Follow by Email

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Growing Pains

Something happened last night that's been making me giggle ever since. I figured I'd share it with you all and give you a break from my 'Rants'. Unfortunately, it will be at the expense of my son. Sorry Jake!

Lately, my son, the teenager, is finding it harder and harder to get up in the morning. And, of course, with me as his mother he knew he had to find a solution to this problem before he got into trouble. So he's been going to bed earlier (on his own) and has been on time every day for weeks now.

I just figured he'd finally started listening to me. I told him to set his alarm a couple minutes early, have all his clothes and school stuff ready the night before so that all he'd have to do is get up and get dressed. Then he just needs to come downstairs, have breakfast, use the bathroom and wash up.

But, I guess my son had another plan. Here's how I found out:

Last night Jake went to bed at 8:00pm. Around 9:00pm he came downstairs and ran past me to get to the bathroom. When he ran past me I noticed he was fully dressed. All he was missing was his sneakers....... *blinks*.........

So then he gets out of the bathroom and starts to walk past me when I said, "You're sleeping fully clothed?" He just mumbled something and went back upstairs. The mom in me wanted to follow him up and make him put night clothes on so he'd be more comfortable, but I gave it a second thought and just chalked it up to him being a teenager so I left him alone.

About 20 minutes had passed when suddenly, he came running back downstairs saying, "Wait, wait, wait. I need to ask you something." he came and stood in front of me. "So, I was spraying cologne in my armpits so that I'll be fresh for school tomorrow and I missed and shot myself in the eye. I washed out my eye but now my eye is all pink. Am I gonna be okay?"

*blinks*...................Hahahahahahahhahahaha!!!!

I was shocked. I sat there staring at him with my jaw gaped open. I couldn't believe it. LOL!! It all made sense. Of course he wasn't listening to me. How stupid could I be? He took the 'Jake' way out. He was getting fully clothed, spraying himself with cologne and going to bed so that when he woke up all he had to do was put his shoes on and go downstairs to eat and pee. Boom. Done.

Well, that explains the funky odor in his room and how quick he's been in the bathroom lately. It also explains the cavities he's getting filled this Friday and that certain.....ahem....guy problem he's been having lately. Bad hygiene. Wow. I knew boys were gross but my gosh, do they compete for awards in grossness or what??

After an outburst of laughter, I calmly explained why spraying your armpits with cologne is not a good alternative to bathing and using deodorant. Then I explained to him that his visit to the dentist should be punishment enough for not actually brushing or flossing his teeth. And if that didn't kick him in the pants, I reminded him of the two young ladies he's been trying to befriend. If all else fails, the girls will tell him his breath stinks and he needs to shower. Maybe then he'll listen to me. LOL!!

Kids.......*laughs*

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Racism Today

Today, I'm here to rant.

It's been all over the news, all over the world wide web and on everyone's tongues. Racism. I honestly want to reach out and strangle everyone. Just throttle the hell out of all of you people screaming racism and police brutality.

I truly wish cops could press charges against every single ass hole who resists arrest. I think you've all lost your damn minds. Do you KNOW what country this is?? Do you know the LAWS of the country you live in?? If you don't, then get the F out. Go home, cuz this aint it.

I don't care what color you are, if the cops tell you to do something, you better goddam do it and you better say "Yes, ma'am" or "Yes sir" while you do it.

I just got finished watching yet another video collage of black people getting beat up by cops. You know what I saw (in most of them)? I saw suspects resisting arrest. I saw them fighting back, refusing to put their hands behind their backs, running away from the police, attacking police.......REALLY?? WTF is wrong with you people????

When they say America is the land of the free, they don't mean free to do whatever the hell you want and F* the laws. It simply means that you are free to take the opportunities this country provides for you so that you can have a wonderful life......as long as you follow the laws. If you don't follow the laws, you lose those freedoms.

I'm not saying that it never happens. I have personally met several police officers who abused their powers and at least 95% of them have been punished for that. It does happen, I know that. But people are trying to say that black people are the biggest targets of white police officers. I'm WHITE and I was a victim of that 'abuse of power'. There are tons of people of all colors and religions getting their share of abuse in this country.

I'm so sick of black people screaming racism and pointing the finger at white people! You make me sick. You don't even KNOW what it was like to be a slave and still you throw that in the face of every white person you see. I can safely and honestly tell you, I'm a white person and I have NEVER hit, yelled at, abused, accused, whipped, raped, slapped, stabbed, shot or did anything else of that nature to a black person. NEVER. Yet, because I'm white, whenever I go into a predominantly black neighborhood (which I work in), I get glares, stares, I've been sexually harassed, chased, burglarized, screamed at, stalked, called racial slurs (such as white cracker, ghost bitch and suburb bitch), and so on. I've never hurt anyone. I mind my own business and I've NEVER provoked any kind of negativity in any way and yet, this is what I get......because I'm WHITE. And the F* BLACK people are screaming racism??? Are you SERIOUS???

I simply get out of my car and walk over to my boss's door and suddenly, there's a black man sneaking around the corner in the back yard, rapidly approaching me and asking me if I have any money. Are you F*ing serious???? What the hell is wrong with people?? I go to work and when I try to leave I find my car windows smashed out and all my stuff is missing. I called the cops (who happened to be 2 black women) and guess what they said to me? "Do you really want me to even write this up? I mean, chances are, unless you catch them on camera or red handed you'll never get your stuff back. They're gone." This is what she said to me. I said, "Officer, there are fingerprints in blood on the dashboard. Can't you do something with that?" Guess what she said.....go ahead, guess.

"NO." That's what she said. "We don't do that unless a serious crime has been committed." Then she drove off. Wow. Just wow.

I am generally a 'nice person'. I smile at people as they walk by. I say hi. I listen when people approach me and hear them out. I mind my own business. I just don't understand why I have to be a victim just because I'm white. Hell, black people even kill each other! They even call each other the 'N' word, which I HATE. I will never understand people. Anyone with that kind of mentality just shouldn't exist. If you hate everyone so much, stay home and close the damn shades. Seek help. Get counseling or something. You're sick.

Now people all over the damn country are going nuts because some black kid, who happened to be a criminal and victimized someone the very same day, got into a fight with an officer and again, RESISTED ARREST, got shot and died. I'm sorry he lost his life, but he had a choice. He chose wrong. And now all these people, mostly black, are protesting because they INSIST that the kid was innocent. You clearly don't know all the facts. You know how I know that? I know that because the protestors chose to do things such as looting, setting homes and businesses on fire (homes and businesses that belonged to black people, btw), abusing each other and other innocent people. Sure, I'll take the time to sympathize with criminals for being criminals and defending criminals.....NOT.

If you want to prove to people that black people are good and just, then you need to actually BE good and just. What is so wrong with following the laws, working for a living and being kind to your neighbors? What is so wrong with it?

I'm sick of black people (not all black people, of course. Just the one's that seem to be criminals or have a mental defect) screaming racism at every white person they see. I swear they are LOOKING for reasons to scream racism. Do you know what that is? It's RACISM!!

You are the racist ones!!

I have no sympathy for racist criminals.

Its time to cut the bull shit and learn to love each other.

I don't give a F* if anyone has anything to say about this post. Just shut the F* up. You're pissing me off.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Is It So Wrong?

Okay, I get it, I'm a controlling woman. But is it really so bad? Am I wrong to say that everyone that I'm surrounded by is safe, healthy, well fed, clothed, clean, protected, sheltered and wanting for nothing? So what's so wrong with being a controlling woman?

I fix things when they're broken. If I can't fix it, I call someone who can. I pay all the bills. I manage a small business. I work. If the car gets a flat tire, I change it. If the toilet clogs, I unclog it. If there's a problem, I solve it. So what's wrong?

