Saturday, June 15, 2013

Getting reviews have been harder than expected. I have given away many many copies in expectation of getting a review but very few follow through for whatever reason, some legit others not so legit. But I got my third review on Amazon

 More than I expectedJune 12, 2013
I will read mostly anything I can get my hands on however I was a little nervous to read this novel since I knew it was the first novel the author had wrote however I was pleasantly surprised. Other than a few grammatical errors and also some parts of the text that seems choppy, the plot was good and the story telling kept me interested. I was able to connect with the characters which also kept me drawn to the story. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good unexpected ending.

Pretty exciting to know others are reading my book. I could have left it in a drawer somewhere like a lot of people do. Pretty cool stuff!!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Looking for Suggestions

After publishing my first book and all the lessons I have learned and still am learning, I have decided to do something. I thought how hard it is for first time authors to get noticed amidst this sea of authors new and well-known. Self-publishing has become easier than ever with digital publishing and on-demand print. Amazon, Smashwords, Uncovered Books (coming out this fall) and Createspace for on-demand paperback publishing.

It used to be, as my Grandfather was a self-published author, that you would have to pay a lot of up-front set-up fees for the printing and then buy a shipment of books and hope you can sell them and make a profit. Only the most confident, motivated and with at least a little disposable income ventured into the world of self-publishing. If you lacked one of those things, most likely the disposable income for the initial investment, you relied on traditional publishers by submitting your book and receiving tons of rejection letters before finally getting one, if you ever did.  Those days are now a bygone era.

Now anyone with internet access can be self-published. This is a great thing. Of course that means that there are more new and emerging authors. Uncharted imaginations, if you will. Stories that will not be stuck in a drawer because someone behind a desk decided it was not a profit worthy project. We are free to decide for ourselves what authors we want to read and which ones to pass on.

I have decided to do my part in helping these previously unpublished authors to achieve some attention. I want to start a book review site just for authors that have never before been published. Authors that are unheard of from the everyday world. Authors that still have day jobs like teaching, manufacturing and service jobs. A place where readers can find their new favorite author. While titling a book can sometimes be the hardest part of publishing a book, naming a website can be the first and hardest part of staring a blog or website. I could use a few suggestions....Any ideas?

Friday, June 7, 2013

So Many Lessons

I believe I am destined that in all my life ventures my first attempts at anything every possible mistake must be made. My first book will be no different. By the time I get my second book done it will be a success overnight from all the lessons learned the first go round. I will say that some things like getting reviews are painfully slow. I know I know. I need to give them time to read the book. But some are coworkers who agreed to review then come to work and tell me they love the book and came to really care about the characters but yet the number of reviews on the book stay the same.

One of my coworkers even left me a funny voicemail. I keep it for entertainment purposes. I have pretty blond roots and in the service industry with irregular crazy hours, I sometimes get my days backwards. One of those days I thought I had the day off. Come 6:00 am and I was due in at 5am a girl who agreed to leave a review left a message "hey you were due I'm at 5 and I know I said I would put your review on but I got distracted with the baby and laundry so will you please cone into work now? I promise to get it in today." I came I'm assured her it was a mixup I'm schedule and I'm not that vindictive. Of course she has yet to post. Playing that message gives me a giggle.

Monday, May 20, 2013

My YouTube Rant

What people do on their own time, in the privacy of their own home is none of my business. When it enters my home, it becomes my business. I have three boys, nearly all teenagers. A lot of their viewing entertainment comes from the internet. We watch Netflix. Movies chosen are upon approval of my scrutinous eye. Sometimes before, sometimes with a lecture later after seeing the 'previously viewed' section. I'm no prude. I'm probably am too lenient in what they watch, but I still have a few scruples.

Two of my kids love to watch Tobuscus on YouTube. That's cool. I've watched him. I have even laughed at his rants. Definitely on the hyper-side, which annoys my oldest son. There are other things they have watched and subscribed to on YouTube. All innocent, most not my taste, but acceptable. These videos they watch are geared to these kids.

My issue, though, is with the advertising. I have no problem with ads in general. Hey, if it means I can get something for free, I will gladly look at an ad. But the ad is erotic. I didn't click on it to see where it led me. I clicked on another video and there was a similiar ad where a woman in only a bra was on her knees and bent completely over so all you saw was cleavage. My kids can choose to look at that stuff when they are grown men, not living in my house. Until then, I am responsible for feeding their impressionable minds and I have plenty of other junk I can plant in there to rot.

I don't even really care that they have those advertisements in general. I just wish they would match the ads with the videos. If the videos are about Erectile Dysfunction then you are probably old enough to see that that type of advertisement. If you want a russian or asian girlfriend, that's your business. If you are watching Tobuscus, you are probably between the ages of 12 and 15 and not an age appropriate ad. I believe YouTube should change their algorithms on that aspect of their page.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Well hello there...

Hello all you blog readers out there. I would like to welcome you to tipsy hour. I cannot tell you how long its been since I have had more than one adult beverage in one sitting. I'm a huge lightweight. 2 beers and 2 shots tequila. At least I knew when to leave. At the same time I made my first corny joke. Wait. That's all my jokes. When I made my first SUPER corny joke. I waitressed tonight and after closing we all four shared in drinking a few. The owners myself and the knew and probobly first official head chef at my local diner. The conversation was all business visionary. I'm only there to snag a few bucks but this new guy is a keeper. I wouldn't cry if they bagged me. In fact if Gordon Ramsey were there he would fire me. I'm new and I suck a bit. Whatever. I got $100 for4 hours work and that's $100 more than I had 4 hours ago. This guy, though has a dream. I listened and was happy for them while drinking my beer. Then he used a comparison of the restaurant as a gold mine and there were no miners there. I spoke up and said they could hire my 16 year old. On that lame joke I took my leave. Goodnight all as I must get up in the morning and work another 16 hour work day. Yea me!!!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Is being a Hermit a Suitable Life Choice?

