Closing out 2014

          2 days left before 2014 is behind us. This is the first time in many years that I’m looking forward to starting a new year. So many wonderful things have happened over this year and I’ve learned so much about myself. I was finally able to pull myself out of the pity party I was having and living for today. My personal life has finally come full circle and I’m enjoying time spent with those I love. I’ve removed those who were toxic from my life and have allowed others back in.

Adding to all the positives has been the weather in Michigan. Yeah, it’s starting to get cold but there’s been no snow (it’s coming I know but hey I’ll take it). The best thing by far has been all the sunny days we’ve had. The worst thing about winter here is the dark and dreary days that bleed together as days turn to months. This Leo is thrilled and grateful for everyday of sunshine we get and I always make sure to spend some time outside, enjoying the large, yellow orb in the sky. I love the summers here and have no problems with the heat unless it’s really humid out. I could never live in Florida or Georgia just because of the humidity. Even if I lived close to the water there’s nothing quite as oppressive as hot, humid days. But luckily we don’t suffer too much from that. Some years have been worse but all in all I can’t complain.

My writing has exploded over the past three months and I’m so excited about the coming year and what I’m working on. I’m going to experiment a little with some of my stories.

1. I’m delving into Urban fantasy. Yes, there will be some romantic element to the stories but I’m focusing more on the action and world building aspect and the romance will be more of a sub plot. My dystopian re-telling of King Arthur will fit nicely into this category.

2. I also have a new series I’m working on that I thought would be my urban fantasy but the more I’ve written the more it’s become clear that the romance is just as important as the other elements of the story. How erotic I’m going to make it remains to be seen. But I’m really excited about it.

3. I have a new werewolf series I’ve been working on as well. I haven’t published anything new since March but I have been writing.

4. I’m also working on the 4th Alexander Wolves book- Nolan’s Dark Sacrifice. I’ve had a lot of readers ask me about that book and it’s been started.

5. I would like to revisit Club BBW. I deleted Silky Sweet which told the owner of the clubs story. For my own personal reasons I killed the story and want to re-write it with a new hero that is a better match for my girl.

6. Finally VJ and I will have something from the world of Club Velvet Ice, hopefully more but I don’t know what or when that will be.

I’ve set these specific goals because it’s time. Taking the year off was what I needed to do. I didn’t like it. Didn’t like feeling like I was paralyzed but it helped me to really come to terms with what is important, who is important and where my place in the world is. Profound? No, millions of people go through the same thing all the time and as we all know you can’t tell anyone, anything they don’t want to know. They have to learn it on their own and that includes me. It was the end of my time being on the outside looking in. I’ve reached a place where I can say that I’m really, really happy. It’s reflected in the way I take care of myself and my family. In my writing and my belief in love and romance. In the joy I find I have more often than not. I’ve learned to turn off the negative shit and not obsess about it on bad days. I’ve found my compassion again and hope it is with me always.

The beginning of this is going to be a test for sure. My mother is very ill and we aren’t sure what is going to happen with her but I have to hope that things will improve. Wasting time thinking about the worst doesn’t help her and only stresses me out and my dad needs me to help facilitate things for them.

At the same time my son is having MAJOR reconstructive surgery on his foot. My job there will be to take care of him. Make sure his schoolwork is kept up. At this point it looks like he’ll be out of school for about a month or at least until he’s able to get around without a wheelchair or walker. His high school is 3 stories and the elevator has a sketchy history of breaking down. Between the DH and I though we’ll be able to help him through the surgery, recovery and physical therapy. Of course I’m scared as hell but I have faith in his surgeon, he’s one of the best in Mi.

When January is in the mirror, the stress should again die down until the next time.

I’m re-reading series as well. The first is the Christine Feehan, Carpathian novels. 25 in all so far. I stopped reading them after 12 of them so I have plenty more of them to go. I love her writing and am so glad I’m doing this.

