Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pick Your Battles by Angela Rose

My kids will attest that I don't have a serious bone in my body.  Well, except when you mess with my coffee!

The oldest of my eight kids, Jenna is now 28 years old and she tagged me in a Facebook post recently posing a question.  She wanted me to share a memory.  I replied in the comments section. "Oh, Jenna honey...are you really sure you want to ask me this?" Her response was a simple "SMH".

Now I could have told the story about her birth, but I shared that with you guys already in "Young Mothers Don't Always Know Best." If you'll was a fiasco, though a beautiful, unforgettable moment.  So this time, I went for a memory that scarred me for life. So without further adieu, here was my response.

  Once upon a time there was a little girl with curly, honey-colored hair named Jenna. She was her mommy’s pride and joy.  The mommy would dress Jenna in frilly clothes, big bows and braid her hair. The mommy loved to drive everywhere with her 2 year old baby girl. They would drive from Dayton into Biddeford to do their errands.  On their trip the mommy would love to listen to the little girl’s thoughts, and her mom would smile at how smart and beautiful she was.   

      However, on this one particular day when they were sitting at a traffic light…it became very quiet, but before the mommy could look to see if her little girl had nodded off to sleep she saw the couple in the lane next to them giggling and looking at her car.  That’s when the mommy looked in the rearview mirror and saw her beautiful, honey-colored cherub with a finger shoved halfway up her nose.  The mommy was mortified, because her little baby girl had never done anything like this. 

So the mommy panicked to see her little angel doing something so grotesque and freaked out. 
“Jenna! Don’t pick your nose! That’s....that’s not nice!”   

      The little girl really didn’t react much to her mother’s concern(that hasn’t changed in 26 
years)and the little girl gave an annoyed reply, “Don’t worry Momma…I not gonna eat it!”   

     The mommy was digging(no pun intended) out a baby wipe as she said, “Well, I suppose that’s a
good thing and I should be somewhat relieved. Let’s wash your hands, okay…..and maybe not do
that ever, ever again.”   

      Then the little curly-haired toddler said, “Okay, Mommy.” Then the little girl went back to 
talking about Freddy Kruger, because she’s odd like that!

One of my favorite things to write are journals, so I will not forget those special moments or words that my children utter at any age. Sometimes they make me tear up with pride, other times they make me cry with laughter. Either way, I will never regret jotting them down so I can relive them over and over again. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Confessions Of a Mean Girl

This is a hard topic for me to talk about.  I've told my husband & son of some things that I did during my school days.  I've made amends with most of the people it affected and even have a friendly relationship with several now.  That being said, it is part of my journey.

"You were a mean girl," my guys say.  I have no defense to that statement.  It is true.  I was.  I am not any more.  I made a decision to do my best not to raise mean children.  I married a man with a heart of gold.  He was popular in school because he was a good guy.  I wasn't that popular and what popularity I did have was gained climbing and stepping on another's back.  I know that.  I even know why I was the way I was.  It is no defense.
Yet, I'll share the painful journey because just maybe a young lady out there will recognize something of herself in it.  I share it because it does have a positive ending.   I do hope my story can touch just one young person and change their life.  Today, when the media talks about bullying or how kids are killing themselves because of a mean girl, I can't grasp how devastated I would have felt to cause that kind of tragedy.  To know what my words or actions did to another person and everyone their life impacted.

I wasn't just a mean girl.  I was also bullied by other girls and boys.  I was called horrible names.   I was told horrible things.  As a younger teenager, I was a miserable person on the inside.  I didn't know how to stand up for myself.  In my home, my parents fought all the time.  I was emotionally and physically abused.  I was expected, as the preacher's daughter to be perfection.  My home wasn't dysfunctional due to addiction issues, yet I read stories of addict parenting and I see the parallels.   It was no less abusive because their drug was religion.  It took me a long time to make peace with that and find my own salvation again.  Even longer for me to forgive and mend the broken fences with my parents.  I find all of this hard to talk about because as an adult I do have a much different relationship with my parents. This is my story, my journey, I can't tell it and leave their part of this out of the story.  It's a very real part that impacted me a great deal.  However, I wish them no pain or harm from stumbling across this and reading it.  Our relationships are in a much better place now.

