What I've Written About

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


My friend Jo—awesome person and author that she is—is hosting a blogFEST. Well the letter F is for friends, and since Jo is one of my best ones, I am actually displaying some actual writing of my own. BUT only because she asked me to. J

For her thing, you are supposed to write about an awkward "Meeting of the Ex-es" moment. It has taken me some time, but here is what I came up with. (Just so you know, this was scary for me. I hardly ever post my actual writing.) I'm taking a stab at writing from a grown up MALE perspective. Believe me, this is a HUGE stab. I write YA, so all of my stuff is teenage girl stuff. Therefore, forgive me if I accidentally slip into snarkiness. It's the comfortable writing attire for me. I also decided to write about the build up to the awkward ex moment and let you figure out the rest yourself. Anyway…here goes…

READ AWAY! (I'll just be over here, biting my nails)

"Hey, Honey, where did that new dress shirt go?" I flip through the clothes hanging in my closet. Normally, I don't care much about what I look like, but tonight is special.

"Which dress shirt?" she calls from the other room.

"The blue one. The one I bought yesterday."

"I washed it." My wife walks into the room dangling the freshly ironed shirt from a fingertip. She puts a hand on her hip. "Why are you trying to look so fancy anyway? It's only parent teacher conferences? Most people just wear jeans and a t-shirt." She hands me the shirt, then steps around me to look through her jewelry box. That's what really bothers me. The way she never looks at me anymore.

My fingers shake as I put it on and button it up. I hope she doesn't notice. I hope I'm acting casual enough. I turn away from her and clear my throat. "I thought everyone dresses up for these things."

"Nope." She pulls out a necklace. "No one."

Finally, she walks to her side of the closet and yanks out a button up shirt and some kind of dressy pants. She holds them out to show me. "But if you want to look all decked out, then I'm with you."

An eyebrow raise and fake smile are all I can concede right now. But I watch her as she walks into the bathroom and closes the door silently behind her. At one point she would have invited me in. She wouldn't have been able to keep her hands off me. That was a long time ago.

I secure my tie, check to make sure it looks okay, and proceed to pace until my wife comes out of the bathroom. As soon as I see the door opening, I leave. We've filled our quota of small talk for the day.

Thomas, our son, is watching TV in the living room. I sit next to him on the couch and ruffle his hair. "What's up sport?"

"Nothing." My son is only twelve, but has mastered the art of "don't ask, don't tell" as well as any teenager. He doesn't take his eyes off the television screen.

We sit in silence for a while watching some kind of cartoon show that's too young for him. Not something I'd choose to watch under normal circumstances, but it takes my mind off of what I'm doing tonight. The stupid, conceited, exhilarating thing I'm doing tonight.

"So how's school going?" I ask.


"You like your teacher, Miss…what's her name again?" I put a finger between my collar and my neck, suddenly feeling like I'm strangling.

"Miss Warner. I've told you a million times." Thomas rolls his eyes.

"Oh yes. That is her name." I say it jokingly, but get a ripple of fear in my stomach at the name.

Kathy Warner. Junior year of high school. Backseat of my parents Oldsmobile. Yep. I remember a lot about Kathy Warner. A lot.

"Ready." My wife is putting in her last earring as she stoops to turn off the television. "We don't want to be late." She barely glances at me before heading into the kitchen. Thomas pushes himself off the couch to follow. I wonder how she gets him to like her so much. He is my son, but sometimes I feel like he's just putting up with me.

Checking my tie and hair in the mirror, one last time, I follow them out to the car. My wife is already sitting, seat buckled, in the passenger seat, and checking her lipstick in the overhead mirror. Thomas has found his IPod and is staring out the window, pretending I don't exist. I turn on the radio and back out of the driveway. Rainy Day Woman by Bob Dylan streams from the speakers, bringing back a new wash of Kathy Warner memories. The car warms at the visions tumbling in my mind, until I know I must look flushed. I just thank the lord that my wife doesn't pay any attention to me.

As we pull up to the school, I resist the urge to check how I look in the mirror. It would be a dead giveaway. And I'm not ready yet to explain to my wife why I agreed to come to parent/teacher conferences this year.

She doesn't know about Kathy Warner, because I never told her.

But she will know.

Soon enough.