So I say adios to 2014. Goodbye to the struggles I used to have. Goodbye to all the negative, self-doubt and worry. I’m looking forward to continuing what I started this year and want nothing more than to make each and every day better than the day before. I’ve  EXISTED for such a long time and have finally been able to be a participant in life once again. Don’t get me wrong. I still won’t be taking any shit from anyone but I also won’t be wasting my time on people,places and things that don’t make me happy and bring nothing but all the bad feelings you can have when you think about them. I didn’t wake up one day and poof, my world was right again. It was a gradual thing, like removing one brick at a time from the wall that’s standing in my way. A continual work in progress that’s working so far.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the New Year celebrations. Please, please don’t drink and drive. I don’t really ever drink, in fact I can’t remember the last time I did and I don’t have anything against it. BUT if you make the stupid ass decision to get behind the wheel after a couple of drinks you’re being selfish and reckless. There are plenty of places that will be offering rides for those who are too drunk to drive. AAA has a program for the New Year’s Eve. Take advantage of all the services out there while you enjoy your holiday. Drunk driving is something that I’m passionate about and those who know me, know they only have to call- at anytime- and I will pick them up. If you’re not a drinker, offer yourself to your friends who may need the help.

          Take care of yourselves and I hope that you all have a spectacular New Year!

All my love,

Sierra

                                           

Cooking & Reading

In the never-ending quest to improve myself, I’ve embarked on a cooking & baking frenzy. Now, I can honestly tell you I hate cooking & baking just sucks. But the more I explore, the better I’ve become. The cooking part has been a little easier. Trying new recipes, new spices and new foods for the family (I’m very picky but I do make what they like and if I don’t like it, I’ll just make me something small.) I still don’t really enjoy cooking. It hurts my brain trying to come up with a protein and an appropriate starch and veggies.  My kids have always liked my cooking and  they and the DH are enjoying what I’m giving them.

Baking, holy crap, it’s like being a chemist. You have to follow the recipes as closely as possible, making sure the measurements correct and in the correct order. UGH!!!!!!!! But in this area, I’m getting better as well. Last week I went to my bestie’s home and she, another friend and I baked cookies for about ten hours. Today I successfully made a cherry pie (no I did not buy a frozen one and pop it into the oven, though it would have been less stress) for my hubby. He loves fruit pies so I thought why not start making them as well as 6 dozen cookies for Christmas. The next hurdle to conquer is baking a home-made cake that isn’t lopsided. But there is something to be said for turning on the music and dancing your way around the kitchen while cooking. It’s slowly becoming more enjoyable.

 

Re-reading:

I’m back on a reading kick. It’s been way too long since I’ve dug in deep to read and some of my favorite authors have a lot of books I haven’t read yet. So my solution is that I’m going to start the series I’ve read over and read everything that’s been written up until now. It’s another step in my writing as these authors are what inspired me to write paranormal books.

First up- Christine Feehan- Dark Series

Christine’s books were my first reads where the hero’s were all flawed, very alpha and walked the line between good and evil very carefully. You’re right there when these couples fall in love. No purple prose- thank you.

So here’s the order and I hope to be through the entire series by the end of FEB…We’ll see, there are 28 in the series so far and here’s the reading order.

Dark Prince, Dark Prince, Dark Desire, Dark Gold, Dark Magic, Dark Challenge, Dark Fire, Dark Guardian, Dark Dream, Dark Legend, Dark Symphony, Dark Descent, Dark Melody, Dark Destiny, Dark Hunger, Dark Secret, Dark Demon, Dark Celebration, Dark Possession, Dark Curse, Dark Slayer, Dark Peril, Dark Predator, Dark Storm, Dark Nights, Dark Lycan, Dark Wolf and Dark Blood.

It’s quite a list but I’m also doing research as these books are all about the world she created for them. Since I really love to write in a series format, and it takes a lot of work but I’m giving it one hell of a try.

Never judge a person by where they came from!

I grew up in a district in the city of Westland known as Norwayne. It was just…you can guess, north of the city of Wayne. It was recently given Historic District status and hopefully that means the old neighborhood will get some much-needed love as it has fallen into disrepair over the last 20 yrs.