My son gets to school every single day, on time, clean, fed and clothed. I get to work in the same fashion. My pets get fed twice a day. The house gets cleaned EVERY day. The laundry gets done every week. The shopping gets done every week. I make sure my son does his homework and chores every day. I make sure he uses manners and understands the morals of my lectures. What's wrong with that?

I need for nothing or no one. Is that a sin?

I spent my entire life under someone elses shoes. Always told what to do, what not to do, how to do it and if I didn't obey, I'd get stomped on. After being led down the wrong path so many times and after being stomped all to hell, I finally said, "I can't take anymore! This is going to stop, NOW." From that moment on, I never got stepped on again. No one told me to do the wrong things. No one was able to force me to do anything ever again. I'd like to keep it that way, so I maintain control.

Now, no one gets hurt, no one starves and no one's sick. Everyone is doing the best they can and being the best they can be because I made it possible.

And lets not assume that I've never stopped to see what would happen if I let go of the reins. Believe me, I have. Suddenly the house became infested with bugs and mice. The food disappeared and never got replenished. The house became unlivable. The car was constantly parked due to being broken. Unemployment reared it's ugly head......I could go on and on.

So, I picked up the reigns and took the lead and **POOF**, like magic, it all disappeared. I got a new house and car. I got a better job. I did it all.

So.....what's the problem?

I will drop you as a friend if you are not punctual, are irresponsible, are unclean or if you do any drugs. Does that make me a bad person? If you tell me you're going to pick me up and  take me to an appointment at 3:00pm and you don't show up until 2:50pm, that's unacceptable. If you're irresponsible, then I can't trust you anyway. Why would I want to be friends with someone I can't trust? If you are unclean then that's just gross. I'm sorry, shower or stay away from me. Stay clean or stay out of my house. My home is my sanctuary, if you violate it, I'm going to kick you out. That's all. If you do drugs, then you are unpredictable, unreliable and unclean. I have a child to raise who does NOT need that kind of negative influence. I also have a long history of family that had major drug and alcohol addictions whom I had to escape to save my own life. So I have MORE than enough reason to put a big fat stop and do not enter sign at my front door for people who do drugs. That is not a crime. Drug use is. Is any of this unreasonable?

I've worked VERY hard to get the life I have today and I'm working even harder to make it better. And anyone who chooses to be a part of my life will benefit from all my hard work.

Is that wrong?

Men always bitch about women trying to control everything. Well, don't drop the ball, lazy asses. If you drop it, we'll pick it up, re-inflate it, wash it, polish it and throw it to someone who knows how to catch it. *lifts a brow*

If you don't want a controlling woman, don't lose control. Do as I do and watch the world change.

And seriously, if you think there's something wrong with all that I've said, let me know. I'm curious to see what people think of the subject.

:)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Work as an Author

 
For once, I'm not here to rant or ramble. LOL!!  I'm just here to share some professional information with you.

I am a writer, of course. My favorite things to write are horror and thrillers. If anyone would like to check out my work, here is my website: http://hstrial-kkarakazoo.homestead.com/index.html

If you'd like to check out my Author page on Facebook and 'Like' my page, I'd like that very much. :)
 https://www.facebook.com/ThrillsAndChills

If you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you can find me at @karakazoo.

This is my first published novel, written almost entirely on Twitter! That's right everyone, it's the first and only book ever to be written on Twitter! Check out the #TwitterNovel,  'Birds of a Feather'! http://www.amazon.com/Birds-Feather-Kara-Stefanowich-ebook/dp/B00HXZU6YK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415750634&sr=8-1&keywords=stefanowich

This is my second publication, the prequel to 'Birds of a Feather'. http://www.amazon.com/Creation-Assassin-Redemption-Kara-Stefanowich-ebook/dp/B00CPSNDT0/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1415750634&sr=8-3&keywords=stefanowich

And here's my most recent publication, 'Hostage'. (This one is my pride and joy....well, until the next publication. LOL!!) http://www.amazon.com/Hostage-Kara-Stefanowich-ebook/dp/B00G8U91W4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1415750634&sr=8-2&keywords=stefanowich

Next, I'm working on a book called 'TAG'. Its about tag team serial killers that clash when one wants to get out of the game. It turns into a game like no other. One killer tortures and kills a victim and frames the other. Then the killer who wants out gets a hint, a sophisticated piece of the puzzle in a morbidly poetic journal. In order to avoid being caught by the detective who's hot on his heels, he must find the victim and eliminate the crime scene before it's too late.

Stay tuned.....keep in touch....don't be a stranger....because 'TAG' is coming soon!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Love

An animal, a quest, a game to be won. It's a wonder, a woman, waiting for love. We can't wait, or dream, or expect love. It comes as it is and we work to keep it, No matter what. It takes time, thought, energy to keep. It takes work, triumph, someone to give in. It's a fight, a battle, a war to win. But if we surrender and call truce, we may have the gift. A present, a future with him. It's okay to wait, to sit, to spin. It's okay that we want nothing more than to scream within. Some day, we'll know what it was all for. Someday we may understand what we couldn't before. So why fight, why stress, why give up and run when we can smile, give in and win the war. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rock and a Hard Place

My gosh, where do I begin?

So much has been going on over the last year. I released my second novel, which was great. It was a lot of work and made me CRAZY but it was a good turn out.

My boyfriend celebrated his first official year in his home. Turned out to be a better place than expected. Not too many scary surprises over the winter or summer.

There have been many talks of doing an addition to my boyfriend's property because as it is, it's not big enough for our families combined. We had discussed it and I had hoped it would be done by this summer. But it wasn't.

Since the break of the frost this year, the city that I currently live in has decided to do major repairs in my entire neighborhood. To give you a better idea of how fun this year has been, let me just say, I live on a very small dead end street. The bulk of the construction has been happening on both sides of the street that my street connects to at the same time. So getting in or out of my neighborhood has been a complete nightmare all year long.

So during the week I'm contending with road blocks, large machinery blocking up the available road way and police officers who are often rude and NEVER know what the hell is going on. (I literally have to drive in circles around my neighborhood every single weekday in an attempt to get to work and get home because they wont open one side of the road for local traffic.) On the weekends I pack up and drive an hour away to my boyfriend's house.

In the meantime, I'm working on my third novel and raising my son. My son got his first set of stitches this year and of course, it had to be in the face. I also took my son off of all his meds this year, which was the best thing I've ever done for him.

I've had rabbits annihilate all my gardens to the brink of doom this year, so crops were not as fruitful as I'd hoped. They also ate every single one of my flowers in my landscaping, which completely broke my heart.

I've had several issues with my car. Fuel pump left us in a parking lot. Flat tire on the way out of the mechanics property forced another repair. Inspections demanded MANY fixes and my wallet has been giving me the silent treatment ever since.

Several strokes of bad luck in nearby Springfield has raised my blood pressure and is currently making me question whether or not I should look for a job elsewhere. (Big cities have big nuts. Beware.)

This year is the last year my son has of middle school. So next fall he will be entering High School.

Now....Its been a whole year that my boyfriend and I have been 'talking' about the addition he was supposed to do. Unfortunately, my boyfriend is not very good at making decisions. As a reflection of that, the addition turned into talks of rebuilding the house entirely to our liking. We talked it TO DEATH. But, he never took steps to actually get it started. NOW.....a year later.....he's 'talking' about selling his current home and buying another house. BUT....he doesn't want to even THINK about doing anything until spring.

*screams and rips out hair, opens window and throws said hair at the bucket loader in my driveway*

So now I'm sitting in my loud, trembling home, trapped and angry, wondering if I'll ever get out of here. I'm completely stressed out because the holidays are coming. One of my bosses is leaving for the winter and now I'm missing work due to road construction.

