...IT ALL STARTS WITH A PHONE CALL...
Space Herpes... Quote from: Zeno - Ice Pirates
I hate waiting. I especially hate waiting to hear bad news. Doctors' offices should be split by good news and bad news waiting rooms. People getting good news will simply continue to bask in their good news glory while the rest of us unlucky souls get called back one at a time, waiting our turn for the hammer to drop.
Good news, after all, is worth waiting for. Having to sit through face after smiling face of good news recipients just adds insult to the already injured! Screw you - happy, shiny, good news people - screw you!
Okay, I'm really not that bitter. I'm cool with the fact that someone else gets to walk out with a smile on their face. Seriously, wish it were me waving happily at the bad news people, wondering why they are all flipping me off as I head out the door.
The worst is when you go to the doctor knowing full well you're about to get bad news. You know when you get the call...
"Ms. X, we need you to come in today at two and discuss your lab results."
"Oh shit! Oh crap! It's space herpes isn't it? Damn those anal probing aliens! Who do they think they are?"
A little muffled laughter on the other end of the phone and the receptionist/nurse starts again, "are you going to be available at two today?"
"If I say yes, are you going to be available at two?"
"I'm sorry?" The receptionist clearly didn't pick up on my meaning.
"You know, am I going to get there 15 minutes early only to watch two o'clock come and go, waiting for my particular brand of bad news until closer to three?"
"Um, I'm not sure. Look, are you going to be available at two or not?"
"Yeah, sure! I will be your bad news hostage at two. Are you sure it's not just space herpes?
LATER ON THAT DAY... a little after 2 o'clock
"Yep, that's me." This is the point where you let them see you checking your watch or the nearest clock. "Wow, have I really been here for 20 minutes already?"
"I don't know, but we need your co-pay, please!"
"Of course," I reluctantly hand over my not so shiny little blue plastic card and pay the lady. There seems to be some sort of tragic circumstance here though. Having to pay to get bad news is just cruel and unusual. Screw those murderers on death row, who's gonna lobby for the "bad news" patients' rights?
"Thank you, have a seat and someone will be with you shortly!"
...30 MINUTES LATER...
By now I am muttering under my breath, possibly to the unfortunate soul who managed to sit too close, despite my overly anxious, ticked off demeanor. "If one more grinning idiot walks out here waving at me - I WILL explode!""Ms. X, you can come back now."
Well, I've only been here for nearly an hour now, you would think I would be ecstatic about this bit of news, but not now. Now, I am used to the waiting room. I am people watching, and occasionally trying to figure out who the baby-daddy is on Maury - because Maury Povich is inevitably DNA testing someone every single time I am sitting in a waiting room. I believe his show might just contract with waiting rooms around the country, possibly the world, to make sure we all get to see the baby-daddy drama we never knew we were missing! But I digress, as I have a story to continue here.
I meander up to the disgruntled nurse escort that has come to meet me in the waiting room. She sort of smiles and I follow her through the winding corridors, you know, the ones hospitals and clinics use to make it impossible not to get lost!
I lean in close, ready to ask a question, as she first eyes me and then the scale. The SCALE, which has been cleverly placed in the middle of the hallway, where people are lined up and waiting in what seems to be the waiting room overflow area. Why not? Because - being told my weight is already such a joy that I absolutely WANT to share it with all these people too!
"Seriously, you can tell me - is it space herpes?"
"How about we get your weight and blood pressure first, and then I'll go pull your information."
Wait... What? You haven't "pulled" my information yet? So, you don't even know what my afliction is? And now, you're telling me I have to wait... AGAIN?
Okay, on the bright side, I have my own room now. There are no more good news grins walking by giving me the "I don't have the Clap after all" thumbs up! The downside, more waiting and wondering. With all the ailments I have diagnosed myself with by now, the least of which being space herpes, I could be dead before I get these damn results. There has to be a more efficient way of...
*Knock kock* "Hi, how are you?"
"Just tell me if it's space herpes already!!!"
"You're so funny!"
"Okay, well, I called you in here, because..." BAD NEWS DELIVERED WITH A SMILE, and a squeeze of the thigh in reassurance. "Do you have any questions?"
