A good word for the night

Well, I almost skipped a day. . .today. . .and didn’t write in my blog.  Okay, let’s just be honest.  I skipped a day already–yesterday.  And I am sure I will be skipping many, many, many more days.  I’m pretty sure I won’t be writing every day in my blog.  I have tons of things to do.  I am going to be writing another noveI l.  And I just got another job as a ColdFusionist again, which I love doing.  As much as I love writing, I also love being a ColdFusionist and writing code.  Plus, I am a full time mom.  Plus, there are many other passions I have that I like to devote my time to.  I would like to keep up with my blog more than I have since I started it.  That’s certainly what I intended when I started it.

I attended not long ago a conference that was called Authors After Dark.  Because of how busy my week was and everything I had going on, despite taking off of work, I didn’t get to enjoy everything I had originally intended to stay and participate in.  However, I did have a lot of fun with the things I did get to do.  I also met many authors. . .some independent and some not. . .and got quite a few free books to read.  So my reading list is now really long.  I am enjoying one of those books now. . .Trouble With a Cowboy by Sandy Sullivan.  It’s been a really good book so far.  I love the strong female character in her book, Jacie.  She actually reminds me in a lot of ways of the character in my book, Anna Khonda.  I was raised in a family that embraced the TRADITIONAL way. . .that is, the man is strong and carries the woman and works and brings home the bacon and all of that stuff, supporting the woman.  Well, although I would LOVE to have a man who could do all of that for me and more. . .and trust me, I have tried. . .I have found that life doesn’t always work out so well in that nice, neatly packaged little setup.  So I have come to admire strong women figures:  independent women and women who could do it all by themselves.  I have worked really hard to become one of those women.  And I am her. . .in the making.  I love how tomboyish the character in Ms. Sandy Sullivan’s book is.  That is another way she reminds me of Anna. . .how both of the characters do things that are traditionally thought to be only in the “male domain.”  I am enjoying her book thoroughly, and I am so glad and happy that I got a copy.  I will not hesitate once done to search out more of her books and read them.  That’s only one on a list that has grown of books that I have to read, though.  In addition, I have so much reading to do for work and other things that I am just so swamped.

Tonight was a stream-of-consciousness night.  My mind is just that way tonight and right now.  I have ADHD pretty bad, and I get in these modes sometimes where I just ramble on and on.  Hopefully, next time I write, I’ll be able to focus a little more.  But even with ADHD, I was still able to finish writing an entire novel (which, for someone who has ADHD, is challenging) and I also am able to work the job that I have as a ColdFusionist.  In spite of my ADHD, when I get really into something, I can get really focused.

Well, it is time for my mind to wander on to bed, as I have a full day tomorrow.  I wish everyone a great evening, sweet dreams, and wonderful day tomorrow as well.  Goodnight!


First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for my little girl.  She did great!  My book, Tales of the Anna Khonda, contains quite few passages concerning parenting.  Here is an excerpt from one such passage:

Anna’s mom left her daughter’s room and closed the door.  She leaned her head against
the wall outside Anna’s door, and a part of her sighed.  The reason a part of her sighed
is the same reason she had told Anna–that her little girl had grown up so fast and so
much faster than she should’ve had to.  Her heart went out so much to that little girl
sitting on the bed on the other side of the door, her head bent over her books, studying
so hard like no little girl her age should have to.  That little girl. . .her little girl.  She loved
her so much.  It hurt her heart to think of how quickly that poor little girl had to grow up
for reasons that were far beyond her control.
Yet she was also thankful.  Anna had proven to be such a blessing to her and had taught
her so many things.  She meant what she had said when she told Anna that Anna was
probably the smartest person she knew, even smarter than the adults she knew.
Obviously, of course, Anna didn’t have the actual knowledge that some of the adults
had. . .it wasn’t necessarily physically possible for Anna to have the actual knowledge
that adults have, but the way she caught onto things.  The way she learned things.  The
way she figured out things.  It was the way she systematically studied things until she
knew them, inside and out, more deeply than even most adults ever could.

Tales of the Anna Khonda even has a first day of school passage describing Anna’s sister’s first day of school .

The New School Year and. . .bullying. . .

Bullies.  They come in all shapes and sizes.  And they choose to bully in many different ways.

Bullying is an issue that is close to my heart and one I am finding myself think a lot about with the coming of the new school year.

