Tulips and Other Stories

Excuse me, pardon me, coming through, please step aside.  Thank you all so much for showing up today.  It means so much to me and I know it means even more to our friend, Mark from The Rambling Person .  

Most of you will remember Mark from the dedication post I did on my other blog and now I have the honor of hosting him on his blog tour for his new book, Tulips and Other Stories, now available at Amazon. The best part?  You don't have to have a Kindle to download it.  I don't own one and I'm still able to enjoy Mark's very well written book.  I'm enjoying it so much, I wanted to share it with all of you.
Buy It Here
Let me hand the floor over to the published author himself and offer my congratulations to him too!  I'm so proud of you, Mark! 
~~~@   ~~~@
At first I wasn't sure just what to write for this post. Which seems very odd if you know me as I'm usually able to just keep going once I have an initial idea and I had an initial idea here: I released a book, and Elsie is very kindly letting me promote it on her blog. I wanted to just do more than say that though, and I wanted to come up with some real kind of post. I ended up leaving it quite late, but I did find something to do in the end. I thought of how I could help keep it relating to Elsie's blog. If you've come across here before, and chances are you have, you know that in her time Elsie has managed to overcome quite a lot. I myself had to overcome a fair bit in relation to the book.

 I originally wrote the book when I went slightly insane and took a week away from blogging to write every day and by the end of the week I had a series of eight short stories.
 Insanity, it works!
 I sent them off to an editor friend of mine and the reply from him was not really what I was expecting, and not really good news. The general meaning of what he said was that the stories weren't bad but I could do better and the writing could really be improved. 
 This sent me in to one heck of a downward spiral. I was barely doing any writing other than my blog and I had trouble with that even. Every shred of confidence I had in my writing was gone and I was already depressed as it was. This only made me worse. 
 Fast forward a few months and I went in to therapy for my depression and the subject of my book actually came up. My therapist encouraged me to get around to editing them and I was finally able to start the editing. It took a while still because I couldn't force myself to do it. Though when I started editing them I saw what my friend meant and I was able to fix the stories. I even extended a few of them and made them much better. 
 Now when people criticise my writing, I try not to let it get me down and stop me. I have some faith in my writing, more than I've ever had. The fact the book isn't selling well does depress me, but I'm still trying to not let that get me down.
 My thanks go to Elsie for letting me say my piece, and everyone who has been there for me on my journey of writing and will still be there as I continue on it. Writing this book was quite a mental experience for me and no matter how it sells, I can say to myself that I did overcome my demons, and publish a book.
 Sometimes that's enough, sometimes it isn't. It's always true though.

Almost Famous - Thanks ABFTS

This video and it's lyrics are offensive
Many of you know I have an ongoing "feud" with WorkingDan and the evil Cat from Rhymetime.  They have both taken to referring to me as "one-eye" (the cat even throws in "old" since he's wretchedly evil) because when I first began blogging a year and a half ago, I had the below avatar:
source: unknown

My dear friend, Anne, came to my rescue and created an Elven Princess which proved I have two eyes but that wasn't enough to keep the "one-eye" comments at bay.  Still, they happen post after post, comment after comment. Each went so far to draw a caricature of me with one eye.
Evil cat's drawing of me
Dan's drawing of me with my turtle that he has since turned to soup!

It was time to call in the big guns.  I have no skills at drawing myself but I know a gentleman who does, Bryan over at A Beer For The Shower.  I sent him an encrypted file with my picture and he promised never to reveal my identity. Never.  We did a secret handshake, complete with blood exchange and promise of his first born in case of a breach (which he may not be aware of) and my only request was that he emphasized my two beautiful, brown eyes.  Two.

I'd say Bryan fulfilled my request, he even added my turtle.  I'm traveling at G-Force he said.  I was laughing so hard when I received this in my email, tears were running out of my two beautiful, brown eyes.  He promised no one would be able identify me...I think he's right.

Thank you, Bryan!!
I will be on and off Blogger today.  I have been lucky enough to have to replace my entire HVAC unit (yea!) and the power will be cut off at some point today.

"Dan My Sweet" - No Soup For You!

Working Dan at Shameful Promotions has threatened my beautiful, innocent, turtle all because of yesterday's poem.  See, Dan hates the “M” word and when he heard I was going to write a poem about Migraines, he wanted to write his own called My Grain, before mine posted yesterday. (Don't tell him but it was actually good.)  This resulted in the threats to my cute, innocent turtle.  Look at him all sweet looking. Awww!!
These vile threats from Dan were posted on Twitter:  “Oh it is definitely on now! You like turtle soup?”, he said.

Dan made threats on his blog, “That poor turtle. With his life in the balance of Workingdan's hands it's hard telling what kind of torture it will endure!”; and even added “Maybe she can't be beaten...but her turtle can! Muwahhaha! *evil laugh*”     The horror!!  How could Dan be so evil?

Even I, sweet, kind-hearted, Elsie, have been threatened on Twitter, “hahaha! Poke out her one eye with 2 sticks!”, Dan exclaimed.

It left me with no choice.  I had to call for back up…..

I’m sorry, Dan.  You left me no choice.  Now, please, leave my turtle alone or my clown friend here may be set loose....and I'm fairly certain he mentions you becoming turtle soup.....

Come on turtle, it's safe now.  Come home with me.  Dan won't threaten you anymore.


Dan - I had a blast doing this!  I laughed my ass off the whole time.  Now, I'll let you enjoy your blogcation - you deserve it my dear friend!  Take care, rest, relax, enjoy your family and I hope you'll be back soon.  I'll miss seeing your posts and your comments.  I have to step out for a little while today, but I'll be back this afternoon.