"Just one, why couldn't it be space herpes? At least then I'd have a cool story. This just sucks!"
That's okay though, I know just what I need to cheer me up. I'm gonna go march back out to that damn waiting room and give everyone a big cheesy grin and a double thumbs up. I'm gonna make those bastards wonder what good news I got while they were suffering through the waiting room blues! Better yet, I'm gonna tell them the good news!
"Good news, y'all!!!" Obligatory thumbs up and cheesy grin, "it's not space herpes!"
*audible gasps* & *audible chuckles*
I've been separated/divorced for a year and a half now. I figured it was about time to get out there and meet some people. Unfortunately, I had a few things NOT going for me.
1) New to the area - only moved here after my separation.
2) I work from home - don't get out a lot
3) I don't go to bars a lot, because I am a single parent, I HATE ciagarette smoke, and unfortunately smoking in bars hasn't been banned here yet. Besides, meeting a guy at a bar never quite works out the way you think it will... case in point my failed marriage! ;)
4) I don't go to church either. I'm spiritual, and I can be spiritual anytime and anyplace. I don't think I need to be bored to death by lectures that I am really tuning out just to prove how devoted I am. I try, I have good intentions, and then I think about all the other things I could be doing with my time. Besides, I'm not that religious, so meeting a guy at church doesn't seem all that appealing anyway.
So, all those things put together means meeting people is a rarity. Plus, I'm a little shy around new people at first. What's a girl to do then? "Try online dating," friends tell me. It seemed like a logical, easy way to meet people.
Yes, there is always a but when things seem too easy...
| |But... it's been weird...
I tried Zoosk a few months ago, and I decided I didn't want to do the online dating thing after all I didn't even go out on one date. I guess, I just wasn't ready at the time. Then, in Dec. I thought I would try again with a different site. I signed up for Match.com and went out on one date. Then at someone else's suggestions I tried Plenty of Fish, where I was immediately bombarded by pages upon pages of e-mails by the time I woke up the next day. At first, I thought, "cool, this will be even easier than I thought." That was before I started reading the e-mails. A good 75% percent of the people e-mailing me have been questionable to say the least.
<---- That is what my eyes probably looked like while reading some of these e-mails.I was invited to be a sister-wife - you know the 2nd wife in someone's marriage. Um, I'm flattered I think, but really... NO FREAKING WAY! There was the guy who needed me to be pregnant by March, because he wanted to have a baby THIS year! WHAAAAT? Um, good luck with that, with someone else, really!And then, there's my all time personal favorite e-mail: "Hello there, tittie-city!"Yes, that is ALL the e-mail said. And there were a slew of others that said basically the same thing, "love the red shirt, what's underneath?" Awww, I'm sure that was supposed to be a sweet compliment, right? Right? Yeah, I didn't think so. Obviously, some people were meant to be alone. But, I thank them all for weeding themselves off my lists! :D It makes my job of finding someone who isn't going to be a complete waste of my time on a date that much easier!
I've often wondered why some of the dating profiles I read on places like Match.com and POF.com sound really negative. Some of these people seem almost bitter. It's crazy, or so I thought, until I saw the oh so charming (NOT) e-mails that permeated my inbox. Now I understand!
Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been all bad. I have been on some good dates, and I've met some pretty cool people. I am having a great time with the dating thing. It's definitely different than I thought it would be. It's taken some getting used to. And of course, it is helping immensely that the morons seem to weed themselves out faster online than they do in person! Best of all, I get to write all about the crazy, weird, strange, sometimes awesome experiences. And no, I won't name names...
This is what my profile looks like.
My profile now starts out like this...
I have a fantastic sense of humor, however, I will not respond to e-mails like this:
"hello there tittie city" (yes, I actually received that e-mail, and a few more just like it)
If that kind of thing would get you slapped in a bar, why are you going to e-mail it to a chick? You're not impressing her, and all you're gonna have to show for it in the end is an empty lotion bottle and some sticky tissues. ;)
Now, if you're still with me, here's a little bit about me...
SADLY, people can't read! As I still get those e-mails daily! lol
I love summer! Actually, I love sunshine and warmth and those things just happen to occur most during the summer months. Summer Solstice always brings a smile to my face. This is the day where the sun stands still for just a little bit longer than every other day of the year. Perfect!
