Mixed Emotions

The weekend was fraught with the title of this blog post. There’s shit going on at home. There’s shit going on with websites. There’s shit going on on Facebook. And damn it all…there’s just shit going on in this world.

Top of the charts: One of the Ellora’s Cavemen was murdered early Sunday morning. It’s shocking and such a loss for the staff and authors at EC. And imagine how his friends and family must feel. I mean, the guy was only 27. He purportedly died in his best friend’s arms. At least he wasn’t alone, but still. 27.

At 27, I was having a shitty year. I could have died and probably very few people would have known it. It was a really bad year. But this guy…he had everything going for him. Who the fuck ever took a gun to a club and used it during an altercation should be strung up. I mean c’mon. If you’re that pissed, you punch someone, not shoot them. What does that say about the shooter’s respect for life? The whole thing makes me angry and sick to my stomach at how low so many people who call themselves humans truly are.

Next up: My house. I hate poisonous snakes. I hate the  909-ers who bottle neck my road. But I don’t want to sell or lose my house. But I think my old man has given up. When that happens, I never win. And I don’t know what to do. Sometimes I think I just need to walk away from him and all his problems and neuroses that cost me money and years off my life because of the stress.

And I’m really tired of being broke. I might love him but I’m really tired of being broke. Sometimes I dream of what my life would be like if I had no one to support but me. Man, that’s weird. I’ve never had no one to support but me. I’ve supported other people my entire life, no breaks. I don’t think I’d know what to do with myself.

There’s other stuff. Stuff I don’t have the energy to bring up cause my gut is churning and I need to eat a fistful of Tums. You don’t have to leave me a comment and say you’re sorry I’m going through this or feel this way. I know most of you are generous people and you do feel sorry that my life is shit. I’d rather you go tell someone to check out my books. Not buy them. Just check them out. I’m not trying to make a sale here. Just trying to put myself in front of possible new readers. If they look at my stuff and are interested enough to buy, that’s awesome. But I have a hard time telling people to go buy my books. I guess I’m not a good salesman.

I need a nice photo for inspiration today. Something to help me get through the day. I can’t even say week. Can’t look that far ahead.

Isn’t that pretty? I want to be there. It’s too fucking hot here. I look at that and I could just cry I want to be there so bad. Who gets 105 degree heat in September anyway?

Okay my lovelies. I must go to work. If you want to know what I’ve been reading that I liked, I have a fresh new Valentine Review that I put up yesterday here on this blog. If you want to see where I’m guest blogging about pro sports and bullying and being gay in the NFL check out my pal Tara Lain’s blog. And tomorrow on the 2nd Alix Rickloff invited me over to Blame It On the Muse to talk about Scrambling. Wait until you see that blog post. There’s a port-a-potty in it. LOL

Happy Monday!

 

Photo courtesy Stock.XCHNG

Birthday Explosions

I was a dedicated Tweeter a couple of years ago. I lived on Twitter. My Facebook…meh. Not so much. I had far, far more people on my Twitter account than my Facebook. Then two things happened at once. One, some people I knew on Twitter began lessening their Twitter usage. And two, I couldn’t have it on at work anymore. That took my Twitter karma to like zero pretty quickly.

The same thing happened with my Yahoo IM. A few people I talked to almost daily stopped using it or used it very rarely (or had themselves invisible to me cause they didn’t want to talk to me anymore) and again, I couldn’t have it on at work anymore.

In the space of a few weeks, my interactions with people began to change in a really big way. Then I started to have more deadlines and my writing career became more demanding. That meant no Twitter or IM when I got home. It meant promoing my books and writing and writing.

Now, my personal Twitter account isn’t even used except to send out notices from my feeds. I rarely turn on my IM because the people who used to talk to me daily, just don’t anymore. And I’ve found that the flip side of this coin has become Facebook.

Yesterday, my FB exploded. I had almost 100 birthday wishes posted to my wall. Of course, some of the people whom I used to speak to daily on IM or Twitter and who are on my FB didn’t bother to acknowledge me but I think that’s a flag to me that they just don’t give a hoot. I’m taking under consideration the notion of unfriending those people who never comment to me or respond to my comments. Despite the fact that we were once close friends, apparently, they don’t want to know me anymore so what’s the point in being connected on FB in that case? It does make me sad to lose friendships though. Or rather acknowledge the loss of friendships.

At any rate, my birthday caused an explosion of posts on my FB wall and I have to say, it felt good. This wasn’t an easy birthday for me but Rott and Nikki (Motley) helped me through it by making my day peaceful and stress free. I wish everyday could be that soothing. I needed the peace something fierce and today, I feel much better for yesterday’s quiet.

Many thanks and hugs and MUAHs to everyone who stopped by my FB page yesterday or who sent me birthday wishes on the loops and in email.  You all helped make my day perfect and I cannot express in words how very much, and very sincerely, I appreciate that.

