Sunday, December 19, 2010

One of my fondest Christmas memories...

As we learned back in one of my other #poignancyalert blogs, that I lost Gary, the man who served as my father-figure, during the Santa Cruz earthquake.

You probably have a sense of my loss and devastation, but I thought this Christmas season I would give you a gift of the joy that he brought to me in the form of one of my most cherished memories with him.

You see to us Christmas was a SEASON. The entire house was decked out in a specific theme and we actually built a life sized nativity scene.  I mean LIFE-SIZED!

I am talking manager, camels, wise men, donkeys... and an angel.

Now, of course we couldn't make it to scale for the star of Bethlehem to be way up in the sky, however, we could put that star, and the angel, all the way up at the top of the pine tree.

Not only were we competing with other home decoration enthusiasts, people would drive for miles and miles, and even from counties away to see our nativity.

So to say this was a big deal to us would be a massive understatement.

Which you would assume we would be completely ready every year for the judges... um #notsomuch

You see if we were even close to being ready, Gary would think of some new, great, awesome thing to add to the nativity and off we would go, making ourselves late... yet again.

Therefore it was no great surprise that this one year, we were late in getting the angel up.  The only problem was, Gary was in a cast and there was a violent wind storm.  Who in the world was going to get that angel those thirty feet all the way up to the top of the tree?

I remember Gary looking down at me (I was 10) and just asking with his eyes.  Because, you know, we seldom had to talk, we just got each other.

Now I had climbed that tree before, but under these circumstances?  Branches were being ripped off by the sheering winds and at 30 feet above ground level that tree was MOVING.

I said, "I'm not sure I can do it."

Gary: "What do you mean 'I'? It'll be both of us up there."

Of course, I knew that he couldn't climb the tree with his cast, but I knew exactly what he meant.

So with Barbara Streisand blaring (I did mention he was gay, right?) and Gary holding the ladder, I strapped that angel to my back and climbed (and yes, I want to thank Gary for simply giving me a ton of stories that have statements like... "with an angel strapped to my back"! #solucky).

It was the scariest thing I had ever done, but each time the tree seemed ready to toss me out, I just looked down to Gary and was strengthened by his smile.  I am not sure if I have ever felt prouder.

I got the angel up.  We won the competition.

Now of course looking back, if that had happened these days I am sure Gary would have been turned into child services and that darned angel got blown out of the tree like a gazillion times and I ended up climbing that tree dozens more times that year (and officially became the angel hanger), but I would not trade that singular moment when his smile shown through the storm for anything.

Especially now that he is gone.  When I fret and feel sad, I just remember his words "It'll be both of us up there."

And he was right.  He is right next to me.  Every day... whether I am up a tree or not.

Thank you, Gary. I can't imagine a more lasting Christmas gift.

God Bless.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday Cheer

Ok, so this isn't really about Holiday Cheer, but I wanted to make you feel better before you read about what my real subject is...

The Work Christmas Party.

Dear gawd.  Why in the world did we EVER invent these things?

Because let's face it... the people you like at work you hang out with outside of work.  If you aren't hanging out with them outside of work well... you probably don't actually like them all that much.

So now for some reason around the holidays you have to 'party' with them?

And when did the Christmas party become a high school hook up party?  I mean, we might as well be playing spin the bottle.  And the debauchery?  #drinking #drugs #dryhumping #yikes

But if you don't go... then you are the 'wet blanket.'

Somehow if I don't want to spend four UNPAID hours with people that I am only civil to because it is my job to get along with them and now have to watch them drunkenly tell me how sorry they are for treating me poorly (which they never remember the next day FYI) or watch the melt down as a co-worker finds her husband in the closet with our receptionist.

Um... ya, I am going to pass this year.

Because you know what? I've got plenty of holiday cheer right here at home.  And at this 'party' I don't have to pretend to like anyone! #wahoo!!!

#an #antisocialblog #duh

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Really, should I have to write anything more?

My love affair with lasagna runs far back and despite the fact I am of Scottish origin and this is the season of turkey and ham, I felt compelled to speak of my love.

Whether you are a meat, Florentine or even vegan Lasagna person, is there anything better?

Now some pizza folks will argue with me.

And yes, I know they both have a delicious carb base. They have red sauce goodness and bubbly cheese. Plus most add some form of 'topping' or filling.

So what sets lasagna apart?  Is it the ricotta cheese?

On its own, ricotta is kind of... well... disgusting.  I mean, how many people just dip their finger into the ricotta and go 'yum.'  But some how that ricotta once baked into its proper place in the lasagna structure simply sings!

Still some may argue against even the mighty ricotta.

So to you folk who are still cheering on pizza, let me ask you this one simple question.

How many pieces of pizza to you have to eat to feel full?  For me, at least 3-4.

But with Lasagna... Ah... one heavenly square of that hearty casserole and I am in tummy-full heaven.

How about you?  Lasagna or Pizza.  Comment on your fav below!

Because there is no in between!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Let's go visit Roomie!

Yes, that is the extent of my wanderlust these days.

Different rooms of the house are considered 'travel.'

Now before you start throwing labels around like 'agoraphobic' or 'weirdo,' remember I live on the beach.  Not nearish the beach or a few blocks away, but ON THE SAND.

Going upstairs is considered 'a trip.'  And definitely going out to the garage is an adventure.

I know it is hard to comprehend how lured in you get, until you live here.

I don't have to 'go to the beach, ' I can just look out the window to the surf.  My backyard is a sand dune... literally.  My side yard is the Pacific ocean.

Now if we stayed in our house all the time anywhere else, that would be sad and more than a little pathetic, but when your windows open up to the beach, you feel included in everything going on out there.

Just yesterday we watched a game of sand volley ball, waved to the surfers, cheered on a Golden Retriever catching a Frisbee.  All without having to leave the comfort of our home.

We have decided we aren't 'agoraphobic' but 'inland-aphobic.'

Because going inland requires that we get in the car, which means we have to put on shoes which means we have to FIND our shoes (I know, a sin against my incredible shoe collection).

Which is just WRONG.

Do I expect you to have sympathy for me?  Of course not.  I am assuming you are bitter and jealous #asyouhaveeveryrightobe

I just you know, felt like you needed to know why if you searched under 'travel' in my blogs... um... you wouldn't find any.

#newdefinitionof #stayathome :-)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turkey GIrl

Yes, that is my plight.  Because you see I was born on Thanksgiving.

Not just near Thanksgiving, or around Thanksgiving, but on the actual day. So every 8 years my birthday falls on our National holiday as it does this year.

Before you go all "how delightful," hear me out.

Instead of being sung 'happy birthday' you get some weird 'gobble, gobble, gobble' variation that invariably ends in the whole family (sans you) falling into hysterical laughter.

You get birthday cakes in the shape of turkeys.  I mean, what little girl doesn't want that #none #nonewantthat

You get turkey themed birthday presents.  Why, look how lovely.... turkey slippers. #deargawd

And why bother having an actual birthday party when the whole family is together for Thanksgiving?

Only Christmas, and New Year's babies can really appreciate my plight.

You get 'fusion' birthday/Christmas presents that never quite add up to what you would have gotten as two separate gifts.

And you usually can't turn to your friends for support because, well, they are out of town with their families.

Instead you sit there and smile when your aunt offers you a second helping of turkey, 'as her little birthday present to you.'


So as you sit down to eat your Thanksgiving dinner, think of this turkey girl and in your head sing her a little 'gobble, gobble, gobble' song! #andknowmyagony :-)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Is It Too Much To Ask...?

This is a question I find myself asking on more than one occasion while looking through dating ads.

Is it too much to ask that the guy's picture not include a private piece of anatomy?  Um... I guess so.

Is it too much to ask that the guy not have a prison record (with tats to prove it)? Um... yeppers.

Is it too much to ask that the guy not still live with his ex-wife?  You guessed it.

Now when I complain about the quality of single guys left in the world, there is a certain segment of people who feel I am being 'too picky' or 'too harsh.'

So okay, let's take a look at that.

My bottom line is he needs to be:
Between the ages of 40-55 (in calendar years, not how 'young' you feel - the age on your CDL)
Single (not separated, not 'about to file for divorce' #dudenotevenclose, not 'wanting something more')
Local to the Ventura area (no 'distance doesn't matter to the heart.' Maybe not but it does to my work schedule #jeez)
Gainfully employed (which does not include standing outside a home improvement center)
Non-felon (I know, I know. I just eliminated 99% of CraigsList ads)
Love dogs (not "I pet a dog once" because let's face it, I have a Chihuahua in my bra as I type this)
Does not mention sex in their ad. (yes, I like sex too I just don't feel compelled to tell you my fav position on the internet)

Ok, so for all those that feel I am just too picky, I put this challenge out to you.  Find me a man that meets those 7 simple criteria and I will contact them... happily.

