I get the most annoying hiccups. I' not talking about the cute little hic hic that most people get. I'm talking about evil that rises from the pit of my stomach in gut wrenching spasms which wrench upwards flailing out of my mouth, making me sound like something from prehistoric times. I got them from my mom, not sure who she inherited them from. I must admit that I used to despise them. Until, they saved my life. It was two years ago, and I was traveling home from an out of state book signing. The signing had lasted into the late afternoon and I hit the road thinking I would stop and get a hotel after a few hours. Unfortunately, a summer storm had passed through the part of West Virginia and Virginia I was driving through knocking out power all along my route. I tried stopping for a motel numerous times to no avail. Most towns were completely dark; the hotels in those towns closed for business. The few along the way that had power were full with residents from surrounding towns. I had no choice but to drive the entire way home. Sometime around one in the morning I was in danger of falling asleep at the wheel. I cast my eyes upwards and said "I need a little help here, something that will keep me awake, not a deer or anything scary but I need something." Within minutes I found myself with a case of the worse hiccups I've ever had. At first I was upset, thinking that my situation had gone from bad to worse. Then I realized the hiccups were exactly what I had asked for, and the violent force which they were delivered more than enough to keep me awake. I drove for two hours hiccupping so loud that people in passing cars could probably hear me, but with each and every convulsion I was grateful that my prayer had been answered in such a fantastically unique way. #thelordworksinmysteriousways!
Ah October, it is my favorite month. Is it because October is when I was welcomed into the world? Or could it be because the month is so colorful? October gifts us with a vast array of fall foliage, delightfully cool days, and tantalizing fall produce. October lends itself to spooky tales, and ghoulish festivities, sure to send a chill up even the sturdiest of spines. It is a month that can make witches appealing, ghosts and ghouls welcomed, and challenge even the stingiest of souls to dig into their pockets, in order to buy candy for beggars that come to their door. October makes outings fun. Whether hiking in colorful forests, or walking along leaf filled streets deliberately stepping on the discarded leaves, just to hear them crunch. Yes, there is so much to love about the month of October. Pumpkin patches, apple orchards, hay rides, fresh brewed cider, and don't forget snuggling with that special someone, just to keep warm. Happy October everyone, make sure to take time out of your busy schedules to enjoy all the month has to offer.
This morning I was sitting in the waiting room at my doctor's office when I saw something that piqued my interest on social media. It was a post stating that Krispy Kreme was selling a dozen donuts for the unheard of sum of .77 cents. Now up until that particular moment I did not even want a donut, much less twelve of them. But then I remembered I had to drive right past the Krispy Kreme store on my way home. At that moment I knew that I would be stopping. Upon posting and sharing on Facebook I also found out that while the deal was correct, there was a slight catch. In order to purchase a dozen donuts for the special price, you must pay full price for a second dozen. This meant that my twelve donuts just became twenty-four. What on earth was I going to do with twenty-four donuts? Eat them is the logical answer, but not the best answer. Seriously, I rarely allow myself that luxury, and when I do, I normally share a single donut with my hubby, just to help lessen the ill effects. So, while common sense dictated that I forgo the guilty pleasures, the bargain hunter in me fought traffic and finally found an illegal parking place on the street, well away from the buildings own parking lot. I skirted thru traffic, hopped the ditch, making my way through the sea of cars, and safely into the building. There I was met with a long line of people waiting their turn to order the tasty treats. The line wrapped around the entire inside of the building and yet I did not see a single person stick their head in the door, access the crowd and turn away. No, we were all in this together, all seeking to take part of that wonderful deal. As I neared the counter the woman on the business side of the counter called out that they were all out of chocolate glazed. This really irritated the gentleman in front of me who belted out a rant about how that was his sole purpose in coming here. You would have thought the man would have left after hearing the news. I mean since they were out of what he proclaimed at being his sole purpose and all, but as the line moved forward so did he. A deal is a deal after all, even if it's not the deal you wanted. Twenty-three minutes after I walked into the building I left with two dozen original donuts, which cost me just over eight dollars, and still had no idea what I was going to do with them.