I have always believed myself to be a people person. Customer Service was always first choice in career options because I am friendly, approachable, patient and understanding. A warm genuine smile will offset any wanna be cusser outer of the business world. After so many years of retail, fast food and other customer oriented jobs. I think my latest one has me running for a deep cave in the mountains to live of the Earth and paint stick figures on the walls by campfire. The very idea of waking whenever I wish to bathe in a cool stream and breakfast off berries seems very relaxing. No worries, no material possessions to make payments on, no house to keep clean, no people to appease. Ahhh the dream.

Reality is I would like it for about an hour, nap a sweet nap and wake bored out of my mind and already sick of myself. Granted, I love a good camping trip, with others that know how. Truth is I am just kapoot and burnt out. Being a middle manager for a busy fast food joint is an underpaid high stress job. I don't recommend it. If I had to do it again I could just as easily be the underpaid woman at the window taking cash and waving, with no other job than that. "Would you like fries with that?...If everything on your screen is correct, please pull around to the next window please....That will be $1.99 Thank you and have a lovely day". I could do that all day, If my pride would let me as the sole breadwinner of a family of four. No money drawers to count and stress over a drawer that's $2 short. No assigning crew tasks and figuring out how we can be faster, cheaper and friendlier with less people than the day before. No dealing with call-offs and people walking out on their job. No being pulled in 20 different directions while each station needs manager help and tring to figure out why there's no pop coming out of the pop machine and calling to see who can get trash bags because the ordering manager decided trash bags was not a suitable item to break the monthly budget as opposed to ...oh I don't know...anything else. All this while a higher up is telling you the manager before you blew labor and now you have to make up for it by purposely undermanning your floor. Excuse me while I take a moment to scream inside my head. Wait, moment disturbed while someone asks for their tenth smoke break with a line out the door of the lobby and cars wrapped around the building.

Bored sounds pretty good compared to this stress. Of course I don't have internet out there to self-publish my books. Heat and shelter would be nice in winter. Well, I guess I really need to evaluate my career choices and make a change. Cuz this ain't cuttin' it no mo!!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sleutz or Slutz?

I laughed when I saw this in the local paper. All I could think was this poor guy getting mocked by all his friends, coworkers and classmates. I thought newspapers were supposed to have better editors than this.
A prideful moment turned into mockery. So sad. So funny!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Murphy's Law

Murphy's law states that what will go wrong will go wrong. This law applies often in my life. Today for instance, I am finally hooked with internet service after two years of going without. Woohoo right? I can, at last, blog, tweet, email, and do general search and surf without spending oodles of time at my local McDonald's wifi. Tech calls me at work to let me know my DSL is hooked up to the house. Sweet! Come home and ...nada. oh yeah I forgot how DSL works. Its not a cable, its a phone line internet. Do you know how old my phone lines are in my house? Neither do I. In the few years I have lived in my century home I have yet to use a real phone line. Cell phones rule in this household. Guess I'm putting in a new line to the box. Uggh always one more thing. I hate Murphy.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

New Emailed Review by Kat

So. I just finished reading your book. I have to say, you should be very proud of yourself. I didn't expect it to be that deep and emotional. I cried. Which is a huge thing because I hardly ever cry because of a book. I will post a review to amazon very soon. -Kat

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Shout out to all shift workers

O...M...G. I am so tired. I am a swing manager at a fast food joint. I can be scheduled to work any shift. I am working thirds this week. As far as the work goes, its actually my favorite shift. It's low key, there's less employees to deal with and none are teenagers and no upper management ever comes in on third. It's just more relaxed. Go in, work, go home. It's all good. The part I have a hard time with is the sleep adjustment. I go home ready to crash but only sleep lightly for about an hour or two. Then I'm awake. After trying to get something done at home for an hour I try to take another long nap. It takes me about four days to adjust. Those four days I'm in a sleep fog trying desperately to remember all my tasks both at home and at work. Day and night I'm exhausted. Then I somehow adjust. The moment this happens, I get put back on first shift.

Last time I was this tired I had a newborn.

It makes me wonder how nurses and firefighters and anybody else that works swing shifts function. You people are special and amazing!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Amazing Potato

I'm all excited. I get excited easily over daily things. I didn't feel like dirtying a cooking  pan, mostly because I'm slightly lazy, so I decided to rotisserie my corned beef brisket. I'm two hours in and it smells amazing.  Then I kind of spaced on how long to bake a potato and googled it. In the process I discovered how to "bake" potatoes in slow cooker. I consider myself an above average home cook and never thought to cook these things this way, well the rotisserie is a new gadget for me so I never really thought about cooking much that way. However the baked potato in slow cooker is useful. I live thirty seconds from a convienient store and my kids always want to go down to buy chips and junk food. They all love baked potatoes but will never cook them. Not exactly a convienient food till now. I can put them wrapped in foil in slow cooker, by the time they get home from school there is a ready made snack that is way better and cheaper than potato chips and dip. It will be good all evening and the leftovers have tons of possibilities from mashed potatoes to soup to potato pancakes. Yummy in my tummy.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Unexpected excitement and trepidation

My kids like the windows open at night. Unfortunately this has left my house vulnerable to the random curious squirrel. We have a family that live in the couple trees and bushes in my yard.

I was sleeping on the couch trying to prepare for my third shifts I have to work this week. My 150lb mastiff / great Dane mix was curled up under my legs. I get awoken by a dog the size of a full grown man jumping off the couch from under my legs chasing a blur on the floor. This gray blur ran behind my living room chair and is now trapped by the threat of jaws larger than this tree rodents body.