I joke with family and friends all the time about waiting on my vampire to come bite me, but I am not so sure I can allow that to happen. I will have to find another path to immortality, because I am not sure I could give up the sun. Maybe, I can pop on over to the world of shiny vampires or vampires with magic rings so that I can enjoy the best of both worlds?
No matter! I have yet to be bitten, so that is a question for another day. For today, I celebrate the sun! I am a sun worshiper! Yes, I know - CANCER! Well, I didn't say I was stupid. I do know what hats and sunscreen are for, but I love the sun. I would rather be hot any day of the year than cold and unable to do anything about it. Did I mention my thin blood, you know the stuff that barely gives me a viable body temperature? Seriously, my body temperature is so low on a normal basis that a fever for me is actually hitting 98.6 (that's 36 or so for you celsius users). Yes, creepy, I know and if it weren't for those unmentionable gray hairs that keep peeking through the rest of my brunette tresses, I would say: "perhaps, I've already been bitten." Alas, time is laughing at me. So, while I flip that special finger up to my newest gray-haired discovery I can at least go outside and warm my blood, feel alive, and perhaps toss myself into the nearest (non-gator-infested) body of water that I can find, because the next best thing to sunshine is playing in the water! Yes, I am a summer girl at heart. Let's face it, I was born in the winter - of course I want the opposite! I'm also a fire sign - so maybe that's why?
These are all perfectly debatable things, but what I know for certain is that it was 100+ (that's 37.7+ for the rest of the world) here yesterday and aside from my skin melting into parts of my car when I attempted to head to town, I loved it! I think my body temp actually went up a few degrees, without the need of a fever! ;)
I am currently headed outside to enjoy the sun on it's gloriously long day! I hope you find the time to enjoy it as well. And if you don't enjoy the sunshine or the heat - well... (I may still be convinced to give up the sun for that bite after all! - I'll send you my number!) ;)
HAPPY SUMMER SOLSTICE
What do you do when you grow up having Déjà vu type dream/reality experiences that, while cool, scare the crap out of you?
If you're me, you turn it into a book, but not just any book. I suppose that is where this blog begins, with my dreams that used to come true. A fellow author recently read my book and she wanted to know first of all if I was a witch because after reading my book, she really thought I must be. And then she asked how I came up with the idea for my book.
I have said before in an interview
that the book came out of a dream I had, and it did. There is a longer story to it than that and it goes back to my younger years when I would dream conversations that would happen the next day. I would dream entire days that would happen the following week. And I dreamed of an accident that really happened. People call it Déjà vu. I know where it came from, my dreams. I have always had really vivid dreams. I have read books, watched programs, and heard tales of people only dreaming in black and white and I have always scoffed at the idea. I mean, when I dream I get dropped into the middle of a very bright and colorful kind of world. In my nightmares snakes are all colors and they are out to get me! In my best dreams I can watch the sunset from so many different places in the world, and some not of this world, and almost tangibly feel the beauty of the colors around me. I suppose I am a very different person, indeed.
I often wondered, when I would experience an episode of Déjà vu type dreams, if I was time traveling while I thought I was sleeping? That would be cool, and if so I wish I were more scientific so I could control it better and go grab those damn lottery numbers ahead of time! That hasn't worked out for me so far! What used to happen, and what inspired Caislyn Vadoma in my book was that I used to have these dreams. I would remember having them, and then they would happen. It could have been something as simple as a conversation I was having with my friends at our lockers in school. But the one that has always stuck with me, the one that really got me thinking and scared the pants off of me, was the reoccurring dream in which my dad got in a car accident.
The dream started out, at first, with my dad asking me to head to Virginia (we lived in northeastern North Carolina then) with him to go pick something up. I would go with him and on the way back we would be on a country road passing a sign on the side of the road, going through a curve, and then the car would veer off the road for some reason. CRASH!
I had this dream repeatedly for nearly a month. I told my mom at one point and I told my friends about it, because I wasn't getting sleep. This dream was so real that I could feel my adrenaline spike each time that car crashed. As the month went on, the dream changed a bit. Mind you, after having this dream, I was afraid to now get in my dad's little commuter car he had at the time. So, the dream changed. I was no longer in the car. I was just an out of body observer watching as this accident played out.