I thought I had found my answer when driving home and realized I was speeding. I just smiled and glanced at the boxes of donuts. Sadly, I mean fortunately, I didn't have a chance to see if it was a cliché or if in fact police officers really do like donuts...
On my way home I had to stop and pick up a prescription. Even though my doctor had wired it in nearly an hour prior to my arrival the prescription was not ready. This was not the first time; it happens this way each time. It is the pharmacy's version of the .77 cent dozen. They give you fifteen minutes to shop while you wait; knowing that in most cases in that fifteen minutes you will find something you simply cannot live without. These things, the freebees, the discounts, the fifteen minute waits are all brilliant marketing ploys set forth by the industry to real us in. It works too, just look at me. I'm a prime example, as I write, I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to do with the twenty-THREE donuts that are now sitting on my counter. *Burp*
Today's crazy post of the day... This morning when driving to the Y, I was following behind a vehicle which was traveling way below the posted speed limit. For nearly a mile I followed at speeds sometimes as low as 25 in a 35. As soon as the road opened up, and gave way to a second lane I shot past the SUV. The driver, a woman, was on her cell phone and oblivious to the string of cars traveling behind her. After I passed I eased back into the lane she was in and continued along my way. I turned onto Battlefield. She followed, keeping her distance once again blocking the way of those traveling behind her. As it turned out she was heading to the same place as I, pulling in several moments later with her phone still glued to her ear. I sat in my truck for several moments telling myself to behave. I watched as she parked, and walked through the parking lot, in front of a moving car, still chatting on her phone. I resisted the urge to say something to her, figuring nothing good would have come of the "discussion." Moments later we were in the same locker room. By now she'd ended her call and still I debated speaking with her. I'm not really sure what I wanted to say, but her actions had rubbed me the wrong way. Turns out she was going to the pool, now I was really going to have to say something. I mean if she couldn't drive then no way was she going to stay out of my way in the pool. Luckily, for both of us, she went to the lap pool instead of the therapy pool, so no discussion was necessary. I was in "my" pool still fuming when it dawned on me I was allowing this woman's actions to ruin my morning. Why? Because she made me late to the pool? It wasn't like I was in a hurry to begin with. Truth be told, I was only upset because she wasn't paying attention. So I told myself to get over it and lose the negativity. As I did this the woman's locker room door opened. It does that on occasion, when people push the button, but there was no one standing there. From my vantage point I could see there was no one on the inside of the locker room waiting to exit either. The door simply opened and closed seemingly on its own. I laughed to myself thinking that it was the negativity leaving the building... It just goes to show that if someone pisses you off you can keep it bottled up and let it dictate how your day is going to go. Or, you can send it packing and allow yourself to find something to make you smile. In my case letting go of my anger showed that when one door closed the other one opened, this time in a very literal way... thought for the day, let go of your anger and find something to make you smile!