This is the happiest I have seen my dog who lives a quiet and boring life. Her biggest excitement is when the kids are coming home from school. If she catches the tiny intruder she will kill it with one swoop. I believe, however that she has no intention of killing it, just to play. Looking at manslaughter at best. At worst, I have a pest stuck under my chair I have to figure out how to get rid of before I have an infestation or insuring all our rabies shots are up to date.

Either way I see me being very tired at work tonight cuz I ain't going back to sleep now.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Why books are great

In this age of technology, everything is in the palm of our hand. Every moment we feel the need for distraction, just pick up your cell phone. Get out your kindle, nook, or iPod. Pull out your netbook and ride the free wifi from your local coffee shop or fast food joint.

In an effort to simplify my life I had my internet and cable shut off. I took advantage of my little gadgets for daily distractions. I watch Netflix on my phone or read on my nook. I take my laptop to McDonald's to download stuff over a cup of coffee and Pandora. After having to replace my old phone, I find my meeting is not up to snuff with my new. My battery died while plugged in watching Heroes. That was the series I was into when I made the decision to downgrade. Having three kids I find many gadgets not charged as they should be.

With nothing electronically ready to properly distract or entertain I go back to the trusty paperback. I have a stack waiting patiently for a day like today.

Nothing beats a paperback. OK so I can't carry a library of 10,000 real books without breaking my back but I just need one good one to sit on my couch cuddled up with a cup of tea. I love the feel of the page as I hold it impatient that I can't read faster to turn the page to see...see what? I don't know...see who gets killed, who gets caught, who's in love with who, who gets betrayed, who's an alien and how it all happens. I get excited to felt the pages get thicker in my left hand and thinner in my right as I read further into the book. Tge bittersweet feeling when i see from the top of the book I don't have much more and these characters won't be with much longer but I so long to find out is on any page now.  Those are things you can't get from a digital device. I still love a good real book.

Why books are great

In this age of technology, everything is in the palm of our hand. Every moment we feel the need for distraction, just pick up your cell phone. Get out your kindle, nook, or iPod. Pull out your netbook and ride the free wifi from your local coffee shop or fast food joint.

In an effort to simplify my life I had my internet and cable shut off. I took advantage of my little gadgets for daily distractions. I watch Netflix on my phone or read on my nook. I take my laptop to McDonald's to download stuff over a cup of coffee and Pandora. After having to replace my old phone, I find my meeting is not up to snuff with my new. My battery died while plugged in watching Heroes. That was the series I was into when I made the decision to downgrade. Having three kids I find many gadgets not charged as they should be.

With nothing electronically ready to properly distract or entertain I go back to the trusty paperback. I have a stack waiting patiently for a day like today.

Nothing beats a paperback. OK so I can't carry a library of 10,000 real books without breaking my back but I just need one good one to sit on my couch cuddled up with a cup of tea. I love the feel of the page as I hold it impatient that I can't read faster to turn the page to see...see what? I don't know...see who gets killed, who gets caught, who's in love with who, who gets betrayed, who's an alien and how it all happens. I get excited to felt the pages get thicker in my left hand and thinner in my right as I read further into the book. Tge bittersweet feeling when i see from the top of the book I don't have much more and these characters won't be with much longer but I so long to find out is on any page now.  Those are things you can't get from a digital device. I still love a good real book.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Confessions of a Desperate Soul

I'm supposed to write here everyday for marketing purposes. Let people get to know me and my book will sell. Normally, I try to write something cute and optimistic, or vent about something that is not Earth-shattering.  Really that is who I am on a daily basis. I enjoy life on a whole. I don't let things bother me and I have had major things happen in my life. Hey, I was a teenage mom and twice divorced one was even abusive. I could write about my own life. Through it all I have enjoyed my children, my family and even became best friends with my first ex-husband and father of two of my kids. I have had major low points where I have cried into my pillow but  I have always had something to hold on to.

I can look in the mirror and see an extraordinarily strong individual that can love and care for others beyond, reasonableness at times. I can handle anything thrown my way with a smile and a laugh. I will go to any length to protect my kids and those that I love.
There is only one stress that I am unable to handle. Financial. Looking back at my life, when I have feasted is when I was married or counting on someone else to provide. When I am in famine, I am alone counting on myself. I'm not sure how I am such a failure in this area of my life. My biggest problem is that failure in this area spreads failure to other areas.  If I cannot bring in the right amount of income, I cannot pay for disasters like a broken down car. Mine has been on jacks in the driveway for a month now waiting for me and YouTube to get it right. Without the right income I cannot improve or even maintain my home properly. Like my 1930's garage that needs torn down waiting for me to be able to afford a dumpster as I stare at a letter from the city demanding it's removal or I get fined.  without the proper incoming funds I cannot properly pay my bills, which is why my gas got turned off yesterday and I sit wrapped in an electric blanket glad it's warm outside. That's what happens when you can only pay half your bill every month.  I hate that I get stressed when one of my kids ask for $5 for a school trip. Where will that come from? I give it to him with a smile and a kiss. But I am blessed that I have yet had a day that I m homeless or have gone hungry. My kids have never been forced to starve. They may have done it themselves refusing to eat chili because it has beans in it - God forbid - Beans.
I'm certainly not lazy. I currently work two jobs, three if you count my weak marketing attempts for this book. Unfortunately, they are both minimum wage jobs. I accepted the first job that would hire me in spite of knowing I was not suited for it. I do not manage others well, but it's a paycheck. No one else has called in regards to my application. I have certainly applied to enough jobs that I would thoroughly enjoy and pays enough to meet my needs. I didn't even get  call to interview.
I qualify for public assistance but I am not on it. It would help and I am not too prideful to accept it. I wouldn't advertise I'm on it but I wouldn't refuse if it means I can take better care of my kids. They will not accept me because I refuse child support from my oldest son's dad. After I had my son, three days before my nineteenth birthday, his dad decided cocaine dealing was a good vocation. I refuse to let someone like that have parental rights to my child. My son is 16 now and never met him. I refuse to change it now. Child support agencies don't understand or care. I am an enigma to them. Because I put the safety of my son before a check, I disqualify myself from that help.
 I am working hard to make the book sell, after all I believe in it. It's my dream job and has the potential to be my financial cure. I know in the right marketing hands, not mine, it can be a sensation and provide me with a job that doesn't make me ready to cry when I clock out. After all, they say that if you can make a living doing something you love, you will never work a day in your life. I think in time it will do well, I just can't afford patience right now. I am having a hard time finding that marketer /promoter that is willing to be my salvation.
I have no desire to own the mansion on the hill. I don't want to go to the Caribbean every year. I want to have enough money to fix up my house to be a great home for my kids and be a place where I can bring my Mom to help her care for my Step-Dad with MS and in a wheel-chair.  I want pizza on Friday - guilt free. I want, when my kids ask for money, to give it stress free. When disaster strikes, I want to be prepared to complain about the cost of the mechanic or the plumber, then pay them without hesitation or fear.
Maybe someone will answer my ad today and my salvation will reveal themselves in their marketing genius and this particular misery will be resolved.
Oh well, tomorrow is another day and I will post something cheerful.
But if you know of a miraculously good marketer/pr guy  ...let me know

