Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It just keeps spinning...

It's amazing to me how the world just keeps turning no matter how much you wish it would stop or at least slow down enough for a person to catch their breath.  Birth, death, marriage, divorce; life just keeps moving, taking its toll without the world ever so much as hiccuping.  Every day the sun comes up in the East and sets in the West and another week begins as one ends while we all get a little older and a little closer to our individual demise.

Aren't I just a ray of sunshine this evening?  Well that's kind of what life has been throwing at me lately so it's a bit difficult to throw out positive platitudes when I'm really wishing someone would give me a damn direction book for the rest of my life.  I need some positive reinforcement for getting old and sick and watching my family die off one by one leaving me just a heartbeat closer to the great unknown.

There's an old song... I'm really horrible with trivia so I couldn't tell you who sang it or when it was made... but the most memorable line is "Should I stay or should I go now?  If I stay there will be trouble, if I go it will be double..."  That's my emotional mantra these days in pretty much every aspect of life; work, home, private...  too many what ifs and maybes and what would/could happens... too much to think about and no time to search out the answers... no confidence in finding the right ones even if there was time

See what happens when I don't sleep?  I ramble on in a stream of irrational consciousness... but at least after two months I've blogged something so I guess that counts as "I did something today" and if not who will know anyway?

Monday, July 4, 2011

I seem to be returning...

It's been almost two months since I wrote anything here, mostly because I haven't had anything to say that wasn't negative and boardering on homicidal so I just ranted to my best friends and gave a quick smile to the rest of the world.

Some might ask why that is; aren't blogs supposed to be for pouring out all your innermost rants and unloading your soul from its negative energy?  Perhaps, but the way I look at life seems to be a little different than anyone else.  My life is what it is; it's God has planned and it's a compilation of the decisions and choices I've made.  The thing about it is that even knowing some of those choices were wrong I wouldn't go back and change them because to do so would alter the fabric of my life completely and that's just unacceptable.

So why homicidal if things are so peachy keen; I know that's what you're asking yourself now.  Well I never said things were peachy keen.  In fact the last two months has pretty much sucked balls (which I have been informed by my daughter have the same aroma as Feta cheese... having no desire to smell either I'll leave that to the critcs to test for themselves). 

The books had 0 sales in June, which doesn't surprise me since they are still completely unadvertised, not professionally edited, and have over the course of five months brought in a little over $100 in royalties.  I'm happy with that, but it doesn't change that little stab of disappointment when you go to Amazon and see that ugly brown box that denotes having 0 sales.  I could put more time, energy, and money into marketing, advertising, boosting sales, etc., but those things are available to me in teeeeeeeeeeny tinnnnny little portions and right now there are too many other things that suck them up.  So instead I concentrate what little free time to myself I have on finishing the next two books in the series and getting them uploaded.  They might sell or they might not, I might get time to advertise them all or I might not... most likely not LOL

June also saw what should have been the first birthday of my beautiful granddaughter Aryiana who passed away from SIDS September 14, 2010.  I still struggle every day with accepting her death and the week of her birthday was impossibly hard.  We got through it and had a little balloon release at my Mom's. We tied pictures of Aryiana on the balloons with information about their purpose and an address to return them to if they were found.  We've gotten one back so far, from a town in West Virginia about 45 miles North of Charleston they said. We only released 24 so to have even one returned is enough of a miracle for me; my Turtle saw her balloons and loved them.

There were some good things in May and June.  I got a significant improvement in my kidney functions probably due to my laying off the caffeine and soda, and whatever was causing me to feel like I was going to die every time I ate anything pretty much went away.  My sugar is still a daily crap shoot, but I can deal with that with no problem as long as I have access to a bag of candy and a dollar for a hamburger LOL 

The long and short of it all is that my life sucks more days than it blows, but every day I wake up and think about the people in our world who would be thankful to have my life.  The people without children who would consider it a blessing to have one they wanted to strangle.  The people without jobs who would stand in line to take our management's bullshit with a smile.  The people who are truly hungry and thirsty who don't have clean water or food of any kind. The people who walk miles back and forth every day to a job that pays them a month what I make in a day. 

I have a place to live, people who love me, a little money coming in, and a few clothes to wear.  For those things I am forever blessed and thankful and while it doesn't mean life doesn't suck, it does mean I have no right to complain about how bad life is to me. 

If you don't like something in your life then fix it, change it, or shut the fuck up already.... just sayin...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Whole New Me...

I've been told many times that I'm very strong willed... stubborn I believe is actually the word most people have used... and I really don't deny it.  Of course I've also been told on a regular basis that I let people take adavantage of me; something I deny because I don't believe someone can be taken advantage of if they're honestly aware of the situation.  You can choose to participate in something that really has no positive in it for you, but if you make a conscious choice to go forward then I find it ridiculous to try and write the experience off as having been taken advantage of.

Anyway as usually I have veered off in a direction nowhere near where I wanted to go.  Today, while I was out in the sun on a muddy field watching my Shortman play in two soccer games instead of being at my niece's wedding as originally planned, I decided to use my subborn ways to make a positive change in my life.

In 14 months, give or take a week or two, I will be 45 years old and I'd sort of like to reach that milestone healthier physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Soooooooo starting tomorrow I'm going to try and start putting in place some new goals for life.  The first step is something I've done a few times but always seem to break down on.  I'm going to stop drinking soda.  Now I know this sounds like a fairly easy thing to do, especially considering the fact that I can control my smoking habit with relative ease.  I have to tell you that no matter what it's like for anyone else, breaking the Pepsi habit for me is sort of like kicking a heroine addiction.  I get headaches to the point that I have to lie in a dark room, I get nauseated for the first several days to the point that I completely lose my appetite, and I get irritable... very very irritable.

That's step one because it's the most simple yet the most difficult for me.  The next step is to set up some sort of routine for going to the gym and working out.  I really need someone who knows what they're talking about to motivate me and push me along, so since I already have a gym membership that I'm paying for I'm going to investigate the possibility of their having personal trainers who can help me lose the rest of the weight I want to lose. 