I'm afraid of what's going to happen to my son come next fall because I have no idea what High School I'm supposed to enroll him in. If I move in with my boyfriend, it will be in a town an hour away from where I am now, so its an entirely different district. I need to make sure we tour the school ahead of time to prepare my son. For those of you who don't know, my son has high functioning autism. So big changes don't usually go over well. I need to ease him into that kind of transition.

My boyfriend thinks this whole thing is just hilarious and insists that I simply trust him. Excuse me, I love him but I've also spent the last three years observing him and his behaviors and I've concluded that I cannot trust him with big decisions. He gets confused, he over thinks every single detail and then he gets overwhelmed and gives up. Then he throws the entire subject in the closet and changes stations to 'Hunting Season' and 'Camp' and "Oh, maybe I'll buy more land for the camp."

Meanwhile, I'm shaking in my boots. MILLIONS of questions are going through my mind. Do I just let him spend the next 10 years 'thinking about making decisions' and stay put in a place that's now far too small for me and my teenage son? Do I go ahead and get a mortgage by myself and just do what's best for me and my son? Am I pressuring my boyfriend to do something he really doesn't want to do? Did he buy the place he has now on purpose because he didn't really want me and my son to move in? Is he doing it on purpose to procrastinate so that my son will graduate and move out before I move in with him? Can I afford a mortgage? Do I need to start working weekends again? Should I move into an apartment closer to my boyfriend while I'm waiting for him to make a decision? Does ANY of this work out in my favor? Am I in yet another situation where I'm with someone who's real interest doesn't lie with me, but only himself? Am I making the right choice by waiting for him? Should I stop waiting and simply assume it will never happen?

I'm in hell right now. I'm crying as I write this because the stress level is KILLING ME.  While everyone else laughs at me, I'm crying. Not only am I stressed out, I'm confused, I'm mad and I'm fairly certain no one cares.

I hate my home. All I want to do is leave, but no one will let me (be it a team of construction workers or a boyfriend who insists I stay put and wait).

I hate my life. I've spent 33 years 'in transition'. I'm never on solid ground. Never safe. Never comfortable. I hate my life and it just wont end.

What do I do?????

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Nature Calls

I love my boyfriend. I love him more than he knows. He teaches me so much every day, and he doesn't even know it. But this blog is not about romance. It's about nature.

Last week my BF went to his camp in NY with one of his hunting buddies. At the end of the day he called me up and told me him and his buddy went driving around looking for hunting spots and counted more than 100 deer in an hour. I, of course, told him he was full of shit and reminded him about fishermen and their stories of fish far larger than they really were. My BF did not find this amusing at all, so this weekend at the last minute he decided we were going to camp (3 hours away) so he could prove to me there were really high numbers of deer out in the open.

Now, I've been there before, many times. Yes, there are a lot of deer. The first time we went to check out the property before buying it, we were driving up to it and found deer laying down on the side of the road. Didn't even care that we were driving by. So I know there are deer there. But over 100 in an hour? I don't think so.

Anyway, we drove all the way there and we drove all over the area and counted exactly 69 deer. Not kidding. Don't be gross. I prayed we'd see at least one more just so I didn't have to say we saw '69' deer. But that was what we saw that night.

My BF was rather disappointed about the lack of numbers that day when we drove all the way there so he could prove to me that it was more than possible to see over 100 in one hour. But, he drove us back to camp where we started a fire and sat out the rest of the night.

But before we went out driving around looking for deer, we took a little walk into the woods and just sat down, silent and still and just listened. We heard leaves falling all around us and even on us. It was so loud that I had a difficult time telling the difference between the leaves falling and footsteps. I looked all around, real slowly so as not to make myself noticeable. We didn't see much......except for a squirrel. This squirrel was so loud. We both watched it from a far. It came trotting right over to us. I really thought it had no idea we were there. It didn't look at us. It just ran over, hopping and stopping here and there looking for food. Then it noticed we were sitting there and it stopped right in front of us. If I had to guess, I'd say about........12 feet away? There was a single tree right next to it. It used the tree as a security blanket. He didn't stray far from it. He just stared at us, standing still for a moment. He looked from me to my BF and back to me again. He wasn't sure what we were. He made a few sounds to see what we'd do, but we didn't do anything, didn't move. He ran back and forth as if to show dominance, but we still did nothing. He got a little closer and looked back and forth from him to me as if he were wondering what we were going to do. It took a while but after showing off for us for about 6 minutes, he was off and looking for more food.



That was rather funny to me. I remembered as a child how I would sit in the woods in Maine and the animals would even come up and walk over my legs! But none of them had ever put on quite the display as this squirrel did.....New Yorkers....am I right? LOL!!

Our silence made all the difference. Quiet movements, slow breathing, pauses.....they made all the difference. If we had been barging through the woods, we never would have met Mr. Squirrel that day. And little did I know, there was more to come.

The next morning, we sat up just long enough to have a cup of coffee before we went out in the woods to check the hunting cameras and change the chips. We walked through the woods as silently as we could. There were fresh fall leaves on the ground but there had been a good dew on the ground from the night. So it wasn't so loud. We took our time. We stopped from time to time just to listen and look.

When we approached the first camera we spooked 3 deer that had bedded just next to the camera! All 3 jumped up turned to look at us for a moment then lifted their white tails and ran off. We stopped and waited for them to leave before changing the chip in the camera and moving onto the next one.



There were no more deer (that we saw) but being as quiet as we were, upon returning to camp we saw a fisher cat just a few yard from our camper romping around in the woods. It didn't seem bothered by our presence at all. In my experiences in Maine, fisher cats are NOT an animal to be toyed with. They are like over grown minks with fangs and a bad attitude. They will chase you, they will mess you up and yes, they can climb trees. LOL!!



Anyway, I was just impressed with how much nature we were able to be a part of this weekend. In just one night! Id almost forgotten how impressive it can be. I also became painfully aware of how ridiculously LOUD I am. LOL!! Step lightly folks. It makes all the difference.

So that was my weekend. Scouting deer with my BF and finding myself in nature once again.  It becomes more clear every day why I hate the city so much.

Anyway, be one with nature so that when it calls, you answer in kind.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Big Bad Welfare

Last night I had a little conversation online about welfare and just how angry it makes us working folks.

I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that get all worked up when people like me start yelling about how welfare needs a quick cap and how abused it is. Look, it's all what I've seen in my lifetime that stems my opinions. I know what goes on. I see it, I hear it, I feel it and I pay it.

There are a select few people out there who actually need the help, but all help has a limit. I speak from personal experience. As a new single mother, I found myself in a hole so deep I cried every day in fear of never being able to climb out of it. I had NOTHING. And I mean nothing. I had no family, no friends, no license, nothing. I found myself alone, with a baby, without a car, a job or anyway to pay the rent. I NEEDED help. I signed up for welfare and got very little for benefits. I had to live on $450.00 in cash and $110.00 in food stamps per month. It did NOT pay the rent and I ended up in the hole so bad that I had no hope of ever paying my ever rising bills.

I refused to live like that. I needed to find work. So I did. I walked the streets every single day, with my baby in tow and went to every single business I could find within walking distance from my apartment. Every day, I filled out applications, talked to business owners, did interviews and even posted up papers offering things like house cleaning and yard work. Nothing. It wasn't until someone put in a good word for me that I finally got a call back. I was so happy that after I'd worked for about a month and had the state up my ass demanding paystubs that I finally said, "No thanks. I don't need to be on welfare anymore. I can pay my bills on my own. Thanks for everything." Then I cut up my EBT card and never looked back.

So I do know what it's like. BUT.....

