HAPPY 2015 !!!!

Wow! 2014 is gone. While I’m not happy getting another year older, I’m looking forward to a fresh start writing-wise. 2014 has been my least productive year since I started writing, although not a day went by when I didn’t think about one of my work in progress novels. There are three of them, each over 10K words. I’m not really sure how that happened, but it did and 2015 is the time to get busy and fix them.

In 2014, my e-books started out selling very well, but sales soon went south. Not sure if I’ll do that again. I like having control of the process, but I’d like it even more if I was really into publicizing and marketing. I got good reviews, but there are so many books out there that is really hard to compete or stand out.

This year I plan to finish two of the three novels at least. That means writing every day, probably during lunch. The Camaro will be a bit tighter to work in than the F-150, but I’m sure I’ll manage. I will query agents with these and see what happens.

I need to re-capture the enthusiasm I had when I first started writing. I need to just write and quit thinking about the mechanics, to create without the boundaries I’ve put on myself from reading too many books on writing. I also need to update the blog more often. 2014 was a pitiful year for the blog. I lost my other blog in 2013. I have it on my hard drive, but haven’t found a good and fast way to re-install it yet.

On a personal note, the kiddos are all home on break. It’s amazing how small the house seems when everyone is back home. I love it though and it’s going to be tough to see Jennifer and Joey head back to school. On the bright side, at least the parking situation will get better. My back yard is a mud pit of rutted tire tracks. I’m sure the neighbors love us. Christmas was good as well.

On the day job front, things are changing. I got a new manager and I’ll that’s all I’ll say about that until the situation changes.

I do plan to read more books (real books and not e-books) and play less on my iPhone in 2015. I have $100 in B&N gift cards so that shouldn’t be an issue.

Right now the house is pretty quiet. All of the kids have yet to come home from their NYE parties and such. Being that I have so much more down time now that all of them are driving, I should be able to write more. But typical me, I wasted that time.

Well, everyone should be coming home soon and I have black-eye pea gumbo to make. TTYL.

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Back To The Grind

This morning after moving the clock back one hour, I figured it was time to get my act together. I have at least three WIPs that have been shoved away on thumb drives, hours of work that will probably go nowhere. I guess I kind of lost the will to create anything.

Between the day job, two kids in college, another senior getting ready to leave, and a junior with less of a desire to further his education than I did to write all year, it’s been pretty hectic. There were another important things sucking up all the time . . . or maybe it was the stories I was writing. I just wasn’t that into them. They didn’t hold my interest. I needed something new and fresh, something that hadn’t been done for a while.

That’s changed over the past two weeks. I have a great new story idea. It’s a genre that’s not hot right now. I’m tired of riding those waves. I’ve already have the log line rolling around in my head, characters are starting to develop, and the plot is coming together. Best of all it’s a historical, which means research. Loads of research and I found a crap-ton of books on the subject, actual historical documents scanned and formatted as e-books free at Barnes and Noble. I can also use some characters from other stories. I haven’t been this excited about starting a project in quite some time.

Yesterday, I spent a few hours updating blog look. WordPress did away with the blogroll feature so I had to go old-school HTML in a text box. It’s back and will get larger as I get more time to locate the links that I had on my old blog. I also had to manually delete 27K, yes 27,000, spam comments in pages of 20 ea. I had my blog set to no comments, but I think one of the WP updates changed it. I’ve reset it to no comments again and will definitely keep a watchful eye though. If you want to comment on anything just go my Facebook page.

In other news, we got the packet to choose our benefits for next year at work. I felt sorry for all of the smokers. If they don’t participate in a smoking cessation program, their health insurance will go up $50 per month. This troubles me because, although I’m not a smoker, it is a slippery slope and we all have to sign an affidavit saying if we use tobacco or any kind of nicotine product or not. I can see future year targets of rate increases to being overweight, drinking any measureable amount of alcohol, and being inactive. I let HR know of my concerns, but there’s nothing I can do. It does remind me of this poem though:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.  – Martin Niemöller 1946

I know, I’m probably overreacting. I hope I am.

