Tuesday, November 24, 2015


photo credit: Ear via photopin (license)

The boy failed his hearing screening at school. Remember those? It's where you and your classmates line up outside of the nurse's office and then put on a pair of lice-infested earphones just so you can listen to a bunch of muted beeps while raising your hand, up down, up down, like Jerry Lewis on speed? It was recommended that I take Liam to get a 'real' test done at a 'real' doctor's office for a price of $50. It's not the money I care about, it's the whole idea of having to take him when I know this is all the result of a mere head cold. Okay, it's a little bit about the money.

Anyway, we go and I'm praying hard that his ears are fine, because we've already been through this before. The whole burrito: hearing test after hearing test, ear tubes, recovery, can't get water in his ears and then three layers of scalp builds up because the kid can't wash his wild monkey fringe. When he finally does wash it, a million fleas are jumping off flakes. Okay, no fleas, but you should have seen the dandruff that kid built up! The thought of going through all that again is no bueno.

But as a mother, you know. You have to.

Not sure if you've ever been to a real ear doctor before, but there are some scary a$$ tools in the examination room. Skinny metal thingys and sharp pokey objects, syringes, priers and drills, and then the dreaded poster of the inside of some poor kid's bursting cochlea. It's frightening! I have PTSD now. But of course as the parental unit I have to be the one to say, oh, there's nothing to worry about, the doctor won't use any of those instruments on you (looks frantically for cotton balls to stick in child's ears).

When the doctor comes in spouting light chatter and geniality, and tells Liam to lean back for the exam, I take stock of all the work I've done over the years. The nice clothes that fit and don't have any holes, the brand new pair of sneakers, the fillings and capped teeth because he was too wiggly to brush when little, the voids because the baby teeth didn't come out on their own and the dentist recommended they get pulled, the eyeglasses that make him look like Harry Potter, and the nice hair cut that's already growing out two days later. If I wasn't around, who would do all of this? I'm the silent worker, the unpaid, yet always ready for action myriad. My work is never finished, and yet I must carry on to the end. Kids would walk around looking like a mini-Sasquatch, if not for their mother.

All turns out well: his hearing is fine. It was just the cold. But then I knew that. I'd already done a test in the car, windows open, radio at full blast. From the back seat Liam listened for me to whisper a certain color, or a food item, or the name of his favorite game character. He heard each and repeated all. It's similar to the mommy temperature test: a hug, or a kiss on the forehead. Never fails.

Someone told me recently that their school kept sending their child home because of a fever, but the child wasn't actually sick. Turns out, it was the school thermostat. It needed fixing. A group of parents formed a coup to get it fixed.

That solved the problem.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I'm Done! For now . . .

photo credit: Life - March 13th 1970 via photopin (license)

I hate to admit how long it has taken me to finish these edits but oh my goodness it's been hard. My mind is just . . . blurg. So difficult. Emotions and stress, but darnitt I had to finish this last round or die trying. Thank goodness I have such a wonderful publisher and editor!

So now . . . what do I do? Isn't that always the problem in life? We worry and stress over something for a long time, then when it's over or almost over, we all say . . . now what? Actually the real problem is I have too much lined up and can't decide what to work on next. But that's a good problem to have and I can't complain.

One thing I like to do when I'm not super busy is take in old movies. There's something about watching Clark Gable or Charlie Chaplin or Greta Garbo that melts all troubles away. Maybe because they were so beautiful and full of magic. I practically live on TCM most of the time. It's my one true 'comfort food.' I also love to read old magazines or newspapers, mostly because I like the adverts. Who says you can't travel time?

So, what do you do to stave off the ills of life, my beautiful friends?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Life in Pictures

You have probably seen most of these if you know me on Facebook, but for those who don't here are some of my favorite pictures taken as of late. Mostly they are of my children—my favorite subjects—but some also of Henry, who is also considered family and friend. Oh! There's one of dear Coco as well.

I hope you are having a wonderful Monday.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


photo credit: That tower in that city... via photopin (license)

I struggled whether to write a post about last night's attacks because I didn't want it to come off as obligatory, especially since my third book features in Paris. There's nothing worse than using an event for self-promotion. But I did think about something interesting, and that is the fact that my book is about Love, and Paris is the city of Love. Why is it that LOVE is always the biggest victim of violence? Is it because it is seen as a weakness, a fault? It isn't. Love is the biggest, strongest, most unifying bond between two people, or a group of people, or even the entire world. Love cures all, serves all, embraces all, transforms all. It's available to everyone, at any time and in any place. It is invisible, yet obvious. Children understand it best. Look for a child and you will know what Love is in its purest essence. Animals know it. They follow it instinctively. There's no one and nothing on this earth who can't have or give Love.

So the group who hurt and killed innocent victims last night are the most unfortunate and destitute people on this earth because they can't understand the most simplest yet magnanimous bond the rest of us have the privilege to know.

And for us it will only grow stronger. From this moment forward.