However, if you can't find one, you come back to this blog and leave a comment with your never-ending apology and sympathy for my plight!

Game on!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Can weather be evil?

That is a question I asked myself last week with the Santa Ana winds passed through town and decided... YES it can! #duh

Because first of all there is ABSOLUTELY no reason for them.  NONE.

In case you have never experienced these evil, evil winds, please let me describe them #inexcruciatingdetail

They are winds that flow in the opposite direction of the the 'good' winds.  These Santa Anas blow from overland towards the beach (you can already see how wrong this scenario is).

They are dry, hot and static-y.  Now I know there are those out there that have not lived through the Santa Anas and think I am being a wimp.

Just know that your hair is so dry that when you brush it, sparks fly!  These winds carry every pollen granule for hundreds of miles and then drive them into your parchment-like nostrils.

Will not get any more graphic than that, just know it is hell on earth.

And we are expecting them... again.

It was soooo close to hot chocolate weather I could taste the cocoa in my mouth.  But no.  Instead I get to have anti-histamine dry mouth.

Like I said... EVIL

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Which is More Likely...

A new game my Roomie and I play... ok not so much play as live our life by.

Let's say there are weird, tiny lights moving across the water late at a night...
Which is more likely....Alien pod ships looking for our new kitten... or night fishing boats?

In our house, clearly the alien pod ships. Or at least that's where our minds go, like immediately.

And I must say my Roomie is worse than I am. She doesn't go to the 'worst case scenario' she goes to the 'Ripley's Believe it or not' scenario.

We hear a sound downstairs.
Which is more likely?
A serial killer that takes nostril hairs as trophies or a dog getting into trouble?

Do I even need to answer that question? Teresa has whatever she can grab as a weapon (her level of terror also is dependent upon how recently we watched a Criminal Minds episode) and ready to call 911.

A blinking light on the horizon?
Let's see... Which is more likely?
A foreign spy satellite or how about the planet Venus, you know... the one that's been around for millennium?

You can see how our conversations go. #tothefantastical #alwaysthefantastical

But you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way #howweroll

Ok, I've got to go. There's a car parked funny down the street which is either a drug cartel reconnaissance or you know... #someonewithaflattire

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween - Not Just Any Holiday

Most kids love Christmas. You know, the presents and all.

Not to say I didn't love all of that too, but Halloween?

Ah, Halloween was well... Hallowed for us (click here to read my last post on Gary to know what all the fuss was about)

Why? Well, you see my childhood wasn't exactly normal. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, you are shocked.

Let's see, we have a life-sized nativity scene out front every Christmas. We built floats every year and drove around Northern California to each and every county fair, because, hey, we wanted trophies for all our work.

But all of that paled in comparison to Halloween. It would literally take a forklift to move the huge pumpkins we used for decoration.

And the costumes, oh the costumes were elaborate. Yes, one year I was Hatshepsut... um, you know, the only female Egyptian pharaoh. #duh

But the Halloween that sticks most in my mind is the year that I dressed up as Princess Leah, another neighborhood kid dressed as Luke Skywalker and Gary... well Gary dressed up as Jesus.

Now remember this was in the 70s. And we lived in rural Northern California. But no matter, Gary did not just dress as Jesus, he also insisted on blessing people and forgiving them for participating in a pagan holiday like Halloween.

As you can imagine half the people found it amusing and the other half... well, we got chased off a lot of porches.

It was oh-so-wrong, but oh-so-fun.

Then we got to a house and the woman smiled and commented on how cute our costumers were. Gary was pleased... until she said...

"Look, honey, it is Robin Hood (supposed to be Luke), Maid Marian (Leah) and Friar Tuck!"

As you can imagine, Gary went into a fifteen minute rant about the absolute accuracy of our costumes. The best part for us kids though was, the woman was so flustered that she gave us a second helping of candy.

Call me crazy but that is one of my fondest memories of my childhood. Sacrilegious and all.

Again, I know #weird

What are some of your favorite childhood memories from Halloween? Interested to see if any can top mine for sheer weirdness :-)

Monday, October 18, 2010

The World Shook

On October 17th, 1989 two tectonic plates rubbed together and shattered my world.

Or at least that is how it felt.

Most people remember the Santa Cruz Earthquake (7.1) because it happened during the Bay Bridge World Series (SF Giants vs Oakland A's).

What most people don't know is for that destruction only 12 people died during the quake itself.

I knew 4 of them.

And not to say that I didn't love my uncle and two other cousins, but on that day I lost the single most important person in the world... Gary.

I won't go into depth the difficulty of my childhood. Just know the only reason I survived it was because of Gary.

Sure there was some weirdness. He was 16 years older than me. He was gay (but way, Way, WAY in the closet). And we were betrothed. #minordetails

But that doesn't mean he didn't love me unconditionally. That doesn't mean he didn't teach me about light and love. That doesn't mean I don't miss him every single day.

The only way I survived his death on that October day was to pretend it didn't happen. I insulated myself in a bubble of denial and lived like that for years... well actually over a decade.

But as all bubbles must at some point, it burst and I was left with the whole in my heart had been filled with love and laughter from Gary.

I think this is the first year where I am actually moving through it, fully aware he is gone and grieving.

I would love to say I am embracing Halloween (his favorite holiday and one that we celebrated together like an anniversary) but I am not there yet.

Grief still swirls around this season, clouding my vision with tears and catching breath in my chest.

But just writing this blog has helped loosen some of the pain. I truly wanted to find some place of humor in here, but I am just not feeling it.

I know Gary would have wanted me to share all of our stories of adventure and daring do. He would have wanted you to laugh and know he was the funniest of funny people (Dana Carvy, a good friend of his certainly thought so), but today all's I can do is miss him.

Thank you for reading and I promise to delight you next week with a classic craftycmc Halloween story (brought to you, of course, courtesy of Gary :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fair Food - Ain't What It Used To Be

Is it just me or has the Fair gone soft?

I can't believe I am saying this, but "back in the old days" #godIsoundold, the county fair was the bastion of the worst food for you, but the best tasting food in the world.

Fresh cotton candy. Corn on the cob dripping in butter. Some form of deep-fried... well everything. Plus ribs, piled-high baked potatoes. Corn dogs so big you couldn't fit them in your mouth. You name it. If it was decadent, it was there.

And it simply tasted better than any restaurant food. It was greasy, loaded with sugar and salt... and well... divine.

I mean, I went to the county fair to eat. To savor those childhood memories that only a triple decker bacon cheese burger with cheesy fries can invoke.

What, to my horror, did I find at this year's fair? Um... fish tacos. Wrapped in lettuce!

Dear gawd! If I wanted that kind of food I could have gone to Rubios. Sure there was corn on the cob (for $3.75 each) that was DRY.

What happened to the butter bar? You know the place where you coated your corn in butter then rolled it in different salt/seasoning mixtures?

Nope, this year they just hand you a dry cob (after asking and PAYING for extra butter)and on your way you go.

Not a single rib stand. Not a single cheesy fry station.

Yes, there was a baked potato station that literally had a light sprinkle of cheddar cheese on top. That is 'loaded?????'

Let me say that I know I should eat better. I know I should eat healthier, but if you can't eat unhealthy at a county fair, I seriously do NOT know what direction this country is going!

#Ineedatimemachine #orgotoDisneyland #thelastbastionofjunkfood

Ok, that was my rant for this week. How about you leave a comment on what is your favorite fair food that's no longer available (or is with direction of how I get there to eat it :-)

Also, my novel (under my penname @cristynwest), "Plain Jane" has nothing to do with county fairs or even food and this is actually a rather awkward segue, but I really want you to read it... well... only if you like James Patterson or Silence of the Lambs (if you don't then please do not read Plain Jane because it will freak you out :-)

Anyway click here to read up to 50 pages of Plain Jane for free and if you decide you don't mind a few sleepless nights and want to purchase the whole novel, here is a 50% off coupon: RH88E

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Fall Television Season...

Or as I like to call it... Carolyn's Summer Christmas!

Turing on my Tivo is like opening up presents that beautiful winter morning.

I thrill with anticipation as the television warms up. I scroll down the list, examining the new shows, sizing them up. If I could shake them I would.

Which to watch? Do I go with an old stand-by's season premiere or do I dive right in and get a taste of a new show?

So many decisions and only 4 hours to watch them until bedtime.

Now there isn't just the choice of what to watch first, but then in what order to watch them in. Do I watch all the dramas in a row or sprinkle a few comedies in there?