The district was built-in the 1940’s for the workers of the Willow Run plant where tanks were made during WWII. Since money was going to the war effort, the duplexes were put up cheaply. The housing was supposed to be temporary and after the war it was supposed to have been torn down.

That never happened. Some homes were built and those of us who lived in our drafty, creaky duplexes with paper-thin walls were envious.

 Through the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, auto workers and their families inhabited the area. The rent was affordable, a lot of children and plenty of schools were in the area.

norwayne2Norwayne 4

Having lived here since I was a baby and through my elementary years, I never thought anything about where I lived. I had more fun then I ever imagined and am still friends with a lot of people I grew up with.

It wasn’t until 7th grade that I heard the term “Shack Town” used to describe the area where I lived. If you lived there you were considered a Shack Rat and were looked down upon by the kids who grew up in better neighborhoods. Still at this point my attitude was “so the fuck what”. My parents worked hard. We always had what we needed and even if we didn’t have the best of everything, we never knew it. Everyone in my neighborhood was the same. We had big block parties and everyone knew everyone. We could go to anyone’s home and be welcomed.

Yes, we partied hard but the bonds we formed have remained. Memories of the “Swing” in the woods, where hundreds of kids would go to have a good time, sit by a fire, take a swing across the river, make out, whatever we wanted, we did. We acknowledged we were indeed “Shack Rats” but we liked our life. There was plenty of pain, as we lost friends our age. But we also had this great sense of freedom, because we could go anywhere and be safe.

There were plenty of fights. Both adults and kids. It was different then, no one used a gun, it was always one on one and eventually we’d made up. We had long hair boys and girls. Everyone smoked and listened to Black Sabbath and Journey and we could stay out as late as we wanted in the summer.

All that changed when I hit high school. I become more self-conscious of who I was and where I come from. The term “Shack Town” became synonymous with being poor, worthless, not quite fitting in with the other kids. It didn’t matter that there were hundreds of us in the high school. When kids found out where I lived, they’d all get the same look in their eye , a look that said they  felt sorry for you. “What? Sorry for me?” Why would anyone feel sorry for me? Then I started going to my peers homes, those who didn’t live in my neighborhood. For the first time I was ashamed of where I came from. Why couldn’t I have a real home? One with a yard that I didn’t have to share. A place where I didn’t have families living in the same duplex and where I could hear every part of their lives and they mine.

When I left, I swore I’d never again go back to that neighborhood. The place that others made me feel like was a ghetto. It was the same for a lot of my friends. They got out after graduation. Some were lucky enough to go to college but the rest of us went to work full-time. I worked two full-time jobs for a few years because I never ever wanted to go back.

I look back at how ashamed I felt and can now only remember the good times. This place wasn’t the “White picket” fence kind of town. It was tough, most were the working poor. There was drink and drugs, all the same things that, I discovered later, happened in every town and city. Fist fights were normal and you never forget the sound of an aluminum bat cracked against a man’s head.

But, in that place I also learned about love, fearless loyalty, and true friendship. We stood together to protect one another and didn’t think twice about helping someone out. I saw what real child abuse looked like when a girl came to our home with long black and blue belt marks covering her entire back and it wasn’t the first time. If a man beat up on his women, it was the people in the neighborhood who beat his ass with the threat that if he ever raised a hand to her, he’d be a dead man.

When my kids complained about our small, one bathroom home and about all the things they don’t have, I drove them through my old neighborhood and asked them what they thought about the home they now have compared to my old one.  They were shocked by the dilapidation of the homes there now and gained a new appreciation for what they had and where they’ve been able to grow up.

This is the street I grew up on. I lived in one side of the white house, on the left , where the Y is on the map.

dAYTON CT

Unfortunately, time has not been kind to Norwayne. The duplexes, which were only meant as temporary housing, have fallen into disrepair by greedy owners out to make a buck. The elements have chipped away at the wooden structures. The poorest of the poor now inhabit the neighborhoods and as we all know, it’s very easy to forget where you came from.