Once I've lost the rest of my weight, gotten myself some tone and muscle mass, and captured some semblence of cardiovascular health I'm going to look into having some reconstructive surgery.  There are several things I want to have done, not out of vanity or in some vain hope of trying to recapture some youthful look that I never had in the first place (I was morbidly obese for most of my life so for me there is no "return to my youthful figure" complex) but simply because I want to like the way I look. 

It's taken me 43 years, nine months, and 14 days to really like the person I am and I still have a ways to go before I can accept all my flaws, eccentricities, bad habits, and ugly thoughts... but now I'm giving myself 1 year, 2 months, and 16 days to get on a solid road toward liking the outside person as well. 

Once I actually sit down and map out some goals I may post a little ticker on here somewhere to keep track of how I'm doing, but until then if you see me and I'm looking a little frazzled just remember that I am without my caffeine crutch so just smile and back away slowly.

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's Raining... again...

I may not have mentioned this before, but I HATE THE FREAKING RAIN!!!!  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love a good raging thunder storm, and I'm well aware that rain is a good thing... especially for those of us in the farming regions where a lack of rain can create shortages of food for both people and animals... but I detest nasty, gray, dreary, Eeyore rainy days!!!  These are the days that seem to be plaguing my community this spring and today is definitely a prime example.

These days are heavy, depressing, irritating and gross and they tend to leave me feeling exactly the same.  I'm not at all creative or productive either in my job or my personal pursuits, and they tend to affect my children in the same way... that of course just spells disaester (yes I know it's spelled incorrectly, but I'm not in any frame of mind to hit the spell check key so live with it) for all of us as we're trapped together with no way out.

This of course wasn't supposed to be the topic of today's blog post.  I had something cheerful and witty in mind originally, and then I went to the Dr and had a conversation with a nurse that inspired a wonderful blog on the topic of sarcastic wit, but the weather has drained all those thoughts and replaced them with the simple thoughts I just typed out... and seeing as I'm on the library's one hour policy at the moment that all you're getting today.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Apparently I'm Peculiar...

This I'm sure surprises no one who knows me at all.  I'm not, and have never been, a round peg kind of girl.  My beliefs are ecclectic, my tastes are ecclectic... except for my taste in food and in that case if it's not plain hamburger, grilled chicken breast, a steak filet, or albacore then chances are I won't eat it.  Especially if it has some sort of sauce, gravy, or flourish to it...  Long story short I'm not a person that you can meet once, look at, and proceed assuming you know anything about me.

One of the things I'm a little peculiar about is, I have been told anyway, my tendency to collect people.  I love people in general, probably why I like working retail, and there are just some people who almost immediately capture some little piece of my heart.  There isn't much I wouldn't do for anyone who treats me decent, but for these particular people I would do anything... pretty much without limitation or question.  Not because I want, or expect, something in return, but because for whatever reason doing something that makes them happy, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, makes ME happy.  That's it, end of story, no ulterior motives, intricate plans, or perverted notions...

Doing something nice for someone that my gut instinct tells me deserves it.. apparently that makes me peculiar... and actually, I'm really okay with that :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

What to do, what to do....

I am currently experiencing a milestone in life.  Tomorrow or whoever their actually fiduciary douches are will begin the process of direct depositing my first royalty check!  It's for January sales on both my self-published Kindle books (Saving Alexandria and Guardian of Dreams... hint hint hint) and it's a whopping $20.93... but yet it's MY $20.93 earned in royalties on something I wrote and published and people cared enough to buy. 

This, like the publishing process itself, is exciting and at the same time terrifying.  Where do I go from here?  There are more books to come, some finished, some nearly finished, some barely begun, and without a publisher I can make them available at my leisure.  So again I ask, where do I go from here?  I have someone who has offered to help me develop a "web presence" which sounds extremely intriguing and yet terrifying at the same time. 

The ultimate question is how far do I want to put myself out there?  On the one hand I have had very modest, yet fairly consistent sales over the past three months with absolutely no marketing whatsoever.  I periodically post the links to the e-books on my Facebook page and I've put them here in my blog a couple of times.  On the other hand is the idea that if I take a chance and get my name out there not only will it generate sales, but could ultimately make my writing more appealing to conventional agents and publishers.

So the elephant in the room is the question of whether or not I want to put myself out there full Monty and undertake the lofty goal of actually marketing myself and advertising my books.  That's the elephant... the gigantic steaming pile of elephant poop is the idea that I will put myself out there, advertise, market, all in all make a spectical of myself and end up with the same modest sales I have had all along... or even better no more sales.

So speak to me great advisors and speakers of wisdom...  I can't be who I'm not, and most people don't have a clue how to take me... do I really want to throw that out there for the whole world to see??  Or for the whole world to point, laugh at and ultimately shun?? LOL

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Accepting The Unacceptable...

Today (Thursday, March 24) my second oldest granddaughter, Aryiana, should have been 9 months old.  She should be eating babyfood, or more likely skipping the babyfood like her sister did and going straight for the good stuff whether she has any teeth or not.  She should be pulling up to my coffee table, crawling after the new puppy her Aunt Bekah brought home to "find a good home for" and getting her fingers smacked for touching the cigarettes, lighter, ashtray, etc. etc. etc.  She should be jumping in the jumper, chattering like a magpie, walking with her sister and her uncle Karl holding her chubby hands to keep her balanced, and blowing raspberries and spit bubbles. 

Instead she is singing with the angels.  She is making our departed family laugh with her silly antics and her beautiful smiles.  She sits at the feet of Jesus and listens to His stories of the world and why it is the way it is.  She hears and knows and understands why she was given to us for such a short time and then taken away with no warning and no explanation.  She sends on whispered memories and laughing dreams tiny bits of peace and strength so those of us left behind know we can and must go on without her.  She sends smiles to her Mommy, sloppy baby kisses to her Daddy, waves to her Sissy, and hugs for the rest of us who love and miss her more than we can deal with most days.

