Today, Dad brought me home.

So I really didn't do much, other than drive Mom around and keep her company!

Tomorrow, Brooke, Nancy, and I are off to Vanderburgh Co Holiday Bazaar.  Hope we do well!