Yes I’m alive


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I know those that follow my blog will realize that a bunch of posts disappeared this evening. For those of you that may be concerned, know their removal was completely intentional. I realize this has caused some big gaps of time in the archive, but rest assured that there is a good reason. All those private passworded posts have been added to, and have finally morphed themselves into a novel, that will hopefully be ready for release sometime in late August 2017.

I understand that I should make more time to blog, but the majority of my writing efforts have been put into finishing and editing the novel that is now titled Hereafter. I now have a website devoted solely to my writing at: and that means that this blog will mostly likely be used from now on for posts of a more personal nature. I hope you will all stay tuned during the revamp, and follow my other blog to keep up with my writing related endeavors.


Almost camp time again…


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Yes it’s almost that time again…

I’ll be joining the usual list of suspects as a member of Silver Beaver Cabin for the third session of Camp NaNoWriMo in a row April 1st-30th of this year. Camp is a little more relaxed an affair than regular NaNoWriMo in November of each year. Not only can you set your own word count goal, but you can also choose to work on what inspires you whether it be fiction, non-fiction, screenplays, book covers, or illustrations. Being able to set your own goal, can also make it a good test run for people that want to attempt NaNo, without all the pressure of the 50k goal right from the beginning.

My project for this session of camp seems to be coming out quite differently than normal. I know my setting, and a rather detailed cast of characters, and I have a general idea of who they are and how they relate to one another. What is the issue then? I have no plot. To quote Chris Baty: “No plot, no problem.”

I am what we NaNoers like to call a “Pantser.”

I write entire novels by pulling them out of thin air as I go along. Rarely if ever, is anything I write planned in advance, except brief little snippets of scenes throughout the story I have foreseen ahead of time. The getting from point A to point B stuff is always an interesting feat for me. I’ve been known to skip or gloss over entire sections of novels to keep momentum getting to the next part when I don’t know what to write in between two sections. Loss of momentum, not just perfectionism is what kills many stories before they even see light of day.

That’s the point of NaNo, get it on paper, go back and fix it later…

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes…mistakes are what editing is for. You can’t be afraid of writing something that completely sucks in the beginning. Everyone, even a lot of famous authors are convinced that their first drafts are drivel. (and they usually are)

Get it on paper, save the fear and self loathing for this masochistic thing we like to call editing…that comes in December…or May…or August.

See you all at Camp! Someone better save me some smores!

Why write about the hard stuff?


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1_hope_quotes_love.com_Someone asked me recently why a lot of the stories I write contain such damaged characters. I’ve been asked more than once why the stories often have a melancholy tone, or deal with difficult subjects. I’m sure many people are skilled at writing stories that are sunny escapeism, but those don’t seem to be the sort of characters that come to me with stories to tell.

I get the inspiration for my stories through a variety of places, music, dreams, and sometimes stories of their own lives that people have told me over the years, though no one character in my novels exactly resembles any one specific person. Sometimes when one of my characters deals with a difficult past, or a disturbing situation, it may be as simple as trying to work those thoughts, or that situation out in my own mind. I will likely never tell which ones are real, and which ones only happened on paper unless asked by someone privately to tell them.

Sometimes the point is to not ignore or gloss over the difficult things in life, but to learn to live on in spite of them. Living on afterward is not always easy, but hopefully in the end, these stories prove there is hope, that as long as life continues that better days are surely coming. Perfect days do not exist surely, but better ones…

I never met one of my best friends


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It all started with a wrong number…

It’s odd how I remember that, even after all this time. I’d missdialed one digit off my own home phone number trying to call home on an old rotary phone. Instead of hanging up on me, John, the guy on the other end of the line for some strange reason, asked my name and just kept talking to me as if I’d made his day just by calling at all. This was in the days before caller ID, and long before home internet was common, at least in the neck of the woods I was from. Unless I told him my last name, he had little chance of figuring out who I was. It was a lot more innocent a world than it is today. By the end of the phone call he made me promise to call back sometime and talk to him again. He also insisted that I was such a nice girl that he had to ask me to call his friend Billy. Once he told me a little about him, I couldn’t not call, at least to say hi like I’d promised John I would do.

