“Shit happens” is a common phrase used to express the concept that unfortunate things in life are unavoidable. But rather than simply state, “life is full of unpredictable events,” it is more satisfying to utter this more vulgar phrase.

While I’m not clear on who coined the phrase, I do know it was first introduced to print by Connie Eble in 1983.

The 1994 movie Forrest Gump takes creative license in giving fictional character Forrest Gump all of the credit. In one scene, he runs into dog droppings while on a jog across country. When a man in the bumper sticker business points it out, Forrest replies, “It happens,” to which the man asks “What, shit?” and Forrest answers “Sometimes.” The very next shot shows a car slamming into another. And do you know what the bumper sticker says? “Shit Happens.”

Personally, I would never display such a vulgar phrase on my personal vehicle, but I would use it to summarize the theme of my birthday party weekend, which didn’t go according to plan.

For starters, when I walked into the gym on Thursday to go for a swim, staff informed me that the large pool was closed due to their being literal shit in the pool. Literally. Shit in the pool. Desperate for a workout, I lapped the kiddy pool about a hundred times. Needless to say, I did not get a good workout in before my party weekend.

Then on Friday, as my sister and I were packing for our 2-day mini-vacation, my dog has a seizure. After canceling our hotel reservations, we took the dog to the vet. She did not come home with us.

Not even an hour after I said goodbye to my dog, my nephew’s grandmother calls, saying he’s sick. Just in time for his birthday party.

Then the morning of, roughly an hour before Rylee’s big party, Walmart calls to inform us that they can’t make our cake because the image we requested infringes upon their “copyright policy.” Well, thanks for letting us know the day of, and heaven forbid he let one more cake slide. So we’re scrambling to get cupcakes before the party, because who the heck doesn’t offer cake at a party?

Let me remind you this little boy has had a hell of a year with his grandmother passing away and his many medical issues. All we wanted to do was throw him this awesome birthday party.

And did we accomplish it? Yes we did. Surprisingly enough.

For starters, we didn’t tell him the dog passed away. She’s “at the vets” until after school starts. We also distracted him with the decorations, which blew his mind, as well as a surprise visitor, a storm trooper from the emphasis 501st Legion. Needless to say he had a great time.

Oh, and by the way, the cupcakes were delicious.

Now that I’m thinking about it, the phrase “shit happens” doesn’t actually describe my weekend. I think the phrase “life happens” is more accurate. Don’t get me wrong, putting my dog down was total shit, but death and saying goodbye is just a part of life. Don’t I know it. Three months ago I said goodbye to my mom. And on Tuesday, my sister and I will say goodbye to our twenties and the remainder of our childhood.

Even though a lot of shit happened this week, my sister and I were still able to bring it together for Rylee. At least his birthday turned out to be a success. What else can you do when shit—life—happens?



3 Months Later . . . This Blog Post is Waaaay Overdue


Remember my last blog post where I promised to post quality blog posts? Neither do I. That was 3 months ago. I only know this because I went back and read my last blog post to see where the heck I left off before disappearing from the blogosphere.

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

At the end of April my mother passed away from liver cancer. After two years of battling it out, she finally gave up the fight. Thankfully, her family was with her in her final moments, an experience I wouldn’t have passed up for anything.

But for the first time in my life, I found myself unable to push through. Work became hard. Life became hard. Forget writing and editing. Everything had to step aside for grief.

I recently saught out the help of a therapist to help me work though my grief. I’ve also returned hard and heavy to the gym, which has helped improve my mood and sense of motivation tremendously.

I am happy to return to the blogosphere. I forsee blogging being an excellent outlet for me right now and hope you will all just bear with me.

I’m looking forward to catching up on your posts as well. I’ve been away from the online writing community for far too long. I can’t wait to get back on schedule and interact again. I’ve missed you guys so much!

Before I go, a big thank you to everyone who reached out to me via WordPress and Twitter to offer their support and condolences. That meant a lot to me.


It could afford to be bigger . . . but you get the picture. Well, that’s all for now. See you all again on Friday!

Something to Read on Tolkien Reading Day


Today is Tolkien Reading day, and so I’ll be spending my day off revisiting some of my favorite works … and trying to get a little writing done as well.

Last year’s theme was “friendship” which I found rather uplifting. This year’s theme is … less uplifting: life, death, and immortality.

My sister shared a rather interesting blog post on the subject and how it ties to Tolkien’s life. Click here to check it out.

But before you go, I’m curious to know, what are you reading for Tolkien Reading Day?




I Aten’t Dead. I’m Mostly Dead. Mostly Dead is Still Alive. And I Will Survive!


Granny Weatherwax isn’t known as a spelling bee champion. Not at all. But her spelling abilities were enough to keep herself from being buried alive while she traveled outside her body. “I Aten’t Dead” pretty much says it all.

While I would love to say my absence on social media has been due to my time spent trapped inside the mind of a flying eagle, the fact is, that’s not the case. Magical interference has not kept me away from my computer, nor has an army of blood thirsty elves. My only excuse–er–excuses are work, family obligations, car issues, and my new workout regimen, which combined, have kept me extremely busy . . . unfortunately, too busy to pen interesting blog posts.

