Saturday, March 17, 2018

Characters I relate to.

One of the blessings of being book obsessed AND an author for a living is, I am always able to find people I can relate to. Granted many of those people don't actually exist in real life, which is sort of depressing if you think about it too much (so I choose not to.) is also sort of uplifting to know that different authors and screenwriters out there have managed to create characters that just make sense to me, which means... someone like me exists out there is someone else's imagination.

Which means I'm not that obsolete.

See? Uplifting.

Here are some of the characters I've managed to relate to over the years. I hope my list will not only explain my own personal brand of weirdness to each of you, but will also prompt you to consider which fictional characters you relate to the most. If for no other reason, other than that it's fun, think about it.... who do you relate to?

1.) Lucy VanPelt.

Lucy is crabby. I am, too. Just ask my husband and children. Actually, you could probably ask most of my extended family, too, and they would likely agree. I've been told that when I was a little girl, I was as "grumpy as a bear," thus creating my father's nickname for me: Bear. But in my defense, I don't mean to be crabby all the time, just like Lucy doesn't mean to. She is suffering with often being regarded as a leader, but very few people actually listening to her. She is suffering with unrequited love. She offers psychiatric advise that nobody takes. Often times nobody even pays attention to her, unless she's screaming, and losing her crap. (I can relate to this on a deep, menacing level, as I have struggled with this issue my entire life.)

2.) Elphaba.

Elphaba (from the book, Wicked by Gregory McGuire) was a dark, sinister character. She did bad things, the wrong things, and self sabotaged herself on the regular. She wanted a good life, wanted nice things...but couldn't bring herself to choose the right regularly enough to actually succeed. Musical Elphaba was every bit as cynical and downtrodden, but had a much more positive outlook, and the ability to do the right thing, whereas the book character didn't. I can relate to Elphaba because I, too, tend to self sabotage. When things are just too good, I'll blow it. I always do. And if asked, I will always self deprecate. I do not believe that people believe in me, and when I'm told otherwise, my first thought is usually: what's in it for them? "I'm not that girl." <3

3.) Susan Hefley.

My kids tell me--all the freaking time--that I bear an uncanny personality resemblance to the mom on The Wimpy Kid movies. Apparently (according to said children who won't be receiving their allowances for a month for saying this) I am geeky and enthusiastic, but clueless. I want to connect with my kids, but my efforts are often lame and childish. I can't dance. I was, at one time, obsessed with miniature Lightening McQueen cars because our youngest would WAIL without having one in each hand--much like Manny's tingy. I am every bit as exasperated by my children as Susan, and I usually "wear glasses" like she does, too.

Wow. Just wow.

4.) Gertie, from Poor Gertie by Larry Bograd.

Poor Gertie was one of my favorite books when I was a kid. I read it again and again and again, and even bought a copy online as an adult--it's out of print, so it was a big deal. Years later, one of my children took the book outside for some reason and left it. It rained and it got water logged and ruined. I was devastated. Utterly destroyed. Anyway, when I read about Gertie as a kid, I related to her so much, because she wasn't popular in school--I was at the bottom of the heap, as well. She came from a family living in poverty--I was from a very poor family, too. She only wore hand-me-downs--I didn't own a thing that hadn't been previously used. And she used art to escape her life--just like me. (I used to cartoon all the time.) When I read Poor Gertie, I felt a familiarity that I never felt with anyone or anything else, and her life with her mother and Grandpa became home for me.

5.) Luna Lovegood.

Much like Luna,  I, too, never fit in. I was weird, said the wrong things at the wrong time, wore stupid, eccentric clothing, and often left my peers giving each other side eye, and saying "Oooo-kay?" when I walked away. Unfortunately for me, I was never as proud and pleased with my weirdness as Luna was in both the books and the movies, something I *wish* I could go back and fix. Like Luna, I was teased, often mercilessly. Boys gleeked at me all the time, which, in case you're unfamiliar, is essentially spitting. Boys literally spat on me during every class, throughout all of middle and high school. Kids detested me because I was the little sister of two popular athletes, but was so awkward and weird and socially inept that I legitimately enraged them. "How could she possibly be related to Joe? What the h*ll?" I wish I'd found my self acceptance the way Luna did. I wish I'd become part of the crowd who defeated Voldemort the way she had. But alas, I just stayed very, very awkward for my entire adolescent experience. Reading the tidbits about Luna saying things that irritated Harry and Ron, or watching how the other kids hid her shoes in one of the movies brought tears to my eyes. It's a lot less fun to live as Luna in the real world.

