I'm stuck...Random thoughts to avoid work! #amwriting #writingfiction

I'm 16k into writing my latest book. (Book 3 in the Pacific Avenue Series) and wow, I have been stuck on this chapter for a long time. If I didn't write linearly, that wouldn't be an issue, but as it is, I am looking for anything to distract me from this issue. Right now, I'm in Starbucks writing with a friend, but here I am blogging...handbag shopping...making a Christmas list...

The Golden Bachelor

Last night, I watched the latest episode of "The Golden Bachelor" and Gerry is not it for me. Let me preface this by saying I'm sure he's a lovely man, but I do not trust him to be a good boy in the Fantasy Suite.  Which has always been a gross concept to me anyway, but I definitely have the "ick" over old people in the fantasy suite. Teach the younger generation that it's about getting to know each other. I realize I have too much hope in the Bachelor realm, but there it is. 

I'm angry at him for telling two women he loved them. I think Theresa is the best fit so far even though she didn't know "Don't Stop Believing" on her date. For some reason, this is unforgivable to me. I know she was so into Gerry she wasn't paying attention to the flash mob, but that in itself is a little disturbing. She seems old-school worshipping of a man and I think he'd like that.  But he's a man, so he's probably more into Leslie, who has WAY too much energy for Gerry. He's going to want to sit out by the lake, and she's going to want to parachute into it. Not compatible in my mind. 

Who do you think he'll pick? 

Rage-watching Sister Wives

Admittedly, I have only watched the last two seasons of "Sister Wives" so I don't know if Robyn was every likable, but I do believe she is a shopaholic and single-handedly responsible for destroying that family. Every little thing that comes out of her mouth does not match her actions. Case in point: "I want to sit with my Sister Wives on the porch as we grow old." If that were true, she'd sit there now. She wouldn't make everyone sit out on the cold side yard in the snow because her house is inhospitable. What is that about?

Since Robyn, Kody has taken on a dark presence and doesn't think his children, nor apologizing to them, is a priority. Anyway, I'm done hearing from Kody and Robyn. Get them off my TV. Let's hear about Janelle's future and watch Christine's wedding. Unlike others, I have enjoyed watching Meri redecorate her carriage house and I want to see her make the big bucks.  I abhor watching Robyn's daughters with their Stockholm syndrome commentary. Man, I hope those kids make it out of there. Go to college. Get educated. Do not marry into polygamy!

Back to work now. Anyone watching or reading anything good? I started "House of Ho" on Max and I do love that family. Being from a majority Asian area, it makes me want to go back home. I love the Vietnamese culture, but that show makes me hungry. 


Good Morning from Las Vegas!

Well, I am in ADD paradise. How I wish the world sparkled and radiated like Vegas. That there might be Louis Vuitton stores on every corner (possibly more than Starbucks!) and writers were always gathered. Granted, I could do without the constant pot smell that permeates everything and shirtless men my boys' age trying to flirt with me to get me to buy a ticket. I want to shout, "Does your mother know where you are?"


On a sad note, I did not get to see any Bravolebrities at the airport. And I literally made the rounds. I took so long at the airport, my suitcase was in a back section and I had to go retrieve it. But the Vegas airpot has this bling store, where literally everything is rhinestone, and like all shiny things, it calls to me like a beacon. 

Today is Cosplay day at the conference, so I am excited to see what everyone is wearing. If I were to cosplay, I'd need a newer handbag. Speaking of which, yesterday, I went to the "Princess Diana Exhibit" and it was in the Crystals mall, which forced me to walk by every expensive handbag known to womankind. Luckily, Loewe wasn't in there and that's what I've been coveting. I did walk by Celine, Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Burberry. The only handbag that tempted me was a brand I'd never heard of: Loro Piana. I took my past season's Burberry and LEFT!