10 days ago marked the six month anniversary of Ary's death.  I don't give tribute to that day by calling attention to it because I would rather remember the 11 weeks of joy that her life brought to me than the endless loss that came with her death.  My daughter-in-law said today that acceptance sometimes takes a lifetime.  She is, as always, wise beyond her years and I am unbelievably proud of the way she and my son have taken tiny steps toward recovering from something no parent should ever have to survive.  I have no doubt that they will both reach the stage of acceptance, probably long before I do.  I still spend a few moments most nights stomping my feet and demanding answers that I know I can't have; pleading for things I know can never be.  I still revel in the occasional thought that I just haven't seen her in a while because I'm busy and work too much, but then I feel that tiny head against my shoulder, the whispered breath on my face.  It's her way of letting me know she's with me now and always, that she won't leave again and that it's okay to remember and admit that she isn't physically here anymore... admit, not accept... I'm not that far yet.

This blog post was written in loving memory of Aryiana Leigh Engle 6/24/10 - 9/14/10...
Mamaw loves her Turtle

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The State of the World As We Know It...

One of my first Facebook statuses today was that I was feeling sad and going to look for something good to read to distract myself until time for work.  I found something good to read, or reread actually; Lynsay Sands Born to Bite. It's one of her Argeneau novels and if you care at all for paranormal romance it's definitely a series not to be missed.

But I digress.  I was feeling sad this morning, and actually I'm still feeling a bit sad.  Partially due to personal situations that are just a part of life and will work themselves out as my children and I continue to adjust to the changing roles of adult parent child relationships.  What really made me sad, and has bothered me for awhile now (and yes I already know how utterly ridiculous this is going to sound, but bear with me and I'll sort of explain at the end) is this whole thing with Charlie Sheen.

Now don't get me wrong here, I'm not a crazed Charlie Sheen groupie (everyone knows my preferences for Shemar Moore above all else) or generally one to follow the antics of  Hollywood.  I could care less what Lindsy Lohan is stealing or who Brittney Spears is flipping out on.  I don't know if it's just because Charlie Sheen has chosen to direct his rants focused on the camera and in person as opposed to being caught by nosy paparazzi.  Perhaps it's because I have people that I love above all else in life who suffer from drug and alcohol abuse/addiction as well as mental illnesses; or maybe it's the respect that I've always had for Martin Sheen as a fellow Dayton native.  Whatever reason this instance of insantity or detox psychosis or whatever it is have sort of thrown me for a loop.

Again don't be misled here, I don't at all feel sorry for Charlie Sheen.  He's been given more opportunities and feet forward than most and I'm a hard fast believer in the idea that life hands out mitigating circumstances not excuses.  Personal responsibility for ones actions is important to me and while drug addition and mental illness should never be ignored as motivators they should also never be accepted to excuse responsibility for someone's actions... at least not in my little corner of the universe...

So what exactly is my problem?  What is it making me sad?  I think it's the fact that everytime I hear someone talking about it or see a Facebook post it's always about how crazy he is or speculation on whether this is a result of detox or just continuing drug use.  (Which is, most likely, exactly what keeps good ole Charlie ranting on, because it either brings attention to his plight or feeds his delusions of grandeur which are part and parcel of BiPolar Disorder but also come with drug addiction and detox psychosis and there goes the cycle of speculation.)  There's never, not even after the speculation and disgust at his actions, any glimmer of consideration for him as a human being or for his family who will suffer the lifelong effects of whatever the hell his malfunction is.  Has anyone, anywhere, even once, ever seen a post or overheard a conversation regarding Charlie Sheen that ended with "I'll be keeping Charlie and his family in my prayers"???

Regardless of whether someone is religious in the sense of attending an organized church/prayer service on a regular basis or is a self proclaimed agnostic or athiest shouldn't there be some consideration for the human condition?  I don't care if you dance naked around a fire in the clearing at the four solstices or run the pew backs speaking in tongues or poke your nose in the air at any thought of there being an entity more powerful than you controlling your destiny... there is never an excuse for completely ignoring the suffering of another human being... At least not in my little corner of the universe...

So I'm not saying feel sorry for the earths idiots, addicts, thieves, thugs, gangsters, and physically unattrative... I'm just saying to remember two things:  #1, if you're religious you might want to keep in mind the addage "There but for the grace of God go I" and take heed that just because you have a good life situation today doesn't mean that will be the case this time next year.  and #2 for those of you who don't believe in the power and presence of God I give
you this... Karma is a bitch with PMS and a GPS and sooner or later your address will be the next on her hit list.

Pay it forward people... a prayer, a kind thought, a smile in an elevator... none of those things will cost you a dime but they could be worth a lottery to the person on the receiving end.

Friday, February 25, 2011

How does this work exactly???

I'm still a bit confused by this whole blog thing.  I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be trying to lure strangers into reading my ramblings or if people are just supposed to stumble upon me by accident and be wowed by my fascinating (someone PLEASE shoot me in the face if one more freaking stranger tells me how "fascinating" my life is) life?  Am I supposed to come up with intriguing questions to pose?  Should I just post links to my e-books at Kindle and write about my struggles as a self-publishing (because I'm seriously too broke & too lazy to pursue traditional publication with the consistancy and heart that it demands)?  Is this the correct format for heralding my much laughed about fascination with Shemar Moore and Lindt milk chocolate?  Or my odd fascination with anything miniature, oversized, or my fetish for office supplies perhaps?

I have to admit it's nice to have this lovely diary like environment to express things and just throw out things in life that won't fit into the character restrictions of a facebook status, but is that really all a blog is supposed to be?  I know a lot of people who have multiple blogs... one for personal stuff, one for business, one for hobbies, etc., etc., etc., (shall we dance dom dom dom...) but I can't really come up with enough material that I find worthy of sharing for even one blog on a daily or even weekly basis.  Maybe if I had a better understanding of what my purpose was here I would be able to come up with more words to add.