What fictional character do you most relate to? Take some time and try to figure it out. It's nice to know you're not alone, even if the folks you're the most like exist only in someone's imagination...


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

There must be something wrong with me.

....Because I do not like most of the things normal people like.

At first, I thought I was just sort of addicted to being contradictory (we all know someone like that--someone who contradicts everything that is trendy, or popular, or on topic, purely for the sake of being "different." Uh huh, told you we all knew one. If you don't, it's probably you. Just saying.) but the older and older I get... the more I realize, I legit don't like most of the things that the world at large really enjoys.

What is wrong with me?

For instance:

I don't particularly like pizza. I don't know why! I love Italian food, love carbs, have a significant relationship with cheese, love tomatoes, love most toppings..... but throw them all together, and slap them on a pizza, and I'm just sort of....

I know, it's weird. And even furthering my argument: if I am forced to eat a pizza, which I often am, as my husband and children (who are normal) really love pizza and could do some significant damage on a pizza parlor on any given day. But, I digress. IF I AM FORCED to eat pizza, I prefer it with pineapple.

I know. Not normal.

Second, I don't like tacos.

I feel like I just lost about forty readers, just because of that statement alone. But it's true. I can't stand them. My husband would eat tacos every single day of the week, and my teenage daughter has been known to eat enough tacos to make a very large animal sick. We have Taco Sunday's twice a month, and vary between beef and cheese tacos (standard American style,) and chicken and cilantro tacos (what we gringos consider to be more authentic--though, if we're being honest, what would we know?) And I hate both kinds.

Now......I still eat them. I'm not a monster. I just don't enjoy them very much. They're so...blergh.

Something is significantly wrong with me.

Third, I do not enjoy Game of Thrones or Outlander. I realize that everyone and their dog is watching, and that apparently they're so addictive they're like the television version of meth...but I cannot get into them one bit.

I know.

For starters, in GOT, why are there a brother and a sister doing it?? My brothers and I don't even speak, let alone do that, and it's enough to make me throw up. Profusely. What the actual heck?? And why are there so many kingdoms? It's so hard for someone as thick-skulled as me to keep straight!

And outlander? I.... I don't....ugh. I don't know why I can't get into it. Jamie is played by an actor hot enough to melt my socks off, but still... can't get into it. Just not my thing. Too time-jumpy. Too sexy, even though everyone is filthy. Too accent-y. I don't know. Just not my thing. Makes me want to make everyone douse their hands in sanitizer and brush their teeth.

GAH! Someone get him some Purell!!

Fourth, I do not like those face-filter thingy's on social media platforms like Snapchat or Instagram. I use Instagram--despite my teenage daughter calling me "old" on a regular basis--but I cannot, will not use those stupid filters that give you puppy faces or cute bunny ears or nerd glasses.

(For the record, I need no help looking like a nerd, folks. I've had that **** down pat since 1982. Booyah.)

I follow a few--okay, a lot-- celebrities, and some of them (despite being gorgeous) put puppy faces on, and it drives me nuts! Why? Why are you hiding your face behind filters that make you look like a cartoon animal? I ask my daughter why she and her friends use them all the time, and she just snorts and says: "You're so old."

I still don't get it. Show your face. Give me a break.

And fifth, the return of "mom jeans."

Sooooo.....I'll admit, I own mom jeans. I shouldn't. They were a major no-no for a long time, but I kept a certain pair around for years because the high rise waist held in my mom-pooch nicely. But now that they're back in style, and everyone, including my aforementioned sixteen year old daughter is wearing them--with their shirts tucked in--I can't bring myself to do it.

Why do we want to have camel toes? Why do young women want to look like their jeans could crack their ribcage? Why do young women want to look outdated and like they're headed to the store for milk and Pinesol? These are the things that I can't wrap my head around. Of all the things to bring back, mom jeans?

I realize that by admitting my irritation with these five things, I am downing my cool factor considerably. I realize that my cool factor was hanging by a freaking thread prior to this post, so there wasn't much to salvage. was time to come clean.

There are just certain things that the world at large loves, but I cannot stand. Sorry, GOT fans, you lost me....


Have you read...

The Art of Being Indifferent yet?