Princess Diana's exhibit was meh. It was cool to see some her letters, but it didn't have enough of the fashion for my taste and it had an artist's rendition of her wedding dress created out of paper. That's weird, right? I did get a "Diana" wine glass for my troubles. I took this pic because this outfit was my favorite of hers. Until Prince Charles opened his mouth and said, "Whatever love is." Or whatever he said. Creep. 

We went to the lovely solarium at Bellagio. It changes every season and Fall was a chef's kiss. Absolutely gorgeous and creative. Bellagio is where I go to get my Starbucks in the morning and it's also filled with expensive handbags. But since the espresso is $8 for a grande, I get the reality check I need and walk right out. 

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We also saw the new sphere out the windows and I have to say, it's really something. I did not expect to be so mesmerized by it, but it's very cool. 


Today, I am working. I'm behind on this book, and I want to start doing two a year again, but it's been too chaotic in Arizona with all my travels, so prayers that I'll be back in California soon. If you have any Vegas tips, pass them along!


My Britney Book Review

Well, I ordered the audio book because I love Michelle Williams as an actress.  Everyone is saying she deserves a Grammy for her reading of this book. I'm going to be controversial and disagree.  I found her reading a little monotone.  There were highlights, like making fun of Justin Timberlake trying to speak to inner-city rappers. Hearing her break into "Fo shizzle" was entertaining. He definitely comes off like a dork in the book. 

I'm a big reader of memoirs and this one was really nothing special for me. It just made me feel sad. Her childhood was full of chaos and an alcoholic father, but Britney is never what I'd call a neurotypical child. She is driven from day one. She wants to be a star and stops at nothing. That kind of drive/ambition combined with talent, would be hard to parent. She gets very codependent on a lot of different people. First, her mother, then her brother. Then, the different boyfriends/husbands. All while being ruthlessly independent. Her personality would make me exhausted. 

When she gets into discussing her marriage, it really explains why she married Kevin Federline. Once she gets to be a parent, I can understand how she loves her boys, but she is really incapable of being a present mother figure.  It's troubling. Kevin really is a hero for parenting those boys and whatever she pays him, she should be grateful for his consistency. 61BWsc9eGbL._AC_UY436_QL65_

I think Britney is a lovely soul who has been done wrong by a lot of people, but I also can't imagine who could handle some of her left turns. The whole book sounds a bit like my 13-year-old diary with sex and parties added. I appreciated that she apologized to many in her past wake, but it wasn't a very interesting "read" for me.  Since she had $9 million in preorders, I doubt Britney will be worried about my review. 3/5 stars.

Dear perfect parents of the Internet: Please mind your business.

I don't know why I read comments on videos, but I do. Why are all cute kid/dog/cat/farm videos laced with toxic comments on how to be the perfect parent? Like you never made a mistake.  Get over yourselves. I'd love to hear their kids tell the stories of these so called perfect parents who want to suck the joy out of life.

Yesterday, there was a darling video of a little girl (about 2 or 3) and she wanted to jump in the swimming pool.  Her mom stood over her with the camera telling her, "The water is cold. You don't want to jump in." Naturally, the kid jumps in anyway and immediately dashes out of the pool, looks up at her mom and says, "It's cold."

This is how kids learn. A cold pool warning now means something to her.

The comments were awful, but most of them said, "She needs water wings." Arrgh. No, she doesn't.  Water wings teach kids they can float and give them false confidence.  This kid knew how to swim and that's what kids need. But mostly, people need to mind their own business. Her mother was keeping her safe. 

In California, the leading cause of death for little boys 1-4 was drowning. I had a swimming pool and three little boys under four. Of course, we had an alarm on the back door. We had a fence around the pool.  But none of that helps in a momentary lapse, so I taught my boys to swim early.  All of them at their young age. Still, I say, there but for the grace of God go I.  None of us is perfect. Not one -- and accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, so I don't say this as an "I'm a better parent than you" commentary.  I say it as a reminder that parenting isn't easy. Kids do crazy stuff. Pets do crazy stuff. Let us enjoy those moments on the inter webs. As for me, I'm done with the comment section.