So tell me friends and loved ones (all 3 or 4 of you who read this drivel) what exactly is a blog supposed to be?  What is it that you want to read about in these pages of wit, wisdom, and ridiculousness????  Give me purpose... direction... a row to hoe...

Happy 23rd Birthday today to my handsome, wonderful little boy :)  I love you Marques Alan!!

This weeks statistics:
* Work schedule still sucks, they're cutting hours like crazy!
* Wrestling is over and we have a much needed break before soccer and horse show season begins!
* I'm up to 15 copies of the 2 e-books I have available at and today ordered my proof copies for the print versions of both Saving Alexandria and Guardian of Dreams!  Now to decide if I want to try and do some sort of advertising and promotion for the books or if I'm satisfied with the fact that they're out there.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wow It's Been Awhile....

Life seems to have once again gotten in the way of my blogging... or perhaps it was just moodiness and the inability to write anything I thought the four or five people who actually read my blog would want to waste their time on LOL

Actually life is pretty darn good in my neck of the woods for the moment.  Valentine's Day was fairly eventful as I got surprise flowers from one of my best friends and then more surprise flowers from my daughter and my daughter's best friend who is really pretty much my other daughter LOL both extremely beautiful (the girls and all the flowers) and very much appreciated.  Then from my hubby I got the cutest stuffed dog in the world and some very yummy chocolates.  My baby boy made me several beautiful cards and drawings and we had a wonderful time together at his school Valentine's party... 1st grade is the bomb apparently LOL

My book sales are actually tooting right along... between the two novels I have listed on Kindle I've sold 15 copies and made close to $40 in royalties.  I'm now venturing into the self-publishing print world and both titles should be available at within the week.  I'm a little frustrated with the print side of things because I absolutely LOVE the way they look and the beautiful covers I'm able to design for them.  It absolutely amazes me to think I will be able to see something I have written actually in a full print version, and I'm sure once I have a copy in my grubby little paws I will bawl uncontrollably.  My issue with it is that the books are (to me anyway) incredibly expensive!!!!!  Saving Alexandria was minimum priced at $6.99 which I think is a lot for a novella, and Guardian of Dreams (which I must admit is 450 print pages... I got carried away, but the characters insisted that there was nothing else to cut) minimum priced at $17.99...  that's nearly two hours of work for a book written by someone that no has ever heard of and couldn't find an agent or a publisher that would take a chance on her...  seems like way to much money to me.  So much so that I really had decided not to print publish Guardian of Dreams at all, but then my good friend (the one who sent me surprise flowers) suggested that since I'd gone to the trouble to upload the book and do the whole process I might as well put it out there.  If no one buys it then I'm no worse off than I was before and I can still steer my friends and people who are truly interested in my writing toward the e-book which is a much more reasonable $3.99.

That's it for me I think... I wish I had something interesting or important to share, but outside of having to pick up cashier shifts and still not getting my full time hours even between two departments life is pretty much just work, kids, sleep, repeat...

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty, I Feel Pretty, and Witty, and Wise...

I can't remember what movie that song is from to save my life but it fit so I'm going with it.

This has been a strange, bizarre, emotional month and it's only 7 days in.  It seems as though I have run the complete gambit of emotions every day and some days several times to the point that I am utterly exhausted and totally bewildered.

Today however was an unusual day in a good way.  Today after 43 years,  6 months, and 14 days of life someone told me I was pretty.  Granted it was a six year old girl, but still it was said with an honest heart and truthful intent so it counts.

Now to be realistic I've never expected to be told that I'm pretty because I really am not and haven't ever been.  I was cute as babies go, and adorable as a toddler, but by the time I hit preschool/elementary school age I was seriously over weight and remarkably unhappy.  Unhappy, overweight, introverted little girls are not pretty by any stretch of the imagination, and that doesn't get better with age or even weight loss.  It doesn't get better because it's a mind set with an iron grip that never goes away.  Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying I was ugly or hideous or unsightly.  I'm just saying that someone who carries themselves shrouded in self-consciousness doesn't generally present a "pretty" demeanor to the outside world.  Not even to the people who love them and care the most about them.  That's why you will overhear the parents/friends/spouses/loved ones of these people give compliments like...  "You have such a pretty face..." or  "Well you look nice today..."

The fact that this little girl... who knows me only because she sees me at the bus stop with my youngest son... thinks I'm "really pretty" tells me that somewhere inside the death grip is beginning to loosen and allow glimpses of the person I want to be to show through.  For me that's a major step and honestly it's one I really wouldn't have thought I would ever make.

News of the week.... 
  1. Combined book sales are up to 10!!!!! Yayyyyyy me!!  Put the word out if you know anyone who reads paranormal romance. Even if they don't have a Kindle they can download the Kindle program FREE for PC, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android phones as well.  Then it's just the cost of the e-books themselves and they're super reasonable and a lot are free.
  2. Karl is selling cookie dough if anyone wants some let me know
  3. Work schedules continue to have the pungent aroma of booty nuts & Cheerios so if you want my presence at anything I need at least a couple weeks advance notice.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Sweet Words of a Child...

"Mooooom! The police are here!"

It's a phrase I've been awoken by on more than one occasion since 1989.  Actually it's a phrase I've heard more times than I could count on the fingers of both hands.  When you raise children with severe mental, emotional, and behavioral problems you have a lot of visits from the po-po.  Many times, probably most in fact, it wasn't a surprise when they arrived because I was the one who called them to come out.  The special times of course are when they show up unnanounced like they did at 9:25 this morning.

My first thought was panic of course, thinking that the storm had in some way maimed one of my boys.  Thankfully today's shocking wake up call was followed by "they're here because our door was open."

