Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

Okay, it’s that time of year where everyone is optimistic about the New Year. Every one will sit down and write out what they will do differently this upcoming year. And, most people will give up after a few weeks. So, I decided it might be easier to list what I know I'll continue to do…though I know I shouldn’t.

Totally ignore the kids and husband and read a book in a day. This will of course not be while they are in school or work; it’ll be on the weekend. No breakfast, lunch or dinner. Reading, after all is fundamental. I’ll start another book the very next day.

Unclutter my huge closet. It’s stock full of paper. We don’t throw anything away. In the next millennia they will invent a product that will sort all my papers, dispose of them and organize the remaining lot, while I peck away at the computer. I’ll unclutter then.

 Lose that last 15 pounds. I’ll just take up the Goth look for the year. I look good in black anyway.

Stick to a strict writing schedule. If I type 1,000 words it shouldn’t matter if I began at 3:00 a.m. and finish at midnight…it was still done in a day. Right!

Cook healthier meals. I’ll eat carrot cake, and peach cobbler to ensure I’m eating enough fruit and veggies. And when I go out to eat I’ll be sure to order green beans…deep fried. I’m sure these small changes will help my body kick into gear. Not sure what gear but I’m sure something will happen.

Drive my husband crazy. Women are all about emotions and feelings and crap. My three times divorced best friend said men just love that stuff.

I’ll spend money and not save, like I just inherited the lot of Bill Gates estate. Money will be no object. I’ll borrow; max out my credit cards, do whatever I can to get what I want. I’ll even ask you to let me ‘borrow’ it. Of course, I won’t be paying you back.

Volunteer more this year to help the needy. I’ll just call all my family over for a spaghetti dinner. That should hold me until next year.

Call my girlfriends more. I’ll just send a mass text message to everyone at the beginning of each month. I’ll make sure to put I love you so everyone can feel special.

Take a family vacation camping. I’ll get some sleeping bags and move the furniture in the family room. Well stay up all night watching movies on the blu ray and looking at pictures in the photo album. They can go out back in the yard and do #1 if they want to feel the great outdoors.

Spend more time admiring nature. I’ll open the windows of the house for a full hour each day.

Exercise more. I’ll make up short stories about extremely fit people and live vicariously through them.

Okay, this list was fun but I do have some real resolutions. Some things that I’d like to change, some things that I'd like to improve upon but there are just too many to put up here. LOL

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Grown-Up Christmas List

In keeping with the holiday spirit, I thought it only proper for me to list what I want for Christmas. Yes, even parents/adults want gifts for Christmas. This list is in no particular order but getting all of these would make me the happiest little lady - well until next Christmas.
  1. A literary agent to rep my work.  
  2. Excellent physical health for my family
  3. Mortgage paid off, in full, 0 priniciple balance
  4. Dragon's Naturally Speaking - it allows you to speak and the software types what you say...what writer wouldn't want that?
  5. Books; anything in Ya, paranormal, science fiction, dystopian, fantasy....okay, just about any book will do.
  6. To finish my first draft of "Volt" already!
  7. A superpower, only one. I don't want to be selfish. It can be anything too. Like, reading minds, flying, seeing through objects, telekinesis...
  8. For Hollywood to make the movie version of The Hunger Games, By Suzanne Collins already!!!
  9. For Hollywood to make the movie version of The Host, by Stephenie Meyers already!!!
  10. A third generation "red" Ford Mustang for my husband...a happy hubby is a happy home - and more time for me to write.
Well, that's what I want. I really want more but I thought how much reading will people do about what I want. Who seriously cares about what I want, other than the good Lord and maybe Santa. Hey, Yes, you. Take a gander at my list and at least choose three...pleassssse with a cherry on top. Okay, I believe that's enough begging.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The New Kid, part 4

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving...didn't stuff yourselves too much, did you. Well, thankfully, I didn't forget to update early since I was late last week. So... Here it is another installment of The New Kid. Enjoy!!!

“Look, what can I do to convince you to give the thing to me? I know you have it - you little weasel.”

“Oh, how fun, we’re calling names now. You misguided feminist, back stabbing, little…word my mother says I should never use!”