Right around a month after I started having these dreams my dad was in a car accident. Luckily, he wasn' hurt. When I got to see the actual crash site - well I can't describe the emotions that go along with seeing the exact place that I had dreamed about. It was with that emotion, that feeling of helplessness, that years later I would dream into my character, Caislyn.
A friend and I had been talking about my dreams and how I didn't have the Déjà vu dreams as much any more. I went to bed dreaming of dreams. I dreamed that instead of just remembering them when I woke up that I would go into some auto-sketching fit in the middle of the night and be able to have evidence of my dreams laid out before me. That idea probably also came from the fact that I have on numerous occasions wished on shooting stars for the ability to plug my computer into my brain at night to record the "blockbuster movies" that play there sometimes! Either way, out of that scenario - Caislyn was born. Along with her was the knowledge that she was not human and that the "other than humans" had come out of hiding and were walking openly amongst us mere mortals!
I had originally intended for Birthrights to be a first person point of view alternate history/urban fantasy. I got a big case of writer's block at one point when I was trying to piece it all together and I took it to a friend of mine, Jennifer L. Oliver. We started bouncing ideas. Jennifer didn't like writing in first person. She couldn't do it. We all have our own writing styles that we are comfortable with. So, I scrapped everything that I had already written and started from the beginning in third person and Jaxon Delaney was born out of that re-start. The alternate history was scraped too, sort of. There is an alternate history woven into the trilogy as a whole, but it's part of the big secret the Brotherhood is keeping, so you won't know it until book three. Of course, every novel has its many incarnations before it is born. Mine was no different and it's always fun to go back and look at those early notes!
Now, I go back to the first comment/question... Am I a witch?
The simple answer is no. Not by any definition of the word. The long answer goes something like this:
I do not like organized religions. Before you balk at the idea, hear me out. I have gone to numerous churches in my lifetime. I have gone to so many variations of Christian churches that I probably couldn't name them all. They all had one thing in common, they hated each other! I used to think, how can these people who all believe in a supreme being hate each other for their differences in beliefs? Every one of us is individual. We all have our own look, our own thoughts, and here - in this thing called religion - we are chastised for believing differently.
I didn't like it. The very last church I ever went to, a Lutheran church in North Carolina, really did me in. I went with friends to try it out, and at first I was thinking, "yes, finally someone gets it!" I sat in the Sunday School class that was being held and the teacher was talking about which "other" religion they would be studying next. He went on to explain that they believed in tolerance and that they tried to learn about others beliefs so that they could truly understand. I wanted to scream from the rooftops, "Finally!" And then the letdown. The next words out of his mouth went something like this:
"It's been suggested that we talk about these Wiccan people."
I can already hear the tone going awry.
"I'm not sure that's appropriate talk for the church."
I'm thinking, 'WHAT?'
And then he says it, those words I have been waiting for, "I think it goes without saying that they are going against God and we just shouldn't even discuss that."
Well, that was the last church I ever went to. Here's why... Many religions preach that their God has given people free will to choose. We were made intelligent beings. We are all different. I can not bring myself to believe in a God/Goddess/Whatever that would require these free-thinking, free-willed people to all worship in the same manner or damn them for finding a different path. So, from a young age, I researched religions. I could have stood up and told those people in that church all about my favorite things about the Wiccan world, had they allowed it.
Part One: (From the Wiccan Rede) "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"I have always loved that line! I think it sums up how we should live perfectly!
Part Two: The Wiccan Hand-fasting ceremony (marriage ceremony) where two people's hands are bound together and instead of promising "until death do us part" they promise "for as long as we both shall love." That just seems a little more realistic to me.
I have always likened "An ye harm none, do what ye will" to the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have done unto you." I think that, in essence, they mean the same thing or at least were meant to mean the same. In my eyes, those two things (and there are more examples) have always stuck with me as what I would like to incorporate into my own beliefs. I have also taken the beautiful things from many other religions and put them together in my own little belief package! So, while I can not claim a single religion of my own, I say I practice a worldly spirituality that is perfect for me. In doing so, I have done research - lots of research! So, while I am not a witch I definitely know how to portray one. And now, I am going to tiptoe out of the heavy subject area that is religion. We are all inspired everyday by the things we live through, the things we accomplish, and the failures we meet with. Sometimes those things we live through lend themselves to a creative outlet. For me, The Awakening Trilogy was born.