After I got steady work and decided to get out into the world and go back to school, I met several other people who I became friends with. Over the couple years of schooling we all became kind of close. I started babysitting for one friend who promised to pay me ridiculous amounts of money (that I never expected to get) and you can imagine my shock when she actually paid me. She was a young mother of 2 kids. She had a live in boyfriend who was the father of both kids and worked full time and yet, she was on welfare.

When she produced the ridiculous amount of money for babysitting the kids, I tried to give it back to her thinking she needed it more than me if she was on welfare. She refused to take it back and said she was perfectly fine. So I asked her how she was so fine if she was on welfare and her response shocked me.

She explained to me that the money she paid me for babysitting was from welfare, not out of her pocket. All she had to do was tell the state that she was looking for work but needed a babysitter to do so and *POOF*, she got a check.

She also said that she refused to marry the father of her children because if she's married, the state will demand proof of his employment and stop paying her welfare. Instead, she lies and tells them that she's single. Doing that, her boyfriend was forced to pay child support which goes to her, hence, back to him since they actually lived together. So that was no big deal for them. She got over $700.00 worth of food stamps every month and over $1000.00 in cash benefits! She was very happy to live at home as a housewife with several sources of income, free daycare, free medical care and even vouchers for heat in the winter!

She was even happier when she gave birth to baby #3....and then #4. It seems the more kids you have, the more money they give you.

After a few months of me helping her out, the reality of it all kept haunting me. I kept it to myself for a while and just tried to encourage her to get work and do things right. But it didn't work. Instead she introduced me to several other women who were doing the exact same thing.

It ate at me every day. I stopped hanging out with her as often. Work was kicking me in the ass anyway. I was getting so exhausted working 7 days a week that I just didn't have much time for friends anymore.

But it really got to me one day when I went to visit her and when I got to her house (which she had just purchased with her boyfriend) she had a friend over. As I pulled up I saw a brand new Chrysler 300 sitting in the driveway all sparkly and nice. I walked into the house and saw a very young woman dressed to the nines with big chunky jewelry, brand name clothes and hair newly done (which must have cost a fortune as she was Puerto Rican with LONG, curly hair).

My friend introduced me to her and immediately said, "She's one of us who lives with her boyfriend, has a whole mess of kids and is on welfare." she even laughed about it like it was a game and this girl was really good at it. The lady then laughed and proudly admitted that it was true. She even bragged about having something like 7 kids at home and said she didn't care how many kids she had cuz they all meant money to her.

I was so disgusted I made an excuse to leave and I got the hell out of there. I drove home in my rickety, 14 year old vehicle with my jaw clenched. All I could think was, "That's where all my tax money is going! To people who take advantage, then bring freaking LITTERS of children into the world and teach them to do the same damn thing!"

After a few months of not seeing or hearing from me, she called me one day and insisted we get together and hang out some time. I couldn't hold it in anymore, I let her have it. I told her how I felt about her living situation and explained how she, as my friend, was causing harm to me and my child by taking food out of our mouths and taking money away from important bills because she wants to be lazy and have a silver spoon up her ass without earning it.

We didn't speak for a very long time after that. Even now.....I might hear something from her on Facebook like twice a year. She knows I was right.

But it wasn't just her. I'm using my experience with her as a single example. I've met MANY along the way. They think its a joke. They actually make a job out of screwing the system and its so common that my disgust for welfare recipients has grown a great deal over the years.

So don't give me any grief about bashing welfare recipients. You know who you are. You know damn well whether or not you're one of those that abuses the system or actually needs the help. So when I post things about welfare being abused or how there should be drug testing for welfare applicants or whatever, don't waste your time being an ass about it (not that anyone on my sites ever do), but make a difference instead. Vote, contact your state with letters, report abuses to the system. Do whatever it takes to make a difference in your community. Hopefully some day we'll get to keep our taxes.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Stubborn Has a Price

For years now, I've been trying to give people a most basic message: Stubborn has a price.

Everyone grows up with likes and dislikes. And most of us remember our parents saying something along the lines of, "You'll do what I say as long as you live under my roof." Well, there's a reason for that. Our parents typically have our best interest in mind. When they enforce rules, boundaries and diet it's not because they take pleasure in watching us suffer, it's because they care. They want us to grow up with love, respect and good health. So they spend years drilling it into us.

So when you grow up and move out into the world, you do what we all do. We go NUTS!! We eat cake for breakfast, we go to bed when we realize we fell asleep on the couch. We leave lights on in rooms we weren't in for hours! We leave dishes in the sink, throw our clothes on the floor and don't bother to answer the door when someone rings the bell. Why? Cuz we don't have to.

As a result of this "nuts" phase, there are inherently consequences. We slowly learn that there are reasons why our parents made us do stuff as kids. We start to see bugs in the sink full of those dirty dishes. When your friends get annoyed with you because they came to visit and sprained an ankle on the clothes you left on the floor, you realize you probably shoulda picked those up. When you gain 20 pounds and start to feel nauseous when you see that chocolate cake on the counter you start to think, "Geeze, maybe I should have some corn flakes instead." When you wake up too damn tired to get your shit together and go to work you realize you need to go to bed earlier.

Unfortunately, not everyone feels this way. There are lots of people out there who just shrug it all off and continue to do whatever they want because that stubborn bug buried its head so far up their ass it's now made a home. You know who you are. Those folks who drink all week long and ignore that headache every morning. Those folks who gained 40 pounds last year and figured, "Eh, that's just baby weight that I'll never be able to get rid of, anyway." Those folks who make that weekly grocery trip just because they ran out of snack cakes. Yup, those are the stubborn ones.

Just know, all you stubborn asses, that just because mom and dad aren't there to tell you "no" anymore doesn't mean its okay to do the opposite of everything they taught you. Clean your apartment, do your laundry once a week, cook some healthy meals, limit your alcohol intake and for goodness sake, quit smoking. You KNOW your mom and dad hate that you smoke. And if you don't smoke then chuck that bag of potato chips, get off your fat ass and walk around the block a few times. Spend time with loved ones. Love, Live and be Happy!

For all of you who read this and roll their eyes, know that for that cake you stuff your face with every day, for all the cigarettes you smoke and for all the "I'll do what I want" 's that come out of you, God says, "Okay, but in exchange for your greed and selfishness, I'm taking 20 years off your life, so enjoy it while you can."

And if THAT doesn't bother you, imagine how all your loved ones will take it when they lose you 20 years too soon.

*crosses arms*

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

You Are What You Eat



Last week my son asked me a rather yucky question. I don't want to gross anyone out or embarrass anyone so to make it short and sweet, he wanted to know why a person's 'wastes' make streak marks in the toilet.

DON'T QUIT READING!!! It gets better, I promise. LOL!!

I had recently had some problems with my son's diet and an issue that arose about stealing snack foods and going on junk food binges and why that's bad. So I took this opportunity to teach him in a way that I knew he could relate to.

Now and days people have just awful diets. People have a terrible habit of doing what makes them feel good instead of what's good for them. I don't do that, and I'm trying like hell to teach my son to be a smarter, stronger man than his counterparts will be.

This is the part where I lecture everyone about eating frozen, pre-made or prepackaged foods. I don't care what it says on the box or bag, it will NEVER be fresh. Frozen is quite literally "Frozen" and fresh is quite literally "Fresh". Fresh foods cannot be sold in the freezer section. Anything you find in the freezer section is filled with preservatives because freezing alone cannot make food last as long as it takes to package, ship, stock and sell. And then there's the possible thaw that may occur during shipping and so on. Those packages would only last if they were air tight. We all know, they are not. So preservatives and chemicals are added to keep them from rotting.

