The worst thing

My previous blog post omitted one of the worst, strangest, saddest, most unfathomable things that has happened and touched my small family this month.

Last week, a teenaged girl who shared a couple of classes with my teenaged girl, apparently decided to take her own life by sitting on the train tracks and waiting for the inevitable. It happened on a Friday night and of course the teen rumor mill went wild as soon as the story started to surface on the local news. There had been a similar rumor spread through the social media sites just a few weeks previous – claiming a boy had been killed in a hit and run accident- this turned out to be false. The story of the girl appears to be true.

My teen did not want to contribute to the online show of emotion – she told me she barely knew the girl and felt it would be false to claim grief. She felt that posting emojees would feel cheap, cheesy, fake. She got into an argument via text with her best friend, who demanded she show more sympathy on her Instagram.  I’m kind of with my kid on this one – I wouldn’t want to broadcast something I didn’t truly feel either – but when she stubbornly dug her heels in, she hurt her friend’s feelings. They are not talking.

With a whole weekend to stew in the aftermath of the fight with her best friend and for the realization that a girl her own age, that she knew, chose to end her own life, to really sink in- this morning was a not a pleasant one with my teen.

She’s acting up. Being a huge pain in the butt. And I’m somewhat cast adrift with no point of reference on which to base my response. I chose the ‘no you will go to school’ strict parent routine, because I felt that sitting around at home wouldn’t help with either issue – and I hoped that the back with friends environment of school would help, the therapy of being with others in the same emotionally unstable boat. I think to some extent I was right, she’s no longer a blubbering immobile mess of teenageness. Now she’s mad at me, because I just don’t even understand. *sigh*

Nothing like this ever happened to me when I was growing up. I lived in a very small town, our issues were domestic abuse, alcoholism and drug use, bullying, the occasional teen pregnancy, and fist fights after school. Some kids had run ins with the law. Some of them went away and never came back. No one died. No one committed suicide.

It’s just so incredibly tragic that someone so very young, with so much more of life waiting for them, would feel so hopeless.

I really don’t know what to say to my kid. I don’t know what to say to anyone who might be thinking that this is their only option. I could fill the rest of my blog with inspirational quotes and pleas. Would that help anyone? I think I’ll just say, there’s always another option, there are people out there in the world who want to help you find the other option.

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

 

What a strange month

April has been very up and down for me and I’m glad it’s coming to an end, although May does not promise to be any smoother.

Everything was great, until the fire nation attacked… oh no wait, that’s my favourite cartoon series not real life.

In the first half of the month I did manage to get through A LOT of what I wanted to do with my WIP. I found two FABULOUS new CP’s to work with and was even invited to take part in a ‘blog hop’ – which got off to a fantastic start for me and then fizzled as I couldn’t find anyone else who wanted to join in with me 😦 

By the middle of April I’d been so under the weather that I actually made an appointment and went to see my doctor – a thing I never do. I much prefer to self medicate with more fluids and rest, but this lethargy just didn’t want to leave. That went horridly because I waited an hour to see her, and then the first thing she said (by way of an apology?) is that it’s easy to run late when people who are actually sick come to see her… which totally made me feel like I was just a hypochondriac time waster and I mumbled about half of the items on my mental list of worries, forgot to ask for a refill on my inhaler, let her drone on about stress and left (fled) feeling worse than when I went in.

And then I got braces.

So that’s been fun.

I remember getting the molds taken when I was about 13 and then never being taken back for any follow up treatment. When I reached 16 and became capable of making those kind of decisions for myself, the combination of dentist going private, me being a broke student, and having an ever-so-slightly huge fear of the dentist ensured that I ran far away from the thought of getting my slightly crooked teeth taken care of.

Fast forward a couple years (okay decades, shut up!) and my wisdom teeth had really made a mess of all my other teeth so husband finally marched me off to the orthodontist. He’s got braces at the moment too. We look a right pair 🙂

I’m actually okay with the braces – but chewing is a thing I wont take for granted ever again 🙂

 

We had a house guest for a few weeks. Old friend who needed to get away from it all. I let hubby run around and do cool ‘guy things’ with his best buddy and they had a blast together – even let me join in on some of the fun, so I now have a new hobby – disc golf. The extra stuff really kept me away from the computer though, so the great progress on my WIP ground to a halt. I miss the good energy from everyone being in good spirits with our friend here. I know hubby has slumped into the back-to-the-grind feeling, having to go back to work after his mini-vacation of having all the fun.