It truly was a banner week for me with the notification that I had two books final in the EPIC Awards. I have no expectations of winning and I won’t be attending the conference and award dinner in Williamsburg in March (that’s not so much about not winning as it is a travel, time off and money issue.) Still, just finaling means a lot to me. And it means I need to get more serious about where this career is going.

I have a lot of thinking to do both about my writing and my friends.

Now, I have a Marcus and it’s a new one for me. I just found it today and it has a total vampire look to it that just goes hand in hand with Halloween and sexy paranormal books.

How hot and sexy is that? RAWR. I could just lick him…

Hope that warmed up your first day of November Monday! Have a good one!

Who Dares

I suppose I don’t talk about my emotions enough here. I just sort of skate along the surface of things. Mostly, I don’t feel that there’s all that much happening in my emotional life that I could fill a blog post. My life doesn’t vary all that much. Work, struggle, struggle, work. And write. Occasionally fight with Rott or Nikki. If I had to dig deep and pull out a bunch of emotions I suppose I could, but I just don’t feel the need to. I spend too much time putting them away so I can get stuff done.

When I do take them out and think about them, nothing changes so I just don’t do that a lot anymore.  It’s not living in limbo. It’s survival and I spend (and have spent) a lot of my life just trying to survive. Now that I’m actually writing books, a dream I’ve had for most of my life, I expend a lot of my emotion there. I give mine to my characters. It’s an easy way to express them and deal with them. And then I don’t have to come here and put so much of me out there for you to read. I mean, I say enough stuff that ya’all are always feeling sorry for me. Don’t need more. I feel guilty enough as it is for saying some of the things I do say!

At any rate, I got an email yesterday that made me think about love. Now, I think about love on a regular basis since I’m a romance author. But, sometimes I don’t think about it in more personal terms. Here’s what happened yesterday: I got an email (it’s a newesletter type blast not a personal email) from a popular cover model. He said he hadn’t posted any photos in awhile because he was suffering from a major broken heart and just hadn’t had the motivation to do anything.

Talking with a couple of other authors our first thought was who the hell would break this man’s heart? Yeah, he is hotness personified, but on top of that he’s NICE. Like really NICE. C’mon, nice guys who are hot do not grow on frickin’ trees! I mean really, who would dare to dump or hurt such an awesome guy? Obviously, a woman who doesn’t see what we see.

And there is the nutshell.

None of the nice guys I know deserve to have their hearts broken whether they are cover model hot or not. It’s just that we all assume that the hot nice guy has a lot more opportunities to find a perfect woman. Yet, while he may think she is perfect for him, he may not be perfect to her. She doesn’t see what we see.  Beauty, and niceness, is in the eye of the beholder always. Sure, there’s like thousands of us who think this man is amazing, but all it took was the one who didn’t to hurt him.

*sigh* Love sucks. We all know it. It’s why I make money at writing love stories. Because no one is immune from being burned. There is always someone out there who dares to break our heart. Lucky people never connect with that person. Some of us meet more than one. We salve our hurts and bolster our hopes by reading the Happily Ever Afters that romance authors offer.

I guess that makes it okay that I don’t come here and bleed out all over this blog. I do my bleeding in private and use it to fuel the stories that help other people who are bleeding out. I like that I’m giving people enjoyment. I like that I’m giving something back. And I like that my emotions and my struggles and my pain can be channeled into those stories that make others happier.

In Julia Quinn’s Romancing Mister Bridgerton, one of my all time favorite books, Colin is hugely jealous because the woman he loves has something to show for her life. Penelope has a body of work (writing a snarky column) that people talk about and that she will be remembered for. And he’s jealous that she has that when he has nothing. The jealousy makes him more possessive of her.  Which kinda turns on the reader and makes her adore Colin all the more. But the thing is, there’s that whole notion of pouring your emotions into something that gives to others.

So instead of me giving you the blow by blow of my deepest emotions here, I give you books filled with hope that even if your heart gets broken, it will mend. And not every person you meet will be one who dares to hurt you.  I strongly believe that everyone has someone, and sometimes more than one someone, who will make your life richer and make your heart soar. If I didn’t believe that, I would never write it into a book.

I know that you’re all expecting a Marcus today since it’s Monday, but in honor of an amazing man who didn’t deserve a broken heart, I give you Jimmy Thomas instead. He’s just as hot if not hotter than Marcus so feel free to drool.

Quick bit of news then I’m outtie. First, if you check the Lex Valentine blog, you’ll see my new hot cover from Ellora’s Cave. The book, Rock My World, is about to go into edits so I’m hopeful that you may see this book before the year is out. Also, Sunstroked, the next Tales book has gone to my editor so I believe it will be out in October. I’ve got a Veteran’s Day project in the works that is something from last year that was tabled and my Spellbound Treasure book should coming in the next couple of months too.

Wishing you all a wonderful heartbreak free Labor Day! MUAH!

