The only thing I take seriously is my Freedom. And Bacon.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Don't Be A Victim Of Your Past - Be The Author Of Your Future

Drawing by KT
When I'm writing a book, I find the middle is the most difficult part - and when you think about it, it's pretty much that way with everything in life.
Relationships start out awesome - it's the middle that's the rocky part - and if you get through the middle - the rough edges smooth out and it's usually smooth sailing.
A project always starts out great - everyone is excited - the middle drags because the excitement fades - and then suddenly you're closer to the end and the speed picks up again.
I'm in the middle of a book - I've been stuck here for awhile.
Many writers advise to write even when you don't feel like it. That's what I was trying to do yesterday, force the words.
There's a scene where one character is telling the other to forget the past and move on. I wanted a really good quote for that - I wanted it to be the character's own quote. What came out was long and sub par.
Finally, I gave up on writing and watched the finale of Oprah - damn if I didn't get teary eyed - then hang out with JT - and then, on the way to the gym, an idea of how to move the story forward came out of nowhere.
Lying in bed later that night - still thinking about the book,about life really, about my life, and how lucky I am and how all the struggle and drama in my life seemed to fade when I took responsibility for everything that happened. And when crap happened to me - I'd always try to find the lesson in it, or the 'silver lining' - my life became one long rainbow. Then a quote popped into my head:
"Don't be a victim of your past - be the author of your future." It was the perfect quote for my character.
You can't re-write your past - but you can write your future. You can change your story any time you choose.
Listen bitches, if this quote - my quote - ever appears in Hang Over 3/4/5/6 - please let me know so I can sue those bastards!!!!
Now - go forth and forget about your past and write the most fantastic story of your life!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What Makes Me A Better Author Than J.K. Rowling

Okay. Sure. J.K. Rowling might be a more popular author than I am.
However -
Can J.K. Rowling dance like this - I don't think so!

or this???

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cheese Fry Pizza - Oh. Yes. They. Did.

Roma II is relatively new in our area and I grabbed a take out menu when I was shopping in the Town Center. This review is for pizza & delivery service only.
Normally, we try to eat somewhat healthy but then I had a craving for pizza. I pulled out the Roma II take out menu and when I saw CHEESE FRY PIZZA and BRUSCHETA PIZZA - I about fainted.
Not only that, but when I called they said "Yes, we can make half cheese fry and half bruscheta pizza."
Oh. Hell. Yes.
It was delivered quickly (and free delivery I might add) by a polite, well dressed, young man. I mention this, because how often do delivery guys show up with long greasy hair wearing clothes that look like they were pulled out of a dirty hamper - sadly - too often!
And the pizza? Oh. Hell. Yeah.
The fries were crisp and drizzled with cheddar cheese sauce. I mean, truly, it's having your cheese fries and pizza too.
And the bruscheta - while it wouldn't win any awards for appearance (chunky raw tomatoes on a white pizza with a green basil/garlic sauce - it would win an award for taste! It was fantastically fresh and bursting with flavor.
I loved the pizza and loved that they have, of course, the traditional, but also include Taco pizza, buffalo chicken pizza, and Roma pizza (chicken, BACON, mushrooms, honey mustard), as well as many others.
Of course, they also have a wide arrange of other goodies: hoagies, wraps, stromboli/calzone, burgers, as well as chicken piccata, francaise, marsla, etc.
One bummer? No website. (yet).
I can't wait to try more food - and will report back when I have.
For now though, I can 100% say, as far as pizza goes - This Place Rocks!!!!
Oh, and next time, I'm totally adding bacon to my Cheese Fry Pizza!!!
Roma II
416 Town Center
New Britain Pa
215 - 340-1440

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Navy Seal Who Killed Bin Laden Revealed (hilarious comedy video)

This is soooooo funny - I had to share!

Why I Hate Stephanie McAfee - The Social Media Nobody

Stephanie McAfee? Huh?
Who the fu*k is Stephanie McAfee, why do I hate*** her and why should you love her?

Because Stephanie McAfee proves that rules are made to be broken and following your passion can lead to fantastic success.

If you are not an Indie author or a frequent reader of Indie eBooks - you probably have never heard of Stephanie McAfee - but you will.

Stephanie wrote and self published Diary of a Mad Fat Girl. She didn't have a blog or a twitter account when she published it.

A former highschool Spanish teacher, Stephanie was a stay at home mom happily married to a military man who just happened to write a book when her son was napping.

She had about 300 friends on Facebook at the time.

She published Diary on Dec 25, 2010 and in her first blog entery (Dec 29) stated she had sold 12 copies.

Her big "marketing" strategy? She announced her book was for sale on her FaceBook account, and didn't use the Amazon Forum boards (as most Indie authors do). She didn't blast it on Twitter (she didn't even have a Twitter account).

Yes, many of her friends bought her book, but it was more than that - it was sheer word of mouth that soon propelled Stephanie's break through the top 100 books in the Kindle store on Amazon.

The more people read, the more they talked about it.

Now, I tried to read Diary of a Mad Fat Girl - it's not my cup of tea. It breaks every 'writing' rule - there is cliche after cliche. Many typos. Much telling - little showing.

Yet, readers LOVE THIS BOOK.

And Diary caught the attention of the LJK Literary Management Agency (Larry Kirshbaum was the CEO of Time Warner) - who signed Stephanie on with his agency in March, 2011. By the end of April 2011, Stephanie had a 3 book deal with Penguin/Nal. 

The lesson here? You do not need to be a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, you do not need to put out a typo free book, you do not need to follow the "Writer's Rule Book" - all you have to do is tell a good story.

The social media stuff - that can come later. The most important thing is to WRITE your story. And do it your way. Try to make it as polished as possible but don't be such a perfectionist that it sits on your thumb drive forever because you're too afraid it's not 'perfect.'