I need some energy, some motivation. I need a real job and a vacation.

I’ll have to settle for some mini-eggs and getting back to that WIP.

 

 

A review: The Reluctant Detective by Sinclair MacLeod

‘The Reluctant Detective’ is the first book in the series by the same name, written and published by Indie author Sinclair MacLeod.

The first thing I love about this book is the title – you know how some things just appeal to you? Well, ‘reluctant detective’ appealed to me.

The less than enthusiastic sleuth in question is Craig Campbell – insurance claims investigator. He steps outside the boundaries of his usual line of work when an elderly lady approaches him with the tale of her dead son. She’s convinced that the police missed something and when she begs Craig to look into things, he can’t turn her away.
As Craig digs into the case he soon finds himself knee deep in a world of deceit and corruption, with more mystery to untangle than he’d ever expected.

Set in Glasgow and it’s surrounding landscapes, with fantastic authentic patter (dialogue) ‘The Reluctant Detective’ is excellent both as a crime novel and as a teleportation device transporting me back to my homeland.

Blog Hop: My Writing Process

My fabulous critique partner (CP) and online friend, Heather Murphy Capps invited me to take part in this blog hop with her! Heather used to be a TV reporter but she gave up all that glamor and is now a mother, blogger, teacher, and writer.

You can check out Heather’s blog hop post on her site right here.

Thank you so much, Heather, for inviting me to join this blog hop – it’s my first time doing this, and for those of you who are also new to the idea here’s the basic info: Each contributor answers four questions about their writing process and then invites 3 more contributors to do the same. In this way, the blog hop grows as each blogger adds three more and then we all follow the arrows and find so much great info and more cool writers to follow/befriend/learn from/stalk (actually not that last one!)

So, without further ado, here is #mywritingprocess

Q1) What am I working on?

I am currently working on a lightly supernatural fantasy MG where my MC finds herself lost and alone and the only person who will help her is a pale ghost girl, who may have only her own interests at heart. I’ve been working on this manuscript for the better part of a year and having gone through numerous cycles of editing and rewriting I think I am almost there – which is a very exciting and very stressful place to be. On the back burner I have a sci-fi YA novel because aliens are cool.

 

Q2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I enjoy a good ghost story but have yet to come across one with my exact twist. There are many (great) tales where a ghost is simply a soul who has not moved on to the afterlife as intended, and many stories where some other soul is sent to help with the transition, my story puts different players in those roles.

 

Q3) Why do I write what I do?

I love books. I love that feeling of sinking in to a story, where you become so involved in the tale that a part of you believes it be real. I grew up in a small town with a cute little library just 5 minutes walk from my house, and nothing made me happier than finding new treasures on those shelves. Books contained magic and I loved being a part of it. As a preteen I kept a binder full of my own story ideas, pages of characters I had invented, complete with their hobbies, hopes and dreams and family trees, but I never once put my pen to paper and wrote their stories. I was afraid that I wasn’t good enough to tell those stories to anyone else. As an adult I still have all those story ideas filling my head, and I eventually decided that the best thing to do with those stories was to write them down. Nothing ventured… 

So I write what I do because I love these kinds of stories and I’d love to hold in my hands a real book of my own work. Those dreams that I almost gave up on.

 

Q4) How does your writing process work?

My writing process is in itself a ‘work in progress’!

I started jotting down ideas in notebooks, often the same idea written differently in a different notebook, just whenever I found myself with a spare 10 minutes. Examples of my spare 10 mins include: waiting outside school, waiting outside dance class, waiting at the dentist, waiting on the sidelines at soccer practice – get the idea?

This ‘method’ was haphazard and resulted in stories that lacked a certain flow – by which I mean they were incredibly disjointed and rubbish.

Next idea involved carting a laptop everywhere I went, and powering it up for those stolen minutes. This was also not the best plan. Also the laptop was heavy and suffered from battery life issues.

Nowadays my writing process involves a spark of inspiration which has me reaching for my trusty notebook, the tiny one that rarely leaves my side. This is my book of ideas. I note them here and they wait to be considered.

When I have what I feel is the backbone of the story, I write it out long hand in a large notebook. Where it can grow as I think it over and add layers and details to my original idea. When I’ve got a really good idea of where I think I’m going, I start writing. I also have little note cards for each story idea. On these note cards I draw the plot graphs, these give me a quick reference to keep me on track.