Whelp, I have to go do the evening chores. I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

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Happy Birthday Lizzy!

This little girl turned SEVENTEEN today. Happy Birthday Sis!


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Remembering Those Who Sacrificed It All For Our Freedom

Today we Honor You. May we always remember freedom is never free.


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Bad, Bad Blogger

Wow. Time completely got away from me. Where did it go? Working the day job, editing (but not nearly enough) and HS School softball season. Another reason I haven’t blogged is because I wasn’t happy with the way I designed my new site and I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with it . . . so I didn’t do anything. I’m in the process of doing another change. Please bear with me.

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Happy Birthday Jennifer!

scan0052My little princess turns 19 today! We are taking her to Outback for dinner with the family. Pretty soon, hubby and I will be empty-nesters. God help me!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.




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My Blogging Resolution . . .

scan0203-1 . . . went out the window really fast. I’m such a slacker. Before I start, guess who is turning 21 tomorrow??? Yep, this little guy. It was once hard to believe such a little bundle of dependency would grow in the 6’3″ bundle of dependency, but he has. He’s doing well in college so I shouldn’t complain. But I’m his mom, so I can. Happy Birthday, Joey!

I’m not one to get sappy and teary-eyed, but what mom ever thinks their oldest is really EVER going to grow up? Of course I’m proud of who he is and the man he’s become, but in my mind (and in his most of the time) he’ll always be around fourteen-years-old.

He’s tearing himself away from his busy Frat-life to have dinner with the family tonight. I need to remind him to pick up Jennifer before he drives over here.

Lizzy has had her first sports article of the season in the Charlotte Observer written by Corey Inscoe. Here’s a link. The interviewer called her last week, which caught me a little off guard. I don’t know about you and your kids, but when my sixteen-year-old talks to the press before we’ve had a chance to work on what she needs to say, it scares the shit out of me. Thankfully, she relied on the old clichés and didn’t talk in circles much. The article even mentions Jennifer.

Here are some snippets: “Birch, who has committed to play college ball at UNC Charlotte, said she was honored by the accolades but didn’t expect all of them; but she had the numbers last year to back up the awards.”

She also can teach it to other players, which will come in handy this season. The Patriots have seen two other all-state players – pitcher Morgan Benson and shortstop Jen Birch, Lizzy’s older sister – graduate last year.”

“It helps to have a player like Birch to lead the program forward.”

She was also mentioned in the Matthews Mint Hill weekly in the Spring Sports Page.

Yesterday, I picked up Jennifer and we drove to watch Lizzy’s school team (and Jen’s old team) play 3 scrimmage games. Eh, you can tell they were rusty from having the winter off, but I was pleasantly surprised with our pitching and our infield. Outfield, needs a little work as does Lizzy’s bat if she ever wants to see a .691 batting average again.

I haven’t written a da-gum word in over two weeks. The company I work for has mega-seasonal business and it is now upon us. The same old factory delays, component shortages, shipping issues, and overly complicated processes are rearing their ugly head, and I’ve been working through lunch trying to keep up with it all. There have been some big (and positive) changes though. A huge realignment was announced on Friday, along with some much needed shedding of a few old-guard employees who were detractors. For the first time in a long time I will not dread going into the office on Monday.

It’s supposed the in the 70’s temperature-wise today which is quite the improvement over the shatty weather of late. In closing, I’ll leave you with some snow pics (and a Lilly pic. She’s such a show-off).


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A Letter and an Apology to . . .

. . . my future grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

After our dictator-in-chief delivered his speech of lies earlier this week, I’m afraid this pivotal time will be forever considered as the end of our wonderful nation, which is supposed to be based on Constitutional Law. It has sadly become a nation based on regulatory agencies, a convoluted legal doctrine and tax structure, crony Capitalism, special interests, and protected classes. I need to tell you where I stand during these trying times, which is the wrong side of popular opinion but what I feel is the right side of history. Hopefully you will read my words one day and understand more about me.