I threw my hands into the air, exasperated. “Why did I get stuck here? Of all the places I could be…I should be. I was supposed to be going on vacation when they sent me here. A real vacation, as myself…my real self. I haven’t seen her in so long. Instead, I’m here with you. You maggot, you degenerate, scum of the earth, parasite…I could go on for days. My mommy didn’t limit my vocabulary.”

“Okay, look the processor you want doesn’t exist…couldn’t exist. We don’t have technology that sophisticated yet. And, if we did I’d be extremely reluctant to give it to you. Actually, reluctant is an understatement, you will never get it if I am your only source.”

“What do you mean reluctant to give it to me.” I said through clenched teeth.

“Well, honestly, you’re a girl. A pretty girl, just not the smartest one.”

“Oh, I see. Listen, I’m desperate here. I gotta get rid of this body. I didn’t even like kids when I was a kid. And, this mommy…Good Lord! If she kisses me one more time I’m calling child protective services. I’m willing to barter with you. Okay. You don’t have to give the processor to me, only the patent for the technology. We can reproduce it on our own. I, in turn, will give you of my services,” I said. I sashayed my hips and winked at him, desperately trying to flirt.

“And, what services might that be.” He licked his lips then stepped forward a foot.

“You want to stay here. I mean as this middle grade kid, that’s fine with me. But, you do know that everyone thinks you’re a geek, a major loser, a real tool, a real -”

“Okay, I kind’ a get that…not popular. Go on.” He rolled his eyes like the sissy I always thought he was.

“I could change that for you. I could make you popular.”


“I’d tell everyone we’re going out. I’d even give you a quick peak in the halls in front of everyone. Of course, you must produce the processor first.”

“Oh…um, okay, uh…I have the know how to duplicate the processor. Come by after school and I’ll get started on it.”

Good boy, I thought. That was easier than I had anticipated. Now if I could just find the freaking gym.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The New Kid, part 3

Oops, with all my Thanksgiving preparations I totally forgot to update the blog. My humble apology. Well, here it is, the next installment. Enjoy!!!! Have a happy, wonderful, joyful, thankful, Thanksgiving!

 “Listen, you’re gonna tell me what I need to know. Or else!”

“Or else, what?”

“Or else. I’ll stick your head in the toilet. I’ll wash your mouth out with soap and I’ll stuff you in your locker.”

“Ha-ha! All those things have already been done to me. You’re too late. You need to be more original. I thought they were sending their best after me.”

“Listen kid, I need that information something bad.” I took a step forward and clinched my fist at my side.

“You’re a kid too now!”

“Regardless, I’ll break an arm or a leg. Don’t allow my stature to make you complacent. I can still do my job. Now give me what I want, and I’ll go away.”

“Am I really supposed to believe that? You know its kind’a hard to take you seriously with that yellow bow in your hair and that yellow and white sunflower dress. Didn’t someone tell your mommy that you were in the sixth grade and not elementary. That outfit is really babyish.”

“Do you really think I care what you think about my outfit? Are you an idiot or something? I said, I’d let you go. Just give the thing to me already!”

 “You’ll simply let me live out my life here? You’ll just go away.”

“That’s right. You can trust me. I’ll let you go.” I held my breath with anticipation.

“Right. I should trust you. It seems you’ve forgotten the time in Paris that you shot me. Or, the time we got married in Costa Rica and you poisoned me. Or the time we were sailing the Caribbean and you threw me overboard to the sharks, right after you stabbed me in the leg. Or the time - ”

“Okay! Okay! I get it. You have…trust issues. Hey, it’s my job, don’t take it personal.”

“Right. Issues, major issues,” he said. He backed away from me and my intrusive stance.

He stared at me. I stared back. He wasn’t budging and neither was I.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

National Adoption Day

I interrupt this regularly scheduled blog to bring you this important announcement:  November 21 is National Adoption Day. Please enjoy the post below as my tribute to the day. Your regularly scheduled blog continuation of "The New Kid" will be next Wedesday.

I’m in the room very impatiently waiting. Today was a huge day! I glanced at the clock on the night stand - they were late.

Today was special because I was receiving the best present a girl could get. No, it wasn’t money or a car - which both came in at a very close number two. It was even better than both of those.