I try to devote at least 2 hours every week day to my writing. It doesn’t always work out that I have that (three kids can throw a spanner into any kind of works) but for the most part, I make that time. Those stolen slithers of time (remember the waiting?) are now devoted to chewing over one point in the story at a time.

I feel like my current process works quite well, in that my current WIP is leaps and bounds better than my first ever MS.

 

And now I pass the baton to three more bloggers!

 

Next week please visit Sinclair MacLeod over at his blog for his thoughts on #mywritingprocess

Sinclair is an Indie author from bonnie Scotland and has successfully self published seven novels. His ‘Reluctant Detective Mysteries’ and the spinoff series ‘Russell and Menzies Mysteries’ can be found on Amazon.

You can also find Sinclair on Twitter: @sinclairmacleod

 

 

What the kids picked at the book store.

Since it was International Children’s Book Day just the other day, I took the kids shopping and let them pick out some new reading supplies, here’s what they chose:

Moody Teen Daughter  (yes, she has been renamed for today to suit her demeanor) – done with school testing for the next two weeks, said she couldn’t wait to get her hands on ‘The Maze Runner’ by James Dashner but when we got inside the store and she started browsing the shelves she couldn’t resist picking up books 1 and 2 of the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepherd. She has plans to go back this weekend with her own money and buy books 3 and 4, and also ‘The Maze Runner’

Moody Teen Daughter also recommended ‘The Giver’ by Lois Lowry – having read this one in school she is desperate for me to read it too.

The Boy With The Basketball (renamed due to his current obsession with dribbling that black and yellow sphere) – was the first one of the three to BEG for a second book when I had only promised them one each. How could I say no to that? He picked out ‘My Life as a Joke’ by Janet Tashjian and also ‘Art2-D2’s Guide to Folding and Doodling’ by Tom Angelberger which is part of the hugely popular Origami Yoda series. (I felt slightly conned by the second one.)

And Not So Little One (because she keeps growing taller!) – was hoping to pick up ‘The Trouble With Chickens’ by Doreen Cronin but it wasn’t in stock *sad face* but then the nice lady ordered it for us *happy face* and then Little had the HUGE task of choosing between a Rainbow Fairies, A Magic Puppy, or *gasp* other magical animal books!!?? As she flit from shelf to shelf it was all a bit too much, how could she possibly choose? (esp. with two older siblings breathing down her neck that they were ready to go, and wasn’t it dinner time?)

Finally she pulled a complete surprise, finding a shadowy unknown across on the other side of the reading table and talked a mile a minute about how good ‘Ever After High: The Story Book of Legends’ by Shannon Hale is SURE to be.

And the reading started the minute they were back in the car.

What I’m reading

I recently unearthed my kindle 🙂 (it tends to get lost behind piles of actual books) and in my excitement at rediscovering this wonder of modern technology I plundered Amazon and made off with THREE shiny new treasures.

What drew my attention to my kindle was actually the fact that I won an ebook by correctly answering a book related question on Twitter! I was SO excited about winning 🙂 got the book delivered to my email account, went hunting for my kindle and then had to ask hubby how to get said book from email to kindle.

(I am NOT the IT guy in this house.)

Hubby told me I just need the cable it came with – ohhhh it had a cable??? I had the cable????

I haven’t found the necessary cable yet. I was bummed that I couldn’t access my winnings immediately so to cheer myself up I bought the 3 other books and jumped around joyfully when they appeared instantly on my little gray screen.

For the next few weeks I will be reading ‘The Good Girl’, ‘The Island Murder’, and ‘The Killer Performer’ all written by indie author and fellow Scot, Sinclair MacLeod.

All three titles are part of the same series ‘The Reluctant Detective’ – the first book in the series goes by this same name.

Reviews to come!

Down with Joffrey

The internet can be a wonderful place – because fandoms!

Hanging out on Twitter today while I ate lunch I found some passionate people yelling about King Joffrey Baratheon and, as one must always do, I followed the links.

Apparently as part of the run up to the new season of Game of Thrones, the clever little people at one TV network in New Zealand placed a statue of King Joff in a public square and launched a Twitter campaign where fans must tweet using #bringdowntheking and when enough tweets have been sent they will topple the statue – and I hope his evil little face smashes into the ground!

The GoT fandom has come alive, united in their feverish anticipation of the new season and also in their hatred of the vile creature that is Joffrey Baratheon!

Here’s the link to the webcam 🙂

http://bringdowntheking.com/live

Joffrey must be toppled! Who’s with me?

Joff

Joff