First, I want to tell you I love you and I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being asleep while the evils of progressivism crept into all aspects of our once free society, taking away our freedoms under the guise of fairness, “helping our fellow-man”, and lately national security. I’m sorry I stood by while God and prayer was being meticulously and litigiously removed from the mainstream and being a Christian and a Conservative made one a fringe kook and a pariah. What am I? I guess I’m the fringe kook pariah. I’m okay with that.

Where did this all start? I’m not a hundred percent sure, but based on my research, I think this all began with a power shift away from the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and state and local power and towards federal regulations and progressed further when the US was removed from the Gold Standard, and even more with the implementation of the Federal Reserve Bank. It all sounds good on the surface, I guess, but I believe it was the start of crony capitalism and opened a window for a progressive, centralized power-grab by corrupt politicians and sadly, it’s snowballed from there. I believe the critical components of a successful Capitalistic society are a solid moral fiber, a fierce and unyielding personal constitution of honesty, integrity, and a healthy fear of God.

Somehow, those mere mortals in charge made themselves God-like and we “the people” didn’t seem to notice or mind our new ruling class. Naïvely, we kept silent. We never asked ourselves until lately as to why almost everyone in Congress are much more wealthy than they were when they were first elected. Why else would such bitter and vindictive old men and women stay so long in one job? I can assure you it was to line their own pockets and to fund their own pet projects at our expense. And now they have to nerve to get on their pulpit and preach about income inequality? We deserve what we get because we kept electing them. It’s still a tough pill to swallow, but swallow it we must.

Like millions of other Americans, I’m awake now, although it may be too late. I didn’t vote for this man either time he was running for election. However, he’s not the only one to blame and previous leaders I willingly supported also contributed greatly to the deficit spending and the financial burden you are now dealing with. I am so ashamed. Ashamed of my apathy, my ignorance, and my lack of involvement even though I now know the truth. To be honest, by the time many of us woke up, we were already being attacked from all sides by this progressive onslaught and it is a bit overwhelming.

The First Amendment is under attack by supporters of this administration screaming racism, using the IRS to target and intimidate so-called dissident groups, and sadly, using the lap-dog press to slander the character and financially ruin anyone who dares speak out against this tyranny. They don’t realize the very tactics they use on others will eventually be turned on them. History repeats itself and I hope I live to see some it.

Our Second Amendment is at risk as well, with stringent gun control laws our federal and state governments are attempting to implement and when/if they can’t get those, they’re going after ammunition with regulations. I hope you get to enjoy the Taurus .38 special that I hope will be handed down as well as the Smith and Wesson 9 mil I recently purchased, and the AR15 I hope to have before I die.

The Fourth Amendment of illegal search and seizure, has been basically shattered, specifically with regards to the NSA spying. Worse is the figurative shitting on the Bill of Rights by our dear leaders.

This administration’s illegally governs by executive order and our stupid Congress stands and applauds “our king” while he continues to nullify all of their equalizing power. They have become lemmings, cheering their own demise, not unlike the Roman Senate centuries ago. Our judicial system is also corrupt and politicized. We are no longer a nation of laws but a nation of men, corrupt judges, greedy attorneys and protected classes of citizens. A nation for the people, by the people is just a grand idea, nothing more.

I want you to know where I stand on issues that will most definitely affect the way you live, unless this nation hits the brakes on this perverse progressive agenda. There are so many, but I wanted to address a few. Specifically:

1. Legal abortion. Please know that I’m neither a monster, a murderer, or a proponent of this horrendous blight on this country. To me, this isn’t much different from the sin of slavery or Communist Russia or Maoist China killing millions of their citizens. We will be harshly judged by history on this one.