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Smartphones are Astounding!

Smartphones are astounding! It's no wonder people are so addicted to it especially now, with mobile internet. I find myself on it ALL the time. I wake up and check for school closings and the weather - on my phone. I check my email with every bleep of a notification (ok mine sneezes and makes me giggle every time - it's cute - don't judge) If I can't remember a recipe, I look it up - on the internet - on my phone. I want to get hold of a friend? I message her on Facebook - on my phone (ok used to - but still...) I want to play a game - I download - to my phone. I can download books, movies and music, all to my phone. I don't even have to download them. I have an app for that! Netflix, Pandora (I use Jango) Gmail. There is an app for that.

I know I am not saying anything new here but I am surprised at myself. When I first got my smartphone (HTC Evo 3D) I hated it! So I thought. They are mini computers. Even though I used it it to it's full advantage, including why I got this one in the first place, as a hotspot for my laptop at home, I thought it was too much. It froze on me all the time. I could take out the battery to reset the phone faster than a cowboy could draw his six-shooter. I thought I wanted to downgrade to a flip phone. All I could think about was 'what if I got mugged on my way home from work?' Just to call 911 I have to unlock it, click on the phone app then dial 911 all while screaming and being bludgeoned for my $2.

When it was time to replace my phone, I started to reach for the flip I wanted and my hand wavered. No, no. I don't want the hassle of a smartphone, I reminded myself. But how will I check my blogger stats on a whim with a flip phone? What if I need to Google something, like 15 things to do with a banana peel? That's important, right?

My Chaser is not as advanced as my Evo was but it ain't dumb.

P.S. In case I got you curious.....

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

One Last Facebook Failure

I have no intention to keep balking about this and I promise this will be my last Facebook bash. But seriously though, this is really ridiculous. I had succumbed to the idea that my account was closed after I got the text from a friend showing that my messages had been removed due to spam or abuse. I can only imagine how unprofessional this looks to the other authors and book clubs that have 'friended' or 'liked ' my page. Then I get an email from Facebook saying how much I have missed and look at what my 'friends' have posted since I have been away. It's not my fault I am away. I click on the link to come back. I have to confirm my identity. So I decide to try again. Maybe this time I will be luckier and get images of people that I do know.  This is what I get:

Image 1: Two girls with swirlified faces. I wouldn't know my own child like this.

Image 2: A scanned photo of magazine model. Even if I knew the name of the model, it's not her.

Image 3: Several people all together with the box around more than one face. Which one am I supposed to name?

Image 4: A pinup model on a truck. Again a model, not her page.

Image 5: A concert poster. Axle Rose is not my 'friend' but I would accept the request.

Image 6: (used 1 of 2 skips) Meme cartoon. It's a drawing of a meme on a stick figure...I dunno! Ally McBeal?

Image 7: (used 2 of 2 skips) Boobs. At least it was an actual image of the owner of the account. Nice rack but still have yet to ever identify a woman by her cleavage as I am a straight woman. I may notice great cleavage but I don't drool enough to be able to identify in a lineup.

So I have failed once again. I emailed them and complained. I told Facebook I was willing to confirm via cell phone or email. Something tells me I will not hear from them. Now I have to either be stubborn and boycott Facebook or swallow my pride and start again, maybe with a printout of my 'friends' as a cheat sheet.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Facebook and I are at Odds

As many authors do, I started a Facebook page, twitter account, linked in account, a blog, among other things. Its all about self promotion. It didn't take long but I got hooked. (Hello, my name is Ericka and I'm a social media addict) I love to see my blog stats get higher and higher. Then I check the likes on my Facebook page. More than yesterday. Awesome. I go on and on like this through every account getting a high from a retweet or comment. Then something happened. I feel anxious and upset, partly for mild addiction reasons, mostly for promoting reasons.

Here's what happened. I got on Facebook. It tells me they believe I'm not real and I need to confirm my identity. Cool, no prob!  I grab my cell ready to put in special code. No such luck. They want me to identify my "friends " in random photos.
CRAP! I, like so many other Facebookers personal and professional, have both sent and accepted random requests. They gave me no alternative. No codes sent to my cell, no other way, no other choice. I take a deep breath and hope that out of the five people I have to identify, four are of the five are actual family members and one is a pic with the person's name included in it. No such luck there either. After failing, no other choice is given. One of the people I do actually know and had helped me get some of those random "friends" sends me a pic of his message screen to me that says my account has been deleted to spam or abuse. Not happy. Not happy at all. I want my account back. I am real, so real.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

TR89X - Everyone Loves Free!!

