#VikingStove Fail -- If things can go wrong...


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Mom's Vikng Stove (chair is there to prevent Bob the Vacuum from getting stuck)

This is my mom's stove. It's a piece of art and a pain in the bum to clean. It's also not working (the ovens) right before Thanksgiving. We are having twenty people for Thanksgiving. All of my kids, kids' friends, cousins, etc. My dad bought a tabletop roaster for the turkey and we're grilling the ham to warm it. I say we like I have anything to do with it. I'm not cooking this year.

I think this is pretty indicative of who my parents are. If that happened to me, I'd be like, okay, Safeway, make my turkey and I would have given up. Not my parents. Since it can't be fixed until November 30th (apparently, the Viking man is busy) they are going to keep calm and carry on. This is why I'm the "different" one in my family. I panic. They reset.

The truth is, the food doesn't matter anyway. This year, with the fires in California, I think we can all agree that we have everything to be grateful for if we have a roof over our head and our loved ones beside us.


Triggered by Mike on #ShahsReunion


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Photo: @BravoTV.com

I feel like the "Shahs of Sunset" are the reality version of the "Seinfeld" cast. They seem like really terrible people -- and maybe we all would if we put our lives out there like that. But wow, Mike triggers me. I find him to be such a misogynist and his "I love women" comments seem well-rehearsed and part of the act to collect notches.

When he went on a date with Mona, her nail polish was chipped and because she wasn't reciprocating his feelings (ie., falling for his schtick) he felt he needed to take her down a notch, so he pointed out that her nail polish was chipped. What kind of weirdo notices that someone's nail polish is chipped? My guess is only someone who sees people as objects to be judged. And what you put out is what you get in return. That's why decent women RUN.

Seriously, who would want to be married and go through childbirth with someone who felt the need for you to be perfect at all times? A big no thanks. Anyway, that triggered me last night.


#BohemianRhapsody Again

It's no secret that I love music -- the 80's are my jam so naturally, I was excited to see "Bohemian Rhapsody" and I went to a prescreening on Halloween night. Loved it! I know it was a sanitized version of Freddie Mercury's life, but could we really handle the hard truths of such a legacy? Probably not. The truth is, he was a genius and like all geniuses, slightly off-kilter. Ego takes hold and the inevitable downward slide takes place. The great thing about Freddie Mercury's story is that even though it ends tragically, it doesn't. Freddie gets what he's done wrong, and I do hope that part of the story is true. I believe it is since he left his ashes and money to his wife.

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I was so excited to hear my son's friends had all seen the movie on opening weekend. It made me feel like a winner as a parent somehow. ; ) I'd done my duty. I had introduced classic rock to my children and they got it. A total success story for me. I wanted to know how they enjoyed it, not having lived through it -- and they loved the movie. They were interested in the story and the tale behind one of rock's greatest anthems. They also informed me Mike Myers was in the movie (I missed that.)

Anyway, it's a great movie and the soundtrack is amazing. I'm including a picture of Freddie Mercury's stretchy pants that I took at the Hard Rock in Florida. Why I wanted a picture of Freddie Mercury's stretchy pants is questionable, yet here it is. Greatness on display.

Go see the movie. It's Queen for crying out loud. I'm going again this weekend with my friend. IMAX this time.

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When life shifts... #AmWriting

Well, lovely readers, I am in the midst of a life shift. It seems I've been in this place for four or five years, but that's what happens when most of your kids are Irish twins (close in age.) And yes, I'm Irish so no cultural appropriation here. I say I have empty nest sadness, which ticks my daughter off because she says, "I'm STILL here. You do NOT have an empty nest."

But teens are rarely around. Little buggers just come home to sleep and raid your fridge.

I am back to writing daily though, and that's a big deal. I feel essentially the Christian market has left me. I mean, I was never a perfect fit for the Christian market as it was, but now I feel an age away. The books I'm working on have a lot more family drama and humor has never been a big draw for the market. I've tried to write straight (ie., in third-person and without humor) and it's just not me. I always have to be the weirdo!

So I'm currently working on a few books and if they don't sell then I'll be self-publishing them and getting that arm of my career going. The one thing I don't want to do is write to the market. I'm too old to write to what's selling -- does anyone want a sweet romance from me anyway? I'm definitely too defiant. And I've never once met an Amish person, so that isn't happening.

I write about what makes me angry. "Swimming to the Surface" is the novel about a friend whose husband was a pompous ass and pastor, combined with another friend whose wonderful "Christian" husband left her for a man. Incidentally, it's not the gay part I took issue with. It's the LIVING A LIE part. If he wasn't a selfish jerk, he could have gone off and lived his life, rather than destroy his wife and make her feel ugly, unwanted and always wrong. In real life, this man made his wife look nuts when she knew his truth all along. She was kicked out of the church for not being submissive and "ruining her marriage." They kept him. Until he left for his new boyfriend. But that all got brushed under the carpet. The thing is, sin is like energy. It doesn't go away, it changes form. And it infects.

