Moving Sucks, part two

First of all, yes, I missed another week. Shame, shame! And right after ThrillerFest! Sort of... But, as I warned--I'm in the middle of moving. It should be weird that I hear that Monty Python voice in my head shouting, "Get on with it!" It's not, though.

I bet you're wondering how this is part two, right? Part one was the last time I moved. It was two and a half years ago, right as my debut novel was being released. My timing sucks, doesn't it? Unfortunately, life doesn't always flow how and when we need it to. 

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Upcoming events: Summer of 2018

There's a lot of fun to be had when you gather a bunch of authors together. This year, I'm doubling my fun by attending two different author's conferences. The first is just around the bend and I couldn't be more excited. As a member of the International Thriller Writers, I'll be attending my third consecutive year at ThrillerFest in NYC, from July 10th to the 14th. The second will be in my hometown of Kansas City, Missouri--Show Me Your Books KC, September 7th and 8th.

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Where the F@%k are all the Book Reviews?!

If you've become a regular follower of my blog, I'm sure you've asked yourself, "I thought this was Food & BOOKS. Where are all the fucking book reviews?" Easy...they're in my blog archive. You see, I was writing blogs about books I've read long before I started writing about food every week. I STILL have more book reviews than food entries and I'm trying to catch up.

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Tourist stuff after ThrillerFest XII

After ThrillerFest was over, I took the chance to stay in New York and do some tourist stuff. Last year, my husband and I only had part of Sunday to do things before we left. This time, I booked a flight for Monday night so that we had all of Sunday and most of Monday to see some sites. My niece hadn’t been to New York since she was fourteen. She said most of what she remembered was bus tours. Pssh! Nah, girl…I got this. We’re gonna see some shit on the inside.

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First Sight of Otep

I was standing off to the left side of the stage that was set up in what was normally a parking lot, except that the boundaries of Sandstone Amphitheater would be expanded for Ozzfest, Warped Tour, and other such festivals to make room for third, fourth, or fifth stages. I remember the tent nearby behind me was a man selling hats for dreads and I’d bought one for mine. I watched the stage being set up for the next band. The schedule said OTEP. I’d never heard of them, but that was why I was there—to find new bands to listen to. I saw a petite blonde woman in a red bandana cross the stage. I remember thinking how cool it was that this band had a female roadie. She set out some props and adjusted the mic stand. I assumed it was for sound check, but then the band started to play.

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Easter and Alzheimer's

It was six years ago that my brothers and I went to our grandparents' house for Easter. I had insisted on cooking all of the sides, but Grandpa insisted on buying the ham from Honey Baked Ham Co. Since those are quite expensive, I wasn't going to object. I don't remember every dish I made, though I can assume it was the usual foods I make for holidays. Deviled eggs, twice baked potatoes, green beans, croissants, etc. etc.

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Easily Distracted

When I was in Kindergarten, my teacher had a parent-teacher conference with my dad. My parents were already separated at the time, so my mom wasn’t there. I guess they took turns or something. I was staring up at the high-ceilinged corner above the front door of the classroom. I did not watch them or give any indication whatsoever that I was listening to them, though of course I was. I was always listening to those around me—I was still struggling to understand the actions and reactions of my fellow human beings. I suppose, in many ways, I continue to struggle with it today.

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Fifty Shades of Fucked Up

The following is a true story. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent, as well as the guilty. I recently went on a short-notice road trip to help out a friend. It wound up being far from what I had expected. Upon hearing highlights from my day trip, in which I spent almost sixteen of my twenty-six hours of absence from my home either sitting in or driving my car, a coworker told me, “That’s fifty shades of fucked up.” I decided he was right, and told him that he just named my blog. Thanks, Chupi.

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My View of the Train Wreck

I’ve been staying away from the news as much as I can, but it’s hard not to slow down and examine a train wreck sometimes. So, in the first week, I spent considerably more time on Facebook than I usually do, reading peoples rants, opinions, and vitriol. It broke my heart that some people are behaving the way they are. I commented minimally. Usually, just to be funny when others were making jokes. I mean, a person still has to smile and laugh. Everything can’t always be serious or terrifying or outrageous. When I read the news, I made sure it was from sources I know and trust, not new or unknown sites.