And then the largest decision of all. Which to watch last. Because that last show is the one that is going to stick with me.

More than likely I am going to dream about it so I better pick right.

The other problem is if I pick wrong for the last show, I more than likely will watch another show, far past my bedtime just to wash the taste out of my mouth.

Do I realize that everything above makes me sound completely insane? Yes.
Do I care? Not really.

Because you know what? At age 45 I have learned what makes me happy. And if I can have Christmas night after night the last week of September, then so yeah me! LOL

So if you are walking by in Ventura in late summer and hear 'Ho Ho Ho!' you will know exactly what's going on!

Who else has a 'thing' with fall television? Comment below with your 'ritual!'

Sunday, September 26, 2010

U.F.Os and Me

By U.F.O I mean the traditional sense of the word. Unidentified Flying Object.

By no means do I think they are extraterrestrial in origin, we just don't know what in the heck they are buzzing around late at night.

I mean, back in North Hollywood anything in the sky was either a police helicopter chasing an suspect on foot or a television helicopter chasing the police helicopter.

Now we've got bi-planes, birds, search and rescue helicopters. Not just that, but now that we live at the beach we've got U.W.O. Unidentified Water Objects.

We have lights that seem to multiply out on the bay after Harbor Patrol retires for the night. We have lights that skim over the water. We have lights that disappear then reappear half a mile away.

There are so many that one would just think that my Roomie and I would simply go to bed and ignore it like the rest of the neighborhood does, but come on. That is not in our nature.

We are the people that were freaked out by that huge star that kept appearing at different places in the sky every night. Ok, so it turned out to be the planet Venus but you get my point.

Our newest mystery is a pterodactyl. Fine, we aren't sure it is pterodactyl, but that is our working theory at the moment.

You see at the fair they have fireworks every night. Shockingly the dogs have gotten used to it so on one of the last night, Roomie and I head up to the balcony to watch them for once (rather than huddled in the closet with the dogs).

The fireworks were beautiful. Then in the middle of it a HUGE shadow passes by blocking our view. Both Roomie and I SWEAR it was in the shape of a pterodactyl.

No, we don't know why a prehistoric creature would pick the loud, crowded fair to show up then fly across at the height of the fireworks, but still!

What about if it has been flying across EVERY night, but we just saw it because of the fireworks?

So of course, we are now out nightly searching for our mystery flying dinosaur.

What can we say? It's better than watching re-runs LOL

Until next week (and our next totally ridiculous finding)!

Another, slightly more grounded mystery I solved is in print! Plain Jane. Just to warn you it was written after watching WAY too much C.S.I. and Criminal Minds so beware!

To sample 50 pages for free click here.
And here is a coupon (RH88E - use at check out) to bring the price down to $1.50! For a whole book! #yes #Iamagiver :-)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My IBC Peeps

I know, it is shocking. I have joined a collective. Where I actually interact with other people.

#ok #fine It is usually by email, but still #Iwantpropsforit

What is this collective you ask? Well, it is a bunch of us writers who have been insane enough to market their own books.

I am not sure if you know but at major (and even some 'indie' bookstores) the placement of books (like the front table or the 'ladders' at the end of the aisles) is paid for by the publisher.

So basically if you don't have a HUGE marketing budget your book just gets thrown onto the shelves with no fan fare. Now if you indie publish you don't even have that.

You've got... well yourself. Which as you can imagine can be scary (not so much for me but that's another whole series of blogs) and not very profitable.

Because let's face it; if I ever want to convert from pre-celebrity status to true celebrity status I gotta sell some books :-)

If you are an author you really should head over to the IBC (click here) and if you are an avid reader, you should head over as well to check out some great new authors you wouldn't find anywhere else!

In the spirit of the collective where we are learning to be brazen and bold about talking about our books, I suggest to you #ok #fine #beg to check out my Patterson-style thriller Plain Jane (with just a dash of Silence of the Lambs thrown in :-)

Click here to read 50 pages of Plain Jane for FREE! Then if you wish to purchase, here is a 50% off coupon! RH88E

And don't forget to follow @indiebookIBC :-)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hmm... The "Burn Notice" scale of dating

I think I have finally found the perfect way to tell whether or not I should go on a date after meeting on-line.

It boils down to this... Would I miss an episode of "Burn Notice," for the date?

And, yes I do have a DVR, however there are certain shows that simply MUST be watched the night they air. For my Roomie and I "Burn Notice" is one of them.

But then I realize that honestly "Burn Notice" and it's Michael Weston hotness and Bruce Campbell camp was simply too high a mark. I mean, with the exception of 2 exs, no old boyfriend would rate a date on this system (which may have been TMI, but hey, I'm a sharer ;-)

Now before you get all 'Carolyn, you are too picky,' remember there is also a dinner at stake. A FREE dinner. At the restaurant of my choosing. So actually this new technique is weighted TOWARDS the guy.

I mean, I WANT to get a free surf and turf meal over-looking the marina.

So after I got off the phone with the last internet 'date.' I thought even with a delicious shrimp and steak dinner: Would I miss "Burn Notice?" Um... no way, no how.

Okay, how about "Royal Pains?" Nope. Come on, the Evan character is sublime and I like to make fun of the medicine.

A repeat of CSI: Miami? No. I would actually rather watch Horatio and his over-dramatic sunglasses acting than go out with this guy.

I think this technique is so effective I want to share it with the men. You know, to help them up their game.

Then, I thought that idea through.

What would I say? "You seem like a nice guy and all, but I'd rather sit through the 'music video' portion of C.S.I. where they clean a gun to hard rock... that I've seen BEFORE... then go out with you." #don'tgetmestartedonceitisfallandCastleison

Um. True, but TMI :-) #see #Iamlearning :-)

Until next week!

You know something you might like to do rather than go on a lame date is read my Patterson-style thriller "Plain Jane!"

I mean it's not steak and lobster but you can read 50 pgs free here and a 50% off coupon RH88E :-)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Should I contact him or not?

I am going to let my readers decide, because let's face it, I think through this blog I have proven I have AWFUL instincts when it comes to dating!

Ok, here is the back story. And by back a I mean like 15 years ago.

I was living with a guy (let's just assume it was a loser, dysfunctional relationship and move on).

I was working with another veterinarian. Wait, did I call him a veterinarian? He was the ADONIS of veterinarians.

Oh, his longer silver streaked hair. His little earring. He was the toast of the town. EVERYONE loved him. His clients, his staff, my staff, the staff at every other clinic in town.

And he was oblivious to how hot he was.

Now did I mention how sweet he was as well. He always helped at the humane society. Spaying and neutering our shelter animals for $5. Like I said a sweet-heart.

I, of course, was in love with him (because clearly I wasn't with the guy I was living with), but so was... well... the rest of the town so I didn't think any about it.

Then my relationship blew up and I left town. I went by the Adonis' practice to say good-bye. Somehow my breaking up got mentioned and he was floored.

"You can't leave."
"Um... the car is packed."

"No, I love you."
"WHAT???????????????????? I mean I love you to, but WHAT?????????????"

Turns out this whole time he had been pining for me as well. And Quote: "$5 spays? I'm a nice guy, but come on!!"

To make a very long story short, we kissed and then I left. Forever.
I know, I know. I was a retard, loser, crazy, psycho chick. I panicked and ran.

I hadn't talked to him in forever. Now about 3 years ago I looked him up and called. We had a great talk (not touching of course on any of the I love you part) and he gave me his email. I wrote and left a followup call at his house, but never heard back from him.

I let it go.

Then out of the blue I was telling this story (although not as abridged)to co-workers and they were like - look him up!!!

Which I swore I would not do.... until later ;-)

No facebook, no twitter (I mean that's a problem right there), but I do have a current photo and work number. According to his bio, he is unattached.

So? Do I let it go and chalk it up to mistakes of youth or reach out on the off chance there is something still there?

Leave a comment below!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Internet Dating - The "Mute" Button

Another category of internet date guy is the 'mute.'

Now let's be clear, they aren't mute when it comes to emails. They aren't mute when they talk on the phone.

At dinner however, they don't say a word.

It is like the cat not only got their tongue but stole their voice box as well.

They also tend to fall into the 'I can't look you in the face' sub-category of men.

So yes, there I am out on a date sitting right across from a guy for nearly an hour (after about the 3rd one of these I switched to meeting for drinks rather than a whole hour of silence) without them speaking a word to me or even looking at me.

Before you think poorly of me, I dig shy. I like shy guys. A lot of my male friends are on the shy and even anti-socially shy side. I've got plenty to say and can usually fill the space easily.

I am not talking shy here. I am talking aversion therapy!