I had no idea when I made that phone call that night, how much my world would be changed, by someone whose face I would never see. That first night when I called him I barely knew what to say, other than I knew John so and so, and he thought we should meet. One phone call turned into talking almost daily, about everything under the sun, and nothing. We loved the same kind of music, and a lot of the same shows. He was always happy to talk to me, he listened to me when I didn’t have a lot of of friends to turn to. It was only slowly over time that I became aware of why, the only time Billy backed away, was when I wanted to meet him in person. I didn’t know why until one night years later when he finally got the courage to explain.

Billy was born with spinabifida and other spinal birth defects that were complicated by his also having hemophilia. While in normal cases his condition would have been treatable enough with surgery to at least let him be mobile with a wheelchair, Billy could not have the surgery or he would have bled to death. He had been bedridden since early childhood due to complications of his condition. Just moving him wrong could cause internal bleeding if his family wasn’t careful. He told me the conditions that he lived with had stunted his growth and left his body deformed, even if his mind was completely unaffected. He’d spent most of his life in his bedroom, paralyzed and unable to feel anything from his chest down, with a radio, tv and a telephone as his only contact with the outside world. I was 16 or 17 when I began talking to him, and by then he was in his 30s.

Looking back I know he was afraid that if I saw him in person that I would stop being his friend, not that I could ever convince him otherwise. He used to laugh and tell me he looked like the hulk, and that he was all green and scaly. To this day I regret never going to see him, even though we lived a mere 3 miles apart in the very same town.

We stayed in touch for several years, even after I was old enough to be out on my own. His folks were both elderly by then but were still his sole caregivers. We lost touch after his father passed away from a heart attack suddenly, and Billy and his mom had to move in with his older sister in another town that was a toll call away. It almost felt as if a piece of my heart was ripped away when he went away, even if I only knew his voice on the other end of the telephone. I found out some time later that he’d passed away in his sleep only a short time after we lost touch.

I don’t know why I am thinking about him tonight after all this time, but I still miss him sometimes just as badly as I did the day he went away. There are still songs I can’t listen to without thinking of him, this one in particular. Billy always swore it was the best song ever written.

Hope you are thinking of me tonight my friend, I still miss you.

Lacking Motivation


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Writing seems to have gone by the wayside for me yet again. It’s not all that unusual for me to do this now that the weather is warming up. Lots of people are doing the July round of Camp NaNoWriMo, but I haven’t signed up this time, because I know I have far too much going on in my life at the moment to really commit to it. Between Thor’s busy schedule, and starting physical therapy next week that is far overdue, I know my days are going to be full.

Now that the weather is nicer, I am trying to make more of an effort to get out of the house. This new house is actually fairly nice, but I still find myself wanting to run back the the old and familiar, especially when anxiety is getting the best of me. I go back and forth between loving and hating it here sometimes because of it. I think it’s mostly the nowhere to go, and no one to really talk to thing that’s getting to me. It’s hard trying to find a place to fit in here. I’m starting to wonder how long that is going to take, considering I didn’t make a single real friend in the 3 years we lived in the last place. I guess I should be more optimistic that maybe it will be different here. Maybe…

As you can tell by the photo, the little guy is getting tall, as in really tall. He’s 40 inches in height already and about 35 pounds. It looks like he is going to be tall and lanky just like his daddy. You have no idea how happy this makes me. I will be very happy if the weight issues I have always struggled with will pass him by. He is a good healthy eater though, and will pick veggies to eat over just about anything. Bell peppers and ground turkey sloppy joes are about his favorite things in the world right now.

I still haven’t gotten word about Whitney’s court date yet, but that’s mostly because there is paperwork to finish, and then a another big game of hurry up and wait, when it comes to getting a hearing arranged. I am hoping and praying that my ex decides to skip this hearing as he has so many others that have taken place over the years. He’s never really been that involved with her growing up, but he unfortunately is the sort of person that would be vindictive at the hearing just to spite me. If he can find an opening and a knife to twist in the wound he will do it. He is an ex for so many reasons I really don’t want to get into here.

I’m so nervous over this guardianship hearing it’s got me on eggshells. I’ve been waiting so many years for this day to come, that I am beside myself worrying that something is going to screw it up. If I can just get her home than all this hoping and praying, and pain of the these last 7 years will be worth it.

