Tuesday, November 20, 2012

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! From My Family to Yours

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, not just because of the delicious food and enticing adult beverages, but because I get to spend it with those I love most in this world: my family. I wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and peaceful Thanksgiving. Remember to be grateful for your blessings, say "please" and "thank you," and let those you love know how much they mean to you.

Here is my family in all their wonderful glory:

Bobby, Me, Mom, Dad

My niece, Josea, & my son, Ethan
Step-granddaughter (to be), Carleigh Rebecca
My son, Ethan, my sister, Michelle, her son Nash, & my son, Adam

Adam
Me & Adam
My niece, Arissa & my nephew, Jalen (Twins!)
My niece, Devyn
Bobby, Adam, & Ethan
Ethan & his girlfriend, Morgan
Step-daughter (to be), Nicole
Bobby's Mom, Diane, & My Mom, Judy
Mom & Dad aka Judy & Fred

The Sisters: (Front) Laurie & Sharon (Back) Michelle & Debbie
Sisters & Honeys: Travis, Michelle, David, Sharon, Bobby, Debbie, Laurie, Peter

Monday, November 12, 2012

Steve Ogden - HEADSTONES AND MONUMENTS

Every once in a while I have the wonderful opportunity to promote a friend who is also an immensely talented writer. This is one of those times.

Steve Ogden ("Og") and I have been virtual friends for some time. He is an extremely talented artist and writer, and has written a new book I highly recommend. It's called, HEADSTONES AND MONUMENTS and is a collection of scary short stories. This book would be the perfect holiday gift for the person in your life who loves to be frightened. 

Here are a few of the short, spooky stories included in HEADSTONES AND MONUMENTS:
  • Three kids awaken a dark presence in an abandoned house and find themselves fighting for their lives as adults. 
  • A young girl faces off against a demon on an otherwise ordinary day in music class.
  • A skeptical historian is forced to confront Civil War ghosts at Gettysburg.
These are just a few of the tales in HEADSTONES AND MONUMENTS. These stories perfectly capture the fears of our current lives and the nightmares of our past. Mr. Ogden even includes some true ghost stories from his youth. Rather than cheap scares or grisly tales of man's inhumanity to man, this collection is comprised of sympathetic characters confronted by unsettling situations. Fans of Stephen King and Neil Gaiman will enjoy this creepy read. 

Og is also an extremely talented comic book artist and writer. His comic book, CROAKER'S GORGE can be viewed and purchased HERE.

Again, if being spooked is your thing or the thing of someone you love, I highly recommend HEADSTONES AND MONUMENTS. You can check it out and read some of the book HERE.

Steve Ogden has been drawing since he was three years old, and writing since he was six. Ogden has found a voice for his writing in the game industry, working for such luminaries as Cyan (Myst, Riven) and Firaxis Games (Civilization, X-COM). He is also the creative force behind the long running comic strip Croaker’s Gorge and the graphic novel Moon Town. Headstones and Monuments is his first volume of published prose. He lives just north of Baltimore in Maryland’s wine country with his wife and three sons. Visit him at steveogden.com.
 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

FOUR MORE YEARS! Sanity Prevails or Magical Goblins of the Universe

The Beautiful Obamas
Last night I watched the election returns from the comfort of my bedroom with my honey and my feline overlord, Emma. I was so nervous that my entire body shook from head to toe. Since I'd promised myself a thirty-day hiatus from alcohol only three days earlier (I know. Dumbest. Thing. Ever.), I had an epiphany: I was screwed. No wine to calm my jumpy nerves? What the hell was I going to do? Then I remembered I had a certain something left over from when my ex left me for another woman and nearly ruined my life a little over two years ago. Ativan, sweet, Ativan, you're the queen of my soul... Okay, that is a ridiculous exaggeration. No drug is the queen of my soul, merely a pawn in my inability to control my own emotions. However, as I'd done two years earlier, I placed a lot of faith in the powers of a small, white pill.
Magical Goblins of the Universe,  
Edward, Bella, and Jacob


Once the calming drug kicked in... Oh, wait! It never did! I shook just as much before taking the damn thing as after, so really, what was the point? There wasn't one. It was then that I realized I had to suck it up, watch the returns, and pray to the Magical Goblins of the Universe (MGU for short - don't mock me. They're real. That's them over there to the right. Edward, Bella, and Jacob Goblin.) that I wouldn't drop dead of a stress-induced heart attack before the night was over. 

Anyone who knows me either in "real" life or via the wonders of social media (shout out to Facebook and Twitter, yo!) knows I'm a political junkie. If I had a dollar for every RWNJ (Right Wing Nut Job) I argued with on Twitter regarding Obama's policies and how they are working, or how women's rights are vital to society, or how gays have just as much right to be miserable in marriage as straight people, or how climate change actually exists and isn't a message from God opposing gay marriage and abortion, or how women should be paid the same as men for the same work, or that who those in the military love is their own damn business, or that there is, in fact, no such thing as "legitimate rape", I'd be richer than Donald Trump, the egomaniac who kept trying, and failing, to inject himself into the campaign.

Adding to the insanity of the evening was the fact that I knew a certain talented and beautiful agent was planning on spending part of Election Day reading my YA manuscript**. That, combined with the prospect of Mittens in the White House, made me feel like the blood in my veins had been replaced with Mexican jumping beans. 

Thankfully, now the election is over and the best man has most definitely won. The jumping beans have retreated and I can type these words without the need of pharmaceutical assistance. I'm grateful to the MGU that sanity prevailed and that the bigots and religious zealots have lost to the open minded, inclusive, and forward thinkers among us.

President Obama is a blessing to us all - a blessing born from the goodness in our own hearts and the visions for a better future for our children. Hopefully, the Mitch McConnell's of the world who vowed Obama's failure from Day One have learned a useful lesson: working together always trumps (hah!) working against one another. 

Part of my version of The American Dream
Here's to four more years of continuing to revive our economy, to giving gay people the right to marry, to bringing our soldiers home, to keeping the health and destiny of women within their own control, to healing the climate of our precious planet, and to working together as Americans to be an example to our children and to the world of what is possible when liberty and justice are, indeed, the tenets we honor and uphold. Here's to what is possible when we believe ALL Americans are created equal and have the right to pursue their version of The American Dream.

(**Turns out said beautiful, talented agent didn't get to my book yesterday. She had editing and kids and an election to deal with, blah, blah, blah. She's reading it today, though. Damn, I wish I hadn't made myself that stupid not-drinking-alcohol-for-thirty-days promise! What was I thinking? I must have been drunk.)

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the election, gay marriage, Mexican jumping beans, The Donald, or anything else you'd like to share. 

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