Now, of course because I am just a little bit evil, that only makes me want to mess with their minds by carrying on both sides of the conversation or asking point blank questions then giving them a minute to respond before I move onto the next, you know stuff to keep me entertained.

One might think that these men got in over their head or just didn't like me so they clammed up. Which is what I might have guessed as well, only EACH and EVERY one of them would e-mail later and say what a great time he had and ask me out again.

Dude, I am sorry but if I wanted to date a mime... Wait a minute, I DON'T want to date a mime! #duh #seriously

You know what isn't shy? You know it, Plain Jane (my Patterson-style thriller). Yes, my novel is the exact opposite of shy. It is bold (some say disturbing, but hey potato, patato). Read 50 pages free here.

And here is a 50% off code in case you decide to buy! RH88E

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Internet Dating - A Blasphemy?

Um, if my 10+ years of it are any indication... Yes :-)

I hate to say it because I am sure there are lots of nice, sweet, genuine guys on internet dating sites... I just haven't met any!

So when people suggest that I should join '' I simultaneously want to cry, strangle them or order a double shot of Strawberry Malt. #becausethatishowIroll

Now once, at the height of my desperation, I mean search, I dated 40 guys in 30 days. Yes, that means two dates on some days. And yes, I was a glutton for punishment.

I never got past the 1st date on ANY of them.

Why? I am SOOOOO glad you asked :-)

With enough internet first dates under my belt, I am ready to announce they come in categories.

The first is the "look nothing like their profile picture.'

I don't get it. Are you completely deluded and think you look like you did 20 years ago or you think I am dumb enough to not notice you look ABSOLUTELY nothing like your picture?

I mean should I give these guys credit for at least using an old picture of themselves rather than a hot photo?

Um, no. At least I could have oogled a fake hot pic. But really, I am sorry, even you 15 years ago wasn't all THAT great.

The next story I swear on all that his holy (Ding Dongs and french fries) it is true. #promise

I talked to a guy on-line. He seemed nice enough. His pic was average. He had dark hair, was a little out of shape and looked late thirties/early forties and said he was 39.

I get to the date and looked around. Nope. The guy wasn't there. Guess I got stood up.

Then a guy comes from the bar and says "Carolyn?"

I turn around to find a WHITE haired guy with literally enough wrinkles to qualify him as a Sharpei. I mean, think SANTA CLAUS on a bad day. He HAD to be at least 60.

I instinctively answered 'No, sorry.'

Dear God, now that awkward moment. I DO look exactly like my picture so he knows it is me. He looks absolutely NOTHING like his picture yet I know it is him.

Thank goodness it was at a restaurant where I knew the hostess who sees this go down and she says, "Ma'ame your table is ready."

I mean, I feel bad, but what else do you do besides ask if the guy is smoking crack?

And he wasn't the first one. I had a guy who literally told me after I asked him if that was his picture on-line that it was his younger brother's. I'm like... WHAT?

Another guy admitted he had 're-touched' and 'air-brushed' his photo. Um. Why? I ask WHY???

Is it too much to ask to meet a guy who doesn't have to PhotoShop his profile pic?

Um, yes, I guess it is! :-)

Don't forget Plain Jane is out (my Patterson-style thriller). It is pretty cool you can read 50 pages for free here.
And if you dig those pages here is a coupon for 50% off! RH88E (that makes it less than a buck fifty for an entire kick book!)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I must be sending out that 'desperate' vibe...

In abundance!

Alright, let me set the stage for you (um, right off the bat you should realize I have a bizarre life if the vast majority of talking about it requires stage setting! :-)

Anyway, I am out boogie boarding. (If you are new to this blog, yes I am forty-five and go out with the 13 year olds and boogie board and do ninja moves. For more on that click here).

So anyway I am out pretty deep. The surf is pretty quiet so I mainly floating around, riding some swells, getting ready for my debut as a martial arts actor. You know, just the usual.

Now there are some southern swells that can come from the side and well, knock you over then roll you around for a minute if you aren't watching closely (clearly I figured this out by NOT watching closely but that's another blog).

So I'm floating/playing when I see a HUGE southern swell coming my way. Quickly I start to get up onto my board and turn towards the wave when something under the water WHACKS my legs out from under me.

I tip over backward, bringing my board with me and get churned by the wave.

Now, whatever hit me was smooth so I know it isn't a shark, but still what the HELL???

I right myself as quickly as I can and look further down the swell and there is something really BIG and dark a few feet away.

It's seaweed. It's gotta be seaweed I tell myself.

But then the thing rolls over and eyes me.

It's a SEAL!

He looks at me with a kind of 'hey there. Whatch you doin' kind of face.

Then he turns more fully and realizes "Wait! You're a human!"

And I SWEAR to you on my mother's grave that he panics, makes a 90 degree turn and jets off back into the ocean.

Again, what the hell????????

I make my own 90 degree turn towards the shore and swim like my life depended upon it.

I mean, if I can fool an amorous seal (with my Rubenesque figure and all) into thinking I am a seal, I bet a shark could figure that as well!

Making back to shore safely, everyone is asking me if I was okay and whether or not that was a shark (we've had lots of sightings in the past month but none close to the surf).

No, I explain, it was a seal.

Oh... But what was it doing with you?

Um... Ya... I have a series of blogs that you need to read to set the stage. LOL

Thanks for reading!

During the close of summer I am going to take a little blog break, but don't fear there will still be stuff for you to read.

I have put together three blogs of my most weird, awkward, or downright strange first dates ever.

I hope you enjoy and in September I will be back with 'live' blogging!

Until then you can also read my novel (under my pen name @CristynWest) Plain Jane!
There are no seals, but lots of murder so make sure you are in the mood for a Patterson Style thriller.

You can read 50 pages for FREE here...

And if turns out to be truly thrilling and you wish to purchase the entire book, use this 50% off coupon code: RH88E at check out!

Thanks so much for stopping by and see you next week! #ish :-)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ice Cream Truck!!!!!!!!!!!!

As you can imagine nothing gets my Roomie and I more motivated than those musical notes broadcast by a moving vehicle loaded with treats (well, except for Seal Pup Emergencies but those are covered under another blog :-)

I mean, we can get a 'drumstick' without having to put on our shoes? Heck, or even put on a bra? we are SO in!

And what is it about getting your sweets from a run down truck that looks vaguely like one on the evening news that makes it taste so much better?

Now a days they just sell the same stuff you can get in the grocery store.

But remember when the only place you could get a creme orange soda Popsicle was on the ice cream truck?

I remember as a kid we would hear the music, run inside, beg, borrow or steal the money then hop on our bikes and race down the street and get in line jostling for position in case they ran out of the root beer float ice cream sandwiches.

It meant summer was here.

Now, of course, I just throw the money off the balcony and the guy chucks a Drumstick up at me after we have about two minutes of language barrier issues, but hey!

That doesn't mean I don't relish the experience just as much #maybemore :-)

So if you happen to come over to my house and hear those dulcet tones, GET OUT OF THE WAY. My roomie and I will barrel you over #andnotevenfeelbadaboutit #duh

Until next week!

Alright with summer here, I know, just know you want a sizzling serial killer thriller to read on the beach (please, just not mine, you know how anti-social I am :-)

So here is the link to "Plain Jane" (described as disturbing and macabre by NYT Best Seller @JamesRollins) and a 50% off coupon if you decide to purchase #um #duh: RH88E

If you do read "Plain Jane" (even the 50 pages for free) please let me know how mentally disturbed, I mean much you enjoyed it :-)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The moonlight hitting the water was so romantic...

For me and my CHIHUAHUA!

Yes, even I was taken aback by that thought. This is what it has come down to.

Sitting on the sand, cuddling, watching the moonrise over the surf. With a dog in my bra. #andfeelingprettydarnedgoodaboutit


But then I started thinking (always a downfall #usuallywhenthewheelscomeoffthecart)...

I mean, I am DOOMED, is not just a blog title. It is my reality. If I have any chance of marrying again, I am going to have to settle... for a felon... or worse.

And I am at a point in my life when I am just not doing to settle for some guy who smokes weed and doesn't think 3 years in Federal Prison should count as incarceration.

I mean, Chief (the said Chihuahua) has more going from him than most men. So if I am going to settle anyway, why not settle on him???

While he may not bring any income in, he is at least income neutral (ok, fine, I spend 30 cents a day to feed him), which is better than 3/4 of my ex's.

He isn't promising to get a job but just needs me to pay his car insurance #again.

He doesn't get upset that I let the dogs sleep in the bed #um #duh

He doesn't secretly smoke.

He doesn't forget to tell me he is going on vacation... without me... apparently forever.

What DOES Chief bring to the table?