***I do not hate Stephanie. I've spoken with her and let me tell you, she is a down to earth Southern girl with a great sense of humor. She is sweetheart.
Am I envious - hell yeah!!! - but if anyone deserves success - it is Stephanie - in all her simplicity and warmth.

In truth, I love Stephanie - I love what she stands for - she's a renegade without realizing it. She had a story to tell, so she told it. Do you know how many books I've bought on 'branding' and 'marketing' - do you know how much time I've wasted in the 'planning' instead of the 'doing' ?

“Anything is possible. You can be told that you have a 90-percent chance or a 50-percent chance or a 1-percent chance, but you have to believe, and you have to fight**.” - Lance Armstrong

** if you're an author, substitute the word "write" for "fight." 

Now, go forth and don't worry if you don't have a social media presence, don't worry about clinging to the rules, don't try to follow in someone else's footsteps, Stephanie McAfee proves that anything is possible - that bitch!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chambers 19 - Sunday Brunch - There Will Be Breakfast. It Will Be Awesome.

This is a review for Sunday Brunch only at Chambers 19 in Doylestown, Pa. One of my friends is a fan of Chambers brunch and often posts on his Facebook about it, so last Sunday we decided to try it. Of course, I totally forgot that Sunday was MOTHERS DAY. I called around 8:30 a.m. to make reservations and though they were booked, they kindly squeezed us in. I've been a hostess at a busy restaurant and when people called for reservations at the last minute - it was always hard to keep sarcasm out of my voice, "It's Valentines Day and you want a reservation for 2 in 20 minutes??? HAAAAHAAAHAAA!" But the gentlemen who helped me on the phone was very polite. It wasn't until AFTER I got off the phone I realized it was Mother's Day. We arrived a bit early but the guy at the host stand (probably the same guy who answered the phone) - was awesome and sat us w/in 10 minutes.
Normally, brunch is only 9.99 - I mean seriously - how awesome is that???!!!! Because it was Mother's Day - it was 13.00.
Still - A BARGAIN!!
These are just SOME things that were available:
Donuts, mini scones, bagels, toast, cream cheese, jellies, veggie quiche (awesome!), a yummy dish that was like bread pudding minus the pudding -tasted like little cubes of cinnamon rolls (I forget what it was called) - biscuits and cream chipped beef (my first time having this - holy crap- it was awesome!) -  off course, all the usual suspects - eggs/sausage/bacon/ham - and to top it off - an omelet station and a Belgian Waffle station (you can top with whip cream/cherries/blueberries/strawberries). Oh, also, the home fries were awesome. I'm veryyyyyyyyyyyy picky about home fries and I was thrilled with these.
The servers were 2 awesome girls who always checked back with us for  refills.
This is pretty much standard breakfast fare - nothing that would make you want to beg the chef for the recipe- but for the price and the service this is outstanding. The food was constantly being replenished so it was nice and hot.
If you count how many times I wrote the word awesome, I think you'll understand how I really feel about Chambers 19!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Murder of Skyler Kauffman and How To Keep Our Children Safe

I had plans on posting a sugar cookie recipe today.

Instead, I woke to the news that 9 year old Skyler Kauffman was found bludgeoned to death, her small body wrapped in a blanket and thrown in a dumpster.

I am mostly upbeat and happy go lucky. I like to keep things here light and fun, a place where you know you can feel good.

Sometimes though, we have to face those things that hurt or cause pain, and, since I can't tie the man who murdered Skyler Kauffman to the back of my car and drive very slowly until he is dead, my only outlet is to write about it.

Skyler's death is senseless and should never have happened, but if we use this tragedy to revisit how to teach our children to be strong and safe, if we stay vigilant not only as parents looking our for our own children, but also as adults looking out for every child, then perhaps we can pretend to rationalization this beautiful young girls tragic murder.

To me, these are the most important factors when it comes to protecting children (aside from the usual warnings about stranger danger) -

Gut Reactions:

If your kids have a gut feeling about a person - don't squash it. Too many times we tell them "Kiss Uncle Frank!" - when the last thing they want to do is kiss Uncle Frank. Maybe it's as simple as Uncle Frank has cigarette breath - but if you force your child to be friendly to an adult (even if it is family) - your teaching them they must show affection to an adult despite the fact they don't like him/her.


Always be aware of what is happening in your neighborhood or the area you are shopping in - strange van, strange cars, strange people - even if you don't HAVE kids, I think we need to look out for all children. I'm not saying to call the police if you see a white van (or unknown car) driving in your neighborhood, but be conscious of the driver, the description of the car, if you have a gut reaction, jot down the plate number.

Know Your Neighbors: 

Get to know your neighbors and talk to them. This is something I need to get better at. I "know" a few neighbors - but I certainly don't know them all. We had a situation a few months ago where a man had moved into a house and he was listed on the Offender Locator App as a registered sex offender. I spoke with some neighbors about him, the police notified the families with kids who live by him, and I always kept an extra eye open. He moved out after only a few months, but it was quite an eye opener. We live in a very quiet nice neighborhood, but that means nothing. Also - not very many sex offenders actually register - a reminder to stay vigilant at all times, and keep communication with your neighbors open.

 The only way to put an end to crimes against children is a no tolerance policy. Our justice system, however, is so difficult to navigate through, and the lawyers put the victims and families through so much grief, many families opt not to prosecute.
Personally, I think we should tie them to the back of a car and drag them to a slow, painful, death.
But since the system is not going to change soon enough, and since my dragging idea would never see the light of day, the only option we have is to arm our children with the tools they need to asses situations, allow them to respect their gut reactions, and keep an eye out for children everywhere.

"Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come."
--Rabindranath Tagore

Rest In Peace, sweet Skyler.