So how did I cope?  I took it out on other girls.  When I got picked on, I found someone I could pick on to make myself feel better.  

In the sixth grade, sitting on the asphalt I glanced down and noticed my tight roll had fallen out.  My fingers scrambled to quickly fold and roll the hem.  They weren't fast enough.  A boy noticed and shouted across the asphalt "Bell bottoms!!!! Who wears bell bottoms?!"
The entire class laughed uproariously.   "She can't afford jeans!"
When the teacher dismissed us to actually have recess, I immediately looked for the poor child.  The one who would have thought bell bottoms were awesome because her jeans were covered in holes and dirt.  I screamed something about her cooties.   Attention diverted.   I was safe.  She wasn't.

Later I learned my own insecurities in myself could be projected via being mean to those with bigger insecurities.  I didn't like how my hair looked that day?  My objective became to point out the stringy, unwashed hair of a peer to the lunch table so their focus wasn't on me.   I didn't have the answer when the teacher called on me and felt stupid?  I could find someone not as smart to make fun of later.

I was a mean girl.  I am ashamed of it.

I reminded my son today when he starts high school next year there will be those who look to climb the social ladder by squashing him.   He responded, "I don't understand it, mom.  I could never be like that."

Tears filled my eyes.  I know he can't.  For that I'm grateful every day.  I learned later in life that I was beautiful, smart, and funny without stepping on another human being to be those things.  I look at my high school pictures and my heart breaks that young lady didn't know her own value.   That she was cruel to other young ladies instead of celebrating herself.   I hurt people.  I am lucky most have forgiven me.  I am lucky that I have gotten to know them as people now.  There will always be people who don't like me.  Who remember that mean girl.   They will never get to know me or who I became.   Some because they are genuinely better people, others because to them I was the bug they squashed, and even some that are still hurt by my words and actions.

Before you bully or pick on someone else ask yourself why you are really doing it?   It won't fix what's wrong inside of you.   It won't make you a better person at the end of the day.  It doesn't attract loving, kind people to you.   I also know when you have resorted to bullying others to build yourself up there's other areas where you aren't loving yourself.  There's times when you are going along with things you don't really want to be doing so you will fit in.  You are making choices you don't even like, how can you expect anyone else to respect them?

If you are being bullied, look at why the bully is doing it.  Recognize now it isn't your fault.  It is something broken inside of them.  This is their cry for an adult to notice and help them.   Don't put your value and self worth in someone else's hands.   They will never cherish it the way you do.  Beyond social media, your contact with most of your school friends will be minimal in your adult life.   Your school years are a blink of time in your life span.   Please, don't let a bully steal your future.

I had to learn these things the hard way, after I learned how to change what I had become.   I still put up with a lot of social torture, but I was more mature in how I handled it.  In the tenth grade I changed.  I stopped picking on others.  I made amends with many of those I had picked on then. I found a church youth group that accepted me.   They helped me learn to like me.  I couldn't love me when I didn't even like me.  By college I had become a new person.  It showed in my friendships, my activities, and the social life I had.  It was worth changing.  I was much happier.  Like the butterfly I came out of the cocoon and found not only freedom from some of my home problems, but a new group of people waiting to give me a chance.  As a young adult I did forge friendships that will last a lifetime.   I am forever grateful to those that have accepted me for who I was, who I am, and who I will be.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March Madness

March is usually a busy time for us around here. The year has begun and is in full swing, school is beginning to wind down but with more work, and we have quite a few birthdays this month, mine included. :-)

This month as already been hectic at work, at home, and with school for the girls. Hubby and I have been married for two years and living together for three and we are still trying to figure out how to go about our day to day routines. Mostly just keeping up the house. My husband is very OCD. He went from it being just him in this house all the time to a full blown family of five with a cat and a dog! He's still adapting as we all are. So after my usual day job I go home to cook, clean, help with homework, and the usual but now thankfully I've got the hubby helping with things here and there. We are a work in progress.