It is common for me to have four plus storylines going at any given time. I am often given new ideas when I am in the middle of working on something. When that happens I will open a folder within my future storyline file and jot down any information which is given to me. Normally doing so will do the trick, and that voice will back off and wait its turn. When I finish working on a manuscript and am ready to begin another, I will open my future storyline file and read through until something pulls at me. Sometimes it takes a few days or even weeks of my working on several manuscripts before one takes the lead. When that happens I lock the others back into place and focus on the lead storyline. Occasionally during this process one or more of the other voices will pop in and give me something important that pertains to their storyline. Rarely will this happen during normal writing hours, it is often during off times, after I have finished for the day. The information I receive is never ambiguous. I always know exactly which story the information goes with, so, I am able to take the information and stick it into the folder for which it was intended. That is why my current WIP is so perplexing. Because, even though my time travel voice is speaking the loudest, and demanding to be next, the stuff it gives me is so erratic. The voice will give me information, good information, I will take it and run with it, and then the next thing I know it is like, yea that is good, but what do you think about this? I have never worked with a voice that has been so indecisive. Normally the information given is clear and concise. It makes me wonder, is this particular voice new to the "voice community." A rookie, so to speak, and simply having trouble focusing, or does this indecisive voice have ADD? Can voices have ADD? I have been working on this storyline since mid August 2013 and have had to revamp the beginning several times so that the story could go in a different direction. The poor heroine has undergone three name changes, although I am fairly confident that the last one is permanent. I also thought I knew what was going to happen when she goes back in time, but that scenario changes frequently. It is almost as if my voices are all sitting around a table discussing the manuscript and one of them pitched a new idea that they all liked better. Or, if this current voice is a rookie, maybe he took what he had to the experts who were like, well that is good, but what do you think of this? Maybe there is a simpler explanation. Could it be that the issue is with time travel itself? Maybe the voices have to keep popping back in time to make sure the storyline is meshing the way it needs to. I am not sure, but the story is fun and unique, with an introvert heroine who decides to be a princess for a day. The Navy SEAL hero suffering from PTSD, who tries to capture her heart. A pocket size beagles with a full size attitude (once real, they are now a thing of the past) time travel, lost souls and pirates. While my voice may be indecisive he/she has some awesome ideas!
In the beginning I felt that my new suspense novel, Surviving the Storm, was going to be a trilogy. Then, as I was writing, I started second guessing myself. So in the end I tied it all up in one complete manuscript. Later, when speaking to one of my Beta readers (pre-readers), she said she thought I should end it (at the point I'd originally planned) and have a sequel. As soon as she said this I could almost feel my voices doing the happy dance. It was like a weight, that I hadn't even knew existed, was lifted from my shoulders. The feeling told me my voices were pleased. I guess they have more faith in me than I sometimes have in myself. Actually I should qualify, they have more faith in their ability, I am only the vessel with which they work. So my mind immediately started racing with the possibilities. I e-mailed my editor, who was at that time reading the STS manuscript, and asked "what if we were to end it at the end of said chapter?" I explained that I had originally thought it a trilogy. The next thing I knew she e-mailed me back saying, " you're right it should be a trilogy." Wait! That was not what I'd just suggested. Still at reading that, my voices were literally cheering inside my head. They had gotten their way. They'd gotten their trilogy! So, as the manuscript moved forward towards becoming a book and we got to the cover design, I agreed to the trilogy. I was a bit frightened. as I had a beginning, book one. I also have an ending, book three (which is well underway) but I had no idea what was going to happen in book two. I mentioned that fact to the beta reader who had pushed me in this direction in the first place and after going back and forth over several possibilities she said three little words that sent chills running up along my spine. It was the perfect way to continue on to the second book. While I wish I could share what she said, it would be a total spoiler, and I hate spoilers! Just be certain that there is indeed a book two being disclosed to me, and the voices are pleased with the direction the story is heading, chatting away merrily, giving me fodder for my manuscript. I realize all this talk about hearing voices may sound crazy to some, okay to most, but if crazy means writing some really cool stuff, I'll take crazy any day! What more can I say, I have some wickedly good voices!
SURVIVING THE STORM , Book #1 of the Storm Trilogy, was released, Friday, June 13, 2014. Have you acquired your copy yet?
#Surviving the storm #Ihearvoices #Hurricane Katrina
I recently stumbled upon these words written by Author Julie Beck, "Writing chose me. It was never a lifelong dream of mine to write a book, nor did I wake up one morning and say, "I think I'll write the next greatest novel." Nope, I never had any intensions of writing a book until a baby robin (Russell) was placed in my front yard. After writing, Hangin' Out with Russell, I chose writing, right back."