Okay.  So why was our door open?  When I got up at 2:45 or so and went down to shut off the lights both doors were locked, yet when I go downstairs the officer (who is a nice guy but doesn't think much of me or my family apparently) says the backdoor was unlocked when they got here and the front door was hanging wide open.  So I tell him that they were locked around 3am (which I later found out was about 2:45 only because I'd been awake enough to send a Facebook status e-mail... which is probably the straw that sucked the last of the power from the cell phone... oops).

So he looks at me like I'm lying.... because Lord knows there's obviously nothing missing so I must be lying about something I guess... then he says "Who is here with you ma'am?"

Now keep in mind that it was 9:20am and I had been dead asleep.  I was dressed in the t-shirt I sleep in and the jeans I pulled on as I came down the stairs.  I was confused, embarrassed, still half asleep, and not in a very good mood so my first thought was to say.  "Well I have Shemar Moore tied up in my bedroom closet and I probably just forgot to shut the door good when I ruphied him and dragged him through the ice covered parking lot and up the stairs.  He put up a hell of a struggle despite the elephant tranquilizers I bought to knock him out with.  I will definitely have to do more research on dosing next time."

Luckily this is not my first time around the block so I managed to just raise an eyebrow and say "just me and my daughter.  Her friend is here and my son, my seven year old son."

So then Officer Attitude says.  "I'm familiar with this residence."   To which I merely nodded, considering it's my fat ass that usually calls him out I'm pretty sure I already knew that.  Then he goes on to say.  "How old is your daughter and her friend?"  "17" I say...  and then he looks at me, nods his head wisely and says, "Maybe the girls went out last night."

Yeah buddy because I was a little light on funds so I sent those bitches to the corner to make a buck or two in a freaking ice storm.  It was raining ice all night and about 20 degrees, not even meth heads were out last night!  Once again I just said "Uhm maybe, I don't know though it was sort of cold."

In the end they just left and said if I think of anything to call them. What am I supposed to think of?  There was nothing missing, the last time I was downstairs both doors were shut and I'm pretty sure the front door was locked, but it's possible that I just glanced at it and assumed it was locked because it wasn't straight horizontal.  I'm sorry they had to come out for nothing, but to be honest I didn't call them and if the apartment guy had done something silly like oh I don't know... ring the fucking doorbell and see if someone answered????  Then they wouldn't have needed to come out.  Yet at the same time isn't that their job?

Don't get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for the police department and the officers on the street especially.  Their job is difficult, stressful, and always potentially deadly.  Generally I have found them to be understanding, sympathetic, and willing to help you out in any way possible... Yet somehow this morning I was made to feel like I had done, or was doing something wrong.  I was asleep, but it was 9:20 on my day off and school is cancelled.  I told them what I thought to be true which was that when I got up after the electric was on I came down to turn the lights off and thought the doors were locked... I know they were both closed because I was downstairs twice and would have noticed if the door were standing wide open.

Perhaps I'm just bitter because I had hoped that my days of hearing that particular phrase were over forever and yet there it was this morning back like a bad rash.  I will get over this as well I'm sure, and at least I have something new to blog and bitch about. :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hospitals, Party Buses, and Book Sales...

It has been an interesting week at el rancho Engle.  A week that included the self-publishing of my 2nd e-book on Kindle at, my niece's 21st birthday, and two days spent in the hospital with my youngest son.

When sales on my first e-book hitting the whopping total of 5, I decided it was time to go ahead and upload the next installation in that series.  So Guardian of Dreams was edited and uploaded and in the intervening days I have sold another copy of Saving Alexandria as well as one copy of the new book.  Definitely not an overwhelming success, but still it gives me a sense of pride that someone out there actually paid for something I wrote.  It's scarey as hell because there is that tiny I was a 300 lb teenager voice in the back of my head that still screams "They're going to hate it and laugh at you," but it's pretty much drowned out now by the big girl voice that shrugs and says "so fuckin what if they do?"
Also this week was my niece's 21st birthday for which her sister (also my niece obviously) arranged for a party bus.  A party bus I learned during the course of these events, is a bus... sometimes a limo and sometimes and actual bus... that drives you around from club to club and then delivers you home safely and without anyone driving after they've been drinking.  The actual bus type have a nightclub complete with dance floor actually inside the bus with coolers for ice and drinks, big screen tv, and a million other ammenities.  You can rent the buses for anything, doesn't have to be club hopping, and while they're pricey if you've got a group thing going and everyone pitches in then the price would be super reasonable.  I personally did not get to go on the party bus because my baby boy wasn't feeling well and I decided to stay home with him instead, but I have now decided that festivities surrounding my 44th birthday in July will most definitely include the rental of a party bus... the big one with the pole so I can take hysterically funny pictures of my wonderful family and friends on the dance pole... we'll play a Shemar Moore marathon on the big screen and dance like maniacs to a wild variety of music... everyone reading this is hereby invited to my birthday on the party and feel free to blog about it afterward because I'm pretty sure I will :)

The final chapter of my week actually started several weeks ago when my youngest son started getting signs of one of the many pesky viruses that plague primary school children.  Low grade fever, headache, stomachache; just overall feeling of yuck.  The symptoms came and left and then returned again over the space of several weeks and after a trip to the Dr and another to the ER I was pretty much given the word that there was really not much to be done about viruses.  Don't give Motrin or Tylenol unless the temp is over 101, and you don't need to have him seen by the Dr unless there is vomiting, diarrhea, or temp over 102.  I followed that advice for weeks, sending him to school when there was no temp and allowing him to continue his regular activities as long as he felt well enough to do so. 

Then last Sunday he had a wrestling tournament and that night the low grade temp, headache and stomachache returned.  I kept him home on Monday and the fever was gone by Monday night.  He was fine on Tuesday and went to school but woke up Wednesday morning complaining of pain in his calf muscles on both legs.  I sort of shrugged it off figuring he was having growing pains (he's 7 so the right age for a growth spurt) combined with wrestling and perhaps muscle ache from the virus he was still recovering from.  He went to school on Wednesday, wrestling practice Wednesday night without problem but by the time we arrived home for the evening he was having so much pain in his calves that he could barely walk.  I asked some friends in the medical field and there was concern that he could have blood clots in his legs.