7 years without your baby girl, that’s a hell of a long time to lose, with anyone, much less a piece of your heart, that’s been ripped away, and kept just out of reach for far too long…

Allergies and anxiety


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The cabin fever of winter has passed, but now I find myself sticking close to home for entirely new reasons. I seem to have moved into a town that is allergy central. Who knew? And to think I had been doing so well the last few years when I had lived in the big city. I should have realized with all these beautiful trees, and nice scenery comes lots and lots of pollen that is currently rearing its ugly head with me as we speak. Thor also apparently caught his first preschool related virus, without even leaving home. (which of course he has since passed on to me) He now has in-home head start three days a week, and thankfully he seems to enjoy it, even though he has warmed up to some of his 3 teachers, more than the others.

Thor especially seems to have developed quite an affection for “Miss Gena” the teacher that normally comes here on Monday mornings. Tuesdays he has speech lessons with “Miss Carrie”, and Thursdays he has regular in home preschool, but this time with “Miss Christie.” While Miss Gena has been very consistent with him since the beginning, Carrie and Christie are still relatively new to him, having only just replaced other teachers that had relocated and/or moved to different jobs. It does take Thor a little time to warm up to people. Even Gena had to wait several visits before he came out of his shell with her. I guess it would be hard for any kid to do well when the people teaching them are constantly coming and going. I’m hoping that this set of teachers will decide to stick it out, at least until he gets old enough to go to a regular head start class in the fall.

I still have a great deal of worry over the fact that his speech seems rather behind where it should be at his age. Gena has assured me time and again that, even though Thor doesn’t use words much, he is very bright for his age. I guess that’s what makes this whole speech delay all the more puzzling. Outside of his problems with speech, he’s already learning his colors, and can even do 24 pieces jigsaw puzzles by himself. He can’t say the names of most animals, but he does know them by the sounds they make. Owl and bird seem to be the exception to this rule at the moment. Kitties are “meow” and so forth. He now knows the difference between cats and dogs even if he doesn’t quite have a word or sound for dog yet.

This latest development came when we recently rescued an elderly female dachshund.Her owner had apparently been an elderly woman who lived alone, but very suddenly ended up in a rest home, unable to care for her. With the local humane society temporarily shuttered, this poor hound was pound bound. She is such a sweet dog, and so good with Thor and our cats that I couldn’t see letting her wind up somewhere she would probably have only quickly been put to sleep. At 11 years old she is quite healthy and active for a dog this age, but most shelters would have considered her too old to be adoptable.

Not all our animal adventures lately have been as fun. A bat decided to pay our house a visit a couple of weeks ago, and I must admit, I hid under a blanket and screamed like a girl while my husband and a nice police officer helped it back outside. No one is worse for the wear Thankfully it happened early enough in the evening that we were awake. It was pouring down rain that evening, so all we can figure is that the rain may have chased it inside when we went to let the dog out. We haven’t been able to find any other way it might have gotten in. Hopefully this will be an extremely isolated incident and not repeat itself. I hate bats. I can deal with them outdoors, but I want them to stay far far away from my house…please and thank you.

It’s just been another thing on top of everything else that’s had my nerves wound tight lately. My family has been fighting like cats and dogs since my grandmother passed away in February. It’s stressing me to the point I’ve had to go low contact for awhile with both sides. I can’t take all this bickering and fighting anymore. I just want to be happy, and as much as I’d like to have a couple of small things of hers to remember my grandmother by, putting myself in the middle of this to get it just doesn’t seem worth it. I am trying to do just what I know that she would tell me to do. I will love them all, but I don’t have to agree with them, or do what they do.

I’ve begun to wonder when life will not be such a roller coaster ride. I would love to be able to enjoy the beginning of summer and do all those other fun things I read about other families doing on facebook, or all those shiny parenting blogs I am always coming across. The shambles my life is, and how broke we are really only makes me feel like more of a failure sometimes.

Life is very lonely with no friends, or even family nearby, not that my family would be much if any comfort presently. (close and supportive they are not, nor have they ever been) Now that my grandmother is gone, I am feeling really lost. Honestly I don’t think I have ever in my life felt so alone. It’s especially hard that I didn’t get to say goodbye. My own family was too busy going at each other to make sure I could make it to the funeral. (the fighting has since only gotten worse…not that they have ever not been fighting my entire life)

I just want to be happy, I  want to get well from whatever bug preschool has drug in and do something, anything fun for a change. I want to have a fun summer the way that I used to. It doesn’t take expensive vacations, or even a non-existent beach or swimming pool. I miss having friends to hang around and do nothing with. I miss having places to go to just goof off for awhile and talk with people. It’s hard when you are barely making ends meet to even go out for a cup of coffee, much less think of other places people might be in walking distance of here. Going further than that takes a lot of time and quite a bit of planning here. You have no idea how I dream of being able to afford a car again, especially since moving here. Sadly our tv is broken, and there are a million other things that are even a higher priority for now when it comes to money and making sure the bills are paid. Hanging in here, don’t know how to do it any different.