He thinks I look good in anything! (and when I say anything, I mean dirty yoga pants and a ripped tee-shirt for starters)

He likes it when I eat in bed (ok, that one may be self serving since he hopes I drop something)

He loves me, more than I'm pretty sure a guy ever has.

My proof?

Some nights my back hurts and I toss and turn. I mean for hours. Even I wish I could go sleep in the other room to get away from the constant motion.

But each time I turn over, Chief gets up, comes to the other side and curls up next to me.

One night, I told him "Look, this is going to be a bad one, just go sleep in your comfy pink fluffy bed." I even lifted him up and put him them, covering him in his pink Hello Kitty blanket he loves.

But Chief climbed right of there and dug under the covers with me. I swore he was saying, "You, look! We love each and we will figure this out."

And we did. Finally I got comfortable and we feel asleep snuggling.

Um, so in reality I don't feel like I am really settling at all!!!

The only question now is... #whydidntIthinkofthisbefore!!!

Until next week!

And don't forget, my super scary serial killer book is out: Plain Jane

You can read 50 pages for free here

And just for being so awesome and reading this blog, here is a 50% off coupon! RH88E

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ninja Moves

I know many of you think you know how weird I am. You've read my tweets, you follow this blog. You think you know.

I am here to tell you, you have no freaking idea the depths of my weirdness.

And I am discounting the klutzy, socially awkward stuff. I am talking about the fundamental way my brain works.

First of all, unless it is life or death situation, my brain tends to hang out at the 13 yr old level. Think I am kidding?

An example...

I started boogie boarding again. First off, I am 45 and boogie boarding. Not being all cool and surfing, but boogie boarding... um, alongside a bunch of 13 yr old, but that wasn't my point.

While out in the surf, waiting for a wave to ride, there is some down time. Most of the waves are just swells out there, so you jump up and let the swell lift you up then set you back down again.

I mean, that's fun in it's own right. But am I satisfied with just that?

Clearly #no (otherwise there wouldn't be a blog :-)

I decide to start practicing my ninja moves. You know kicks and poses. Being lifted by the water is what being in one of those wire-harnesses must feel like, right?

I mean you never know when someone is going to want me to star in their kung fu film, and I have got to be ready!

Ok, so many of you may forgive me and chalk the ninja thing up to simple exuberance in the moment.

Ya... Um... when I get tired of that I practice my Greek dancing. Yes, I am out there in the surf doing the 'Grapevine.' And when that gets old, I move onto my Old English folk dances.

And did I mention I imagine I am Super Girl flying through the air when I do catch a good wave?

Like I said... #superweird

P.S. If you ARE casting a martial arts film, I am getting pretty good. Of course you can't see my moves because they are underwater #butstill

Also if you want to experience how disturbing I can be, check out my pen name's (@cristynwest) book, Plain Jane.

Warning, there are no aquatic folk dancing in this thriller. Knives. Serial Killers. you know #grossstufflikethat :-) Click Here

And just for being so awesome and reading this blog here is a 50% off coupon (RH88E)! That makes it just a buck fifty for 368 pages of sheer terror!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I mean, do I really need to write more?

It is the pivotal meal of the day for me.

In the morning, when I am the most lazy and still not quite awake, eating healthy is simply the easiest option. (insta-hot water, oatmeal, and a banana are about all I can swing at 5:30 in the morning).

And dinner, well, Roomie is around for that meal which usually means some form of salad or 'green' selection.

Ah, but lunch. Lunch I am 'on my own.' And I am fully awake for the experience.

When at home, my laziness once again kicks in and I heat up whatever healthy food Roomie has stored for me. #againlotsofgreenontheplate #why #tellmewhy

But when I am at work? Oh, baby!

Pizza available a few doors down the strip mall. Yogurt and sandwiches 2 shops down. The Burrito Hut (which oddly has the best fries in the area) 4 shops down. Plus a Subway. #andIamnottalkinga6inchnocondimentsandwich #terriyakichickenWITHmayo

And that's without me even having to get in the car. A quick dash gets me to Del Taco, McDonalds, Wendy's, and Taco Bell.

So you can only imagine what happens at about 11AM... Ok, fine at 9:01 the second after I walk in the door.

What's for lunch? It is an entire staff decision. Between appointments we discuss our options.

What is the weather like? What did we have for lunch yesterday? What phase is the moon in?

Was a client mean to us? Did we just see a super cute kitten?

It doesn't matter how large or small the event or our feelings, they are factored into our decision.

Sometimes, no one restaurant will satisfy our complex cravings and we spread out like a highly trained army unit and hit five stores. Our sole goal?

To secure the components to the most awesome lunch EVER. Everyday. #youcanstarttoseetheproblemhere #enablers #allofthem

I can't tell you how many weight loss coaches tell you to 'find your joy.'

Um... I'm pretty sure I have. #justnothewayyouthinkIshould :-)

As a footnote my pen name @cristynwest is still at it! She thinks people want to read about serial killers, F.B.I. profilers, and such. #weird #Iknow

So if you are one of those people that like James Patterson or you just want to know what goes on in the Crafty's brain after dark check out Plain Jane.

If you follow the link below you can watch the book trailer (which even I have to admit is pretty awesome #scary #butawesome), listen to an entire chapter's audio excerpt, and read up to 50 pages of the thriller for free!

Click here: and my pen name insists we give you a 50% off coupon code as well! RH88E (use at checkout)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My purse was stolen #bestthingthateverhappenedtome

If you know me, you can probably guess how I could walk those two things together.

The initial moment when I had realized that my wallet had been stolen out of my purse at work were of course shocking and weird and painful.

Then all those freaking episodes of C.S.I. kicked into gear.

I mean, come on, I'm involved in a real life crime? #Finally

Oh my gosh, I cleaned the house #shockingIknow, but come on, I've got cops coming over! #bannerday

And sure enough the cop arrived. And oh, was I ready for his questions!

I was even answering before he could ask them.

"Now, which --"

"I had 3 credit cards, here are their numbers. Yes, I have contacted the companies. Here are the times and locations of where the suspects tried to use them."

Ok, I think he appreciated that educated, informed packet.

Um, the rest?

Next I pulled out my purse (Tinkerbell of course) to show him the slick surface. "I'm not sure they can pull prints off this material."

A blank stare which I took as him just not understanding where I was going with this.

"But I think this area of sequins could have some partials."

"Ma'ame, I don't think we're going to need a C.S. unit for this."


Don't you want elimination prints from me? Aren't we going to try and isolate sweat from the pocket where my wallet was stolen from to get DNA? Aren't we going to put all the info up on a HUGE plasma screen and hammer out a time line?

Um. NO. #notsomuch

Well, just because the police were going to treat this like, I don't know, just a wallet snatch, that didn't stop me!

So, yes, my living room became C.S.I: Ventura (let's be clear the color palette is pale ocean blues highlighted with pink)!

Luckily I had a cork board at the ready!

Who had access to the purse? Who profiled like a possible identity theft?

I even clocked out how long it took to drive from my work to the first gas station. I did Googly Analytics on the websites they tried to buy from to glean their socio-economic status.

Now, of course, I haven't caught them, but SO WHAT?

OMG, the high of the forensics. The high of the chase.

Like I really needed any more obsession with C.S.I. I mean, I had just given up watching the Miami and NY shows.

Now? Season Pass, baby, all 3.

Because I have GOT to be ready for the next minor crime wave that hits! #duh

#andprobablybuymyownfingerprintdustingkit #inpink #ofcourse

But now I think you can see why I might write a book about hunting serial killers!


So if you want to see how I have integrated like a thousand episodes of C.S.I. and Criminal Minds into my writing of my novel "Plain Jane" (under my pen name @cristynwest), head on over to smashwords: to read up to 50 pages for free.

And if it turns out you like my slightly twisted take on Patterson, here's a 50% off coupon to buy "Plain Jane": RH88E

Enjoy #fingerscrossed

Sunday, June 20, 2010

So you think I couldn't embarrass myself any worse!

How wrong you are!!!

Because I am here to tell you that I reached an all new high (actually a low, but we will get to that in a minute) this week.

Let me set the scene for you...

I'm going out to walk the dogs on the beach.

Hmmm... Should I put on nice, matching clothes, or a BRA even?

Nah, who am I going to meet on the walk? #yes #thatwasmyfirstmistake

So out I go, hair awry, in oddly shaped gray yoga pants (yes, more oddly shaped than normal - the butt is saggy enough it looks like I might be carrying a load, but oh so comfortable), an orange Daffy Duck tee-shirt and Hello Kitty pink jacket.