We're all hypocrites, don't get me wrong -- none of us is perfect. We are all the prodigal son and those who think they are the "good" son who stayed home are in the biggest trouble. God sees all.

Anyway, after 20 years in the industry, I've seen a lot over the years. Maybe I'm jaded. Maybe I'm just sorry to be rejected (I don't think it's this though, or I'd write what is selling.) Rejection is just part of the publishing game. The issue for me is that I cannot color between the lines.

I'm working on a few books. They're funny. They're romantic. But they're also dealing with some hard issues -- like narcissism in the church, a sociopathic mother and mental illness being viewed as "sin." They're not for the Christian market -- though they contain no swearing or questionable sex scenes. The beautiful part about this new publishing era is that it allows for me to write to MY market.

Sometimes we have to change whether we want to or not. (Waving hand wildly!) Life has a way of moving us forward.

Here I am with the great Frank Peretti who a., did not write to market and who b., single-handedly started the Christian fiction realm.


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#TheTheoryofHappilyEverAfter Ebook on sale now! $1.99

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When her fiancé dumps Dr. Maggie Maguire for an acrobat, the breakup sends Maggie spiraling into an extended ice cream-fueled chick flick binge. Her friends book her as a speaker on a "New Year, New You" cruise in the Gulf of Mexico.

When a stranger on board insists that smart women can't ever be happy, Maggie sets out to prove him wrong. Along the way she discovers that happiness has far less to do with the head than with the heart-- and sometimes happiness is already out there searching for you.

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Colin Firth is a hero again...

Colin Firth is making financing available to Rupert Everett in his new film on Oscar Wilde. Okay, here's one author who was never boring. He brought us a glimpse into narcissistic personality disorder before it was probably called that. (The Picture of Dorian Gray) His life is worthy of a movie and I'll be first in line, so thank you, Rupert. The movie is called, "The Happy Prince."

Thank you, Colin. Not everyone wants to see some fake superhero save the world from impending doom. Unless it could actually work and politics would go away.

https://pagesix.com/2018/10/03/why-rupert-everett-has-colin-firth-to-thank-for-new-film/

What this world needs are more costume dramas. I'm so tired of politics. It's so ugly out there!! Rupert is perfect to play Oscar. He was so good in "An Ideal Husband" and "The Importance of Being Earnest" and I feel like he understands Oscar.

There's a new period drama with Keira Knightley coming out called "Collette" and I will see it, despite Keira -- who is forever on my crap list for playing a giggly Elizabeth Bennet. But it's about literature and it's got beautiful costumes, so I'll be there.


The Five People (Living or Dead) you want to meet:

My parents were having this discussion after reading a book. I've thought long and hard about my list. Most of them are entertainers because what would I really ask a scientist? Although I would like to meet Galileo and find out what it was like to be abused by the church when he was right all along. That had to be a tough life. I also realized most of my list is not alive. So let's start with the live one:

1. Steve Perry (Journey) This probably wouldn't be too hard. I mean, he goes to the Giants' games and I could go stalk him. But who would want to meet a creepy stalker fan? Still, I think his voice is heaven on earth and I just love his spirit and love of life.

2. Fred Astaire -- my eternal crush. I adore him. I know he could be tough to work with because he was such a perfectionist but sigh...I love him. This is me with my hands in his handprints. My feet were too monstrous to fit into his shoeprints.

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3. Freddie Mercury -- I'm SO excited about the Freddie Mercury movie, Bohemian Rhapsody. I just loved him. His voice and talent were bar-none. He was also brilliant and I'd love to know what he learned in life and what he had to say about the life he lived.
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4. Thomas Hardy -- you would think as an author, I'd have more writers on my list. But being a writer, I know we're totally boring and save it all for the page. So Thomas Hardy is the one I'd like to meet. He's not only my favorite writer, but he allowed the critics to stop him. (After writing "Jude the Obscure" he never wrote fiction again and turned to poetry.) I wonder if he regretted that? Or if he felt Jude was the book he wanted to go out on...

5. Princess Diana -- I want to know what she would have done differently. I mean, marrying a man who didn't love her wasn't her fault. She was young and in fairy tale mode. I'm sure she doesn't regret having her children as they brought her so much joy, but I wonder if she would have stopped looking for love in the wrong places if given another chance. As a fellow INFP, I can understand living too long in a dream world. I wonder if she regrets not waking up sooner.

Who would you want to meet?