It has been a terrifying ten days. I’ve cried more times than I’d like to admit, though only once has been for myself. I’m white, middle class, and born in America. My only downfall is that I’m female, and really have always been more of a lower middle class. But I have my rights as an American citizen and they can’t be taken away from me unless I do bad things.

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I Need a Bigger Plate

It has been way too long since I've posted a blog, so I'm writing this one on the fly. I never, ever do this. Three in the morning, I should be sleeping, but instead I'm posting something that I'll not edit, not re-read. Something I never do. I must always read it again and again, searching for imperfections, stumbling or clumsy language. Not tonight. I just don't have the time.

But alas! I'm losing followers. Come back! I'm creating content, I swear it. I have so much on my plate as far as writing goes right now. I've written my ThrillerFest blog, but I need to read it again and again. I need to insert some links, pictures, and all that jazz. I'll post it once I've actually written my coinciding post about the vacation side of my trip to NYC. For some reason, I've had it in mind that I'd post them on the same day.

I've also been super busy using some of the knowledge I gained at ThrillerFest. I've been editing book two like mad so I can get it to my publisher. But, oh...there's so many rewrites now. And then there's my pirate story.

Everyone wants to hear about the Pirates of Madison Island Mental Hospital. Yes, yes, my dearies, hear of them you shall. Soon, soon. One must be patient before getting to read about the patients.

I'm going to do my best to make it free as a downloadable ebook for anyone who signs up for my mailing list. The mailing list, I've also been working on figuring out. If, for some reason, I'm unable to make that work, then I intend on making the Pirates ebook free for everyone via Kindle. But as far as a time frame, I'm looking at at least two months, and that's if I'm lucky at figuring out Scrivener, which I've yet to dive in to. Apparently, I'm just an idiot when it comes to computers and such since everything that's supposed to be soooo easy takes me weeks or even months of screwing with it to figure out how to make it do certain things I want it to do. Rawr. 

Ok. Goodnight, folks. I've got to go sleep for a few hours before I have to go work twelve hours at my paycheck and insurance job. ^-^

 

On This Day in History

Sixty-eight years ago today, my grandparents met on a double date. He was only twenty, and she was two months shy of nineteen. Now, they weren’t on a date with each other, but that didn’t stop them from chatting all evening. Grandpa told me that he knew that night that she was the girl for him. It didn’t take him long to propose, but Grandma had been raised to not rush into something as serious as marriage. She told him that they had to wait for at least two years. He agreed, albeit begrudgingly.

Sixty-six years ago today, my grandparents were joined as man and wife.

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Why I Married a Muslim Refugee

My husband is a wonderful man. He is kind, gentle, and sweet. He holds doors for me whenever we go out. He lets me take the first shower so that I don’t run out of hot water when I wash my super long hair. Whenever he gets up and goes into the kitchen, he asks me if I need anything. He does the housework for me when I’m sick. And every day, he tells me that he loves me. But not everyone likes my husband because so many of the people that are—or were—in my life won’t even give him a chance. Why? Because he is Muslim and I am not. He’s not just Muslim, but Palestinian. And in Krav, we were taught to hate Palestinians.

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The Bitter Taste of Racism

I've spent most of my life working in customer service. In one way or another, every job I've ever had required me to interact with paying customers. Those jobs taught me a lot about people. They also gave me reason to watch others when they interact with people who are just trying to do their jobs.

When I order takeout, there are only a handful of places that I go. I tend to be a regular customer at restaurants where they know me. I like to order there so that I can look around and see that it's clean. If someone else is making my food, I prefer knowing that they're going to do it right and that they regularly follow food safety standards. There are three places that I frequent where friends of mine work. I was at one of them earlier this week when I witnessed a bizarre and racist encounter.

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Jesus Bacon

I realized a while back how inundated we are with advertising for bacon. It seems like every fast food commercial is advertising something new with bacon. Even numerous sit-down-and-order-from-a-waitress restaurants have TV ads for their bacon slathered dishes. This got me thinking about how much pork is marketed in this country.

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It's an "S" not a "Z"

I glared up at the replacement minister—the stranger—who was conducting the funeral service for my grandma. She’d mispronounced her name. Again. She didn’t notice my look. I don’t think anyone did. Only a few people could’ve seen my face, anyway, from where I was sitting. I was in the front right corner of the chapel—exactly where I’d sat just three weeks earlier for my grandfather’s funeral.

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