To look at other awkward EX moments...go here: http://jostorm.blogspot.com/2010/09/writing-promptdialogue-between-exes.html

To Hook up to Alphabe-Thursday, go HERE:Jenny Matlock

What about you? Have you had a freaky EX moment you're willing to share? I didn't dare tell my real life Awkward moment.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Easygoing Rebellion!

I'm having the hardest time deciding which blog share I want to do on Thursdays. I LOVE MamaKats Writers Workshop, but I also love Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday. So as often as possible, I try to hit both. This week, it actually worked out perfectly for me. Because the prompt was about how I was labeled as a child and how it effected me.

The thing is, the label I was given as a child was Easygoing.

I didn't throw a lot of temper tantrums.

I did everything I was supposed to do in school. (Got good grades + stayed on task + didn't get into fights= trying to be a teacher's pet.)

I went to church on Sunday and didn't complain about it.

I smiled most of the time because I was happy.

I felt bad for kids who got picked on and tried to be nice to them.

Basically, I was a people-pleaser extraordinaire.

This was ME


I didn't want to be EASYGOING.

I wanted to be BAD.

I was really jealous of the kids who just did whatever they wanted in school. The teacher never forgot the names of the kids who were bad, but they forgot my name a lot.

Sometimes, I wanted to throw a big huge temper tantrum and slam doors and yell at people and CUSS just because.

Every once in a while I wanted to tell the kids that people picked on. "They pick on you because you are weird and annoying!"

Many days, sitting in church, I wished I could just YELL something really loud about how bored I was.

This is what I wanted to be...

BUT...I wasn't.

I was Easygoing. And I was good.

Now I'm older. And I feel very free in the fact that I can be nice when I want to and mean when I feel like it. That I don't have to hide the way I really feel. I guess there are moments when people might label me as a Bee-otch, but I could care less. See, when you've spent your whole childhood making sure everyone is happy and likes you, you kind of get over it.

And you learn that there are moments for both.

BUT...don't worry!

If you run into me, I promise I will still be nice to you. Because you see, Easygoing is not something you grow out of. It's just something you learn to hide sometimes.

What about you? Were you an easygoing child, or a Rebel? (If you were a rebel, be gentle and remember...I so wish I was you. :-)

To link up to other entries, go here...Jenny Matlock

And Here:
Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

D is for DOH!

I am an educated person. I have a bachelor's degree and have taken millions of classes on reading and writing. It's what I do. I teach teachers how to be better at reading and writing. So I've always kind of assumed my brain was big…LIKE THIS… And yet…

Even with all of that…


See, I don't mean to, but many times I set myself up for embarrassment.

My brain just doesn't think in a logical way. It thinks in a "how-can-I-make-this-as-hard-as-possible" way. I've always gotten excellent grades, scored above average on the SAT and IQ tests, and could ace any test. HOWEVER, when it comes to just surviving in the normal, everyday world"… brilliance escapes me.

Lest you don't believe me, let me just give one example of why I sure am glad that Homer Simpson coined the phrase "DOH!" so that they could add it to the dictionary and I could use it to show what an idiot I am.

The other night, I was laying in bed watching television (something I do before going to sleep every night), when I "thought" I saw a little black speck out of the corner of my eye. I got nervous and sat up straighter. Because, you see, I have an teensy, tiny fear of mosquitoes being in my room at night. I mean, they suck your blood. Doesn't that kind of freak you out a little too? Pretty soon, I start to relax again and kind of forget about the black dot. That is until I hear the unmistakable high-pitched whine of an actual mosquito. So I sit up and swat around my head a couple of times and bury myself in my covers so it won't bite me on my beautiful-non-marred-by-a-mosquito-bite face.

I listen to see if it is still close.


After a minute of not hearing anything, I get out of the covers and relax.

Suddenly, the high-pitched whine is back.

Closer this time.

So I wave my hands around my face and in the air to frighten it. Once again, no noise at all. Then a second later, I hear it again.


I jump up and start swinging my arms wildly around, swishing and swishing to displace the air currents and maybe fling it as far from my body as I can. It is while I am in the midst of doing this, that I hear it again.

This time to the side.

And I locate the sound.


Is what I find… On VIBRATE.
And this is how my brain feels now.

Please tell me you feel the same way sometimes. Please. Please. Please.

What "DOH!" Moments have you had? I must hear them in order to feel better about myself. :-)

Link up to Alphabe-Thursday…HEREJenny Matlock

And play along.