Here is a current photo of what some of the duplexes look like now.

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It breaks my heart that things look like this. There are those who’ve been able to convert the duplexes into one large home, but they are few and far between. There aren’t a bunch of kids playing outside or those big block parties in the summer anymore. It has become a place to live when you have no other choices. DO I wish I had an endless supply of money so that I could go into the neighborhood, block by block and turn these death traps into real homes. I do…But…

I’m no longer ashamed of how and where I grew up. Navigating this fucked up world has made me appreciate my former world because I’ve experienced more pain, more sadness and more deception than I ever did when I was growing up in “Shack Town”

In connecting with my past recently, I’ve learned a lot of things. Who I was back then was “GOOD” enough. My experiences and everything I learned about my life, all started in a tiny 3 bedroom duplex with no shower, only a tub.

I began writing there, dreaming of better things. Growing up in Norwayne, I appreciate what I have now. I’ve learned, we are not where we live, not about the money in our pockets and not concerned with those who think they are somehow better.

It’s taken me the better part of forty years to understand and become thankful for where I came from. To understand the lessons I learned there. For a long time, I thought I wanted a different kind of life, but a fake life, one that you think you want, so that others will think better of you, isn’t what I want. Things break, go out of style or are replaced by newer things, leaving you wanting more and more.

It’s the things that you can’t see that are the greatest gifts. The laughter with friends around a bon fire. Twenty kids playing in the front yard. My kids friends and their silly antics filling my home,  a kiss that brings you to your knees and love, so much love. I’ve raised my kids in the home I’ve had since they were born. They don’t have everything but they have what counts. Friends they’ve known since pre-school. Us parents affectionately refer to all of them as “our kids”. I don’t have 3 teenagers anymore, I have more than I can count. They call me mom, or Miss (insert my first name).  In a few years “my kids” will be adults in their own right and off to start their lives.

I hope and pray that I’ve been able to give them a little bit of the same experiences that I had. I’m lucky for the most part they generous, non-judgmental and really good people.

As we age the years start to fly by and happiness, the kind that fills your soul is more important than ever. I’ve stopped asking “what if…” and just remember all the good things that have happened over the years.

A part of me will always be a “Shack Rat from Shack Town” but it’s not all of who I am.

The old saying never judge a book by its cover is dead on. Some of the happiest people I know don’t have much while some of the most miserable people I know have everything and will do anything to keep it that way.

You never know what you might find when you leave judgement at the door. Some of the greatest things can happen from people you never dreamed were capable of it. If you’re brave in your heart and strong in your soul, you will come to know that the outside is nothing more than a facade. And like the state of the home I once had, the walls always come down. What remains beneath is the only thing worth living for and those who recognize this are truly worthy. When you leave this world you can’t take “things” with you but you will take the love that’s been offered up to you, no matter where or who it’s come from.

Bi-Directionality and the Socially Mobile Narcissist

Very insightful!!

Trauma Central

When it comes to social mobility, narcissists are bi… bi-directional, that is.

Although all narcissists believe they belong at the top of the social ladder, they’re more than willing to climb down a few rungs if it serves their ultimate goal. This means that these smug, power-hungry elitist assholes are more than willing to make it look like they care about those less fortunate than themselves, but don’t let this Norman Rockwell paint job fool you. If a narcissist is spending any amount of time with those who are levels below him, it only means that these people are the rungs he plans to step on while climbing his way to the top.

Nothing titillates a narcissist’s senses more than someone who’s down on their luck. Throw in half a dozen or so of these people and you have a narcissist’s wet dream. They often go to great lengths –…

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Coming to the End

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore. Few people ever keep them and you’re just setting yourself up for failure in a new year. Instead I’m only going to say that I will be better in the new year. A better mom, spouse , friend and writer.