Although the lack of any visible symptoms of a clot and the fact that it was affecting both calves made it seem unlikely, I took him in to see the Dr on Thursday morning.  She started him on antibiotic for a sinus infection and decided to draw some blood work just because he had been have the signs of viral infection for so long.  One of the blood tests she ran is called a CK which checks the level of muscle enzymes in the blood.  Friday morning she called me at work to say that the enzyme levels in my son's blood were extremely elevated and that he needed to be admitted to the hospital immediately so that they could flush his system with IV fluids.

Normal muscle enzyme levels are 50-173... Karl's enzyme level from the test they took at the Dr office on Thursday morning was 3600.  The condition is called Viral Myositis and reading the information about it now after the fact it seems cut and dried... in the midst of it with only a phone call saying he needed to be admitted immediately to flush away whatever is being released by the elevated enzyme levels it was frightening. 

This is where I have to say that the staff at Dayton's Children's is unbelievable. Admissions took less than twenty minutes, we were in our room with the IV started within forty minutes, and the admitting resident is required to see the child within two hours of their presence on the floor.  Our admitting resident, who I am ashamed to say I cannot remember her name; my mind was on other things I'm afraid. was phenomenal.  She was fabulous with my son, reassuring to my 85 year old mother who was nearly apoplectic in her concern, and very straightforward with me.  Her personality and bedside manner were perfectly suited to working with ill children and frightened parents.  The nurses and staff assistants were all wonderful and kept an excellent balance between closely watching my son's condition and irritating him with procedures and check ups. 

All in all it was an exhausting week topped off by a nice Saturday evening spent playing video games and dancing with my kids in our living room. Life is never easy but it's usually worth the struggle.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chugging right along...

I am now the author of not one but two self-published Kindle e-books.  At first I thought that was a pretty ballsy move considering the first one has only sold 5 copies in three weeks and has been stuck at 5 for days now.  Then last night in a fit of insomnia I realized that I literally have nothing to lose.  I don't HAVE to do anything.  There are no rules, no right or wrong, no reason not to go ahead and self-publish.  It doesn't stop me from pursuing traditional publication if I want to, nor does it require me to continue publishing book after book. 

It's sad that it has taken me nearly 44 years to realize that this is the only life I'm going to get and it's perfectly okay to live it in whatever way makes me happy.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about going out and just doing whatever you want and saying f-you to the world.  It's never okay to deliberately do things that are hurtful or harmful to yourself or to anyone else.

I think people need to do what makes them happy; what makes life worth getting out of bed for in the morning and worry about what they're "supposed" to be doing.  People seem to judge themselves and their loved ones based on what others are doing and what society seems to think is the proper course of life.  My niece recently found out that she has been accepted to Ohio State University and I'm THRILLED!  It's a wonderful accomplishment and she's an awesome kid who I'm sure will thrive and succeed in college.  At the same time it bothers me that there are kids her age who are made to feel like they're less because they've been turned down by colleges or just simply have no interest in attending.  Education is important and should always be encouraged and supported.  At the same time if someone is content and happy working in a job that doesn't demand a college education and is willing (and able) to live within the financial limitations of that sort of position then that is a life decision which should be supported as well.

I think what I'm really trying to say is that non-negative behavior should be supported.  If a kid is working and helping out at home and taking care of business is it really okay to put them down because they don't want to go to college?  If a young adult is working hard to support a little apartment and some utilities is there really any shame in being happy with that life; should they really be looked at strangely because they aren't in a "committed relationship", involved in a degree program, or yearning for babies and a mortgage?  If a single mother is struggling to get an education or working long hours to further her career is it really okay to assume her child is neglected?

Shouldn't we really encourage people to follow the path that makes them happy and successful in life instead of trying to force them down a road that someone else has chosen for them?  I could be wrong... I am wrong a lot.... But after 44 years I can say with pride that I have two college degrees and a post graduate degree and I work at Wal-Mart because it's where I'm happy.  I write and self-publish e-books because it makes me happy and gives me a sense of fullfillment.  I bake cookies at Christmas, birthday cakes for people I like, and rack my brains for silly gifts because it makes me happy; not because I expect something in return or because I want people to think I'm something special.  I do it because it makes me happy and after 44 years I've learned that nothing on earth is as important as being happy with yourself.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How the heck do you sell this stuff????

Well my e-book seems to be stuck at the number 5 and even though that's 4 more than I really expected to sell I'd still love to see that number climb. 

That brings the question to mind.  How does one market an e-book????  Word of mouth got me to 5, but what do I do now?  I know that print authors do all sorts of things to market books including book marks and flyers and other little freebies they distribute to book stores and such.  I suppose that would work for an e-book and now that I've brought it to the forefront of my mind it might be something worth considering if/when I get myself together and get my other finished books available.

Still outside of that is there something I should be doing to promote and market the book so that people know it's out there??  Any and all ideas and suggestions are welcome because to be honest I'm pretty clueless about what's out there or how any of it works.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Play it again Sam...

Are there events in your life that play themselves out in your mind over and over again like the needle stuck in a groove on an old vinyl record album?  It's been happening a lot to me lately, traumatic and all random, coming from nowhere to haunt my mind. 

Myself as a six year old in the backseat of someone's car parked in the driveway of my Aunt's house, my older brother leaning standing in the car window saying we've arrived too late and my grandmother has already passed. 

A preteen me laying on my back with headphones one listening to music when my mother came in to say that I wouldn't have to go to school the next day because my grandfather had died.