I am a woman, so imagine how heartbreaking it must be for me to say that what I least look forward to doing in life is shoe shopping. Yes, you heard me right, a woman who hates to shop for shoes! I promise though, there is a good reason for my hatred.
You see, I was born to a race of giants that stealthily hide their presence through a series of slouching postures and some great camouflage clothing techniques. Okay, fine! That's not true at all. I was however, born with genes that while giving me very long legs have also given me very large feet. What does that have to do with my hatred of shoe shopping? In a word, everything!
Let me take you back to high school, and prom season. I never really liked prom for various reasons, including but not limited to the fact that I could have more money to party with that weekend if I wasn't buying a dress, shoes, etc. Senior year I chose to party with friends at the beach instead of sweating my ass off in an expensive dress. We had a blast getting our Zima drunk on. Yes, Zima! I know, it wasn't my proudest moment!
My junior year, however, I was talked into going to the prom with friends. So, I borrowed a dress from someone at the last minute, but I obviously wasn't going to borrow a pair of shoes, not with my bozo the clown feet. My mom did the only thing she knew to do. She took me to the closest large city and we went to about 15 different shoe stores, and many tears, before I settled for a hideous pair of white shoes. That's the best description I can give for them (see photo below). Hideous and white. Beggars can't be choosers though. Sadly, for a girl with a shoe fetish, this was the beginning of a devastating love/hate relationship with footwear.
For the longest time I gave up on women's shoes. Before I had children I was a size 10. That was bad enough back then. After having children, my feet have taken on a life of their own. I am currently residing in a woman's size 12 shoe or a man's 10 1/2. Yes, I could hear your audible gasp at that, along with the comments, "that's a big bitch!" "Look out Sasquatch coming through!" Very funny! har har
So, as I was saying, I gave up on women's shoes for a long time and just relegated myself to shopping for skater punk shoes or hiking boots in the men's department, because they were at least somewhat cool. Oh, I would torture myself and meander over to the size 7-9 isle of women's footwear and drool over the latest and greatest fashions. Once in a while I would get fed up and go harass poor, unsuspecting, store clerks about their purchasing practices.
Eventually, I started wearing women's shoes again. What caused the turn around? I lived in Key West for three years. Key West has a huge drag queen population and one perk of working in an adult store that sold costumes was getting to know said drag queens! I found myself jealous of their footwear and then it hit me. "Wait," I said one day, "where in hell's name did you get those shoes?" Oh, the smiles I procured from the very proud queens with that question. "Dragqueen.com darling!" This is the point where I smack myself in the head and berate myself for weeks on end for not remembering that you can get anything online!
While I received a renewed sense of hope for my shoe shopping love from those wonderful drag queens, I still get pissed off when I walk into a shoe store and see maybe two decent shoes in my size while there are racks upon racks of amazing shoes in size 7!
I went shoe shopping yesterday, can you tell? When I walked in the clerk asked with a sweet smile on her face, "is there anything I can help you find?" I felt like I should answer back, "Look out, bozo the clown coming through! What do you have in size gargantuan?" But I held my tongue and politely and quietly told her, "just looking." I slunk over to the men's department where they keep the inhumanly large women's shoes and I started the long stare. You know the one, where you really look through the wall of shoes because they are all so ugly. Okay, so maybe you can't relate! I did manage to find a pair of tennis shoes that I desperately needed, but there was nothing "cute." At least, not until I rounded the bend and found myself in shoe heaven - or hell in my case! You know that saying, "always the bridesmaid, never the bride!" I felt like that yesterday as I glanced down at my tennis shoe purchase, "always the tennis shoe, never the pump!" SIGH
Seriously, look at those shoes! *gasp* *cry*
I suffer from seasonal allergies. So, this morning when I saw an article about this being the worst allergy season ever, of course my over-active imagination ran full throttle off the deep end. Here I am ready to hide in an hyperbaric chamber because suddenly the zombies aren't my biggest worry. The plants are attacking!