Time flies


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Here it is December again, and a lot has been happening since I haven’t been tap-taping away at the keys. Some of it has been good, and some bad, but at least I can say that life lately is a bit different than the last time I wrote on this here blog.

My mother in law had a serious fall and has been in and out of the hospital yet again, and is presently in a rehabilitation nursing home trying to get back her strength so she can hopefully be home by Christmas. Thankfully nothing was broken, but no one knows what has been causing these weak spells she has been having. They seem to come on quickly, only to resolve themselves before anyone can find a cause. I really wish she would come and stay with us, but mom is stubborn and doesn’t want to leave her home, much less Indiana. If that news were not enough, we also found out the cancer my husband’s aunt had a few years ago has returned, and unfortunately it seems to be already at stage 4, and the doctors are unsure how much they will be able to do to help her. John seems to be taking that bit of news about as well as can be expected for now.

As overwhelming as the hard news lately has been, the good news is that the closing finally happened on the new house, even if moving cost way, way more than we had ever anticipated that it would. In fact, the movers ended up charging us around five hundred dollars more than their original estimate, so needless to say, the last couple of months have been kind of lean around here budget wise while we try to gather the things we will need for the new house. I guess I can’t expect miracles in that department overnight.

Christmas looks to be equally lean this year. I was able to get all of the kids at least a little something, but probably nothing like I know kids are usually hoping for. I hope my older kids will be happy with clothes, paperback books and homemade necklaces. Thor seems to be the easy one to shop for, board books and a see n say, and a little toy truck. I also picked up a used toddler bed for him to use whenever we have the money to get his room finished enough for him to move into.

Thor’s room was one of our not so nice surprises after we moved in here. Not only had someone started ripping the wallpaper down and didn’t bother finishing it, but sometime between the inspection on the house and the closing they had also taken the time to remove the light fixture in that bedroom, and so now we have to buy a new one and find someone to help us install it. We have the light fixture we want spotted, and know what color we are eventually going to paint the room once the work is done, getting it finished is mostly a matter of having the money to purchase the materials and help we will need to make it happen. Unfortunately those things just don’t come cheap nowadays.

I know we have many plans for what we would like to do with the new house in the coming months, but we know much of what we would like to do cannot happen overnight. All we can do is make a list of what we would like to have done, and try to figure out which things are a priority, and which of them would just be something that would eventually be nice to have. For the moment the first thing on the list is to get that light fixture replaced, and to get Thor’s room finished so the hubby and I can finally have some much needed privacy and more room to do our own room the way we would eventually like it to be.

For now the plan for Thor’s room is to paint it a nice pretty Tardis blue to begin with. Eventually when time and money allows the hubby will be painting murals of a nighttime forest with owls in the trees on his bedroom walls. The ceiling eventually will also have glow in the dark stars. Eventually… I’d just be happy getting his room painted and done enough for him to actually move into before spring. It’s all just a matter of too many plans and not enough money to do it all right now.

For now, even a month after moving in, we are still unpacking slowly but surely, and trying to get the house the way we want it to be. We are also slowly but surely trying to learn our way around this new town, and where to find the things we need. Not knowing anyone is really the hardest part of moving somewhere new. I am hoping that once the weather warms up a little and we get settled in, that we will be able to go out and meet some new people. So far the neighbors seem nice, but just like most places nowadays, most people pretty much seem to keep to themselves. Maybe it’s just me, but it doesn’t seem to be nearly as easy to get to know anyone these days, maybe myself included. It doesn’t help that I’m rather shy around people I don’t know well, and I can tend to be quite a homebody.

For now we would like to wish you Blessed Holidays from our tiny town in middle of nowhere in Northwestern Pennsylvania. As for myself I will be trying to stay warm, and ride out the winter without turning into a mommysicile.

December has always been a hard time for me these last few years. Today marks the 3 year anniversary of the day my dad passed away, and two years since I lost my lifelong friend Sandy. It’s hard not to curl up and have a good cry, but I know that’s not what either of them would have wanted. Maybe it’s ok to be sad, as long as I don’t forget all the good that is still here. Some days that is easier said than done.