I was floored by her words. I guess I never thought of this way before. Now that I've read those words, I can honestly say that writing chose me too! It was never my dream to be an author. I did not grow up thinking someday I will write a book. Honestly it was never even offered as an option. Sure I liked to write poetry and letters, but a novel. Not this girl. That was something "smart people" did. Then one day I had this crazy thought in which I would do something for a friend. She was going through some things and I told her I was going to write her a happy ending. What I thought was going to be a silly short story, soon became what would eventually be my first novel. The story developed a life of its own, took off on a direction that I never saw coming and started me on a journey that most people only dream about. I did not set out to become an author, I was given a gift. A gift, that I'm eternally grateful for. I'm so very glad that writing chose me!
Friday March 28th
Today was the Navy Gator Ball. Since I did not want to go to such a formal event sporting a skunk stripe I booked an appointment with my stylist. She fixed my hair and then used the Bumble and Bumble temporary color spray to spray my head. The stuff covers very well and I was happy with the results. Fast forward nine hours later after arriving home from the ball. The color felt heavy and thick and I wanted it off of my head. I am one to wash my face before I get in the shower, not sure why, it is just something I've always done. Imagine my surprise when I lifted my bangs to put my headband on and my entire forehead was deep black! Luckily this could not be seen under my bangs. I attempt to wash my face and my hands become a black, gooey, sudsy mess. Okay plan B. I move to the shower to finish. Once in the shower I wash my face then proceed to scrub my scalp. Now I have deep black streaks rolling down my torso. It takes several application of shampoo to get the "temporary color" out of my hair. As I scrubbed I realized how close to disaster I had actually come. You see the forecast called for rain, which thankfully held off for the duration of our outing, but can you imagine how devastating it would have been to have arrived at the ball with black streaks seeping down my face...
I'm glad things ended well. The rain held off and I have this awesome picture with my wonderful hubby, which will probably be the last official picture of me with dark hair.
Smile and enjoy life's journey, I know I sure am!
IN An AGE WHERE SO MANY THINGS ARE ARTIFICIAL SOME WOMEN ARE FIGHTING BACK, STRIPPING OFF THEIR DEFENSES AND RETURNING TO THEIR ROOTS. At long last I have joined my silver sisters and am proud to consider myself among those fearless women. While still on the fence about whether or not to transition I noticed a lady, one who I had not seen before, at the front desk at the YMCA. The lady appeared to be fairly young, yet she sported a stunning head of long silver hair. The look was quite becoming on her. I was running late for a class so I made a mental note to speak with her on my way out. Unfortunately she was not behind the desk when I left. Three visits later I saw her again. My husband and I were entering the Y and she was once again sitting behind the desk. I got my husband's attention and told him I liked her hair and further wondered if it was natural or if she had highlights as some many others seem to be doing these days. . My hubby suggested I speak with her which I intended to do. I waited for her to finish what she was doing and then asked about her hair. She assured me hers was natural. I told her I was considering doing the same thing. She said the next time I came in she would give me some websites for transitioning. Websites for transitioning? That shocked me. I just about live on the internet, why had I had never considered Googling the subject? After arriving back home I did just that and was overjoyed by the wealth of information on transitioning. I poured though page after page on the subject and by the end of the weekend had made the decision to stop coloring my hair. The comments I read had me questioning why I had never thought about taking the leap before. Questioning the chemicals, financial aspects and simple freedom that comes with going natural. For years we've been told to cover up. To hide behind chemicals and products as if somehow the natural metamorphosis women undergo is a thing to be ashamed of. But now, It seems as though I am on the edge of an evolution. A silver movement that is slowly taking hold around the world. Women of all ages and nationalities reclaiming their true selves. embracing their God given beauty. It seems as though everywhere I go now, I see silver heads. Have they always been there and I'm just now noticing? Or is this phenomenon something new? And what about the woman at the Y? The silver haired lady, who I have not seen since making my decision. Was it just a fluke that she was temporarily working the front desk when I was ready to make my decision? Of was she put in my path for the very purpose of helping me along the way? I like to think she is my silver angel, a woman without so much of a hint of makeup, but still a standout with her natural silver locks shimmering under the florescent glow of the artificial lights. My journey continues...