I make it past the 1st half. So far so good. I am loving how quickly I got out to the house (you know without taking the time to find matching clothes or brush my hair) and how comfy my pants are.

As I start the walk back, a guy #ok #fine #asuperhotguy has come down to the waterline to throw the ball into the surf for his Labrador.

Now I notice that the Lab isn't too friendly with other dogs.

Crap, crap, crap. My dogs aren't good with other dogs that aren't too friendly.

But, this guy is so cute. And so age appropriate. And doesn't have a wedding ring (hey, I may not brush my hair, but I do carry my binoculars. I'm not dead after all.)

I'm about to avoid him by walking far up the beach, when I realize, wait a minute. This is why I am freaking single! I avoid interaction, rather than making the most of it.

And yes, I do realize that was my second mistake.

So I time it out perfectly. How long it takes for the dog to swim out to get the ball then swim back.

I know, I just know, that I can get in there, say 'Hi,' and a bit of small talk and get out of there before the dog hits the shore.

#Yes #Mistake #3

So there I go, all oddly-yoga panted and fly away hair, but hey, I am going to talk to a guy!

Our eyes meet. He smiles and looks to my dogs. He makes some comments about how cute they are. I respond back in kind.

Now I'm a little fuzzy on the details since I have retro-grade amnesia but somehow I get to the point where I say...

"Yes, I'm a veterinarian."

Now, I swear on all that is holy, the SECOND that I said that I was an animal professional, a HUGE wave comes in, crashing over me and my dogs... and carries in the unfriendly Labrador.

In a single second I am now drenched, the dogs are fighting, and my two entangle me in their leashes and knock me to my hands and knees.

There is screaming. There is barking and snarling. And there is me, crawling away.

I honestly don't know what happened to the cute guy and his dog, because I am telling you, I just kept CRAWLING, wet and horrified until I made it around the breaker.

Needless to say, I have never seen him again. #thankgod

Also needless to say, I am never ever listening to those voices that say 'oh come, on what could it hurt to say hello" EVER again.

#or #well #untilthenexttime


And don't forget my novel Plain Jane is out! I am looking for a few #ok #fine #alot of reviewers so if you have a blog/review site (or just want to read the book and Tweet about it) head over to Smashwords ( and read over 25% of the book for free. I mean come on... #itcantgetbetterthanthat

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Things are getting Weird around here

Ok, I guess the correct term would be weirder.

Twitter has changed my life. I would like to say in all good ways, but then I would be lying. Or at least making a vague speculation.

You see, I'm not really Carolyn anymore. I am craftycmc.

Worse? I PREFER craftycmc!

I think in 140 character thoughts. I talk about a digital world most people don't understand. I actually say things like "Hashtag, Loser."

And now that I am a "Pre-Celebrity" in my own head but also on Twitter?

It is bad. I look at people that ignore me and think, "Don't they know who my on-line handle craftycmc is???????"

Um, obviously, no Carolyn. I am not even sure how many people ON twitter really care about craftycmc.

But that is the beautiful thing about RT rates and mention logs. They make me feel good about myself.

A cute guy looked at me funny because a Chihuahua squirmed inside my bra?

#Fine I'll just tweet about it and let my stream make fun of you (because as a "Pre-Celebrity" I can't appear petty #duh).

The truly bizarre thing is my family and friends are... joining me in my delusion. They not only know who crafty is, but call me "Crafty!"

They laugh when I say "Hashtag: Loser." They want to hear all about what's going on with my stalking and AJJ. They talk about my "Pre-Celebrity" status at parties. #likeIsaid #weird

I feel pressure now to actually, oh I don't know write good blogs because they now quote them. #superweird

Now when people ask me what is so great about Twitter? I tell them it is transformational.... into a shared, mass, delusional state #ok #Idonttellthemthatlastpart

So glad you could all join me!

How about you scribble a little comment below about how Twitter has ruined #Imean changed your life!

And don't forget my novel Plain Jane is out! I have included the book trailer below AND you can head over to Smashwords ( and read over 25% of the book for free. I mean come on... #itcantgetbetterthanthat

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I write Thrillers. Weird, huh?

Because let's face it, I live the least thrilling life.

Well, I mean I have adventures, they just tend to be in my own head.

Which, it turns out works out great for writing. All that stuff bouncing around, coming out at WAY inappropriate times at awkward cocktail parties is perfect for the page.

Since I am a veterinarian I get asked all the time why I don't write animal books. It seems like such a natural fit.

Um, if I wrote an animal book, I would HAVE to be nice to the characters, and let's face it with my boring life, I like to take all that Craig's List Ad frustration out on someone and a serial killer seemed to be the perfect recepticle.

Which appears to quite the shocker to some. I wrote much of my novel "Plain Jane" while sitting next to a colleague at the vet clinic.

After I finished the manuscript she begged to read the book. I warned her against it, I did, but she insisted she understood it was a thriller in the vein of "Kiss the Girls" and "Silence of the Lambs," so she took it home over the weekend.

The next Monday she handed back the manuscript with shaky hands, "You were right, I'm not sure if I can look at you the same way again... Or sit next to you... or eat lunch with you..." #shegotoverit

One of my favorite clients also insisted on reading it. He raved, "My first thought was... this is the best psychological thriller I've read since "Along Came a Spider!" Then that awkward pause, "My second was, and she's my dog's Vet?????"

So yes, I do want you all to head over to and buy a copy and rave about it... however, be warned, you may never look at craftycmc the same way again!



You can either head over to for the print version (and, of course, leave a glowing review) at

Or read an entire 25% of the book before buying the ebook at

Thanks and I promise a #somewhat funny #ok #fine #anaverage blog next week :-)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I have reached "Pre-Celebrity" Status... Could everyone please treat me like it?

Yes, that special day has come. I have reached "Pre-Celebrity" status.

And yes, of course, it is in my own mind, but where else does it really matter? LOL

I mean, how in the world am I ever going to get that coveted blue "Verified" check after all? (how nice would it look next to my pic, don't you think :-)

You might ask, what is the difference between a pre-celebrity and an actual, you know, celebrity?

Well, the one beautiful thing is that you don't need the outside world to convey it upon you. I am already there, baby! #justcuzIsaidso

What comes with this 'Pre-Celebrity' mantle you might ask? Well, for one thing, I think you should start laughing harder at my tweets and blogs. I mean, I am a pre-celebrity after all. It is my due #andIamtakingnames

I would like to say I am feeling generally superior to everyone, you know, you mere mortals, but alas that is saved for 'pre-diva' status (which I covet as well. #maybenextyear).

I also feel that I could now date someone of 'minor' celebrity status as long as he has some form of addiction or is on heavy psyche meds. Because I mean I AM trying to keep it real. #well #oraswellasIusuallydo

So, 'Pre-Celebrity' now. Blue Checked tomorrow. Real celebrity #whenhellfreezesover

And don't forget my novel Plain Jane is out! Now be forewarned, there is no pink and definitely no Ding Dongs.

My rebellious pen name @cristynwest went a wrote a book about mystery and mayhem. #weird

If you like Patterson or Silence of the Lambs, you can find Plain Jane at Smashwords ( Watch the book trailer, listen to the audio excerpt, and even read over 50 pages of Plain Janefor free. I mean come on... #itcantgetbetterthanthat

Ok, actually it can! Here's a 50% off coupon (use at checkout): RH88E

So get over there and check it out already! I need that dang beautiful Blue Check!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Maybe I Can Stop Running Now...

I've been running (and not the good, exercise, lower your cholesterol kind) for a long time.

Two decades really.

I'll spare you the gory details of what set me aflight, but I think even if I did describe it all, 20 years of running is a tad excessive.

Only when you are running from something like that, you don't want to look back, actually it feels like you can't, so how would you know when you've achieved a safe distance so you can slow down?

It makes you afraid to stop anywhere, with anyone, for very long, let alone put down roots (things that could entangle you, trap you, make it impossible to make a quick escape).

Yet the other day I was cleaning sand off my dresser (yes, one of the many 'fun' things about living at the beach) I just thought, out of the blue, "Maybe I can stop running."

I burst into tears and I could feel the negative voices inside freak-the-f-out, but I also knew it was true.

I'm not sure if it was just the right time, the beach, or Twitter, but something fundamentally inside has shifted.

And yes, I did list Twitter in there. I think because it wasn't face to face, my usual 'anti-social' wall wasn't up quite so high and a number of people have snuck into my heart.

My new job as well (save, of course, my Nemesis, but even she is deliciously fun) has been a delight. None of the usual push-pull of my previous work relationships.

What will it feel like to be still? To be connected to something greater than myself?

I'm still not certain, but it already feels a hell of a lot better than burning rubber 24/7.