After a tumultuous couple of years and after reaping what I’ve sewn this year, I’ve reach the point where I finally feel normal, happy even. Deep down I wish I hadn’t gone through some of my experiences, there is nothing I can do to change what happened before today. What I can say is that I’m a better person right now than I’ve been in a long time.

I’ve learned to forgive others for their actions. I hope those I’ve hurt can do the same but if not, I can’t spend my time worrying about it. I’ve waffled between regret and guilt and a whole myriad of the worst kind of emotions and I finally feel like the storm has passed.

It’s always been my choice as to whether or not I allow my past to define me and for a long time I did just that. But for the last five months or so I’ve moved on and let go of the bad and take comfort in the good. Bad memories still haunt me on occasion but I’ve learned to ride it out and let the moment pass. I’ve taken a break from therapy because all I was doing was reliving things over and over again in a tiny little office. I usually left in tears and feeling miserable. It made it impossible to move on because I couldn’t let go of the things that caused me such tremendous pain. I needed some space. I needed time to heal and I wasn’t doing that when I was going. Don’t get me wrong. Therapy is a wonderful tool to use and there was a time where I definitely needed it. But now I’ve reached the point that reliving the bad became a destructive force that threatened to swallow me whole.

Where I thought I’d never be able to forgive, I have. When I thought I couldn’t go back to what made me special, I have. I’ve learned to never put my happiness in another person or thing. I’ve learned that wanting more “things” doesn’t fulfill you. You may have the latest and greatest but it does nothing to relieve the ache in your heart.

So what do I look forward to in 2015? Everything!! I hope to continue on the path that I’ve started.

First by taking care of me. Continuing my workouts, taking my meds and much needed vitamins everyday.It’s amazing what getting the exercise, eating well and getting enough sleep will do for you. For the last few years I would go two or three days without anymore than an hour or so of sleep. My mind wouldn’t shut off but now I’ve shaken that and again am getting my 8 hours.

I will continue writing everyday. Even if I think what I’m writing is shit. I received some very nasty criticism over my work and I’ll admit it stung, especially considering that it was from someone who used to be my biggest supporter. But time and space have made me realize that I was getting what I gave to them. So, I suppose in their eyes, I deserved the payback. But something magical happened within that time when my writing ability was put down. I discovered that I really don’t give a shit about those opinions. They don’t have a clue what it takes to write and that’s okay. They can say what they want and that’s okay too. I’m not angry anymore and I’ve forgiven them and myself. I hold no grudges because it only serves to take a piece of who you are a little at a time until you’re lost.

Because of the hard lessons I’ve learned, I want to continue to make life what it should be. To be happy, to be content and to be a better person. The struggle has taught me what I don’t want to be and as the New Year passes, I’m looking forward to a do over.

I’m not falling back into the same traps again. The hot and cold, up and down, back and forth situations that I’ve put myself in. There is no going back and no one could ever tempt me into it again.

I have nothing to prove to anyone else and I never will again. I don’t want complicated, I don’t want regret or anger. And I think I’ve found the formula that works for me.

Gone are the days of pretending that everything is okay when they aren’t. Gone are the ideas that I need the perfect home, the perfect kids and the perfect life. What I have right now is perfect, for the time being. I will adjust my world to continue feeling this way. To be at peace. To like myself enough not to do the things that I know are bad for me. I won’t be forced to do anything I don’t want to and I hope to never again jump down the rabbit hole.

I hope to keep laughing, smiling, and feeling good about myself. Accept that I’ve learned lessons along the way and those lesson have helped shape my new world. It’s never taken much to make me happy. Kind words, a gentle soul, laughing at ridiculous things. Happy to be alive without looking ahead but taking it one day at a time. No more making things overly complicated, no running from my issues and no longer looking to others to validate who and what I am.