PCH

On Friday when I got home from work, Rott wasn’t home. I figured he’d gone to see his mom so I didn’t think anything of it. He called me after I’d already changed into house clothes and had begun to work my way through the day’s email. He’d been to see his mom and was upset about something. He’d attempted to tell her what was bothering him, but she didn’t get it so it just sorta made him feel worse.

At any rate, he didn’t want to come home, wanted to do something out of the house which was the reason for his call.  Now, Rott’s not much to want to go out. I have a purse full of movie tickets I’ve won at work that attests to this fact.  So if Rott wants to go out, who am I to say no?

Still, I had stuff to do and he wanted to rinse off in the shower. By the time he got home I’d finished deleting email. While he rinsed off in the shower I ordered groceries for a Saturday delivery.  I got dressed and we went out.

The first thing we did was cruise straight down the 55 to PCH in his SUV. And Rott talked. And talked. And talked. It was good. Usually, the man doesn’t talk. It was kinda nice to hear his voice and his thoughts instead of the half dozen sentences that get him through the week, repeated as needed.

Driving through Balboa Peninsula we decided to head over to PCH. Windows down, sunroof open, the sun setting…it was a gorgeous drive in the truck which is a really cushy truck. I guess we talked about where to eat dinner for a good forty minutes just cruising from Balboa down PCH to Goldenwest, then up through the park to Warner…all places we used to drive when we lived in that part of the county. We both admitted to missing living over there.

When we saw Don Ramon’s in Huntington Beach we decided we wanted Mexican food and a pitcher of margys. But a pitcher of margys between us when you’re 20 miles and two freeways from home is a bad idea. So we stopped at BevMo cause as Rott’s talking about needing to go to the liquor store, we were passing the store that outdoes all liquor stores. And wow! Both of us had a BevMo card on us! WOOT!

After the BevMo stop we headed for home and the El Torito near our house. We had a nice dinner – ordered the same thing LOL – with the fresh guacamole appetizer and our pitcher of margys. We laughed about the bad karaoke in the bar. When we left a band was playing on the patio at Zito’s and I sang Walk Like An Egyptian with them as I walked to the truck.

We got home and sat in front of the TV talking. I didn’t go and turn on the computer until I was almost ready to hit the sheets. And for all that I didn’t get any work done…it felt like a really productive night. One of the things that both of us acknowledged is that it felt good to burn that half a tank of gas and cruise PCH. It felt good to talk. It felt good to share a pitcher of margys. It just felt good to be together.  It was a perfect night.

Feels kinda blasphemous to post a Marcus after that but I am who I am and I love to look at Marcus.

That image sorta goes with my PCH drive I think. 😉 Wishing you all a really great Monday!

What You Wish For

Today, I have a Tuesday Tune and then I’m gonna get all personal on you.

When people ask me what my favorite Christmas song is, I usually offer up the old carols. The songs I sang in accapella choir. The Boar’s Head Carol, the Coventry Carol, the Holly & the Ivy, Carol of the Bells… you know the stuff. The very old non-commercial stuff. I could tell you all about the Coventry Carol and Lady Godiva and some other stuff, but MEH. No one cares anymore. Everyone likes modern music. Madonna doing Santa Baby. That Mariah Carey song. Aaron Neville.

Don’t get me wrong. I like some of ’em too. Bing Crosby and David Bowie doing the Little Drummer Boy. But the truth of the matter is that in some ways I am a child of the 80’s still. The band that rose to such huge prominence and to this day retains as much respect for their politics as their music holds a place in my heart with their Christmas song.

Last year, I cried for hours. I just wanted Rott. I was so lonely without him. I was worried about him too up in the Sierras in the cold. I wanted things to be like they used to be. Of course, stupid me was thinking back several years instead of just one or two years. Our first Christmas together in Huntington Beach.  The year we were homeless and he brought a tree to the motel on Christmas Eve. I missed just holding him and having him hold me. Last year felt so much like my first Christmas without my parents that I got a little drunk. Couldn’t take the pain.

This year he’s home and all the joy and love that I thought would be there isn’t. It’s been replaced by wariness, caution, fear, trust issues, and a host of the most painful emotions I’ve ever experienced. I’m beset with loss and the man is right there. Things may not be hopeless but at the moment my limboland is painful and painfully barren. I’m not alone like last year, but the loss of so many of my hopes has left me feeling raw and even more lonely than I was last year.

I laughed at myself a few days ago about getting what you wish for. All I could wish for last year was to have him home with me where I knew he was safe and where I could show him that I loved him. This year… I know he’s safe at least. And when he smiles, I can see it. And I know that all this churning emotion at least tells me that I am still alive inside this shell.

And even if we can’t yet cross the chasm between us, and may never be able to, I have those places I can go to in my heart where I can still feel the heat of those memories we made together.  In my mind, Christmas will always be about that night we struggled to decorate a tree that filled a little room and how we laid together in the dark, holding hands, listening to midnight mass on the TV as the lights blinked on that dried out tree.

Sometimes, the best Christmas’s are the ones in your heart.