Oh, and don't forget to link up here... http://writingbycandlelight.blogspot.com/ to read about little old me and be entered into a giveaway. :-)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

C if for Cancer and how it SUCKS ROCKS

Some things make you realize how important your heritage is and how important it is to make your life count. These are three women who really impacted my life. All three were amazing and all had lives that were cut short because of cancer.

Grandma Thayne
My Grandma Thayne passed away when I was three years old. I don't remember anything about her. My only memory of her at all was being at her funeral and it being dark and people crying and me not understanding why everyone was so sad. So it is weird to me that a person I really never knew effected my life so much. I was born on my Grandma's birthday. As a matter of fact, I was born two weeks late in order to be born on her birthday. My name was supposed to be Mindi, but was changed to her name when our b-days matched up. She and her sister married brothers. Me and my sister married brothers. Many people who knew her say I look a lot like her. Grandma Thayne loved to write. She wrote poetry and short stories and always wanted to get published. I wish so much that I had known her. That I could remember one detail, something of her. It makes me jealous that my older sister can remember her hands and I can't. However, I counted on her to be there for me, in my heart, like my mom told me she was. For some reason, because I knew she was somewhere in heaven watching over me, I wanted be my best for her. I wanted to make sure that, since we shared names, I made it a good one. And, more than anything, I want to get published, because in some way, it will be like both of us finally made it.

She found out she had breast cancer when she was fifty. Fifty. That's too young. And it was back in the time when there wasn't very much they could do for you. My mom doesn't talk about it very much. I don't blame her. Losing her mom devastated her. But sometimes I wish she we would tell me more stories about her. I can't wait until the day when I finally do get to meet my Grandma Thayne. SO heaven BETTER be real. J

Grandma Moore
I don't know where I would be if it weren't for this lady. I wasn't one of those children who was raised solely by my parents. I had a huge extended family who met often, every Sunday as a matter of fact. My grandma was a farm wife who canned and bottled food, killed chickens, helped haul hay, and fed me ice cream every time I went to her house. She taught me that family is the most important thing. That friends are good, but being friends with your family is best. Sometimes we did fun things like play night games until it was so pitch black you were likely to find yourself at the bottom of the huge irrigation ditch that lined the house (something that happened more than once in our games of hide and seek), or have huge games of UNO around my grandma's tiny kitchen table. Along with the fun things was mixed a lot of hard work. At grandma's we learned how to really clean a house (down to staining the kitchen cabinets once a year). We herded cows, planted and harvested a huge garden, pruned trees, and branded cattle.
The whole time—HAVING FUN!

Not that we didn't have our issues. My sister and I used to call the Moore Family Gatherings, The Moore Wars (the first of which began because my grandma, thinking she was being nice, bought my cousin a shirt she thought said 'It ain't easy being pretty', which in fact said, "It ain't pretty being easy', something that wouldn't have been a big deal if my cousin hadn't, in fact, been sleeping around at the time. J Hahaha…It still makes me laugh). My grandma gossiped and got angry and picked favorites, and had her times of depression. But she was real.

To be honest, I don't remember my grandma without the word cancer attached to her. She suffered from Melanoma for eleven years, having pieces and parts of her body removed as they became infected. She walked with a limp and had a voice like a bullhorn (hmm hm, so that's where I got it). When she got really bad, I had to go and help take care of her, something that terrified me. I helped change diapers and turned her over in her bed so her bed sores didn't get worse. I was there the night she got really bad and had to leave her home that she loved forever. At the hospital she didn't remember my name.
But I never questioned it. I KNEW she loved me. It was the first thing in my life that let me know I had to live life to the fullest before I got old and couldn't do things anymore. I broke up with my boyfriend the next week. I started doing the things I really wanted to do.

Thanks for that Grandma.

Grandma Jo

Grandma Jo isn't actually my grandma. She was my kid's grandma. Jo was my mother-in-law. The truthfulness of the matter is that there were many times she drove me crazy. She invited my husband and I over for dinner EVERY Sunday. She called to check on us ALL THE TIME. She wanted to do "Girls Nights Out" and actually expected me to come. She was always prying by asking how I was doing. And worst of all, she never would say anything bad about anyone.

It makes me roll my eyes at myself that I was so bothered by these things; that I was bothered because she loved me too much. How STUPID!