2. Deficit ($17 trillion as I type) spending to include Obamacare, stimulus, the bank bailouts, and any other bailouts that have yet to happen. The debt we are leaving you is inexcusable and I want you to know I wanted no part of these labor union and big-business payoffs for Democratic votes. It’s sickening.

3. Common Core. I’m so sorry you’re not getting the best education possible. I’ve written my State Representatives, but in the end, it’s all about Federal money pouring into the state coffers and future customers for Microsoft Corporation with all of the data mining attached to it, and not about your education. Your on your own with this one, but never, ever stop seeking the truth.

4. Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants. Such utter disregard for our laws and our open borders has made this country much more dangerous than it ever should be. Rewarding criminal behavior is in itself criminal. The burden of these people on our social programs and criminal justice system is unacceptable and is done so only for the inexpensive labor, future labor union member dues, and future votes for democrats. Stay safe and aware.

5. The Federal over-regulation to the point where the American Dream is virtually unattainable except to a privileged few. It’s not the way it was meant to be.

6. Despite that our dear leader said, man-made climate change is not settled and the subsequent overreach by the EPA (Agenda 21) is out of control. Considering every breath we exhale a dangerous emission is asinine. Never has a larger hoax been played on the world for profit and control. The data has been proven to be doctored by so-called scientists to keep their grant money and hopefully this will be looked upon and laughed at one day.

Droughts are not increasing nor is the polar ice melting. The climate changes. We have cold winters and hot summers. We should not be taxed and regulated for it, especially when other emerging industrial nations aren’t as regulated. I am a good steward of the environment, but much of what happens is beyond anyone’s control. Our god-like leaders perpetuate this lie to feed their enormous appetite for control of all of us.

7. Gay or Straight Marriage – Our government needs to get the heck out of all it and ALL social issues. We can decide how to live our own lives.

Please don’t misunderstand, I agree a rich country like the United States needs to help those that need to be helped. It is an obligation we have as Americans to our fellow Americans, but to saddle you with the financial burden is unfair. I understand that with prosperity comes responsibility and those individuals who are mentally and/or physically unable to take care of themselves, the elderly, the very young, and those who are down on their luck need to be provided for. But it is obvious that this cannot be managed well on the Federal level and needs to be pulled back to the state and local levels. The abuse and fraud of these programs both domestically and recently internationally is unfair and infuriating to those play by the rules, do the right things, responsibly manage their own lives, and pay their taxes. It is especially unfair to you because we cannot sustain these costs without deficit spending.

There are voices of dissent who speak out against this tyranny with great risk to themselves. To list them here would bring too many vile and contemptible comments to this blog. Seek them out and read about them. It will not be easy as their words are being scrubbed from the historical record almost as soon as they are spoken. Always remember history is written by the winners.

In the end, I know you will do well. It’s in your genes. Be true to yourself, maintain a healthy fear of God, help others in need, and keep a clean conscience. Apologize when you’re wrong and do not gloat when you are proven right. Stay humble, honest, live simply, and lastly, never, ever believe you are alone and know that you are truly, truly, loved.


Your Grandmother
Your Great-grandmother

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Clean Up

083Today, I organized all of my online pictures and cleaned up a ton of old files on the computer. Homework from 8th grade and older – gone! Stock photos of past projects – buh-bye. 20.83 GB has been emptied from the recyle bin. In addition, I made all new folders for everyone’s crap and filed all the photographs in files by the year they were taken. It’s funny when you find little gems like the photo on the left of Jimmy. I don’t know when it was taken, but it is hilarious.

I purchased Carbonite to back up everything. I’ve seen the blue screen of death on the desktop twice now, and if I have to buy a new computer, I don’t want to have to pay $75.00 / hr to retrieve all of my old crap. Carbonite will be much less expensive and easier to retrieve.

I don’t know what has gotten into me. Yesterday, hubby and I cleaned the house and we didn’t kill each other. It’s weird, I tell ya.