My book Unforgotten is active on Smashwords and has a coupon for a free eBook good till Saturday April 27th. Just go to and enter coupon code TR89X. I am excited to see everyone take advantage of this. Hope you all read, love, post, tweet, share and tell everyone about it. Thanks to all who do:)

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Letter to my Teenager

My oldest son is sixteen and has reached a very frustrating time in both our lives. My continued responsibility to be his parent and his new found taste for independence, these two things often clash. In spite of our strong bond we are in constant struggle with each other from school decisions, to how to date, curfew times, calling home if he's going to be late, helping around the house, attending family outings and everything else. So I have decided to write a letter.

To My Teenagers;

I am your parent. From the moment you were conceived I took on the most important job of my life; to protect yours. I take this job very seriously. I protected you for nine months inside of me. I went to the doctor regularly and did everything he told me to. My feet swelled, my back ached and I was uncomfortable pretty much all the time. It was worth it the entire time to hold you in my arms as a little bundle of joy. On that beautiful birthday I made a contractual heart agreement with you:

From this day forward I will offer you the best of what I have to offer and I will do whatever I can to ensure that reach adulthood without permanent harm. This means that by the time you are twenty (yes twenty, not eighteen) you are addiction free, child free, disease free and with no criminal record; prepared to enter the workforce to support yourself and your future family; you know exactly who God is and why you worship him or can explain in detail why you don't. I will be hard when I need to be and set firm rules in place. This is to protect you. I will be soft when you are hurt. I will kiss your scratches and hold your hand in the ER. I will hold you when your heart gets broken and help it heal to be given away to someone more deserving than the last.

I know you think that I am unreasonable or too old fashioned. I know you think you can conquer the world with a thought. The truth is I knew everything once too. Then I grew up to realize I didn't know half of what I ought to know. But I take this job very seriously. I do it because I love you more than life. I also know that I am raising you to give you away to someone else. I want you to be prepared to be a good employee, a good husband and a good father. I want you to be able to give your children more than I can give you. Because while I do not want grandchildren right now, when they do come I will love them and want the best for them too. Then you will understand what I say today.


Thursday, April 18, 2013


It's amazing how the little things in life are what potentially throws you over the edge. The little things that make the big things bigger and make you snap in frustrating outburst of whelps and unsavory words. Last week my "Smart" phone battery overheated. I really hate the thing. I know some people love them and I admit I am as addicted to mine as the next guy but it is such a headache to me.

Let's start at the beginning. I'm a big believer in living simply and keeping my bills as low as possible. I hate debt and contracts of all kinds. So I bought a pre-paid cell phone plan from Virgin Mobile. The service is great. Unlimited calls and texts, internet and for not much more, with purchase of the HTC Evo, a mobile hotspot. So I went ahead and splurged on the expensive phone and started the plan. The phone always shuts off at random moments and the sound will go silent at any given time for no reason at all. Nothing like your mother calling your son wondering why you never answer the phone. It's because you didn't hear it after turning the ringtone volume up. I'm still trying to figure out why overpaid cell phone tech guys thought these batteries with a long life for a 'dumber' phone is strong enough to run these 'smart' phones that are basically mini computers. While the 20 hour standby time is acceptable, heaven forbid I Google directions to how to change my tire on the side of the road. Study fast, you got five minutes! I learned to live with these so called quirks with the dream of one day upgrading (or downgrading) to something I like better.

My biggest qualm came last week. As I said, my phone battery overheated. I know I can drive down the street to my local Radio Shack, where I purchased the phone, pay $50-$60 for a battery that will also overheat in a few months time, but I got on Ebay. I am a fan of Ebay. Ebay, Amazon, Etsy, all kinds of  internet shopping. So I find not only one battery, not only two batteries...but two batteries and a wall battery charger...wait there's more...these batteries have a chip to keep them from overheating BINGO!! All for an amazing $5.95 plus shipping. For $9.95 I got what I needed but had to wait a week to get it through standard shipping because I am too cheap to spend $20 for overnight shipping on a $5 item.

After a week fighting to borrow my son's cell phone, because my borrowing his phone interferes with his texting his girlfriend, my package arrives today and excitement rules. I pull out my much missed, albeit hated phone, and pull the back off ready to reconnect to the world at large.

The battery is not the right size.

Both batteries are not the right size. Too long and too thin. Strange guttural noises arose from deep inside me and I grabbed my laptop and headed to my local wifi hotspot to see where I went wrong. It wouldn't be the frst time one of my blond moments caused me great frustration. I connected to my Ebay account to recent purchases. There it was in the heading "two batteries for Sprint HTC EVO 4G." I sent a discouraging message to the seller and hopefully gets resolved soon. I may break down and head to my local Radio Shack. Frustration and disappointment rule my day once again.


Misery loves company what aargh moments have you had? Comment below.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Reason to Always be Your Best

In spite of the fact that my day job is a swing shift (means it varies between first, second and third shift) I still have my routines. Many days that I am off work when my kids are at school I will go to local greasy spoon diner (inspiration for beginning of chapter 7) and drink seven gallons of coffee, read the paper and chat it up with Kristy. I always leave a good tip because 1) They live off tips and work hard for them 2) I like hanging out there and don't want to be a cheapskate filling a seat another paid patron is willing to fill 3) I love seeing them fight over me. The are part of my extended family. Today I was complaining about life as usual. I admitted that I need to find a better day job, a better paying job (one till my writing career takes off and makes me independently wealthy lol :):) As I paid my bill and tossed my coat over my shoulder the owner offered me a part time job. It was just what I needed when I needed it (Cuz I still don't have that rusty bolt off - hello paid mechanic - stupid bolt) All because I am nice and respectable to everyone I come across. I may be a little more tired over the next few weeks but my car, my house, my kids bellies, and my bank account will thank me later for it. Now if I could just hang out in the coffee room of the manufacturing plant that $20/hour and have the same thing happen. Of course thats not a public place so that might be a little more creepy than impressive.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Learning how to break the rules without breaking them...