What do you ask could be better than those? Not much, I’ll be the first to admit. But, wait for it…I’m getting a new sister!

Okay, honestly this enthusiasm is new. Seriously, when Mom and Dad sat me and my dork-fest brother down to tell us, enthusiastic wasn’t the word to describe how we felt.

The dork-meister, a mere three years younger than me, never agreed with anything I said or felt, until now. “No way. I don’t need two of them walking around. Do you know how uncool she already is and now you want to give me another one. Have you people lost it. Listen, if you want I’ll put on a wig and some of that cherry lip stuff and come and cuddle with you twice a month. You can buy me presents - only guy stuff though. That should get this out of your system,” he whined.

“Wow, can you get any weirder,” I said. I rolled my eyes at the thought of him with a wig on. “Mom, Dad, listen to me. You don’t need another kid to validate you. You did a wonderful job with me. It’s not your fault the dorkster’s such an embarrassment. All kids stray. We don’t need another kid in here mixing things up. I’m willing to give up some of my social activity to spend some time with you. And I’m willing to allow you to lavish me with presents. For my unselfishness, I only want one thing…no more siblings please.”

Of course my parents didn’t quite see it the way me and the dork-guru did. They marched us into the family room and turned on the computer. They showed us a video about the kids that are waiting in foster care to be adopted.

It was surreal. We saw this one kid, a girl, who lived in a group home. She could have easily been me. It was shocking. She seemed completely normal. We had similar interest, like sports and make-up. She also said she “loved math” but I think the adoption agency told her to say that because every girl I knew hated math. Aside from this one white lie (and come on people we’ve all been there) she seemed legit.

I guess I sort of thought only weirdoes and delinquents were the only ones needing to be adopted. I didn’t need the stress of some kid coming here, stealing my things, burning down our house and killing my parents and the dork. A little dramatic right. I’ve watched too many Lifetime movies.

I was so wrong though! By the end of the video I was convinced. Not totally thrilled about the idea but I was willing to try. I even thought I saw the dork-authority with a tear in his eye.

I was proud of my parents for making a decision like this. There were so many kids on that site that needed a home. I felt awful for them. I couldn’t imagine not having a family or being separated from mine - even the dork-master.

So I promised my parents I would try really hard to make her feel like apart of our family. She was the dorkster’s age, which was cool. I could help her to fit in…be a real big sister. The kid would probably follow me around, like a mini-me or a clone. I didn’t even mind.

A car door slammed and I jumped. I guess she's here, I thought. I took a deep breath and crossed the room. I spun around one final time. I wanted to ensure everything was perfect and in its proper place. Mom had requested for me to decorate her room. It was black and fuchsia leopard print. I was positive she would love it.

I turned the knob and walked out the room. Nervousness gone, a sense of pride lingered. I’m going to do all I can to make this kid feel wanted and part of our family. But first thing…I’ve got to meet her. Gulp!
Every year thousands of kids are placed in foster care. These kids need loving and supportive homes too. However, too often they are left to wait in the system. Can you imagine not having a family? Feeling like you don’t belong anywhere… Well, these children can relate to those feelings.

If your parents open your home to a child, be a good brother or sister. Aspire to make them truly feel like part of the family. It’s difficult emotionally for children (especially older kids) to be placed in foster care or adopted. They have the lingering feelings from their birth parents and/or siblings. This is a big adjustment for them also.

So, don’t open your doors without first opening your heart.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The New Kid, part 2

Okay, you've waited patiently all week so here is the latest part of the story. You'll have to wait till next week to get the rest...Ha Ha Ha!!! Love it!

Looking up at the brown brick building, I nearly vomited. Schools had always had that affect on me. I recalled the last time I had been inserted into a child; it was over 30 years ago. I couldn’t believe they were wasting my talent on this trivial nonsense.

Stepping inside the building, I was greeted by dull fluorescent lights overhead and the smell of bubblelicious bubble gum. Paper was strewn about. Kids raced and yelled back and forth. My head instantly began to throb. No one looked at me or bothered to ask if I needed anything.

I spotted the ultra geek positioned at his locker. I didn’t make eye contact with him or anyone else, for fear he would run. I really didn’t feel like chasing anyone. I knew from past experiences, however, they all ran. Fittingly, I had worn tennis shoes.