Lizzy has been nominated for the Scholar Athlete Award for the 7th Annual Greater Charlotte Hot Stove League Awards Dinner. Although it is certainly an honor, I’ve always been leery of this organization and I don’t even know who nominated her. I know I didn’t. We had a less than stellar experience years ago at a softball Battle of the Border showcase with Jennifer. If this organization was completely honest, Lizzy would have been nominated for High School Softball Player of the Year and she would win. No one else in the area can touch her stats or number of awards in 2013. Of course tickets are $40.00 for this event, but each finalist each one free one. I told hubby he could go.

My truck is in the shop – new brakes, new starter, and new flex plate . . . and $1400.00. OUCH!!!! Just when you think you get ahead of the bills, reality slaps you. I’ve been driving Jennifer’s Mustang to work. It must be my age because even though I love the look of a Mustang, that lovely feeling of dragging my ass down the highway doesn’t really appeal to me. Not to mention the lack of automatic seats, seat warmers, a radio programmed with stations I recognize, and most of all, headroom.

I did get 8 chapters of handwritten edits for STEALING HOME into the computer this weekend. I wanted to get this done by the end of the month, but I haven’t even contacted anyone about cover art yet. I’m such a slacker . . . or maybe I just don’t have any idea what I’m actually looking for in a cover yet.

Nothing much else has been going on except the day job, editing, and learning how to cook for four people again, instead of six. It sounds easier than it actually is. Needless to say there are lots of leftovers. Speaking of which, I’d better get busy. Dinner ain’t going to cook itself!

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Being a Little Self-Indulgent

ImageIt’s mine . . . all mine. Merry Christmas to ME!!!! I love this handbag. Does this make me shallow? I don’t care if it does, I bought it and I’m not sorry!

The Christmas decorations are gone, the New Years celebration is over, and now it is time to get back to real life.

It’s cold here. I know I have no right to complain, but I am. It’s freakin’ cold. I don’t think the temperature got above 33 degrees today and since we were all home most of the day, hubby built a fire in the basement wood stove. It’s been nice and toasty in the house all day.

This morning Lizzy and I drove to the portrait studio for my author photos. I just did headshots and he wouldn’t let me see them until he finished with Photoshop. That’s probably a good thing because I’m not the most photogenic person. It’s all about the lighting. Fingers crossed they turn out well because I need them.

Joey and Jennifer go back to college this week. Jennifer has a 3.8 GPA, made the Chancellors List, and was accepted into the National Honor Society. She finally got her transcript from the community college where she took classes as a high school senior and is officially a sophomore. I’m really proud of her.

Joey . . . well he’s still in good standing. Joey is like me. C’s get degrees. He got two C’s and three B’s. It’s not the best, but I’m okay with those. I’m proud of him too, even though he overdrew his bank account again.

Joey has moved out of the “mold house” and into a new apartment. We’ll move all of this stuff in tomorrow. I hope it warms up a bit because I’m a royal bitch when I’m cold. Jennifer will be moving back into the dorm on Tuesday. Classes start Wednesday. I think they’re both ready to go back to school. They’ve had quite a long break.

Jimmy and Lizzy start back to school on Monday, so here’s to morning traffic being a nightmare again. Ick! Jimmy was off restriction during the break, so tonight is his last “night of freedom” until he gets his grades up. He’s spending the night at a friend’s house.

This weekend I spent a bit of time on my new website. It still needs a lot of work, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. I also spent some time doing marketing / promotion research. I haven’t found the magic bullet yet. I don’t think there is one, but I’ll keep looking.

I’m so caught up at the day job that I don’t know what to do with myself. My usually out-of-control email is down to less than ten. I normally have over a hundred unread at any given time. It was mind-numbing. My other tasks are caught up, my desk is dusted and organized and I’m all ready for a new year of crap. Now, if I can stay on top of it, I’ll be doing good.

Here’s to 2014! Have a great rest of the weekend. To all of you northerners – stay safe and warm!

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