Defending My Title

I’m not really. Not defending my title, I mean. In my head I sort of feel like I am, but I’m not really. See, last year I won an Ariana award. Entries close on Friday for this year’s contest and I haven’t chosen my entries yet. I asked for some help over at my good friend ZAM’s Yahoo group. As always, the gang helped tremendously and I decided to enter a cover I did for a YA book and a sci-fi book, two categories I hadn’t entered last year. In all honesty, the sci-fi cover is my first in that genre and the YA only the second in that genre.

 

In the contemporary category where I won last year, I have two covers I could enter and the gang at ZAM’s is equally divided on which cover I should enter. One is a het romance and the other is a gay romance. The covers are as diverse as could be for falling into the same category.

And then there’s the paranormal category. My heart’s favorite is my own cover, but there are other good ones too. So how do I choose?

I could even enter in the historical category this year. I created two historical covers but only one of the books came out in the eligible period so I’m thinking maybe As Time Goes By will be my historical entry for next year.

I have until Friday morning to choose my entries so if you have an opinion on what I should enter, leave a comment and let me know!

And now, it’s Marcus time!

Ahhh. What a visual treat! Today’s been nothing but visuals for you. LOL I’m gonna head off to the cemetery and leave you all to ponder those covers. Don’t forget to let me know which ones you think I should enter in the Arianas.

Have a great Monday!

Independent

This Independence Day I’ve come to understand the real meaning of being independent. Rott and I are out from beneath the yoke of being renters. This house is our house and no one can tell us what do with our house or demand entrance. The sense of freedom is amazing. As much as I struggle a bit to pay that loan payment, I derive a huge sense of satisfaction from writing that check and knowing that it pays for the walls around me to belong to me…to us. This is our sanctuary and no one controls what we can and can’t do here. It feels amazing.

Having a landlord feels and is oppressive. We’ve lifted that yoke from our shoulders. When I step out onto my porch with my morning cup of coffee and look at the canyon, I know that the land I’m looking at doesn’t belong to me. Yet, it does in the sense that it is MY view from MY porch. And looking out my windows and not seeing another building which is part of a row of identical buildings is so wonderful it brings tears to my eyes.

I grew up on a street with ranch style houses. Across the street were the pastures of a dairy farm. I lived on that street until I was 26 years old. Being thrust into the apartment and condo environment stifled me and I’ve been living the oppressed renter life way too long. The canyon I drive through now to get home reminds me of the canyons of Laguna Seca near my hometown. It’s like I’ve come full circle without having to go back to my hometown.  What it means to me is something I cannot even put into words, but it is without a doubt, independence.

Another instance of independence in my life is Nikki (aka Motley) who is now 22. She made plans for her 3 week summer break. Plans that didn’t include coming home. Instead, she went to Wisconsin to see a friend from WoW. She made the arrangements with him and his family and didn’t ask me for a dime. She flew there on her own. All I did was drive her to the airport.

Missing her these past 2 weeks has made me aware of her independence and what that means to me as a parent.  Nikki being on her own means that I am alone. Yes, Rott is here and the babies, but that’s different. Nikki is my flesh and blood. The only flesh and blood I am close to. I am not close to my siblings and their children for several reasons and I cannot rely on them to give me a sense of family. However, I do rely on Nikki for that. She is my only child and recognizing her independence means recognizing that one day she could move far away from me. That’s scary. Very, very scary.

I would never ask my child to stay close by because I am afraid to be alone. But the fear is there nonetheless. As independent as I am, I still fear being alone. There are moments I love solitude, but the sense that I am alone in this corner of the world without my only flesh and blood strikes at some deep fears within myself.

I don’t question my independence because of those fears. In some odd way, the fears strengthen my independence. Normally, I don’t think about it except once in awhile. But today is Independence Day so I thought the least I could do is acknowledge my own independence and that of my daughter. I’m so proud of her.  She’s sticking to her guns and working to finish school so she doesn’t have to struggle as I have. Her independence comes from me in many ways and I like to think I’ve not done such a bad job of parenting.

So all you parents of adult children out there, when you’re celebrating Independence Day today, also give yourself a pat on the back for creating and nurturing independence in your kids.  It’s a tough job and part of it is learning to let go and embrace your own sense of being independent.

Before I go, here’s a Marcus to brighten the day for you!

Loving those summer whites! Wishing you all a wonderful American 4th of July Independence Day!

I Am Mom

I spent a good portion of the past weekend putting the finishing touches on my friend David’s new WordPress blog BellaDaddy. David is a Daddy blogger and I think I was more exposed to mommy and daddy bloggers this weekend than I’ve been in the whole 3+ years that I’ve been blogging. As I copied feed links and worked on widgets and badges, it dawned on me that these people are passionate about their children and their lives as parents. And they started to make me feel that I’d missed out on something.