The Gentle Rain - written by Heaven

Over the weekend, Heaven emailed me and asked if she could use our story, more specifically, my Boundary Agreement as material for her writing.  I admit, I was a bit nervous about how our marriage would be represented but in my heart I knew Heaven understood how much love and respect I hold for my husband and I trusted she would allow that to shine through in her words.

Below is the poem Heaven wrote and I was blown away by how well she captured the emotions in my marriage.  From the moment I first fell in love with Devin, to the moment he broke my heart with his addiction and now to the boundaries that are in place along with the hope and love that continue to flourish even on the toughest of days.  

Heaven is truly a talented writer and continually inspires me with her work.  Her blog is one about love and intimacy and pure artwork, as you'll read:

The Gentle Rain

the rain came this morning
like gentle kiss on a fevered brow
drenching the balcony window 
in dusky light and muted blue 

all through the week, summer heat
from your eyes blistered and cracked my skin,
like a forest fire raging out of control,
wounded bull running down Santo Domingo street
i remembered how sweet your first kiss was,
how soft your hands cupping my cheeks, 
until your addiction for sun blurred the lines,
black tarred the flesh craving for flesh,
flushing down our intimacy into dirty urine stall
i held your face, my evening star,    
with a bold marker, i penned the words:
black and white letters,  
crossing all t's, dotting all i's,
drawing height and weight of consequences,
fencing the boundaries to protect me and you. 
pinned atop our heads, we slept spooning the moon
the rain came this morning
like gentle kiss on a fevered brow
drenching the balcony window 
in dusky light and muted blue
Thank you Heaven, for writing such a beautiful piece and for treating us and this tough topic with such respect.  It is deeply appreciated.

What A Shame! It's Workingdan!

There are bloggers who have touched my heart and who I have chosen to dedicate a post to as my way of saying “Thank You” to them for being a part of my little blogging world.

Just a few days ago, we were commenting on Pat's page about how surprised and grateful we all are to have run across each other on here.  (Watch out, Pat – you’re turn is coming up..just keep that wretched cat away from me!)

One of the bloggers that I’m so grateful to have met is Workingdan.  Sometimes I call him Dan or WD if I’m feeling particularly lazy.  He’s one those bloggers that just popped up and surprised me.  I made assumptions about him that were so far off; I should be embarrassed.  Dan knows I made those initial assumptions because I was dumb enough to put them in comments somewhere on my old blog and he never took offense. (Good thing I shut that blog down and started this one!)    

I found Dan’s blog at a time when I was moving away from blogs that dealt with what my blog primarily deals with all the time.  I needed a break. I needed to laugh.  His blog did just that, it provided me with laughter - a lot!!  I was hooked! 

He and I commented back and forth on each other’s blogs and then one day in February, I was working on my fourth step and having a tough time.  It was giving me a fit, making me angry and sad and I mentioned God in my post.  That was the day Dan revealed his true self, the inner most personal, Dan.  Not just the comedic Dan.

I’ll spare you the extra reading – just understand they are deep and personal posts and he talks about his own personal struggles and revelations that began in our comments to each other.  It was so uplifting and inspiring.  I was truly amazed that this was the same guy I’d been reading for weeks. 

Here are the links if you want to see what I’m babbling about:

Here’s his post and here's my post.

I had assumed he was just some beer drinking, football watching, peeing off the deck kind of guy…I mean where would I get that idea?  Turns out, he’s one of the kindest, insightful guys I’ve run across on Blogger. 

Dan also has a smokin’ hot wife, Mrs. Workingdan.  She makes guest appearances on his blog and her sense of humor has me laughing every time she’s on there.  Especially in her latest video!

Dan, thank you for your words of encouragement when I needed them most back in February.  You truly helped me by sharing yourself so freely on my blog.  

You rock!

Why Do You Call Us That?

photo credit: ancient-symbols.com

Anyone ever wonder why I call you guys Hooligans?  No?  To bad, I’m going to tell you anyway.  I stole the term…or perhaps it sounds better if I say I’m permanently borrowing it from someone who I find absolutely inspiring; Anne over at Anne's Attic. 

Through her I’ve found other wonderful bloggers, but today is about highlighting her and just how awe inspiring I find her.  Other bloggers, your day will come too.

Every time I think there can’t be anything more to this amazing lady, I learn another tid bit about her from her blog.  Just the other day, I learned she spoke another language. 

See, the thing is…Anne is humble.  She helps people, without even realizing it (I think) and nurtures them.  Just like she’s doing with me now, with my trials with Devin.  She leaves uplifting comments, connects me to other bloggers who also leave lovable, supporting comments and so on…my blogging world grows and I grow with it.

I know if I announce tomorrow that my marriage is back on track, the divorce is off, Anne won’t judge me, she’ll continue to pray for me and for Devin and for my children.  It’s just her way to wish me the best and to support me, no matter what.

Her faith in God is strong.  It’s admirable to see.  Anne stands firm in her beliefs.  She is wicked smart.  She’s got a Ph.D in neuroscience, people!  She taught medicine AND ran a research lab.  She’s had research papers published…yeah…that wicked smart! Impressive, huh?

She survived her own adversities a few years back and she’s a devoted wife and mom.  Anne is into Wargaming, writes poetry and short stories, paints, sings, plays instruments, was in a band…she’s done it all, this lady!

It is an honor to call her my friend although we’ve never met or even spoken.  She continues to inspire me each and every day.  This lady rocks!

That is why you guys are called Hooligans…all because one day, Anne said it’s what she called her followers and I stole it.