No more questioning if love is real. If honesty is real. No more trying to control everyone and everything around me. No wishing I had a different kind of life. No more laying expectations at the feet of others and no more blogging about the past. What’s happened has happened. What’s gone is gone, never to be revisited again. A part of me will always have a little regret. I’m only human after all. I’ve locked it away in a corner of my soul. I can look back at the good that’s happened in my life. To the wonderful experiences I’ve had without questioning everything about them. It soothes me on bad days and I’m fond of those memories and will always cherish not only them but all the defining moments in my life. No one can ever take these things from me, or deny them because they are mine.

Even though I don’t make resolutions, I do have goals for the coming year.

To continue taking care of me, because the only way for me to be happy in all parts of my life, I first have to be happy in myself.

I want to finish up and publish at least 6 stories this year. I have a lot of sequels that my readers are waiting for and I’m going to do my best to make that happen.

I’m going to wake up and remember it’s a new day and ask myself if what I’m doing or who I am is making me happy. If the answer is no then I will adjust and do better. I don’t want to rely on others to make me feel whole, to make me feel like I’m good enough. I won’t ever again try to relive or erase my past but to embrace it and the changes I’ve made.

I want to bring nothing but joy to those around me. I want them to feel happiness when I talk to my loved ones. To make them feel special and that I’m truly grateful to have them in my life. I don’t ever want to purposely hurt any ever again. I don’t want revenge nor do I want to be the cause of strife for anyone. It’s important to me that I’m present when I talk with someone. That I’m here for them and that they are important to my world. My kids and I are much closer than we’ve ever been. My oldest is going to be 18 in a few months and he’s turned out to be a wonderful young man. I feel privileged to have watched him mature and the issues we may have had are in the past. I love him and his brother and sister more than anything and look forward to the next phase of life, helping them in the next stage of their life. Graduations, weddings and grandbabies are the things I have to look forward to now and it’s exhilarating to think about.

2015 will be a continuation of what I’ve begun. It’s been a long road to navigate but I feel lucky to have come out on the other side happy and whole. I don’t need “crutches” to get through my day anymore and that’s another thing I’m grateful for.

In saying goodbye to 2014, I owe a big thank you to those who have touched my life- good or bad. Who’ve shown me what’s good about me and who I don’t ever want to be again.

I hope in the New Year that you all are surrounded by happiness. That you don’t accept the things that don’t fulfill or give you peace. That you find what will bring true joy.

Happy Holidays and a very Merry New Year,

Sierra

What I’m Working On.

This last year was the toughest year I’ve ever had where my writing has been concerned. The reasons aren’t important, my reaction to them are. I allowed other things that were out of my control to crowd my thoughts and second guess myself.

I’ve spent the better part of 6 months changing that. From letting go of old hurts and anger. To filling my life with family and friends. I spend a lot of time with my DH and kids, with my friends and my cousins. I started working out and getting some yoga in though I need to do much more of it. I found out that I have a pretty bad case of bursitis and since August have been dealing with the pain everyday. I’ve had cortizone shots in my hips for the last year as well as the joint at the base of my thumb. They don’t do anything so I’ve opted not to continue with them. Instead I’ve been reading up on different vitamins and minerals as well as stress reducing things and they seem to help a little. The pain and stiffness is still there when it’s chilly out but I’m getting used to it at this point. I’ve also lost 20 pounds in hopes that will help my joints.

There’s nothing like physical pain to relieve mental pain though and in an odd way, it’s freed up my mind. Over the past month I’ve been writing more than I have in over a year. It’s been fun because I’m writing because I love it, not because I have to.

Here’s a little what I’m working on now: Nolan’s Dark Sacrifice–The Alexander Wolves Book 4

Nolan Alexander gave up his freedom to the Dark Fae Queen in order to save his sister’s life and his new mate. When the Dark Queen released him, he showed up back at home, naked and beaten, battered and barely alive. He is nursed back to health by Rachael, the woman he agreed to mate with in order to gain his another sister’s freedom. He was violated body and soul when he was in the Dark Fae realm and doesn’t want to talk about what he went through. He’s the Alpha, his people come to him for help. He was the leader of the pack and it was his job to be strong, he couldn’t afford to be vulnerable. He had revenge to plan and if it was the last thing he ever did, he was going to make the Dark Queen pay for what she’d done to him.