After careful deliberation I have decided it is time for me to hop off the color bandwagon and get back to my roots. My "ah ha moment" started gradually, and has now worked its way to a full-blown "I have to do this! " The pivotal point for me was seeing a picture of myself with my gray roots showing. It was week three of my every four week coloring process. The hubby and I attended a holiday party. During the only dance the hubby and I partook of, some overzealous cameraman decided that the best angle for a photograph would be taken from atop a chair. Not only did the camera get a facial expression which looked like I was mincing words with my beloved hubby (certainly not) it captured my infamous third week skunk stripe. To make matters worse, the photo now appears on a website with all the other photos from the night.
It was in looking at that picture that I got upset. Not only due to the humiliating photo, but to the fact that I felt frustrated. I spend a great deal of time and money each month to look my best, and yet, I still have that dreaded skunk stripe period in-between my color appointments. After seeing that photo, I decided that I had two choices, to color more frequently, or to stop coloring all together. At least by not coloring it, my hair, in theory, should then be all one color. That is unless of course I find that I am not fully gray, but instead a blend of salt and pepper. Even still, it would be the same blend throughout. Then, whether I have my hair pulled back for a morning at the gym, or am at the three week mark, my hair will, at least in my mind, look more presentable.
Once I decided to make the change I began doing research. In scouring the web I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of information out there. Information, that made me more and more convinced that I am doing the right thing. I always have a tremendous amount of hair loss, which I've always attributed to the fact that I have hypothyroidism. Turns out I may have been mistaken. I always blamed my dry, itchy, scalp on the coloring process, but it actually never occurred to me that the extreme hair loss could also be a result of the chemical process that goes with coloring ones hair each month. Luckily my hair is healthy and replenishes itself constantly to keep me from going bald, but the hair I have to remove from the floor on a daily basis still causes me to wonder. I am looking forward to see if the hair loss situation remedies itself once I make the transition and am no longer putting chemicals on my head.
Another thing that reinforced my decision was a comment I read. One that hit way too close to home. The writer pondered the question "I eat right and exercise, so why do I continue to put these chemicals on my head each month?" That statement was like a punch in the gut for me. And frankly it leaves me wondering why I did not consider this fact before now. Did my need for coverage override my brain? Seriously, what are these chemicals doing to my scalp? If the color can come off on a towel then isn't it logical they are also leaching into my body? What is that doing to my overall health? When weighing the pros and cons, it is clear that everything is pointing in the same direction, going natural. The big question is how to get through the process.
Transitioning, while liberating, can also be incredibly scary. I think I've nearly driven my dear hubby crazy worrying over the process to come. He is supportive. But he is also a man. A man, without any hair. How liberating. But I also remember his transition to that phase. A transition, that included a great deal of hat wearing, until that fateful day, when he finally got the nerve to take a razor to his scalp. If woman could only be so fortunate, to take that leap and not be ostracized, assumed ill or have references made to her sexual preference.
So, not ready to shave my head, I am now researching my options. Let it grow, and deal with the skunk stripe. Continue to highlight with a color close to my roots to help the process appear more subtle. Chop it all off, then continue to cut until I finally get to my full, natural, color. Wear a wig. A Scarf. Or even a headband. The bottom line is I have options. Options which, no matter what I choose, will help me get to the place I intend to go. While currently the natural look is the road less traveled, it is the road I prefer to take. A journey, such as it is, to be free. Free from deception. Free from unwanted chemicals. Will I be silver, gray, white, or salt & Pepper? At this point only time will tell.
While some may not agree with my decision, the bottom line it is "my" decision. I'm taking the stand. I'm doing this for me. I'm giving myself permission to love the woman I see in the mirror, no matter the color of the hair...
I am a writer not an editor. While I do not have my editor peruse my blogs before I post them, I hope you enjoy them all the same!