Don't they know that I switched to electronic writing? There are no more crumbled heaps of paper littering my room. Okay, I admit, I have a black thumb. Really, I think that's a cellular level flaw that shouldn't be held against me. Yes, I admit, I over watered the lawn in my zealous attempt to help things grow. Please, don't punish me for that!
Why are the hooligans who chop down entire rain forests not targeted? I mean, I don't wish ill on anyone, but come on evil plant geniuses, there are bigger fish to fry out there! What do you say we strike a deal?
Who would have ever thought zombies would turn out to be the lesser of the evils?
Hyperbaric chamber - order one today for your bunker, because zombies aren't the only ones attacking!
* Originally posted on Blogger Saturday, May 14.
I suppose it's a boon to my writing that I have so many personalities living inside my head. They all get to come out and play as various characters. Growing up with all those voices wasn't easy. Not that I ever grew up! The voices have just found new and creative ways to express themselves.
Ever since I was a kid the one constant in my life has been my passion for writing. Along the way I also had many other passions. I wanted to be a marine biologist, a journalist, a lawyer, a veterinarian, and about a billion other things that grabbed my interest along the way. What I tend to forget is that I am a writer and I can turn myself, or rather the characters I develop into any one of those things. Essentially I can live that life vicariously through my stories and the characters that inhabit them.
It was when I made that realization that something clicked with me and those voices began to calm a bit. They are still there, egging me on to be this or be that. The difference is, now they are organized and they know they just have to wait their turn and I will eventually create a life for them on the page.
I also came to the realization that any normal human being hearing me talk about the various voices and personalities in my head would quickly jump to the assumption that I must be off my meds. No, I am not schizophrenic. After hearing different, yet similar tales from other authors out there I have come to believe I suffer from another malady altogether. Creative minded people are just different. We have our quirks and we can fit in with the normals out there, but I think there is something different about us on a cellular level. I am positive that some day one of the people in my brain will conduct a study on this very thing to prove my point, but until that day - it's my theory!
On a final note - just remember - the characters you love so much from your favorite book, tv show, or movie were all once part of the craziness residing in someone's head! Happy reading!
* This blog was originally posted on Blogger May 2, 2011.
I woke up this morning expecting to battle to my son about having to go to school today. I did indeed have a battle, but before that was the news broadcast that put a smile on my face. I don't often, as in never, revel in another human's death; however, in the case of Osama Bin Laden I will make an exception.
I remember waking up the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 and turning on the television in much the same fashion as I did this morning. I watched, in disbelief, as a plane flew right into one of the twin towers. At first I thought it was a movie and then the newscaster spoke and I could hardly believe my ears. This was actually happening. My husband's ship would set out a few months later firing off the first shots from sea to land in Iraq. Many friends and loved ones would spend way too many hours, days, months, and years logged in the desert fighting the wars with Iraq, Afghanistan, and the al-Qaeda terrorists. While the death of al-Qaeda's figurehead is by no means an end to these times, it is a victory for all the people, from all the nations, who have been affected by his reign of terror.
I don't feel there is a need to focus on the things bin Laden has done or how he lived and died - a coward hiding out while sending younger men and women to blow themselves up! Instead, I would like to simply thank every man and woman who has served in the armed forces of the United States of America and its allies for all that they have done. For those who have gone to war and for those who have performed their duties at home that made it possible for overseas missions to take place, thank you! I would like to thank the families of those service men and woman for the sacrifices they have endured in lost time with their loved ones, sleepless nights spent worrying, and for those lost loves that can never be returned.
A special thank you to the Intelligence Agents who spent years tracking this man so that justice could be served for all his atrocities. The first glimmer of hope in finding bin Laden came from those controversial methods of interrogation that our country has taken heat for. Thank you to my countrymen for doing what needed to be done! And finally, thank you to Navy Seal Team Six who went in, and despite malfunctioning equipment, managed to get the job done with minimal collateral damage and zero losses from their own team. Thank you for the little bit of justice you have now given so many and for the major boost in morale that will now swell in the ranks of your fellow servicemen!