But now I’m back from outer space. I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face . . . I will survive! And hopefully, get back on my blogging schedule. See you all on Monday! Have a great weekend!


Real Life Chutes and Ladders


Chutes and Ladders is not just a game; it’s a metaphor for life. Kind of heavy for a children’s board game, don’t yah think? Granted, it’s still a lot lighter than Monopoly, which makes a huge political statement about the economic concept of monopolies. So child-friendly.

For those of you who have never played Chutes and Ladders, it’s a board game that requires players to roll a single die and advance their token the rolled number of spaces across a square board. First player to arrive at the end of the board wins. On some of the squares there are ladders that advance the player forward a certain number of squares. There are also chutes that send the player back a certain number of squares.

Do you see how this game applies to real life? Don’t you ever feel like you’re progressing forward at a steady pace when, all of a sudden, you’re propelled forward on one success or set back by some stroke of bad luck?

Well, recently my life has reminded me of a game of Chutes and Ladders.

215-7353_PI_TPS1365060The Chutes:

  1. My favorite restaurant, Pepperwhistle Bakery and Cafe, closed last month. This is sad for me not only as a patron but also as an author because the owner of this restaurant was very supportive of local creators and had offered to let me promote my book there whenever I wanted.
  2. Last month, my mother started a new treatment to fight off six new tumors that had grown on her liver. Even though the side effects are more tolerable, she doesn’t feel that it’s working.
  3. My debut novel suffered a no-sales season. Is that even a real term? I might have just coined it.
  4. Kickboxing class was permanently cancelled at the YMCA due to schedule conflicts, which sucks because this was one of the few classes I could work into my schedule.

6foot_ladder_500xThe Ladders:

  1. I connected with a new local employer who has offered to let me host a booth at his store. If it goes well, I’m sure there will be potential for future events at his store.
  2. Because of the lesser side effects my mom has been able to enjoy several family outings, which she may not have had she stayed on the other treatment.
  3. Even though my entry in the Royal Nonesuch Humor Writing Contest didn’t win, it did make it to semi-finals, which is rather encouraging.
  4. And even though my debut novel has not sold well these past few months, my new release has had an excellent first week, ranking pretty high on the Amazon Best Sellers Rank.
  5. My sister and I were invited to speak to a local “geek club” about cosplaying for beginners. It was a ton of fun and so rewarding to inspire new cosplayers. This is exactly the kind of thing I imagined doing as an adult, and I’m loving it!

So looking at the lists, it’s clear I’ve had more ladders than chutes, which makes me optimistic that I’ll come out ahead in the end. Even if I land on a chute, I’ll stay positive and keep playing, because life isn’t a game you quit, and it’s not over any time soon.

How about you? Are you landing on a lot of chutes or ladders? Hopefully, you’re advancing across the board and heading for that coveted 100th square. Maybe, I’ll see you there!

Just Me and the Sickie


In preparation for my day off today I had made some rather ambitious plans including landscaping the front flower bed, purchasing a new laptop, in edition to making headway on my work in progress. When the school called yesterday reporting that Rylee was sick, I knew my plans had gone by the wayside.

Honestly, it’s not been such a bad day. We’ve watched movies on Netflix, painted our nails, and now he’s down for a nap . . . I might join him here shortly . . . or get some editing done. Maybe when he wakes up, I’ll read to him from my sister’s copy of The Princess Bride. (Because we all know you can’t get through the entire book in one afternoon).

For what it’s worth, I’m succeeding at being a super auntie today. Yeah, maybe I”m failing as a writer, but I can make up for lost time tomorrow.

Have a great Friday, everyone! See you again next week!

When Life Gives You Lemons, [Instert Inspirational Phrase Here] What the Heck, Just Keep Writing


When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”


When life gives you lemons . . .

So says one of the oldest and most disgustingly optimistic proverbial phrases ever coined. (For the record, the phrase was first coined by Elbert Hubbard in 1915. You’re welcome). Since it was first uttered, there have been many new variations of the saying, from inspirational ones that stay true to the original meaning, to sarcastic ones, which are really funny, and in my opinion, are a vast improvement. For me, the latter are much more relatable. Come on, who today wouldn’t just add salt and tequila and make themselves a margarita. I know that’s what I would do with it.

What is the message of the original proverb anyway? Did Elbert Hubbard really expect us to make lemonade? Or did he expect us to make the most of a bad situation?

Life deals out lemons like there’s a never-ending supply, and for writers trying to maintain a busy schedule of writing, editing, blogging, and marketing, these lemons can feel like boulders.

So what do you do? Just keep writing. Keep blogging. Keep marketing that book. There’s nothing else you can do.

I should know. Right now, I’m dealing with family illness, major transitions at work, and a hectic home life. I’m knee-deep in lemons, and more are dumping down from overhead. The fridge is overflowing with pitchers of lemonade, and I’m out of tequila and salt. I don’t much care for lemon cake, so what should I do with the rest of those lemons? I’m going to cut them up, put them in my green tea, and keep writing. That’s all I can do. Writing is my escape, my therapy, and hopefully, the gateway to something better.

For anyone else who is going through a difficult time, just know you are not alone, and I encourage you to keep at it no matter what. Things will work themselves out in the end. In the meantime, I’m going to find more recipes using lemons on Pinterest.