Any boxed foods that you buy typically have tons of dehydrated ingredients which in the process of dehydration eliminates a large percentage of the foods vitamins and nutrients. In addition to that, a lot of the dehydrated ingredients are also preservatives and chemicals that add colors and artificial flavors to the actual food because the dehydration process took both those things away.

When you buy fresh meats, veges, fruits and herbs you eliminate a large amount of preservatives and chemicals that you would find in those other types of foods. I cannot speak for or account for the practices of the farmers where your fresh foods are coming from, and we all know that food labels are not always dependable. Marketers like to trick the general public in any way they can to make you buy their product. But basic education in your local supermarkets and (even better) you local farmers can help you make better purchasing decisions.  I understand that fresh foods are very expensive so we must substitute them from time to time, but if you balance it all out you should be able to live a very healthy life.

Having given you that little lecture, I will tell you what I told my son.

The human body is made to eat a variety of foods. We, by nature, are made to eat meat and plant foods. God did not make twinkies and you cannot pick snickers bars off trees. Soda doesn't flow from mountain springs and you cannot grow French fries. Man made foods are a product of gluttony. We just want to eat foods that taste good, but no one ever slapped the manufacturers hand and said, "No! That will make people sick!" So, now we have a problem.

When all you eat is things with lots of fats, sugars, salts and oils, the human body is not capable of processing the amount that people like to eat. So what happens is, whatever the body could not process gets stuck inside you, along the lining of your veins, arteries, organs, intestines and so on. Over a long period of time it can (and usually does) cause things like, high cholesterol, heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure and lots of other diseases. When your body collects these oils, sugars and salts like this, the body (which is an amazing thing and is designed to fix itself) attacks them and will not stop attacking them until they are gone. If the body never has a chance to process them, it goes into a kind of shock or stress that we diagnose as diseases and the other things I've mentioned above.

So when you poop and the poop leaves streaks in the toilet its because you 've eaten too many products with those preserving and tasty ingredients in them. Those oils and sugars become sticky once your body has processed it and it leaves those marks in the toilet. So when you see those marks when you go to the bathroom, you know its time to start eating some fruit and salads.

My son immediately went into the fridge, pulled out an apricot and ate it. It was the first time in months that I actually SAW him eat fruit. LOL!!

So you know what they say? You are what you eat. If you eat lots of fatty, greasy, salty, sweet stuff, you get to KEEP a good portion of it inside you......until your body just can't take anymore.

Now, just for the sake of adding this information, I must encourage everyone out there to learn, and teach your children how to garden and feed from your family from that. Produce is very expensive, so if you can grow your own food, you absolutely should. You'd be amazed how much money you'll save and how much healthier you'll become.

Kids are NOT being taught how to be self sustaining. I was made very aware of what happens to city folks when electricity goes out. We had a big storm not too long ago that shut down whole towns. No grocery stores, no gas stations, no TV. People lost their friggen minds! I was laughing because I had purchased an echo friendly car while these city folks in their hummers and SUV's were now dooking it out at the gas station. I laughed as I drove by and went to work. While mothers where fist fighting over the last gallon of milk, I was drinking water. Everyone went crazy and I just sat back and watched.

Seriously? Grow a garden. Learn to do canning. Learn to use what you have to get by. Otherwise, Darwin wins. Its survival of the fittest and all you city folks will be the first to go. Teach your children how to survive, live off the land. Get chickens if you can. They supply you with eggs and meat. Learn to fish. You'll never go hungry. Pick fruit in the spring, summer and fall. Grow your garden in the summer and collect your bounty as they ripen, learn to preserve them (properly) and feed your family all winter. Seriously.

You are what you eat. So are you healthy or not?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Detached



Lately, I've been feeling a bit......overworked. By this, I don't necessarily mean at work. Over the last couple of years I've been doing a lot of things that I never did growing up. These things seem to be rather basic things that everyone does but, for me, this is very abnormal.

I grew up on my own so many things about my life are different than most peoples. I don't celebrate holidays apart from Thanksgiving, Christmas and my son's birthday, and the only reason I celebrate those things is because I have a son.

My family and I have been estranged since I was very young and I grew up bouncing around from foster home to foster home. Most foster homes I had the misfortune to live in thought of me more as a slave than anything else. I was their slave, I was the one they took out their frustrations on and I was abused. So I ran away a lot. I never got gifts at Christmas but I had to watch everyone else get them. I never got a birthday party but I had to watch everyone else get them. When the foster families kids had celebrations like, communion, graduation, birthdays or whatever, I was always dragged along to watch them celebrate but none of my achievements deserved recognition. So, when I was old enough to escape and get my own place, I simply chose to ignore holidays. It was just easier.

Then I had my son and I realized, if I take all those celebrations away from him then he's going to feel the same way, so I do it for him. But since we have no family and hardly any friends to speak of its always just been him and I. I buy him way too many gifts for Christmas (I think to make up for the one thing I could never give him, family), we go bowling every year on his birthday (because he loves it) and Thanksgiving has been kind of an accident for the last 8 years. We managed to get invited to our friends house annually and later began spending it with Brian's family. Before that, I just made a nice dinner and we ate in front of the TV.

Over the last 2+ years, I've been dating Brian. He's an amazing man with an amazing family who do family things all the time. This is a bit of a shock to me. Kind of like stepping out of a steaming hot shower and jumping into the ocean. In all my years, I'd never met a family so quick to accept strangers into their family and do all the celebratory things that normal families do with them.

As sweet and kind as they are, I still find myself sitting there quietly or trying to make myself useful while everyone else chats and plays. And every time I can't help but feel like that child who is in someone else's families house celebrating their things.......not mine.

I'm not saying that I want recognition for anything or that I want my own parties or what have you. I'm simply saying that I always feel like I'm on the outside looking in, but there is no door, so I can never get in.

Even at work, I take care of other people for a living. I'm constantly, cleaning them, feeding them, doing their dishes and laundry, washing their homes, doing their shopping, running their errands, taking them to appointments and so on. Always.

At home, I take care of my son (who has disabilities) and my cat (who also has disabilities). I do the house work, cooking, I pay the bills and run the errands. I do everything. I take care of everything. Always.

I'm always the one caring for everyone else, but never myself. No one ever takes care of me (not that I need it anymore) but it just seems like again, I'm on the outside. I'm the outsider who goes to peoples houses, takes care of them and then leaves. No one ever comes to my house.

The only person in the world who has ever paid any attention to my needs is my boyfriend, Brian. He really is the sweetest man in the world and I love him dearly. But we don't live together and he's about an hour away. We only see each other on weekends at his place. It feels like I'm living 2 separate lives. The life I live 3/4's of the time at home and at work, and the other 4'th at his place. So again, I cant help but feel detached. Every aspect of my life is a picture of a circle with me standing alone outside of it.

I often wonder if it's supposed to be this way. Maybe there's a reason for it. Maybe I'm so far gone due to my upbringing that God simply cant allow me inside the circle. Or maybe that circle is my family and no matter what happens I will never be in it. It could all just be psychological or it could be that there is a bigger picture that I'm missing out on.

No matter how you look at it, I feel so.............detached. Standing alone in a world filled with people. Am I always going to be this 'substitute'?

I'm exhausted. I wish I could take a vacation, but I'd be alone there too and I'd probably do something stupid like clean the hotel room. So on I trudge, on weary legs and wounded feet, wondering if anything will ever change.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Young Adults with ADHD and Autism

This morning I was watching the news and saw something on there that bothered me and I posted it on Facebook. This started a bit of a debate between a couple of folks. I now feel the need to explain my opinion on this issue.

I posted, "Young adults with Autism and ADHD have a higher risk of using alcohol and marijuana due to the social issues caused by their disabilities." ~Channel 40 News Reports :(

A couple comments under this post were " adhd is a made up disease"....."And its insinuating marijuana is bad for you and even comparable to health risks of alcohol."