I'm a person of many rules. They are rules I put forth to avoid issues. Social issues, legal issues, family issues, safety issues...and whatever other issue you can possibly think of. I enforce these rules for my kids AND for me. For example, my main, and simplest put, rule of thumb is to never post, tweet, text or share any picture, image or thought that you would not say to your parents, religious leader, family, boss, random criminal and child molester.

Here is my reasoning on this. I post a pic of my kids in my living room. To my family, it is an adorable family snapshot so they hit 'share'. Grandma doesn't realize that her Facebook page is still on public view. Now this "private" sweet pic is now public. My religious leader doesn't approve of my son's t-shirt that has an image of the devil's face and says "God is busy...May I help you?" Now I am being talked about in my congregation. My boss see's that I posted this saved phone image during my workday, even though I was on break, and thinks I am  a big slacker. Some random criminal sees it and really likes my 92" flatscreen (I don't own one) that sits in my living room as seen behind my kids. By the reflection in the screen he sees exactly where it sits in my house and decides to browse Grandma's other pics and can tell what neighborhood I live in from the other "family pics" I privately posted to only family. Then some other random guy thinks my ten year old looks tempting. Before I know it I am an unemployed devil worshiping mother with a kidnapped child and no tv.

Paranoid maybe. Cautious absolutely. When you stop to consider that my children are not kidnapped yet or been molested and my house has not been robbed by some random stranger. I must be doing something right. What about my kids you ask? Yea! they think I am overly strict. They don't have Facebook or even unsupervised internet access. My sixteen year old only recently got the ability to send and receive pics from his cell phone because I didn't want some horny teenage girl sending a unclothed picture of herself and he get arrested for child porn, or me as the official owner of the phone. The only reason I allow him now is to send me random photos of himself when he is out with his girlfriend. Hey! I was a teenage parent, he won't be if I have anything to say about it.

So how does someone like me market herself to the general public? Someone paranoid of giving out private information to masses of people? In other words how do I break the rules without really breaking the rules? I guess you should just watch and see if I can figure that out :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

I Love Shocking Others

I love the look on others face when I do something unexpected to them. Silly thing is, I can't shock or surprise anyone on purpose. I usually don't realize I am doing it at the time. But it's funny when I do. Today I did it twice to the same girl in the same way. How often can that happen. My day job is a manager at a fast food restaurant so I work with a lot of teenagers. There is a girl, we will call her Sarah, she was working the counter. Her first shocked moment came when my youngest son came before the dinner rush and I was preparing for it. He buys a sandwich from Sarah and was waiting for it. She doesn't realize he is my kid. When I see him I turned from Manager to Mom. I pointed my finger and raised a brow and said "We are about to get busy, I don't want to see you up here again till after the dinner rush." He nodded in agreement. Sarah's eyes are big and the expression on her face was one of 'I can't believe you just yelled at a customer like that.' She looked afraid of me, quite frankly. The other girls laughed and explained that the child was actually MY child.

The second time, after dinner rush, was when my oldest son came in. He is 16 and started his summer job. My sixteen year old does not look sixteen at all. He looks more like nineteen or twenty with his very full beard and 6'3" well trim physique. He was hungry and ordered a meal from Sarah. I am putting his food together in a bag and told him "I will give you your food if you pull up your pants." with as stern a look as I could muster. He grinned and obliged pulling his pants up over his butt instead of under. I handed him his bag and smiled. My wonderful and amazing teenage son said "Come here" and got me to lean over the counter at which time he planted a grateful kiss on my cheek. I turned and caught the once again shocked and confused expression on Sarah's face. Wondering how I can talk to a customer about his dress and then get kissed by a seemingly random guy. I laughed once more and explained that was my oldest son. Sarah seemed quite relieved and was probably waiting to see if any more of my "special customers" would arrive.

It wasn't a heart attack shock or maybe even YouTube worthy, but it was funny and I couldn't have done that if I had tried .

Audiobook Acomin'

I got in touch with the woman recording my audiobook. It will be arriving soon. Maybe in next couple weeks. I am excited to see an entire collection of my book come together. I wanted to provide an audiobook because they are so much a part of my life. I listen to them when I drive, when I work around the house. I listen to them anytime my ears are free but my eyes are not. It's such a great way to get more 'reading' in. Although there is one bad side effect, I end up sitting in the car in my driveway for an hour riveted to the story. My children staring at me like I'm the crazy lady of the neighborhood.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Will Oprah Respond?

An afternoon of site after site of reviewers. Submitting email after email for them to consider my book for review. All this browsing has made me come to the realization that I have made a common rookie error. I published first then asked for reviews. I'll remember that for the next book. I don't believe it's something that I can't recover from, just a little depressing to see the book only floating around in a sea of new authors with nothing to make it stand out. I have sent requests, some have replied willing to offer me a review. That will take time, of course. Not something that happens overnight. I have read it's common for some that have agreed to not come through. Discouraging a bit. Let's face, they need time to read it. How long does it take you to read a book. I'm faster than some, well not faster, more dedicated/obsessive reader. It takes me at least 3 days to read a book. That's if I have a couple days off work and ignore everything else in my life. Some books make that easier than others. Not to mention these reviewers are often over-inundated by other authors looking for the same as I. It's not like I'm asking my Mother or Sister to review it (By the way my Mom and Dad thinks it's a great book and my sister thinks it's sexist - if that means anything to anybody that's not me) On a way out highly optimistic note, I did request a review from Oprah's Book Club. You think she will respond? Hmmmmmm.......

Thursday, April 11, 2013

An important message to my teenage self...