If you feel the need to NOT mind your own business and get involved, maybe you should adopt a dog or something.  Keep yourself busy. But don't use a retractable leash.  Because apparently, that is the new "Karen" cause. Retractable leashes are from the devil and should be banned.  (Here's an idea, if you don't like retractable leashes, don't use one.) I especially love this argument in Arizona where guns are on a lot of hips.  Walk around with a Colt 45, but go to jail for a retractable leash. The irony.

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 My baby boy even spent summers as a lifeguard. He saw lots of stupid moves. 


Britney Spears: The Woman in Me

Well, have you read Britney's new book?  Will you?  Are you interested? I really missed the whole Britney era. My kids were young and in Christian school so she wasn't on my radar. As a mother, I have grieved for her inability to trust anyone around her. Knowing people with mental illness, I was very against the "Free Britney" movement. In this country, mental illness is not taken seriously and once you're 18, because of privacy laws, we allow the mentally ill to be in charge of their own treatment.  Unfortunately, that is not a good decision for society. For example, in bipolar people, mania feels good. Who would take pills that dull your senses during that wonderful high? 

We've all seen the TikToks of Britney dancing, and I honestly want to hurt anyone who took advantage of her for money. They'll answer to God. How we treat the least of these does not go unnoticed. Why can't people just be decent? Arrgh. 

Anyway, even though I missed the Britney era, I did see her in concert when my daughter bailed on my son's friend. It was some kind of Christmas concert and it had Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, and the Backstreet Boys. Britney and Justin were both very late and clearly being pushed out on stage like dancing monkeys. I felt awful for contributing to this mess. 

I love a good autobiography though, so I will probably be buying the book. I heard Michelle Williams is doing the audio so maybe I'll make the transition to audio with this one. Are you interested in this one?  I'm mostly interested because of how corrupt the entertainment industry is, and I hope there will be some insight into that. 


Nylons are coming back...

I lived through the opaque nylon era and may I just say, this did all of us a favor. It gave us shapely legs without the dimpling and paleness we've been left with since fashion decided we'd go bare.  Oh, and also took our slips away from us as well. I practically cheered when I saw "sheer tights" are returning.  We have waited long enough!

Thank you, Vogue. It's about time!!Sheer Tights are Back


This is Halloween...

My neighborhood takes Halloween decor to the next level. I have one neighbor who has a different theme every year.  Last year, it was "Harry Potter" and this year it's the headless horseman.  But we have one neighbor who decorates for both Christmas and Halloween and he has it set to music.  He has a few shows a night on the weekends, but I love to take the dogs by this house. They are absolutely mesmerized. I don't even think the pics do this place justice. I just love that anyone can be this organized for the enjoyment of the neighborhood kids. IMG_9863


#GoldenBachelor -- Down to the Wire!

That didn't take long to get rid of all the women. We're at the end of the Golden Bachelor and it feels like we've only begun. I was sad to see Joan go, but Joan was apparently married to a major league baseball player. Those WAG wives are different. I don't know if she could handle the quiet life on the Indiana lake anyway. 

Leslie grew on me last week with her story, but I saw on Reddit she actually dated Prince back in the day. Prince is a far cry from Gerry.  That being said, if her "picker" is off, maybe having Gerry choose her would be a good thing. She also said she'd been single a long time, so she's obviously good on her own. They might be a nice couple after all. 

Theresa seems to be the favorite because she is also a widow. I'm still holding it against her that she didn't know Journey's "Don't Stop Believing."  Literally, what planet do you have to be from to not know that song? They seem to have good chemistry, but I have trouble with that with Gerry. He genuinely looks so interested in what everyone is saying, no matter how mundane. I truly need to practice that gift. My emotions are always on my face. I could never be an actress. 