Rachael Slater agreed to mate with Nolan so that her best friend Liberty could leave her old pack. Now Libby was reunited not only with her brother Nolan but with her two sisters Haven and Justice. What should have been a new beginning for them all turned into a nightmare when Clarinda the Dark Fae Queen demanded payment for the death of her son at the hands of Haven.

Nolan was a noble male and put his family before himself for year. When he showed up at home a broken shell of a man, Rachael almost fell apart. The normally shy woman found her voice when she took care of her mate as he healed. But Nolan came back different. He was distant and angry and didn’t want to talk about what he’d been through.

Rachael wasn’t accepting it. She’d finally discovered who she was and she wasn’t about to let Nolan shut her out when he needed her the most. She wasn’t giving up on him, not without one hell of a fight.

Driving The Wolf Crazy:

Petra is on the verge of losing everything she holds dear. She always dreamed of owning her floral shop. But when she divorced her ex opened up and started competing with her. After several disastrous events, she’s lost almost all of her business and she’s having a hard time making the rent of her shop. Jack, her hot, werewolf landlord didn’t care about her troubles and she was running out of options. But she comes up with a great idea that will have her smack dab in the middle of the werewolf side of town. Human’s and wolves didn’t mix too much. Neither trusting the other too much, but Petra wasn’t intimidated by  the wolves and it was going to take a lot more than a bad temper to deter her from her goal.

Jack owns the building where Petra’s business is. He’s ready to start the eviction process against her. He likes Petra, in fact he’s incredibly attracted to her curvy body and wouldn’t mind spending the night with her. But business is business and if he made exceptions for her, his other tenants would expect the same. Now she has the hair brained scheme to become the florist to the wolves. He didn’t like all the males who came sniffing around now and he was going to put a stop to it…now

 

VJ and I are tinkering around with another Velvet Ice novella. I’m also working on a dystopian retelling of King Arthur and am toying with the idea of trying to write in a few other genre’s. I love erotic romance but think it would be fun to try a thriller or a straight up -Not Erotic- Urban Fantasy. I’ve always been a panster when it comes to writing, these are some of the directions that I’ve been going to lately, so I thought why not give it a try.

I’ve had such great support from friends, family and readers during this past year. I’m so damn happy to be back in this place. To be back to me, with the kind of enthusiasm for writing that I haven’t had for a long time. It’s been a solid month of good writing and when you’re successful, you only want to do it more.

I think I’ve found a better balance between taking care of me and taking care of others. Allowing the kids to go their own way and explore things for themselves. I don’t make them the center of my universe anymore. Does that mean I don’t love them as much? Hell no. It only means that, they are doing their own thing and so should I. Spending time with “The Girls”. It’s so important to be able to sit around with the girls and talk, laugh and act as silly as we want to. Friends are essential to a long, happy life.

They say that people without their own friends (Not marital, shared friends) live longer and happier lives while people who don’t have friends tend to die younger and have more depression in their lives and I agree. Imagine you don’t have any good friends, the kids grow up, you look at your spouse and think now what? And in that moment a terrifying thought enters your brain- we have nothing in common. When you have friends this isn’t such a big deal. You can hang with yours, he with his and then time together. But if you have no one else to spend time with, you’ll get really tired of each other pretty fast.

So with my fingers crossed and getting ready to go into 2015, I can say that I’m happier emotionally, and mentally than I’ve been in for many, many years and I look forward to what tomorrow will bring.

 

 

Yep…I’m a music Ho!!!!!!

With all the videos that I’ve put up, it’s no surprise when I say I’m a music ho. It’s always been a part of my life. When I was young I listened to what my parents did. From my dad it was Elvis and all the old country singers. George Jones, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn.  From my mom it was Motown and golden oldies. During the seventies it was Blondie, Abba and yes I listened to disco. Hey I was only ten at the time but I couldn’t get enough. I remember going to see Grease and begging my mom to buy the record.