I slithered past the other students in the hall, until I stood directly behind him. The idiot didn’t even notice me standing there. How absurd, seeing that I was invading his most personal space.

The halls began to unclutter. Students slowly trickled into their classrooms. I waited patiently behind the biggest dofuss I’d ever seen. With my patience worn as thin as this kid’s social ability, I finally spoke up. “Excuse me. It’s my first day. I’m looking for the girls’ gym. Do you know where it is?”

He jumped, startled to find me there, glaring at him. He sauntered to the left then to the right, trying to catch his balance. It took him a minute. I was thoroughly vexed by his level of dorkiness. He adjusted his glasses to his tiny nose then smiled slyly at me. “Um, yes, I could show you where it is. But then, I would be late for my class. That’s just not acceptable. I don’t get tardies.”

“Okay, well, can you at least walk me half-way to the class.” He refused to make this easy. I should have known.

He ignored my second request for another question of his own. “How long have you been here…I mean in town? I haven’t seen you before. It’s a pretty small town and new people stick out like a 60 year old operative in a yellow and white froufrou dress.”

Neither of us spoke, clarity rendering me speechless for a moment. How’d he figure me out so quickly?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The New Kid

Okay, this week I am trying something new. This is not young adult fiction, which is what I usually write. It is more a work of middle grade fiction. It was so exciting to write! I am happy and eager to share with everyone. This is the beginning of the story; I will post the next part on the following Wednesday. Not sure right now how many parts there will be, but I will let my character decide her fate. Enjoy!

Sarah’s my first name. I’m not sure about my last. I was born early Sunday morning in August 1946. This was my first birth, but not my last. I was born fully adult. I’ve been a kid before and hated it. Now, I only play adult roles, they’re easier for me.

I sat up groggy and wide eyed, always unsure of my new surroundings. This particular insertion had gone smoothly, nothing like the last two.

I searched my mind for this new location. My memory always a bit hazy upon entry was soon flashing images of this new assignment with ease. I had to obtain a copy of a new processor created by a loser I had chased and killed a number of times. He was like a cockroach, he refused to die. And, he would not give up the processor without a fight.

I pushed past the abundance of character information. It was not important. I had my own ideas about how to play the character. But, because I was a female, I was not trusted with execution. I complained to my superiors for months at my last insertion station. I was their top agent; I should be treated with more respect.

Threatening to foul the next insertion was my final attempt to get their attention. On many occasions I had had to bail my male counterparts out of the messes they managed to create. Not once have I ever been written up, or had a cleaner have to sweep my characters or the surroundings.

No, I was an excellent agent and I knew it. They knew it also but they continually treated me as if I were not part of the team. After 50 years with these guys. This was for sure my final job. After this I was going to retire. The thought of retiring at the early age of 64 was almost heartbreaking, however, but it was what I had to do.

I had to get started right away. My contact was just in the lobby waiting for me to exit. I kicked my legs over the side of the metal table I was seated on. Suddenly, gripped by fear, I cast my eyes down until they rested on my feet.

They dangled.

They inserted me in a child. Oh, I fumed! How heads would roll for this, I thought.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Young Love, Is it the real thing…

Many have argued throughout the years that young love exists and an age should never be applied to it. Any one at any age is capable of falling in love with someone else. Do you agree? Is it that simple?

It goes without saying that if someone is arguing “for” something there are at least three people arguing “against” it. An appropriate age to fall in love has been a debatable topic for as long as humans have been able to communicate. And, possibly before sophisticated communication was even invented people were debating love with rocks and hand gestures.

Today, even more than ever before, young love is not widely embraced. In yesteryear, a girl not married before she was 18 was a disgrace to her family. Today a woman not married at 30 is socially acceptable and she is haled as fiercely independent and a role model to girls everywhere.

In the Chloe Chronicles and the Rebirth the main character, Chloe Carmichael is in love with her boyfriend Christopher Thomas. They are both juniors in high school. Some would argue that what these “kids” feel is not “real love” and given the right amount of time and a little separation (say college) the two will find little to no desire to continue the relationship.