My youngest brought home her report card with three F's on it last week. I went crazy with emails and phone calls to try and figure out what has happened because she was doing pretty good. What's crazy is the F's are mainly in Science and Social Studies which should be some of the easiest courses, at least in 5th grade. Luckily her math teacher called me and said that she is working hard on helping her improve that grade and they even have a tutor in to help her. Her other teacher on the other hand hasn't been quite so helpful. She says that my daughter keeps saying she doesn't need help when asked. Well, I think the teacher should make sure she doesn't need help before just walking off. In my opinion. But after much talking, cleaning out her notebook, and organization we have figured all that out and it's already improving. She also has an audition today with a group of girls to try out for the talent show next month. They are all singing Part of Me by Katy Perry. I don't know if they'll make it but it should be a good experience for her.

My other daughter we have discovered has dysgraphia to go along with her autism. A quick explanation is: Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing, which requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills. Dysgraphia makes the act of writing difficult. It can lead to problems with spelling, poor handwriting, and putting thoughts on paper. My daughter is 12 and her handwriting looks like she's still in kindergarten. It's so hard for her to write correctly. She also has trouble holding her pencil correctly, she never makes the first letter a capital, and she moves her pencil upwards instead of downwards. Luckily for us there are therapies for this as well and she's in the perfect school for that. :-)

As for me, I have been working hard getting everything ready for my trip to The Novel Experience in Atlanta at the end of the month. This is going to be my first big book signing. I'm really looking forward to meeting a lot of the authors I have come to know as friends. So I have been getting paperbacks together, swag, and travel arrangements set. Needless to say I have a very long check list since this will be my first weekend trip without my husband. lol. Also the day after The Novel Experience is my birthday. No big deal really but I'm blessed with a job that lets us have our birthdays as a paid holiday. So I get my weekend in Atlanta and my birthday off to relax or go out during the week in the day light! lol. 

So that's our craziness that's going on this month. Lots of improving, lots of working, and hopefully still lots of fun. 

Thanks for reading about little piece of insanity. ;-)


Sunday, March 9, 2014

I'd Have Been Here Sooner Butt...

Hey Y'all!  Did ya miss me?  As I said, I'd have been here sooner butt (yes, pun TOTALLY intended... *snort* ) I have been wresting and wrangling my nasty migraine monster, this time for 5 plus months.  Thankfully, I hope I am seeing a good light (not the 'go towards the light' at the end of this long, ugly tunnel and can get on with my life!  Seriously, it has kept me away from so many of my plans and my loves ~ reading, writing, traveling, blogging and, most of all my family!

On the good side, I have had a lot of time to think and reevaluate some of my goals.  Writing is still at the top of my list and the ideas are still flowing so I hope to get back in the saddle there starting on the 17th, St. Patrick's Day.  Maybe the Luck o' the Irish will shine on me.  After all, 2014 is MY big year - the year I get published!!  So my cowboys and cowgirls will be kickin' it double time, including all summer.

On the blogging front, changes are a comin' with the beginning of April.  will continue on with promoting exciting happenings in Romance Books, especially with the Paranormal, Contemporary and Action/Suspense sub-genres.  Yes, I will still read the occasional Erotic/BDSM book but I'm going to be more selective.  I have less time to read but will share my latest review, interviews, and guest posts at least weekly.  The biggest change is coming April 1st and no, it's no joke ~ my new blog, Cowboys 'n Country will debut and I am so excited!!  This is where I will be promoting, writing about, sharing tidbits from my WIP's, reviewing and just generally sharing all things Cowboy and Country!  April will be my kickoff month with lots of fun stuff going on.  More information soon!

Last but not least, my home and family.  While things never go as smoothly without Mama, I have been so proud of my girls and especially my sweet man.  They have all stepped up and kept it together while taking care of me at the same time.  I am so excited to rejoin the living and be a part of my gang's daily lives.  We are a little antsy as they are ready to do another round of layoffs at my hubby's business but we'll just have to wait and see how that rolls.  My youngest daughter is sailing through school with flying colors and is being tested for the Gifted and Talented program.  My Teen is doing better.  She is singing with the Dallas Millennial Choirs & Orchestras now and LOVING it.  Who knows what will be next for her! lol And it is looking like I will be homeschooling my Tween daughter again beginning this fall.  It is what we feel is in her best interest.  I have located a fantastic online program called Connections Academy that, shockingly enough is free - I think it is my tax dollars at work. *grin*  This seems like the perfect meld between public school and homeschool without socialization and with me having to do all of the work.  I have a plan for still being able to write so I think it will be a win-win situation all around.