Met my mini me: Sparkle Pretty

This morning in Starbucks. How many of my posts actually start that way? It's probably pretty terrifying to think about. Anyhoo, I'm wearing a sequined top today. Because it's Sunday. This little girl danced over to me, and she is wearing -- a little lacy nightgown and light-up pink tennis shoes. My daughter says, "Mom, look it's you as a child." (I have a picture of me as a child in a turquoise ruffled nightie with red Keds on.)

This sweet little girl -- probably about three-years-old for reference -- dances over to me and she starts petting my sequined shirt. I'm talking to her about how pretty she looks and telling her that I love her light-up tennies when her mom turns around and is horrified to find her daughter petting a perfect stranger.

I just laughed and I explained, "This girl might be an author someday. Be warned. Does she have a vivid imagination?"

"Yes!" The mom sighs and tells me she won't let Mom dress her and dances to the beat of her own drum. "She won't even wear socks!"

I lifted my Ked to show her, yeah, here she is in later years. I still don't wear socks.

Why wear just ONE color when there are so many available to you? I felt redeemed today knowing that I can't be helped. My own daughter didn't want any part of that life, but I tried.


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Thomas Ravenel has been arrested. #SouthernCharm

If you've been following this blog for any amount of time, you'll know that Thomas Ravenel from "Southern Charm" triggers me. And not in a good way. I have seen his kind of narcissism up close and I watched with horror when he turned a bright-eyed young woman into a crazed stalker running after him on a dock yelling THOMAS!! He loved it. One thing all of his relationships had in common on "Southern Charm" is that he always brought in a third person to traumatize and taunt his woman. See: Landon Clements and Ashley Jacobs.

And in this case, Whitney and his mother Patricia and Cameron also played a role to make Kathryn Dennis look unhinged. Granted, she was unhinged, but what they failed to understand is that they were hearing lies from Thomas and seeing the unstable Kathryn after she was gaslighted. Very easy to see her as the lunatic. (The cast has since apologized to Kathryn for their role in the abuse by Thomas. They were played.)


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One of the favorite tools of a narcissist is to triangulate and sit back and watch the action -- as if they're completely innocent. He got away with this for many, many years, but today, his dark ways finally caught up with him. If you think I'm kidding about how evil this guy is, this is his tweet this weekend. About the MOTHER of his two children -- who is in recovery for addiction. An addiction I don't believe she'd have if she hadn't taken up with this old, angry, drunk misogynist.


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https://realityblurb.com/2018/09/23/southern-charms-thomas-ravenel-accuses-kathryn-dennis-and-craig-conover-of-doing-drugs-calls-bravo-liars-and-implies-break-up-with-ashley-during-twitter-rant/

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We are going to start learning more about the insidiousness of narcissistic abuse in the world and how it leaves devastation in its wake. It will take a long time for the courts to catch up, but it seems like, at one time, they were better at it. The courts understood that although Charles Manson didn't kill anyone personally, no one would have killed without his dark grooming of young followers.

Kathryn Dennis lost her children completely for two years while this monster paraded in various women and nannies (one of whom he is accused of raping and why he was arrested today.) https://people.com/tv/southern-charm-thomas-ravenel-arrested-charged-assault/ He gaslighted her until she didn't realize that living in his basement with a baby like Rochester's first wife in "Jane Eyre" was not something she deserved.

We need more education on these personality disorders and the damage they do. Powerful men like Bill Cosby and now, Thomas Ravenel, have gotten away with their crimes for too long. Rape is a horrible crime, but so is what Thomas did to the mother of his children making her question her own reality -- and there's no law against that.

I think I should also mention that while Thomas was on his boat this weekend mad-Tweeting, Craig Conover, the guy he accuses of doing drugs with his ex, was actually on an air boat out rescuing horses after the hurricane. I watched it myself on Instagram before this story broke today. That is the best thing about narcissists. Ultimately, the truth of who they are, comes out.


#ASimpleFavor -- Fun Chick Flick

I saw "A Simple Favor" this weekend. Mostly because Paul Feig is in on it, and he's a genius in my book, so I had to see the film. We went to the fancy theater at Santana Row. On a Saturday night, what were we thinking? The seats don't just recline. They have heaters!

The movie kept my attention and it was pretty to look at. Think Doris Day and "Pillow Talk" and if you don't know what I'm talking about, please go rent "Pillow Talk" now. It's a classic. And Rock Hudson. Oh my.


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Back to "A Simple Favor." It's a fun, little ride. I won't say it's exceptionally hard to figure out, but it was fun and entertaining in a pretty, but campy way. It's a good time. Which is what a movie should be. There's a lot of swearing in it and it deserves its "R" rating, so if you are looking for a sweeter film, this isn't it. I liked it for Blake Lively's wardrobe alone.