Love for Paris.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Seasons, you gotta love 'em, right?

photo credit: Blizzard of March 1888 - Residence of George H. Richards via photopin (license)

At last . . . fall has arrived! I'm not sure if I should be sad or happy, because I do love fall, but it means winter is coming. And as we all know, winter is the longest, most irritating, whiny b*tch in the world. Amiright? Yeah, it is. What's funny is Julia is sooo excited about winter coming that she checked out an armfull of books about her 'favorite' season yesterday and asked me to read them to her last night. Imagine the acting skills it took to recite: "Winter is coming. Winter is coming. Everyone put on your coat and hat. The sky is gray, it might snow today! Everybody say . . . yay!!!!!!"

Cue Grumpy cat.

I mean . . . I do like winter. It's pretty and I love the hush of the world and the sound of tires crunching on fresh snow and sunrise on icicles and I like eggnog and wearing my favorite sweater.

Sorry, I ran out.

Do you like winter? Do you like snow? Come on, people . . . let me know! Maybe you'll get a prize, or maybe you won't. Pass the bottle, honey. It's El Nino.

Have a nice day.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Mind Games . . . Forever . . .

Today is John Lennon's 75th birthday. If you've read The Time Seekers you know that my rebellious young character Jesse claims to be John's illegitimate son. Bitter and seeking answers, he goes to New York to meet the famous rock star, but by the end of the book something happens that just might change history forever. Can't say without giving it away!

You guys know how much I adore John Lennon. He's been a guru, a father-figure, my fantasy lover, an imaginary friend, etc. I used to sleep with a picture of him every night under my pillow because I LOVED HIM THAT MUCH. Seriously. It was weird, but I really do adore him, and thank you very much, Tom, for telling me John was tiny—it only slightly ruined my fantasy. I'll have you know that after much research it's concluded that John was about 5' 10". So, fantasy FULL ON again.

John had proclaimed himself a 'househusband'—a term fairly new to most people in the late 70s. He took care of Sean, baked bread and generally became a recluse. Because he felt he'd let down his first son Julian, as his father had with him, Sean became his final chance to get it right. For the most part I think John did a good job, but what bothers me about those last years is the sort of imprisonment he seemed to be enduring. Yoko is an amazing artist, no one can argue that, but I've been doing a lot of research on narcissistic behavior and from what I've read she fits many of the characteristics. Was John really free to go out and do as he pleased? Was he being manipulated by someone who knew all of his weaknesses, someone who had not only control of his heart but also his money; his brand, his image? I'm really starting to wonder. Something tells me had John not been murdered the night of December 8th, 1980, he probably would have split from Yoko and started a new life. But no one will ever know for sure because we, and he, weren't given the chance.

If you look at John those last few years, he's emaciated. That's what really bothers me the most. Why didn't anyone tell him he had an eating problem? Was he being encouraged to control his food intake? It's clear he had body issues and needed help. Something in my gut says there was foul play on so many levels. Because he'd lost his mother at a young age, then his best friend, then countless other people he cared about, I think he was emotionally fragile. These are the kind of people narcissists latch onto. It makes me very sad. In my opinion, he was a victim of emotional manipulation and he wasn't living life of his own free will. He wasn't even allowed to have a bodyguard. Wow.

I always sort of envision John as a swan. He was special, and for anyone to have killed him, it's like sin of all sins. But if you look at history, many of the peacemakers have met violent ends. We can't seem to handle it. We're devolving. We've reached that level of high consciousness and have become so afraid that we've started to descend. Down, down, down we go.

If John were still alive he'd love the internet. But like the rest of us, he'd grow tired of the constant bullying and taunts, and most of all, the politics. In my opinion, he'd say, "Alright, we've had enough of being online, let's all get out and DO SOMETHING. Let's create change. Let's still be humans. We have the ability, and we've got the power. Freedom comes from within. We're all free. We're all beautiful. Seek peace. And above all, love one another."

Every time I hear the song Mind Games I get a deep, deep feeling of love and hope. Chills. That's the beauty of John Lennon. It came on the other night in the car and it really struck me how completely different the sound is. How different all of John's songs are. It's so imprinted with his soul. No one can change that or ever take it away. Happy Birthday, John. We miss you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Winds of Change (are messing up my hair)

photo credit: Time for some change via photopin (license)

Editing, still editing. Wish I could say it's the best thing in the world, but really it's kinda tough. You guys know this, but this has been a rough year, and writing—one of my biggest joys and loves in life—is like pulling teeth for me because I JUST CAN'T CONCENTRATE. All I can think about is how am I going to make money, how do I make money. Money, money, money. I've never written a darn thing for the reason of gaining a profit, but I am human, and dang it, some moola would be nice. But . . . that's life and we're all in this together.

Thought I would mention Julia, mah baby girl who's not such a baby anymore. We've got this thing going because she's so flipping smart that it's insane, and I started this game called, Hey Google. She's Google, btw. I say, Hey Google, what continent is Japan on, she says, Asia. I say, What's a snail, she says, A mollusk. I say, this that everything you-name-it, she knows it. Hey Google, what's the closest ocean to us. Well, actually, since we're in the middle of the U.S., it's both. Are you sure, because I think w'ere closer to the Atlantic. She nods slightly, making a mental note to check it out later and prove me wrong, haha. I don't mind being wrong.

Hey Google, how do I make money?

Hope you guys and gals are swinging the night away. Think of me sometimes.