I have to very specifically address those 2 statements. First of all, ADHD is very much a real disorder. I wont say its a disease because the definition doesn't quite fit. For those of you who disagree, here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention_deficit_hyperactivity_disorder. Now, my son has a very severe case of ADHD which does not simply make him hyper, which most people think, but it forces him stay in motion even when he's exhausted. It raises his heart rate, his blood pressure and causes him to sweat profusely. He does things that most people wouldn't do, such as, jumping off furniture, throwing himself into walls and purposely falling on the floor. He also does things like running across the street without looking, talks to himself constantly, doesn't dry off after showering, inhales his food often choking and so on. All these things (and more) have proven to be very dangerous to him and therefore requires medication to insure his safety.

I do understand that there are lots of Doctors out there who spent many years 'shutting kids up with Ritalin', and I do know that unfortunately a lot of Doctors still do this, but I can assure you, my son's Doctor did everything he could to treat my son without medicine but eventually had no choice.

Another comment in the post was that if people fed their kids healthy foods they wouldn't have such rambunctious children. I agree to that very strongly, but if its to say that all kids with ADHD are simply rambunctious kids with bad diets, I again assure you, you're wrong. I know this because I live and thrive on a very healthy diet of organic produce and fresh meats. I always follow the food charts (except we can't eat nearly as much food as the chart says to in one day.) I grow my own gardens and pick my own fruits from orchards that I tend, personally. So I know there's no pesticides or chemicals other than is found in nature in my produce. The meats I purchase are typically from our local farms and or fresh from the butcher (sometimes I cheat and buy fresh meats from the grocery store cuz I'm not rich but its never frozen and does not contain a ton of preservatives). I always incorporate multigrain foods and nuts into our meals and I cook. I don't microwave our meals. So you bet your ass my son is not a victim of shit diets like most kids are these days, which is why that cannot be the cause of his ADHD.

As for the comment about marijuana not being comparable to alcohol, that's incorrect as well. I know more people that smoke marijuana than those who don't. I find that to be one of the saddest statements I've ever made, but it's true. Having said that, I think I need to enlighten you on the affects that marijuana has on you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_marijuana.

I have spent the majority of my life observing people under the influence of both marijuana and alcohol and I find them to be very comparable. Though they have their differences, they vary only slightly. Pot may calm most people down but it does so in a very unnatural way. It delays your reactions both physically and mentally and causes memory loss. These are the most obvious affects I've seen. It's also why they came up with the commercial with a man frying an egg: "This is your brain (egg in a shell), this is your brain on drugs" (egg in the frying pan). It's because when one smokes pot, they become slow and dumb, and not just when under the influence but also when not (over time and with excessive use). And it is addictive, both behaviorally and physically.

Alcohol is a quicker and more damaging way to harm yourself. It is faster to cause physical illnesses, faster to cause permanent damage and faster to cause addiction. But again, it causes you to slow down. You do so because your blood is being poisoned which causes your brain to malfunction. So you become clumsy, slow to react, slow to receive information, and it causes misinterpretations of communication causing all sorts of unnecessary  behavior. If you're reading this and really so stupid as not to believe me, here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_alcohol#Short-term_effects_of_alcohol.

Having said all this, I will say that I absolutely believe that kids who are being raised with a poor diet can and will have behavioral issues, hyperactive issues, health issues and so on. YES. This is true. You know what they say, "You are what you eat." This is true (which is why I eat so healthy). If you eat a ton of sugary foods every day, you will act out, be hyper, misbehave and so on because sugar is known for causing all these things to happen if over used. If kids eat food filled with fat and preservatives all the time and never see fresh foods, they are more likely to get heart disease, be victims of obesity, have high blood pressure and so on. The fats and salts in these foods if eaten in access are known to cause physical illnesses. So, you are what you eat. If your diet is unhealthy, so are you.

There are WAY too many people who are feeding their kids this kind of diet. Then when their kids act out they go to the Doctors and complain and manage to convince them to prescribe meds. They typically  like to blame money and the down economy and so forth for it but as a single mother who struggles every day, I can tell you first hand, laziness and a lack of education (agricultural and dietary) is the culprit.

I must admit, over the last year I've had a growing fear that my son may fall into the wrong crowd and choose to smoke pot. Why? A couple of reasons. First of all, the medication he's on (which is supposedly non habit forming) is becoming a bit of a dependency for my son. He is 13 now and has been on them since he was 5 (with minor changes annually). There have been times when we ran out of meds and my son would get upset about it. When asked what the problem was he responded, "I don't like the way I feel when I don't take my meds." I understand this in 2 ways, one is that the meds are really working, the other is that he may feel the need to take his meds to calm down enough to be around other people. See, when he's off the meds, he's so out of control that he doesn't even realize other people are around and he is a serious social butterfly. He loves people. Sometimes his hyperactive ways cause them to leave. He becomes a little dangerous in some ways that just makes other people uncomfortable. So all this makes me nervous.

As time goes by typically the signs and symptoms of ADHD kind of calm down. Unfortunately for my son, it hasn't done that yet. But I try to test him by taking his meds away during the summer (which I will try again this season) to see if I can take him off of them all together. The reason I want to take him off the meds is because of the inadvertent side affects it has on him.

Unfortunately the meds my son is on cause Insomnia, Lack of Appetite and Mood Swings. So now he's on 2 additional medications to counter act 2 of the 3 side affects. When will the madness end????This has truly been troubling for me as a single mom. I work 2/3 jobs and have NEVER taken a vacation and it's all to support my son and my home. My son is about 15 pounds underweight and about 4-5" shorter than he should be for his age. His growth patterns came to an immediately halt when he started taking the medication.  Ever since it's been an uphill battle with the Doctors and with my son to fix this.

The mood swings......oh lord! When he's off the meds he's the sweetest, funniest, goofiest young man you'd ever seen! So happy, always laughing and smiling, very agreeable and helpful, very easy to get along with. But when he's on the meds, he's mad, annoyed, snotty, sarcastic, even hateful. And lately he's been expressing a need to use violence on people. This is a serious cause for concern. His teachers are complaining about his attitude and complaining about him talking back and (if you can believe this) they are pushing me to give him MORE meds!

Don't panic! I'm not crazy and I never give into pressure. I will NOT be giving my son more meds. In fact, I'm working my way to getting rid of them all together. But I'm very worried. I'm hoping going without the meds this summer will help to wean him off of them so I can finally stop giving them to him. But if he can't control himself, he'll have to go back on or else the school will kick him out. Yup, you heard me. I was threatened with it more than once. This year has been no exception.

So I can see how the studies may be right. Then again, everyone these days is a likely candidate for substance abuse. There are many reasons other than ADHD and Autism that make people feel inadequate enough to 'self medicate'.

I apologize if any of you reading this takes offense to the things I've said but I speak from both a life time of experience and solid scientific facts.

If you're a hippie and reading this then PEACE.....and for god sake PUT DOWN THE BONG, PAY YOUR TAXES AND TAKE A SHOWER!!!!

If you are a pot head and/or an alcoholic and hotly contest all I've said here then it's only because you are an addict with a problem and you're in denial. Either that or you've smoked so much pot you've lost touch with reality all together. Either way, you're safe. America will give you Social Security Benefits for your disability. A disability that you wouldn't have if you hadn't taken up drugs/alcohol in the first damn place. And since I'm the one paying the taxes that pays for your Social Security Benefits then I have every right to say, "Fuck you. I hate you, and if I find you in a dark alley you better pray you're faster than me."

There, I've said my piece on this topic. Go ahead and scream all you like. I enjoy the read. LOL!!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It's not easy, being him.