Years later, in my early twenties in the living room at my Aunt's.  The telephone receiver, on a long stretchy cord long before the cordless wonder entered our lives, dropping from numb fingers.  I'd expected to hear that my father had died, but instead the ridiculous news that my younger brother was dead.

A phone call in the middle of the night... my uncle, my father really, the one who'd raised me and spoiled me and ruined me for life without his precence... "I think he's really gone, Mar."  like there could be some doubt.

Years later, standing on a stranger's doorstep one of life's dramas interupted by another... deliver a message to my son, his Aunt Betty died today.

Then the hardest of all... maybe because it's the most recent... or maybe just because of it's unthinkable nature... the scream that pulls me from sleep with a certainty that something is horribly wrong... "Mom, get up, Aryiana's dead!"

There are happy moments too... the arrival of my first foster child, the adoption ceremonies, picking up my daughter all wrapped in a little blanket, carrying my son to the car knowing that he was finally coming home with me forever after a two year battle of politics and bullshit, the birth of my baby son... many births and weddings... the few hours of closeness I was given with my brother not knowing that it was the last time I would see him alive... Oddly they don't play themselves out nearly as often and usually only when spurred on by some reminder of that time in my life.

Yet somehow the ugly memories that have a way of creeping out of nowhere... for me anyway.  Maybe others are different.  Do you have moments that replay themselves? Are they the positive memories or the ugly traumatic ones?  Do you think there are messages we're supposed to take away from the replays or are they just a reminder that life is too short and passes too quickly?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Well imagine that!

As of today I have actually sold 5 copies of my e-book at  I'm pretty sure all five went to people I know who bought it out of curiosity (I told you I couldn't spell LOL) just because they'd heard through the grapevine or seen on Facebook that I wrote a book.  That's okay, it's still $11.16 in my pocket LOL and maybe they'll like it or maybe it will feed the breakroom gossip... again it's still $11.16 in my pocket.

I have about one more chapter to finish a detective book that I started writing about 18 months.  A tongue in cheek collaboration with some of my work kids starring the infamous detective duo of Jack Plosbo and his secretary Laura Aurora.  The relaxed atmosphere of self publishing has motivated me and The Adventures of Plosbo should be available as soon as I can get my co-collaboraters together to take some pictures for the cover art. 

Once Plosbo is up and running and I'll get back to my paranormal romance series and finish the edits for the first full length novel in the Alpha Men series.  Guardian of Dreams will go up within a week or two and then I'll have to kick into gear and finish the 2nd book in that series, the 3rd is already completed and the 4th is about half finished so if all goes well I have plenty to keep me busy over the rest of the winter and well into the spring. 

Just as I did with Saving Alexandria I will throw them up and see what happens.  It's calming to expect nothing and be rewarded with a few tidbits now and again.  :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I have an issue...

Truth be told I have several dozen issues, but not the least of them is a raging insomnia that strikes randomly and with increasing frequency.  When I was younger I had it sort of pegged as being hormonal since it arrived with annoying regularity for a night or two prior to the arrival of dear old Aunt Flo and then again for a night or two preceeding ovulation.  As someone who struggled with infertility for years one of the positive things that came from that heart rending time in my life was learning how the ebb and flo of certain hormones and chemicals can affect every single system in your body.  They can and do alter not only your moods and weight, but your sleep patterns, your taste buds, and your sensitivity to light and sound among many other odd things.

I digress.  Tonight my issue is the insomnia which has become random with what I am assuming to be the onset of the perimenopausal stage of my life.  Oh joy, new terrority to explore and new horizons of insanity to endure.  FML

Again I digress.  Tonight I muddled upon something that I think may fuel my insomnia like the inconsistant flow of my hormones.  Or perhaps it's the inconsistant flo of my hormones that is altering the chemical make up of my brain and leading me to be increasingly anal.  Or maybe I am just developing a severe case of Obsessive Compulsive disorder in my old age.  Who the hell knows.

Anyway what I discovered tonight as I was waiting for my annoyingly slow little blue laptop to chug itself to life at what was then 2:03am, is that part of my insomnia seems to be the unending feeling that something isn't right.  Something is left to be done or something wasn't done in the correct manner.  For instance;  Every night before I go to bed I take my laptop (a 10" Acer netbook actually) out of the binder that I carry it around in (it goes everywhere I go including to work) and plug it in.  I turn it on and put it on my lap whether I do anything with it or not makes no difference that is simply the routine I follow.  Only until tonight I had never given any thought to the fact that it was a routine I follow.

Tonight after reading some atrociously bad vampire stories... decent writing probably, but I didn't care for the storylines and the characters didn't grab my attention... there just wasn't enough detail and description and as I explained to my writer's group last month I am a description whore and I like a story that plays like a well scripted movie in my mind's eye.

There I go digressing yet again.  Anyway after I read the bad anthology of vampire Christmas stories and was still edgy, restless, and nowhere near sleep I set about trying various other nighttime routines that sometimes put an end to the insomnia.  I won't bore you or embarrass myself by going over them, just suffice it to say that a variety of nighttime rituals failed miserable.  I was still on edge to the point of being anxious and nervous to the borders of a panic attack... an issue to be addressed another time...  It was at that point that I gave up and turned the light on thinking to just come online and write out some blog nonsense.  I've been wanting to post a new blog for a bit and just couldn't settle on anything worth writing about. 

Anyway I realized at that point that I'd just put the binder under the nightstand with my laptop still in it.  So I pulled it out and plugged it in, and as it was chugging sluggishly to life like Frankenstein's monster in a Sierra snow storm the idea struck me that maybe none of my other nighttime rituals had worked because something wasn't right.  I hadn't followed the routine of taking the laptop out and plugging it in as I have done pretty much every single night for the last two years.  Maybe I have reached a point in my insanity where something as simple as not plugging in the laptop can keep me awake for hours. 

