Sunday, May 22, 2011
As most of you know I created the Indie Book Collective to help authors figure out social media and how to sell their book.
It was been an amazing journey and I have met so many wonderful people. We have created so many outstanding promotions, but this one... Blog Tour de Troops is truly close to my heart.
You see this blog tour isn't about the authors really or the books, or even about you the reader. It is about our men and women in the armed forces. It is about getting as many books to as many troops that want them as possible.
Why is this so important to me? Well, I grew up hearing war stories my whole life. My great-uncle not only lied about his age but traveled to Canada to enlist to fight in World War II before the US even entered the war. He was there on D-Day (after transferring back to the US forces once he was old enough).
I know the sacrifices he made and the scars he carried. Then my youngest great-uncle had been drafted into the Army for Vietnam. Long before it became PC to honor those veterans, my family was advocating for better treatment of wounded soldiers and mental health counseling for them as soon as they came home.
I remember wearing the POW bracelets and being made fun of at school for it, but I wore them anyway.
We live our lives in freedom because of the amazing and sometimes painful sacrifices that our men and women in uniform make.
And I can't tell you have proud I am that as an author, in this small way, that I can give back to our troops!
How can you help???
Super simple. Just comment below and YOU will get a free eBook of either my Patterson-style thriller with a dash of Hannibal, Plain Jane, or my paranormal romance thriller HeartsBlood.
In addition to YOUR free eBook your comment also gets a free eBook for a troop. You can either designate the troop of your choice or we are associated with a non-profit organization that will get the free eBook into the hands of a troop who has requested one!
How awesome is that? Well... it gets even more awesome :-) #duh
Your comment also automatically enters you into a drawing for a new Kindle! Plus we have multiple drawings for new Kindles for one or more soldiers (as more and more authors sign on and we get donations the more Kindles we can give away). #awesome\
While my Blog Tour de Troops day isn't until May 27th, I am accepting comments today through May 31st so feel free to comment today and to send all your family and friends to comment too! The more comments I get, the more eBooks that go to our Troops!
I would also like to thank Toonopolis author, Jeremy Rodden for linking to me through the Blog Tour de Troops. If you haven't visited their site, do so RIGHT NOW and get in on another free eBook (and help another solider get another great read).
Next on the Blog Tour de Troops daisy-chain of awesomeness is the amazing Nicole Galland. Head over there RIGHT NOW to qualify for another eBook and of course win one for a troops as well!
Basically if you work the daisy-chain #ofawesomeness right, you could end up with DOZENS of high quality FREE eBooks for both you and the troops.
If that isn't showing your gratitude, I don't know what else could! #sosimple #sohelpful
Thank you so much for visiting my blog and I can't wait to see your comments. Just simply leave a little comment on what you are grateful for, which book you are interested in, and your email address (please be sure to put it in this form so that evil bots don't find you.... Example: craftycmc at aol dot com).
Also list whether or not you would like a specific soldier to receive their free eBook (and which title). If you do not give me the email (again in the super secret format) address for a specific soldier, I will assume that you would like the eBook donated anonymously to a needy soldier though the non-profit organization we are working with.
Again, thanks so much and if you have any questions on how this works, just leave a comment below and an easy way to reach you (twitter handle, email, FB page) and I will get back to you!
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Ok, so I am heading out to Austin and have learned with my bad back one of the best things I can do is get a massage the day before. You know loosen everything up, get the lactic acid out of my muscles.
Great plan. Then of course I have to execute it.
I don't know of any massage places in the area, so I just go to the one closest to my work. It LOOKED clean and respectable.
My first clue might have been the fact there was only one person in the building and she was listening to rap music. Nothing says relaxation like rap.
But as soon as I walked in, she turned it down and apologized... I think. Not to be insensitive but there was a massive language barrier.
I should have inquired into prices then left. Clearly in hind sight this could not have gone any other way, but I only have a few minutes left on my lunch hour and I really want a massage, so I convince myself everything is cool.
After some pointing and gesticulating we figure out that a half hour massage is $30 and a full hour is $50. I opt for the 1/2 (the ONLY smart move I made since entering the building).
We go back to the room which again, looks very nice and an average massage room. She turns on ocean sounds. Okay, maybe this will be fine.
I get undressed, get under the sheet, she comes back...
And strangely asks me... "Do you want a massage?"
Um, I am naked and face down on this table. What the heck else would I want. So only after I say "yes" do I realize that there ARE other kinds of massages. The kind that I do NOT want.
So I try to clarify saying I just want a 'normal' massage. A 'relaxing' massage and all she keeps doing is nodding her head says "Okay, okay."
Dear god, what have I gotten myself into?
Then she puts the tiniest amount of massage oil into her hands and proceeds with the massage. She does not EVER get more oil. And her massage technique is well...
Bracing. Fast. Vigorous.
At one point I realized, oh dear god, this is what a Thoroughbred feels like after a race. It was the equivalent to a horse rub down.
My only salvation is I keep thinking, she can NOT be thinking this is sexy. This bizarre, uncomfortable massage can NOT be leading to a happy ending.
