Archive | November 2015

I have a new book coming out in December

Scheduled for the first week of December, I will be releasing my new YA novel “Almost 21 Again”. The book is for older teens and features a bit of fantasy, romance and the heartache that comes with growing up. Here is a look at the first few pages of the book.

 

Prologue

      There are some people in the world who refuse to accept unhappiness. Juliet Arden is exactly that kind of person. When she was in the third grade, she unknowingly cut in line at lunch time, causing her to get her card pulled. Having index cards in different colors, all of which identified a certain amount of mischief, allowed Juliet to bask in her daily good behavior. One day she discovered her card was no longer the serene and obedient color of blue. She was mortified by such an unprovoked revelation. Instead of crying about it, instead of accepting it, she simply reasoned with the teacher.                                                                                                     Her level of awareness paired with her calm and persuasive attitude resulted in her teacher rethinking such harsh punishment for such a petty infraction. Her ability to maintain her stellar record of good behavior and excellent grades allowed her the opportunity to visit The White House where she received the President’s Award.

When Juliet was 12, she eagerly donated her time to quite a few volunteer opportunities. She taught the elderly new dance moves, cleaned the animal feces at the local petting zoo and put on puppet shows for ailing children at a nearby hospital. When Juliet was sixteen, she discovered that the most popular boy in school was going to ask her out to homecoming much to the dismay of her best friend, Sally Goodacre, who often walked into walls because she was so distracted by the more-than-high-school good looks of Tommy Dahl. Juliet turned down the invitation with grace, sincerity, and an uncommon maturity while suggesting that he ask Sally. While at the dance, Juliet was surprised to discover Tommy ignoring Sally. Sally instead spent the evening with her and Juliet’ best guy friend, Tucker. Sally and Tucker had a flirtatious good time but after dating for a few weeks, they mutually agreed that what they had was only a friendship. This did, however, lead to Sally meeting Tucker’s neighbor, a local artist who awakened Sally’s own passion and ability as a painter.

While at the dance, Juliet sparked a conversation with Elliott Dennison. Elliot was often picked on for his awkwardly oversized horn-rimmed glasses and undersized jeans that were doubtlessly a hand-me-down from his much shorter, older brother. Juliet decided to date Elliot for a while, which caused Elliot to gain a confidence he never had, allowing him to get into an Ivy League school, where he was considered the smartest and coolest guy on campus. When Juliet was 18, she applied to the top seven universities in the country. Not to her surprise, she was accepted to all seven schools with a full scholarship.

It was the night before her 21st birthday when Juliet sat alone in her dorm room, awaiting a shift she knew to expect, but didn’t know why. The glare of her laptop was the only thing that dimly lit her room. It was not typical for Juliet to be alone, she had plenty of friends and was juggling activities and social events on a daily basis since her first day of college. Awaiting the stroke of midnight, Juliet nervously paced her room like she had so many times before. Trying to keep her mind on other things was nearly impossible and ultimately useless. Her eyes welled up with tears, making it difficult to see the red neon numbers on her digital clock. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes.

After the Earth predictably rotated, exposing itself to the sun, Juliet’s consciousness remained alert far sooner than she allowed her eyes to open. Instead, she kept them tightly shielded from the outside world. Her pursuit to remain invisible to whatever awaited her failed as a slobbering and aggressive tongue greeted her ear.

“Hi, Bailey,” Juliet squeaked.

“Are you ready for your first day of school Juliet?” A pretty woman, just barely into her thirties, with a messy brunette ponytail, blue striped pajama pants, and a mismatched flannel shirt, stumbled into Juliet’s room.

Juliet nodded, in an overly rehearsed manner.

“I can’t believe my baby girl is starting Kindergarten today, where does the time go?” asked Juliet’s mother.

Juliet shrugged, deciding it was best not to let her mom know this would be Juliet’s fifth first day of kindergarten.

 

 

The gloriousness of being an unemployed Mom

Most of my adult life I have flip-flopped from being a contributing member of society (i.e. having a job) to being jobless. Admittedly, most of the positions I have held may not actually qualify as anything contributing to anything other than the thickness of my wallet. I typically take a job for a while, live on the cheap, quit said job, live off of the money I made while spending time with my kids.

After having kids, I realized the importance of getting out of the house as a way to avoid going crazy. After a little more than a year of employment at a job I had worked prior to moving to another state, I once again left. My boss understood how stressful the job was for me. It was also a job with absolutely no room for growth and not exactly great pay. It may sound like I am an ungrateful person who should appreciate any job I can get, especially in this economy, but what can I say? I was born in the 80’s this is how we roll.

I will never be wealthy, I understand that. I am, however, not sorry about the fact that I get to spend so much time with my young children. I do work, don’t assume I am able to just float by without a care in the world. Most of my work is freelance which allows me to stay home. It can be a bit complicated when a deadline is looming when I have two little ones screaming in my ear to make them a sandwich or pay LEGOs with them. It’s all fine by me.

I have an extremely judgemental brother who thinks I am raising my children wrong. There will always be someone in your life who thinks you’re raising your children wrong. He thinks working at home is not a viable form of employment, and I he may actually believe I spend too much time with my kids.

Here’s the thing; my kids are only going to be in this beautiful Lego-playing, Dinosaur-pretending, cuddling, phase for a little bit longer but office jobs will always be there.

As the new year approaches, I will be going back out into the harsh world for regular employment. This short hiatus I was able to take allowed me to write a book (will be out the first week of December!) Help my son count to 100 and read, teach my daughter Taylor Swift dance moves, and spend hours pretending to be a horse, dinosaur, princess, and Godzilla. These are the moments people, these are the moments.