#andIpromiseareturn #tomassivehashtagoveruse #nextblog

And don't forget my novel Plain Jane is out!

Now be forewarned, there is no pink and definitely no Ding Dongs.

My rebellious pen name @cristynwest went a wrote a book about mystery and mayhem. #weird

If you like Patterson or Silence of the Lambs, you can find Plain Jane at Smashwords (

Watch the book trailer, listen to the audio excerpt, and even read over 50 pages of Plain Janefor free. I mean come on... #itcantgetbetterthanthat

Ok, actually it can! Here's a 50% off coupon (use at checkout): RH88E

Friday, May 7, 2010

Flying Post-Lost

I know flying changed radically after the terrorist attacks, but for me it has changed the most since the show Lost. #andofcourseIamaCandidate

I mean, come on, I was sitting there as the flight attendant started her safety speech.

Um, hello? I've seen Lost. I know all about that oxygen line that drops down. #duh

Keep your safety belts on. You never know when a mystical entity is going to jerk your plane from the sky. #doubleduh

And those seat cushions that conveniently float? Oh, I am all over that.

But ask me to sit in the tail section of the plane? Forget it!

I mean, I want a CHANCE at survival if the plane crashes. And we all know what happened to the bulk of the 'tailies.'

So don't even try to get me to sit back there. You can't make me.

Oh, well, I guess with the new Federal Laws, they can, but you know what I mean!

And yes, I do frequently make big life choices based on speculative fiction television series #whodoesnt.

As an example, on the flight to Phoenix last week, we had some of the worst turbulence I have ever experienced.

I mean drop from the sky a few hundred feet, seats rattling uncontrollably kind of turbulence.

But all I kept thinking was, if we go down and get stranded somewhere...

There aren't nearly enough hot guys on this plane to form an adequate love triangle.

And don't forget my novel Plain Jane is out!

Now be forewarned, there is no pink and definitely no Ding Dongs.

My rebellious pen name @cristynwest went a wrote a book about mystery and mayhem. #weird

If you like Patterson or Silence of the Lambs, you can find Plain Jane at Smashwords (

Watch the book trailer, listen to the audio excerpt, and even read over 50 pages of Plain Janefor free. I mean come on... #itcantgetbetterthanthat

Ok, actually it can! Here's a 50% off coupon (use at checkout): RH88E

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I Love Meeting New People! #Iamtotallylying

I definitely, without a doubt, do NOT love meeting new people. They are strangers and you know what Momma said about strangers.

They look at you. And want to talk to you. And then, the horror of horrors, they expect you to talk back.

And at a conference people actually walk across a room to talk with you.

I have found there really is no where to hide (trust me I tried.)

Luckily #BloggyBootCamp was different than any other convention I have ever been to. The people here didn't seem to care that I was awkward.

They kind of dug it.

I only had to wander away once, eyes averted, from a conversation that belly-flopped! And only once during dinner did I feel like I wanted to just slide from my seat under the table (not feasible here since no table cloths. Which BTW #whatsupwiththat).

I mean, how awesome is that? #Iamcountingitasatotalscore

Then the actual day of the conference...

Ok, whose bright idea was it anyway for my best friend and I to 'divide and conquer?' To split up and go to two different sessions?

Had either of us met me?

Somehow I made it through the day, smiling, nodding my head, you know that stuff I see other people doing to one another.

Then 3pm hits. And I am DONE.

I mean, I have to suppress my flight response.

I suddenly know where all the exits are. I suddenly have a map in my head of the shortest route back to my room. I began seriously weighing how weird it would look if I got up, raised my hands above my head and ran screaming from the room. #becausereally #ifyouaregoingtomakeanexit #makeitbig

And, of course, the more interesting panel is at 4pm!

So, I know this is going to be hard to believe, but I sucked it up! I stayed.


I somehow muddled through dinner and the briefest appearance at a cocktail party in the history of mankind (in my defense I tasted the guacamole and found it lacking enough...avocado, so really does anyone blame me for leaving?).

The best part was the party was inside a gated pool area and I could not for the life of me figure out the latched gate.

So I stood there. What do I do? I can't go back to the party and say what...

"I'm Anti-Social, I'm fleeing you and this party but I'm too dumb to get out?"

I mean, I am Anti-Social but even I'm not going to say that out-loud!

#havestandards #veryveryveryverylowstandardsbutstandardsnonetheless

And don't forget my novel Plain Jane is out!

Now be forewarned, there is no pink and definitely no Ding Dongs.

My rebellious pen name @cristynwest went a wrote a book about mystery and mayhem. #weird

If you like Patterson or Silence of the Lambs, you can find Plain Jane at Smashwords (

Watch the book trailer, listen to the audio excerpt, and even read over 50 pages of Plain Janefor free. I mean come on... #itcantgetbetterthanthat

Ok, actually it can! Here's a 50% off coupon (use at checkout): RH88E


Hello there!

So you're here because you for some bizarre reason you have shown interest in joining my Blog Tribe (and yes, there will be virtual cupcakes #duh, its craftycmc).

1st off, a bit about it how this came about. The original idea came from the amazing Tiffany at #BloggyBootCamp.

Although, of course I have embellished it :-) #afailingofmine

Since I am super busy, I only want people within the tribe that are SUPER committed to not only growing their blog but their twitter account as well.

Here are a few perimeters I was thinking of...

You must solemnly swear that you are up to no -- Oh, wait, wrong pledge.

The Craftycmc Blog Tribe Pledge:
I commit to growing my Twitter account by at least 250 followers/month (preferably 500, if you don't know how to do that, I can help)

I commit to write at least one blog a week (ok, maybe you get a week off if you break your arm, or space aliens land, but it better be a good excuse!).

I commit to RTing everyone's #MentionMonday once each week (we will limit the tribe to 12 so we don't exhaust our non-blog followers and you should space out your RTs so it isn't a cluster-f :-).

I commit to follow each member's blog (even unanimously if you wish).

I commit to writing at least 1 comment on each member's blog at least once per week.

I commit to shouting out or RTing at least twice each member's blog through the rest of the week (again, I would space these out).

That's all I can think of for now, but I can guarantee you I will be the worst at follow-through, so I encourage if you notice I slipped up for you just to DM me and I will get right on it! :-)

If these terms sound completely awesome to you, then leave your vow of chastity-- again, wrong one...

Leave your commitment to the #CraftycmcBlogTribe and your blog URL so we can all get started following each other back!

Rock On!

Crap, I always hate when I think of something uber important AFTER I put in a great ending!

But, in case you don't know what #MentionMonday is, here is the link the primer :-)

You Rock!

And don't forget my novel Plain Jane is out!

Now be forewarned, there is no pink and definitely no Ding Dongs.

My rebellious pen name @cristynwest went a wrote a book about mystery and mayhem. #weird

If you like Patterson or Silence of the Lambs, you can find Plain Jane at Smashwords (

Watch the book trailer, listen to the audio excerpt, and even read over 50 pages of Plain Janefor free. I mean come on... #itcantgetbetterthanthat

Ok, actually it can! Here's a 50% off coupon (use at checkout): RH88E

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What the Hell have I gotten myself into #thistime

Perhaps I have mentioned, I am ANTI-SOCIAL.

No, this isn't just a feeling I have, it is a confirmed fact.

My Momma told me never to talk to strangers and I took her very seriously!

Oh, you want an example? I will give you an example!

But first before you judge me too harshly, I must set the scene...

I drove to San Diego to meet a friend as he was wrapping up a convention. We had plans to go to our favorite restaurant.

His panel finished but before we could make our escape, a bunch of fans descended upon him.

Pretty typical except the last two that lingered.

One was the most awkward, pimply faced, geeky teen who walks up to my friend and says "You were way funnier than I thought you could ever be."

Then breaks out into a cackling laughter. Not only that but his Mom, (God love her) is 400 pounds in a yellow polka-dotted mumu, driving a motorized cart in figure 8s around us, her red flag flapping. Cackling away as well.

My friend and I just stand there frozen. I mean, what in the hell do you say to that? It was surreal.

Finally we go to leave but one last acquaintance of my friend comes up.

After some small talk (um, not with me of course, between them #duh) my friend says 'Ok, well, we should get going, we were planning on going to dinner.'

Now, of course, he thought that was a great segue out of the conversation. I, of course, knew the dreaded next words.

This acquaintance turns to me and says, "Well maybe I could tag along. Do you mind?"

"Yes, actually, I do." YES. THOSE EXACT WORDS came out of my mouth.

I am blaming the Yellow Polka-Dotted Mumu cackling cart people for freaking me out so badly. #mystory #stickingtoit

Well, about then (you know when both my friend and his acquaintance's face transformed with horror) I realize, WTF, I just said that out loud!