Check out the excerpt below to see if it piques your interest:

I kissed her. Hard. So hard, explosions of light popped behind my closed eyelids, and the ground underneath my feet swayed. It felt incredible. Like every girl I’d kissed up to that point was just a prelude to this moment.
God, I was becoming a sap. But I couldn’t help it.
When we pulled apart, her eyes were heavy lidded and foggy. We were both breathless, our shoulders rising and falling in unison as we panted.
“I didn’t think…” She swallowed and licked her lips. “I wasn’t sure if you… wanted that, or not.”
I cupped her face. “I’ve wanted that for a while.”
“Me, too.” Posey grinned, her eyes dancing. Then they focused on my eyebrow, and her smile dropped. “You’re hurt.”
“I don’t care.” Bringing her close again, I touched her lips with mine. Softer, this time. Letting the images of my dad’s fist bleed into the background.
“Drew,” she whispered after a minute or two. Pressing her palms against my chest, Posey pushed me back a few inches. “Drew, you’re hurt.”
Reluctantly dragging one of my hands from her face up to my eyebrow, I winced. It hurt like a sonofabitch, and the blood went clear down past my jaw now. The jerk off had hit me with his left hand. Glad my mom went with the wedding band that had diamonds in it. Awesome.
“I’ll be fine,” I told her, not sure if I meant it.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Excerpt time!

Jamie and Molly Burnham have a long history together. Being stuck at Camp Chimalis together was not in their summer plans at all, and now that they're there... the you-know-what is hitting the fan!

“At least my world doesn’t involve stabbing people in the back, and kicking them while they’re down.”
            “No. It just involves wallowing in self-pity and shutting out everyone who gives a damn.”
            I sucked in a sharp breath. “I did not shut you out. You moved on without me.”
            “Not until you showed me how much you didn’t give a damn.” He shook his head, peeling his narrowed eyes off of me to cast an embarrassed glance at Owen and Sue. “Sorry. I’m sorry. This is inappropriate. We shouldn’t be talking about—”
            “Why not?” I demanded, hands trembling as I held my fork. “We never talk about it. You just packed up and left and told me to talk to your lawyer. You wouldn’t even discuss what went wrong, let alone who got to keep what. You acted like I wasn’t even worth the effort it took to explain why you moved out. How do you suppose that made me feel?”
            Graham held out his plate, his face pink. “Sue, these ribs are fantastic. Could I have another?”
            She quickly served him one. “Sure, dear. It’s an old family recipe. My mother swears that putting a can of Coca Cola in—”
            “I didn’t move out until you made it loud and clear that you no longer wanted me there.” Jamie’s voice was sharp and loud. It echoed through the otherwise empty mess hall. “I spent a solid year living with a woman who scarcely spoke to me, and never looked at me. Why in the hell would I have stayed?”
            Before I knew it, my eyes had filled. “You could’ve stayed because we loved each other. Because we fell in love when we were fifteen years old, and because we were meant for each other. You could’ve stayed because we’d been to hell and back together, and that’s not something you just throw away, Jamie.”
            “It’s James,” he answered coldly, slapping his napkin onto the table. It bumped his cutlery, and sent it skidding. “And I didn’t throw away anything. Because there was nothing left to throw away.” I drew in a sharp breath, but he didn’t pause. “You weren’t giving me a relationship to save. You didn’t want me anymore than I wanted you.”
            The sound I made was quiet but clear as a bell. It sounded like a half choke-half cough hybrid, and it tasted of barbeque ribs. I quickly wiped my mouth with my napkin, then carefully folded it and placed it on my plate. Nobody looked at me. Everyone’s eyes were fixed on something else. Somewhere outside of the mess hall, a duck down on the lake quacked.
            “Sue?” I croaked, pushing my chair back from the table. “I’m so sorry, but I’ve got a splitting headache. I think I’ll head to my cabin for the night.”
            She looked up at me sadly as I stood. “Oh, dear. Don’t you want to stay for pie? We haven’t had a huckleberry crop yet, but since the weather’s been so warm, I found enough thimbleberries.”
            My eyes were so full of tears it looked like I was staring at her from underneath the water of Priest Lake. “No, thank you. I really should just lay down. But if you save the dishes for me, I would love to come in and wash them in the morning.”
            “Dishes are my responsibility,” Owen announced, once again twisting his beer bottle on the tabletop. “And if I remember correctly, James here offered to wash them with me. Right?”
            Jamie didn’t look up. “I sure did.”
            “Okay, then. Thank you for dinner.” Making a beeline for the door, I looked up at the ceiling, utterly willing the tears to stay inside my lids until I was far away from the main lodge. But I only made it halfway down the old wooden steps to the green before they rolled over the edge, and I dissolved into tears.

            Owen had been correct. Nostalgia was definitely getting to me.