They say hindsight is 20/20. They,  whoever 'they' are, are completely right. If I could go back and slap my teenage self around and beat sense back into me, I would. My message would be one, think before you act. If you can't live with the consequences then don't do the act. That might have saved me from being a teenage mom. That changed my whole world and every decision I made after that. My next message would be to take up a practical trade while still in school. Not for career choices but just every day living. All too often I have found myself under my own car wishing I had chosen auto mechanics instead of a  graphic arts degree, at least along side it or fixing a leaky faucet wishing I had taken up carpentry. I whent through many a moment's where I could only afford the car part but not the labor. Thanks to YouTube I managed to do in a few days what a mechanic can do in about an hour. As I stare at my transmission today, all I can think is what did my mechanics teacher say about stripped bolts? Oh yeah, I didn't take it, a slap to my teenage ignorant self. That's what I wish I could say. Thanks for back to your regularly sheduled internet browsing.

What would you say to your past self?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

New books arrived...So Cool!!!

There is something really cool in holding a real book in your hand that other people can take to the park or the beach, or even hide under the blankets with and be able to say "I wrote that." The first paperbacks of Unforgotten arrived at my house yesterday.
In between working full time, kids and house, I sat at a laptop and typed my story. Then I sat at my laptop and created my artwork for the cover. Then I sat at my laptop and uploaded my book for publishing. All of that was just files. Digital pieces of information that I poured my heart and soul into. Being able to hold a bound copy of MY book, to hold something tangible, is amazing. Simply amazing....I wanna do it again :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Funny thing....

Funny thing is, up until now, I have been like a lot of other people with unfulfilled dreams. I have sat in my living room with friends and listened as people wanted to be writers, movie makers or painters but didn't follow the dream. Now they are homemakers, salesman or retail workers. I have been with them as this book rattled in my head since I was 17 and a friend of mine passed away from a brain tumor that had agent orange in it from her father, who had fought in Vietnam. I am now 35 with three children and divorced with my own boring dead end job that I can't wait to quit. (help me quit buy my book Unforgotten)

Oh, so anyway, Here I am, the same as others. This book took me 15 years to sit down and write. Then took me another year to complete start to finish (Not counting the times I only started). Of course it took me a year because I have a full time job and a single mother with a house to manage. I am finally following my dream of being a writer and getting my book out of my head for others to read and enjoy.

During this process, however, I have looked into this business of being an author and have been blown away at how many books some people can produce. There was one author who (can't remember who) writes around 15 books a year. That's insane. In considering this writing as a career option. I  am wondering if I can keep up. Let's face it . It has taken me 16 - 17 years to write my first book? That's only one. I feared I may not be able to keep up.

Unforgotten is complete and available. Now that my creative juices have been able to let go from Unforgotten, I have thought of other storylines. Yea!!! If I could only cut out the full time job, I could put out some books. Of course probably not 15 a year but a respectable amount that could satisfy both my creative juices and my meager financial needs. (For those active authors who write and still need full time jobs to make ends meet- SHUT UP! Don't kill the dream!) I was afraid I would be a one hit wonder. Well, I suppose I still could from a marketing standpoint but that's another blog for another day.

I wonder what unfulfilled dreams you guys have. Feel  free to comment. Who knows maybe someone is reading this that can inspire you :)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

I am Not a Marketer

So, I have a completed book. It is published. I have both an ebook and paperback available on Amazon. It will be available elsewhere, like Google Play and Apple and Smashwords, as soon as everything processes. I find it funny, in an odd sort of way, this publishing thing. You take a person who is creative, wrote a fiction book completely out of my imagination, and throw them in this anal business of marketing. Publishing is not like a light switch where one lists it on a site like Amazon and suddenly the internet is flooded with your book like a light in a room. It needs to be marketed. We are talking SEO and backlinking and affiliates. I don't know what these mean.

Okay, I get the basic idea of what these things are. I am not completely computer illiterate, but everything I do is creative. I can do Photoshop, Gimp, Illustrator. I'm a graphic artist and a writer, not a marketer. If I could do SEO and all this other stuff than I would start a generic drop ship company so I can write full time. Ok I would write a book and market it so well, I would never have to work again, then continue to write full time for the shear pleasure, then sell those and be sickening rich. Sickeningly rich is not my goal, not that I would turn it down, but rather comfortable enough to know that my bills are met and if my car breaks down or furnace dies I can fix/replace them.

I would like to be a bestseller. Not just for monetary reasons, so I can quit my job, fix my money pit house and be home with my kids full time and still feed and clothe them properly, but also for the pride of being successful at something, besides three wonderful sons (I only want to strangle them half the time - that makes them pretty good - right?) But also I believe in my story as something worthy of sharing. I would like to think that I have touched the lives and the hearts of many as only a truly good book can.  The way A Tree Grows in Brooklyn or The Green Earth touched me. Something when at the mention of the title, someone will say "Aaah I loved that book, I cried so hard.". While I don't like to cry to real life stuff, crying in movies or books equals success. Crying or laughing out loud, not LOLing, but for real laughing out loud.

If you are reading this, then maybe, just maybe I am figuring this stuff out :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I am Official

Unforgotten by E.M. Vail
I am out there now. I am a published Author. Amazon is now carrying my book, Unforgotten, as an e-book. Soon, I will have a paperback version as well. Not too long from now, I will also have an audiobook version of Unforgotten. All of it is so very cool. I laugh at home, though, my kids could care less. I am no cooler today than I was yesterday. My youngest exclaimed with excitement "I will read it! Is it an outer space book?" when I said no and described the story line, he said "Nevermind, It's a chick book." My three young sons have no interest in the book. My sister is in the process of writing a sci-fi book. Her book they can't wait to read. I have anxious readers too, however. They just aren't 10 year old boys.

Now I am in search of readers that appreciate a good teenage chick book. Of course most of my adult (very adult) friends read teen books. So I guess my book is for any one of any age group that appreciates a touching story. I already had a review on Amazon.