I scramble. "It's not you. It's me...."

Not working, not working, dear god, not working, so I said the only thing that came to mind (unfortunately the truth is what bubbled up to the surface)...

"I'm Anti-Social."

By now my friend has recovered and chimes in... (let's be clear #toolittle #toolate) "Actually she and I are working on a project together.'

"Ya, that too." I add, just to complete my humiliation.

The poor acquaintance murmured his good-byes and wanders off... dazed.

Yep, that's the effect I can have.

But why have I #atlast decided to share this with you?

Well, you see I'm heading to Phoenix for #BloggyBootCamp.

Yes, me along with about 70 other people I have never met before.

Umm.. Ya, you can see how this might not go so well.

So, if you're at Bloggy and see the linens moving by themselves that would probably be me under the table. Or if meet someone that you try to strike up a conversation with who just turns bright pink and runs off, ya chances are, that was the Crafty.



Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's only April and I'm already throwing in the towel on 2010!

For dating I mean. The rest of my life is awesome. Dating though? #notsomuch

Before, when I had, like hope, I would wait until New Year's Eve before I gave up on that particular year.

I would actually go to parties, just hoping beyond hope I would meet 'him' there.

Ok, then I got older (and you know, more tired) and started watching the ball drop on the back East feed so that I was in bed by 9:01pm.

But I would still hold out hope for most of the year until my birthday (around Thanksgiving). Again, I would go to parties, searching the crowd, with anticipation, but as you have probably guessed, nada.

Then I backed the "Date Where I Must Give Up All Hope For the Year" until to Halloween. Surly by the end of freaking October I'd find my guy. (plus by then I was watching the New Year's Eve Festivities in London so I can climb in bed any ole time I liked)

Over the past few years, my designated 'The Day Hope Dies" got slowly moved back to the 4th of July.

I mean, come on, 1/2 the year without a date and you might as well focus your energies somewhere else for the second 1/2!

But this year, that sudden realization, "That The Door Has Inevitably Inexorability, Forever Closed On This Year" came on Easter (notice how I skipped right past Memorial Day, hopelessness has that kind of snowballing effect).

I'm not sure it was the holiday itself (perhaps the candy had some minor part in it) but rather it was eHarmony's fault.

You see I was trying to actually get a date before July 4th so I decided to give internet dating another stab (and yes, I am aware of the imagery there!).

It had been a few years since I had participated in this unusual form of torture (put up pic and bio, get either booty calls or ignored all together) so I filled out all my 'new' (read 4 years older, and not a lot wiser) info and answered the 17 Gazillion questions on eHarmony and got back this lovely message...

"There is a <0.005% you will find someone on eHarmony. We wish you luck elsewhere."

Then it DUMPED me out of the website!!!!!!

Because you see, I'm not just old (45 is the new 90 when it comes to dating), or live in a small town, but chubby too.

I have now been told OFFICIALLY from eHarmony to GIVE UP hope!!!!!! They wouldn't even take my money and let me pretend to be hopeful.

Strangely that message made me less angst-ful.

Because quite frankly I am tired of feeling crazy.

Fielding all those 'just try, get out more, just think positive, you're just imagining the lack of single guys in your age/education/income level," type comments from friends

Now? Uhhh, ya, let me show ya something!

I just shoot off that ending message from eHarmony!

See? I'm not crazy!

Even a huge internet-based dating website thinks.... I AM DOOMED!

And because this is how I am, somehow I think I've won.

#showedthem #notsurethatIhaveinfactwon #butstilltakingcreditanyway

Monday, April 12, 2010

Introducing @WritingNoDrama!!!!!!!!!!

Way back when I first started this whole Twitter thing it was because I was jealous (and really, what in my life hasn't been based solely on revenge? #toomanytocount).

But a very silly techno-phobic friend of mine (I won't name names, but her Twitter handle is @TheDeeView #somuchfordiscrete) somehow started Tweeting and got over 1,000 followers!

How could I stand for that??? I am the webbie! I am the techno-phile! #damnit

So I went and scrounged up my old Twitter account and started tweeting away.

I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and absolutely no purpose.

I mean, I didn't title my blog the same as my Twitter name. Brand, What Brand?

But like lightening in a bottle, crafty grew and grew. I got my business its own account @zerotosold to help authors/screenwriters/directors get themselves and their work out there.

With those two accounts up and running beautifully I thought, ok, I've done it. I have proven I can tweet (ok, fine and I liked it #likedittoomuch #waytoomuch)

Yet somehow despite the fact craftycmc is my personal account, my writing has leaked out and since my homies are writers, I've been getting more and more DMs and @ asking about writing and the craft of it.

Even with all that influx, I just briefly answered writing questions when I could. I wanted to keep craftycmc light and fun and frankly #allaboutme #andmyissues #nogreatsurprisethere

But then what does my business partner have to do? Start his account for acting, @ActingNoDrama

Now he is having the time of life tweeting about his true love; acting.

#damnitm #squared

Now, of course, I want to Tweet about writing!

24/7. Blog about it. Talk about it. Swim in a stream of writing craft. #Iamfreakinginsanethatway

So, yet another endeavor based on jealously and unbridled passion #Iamlikeapuppydogoffaleash...

I introduce to you.....@WritingNoDrama

Be forewarned! I love writing and writers, but I'm not the 'hold-your-hand-and-pat-your-head' type of coach.

I'm the "Shut & Write!" type of coach! (don't believe me? check out my first blog, so very accurately entitled "Shut Up & Write" @

Basically if you are serious about your writing (no matter your skill level - craft can be taught, desire and dedication cannot), I am serious about helping you write.

#wellthatandafewhashmarks #ok #fine #abunchofhashmarks #andsomefun #ya #yalotsoffun

Saturday, April 10, 2010

#MentionMonday - Your Blog's BFF

Alright, you've heard about this #MentionMonday; the largest groundswell in the history of Twitter... Okay, maybe not that big, but for bloggers, it does seem to be the best thing to drive readers to your blog since sliced bread.

We peaked at over 52 million secondary reach this last week. My personal hits to the blog were over 150. That is about 149 more than I used to get!

Yada, yada, yada, get on with how to do it!

Here's the down and dirty...
Here's an example Tweet...

#MentionMonday How is Writing Like Sex? Find out in myblog @ Pls RT :-)

The key components?

#MentionMonday right off the top. It quickly identifies your Tweet as a blog to be noticed!

A catchy blurb/title/pitch

A direct invite to read your blog (and identify it as a blog to anyone not super familiar with #MentionMonday - I know that seems impossible, but it happens occasionally)

Your blog link - make sure to SHORTEN it! use any one of the many free services to shorten your blog's link. You want as much room left over for all the RTing and even personal recommends.

Then a polite request to RT (again for those who aren't up to speed on how this works).

Fantastic! You post that and then you are done right? Hardly!

To get the Full #MentionMonday Monty? Read on...
Now comes the part that makes this blog promotion work. You need to go and RT other #MentionMonday tweets.

You can be super specific and only RT ones that seem in the same genre as yours, or RT anything, that is up to you, but #MentionMonday will only work if you RT as well.

Plus it is only polite to RT anyone who RTed you.

But how to find them?

Put into the search bar (it is about in the middle of the right hand column) MentionMonday. You will find the stream of all the blogs scrolling by. See if yours is there and who RTed it, then go into their stream and RT back :-)

However, these last #MentionMondays were so large it was nearly impossible to find an RT from even a minute ago! So...

Explore your Retweet section (this is good practice anyway to build your following). It is right above the 'Search' bar and under the Favorites (which is below the Direct Message button for those of you who are directionally challenged :-)

The first tab is "Retweet by others" These are random retweets on your stream. who cares about this one, they usually aren't bloggers!

Hop over to the 3rd tab "Your Tweets, Retweeted" There you will find who RTed any of your #MentionMonday tweets.

Now go back to the 2nd tab and see if you RTed them. If not, find their #MentionMonday and pay back the favor!

Lastly, I have found to make life easier on everyone, I will RT a batch, then be sure to post my own #MentionMonday tweet supporting my blog.

This makes it easier for anyone I just RTed to find mine to RT back. I got this trick from several people who did it on the stream and I realized how much easier it made to RT their blogs promptly :-)

Okay, more lastly than the last one...

Do this whole procedure (RT everyone else, then post your own blog promo) frequently throughout the day. We had hundreds upon hundreds of people participate last week, and expect to grow exponentially as people realize how effect a promotional tool #MentionMonday is for their blog!

Any other questions? Don't hesitate to DM @craftycmc @writingstorm or @zerotosold #wearegiversthatway