Raising a child with autism is no picnic. It's also no bowl of cherries, no walk in the park and no day in the sun. 

When my son was younger it was easier to make excuses. All those odd little things he did were 'cute' and when he threw a fit, it was okay because he was just a child. But now? Oh boy. Now he's a teenager. 

I used to imagine myself going to his soccer games, video taping him during award ceremonies and helping him catch grasshoppers in the woods. It was a punch in the kidneys when I learned that my son had no interest in sports, wasn't exactly an overachiever in school and is deathly afraid of bugs.....and nature in general....among many other things. 

But this is how things turned out. And even after coming to terms with all this and adapting to the fact that everyone is an individual and I simply need to cater to his needs rather than the worlds expectations, it just keeps getting harder.  

Now he's a teen. His hormones are going nuts, his school mates are mean, his work is too hard and he can't keep up with the butt load of responsibility that comes with being a teenager. He's upset. He's tired. He thinks everyone hates him and I'm starting to see why. People really are mean to him. And on top of that his own mom rags on him every day to do better. 

*sighs a sad breath*

In all honesty, I have no idea how to make him feel better. I tell him he's just misunderstanding the situation when he tells me an entire table of kids got up and switched tables when he came to join them at lunch. 

I tell him that the 'popular' kids in school usually end up being unsuccessful losers when they grow up, so he shouldn't want to be like them. 

I tell him that when kids call him a 'homo' in school it's only because they come from homes with bad parents and that they just don't know any better. 

I tell him he's overreacting,that kids are stupid and that it doesn't matter if girls don't like him because school work is more important. 

Meanwhile, he's crying in his room at night. He thinks his mother doesn't understand what he's going through and people (including grown ups) are being meaner than ever to him. And he's right. No one understands him. People think he's lazy when he doesn't want to go play outside, but he really just doesn't know how to play outside. People think he's stupid when he can't do a simple task, but what they don't realize is that multi step instructions are nearly impossible for him to do.

He's upset because people think he's just a tall 8 year old when they try to have a conversation with him and find that he doesn't really understand what they're talking about. But it's really just that his communication skills are far behind his age groups. 

The older he gets, the more complicated life gets for him. People have such high expectations for teens. When you have a teen with high functioning autism, it's not as clear to people that there's a problem. They just think he's dumb. I understand why he hates life. 

He hates being autistic.



Signed: One sad mom. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I Will RANT You an Education

In having made a decision to boycott the New York Times best sellers list (maybe not in the exact definition of boycott), I've come to realize I should have explained why a bit better. I have decided not to purchase any books that make it into the NYT best sellers list for a laundry list of reasons. When I became an author and put both feet forward I was enlightened (the hard way) to how much work it is to be a writer. When you put years into a book backed with education, experience and wit and then have it repeatedly snubbed by agents and publishers it begs the question: Why?

Lets face it, I'm not perfect. Like any good woman and mother, I try to be the best person I can be by learning from my mistakes as well as others. So I stepped back and questioned my every move. Then, I researched and researched and researched some more. There are steps one must follow to be a successful writer, according to any 'How to Publish your Book' article you come across. In order to be a success, you have to write a great book, edit the holy crap out of it and then let it ferment. Then you edit the holy crap out of it again. After that, you find yourself a Literary Agent who works with books of your genre. Then find about 300 more. Then you must go through the query process, bio process, synopsis and sample process and then.......you're only at the tip of the ice burg.

There are steps upon steps to publish a book. Unfortunately, for about 96% of all writers out there, they will never be offered a contract. This is not a guess  or an assumption, and I am not an author who's been snubbed so many times that I'm now bitter. On the contrary, I've had a contract. I've made pretty good sales (in my opinion), I've made some money and like any other diligent author, I'm still working my way up that insane corporate ladder (figuratively speaking).

Having said that, I have also since terminated my contract and gone independent. This happened for 2 reasons. One was that my publisher was hoping to strike it rich the first month my book went out. When that didn't happen (as I told them it wouldn't) they decided not to put as much work into it. Then there was my paycheck. In what was supposed to be a 50% royalty, I somehow ended up with about a 35% paycheck. And after I read 2  not so good reviews on my novel I realized, the publisher put the book up for sale without finishing the edits. So that was the 2'nd reason I terminated the contract. If I'm going to get bad reviews and possibly a bad reputation, it should at least be my own fault.

So indie for me! Unfortunately, with being an independent author comes the work load. Its not really as bad as you might think but when you work 2 jobs, are raising a child and running a household all on your own, taking on another full time job is as hard as concrete wrapped in stone and coated in steel. But on I trudge.

In all my efforts to continue my dream to retire as a successful author, I hit so many road blocks along the way that my nose has taken on a funny shape. But as I can still breathe, I will continue to fight the never ending battle between the big publishing houses and indie authors. After all, what choice do I have?

In my studies and efforts I've found that in trying to get my work out there for all to see, it has become an agonizing struggle for which I've not yet won. For example, I recently sent out emails to all my local newspapers and libraries announcing the release of my latest novel. About a week after I emailed my local news station I received a phone call from one the anchors who hosts the 'Local' and 'Entertainment' portions of the show. He was quick to ask me who my publisher was. When I said it was self published he responded with, "Oh......well, then I'd be happy to have you do a half hour segment on our show showing and describing your book for a fee." I wont tell you what the fee was, but it quickly made me say, "No thanks. I was just hoping you could put the information on your website." He basically said he'd see what he could do, which was nothing. Coincidence?

I also received an email from one of my local libraries which also asked who my publisher was and whether or not I made it onto the New York Time's best sellers list. When I said it was self published and never on the NYT b.s. list they quickly said, thanks but no thanks. They wouldn't even accept a donation of my books simply because they were self published. (The newspapers never even responded to me.)

So I again asked myself if I was doing something wrong. I did even more research and found what I never thought I'd find. I found article upon article about how the big publishing houses are killing indie authors and books as we know them. I prayed it wasn't true.......and then the letters started to arrive. Responses from Literary Agents to my query letters, from God knows how long ago.

When I ever read their responses, I started to wonder if I'd ever breathe through my nose again. I was shocked and disappointed. Not because they were all rejection letters but because they all actually gave me the reasons why they were rejecting my manuscript. It wasn't because the story sucked. It wasn't because my editing was so atrocious that they couldn't even get through it. No, nothing like that. Several letters actually said these words, "We regret to inform you that we will not be accepting your project as we are not accepting any new authors due to the decline in the economy."

......................*blinks*.....................................

As a business person, this is not logical to me. If you are experiencing a decline in sales (no matter what the reason) any good business person would know that it's time to try a new tactic, approach or in this matter, talent. But instead, the publishers decided that it was simply safer to stick with the authors they already had and not try anything new.

I'd love to ask, "How's that working for ya?"

More letters rolled in. "I'm sorry, but we cannot accept your project at this time as we are not accepting any new authors."

I did happen to get a couple letters of rejection for odd things such as sending a Paranormal Romance to an agency that was Christian based (which i did not see on their website), and I got a couple letters saying that perhaps another agent might find my genre more interesting, but apart from those it was all simply because I was new.

So as I rolled my eyes, tossed the letters and moved on to publish my own work I realized that my books would never sell as well as those that were reviewed for the New York Time's. So I looked into getting my novel to them......several times. After a while I did some digging and found out that the New York Times ONLY reviews books that have the highest sales who are backed by the most prominent publishers in New York. Unfortunately, upon further digging I found that these books are NOT necessarily 'best sellers'. They are expected to be best sellers by those who work for the New York Times and happen to get good reviews. This is a bad business practice that most people don't realize. But it doesn't stop there. No.....even for the few who are aware of this, they still have the high end, nose in the air reputation that draws in the more posh crowd who simply want the best of the best (even if its only in rumor) and will pay for those books just because the most famous newspaper in one of the richest states in America said so.

