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#MrDarcy eat you heart out, Dylan offers a library proposal!

A few months ago, I got an email from a guy named Dylan. He explained to me that I was his girlfriend's favorite author -- and I mean, is he not a keeper just knowing that? Especially when I'm not exactly a household name like Nora Roberts. But he knew. He also knew that A Billion Reasons Why was his girlfriend's favorite book, so he asked if I would inscribe a book, "Charlyn, Will you marry Dylan?" And help him propose.

I mean, I'm a romance author. Where do I sign?

So I do so, after having a copy sent from my mother's house because I have no books at home. Months go by and I don't hear anything. Dylan said he was proposing at the end of the month. So I don't want to write to him, what if she said no? Does he really need the nosey Chick Lit author twisting the knife? He does not, so I sit still.

Then, it happens! I get a beautiful handwritten note from Charlyn describing the beautiful proposal. Dylan enlisted the help of the librarian. I know, right?? Does he have a brother? A single dad maybe? As they're combing through the shelves together, Charlyn notices I have a new book out. Shame on me for not marketing The Theory of Happily Ever After well enough, but I digress and no one cares. We want to know what happens with the romance!

So when she finds the copy of "A Billion Reasons Why" she is a little incensed. There are no library markings on the book, and it doesn't belong there without the proper authority! Dylan shows her the inscription and drops to one knee to ask her to be his bride.


And this couple is SO cool, they are allowing me to show you how adorable they are. Congratulations Charlyn and Dylan, may your lifelong romance be better than anything we'd find in a novel.


EDIT: Charlyn just told me the reason Dylan didn't propose when he planned was because she took off on a surprise International trip with her sister. So she was not around to propose to. Inquiring minds and all that. You're welcome. Thanks, Charlyn!

What's your game, #MarineMom?

About three months ago -- yes three -- I sent my son's gunnery sergeant a pack of Red Bull. Why? Because my son asked me to. Said it would be a nice gesture and the gunny was a good man. So I did as I was told and sent the package. He just received it this week. The US Mail and ships on deployment seem to have some issues. Imagine that.


Anyway, of course my son begins to get berated for being a suck-up and a brown noser. But the thing is, they want to know my game. The shop actually GOOGLES me to find out my game. Why would *I* send a complete stranger Red Bull? Okay Marines of Evil Eyes -- the reason is -- wait for it...

I. Am. A. Mom!!!!!


And when I think about any of these men/women on a ship without the niceties of life, I want to send them ALL something nice. Which often happens because when you mail something at the post office to an APO address, they ask you, "Can it go to any Marine?" Ie., if it gets lost, do you want SOMEONE to have it? Naturally, I do.

In my days as a Marine mom, I have learned that if you send sour gummy worms to the Middle East, they will melt into one giant disgusting ball of super worms and will not be appetizing. I have learned that things like peanut packs will be breakfast for weeks and most of all, I have learned that I'm so thrilled my son is with the good men and women of the U.S. Marine Corps.

When he comes home, there will be a wedding and much celebration. So no running games, just a mom trying to pass the time until this deployment ends. I feel honored they Googled me though. LOL

Say no to dark cabinets! #househunting

I've been house hunting lately and there is a terrible new trend that makes avocado-green appliances look like the height of sophistication. That is black cabinets in a kitchen. Who, in the history of humanity, wanted a DARK kitchen? And yet, new builders are adding these ugly things and their "streamlined" modern look to homes everywhere.

No one wants black cabinets. People want light, airy kitchens. Okay, at least I do. Paint them yellow, paint them blue -- the painting is not an issue, but black? I'm not in a trendy hair salon, I'm in my KITCHEN. I did have a kitchen I designed that had black granite on white cabinets and I did love that. But you cannot believe how many homes I've crossed off my list because they have dark cabinets.

I looked at one home that was decorated as if Chip & Joanna Gaines had come in and done their magic. It was fantastic! But the house had bad bones. You can't fix that. No matter how cute you make it. Oh, and it had white cabinets! With butcher block counters that looked fantastic, but would be totally impractical for me. I need a countertop that allows for some mistakes.

I mean, there must be an entire contingency of people who want black cabinets -- I don't know who you are, but I'm coming for you! Stop ruining my house hunt! I'm looking in various states. I'm not sure where I will go yet, but it will allow me to write again and not be the only right-brained person in the near vicinity.


Speaking of California, some poor store owner in San Francisco got bit by a homeless person. Not an outline-of-teeth-bite, but an entire circle of flesh taken out of this guy's arm and he'll probably be the bad guy for "harming a homeless person's freedom." I hate what San Francisco has become. One of the most beautiful cities in the world and it's destroyed by crazy. Laws exist to make society better. Capiche?

I'm a fourth-generation Californian, my children are fifth, but I'm done. I'm sorry for the states around us that are having to take the influx of Californians, but I promise to better where I go. Really. I won't bite anyone. Now my dog on the other hand...


A Picture Spurs a Thousand Memories...

I don't remember a lot of my childhood for some odd reason. I think I had a pretty normal upbringing, but for some reason, my memory isn't the best. My best friend in high school is selling her childhood home. Today, she sent me pics of the home staged for sale and a ton of memories just came flooding in from all the time we spent at her house. All the cheerleading practice we had in her backyard staring at ourselves in the sliding glass door (We were young, okay? A little narcissism is par for the course.)

Anyway, she sent this picture and I said, "We spent a lot of time in that mirror trying out our new looks." Our fresh electric-blue eyes liner; our purple mascara to match our cheer sweaters; our giant 80's gel hair; our greasy, glossed-up lips; our enormous shoulder pads that made us look like linebackers. The magic all happened here!

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Then, do you see that little window in the picture? That's the window that we climbed out of to get on the roof and slather ourselves up in oil to get a tan. Well, Laurie got a sunburn, but I got a tan. And we did this a LOT (before the warnings of sunscreen, etc.) until her creepy neighbor was looking at us through binoculars! We made a beeline for the window and he came outside and held his thumb up, "Looking good, girls!"

Ick. That old pervert still grosses me out after all these years. I loved our spot on that roof overlooking the waterfall below. That was high living! And old creeper stole it from us. Now, of course, I wonder how I ever fit through that little window -- but it is pretty cool that I lived in an era where there weren't a billion rules -- and straws were still legal.

I'm sad my memory is wonky because life was pretty darn good. Do you have time in your life you don't remember well?

P.S. On the writing front, no I haven't been writing. Not a book anyway, but I am planning a big move and I hope to get started again soon. I've had some pretty cool signs it's time to start again and I'll begin posting tidbits here. If there's anyone out there, let me know. It's been a long time since I wrote!