I’m pretty eclectic when it comes to music. I listen to everything and in all genres. I have some favorites but in general anything and everything that catches my attention. I’ve found obscure bands and singers that have blown me away.

Last night I was writing down all the concerts I’ve been to over the last 20 years and was surprised at just how many I’ve been lucky enough to attend. I discovered that I’ve been to almost 50 concerts so far and have no intention of ever stopping. Music plays such a big part in my life. I’d rather have that then television any day of the week and often have it on all day when the kids are in school and the DH is at work. My 17 yr old has become my concert buddy over the last 6 years and it’s been a blast going to shows with him.

Here’s my list, as you will see it is very diverse.

My very first concert was at 15 and it was with my best friend Tina. Her father (my second dad) took us to see them. 20 later, she and I took her 16 yr old daughter to see them, it was a full circle moment for us.

So here’s my list. I’ve tried to sort them out by decade but after a while, I couldn’t remember what was in the late 80’s. early 90’s etc…But it was fun remembering the shows. I always remember the shows. Some bands I’ve seen more than once and noted it next to their names.

Duran Duran- 5 times,   Erasure, Tears for Fears,   Inxs,   Thompson Twins/Berlin,  Bruce Springsteen,   New Order/Echo and the Bunnymen, Gen loves Jezebel,   Depeche Mode/ OMD,   Howard Jones,   A-ha,   The Cure,  George Micheal,   Eric Clapton,  Bon Jovi-2 times,   Areosmith,   Kiss/Winger/Skid Row,   Scorpions/ Extreme,  Guns and Roses,   Metallica,   Poison/Warrant,   Slaughter,   Elton John,   Waylon Jennings,   .38 Special,   Pink Floyd,   Kenny Wayne Sheppard,   Incubus,   30 Seconds to Mars-2 times,   Steve Miller-3 times,  Joe Cocker, Shinedown- 4 time,  Avenge Sevenfold,   Chevelle,   Sevendust,   Papa Roach,   Staind,  Puddle of Mud,   Skillet- 2 times and my last one late this summer was Linkin Park.

I also took my kid when he was 12 to see Weird Al and he puts on a hell of a show-costume changes and all. I thought it would be kind of hokey but it was sold out and it was a lot of fun.

I also have seen hundreds of bands in clubs, bars and music festivals where I live. There is nothing better than a live show to make you feel alive.

There are still artists on another list that I haven’t seen in concert and I hope that I can see them in the future.

Billy Idol (Damn after all the years, he’s still one of the sexiest men in the world) 3 Days Grace, Theory of a Deadman,  U2, Eminem, Alter Bridge, David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Katy Perry and Nickelback- I know everyone likes to say shit about them but I like their music and I’m not ashamed to say it…

For me music is the heart and soul of expression. The words can speak to you, the rhythm moves you and you can find a song to fit your mood, to help you grieve or to make you happy. I would be lost if I didn’t have music in my life. Elvis, The Beatles, Micheal Jackson, Led Zepplin, Janis Joplin and The Doors. The Sex Pistols and Black Flag, Jayzee and Beyonce. Metallica to Shinedown and everything in between.

IMO, I think that music should always take a front seat with your family. Turning them onto it. Finding songs they love. It’s so important. My favorite you tube videos are the ones that have cropped up lately. Fathers riding in cars with their daughters and singing along with the Frozen soundtrack. It’s so awesome to watch. For me, music is the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, black or white, a genius or not, a CEO or a factory worker. Music is one medium that brings people together.

The next time you go to a show, look around at the people who are there as well. They come from all social and economic classes, all different races and generations.Songs remind us of people and places. Love and hate. Descent and peace. Anger and joy.

Most of my book ideas come from music. Sometimes directly, sometimes it’s as simple as a scene that plays in my mind while the song is on.

I’m grateful for my love of music. The next time you’re in need of inspiration, try turning on the i-pod and see what comes to mind.

 

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