So now it becomes the old tale of the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer. Yep, I went there. I have to, it is what it is. We may not want to admit this is how it is, but it doesn't change anything. The reason I want to boycott the New York Time's is because their age old habits are now hampering the success of millions of incomparably amazing writers all over the world. And for what? So celebrities can put books out and make even MORE millions for books they didn't even write? For more 'been there, done that' books from the same old author? Frankly, these books aren't worth my hard earned money.

If publishers no longer accept new authors how on earth do they expect to make truly great writers a success? If only there was a way to round up all the indie authors out there who are fighting the good fight and build a business of our own......oh wait! There is!

I will not buy any books I find on the best sellers list because I know there are MANY other authors out there who write far better books. If all us indie authors stopped paying the big publishers by not buying these books, we'd be taking a leg out from under that table. Then maybe the authors who didn't earn their way to the top but got there anyway will finally step down and let the real talent do their thing. Then authors can get all their royalties and know that they didn't get screwed. Then we can all be appreciated for the work we put into it because we are the ones doing it! I believe it will all be worth it in the long run.

So there you have it. You don't have to agree with me. You don't have to stop buying the books they advertise but I will. I hope you all have a better understanding about what it is to be an independent author vs a published author.

Good luck to those of you still struggling to get attention from the publishers!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Bad Luck Strikes Again

Usually this time of year is just crap for me. My boyfriend thinks I'm crazy and rolls his eyes whenever I talk about this but it is 100% true. Every year come December the shit hits the fan. Something always happens to completely screw me for the winter.

It typically goes like this:

November = Serious Financial Strain (but manageable)
December = Complete Disaster
January = Steadily tolerating the affects of December
February = Recovery begins

That's always been the way. So usually what happens is, my car breaks down in December. Then I spend the next 4-6 weeks trying to scrape up money I don't have to pay for the repairs. Yup, they are ALWAYS crazy expensive repairs. And since the recession it's been completely ridiculous. I had a starter go about a year and a half ago and it cost me over $500 to fix it. Can you believe that? For a STARTER??

Anyway, I digress. After the car repair nightmare there is typically a lull. I do the best I can just to put gas in the car to get to work and make back the money I lost over the last couple months. Sounds fun, right?

After suffering through all that, tax season comes. I file my taxes and spend then next 2-3 weeks checking my bank account every 5 minutes. Very stressful.

Once my return comes I watch it fly away to make up for all the bills I couldn't pay over the last 3 months. And then spring and summer come and all is calm. After that, the cycle starts again.

Well, I've been fortunate the last 2 years. My boss normally leaves for Florida every winter which is why I have such a financial crisis. The last 2 years he stayed here. I guess I got a little comfortable. This year he finally went back to Florida. When he went, a stroke of bad luck hit and I lost not only that income but one other source of income too. (No need for specifics)

On the up side, my car has not broken down. But another odd stretch of bad luck has taken it's place. I seem to be experiencing a serious tech fail this winter.

I have a TV in my bedroom that I purchased brand new the last year I went to Florida to work. That was about 3 years ago. I almost never use that TV. It's really just there for nights that I cant sleep. No big deal. Except that it suddenly doesn't work. I have no idea why, I've tried everything and the damn thing will not work.

At the same damn time that occurred I noticed that the TV downstairs (our main TV) is suddenly malfunctioning. The speakers are blowing out and making a horrible scratching sound at any given moment and it seems to last anywhere between 5-20 minutes at a time. It's horrible!

As if that's not bad enough considering the insane cable bills I've been paying and now its really for nothing, I tried to watch a video tape and found that my VCR isn't working either. I brought out my spare VCR to find that THAT is broken, too!

*sighs*

Okay, so that goes into the trash. I fire up the old laptop that's been giving me hell for 2 years now and I can't seem to get any work done because it's been freezing up on me. Great. Then I drop my phone on the ground (again) and chipped it enough to make a jagged edge that I managed to cut my fingers on twice so far.

Not bad enough? Okay....

I was sitting on the couch the other day and it was really dry. I kept coughing and my nose was burning so I filled up my handy little Vick's Vaporizer and turned it on. About an hour or so later I got up for something and my socks got all wet. I looked around and noticed that the carpet was completely soaked. I looked everywhere and couldn't figure out where the water was coming from. In the meantime, I had filled the tank of the vaporizer for a second time. While I was on the floor searching for the source of the flooding I happened to glance over at the vaporizer and saw that the tank had emptied. It was only minutes prior that I had filled it. So, yep, it had cracked and managed to dump 2 gallons (that I know of) onto my living room floor which also caused a leak in the basement.

I'm betting my stereo grows arms and legs and tries to take over the world next. We'll see. But hopefully, the worst is gone and the lull will begin.

*sighs*

Come on W2's! LOL!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013





Well, the New Year is here and the old year is just a memory. I'm not much of a sappy lady so I don't usually care about the little things like resolutions or things I'm thankful for. But I as I way lying next to my boyfriend on New Year's Day he said, "Did you have a good 2013?" His eyes glimmered with hope and expectation and all I could think was, "Who gives a shit? It's over." But the longer I laid there staring into those innocent eyes as he waited for a response I really started to feel like an ass. So I just smiled and kept quiet waiting for him to lose interest in getting a response.


The next day I thought about it some more......then some more.......and.......some more. A lot of shit happened in 2013. Some good, some bad, some just plain old normal. Whatever that is.

I had many F*ed up moments, like when my boss kept going in and out of the hospital and I had to find a new job (that may have actually been 2012 but it kinda carried through). Or when I had that horrible snap of bad luck and everything I touched broke. Then there was that whole thing where my very first publisher quit because he didn't get rich off the publication of my first book. My car got broken into. My neighbor decided to be particularly nasty and vandalized my property to the point of my having to call the police and put up cameras. I spend the better part of the year playing the Referee between my son and my boyfriend. Then there were those many months of my cat being so sick I needed to take up a new study, veterinary nursing. And I even managed to find out I may have a rather serious health issue. (I'll find out more tomorrow. Tests continue.)

Apart from all of that, there were some pretty wonderful things that happened. My boyfriend stood by me through all of the years shit. He purchased a home and I got to enjoy that with him every weekend. Despite the loss of my publisher I managed to keep moving and I wrote and published my second novel naming myself as the publisher. I spent a good part of the year getting some much needed outdoor exercise. I lost weight. I got my car fixed. I made a decent amount of money and didn't have to struggle so damn much to pay the bills. I improved my patio and got to really enjoy my little fire pit. I got my son to spend more time with friends and experience sleep overs, which he loves! My son finally became a teenager! That's only brag-worthy because I never expected I'd let him live that long. LOL!! I spent a good part of the year getting to know my boyfriend's family who are some of the most wonderful people I've ever met and am extremely grateful for. I've learned some pretty important life lessons that helped me grow as a woman and as a person. And did I mention that my boyfriend stood by me all year?? LOL!!

So I guess I really did have a good year in 2013. And I realized that there's a good chance that this year is going to be pretty good. If for no other reason I'd have to say its because on January 1'st 2014 my son said something I never thought he'd say. He said, "Oh man! Do we have to go? I'm really starting to like it here." when we were getting ready to leave my boyfriend's house to go home. One of the reasons for his new 'like' was because he finally found something he's really interested in........ARCHERY. Which he happens to be really good at and seems to be keeping him outside. :)

With a new laptop, the payoff of my car and getting back to work come spring on my horizon......I'm hoping for a bright and prosperous year ahead.

I hope you've all had the chance to look back and be thankful too. If not..........get blitzed and try to forget about it all. LOL!! ;)