But so far her hands have stayed where they are, but I am having the toughest time being ready for flight while trying to seem super relaxed. That is NOT an easy thing to pull off!
And why didn't I leave? Because what about if I was wrong? I do NOT want to be that middle-class white chick that freaks out at a masseuse. Plus this place is RIGHT by where I work. I do not want to be running down the strip mall with only a thin sheet on #seriously #Ihaveenoughissues
So 90% of the massage goes as planned. There were some awkward moments, there was nothing relaxing about it, and as her hands get drier and drier the massage has become more of an exfoliating exercise than anything, I being to hope I might get through it without anything worthy of a hidden camera.
Then we get to the end of the massage and she jerks (doesn't remove or pull away, just JERKS) the sheet off of me and tells me to "Get Ready."
I do NOT want to know what I should be bracing for! So I pop up, scrambling to gather the sheet under me, and back against the wall.
But there she stands with a hot towel, you know, to wipe off the non-existence massage oil.
So I tell her I am fine and want to KEEP the massage oil on my skin.
And now of course, she probably thinks I am the kinky one! #great
So when I tell you I really shouldn't go out in public. #pleasebelieveme!
Sunday, May 8, 2011
As most of you know, I had a... let's say complicated relationship with my Mom.
So it is not surprising that this Mother's Day holiday thing can kick up some stuff for me. Add to that my own lack of children (probably my largest regret out of a life I have learned not to be regretful) and Mother's Day can be... stressful.
Some Mother's Days I feel so down and depressed. Like how can I ever right my life if it started out so difficult.
Then other Mother's Days I feel guilty that I don't feel down in depressed. I feel like i should be having a difficult time.
Then there are other Mother's Days like this one.
I just feel... at peace.
Sure tomorrow I may get mad at Mom again for some emotional button she installed, but for today I am just glad she was my Mom and I can honestly honor her for trying as hard as she did to protect me and contain her crazy.
I also honor myself for mentoring so many young women and employees. I may not be a "Mom," Mom, but I have done my fair share of parenting so I can honestly say I have paid it forward.
Then I ask each of the dog's for a kiss... which they are always happy to oblige and call it a day.
So for anyone out there struggling on Mother's Day or any day really, just know 'this too shall pass.' And surprisingly even get better :-) :-) :-)
Happy Mother's Day to one and all :-)
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Let me start by saying that "The Office" kicked my ass this week.
Don't get me wrong. I LOVE the "The Office" but to be perfectly honest I was not a huge Michael Scott fan. He was just TOO awkward. It wasn't funny so much as uncomfortable. I have enough bizarre, uncomfortable interactions in my real life, I don't need them in my TV life.
No, what I watched "The Office" for was Pam and Jim. Dwight's out of control bizarreness. And the rest of the gang's exploits.
So it took me a little off-guard when I was so affected by Michael's leaving the show. You thought I would have been relieved, but the writers did such a great job of allowing Michael to grow up.. you know? The guy he could have always been was finally there.
And then this last episode with him? He was so tender and so very vulnerable. I think I cried through the whole thing. Then at the end with Pam? Sobbing.
But it didn't end there. I felt so heavy and depressed after the episode. I tried to shake it off, but couldn't. I watched a few more comedies and a C.S.I. (cuz trying to catch a whacko serial killer is my idea of fun).
Yet I went to bed morose. It wasn't until I tried to go to sleep and that haunting image of Pam up on her tip toes hugging Michael came to me and I started bawling again that I realized my deep sorrow had nothing to do with "The Office."
It had to do with Gary. I was so bitter that I did not have that last hug (see ___ blog for the full story). I too would have stood up on my tippy toes. But unlike Pam, I would have begged, and pleaded, and screamed, and clutched.
I would not have allowed Gary to get on that plane to heaven so peacefully.
If I could have, I would have thrown a scene to end all scenes to keep Gary here with me. I would have done ANYTHING to keep him here.
But as always when I let Gary truly into my heart and even when I am sobbing my heart out thinking that it can never be put back together, Gary comes through.
I let myself imagine what if we truly had been able to actually have that miraculous last hug.
Still, I was clutching, not ready to let him go. Not ready to never see him again. Not ready to never hear him say "I called it."(for the back story see this Lifarre.com article).
Then image came to me of Gary just hugging me so hard, but then making us part.
He looked into my eyes and said, "Queenie's been alone too long."
Of course he was (or at least that part of Gary that I have internalized forever) talking about his favorite dog.
And he was of course right. Queenie had been alone too long in heaven. That was the one and only thing he could have said to me that would have gotten me to stop clutching at him. His time here was done. I didn't like it, but I felt it.
Even though I still cannot see it clearly, I felt last night that there might be some rhythm or reason to this whole life thing. And that while I want to stay here on this plane was long as I am able, I also know what awaits me.
I know once I take that plane into the everlasting sky, who will be waiting for me and then I will get that hug I so desperately crave. #thankyouTheOffice #thankyou