Ellen is sweet, but I don't think she is enough of a spitfire for him.  Prove me wrong, Gerry. I think Ellen would be lovely for Indiana lake living. 

I'm not going to lie, I'm glad Kathy is gone. Listen, do I think she was wrong about Theresa? No. I think that innocent act is just that on Theresa's part, but Kathy reminds me of every schoolteacher who tried to make me conform. You know how there are the teachers who love the "oddball" kids and teach individuals differently?  Then, there are the teachers who are "my way or the highway?" The latter is Kathy to me. I had an inner prejudice from the start. 

Sandra was taken out by ice cream and the "Never have I ever" game. Relatable and I love her. Hometowns are coming up!

Regardless of who Gerry picks, I liked this kinder, gentler version of "The Bachelor." Now, give it over to the Golden Bachelorette because that will be fun. My son and I were watching some TikTok where women were dissing the dating app picks with bachelors and their fish. I say, go for the fishermen.  The fishermen and the golfers. They're gone all day and you can read. (Also, don't take dating advice from me.)


Rewatching "My Brilliant Friend" & it's better the second time around... #MyBrilliantFriendHBO

Elena Ferrante wrote the Neapolitan novels that the HBO show "My Brilliant Friend" is based on.  I loved the series so much, I quickly read the books because they weren't producing the shows fast enough. The series is set in Italy (near Naples) and takes place after WWII. The small neighborhood is ruled by what amounts to a mob and escaping one's situation is no easy task. Women are rarely educated in this society and yet, Elena and Lila, the two protagonists happen to be the smartest people in town.

The story follows them as their paths diverge and come back together again. It's a complicated (maybe toxic) relationship and the characters themselves are hard to understand. One minute you're rooting for one and then she'll do something awful. However, in Ferrante's capable hands, she'll make you understand the character's actions, no matter how unsettling. 

After a five-year wait, there's a new book in the series, "The Lying Life of Adults." So I wanted to revisit the series before I read the follow-up. This book/series can be a little rough, so be warned. I would call it "gritty" and definitely rougher than I would normally read.  It does remind me of some less-than-stellar memories at the Italian club, so I have no doubt it's pretty true to form. Anyway, it's motivating me to write, and for that I'm grateful.  Anything you're rewatching to avoid the news?  91sp+BboJIL._SL1500_

Princess Diana as handbag bait...

I'm going to Las Vegas to write next month. I'm staying in a friend's room while she attends a conference and I'm going to work. This third book in the Pacific Avenue series, which I'm calling "The Things That Matter" is at that crucial stage where I need momentum. However, while scrolling Instagram, I came across the "Princess Diana" exhibit. I'm not big on the royals, but I LOVE ME some Princess Diana. As a fellow INFP, I'll always believe she got the raw end of the deal. She didn't marry a man. She married into a couple that had no room for her. So cruel. It's like marrying Kody Brown without consent. This is also the reason I lost interest in royalty after Diana's death. People who argue that point always say she was "crazy."

Well, even if that's true, who wouldn't be? She was nineteen-years-old when she met that ancient dude -- the most eligible bachelor in the world. The Windsor family makes my Wentworth family from my books, look like saints.

I digress. 

So I'm booking a ticket to see the Diana collection, but I found out that the exhibit is in the Shops at Crystals, which is a very dangerous place for me as a handbag aficionado. In order to get to the Princess (and that revenge dress) I must first pass Burberry, Bottega Veneta, Celine, Hermes (which admittedly, doesn't tempt me), Dior, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Luckily, Loewe, which is my current obsession, is in another hotel. So I do have the ability to not go there. Will I take it?  I make no promises. I probably can't afford to window shop, so I may just put my eye on the prize and get to that exhibit. Though it is in the Aria, which has my favorite restaurant: Din Tai Fung. (Also costly, but delicious and reminds me of home.)

This is me there last time. 


Maybe I should just stay at the hotel and work...but look at that joy!