My daughter has just started a new school.  I find myself going through my mind, thinking, are other kids going to like her?  How will the interactions with the other kids go?  Is she going to find good friends and good positive role models?  Have I done my part in raising her so far to make her the kind of person who will be a good role model to other kids?  Have I raised her not to be a bully?  Have I sufficiently prepared her for bullying in case it happens, and will she know what to do if and when it does?

My mother once asked me after reading my book if I was bullied a lot growing up.  My honest answer was that I didn’t really come into contact with too many bullies too much as I was growing up.  Things were just different then.  I encountered some bullying when I was in my twenties, but that was mostly of the online kind, and I had already grown up and into someone I wanted to be.  So it was much easier to handle at that age and maturity level.  It’s harder, though, when you’re a kid and just in the process of developing.

The book I wrote, Tales of the Anna Khonda, talks a lot about bullying.  Of course, the main character, Anna Khonda, probably encounters different types of bullying and a different severity or level of bullying, as she has a genetic mutation that has her looking quite different.  In our society, it’s hard to blend in, and if you are already different in a way that is difficult to hide, the chance that a bully will rise up and think that he or she should or could make you pay for what is different about you, he or she will.

And these days, sometimes you read news stories, and you want your kid to be different, at least from some of what is out there.  A story flashed across my Facebook feed not long ago about a couple of girls, maybe 11 or 12, who attempted to kill another little girl who was 11 or 12 based on some horrible online stories that are apparently popular with kids these days and the fact that they were bored.  Hopefully, my child will not be in a school district ever where that kind of thing finds popularity.  I know part of it is about where you are.  Where I grew up and in the time I grew up, something like that would horrify everyone in the community.  The people who would do things like that would be considered outsiders; it would not be considered the norm.

The outlet Anna Khonda chooses in order to deal with the bullying she encounters is martial arts, and it ends up saving her life.  I find myself wondering if I have exposed my child to the opportunities and outlets that could possibly help her deal with something like that, should she encounter it.

I took martial arts, and one thing that shaped parts of this story that really just stuck with me was that one day, a kid came into our class, and the teacher of the class asked him why he was there.  His response was so that he could gain the skills he needed to deal with the bullies in his school.  We had a whole session based on that answer.

I guess time will tell.

Meeting My Character…In Real Life!

ImageI had just started the process of publishing my book when I ran smack into one of the characters from my book.  Okay.  I’m not sure he is exactly like one of the characters from my book from a personality standpoint, but he certainly looked like what I had envisioned physically when writing my book.  This character, Hector, was actually inspired personality-wise by an ex-boyfriend of mine.  He had a lot of my ex’s personality traits.  Believe me, this is NOT me getting hung up on an ex or not being able to get over him!  If you read my book, you’ll understand.

I attended a concert event last year.  I didn’t really run into him per se, physically, but I met him.  His name was Carlos, and he walked up to me, introduced himself, and shook my hand.  I was staring…maybe even practically drooling…over this somewhat strange, somewhat magical, and completely unique experience of the physical manifestation of one of my characters…it was like he materialized out of thin air.  I tried not to be rude and stare him down or give him the creeps, but I probably did.  He disappeared shortly after that, and I never saw him again.  But it was fun.

On a somewhat related note about the physical appearance of this particular character of mine (and for the record…he looks NOTHING like my ex even though he is a lot like him personality-wise; it was necessary for me to make him nothing like him looks-wise), I also saw a character on The Voice singing competition one year that looked like my character:  Diego.

ImageI had a great experience publishing my book.  So if anyone who is reading this decides to publish a book, I have nothing but good to say about my publisher, Outskirts Press.  You can click on the link that the word “Outskirts Press” makes if you’d like to go and check them out.  Or you can click on this beautiful little picture link I’ll post below, for your convenience and to spice things up a little bit:

ImageI was very pleased.  Getting my author’s copies of my books in the mail brought me more excitement than I could adequately describe in words.  It was pretty special that it was right around Christmas, even if it was a little late.  It was like a nice, late Christmas early birthday present for me.  My birthday comes right after Christmas.  But that was a pretty good early birthday present for me.  It was very exciting…something I had wanted to do and had dreamed of doing for a very long time.  And now it is time to start getting to work on the next step after publishing:  appearances, events, signings, and things like that.  I am getting geared up and ready to go!