I wonder if we checked in on Cinderella and the Prince what we’d find. Is love abounding? Is Prince Charming making those googly eyes at Cinderella still? Does she get butterflies when he walks in the room? Or has time taken its toll on the relationship. Has Cinderella been privy to some of the Prince’s less charming mannerisms?

If Romeo had only received the message from Friar Laurence would he and Juliet have lived happily ever after? Well, possibly not due to the Montagues (Romeo’s crew) and Capulets (Juliet’s pep’s) engaged in a feud so ugly it would have made the West Coast, East Coast Hip Hop feud look like a pre-school rumble.

Young love has been depicted throughout literature and countless movies. Below I have listed my two favorites. They each present a different perspective on the subject. Let’s examine the two and spot these extreme variances:

1.      The Notebook – The couple, Allie and Noah, met during the summer and a romance ensues and blossoms into magic. Social cliché’s abound and young Noah succumbed to the notion that they just weren’t meant to be. Some years in the future, Noah accidently sees Allie and a feverish need propels him to move forward with a promise he made her many years earlier. Allie has an accident of her own, when she catches a glimpse of Noah in the paper. While trying on a wedding dress of all things. How scandalous! In the end, all is well with love and the world. Noah gets the girl and young love has endured, time, distance, social inequality/pressure and romantic experiences with others aside – young love still won in the end. This movie will make you believe in love and the power of persistence to win the one you want.

2.      Romeo and Juliet – “The Star Crossed Lovers” Romeo is fickle, yes, I said it. He is torn emotionally over Rosalind’s rejection and so, like any other teenage boy, sets out for the nearest party. While at this shindig he catches a glimpse of Juliet and falls madly in love with her. Crazy right! Not so, many were married after just one encounter in those days. Even crazier, Juliet was 13 years old and she reciprocated Romeo’s feelings. Big problem: they were sworn enemies. The Capulet’s, Juliet’s family, hated and feuded daily with the Montague’s, Romeo’s family. Did our lovers allow this bickering to thwart their attempt at true love? No way! They had the aid of Friar Laurence, Romeo’s confidant and he marries the two. All is well with the world you say. Say not. Miscommunication, parents who just don’t understand, too many secrets and fate itself seeming to work against them force Romeo and Juliet into two tight corners. They come out swinging…they will fight for their love. Romeo’s weapon:  a vial of poison. Juliet’s weapon: Romeo’s dagger. A tragic end to a love so great and yet unrealized.

Well kids/teens/pre-adolescents (trying to be politically correct here) sorry to break it to you but love and life are never as simple as the movies and books sometimes try to make it. Nor are they always as dramatic. The reality is love is hard work. If you are willing to put in the work you may come out with a shiny new partner for life…if not, then you’ll be okay too. The fact is there are many obstacles to true love at the “young” stage in life. Let’s examine the Pros and the Cons:

Case for Young Love:

  • It’s new, simple
  • Unique experiences that will never be forgotten are shared together
  • Uninhibited – the people involved have never been tainted by heartbreak. They are unabashed and therefore feel unrestricted in their need to please and be pleased by their mate.
  • Time is on your side…at school, at social events… Life is not there to interfere with your love; no other obligations to pull you away from the one you want exist.

Case against Young Love:

  • Parents don’t support or understand the relationship
  • Distance occurs suddenly – someone moves or goes off to college
  • Peer Pressure, feels the pressure from friends that possibly the love of your life is not in the same social circle and therefore not worthy of your affections
  • Physical attraction only - that’s all you feel for this person and after a short amount of time that attraction will fade if there is no common ground (e.g., shared interest, time together…)
  • Overly emotional - usually, not always, the couple at this stage is over dramatic, listens and involves outsiders far too often in their relationship and aren’t emotionally capable of dealing with the needs and feelings of any one other than their immediate family

So, there you have it. Have we answered the question? No, I am pretty certain we haven’t - but who can. Every situation is different and every person will deal with that situation in his or her own manner. Be true to yourself and your feelings. Don’t allow others to define you or your relationship. Communicate honestly with your one true love and don’t move so fast…keep a slow and even pace. After all, it’s not a race, slow down, smell the flowers, take a deep breath and tackle love.