My parents used to take my brother and I camping a lot when we were kids. We grew up pitching tents and cooking on a camp stove or over the fire. I remember riding my bike around campgrounds and swimming until it got too chilly at night then heading to the warmth of the campfire. One of the last great memories I have with my own grandfather was a camping trip we took.
Somewhere along the way I stopped going. Not because I didn't want to, or because I didn't have that desire burning deep within my soul, but because I had no one to share it with. My husband of 13 years never wanted to go and wouldn't get excited about anything, so it was hard to talk my children into wanting to go pitch a tent in the woods somewhere. It's a devastating thing to a person's soul to lose something that you identify as a part of your life. It's worse knowing that I couldn't share those memories with my own children, because the memories I have camping with my family are some of the greatest from my childhood.
And so it was that I started making plans to take my kids camping during their spring break. My dad, being a camping enthusiast, put forth a huge effort in making this endeavor happen. Having someone else get excited about it makes it a little easier to get the kiddos involved. So, my children, who were used to being camping naysayers, headed with us into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains with a tent, some supplies, marshmallows to roast, and a bit of a sour disposition.
Before the first night was out those same naysayers were begging to stay longer and begging to go again long before they ever had to leave. How do you know a camping trip is successful? When your techie kids say "who needs video games when you have all this fun out here!"
Unfortunately, some bad weather cut our trip short by a day and the hiking, waterfall viewing, and peddleboat ride on the lake that were on our list of things to do ended up not happening. Sad faces emerged, but were short lived when I promised future trips to make up for what the weather ruined.
While we were there I realized we weren't the only ones in the camping spirit. Oconee State Park in South Carolina was packed. It reminded me of when I was a kid and there were always people camping, kids running about, and laughter filtering through the trees. If ever there was an upside to a downed economy, it's that people rediscover nature and the simple pleasures in life.
The other amazing thing I re-discovered is that campers are some of the nicest people out there. I have never been on a camping trip where everyone didn't wave, ask about your day, join in random banter as they pass by, or come to your aid if needed. I had forgotten that people could be like that - you know - genuinely nice and caring. When your own neighbors don't even know your names in a lot of places, it's somewhat disarming to have our fellow campers ask if my daughter was alright when she was crying. It wasn't that could you shut your kid up thing you get while walking through places like WalMart, it was a genuine inquiry. It was a pleasant change of pace to be able to strike a random conversation with a man about a his St. Bernard/Great Dane mix dog because the animal was so beautiful. He didn't look as if I were invading his personal space as so many people on the street would. We stood and talked about our animals for a bit. Two people exchanging pleasantries on a whim - it made me wonder when basic human goodness stopped being the norm. That's another blog for another day though, for now, I'm happy to see courtesy making a comeback.
So now that camping is back in fashion, grab your tent, and come join us by the fire for some marshamallowy, outdoorsy goodness!
How do you know when you reach that moment of success that you've been dreaming about for so long? For some of us, namely me, it involves getting a homemade card from your daughter featuring a vampire on the front! I'll have to scan it in later to show it off, but that card came with a congratulations that can't be topped by anyone else.
The reason for the congratulations: Last week Jennifer and I published our first book, Birthrights
, the first in a trilogy. It went on sale Friday evening and I vowed from that time that the minute we got our first 10 sales I would blog about it and every milestone thereafter. Well, we have surpassed 10. We surpassed that in the first 24 hours which was fantastic. Unfortunately, I was a little preoccupied with writing Revelations
, the second book in the trilogy, to get my blog out. It's a little be-lated, though no less exciting.
For those of you who have already purchased our book - you have our thanks and we sincerely hope you enjoy it. We would love to get your feedback, so e-mail
us and/or leave feedback on Amazon, because that's important too.
Our book will also be releasing soon in several other markets, including the iBookstore. We will keep you informed as those new release dates are available. Revelations
will be out in e-book format as well by Sept. 2011. We are actually very excited about this book as it dives into a darker part of Jaxon and Caislyn's world. For now, you will have to be content with getting to know them in the first book because we aren't ready to give away too much from the second book just yet.
Until then: Thanks for your support! Thanks for getting us to our first milestone! We hope you stick around for many more to come!