This review is from: Unforgotten (Kindle Edition)
I am an older woman. Even though I feel this book is directed toward the younger adult, I had no problem enjoying it. This story started out with great sensitivity, but with an interesting twist at the end. Richly written. I cried...laughed...and was left with a wonderful feeling throughout. Very compelling reading. I usually take my time reading, but found myself not wanting to put it down. I would highly recommend this book.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dream Career

My book is off to the editor. Something I thought would never happen. Not because the book has issues but rather I have been working on this book for almost twenty years. The idea came when my seventeen year old girlfriend died from a brain tumor traced with agent orange. (that’s where the similarity between my main character and my friend begins and ends). Then it was twenty years of ‘what if’s’ and ‘that would only work if’…  It didn't take me this long because the story has issues but I am a normal person. In high school I dabbled in a notebook and wrote a few short stories. Then, I thought I was great and teachers thought I had potential, my Mother thought I was phenomenal. The drive, however, to be a published author was not there. Those short stories have disappeared due to time and disorganization. I did find one story that was typed out for my Mom. She cries every time she reads it. I remember in high school thinking it was a cool story but when I found it years later and read it to my kid as a bedtime story, I decided it was the stupidest story ever and put it away to never be read again.

As most normal people that dabble in something as a child, life happens. Life is very distracting. Life puts dreams on the back burner if you don’t fight for them. So this story sat on the back burner as I got married, had children, got divorced, bought houses, remodel houses, find employment, lose employment and find it again, go to school conferences and concerts, hang with family and friends, cry, laugh, worry, be content, then do it all over again. As most normal do, I sit from time to time and re-evaluate my life and priorities. This can often be a disappointing task for me as my life did not turn out as planned. Not that it is a bad life but still I evaluate. I look at my pathetic job. I look at my finances, I look at my kids that I would like to be a better mom to, I see my Mother who will need my help with my disabled step-father. I see where I would like to volunteer more to my community. How do I achieve all this? How can I do it while my boys are still at home? This nagging little thought came into play. This book. It sits in my brain. It’s a gamble with little risk.  After all what does it take to write a book? A laptop or paper and time and a story? I have all those. I have time after work and days off. I have a laptop and a story that’s been developing and stewing for a long time. So I wrote. I finished. I sent to an editor and started on the business side of being an author.

Now that I am done with the writing, I have both dreams and nightmares of where this book could or will go. As much as I would love for it to be my lottery ticket to independent wealth, I dream more reasonably that it will allow me to quit my day job and work from home as a bonefied author. I also have fears that it will completely fail and I will forever be stuck in my day job. Then again, another fear, if I’m successful, can I think of another story equally as good or better? Have I thought about this story so long I can’t conjure up another? That was a fear until yesterday and I thought of another? Yea!! I may have a desirable career yet!  I just can’t keep my fear or life from stunting this career any longer. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

New Gadgets

I have a new blog, so I'm exploring various tools. Found a blog app for my android phone. That is what I am using to post this very post. Oooh neat-o right? Yea it is. I'm not sure I would want to do this all the time. It's like a big huge text. Don't get me wrong, I love to text. I text all the time. I find it a convienient way to send short messsages or have short conversations (or sneaky ones like when I'm at work. Shhh don't tell my boss!) After about 4 texts to the same person about the same subject, I pick up my phone and dial a number to hear an actual voice. So, to type several paragraphs of text on my phone doesn't seem appealing. The only exception could be that I am out and about and have a truly amazing experience that I just have to share in the moment and can't possibly wait till I get home to a proper keyboard.
I also forsee my already poor grammar getting worse with the texting habits of shortening words. Insteaf of at home on my laptop talking to all of 'you' I will only talk to 'u'. I would look back and think I am being too lazy and therefore undeserving of subscription. Or worse yet, be using this app while out and about that I am too distracted to give a well rounded thought that is both understandable and enjoyable. I see it being more fractured leaving you confused as to what I am even talking about, like listening to someone tell a ' had to be there story'. I don't want to leave anyone rolling their eyes and saying "whatever" as they click off.
It leaves me to wonder how many bloggers out there use it and think their blog is better for it?
Final thought, for me personally, anyway, is that I will keep the app but rarely use it.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

First Thoughts

Hello World Wide Web! Here I am. So this is blogging? I have read lots of blogs but never had one of my own. This will be a new and exciting experience. I decided to start my own as I have a book that is getting ready to be published called Unforgotten. I understand that a lot of authors do blogging. So I figured, Why not me? I'm an author now. I want what other authors have. I want the same toys and games the other kids have.

I have to admit that I have a few hesitations. For instance what do I write about? My book is fiction so I'm not claiming to be an expert to go on about a craft or skill. If it was a gardening book, it would only be natural that I blog about heirloom tomatoes or fragrant lilac blooming seasons. I would ask my kids but I'm not sure that admitting to anyone in my immediate circle that I have a blog is a good idea. It may get them to stop talking to me in fear of me writing about it to the entire world. My kids already hide from the camera in fear of Facebook photo uploads.

I also hesitate because I have a small problem with grammar. I am really bad at it. That's why I sent my book to an editor. He makes me look smarter than I really am. So, I have a secret hope that my old English teachers, from way back when, will only read my book and be proud that I was once a pupil of theirs and keep this blog my dirty little secret from them. If they only see this, I see heads wagging in shame.I do tend to be the queen of the run on sentence. I can go on and on and on and on and on ... :) Alright I digress.

Of course then I started to think. When was the last time I actually read the first post of a blog? I can't say that I ever have. So maybe it doesn't matter how poor my first post is. After all, I have only gotten as far as picking my template and choosing a font for my title. No one is subscribed as I am typing this. It will probably take a few posts to get this thing felt out and get a running theme going. Of course I could be pleasantly surprised and gets tons of followers on one post. It would be worth the regret that I didn't write a more brilliant and creative first post. On the up side, it can only get better from here.