Now, it’s pretty obvious to most people that I just don’t have the personality of a mommy blogger. Still, as I looked at those blogs, I almost wished I were. Not that I could be because my kid is 22 not 2. Whoever heard of a mommy blogger who posts about grown children?

As I finished the site, I realized that even though I could never be a mommy blogger for so many reasons, I am still a mom. I brag about my kid when she does something great. I worry about her when she’s far away as she is right now. I get angry when she does dumb stuff. And I just love her so much that I want everything to go right in her world.

Currently, she’s in Wisconsin enjoying her summer break of three weeks with a friend. If you go to my Facebook page and click on her page (she’s listed in the sidebar as my daughter) you’ll see some amazing photos of a waterfall that she took today. She looks like she’s having a great time despite her inauspicious start of having her second flight canceled due to bad weather, leaving her stranded in the Minneapolis airport.

So I’m not a mommy blogger. Meh. I am Mom and no one can take that away from me regardless of whether I post cute kid photos on my blog or not!

After all these weeks away due to moving and having my desktop computer die, I seriously need a Marcus to cheer me up. I’m missing my kid and finding it hard to regain my sea legs after so much time away. I missed you all, missed posting, missed Marcus…

But I love those bulging muscles! Heh. Boy, am I glad to be back!

Have a great Monday!

On Tour

I’m not writing a post today. Instead, I’m sending you on tour, a tour of my new house!

I’m busy at the office today but hopefully will be able to take off Tuesday and Wednesday because we have movers scheduled and we HAVE to be out of the condo! Rott’s driving the truck but I’m supervising the mover helpers.  So I’m off to get as much work done as possible so I can have the time off. Before I go, here’s my requisite Marcus for this Monday.

Wish that was my hand on him…LOL

Have a great Monday everyone!

Changing Times

Have you noticed the freakish weather across the US? Seems like weather patterns are changing. And that’s not the only thing changing. They caught Osama Bin Laden and executed him. He’s been a thorn in our side for years and finally, we got him. Changes the face of our war on terror a bit now, doesn’t it? The publishing industry is undergoing shifts as ebooks and epublishing and self-publishing are all on the rise.  A royal prince just married a commoner. (And woot! for that! Must have been his mother’s influence there.) And I bought a house. Haven’t actually managed to move into it yet, but it’s ours. The last time I had two bathrooms of my own was when I lived in my parents’ house.

Life is constantly changing but sometimes the changes are small things that we just don’t notice until one day we wake up and realize we’re very different than we were five years ago. I found a forum thread during a Google search yesterday about a popular male model who just closed down his website and social media, left the city he lived in, severed his modeling agency ties (supposedly)  and just walked away from his life.  Speculation ran wild about his reasons for doing this. My first thought was that maybe that life he’d been living got to be too much for him. Too over the top. Too frenetic. Too unreal. After all, he’s just a Mormon boy from Utah which means he wasn’t raised to live such a party lifestyle.

I’m sure the gay community in Miami has a thousand reasons why Levi Poulter left them. My sense is that times maybe changed too much for him and he needed a return to something simpler. I’ve been in that position before a couple of times. This last time is why we bought a mobile home in the canyon as opposed to in one of the more heavily populated areas. When the world changes so much and so often and so inexorably, having a part of your life be a place where you can go to escape it all becomes necessary in order to find balance and cope. I certainly hope that Levi found it. I’m hoping I have with our new house.

Rott said the place is soooo quiet at night. And really dark. Being at the end of the park, right on the edge of the canyon means there’s no building next to us to lend light to our yard. Rott got some solar powered lamps that you stick in the ground that light up the steps and the area around the deck, but he wants some of the tall tiki style ones too because the depths of the yard are really very dark.

And moving from a place where you have to watch out for the skateboarders and surly neighbors to a place where there are coyotes and rattlesnakes is a big jump. Not that they aren’t all things you have to be aware of constantly and watch out for. Human predators and predators of nature. They can all mess you up if you aren’t careful.

So the changing times are something that I’ve been noticing much more than usual lately. I’m not sure why my senses are more on alert but they are. I can see that everything is on a collision course with change. Tornadoes forced change on the south this past week in a big way. I don’t want to be taken by surprise like that. I want to walk into each day with the sense that something big could change at any moment. I don’t want life to get the drop on me. Rott swears the end of the world is at hand. Maybe he’s right, sort of. The end of the world as we know it is something that changes every single day with each event that occurs. Keep your eyes peeled for it. It’s happening all around you.

Okay, I’m done being philosophical for this Monday. I need me my Marcus despite that uber hot photo of Levi Poulter up there. No one tops my Marcus.

 

Oh, that chest. It never fails to brighten my day. For whatever reasons have you cheering this morning – a sexy Marcus or a dead Bin Laden – I hope you have a wonderful day!