That thought led to the idea that maybe it was the combination of not having followed the routine and not having written a blog post like I have been hounding myself to do for the past 24 hours or more.  I've no idea why I've felt the urge to make a post, obviously I have nothing to say and certainly nothing important that anyone would need or want to read.  Yet for some reason that burning desire was there.  That need to write a blog post, the need to follow the routine; one or the other or maybe both.

Or maybe just the combination of all of those things mixed in with one person's need to feel as if they aren't utterly alone in the world during the wee hours of the morning.  That despite whatever ghosts haunt their souls and keep them from resting that somewhere out there others are suffering from some similiar ailment.

Whatever the case it seems that something has eased the torment.  The routine has been followed, the blog post is finished, and since I still have friends posting at Facebook I can assume I'm not alone in the world at 2:52am.  Whatever the reason or remedy I may never know, but I'm tired now.  I think when I say goodnight yet again to my online world, when I shut down my programs and set the laptop aside.  When I make my routine trip downstairs to turn down the heat that I turned up a few hours ago, when I set the box fan that always runs at just the right angle to make the funny sound it's supposed to make, and when I set the three pillows on my bed in exactly the right places.... this time I might actually sleep... goodnight.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I can't make up my mind...

I usually do things on gut impulse.  I'm not one to process and look at every option and carefully select an option based on the possible outcomes.  If it feels right at the moment and it isn't something that is likely to get me shot or arrested I'll go for it. 

In some odd twist of fate I also am ridiculously organized when there is something I know I have to do.  I will plan carefully, make list after list after list, make sure ever angle and option is covered and that everything is equal, balanced and even.

Now there are many things that catch me in the middle of these two bizarre split personalities.  One of those things is my writing.  When I'm writing I go with the flow.  I am a pantser; which if you know any writers you know that means that I don't plot my stories out.  My characters write their own stories and I just type it all out.  Once the story is done I go back and do a billion edits (for everything but SPAG, I hate that shit and it's one of the biggest things standing between me and traditional publication) to hone things into the shape I think it's supposed to take.

Then it's finished and I'm left wondering what the hell I want to do with it.  When I recently e-published one of my books I did so with the idea that I would feel better for having just made a decision and gone with it.  I now have a published work available for purchase at 

Only it seems to have backfired one me because now I'm left feeling unsatisfied, like there's something else I should be doing.  Maybe I should start making lists of publishers and agents again.  Perhaps I should start drafting queries and synopsis of the three novels I have finished and the 4 more that I have at least half way completed.  Then I remember how much I detest queries and synopsis and how drafted those things requires me to go back and start the dreaded SPAG edits that I would rather pick my nose in public then even begin to attempt.

I hate this "I don't know what to do" state of mind.  It leaves me agitated and feeling adrift; like I should be doing something and yet I have no idea where to begin.  It really annoys me at work when it's slow because I feel like I should be at home writing or editing or drafting letters and me knowing full well that if I do go home I'll be playing Cityville or Cafe World until it's time to go to bed.

For now I am trying to keep busy doing honing edits on the first full length novel that follows up the novella I have published at Kindle.  My friend in Florida is already asking where it's at, and while I hadn't quite decided what I wanted to do with it now that she's asked that decision is made and I will go ahead and finish this current round of edits and throw it up on Kindle as an e-book as well.  Neither of them may ever get anywhere, but at least I'll feel like I did something for a minute. 

Then maybe when the weather is warmer and I don't have to wear 200 pounds of extra clothing I will start again with the lists of agents and publishers.  Maybe I'll hire someone for the dreaded SPAG edits.  Maybe I'll use some of my income tax return to join RWA and then go Pro with my collection of rejection letters from my last round of queries and synopsis.  Maybe... or maybe not...

I warned you all in the beginning this blog would be mostly rambling... today is a perfect example LOL

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Baby Steps....

Well my e-book at Amazon still says "publishing" but in reality it is already available for purchase.  I know this because my friend in Florida bought it for her Kindle or iPhone or somthing so when I go into my sales tracking there is a little "1" in the box. 

I seem to be having a mixed emotional response to this baby step in the direction of actual publication.  First of course is excitement even though I know my friends love me and would buy whatever crap I put out like it was the lost writings of Shakespeare.  Next came complete and utter terror that I have actually and intentionally made something I wrote available to the public without so much as a pen name to safeguard my anonimity.  Finally came acceptance.  It is what it is, they will like it or hate it or be indifferent to it; they will buy it or not, and either way it will have very little impact on who I am or how I live my life.  It may bring moments of embarrassment, both the good kind and the bad, but Lord knows life is full of that no matter what.

So for anyone interested here is a link to the Amazon site and I'll give anyone reading this the same forwarning that I gave my friends.  If SPAG errors cause you issues don't read anything I write LOL

Saving Alexandria

Friday, January 7, 2011

Well I went and stuck my neck out...

I uploaded and self-published one of my books as an e-book at  It was surprisingly easy to do, now I just have to sit back and watch how fast it doesn't sell LOL

The whole thing is a little intimidating because I actually used my own name and uploaded the novella (just under 10,000 words it introduces and sort of sets up the series of full length paranormal romances that I'm working on) as it was without sending it to any of my editing people.  I'm quite certain that it's full of SPAG errors, but I actually sort of did it that way on purpose.  Not that I think it's going to be a huge seller, but I'm interested to see if anyone actually buys it how horribly offended they are by my misplacement of commas, etc.

I guess you never know unless you try and you can't win without racing... besides it didn't cost me anything except perhaps my self-confidence if it turns out even worse than I'd imagined and it's kind of cool to be able to go to Amazon, type in my name and have an actual e-book pop up available for purchase.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I'm not really an adult....

When I first started my blog I warned people that I have a potty mouth and since it was my blog and my feelings, opinions, etc. I wasn't going to censor myself. Then I put up the adult content thingy so people would be warned again.

Well I took the adult content message off today because it made me feel like a porno site. I know I'm not really adult and people can be offended by my language and not come back or they can ignore it and read what I really have to say...

Either way I win :)