Jo was one of the most fun people ever. She dared try anything and laughed all the time. She was interested in other people. I hated going to the store with her because she would run into a million people she knew, and then make friends with ten more. If you stood next to her in the grocery store line, she would know all your children's names, where you were born and raised, and make a connection to you, all in five minutes flat. She saw the best in people, even those who were mean to her. I thought she was making excuses for them, but she just whole-heartedly believed people acting rude were having a bad day, must have hard life, yadda, yadda, yadda. I didn't know how she could do it.

It was devastating when we found out she had Stage Four Breast Cancer. But she was determined to fight and beat it. She gave it a good fight, and actually lasted five years after the diagnosis. A year before she passed away, she took "the girls" (her daughter and three daughter-in-laws) to Vegas. She had a ball gambling and taking us to shows. We stood at the Bellagio Fountains while Sarah Brighton sang "Time to Say Goodbye." I remember looking at her and really feeling like the time was short. A few months before she passed away, she went to Canada on a bear hunt and bagged the largest bear anyone in the family ever had. Up to the moment she left this life, Jo remained positive. She had every reason to mope and complain and wish that things were different. But SHE DIDN'T. She saw the obstacles and thought "I'm going to hurdle that." She chose to be happy. She chose to look at every person in her life as someone valuable and important. The line at her funeral went out of the funeral home, around the building, and down two blocks. She loved people. And because she loved them, they loved her. She lived the saying "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

What a great lesson she taught me. We choose our reaction to the things that happen in our lives. We can live a life of misery or we can live a life of happiness. And it is all up to us.

Man, I miss her. I would give anything to go on one of her "Girls Nights Out" again.

To link up, go hereJenny Matlock

Or hereMama's Losin' It

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gettin' All Up in Myself--THE GIVEAWAY

I'm starting to feel like a bit of a bragger. First, the award yesterday, now a whole entire blog post dedicated to little ole' me.

*Really I feel like I totally deserve it... but you know...I'm doing the humble thing. Eating the "Humble Pie" so to speak.


My very good friend and one of the members of my completely fabulous writing group has done a blog post about me and about my writing. To be honest, writing is the one part of my life that I feel totally comfortable in--that is--until I have to share it with someone.

An exerpt from my first completed manuscript, The Deception Virus, is included.

Now I know you're thinking, "Just Get To The Freaking Giveaway Already." So here it is.
My fabulous friend at http://writingbycandlelight.blogspot.com/ is giving away Cassandra Claires new book CLOCKWORK ANGEL. I am personally a huge fan of her first series, and can't wait to start this new one.

All you have to do is follow me AND follow her and then leave a comment on one of our blogs (or both if you so prefer).

That's it. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

So stop hanging around here and follow the link to the blog of another amazing author. And bask in my awesome-ness.

Once again, Thanks Jen. I feel totally unworthy.
(*Not really, but you know that 'humble pie' thing is still in effect.)

I’m an Award Winner!

I'm so excited! I just received my very first blog award from a person I don't know in real life. It is from a "Blogging Friend." I actually have friends that exist out there in the world that I have never met face to face.

And it is AMAZING!

Anyway, on to the award. I received this beautiful, shiny new thing just yesterday.

And I was SO EXCITED…I smiled a slit-eyes kind of smile. One of those smiles that shows every laugh line and wrinkle on my face.

Strangely, I was okay with this. Because someone actually thought my blog posts were worthy of an award.

In order to pass on the LOVE, I am awarding the following blogs. I chose these blogs either because they made me laugh, cry, or ponder at some point.

The winners are:

  1. http://www.hidingfromthekids.com/ (Very funny and is into education like me.)
  2. http://floridagirlmidwest.blogspot.com/ (Amazing writing=Great stories.)
  3. http://musingsofapalindrome.blogspot.com/ (Already won this award, but I had to give it again because of her Extremely Fun October-Fest kind of stuff going on right now)
  4. http://idevourkidbooks.blogspot.com/ (Semi-new to blogging but great posts. Trust me. A must read.)
  5. http://adventuresindecorating1.blogspot.com/ (Seriously beautiful decorating ideas. If I had half that talent, my house would be amazing.)

Thanks for all the fabulous ideas, stories, and hilarities. J

Oh—and thanks for the AWARD.