Well, I have jabbered on more than enough.  Yes, I have a lot going on and plenty to look forward to so I will make a point to keep you all in the loop! 

 'Til next time ~

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What ink means to me...

I like tattoos.
Yep, that's right, I said it.

I got my first tattoo when I was 2 months past my 18th birthday and I got a pretty butterfly on my back. I've loved it every day since. I've never regretted getting it. Never wished it gone. It's awesome!

For years I've wanted another one, and finally bit the proverbial bullet and got a new one a couple months ago. It was a trial piece to make sure I wasn't allergic to the ink or had trouble healing or any of that funky stuff. Do I love this piece? I SURE AS HELL DO!

So at the beginning of March (more than likely before you read this post - MWAHAHA) I'll be getting a back piece I've had in my head for at least a decade.

Here are a few pieces that have inspired me, and I do not own these pictures, don't know who they belong to. Found them on pinterest so if they belong to you just let me know and I can remove them or add the info to them...
Okay, here you go!

 I love this first one! It's my favorite by far and the one my artist has to work from. I'm not going with a rose, I'm going with a more complicated flower because that's how I roll! :) But I just love the rainbow colors...
 And the highlights...

Super sexy! So hopefully next month I'll have more ink to share when we're together again!!!

This is all perfectly...well...perfect timing too because Haleigh's Ink released the last day of February. Love Ink, and freedom, and finding yourself, and making a family with the people you love and respect. Hope each of you reading this (yes you) finds something as equally naughty and beautiful to make youself feel pretty.

Members Only, Book Two
A three-lettered word that means different things to many people. Pictures and words that might stand as a reminder of love, loss, rebellion, or camaraderie. For Haleigh Grace, it meant freedom.
Walking through the doors of the tattoo parlor, Inkfluence, marked the start of taking her life back. Making it what she wanted it to be. No one was going to tell her she couldn’t. Not ever again.
Little did she know that behind those doors stood Kyle Muse. He was her best friend, who had walked away years ago without a backwards glance. The one man she fantasized would someday be her knight in shining armor. The one she saved herself for.
But, he has a knight of his own. Tall, dark, and dangerously sexy, Scott Preston. The owner of the very shop Haleigh has an appointment with at midnight.
Feelings long buried rise to the surface and the three find themselves bound by more than just ink…
A Romantica® ménage BDSM erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Haleigh's Ink Available at Barnes and Noble
Haleigh's ink Available at Ellora's Cave

Jennifer Kacey is a wife, mother, and business owner living with her family in Texas. She sings in the shower, plays piano in her dreams, and has to have a different color of nail polish every week. The best advice she’s ever been given? Find the real you and never settle for anything less.
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Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Howling Good Time!

A new month! Wow, where has the year gone. It's been so busy in my house over the last two months. I had three new books release, so if you haven't been over to my website lately, be sure to hop over.

The biggest change for me of course has been staying home...Which, I am loving by the way. My daughter is doing great in pre-k. The teacher says she has a long way to go, but that she is doing great. I couldn't be prouder of her. She's learning 5-6 new words a week and I'm so excited to see her developing a better understanding of the world around her. Just last week she finally learned how to say peanut butter. So now instead of asking for a ''sammie" (a sandwich) she is able to tell me what she wants on it :-) I hear more language in her alone-time play as well. Her teachers are a blessing from God and just the boost I needed.

On another note. We had to surrender the dog we adopted over last Thanksgiving. But, he was adopted by someone else, so he found a good home.

He and my daughter just didn't get along and he was too much dog for our laid back lifestyle. We just don't go run or walk a lot and he really needed that. It was really hard to say goodbye to Duke, but we know he found a better home with the family he's with now.

We did, however, find another dog in need and he fits our somewhat lazy lifestyle perfectly. His family was moving and unable to take him to their new house and so now we have Grover! He is a 3yr old Bassett hound and loves slow walks and laying on the couch or laying in the yard while I push the munchkin in her swing. He is so sweet with our daughter and she loves him. He is the perfect dog for us and we are so lucky to have found him.

HUGS, & Happy Reading!
Krystal Shannan

Krystal Shannan 
Putting Magick in Romance One Soulmate at a Time
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