Thursday, October 29, 2015

Introducing: Maria DeSouza

The second author I have this week is Maria DeSouza. She was happy to entertain me with an interview. A Halloween-y interview, too. 




 Halloween is right around the corner! So, what is your favorite horror movie of all time?     

Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street movies are my all-time favorite movies for Halloween. 

Do you have a marathon movie day near Halloween?

I will watch some movies with my kids like Scream or Nightmare Before Christmas.  I have a Tim Burton marathon during the week of Halloween.  Halloween day, I usually spend time having a party and trick or treating, and come home to watch the scarier movies with my husband like Insidious or IT.

The worst Halloween costume you’ve ever worn is…   

I was a witch and my mom painted my face green.  Apparently, I was allergic to the face paint she used and my face was swollen during the day and itchy and I looked like a swollen green faced witch.  People thought it was part of the costume, like a mask but it was my face.  :/

What is the most important aspect of writing in the thriller genre?  

To me, having the reader in constant fear of what might happen is a key factor in a thriller.  I also think that when you build a character so evil or scary that your readers are still talking about them after they have finished reading the book.

If you had the power to bring one actor or writer back from the dead, who would that be and why them?   

I would bring back Heath Ledger.  I feel that he died before he could accomplish great things as an actor.  He was also great on the eyes!

Say that you and I are going to a haunted mansion. You happen to know that this particular mansion has a room filled with clown figurines, paintings, statues, and the like. And you happen to know that I’m terrified of clowns…
What type of friend would you be?

A. “No Rachel! Do NOT go in that room!” And save me from seeing any of it.
B. Do you shove me inside the room without warning and hold the door shut so I can’t get out.
C. Go in with me, pretending to care and hold me, only to chase me around with one of the clowns.
D. Tell me I can do it and go with me without being a butthole.
E. Other.

I would totally go in there and pretend I had no idea it would scare you.  Possibly chase you with a clown, but all in good fun.  I also know you would be the first to throw a fake spider on me!

If you were trapped in a world similar to The Walking Dead, how many zombies would you kill and how long do you think you’d last?  

I would be the Michonne equivalent of my Walking Dead world.  The quiet yet deadly person who slices zombie’s head with a katana sword.  Again, in my world I would last forever.   I would also lock myself up in a gun store and raid all the houses of people who coupon because you know they will have stocked up on a lot of food. 

You’re a parent. Be honest with me, do you enforce the Halloween Candy Parent Tax? What is one candy you always go after?   

As a parent, it is my sworn duty to enforce this mandatory tax that is only payable in KitKats, Twix, or Snickers.  Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are also welcome to be used to bribe this officer to skip doing chores. 

When I was a teen, I joined a group of friends and we visited an abandoned prison. What is something you did as a teen around Halloween?   

I went with friends to places that were reportedly haunted, like the Elizabeth Insane Asylum, and a butcher farm, or cemeteries after dark.   No wonder I have a morbid mind! 

As an author, what do you struggle the most with?   

Reviews!!!!!  I wish my readers would leave reviews after reading my book, or anyone’s book for that matter.  When you don’t leave a review, it makes us think that you don’t like the book.  Authors might end a series early because of lack of interest in it.  Authors do read reviews, especially if you’re constructive in your wording.

What is the creepiest line you’ve ever read? What book was it from?   

“We all float down here.” IT by Stephen King    It was the first book I read by him and by far the scariest thing I read.

Do you have a favorite Halloween themed poem?    

Anything by Edgar Allen Poe is my Halloween go to for poems.

Do you think the literary world needs more of anything in particular?   

I don’t think the Literary World needs anything in particular.  I do think that authors should embrace each other more in terms of supporting each other, instead of putting each other down.   Being original is also a key element.  When someone becomes popular writing a step brother book, it doesn’t mean we need thousands of books about that one topic.  

Has there been a scene or line that you’ve written that gave yourself chills? Can you share it?   

I wrote a scene in Love Lost that involved Lucio, my bad guy.  It was a glimpse into his past with Selene.  I ended up deleting it and adding it to my Deleted scenes document.  I will add it eventually to one of the later books in the series or as deleted scenes to the series boxed set.


What are the top five things you’ve googled for your writing that you would have a hard time explaining to others WHY you’ve googled it?   

I have googled crime scenes, strip clubs, human trafficking, mind of a killer/psychopath, and horrible ways to die.   I would say that my google history may lead people to think I am a serial killer or harboring one.   But I swear I’m not!  


Thank you so much Maria! It was a blast having you!

Here's a little more about Maria:

Maria DeSouza
I am a NJ native, not to be mistaken for the craziness that is the NJ Housewives or Jersey Shore! I have two children and a loving husband, who are my life and family that makes me want to scream at times, but I love them. I started my affair with reading and writing at a young age. I loved where books took me, and wished for the day when I would meet my dream boat. (Yes, I referred to my future man as a dream boat. Child of the 80s here!) I grew up on Stephen King, Nora Roberts, and anything my library would let me borrow. I would always grab a notebook and start writing about the books I read because I wanted the story to continue. I never took it seriously until I had a friend a few years ago tell me that I needed to publish my work after I wrote down a short story. My reaction was…yeah, right! The words stuck with me and I was constantly asked, “Did you write more? Are you done?” A back injury put my writing on hold for almost 2 yrs and last year, I found the WIP file and started reading. Then, I started writing and adding to it. That little dream turned story will be my debut novel, Love Lost.  I’m currently finished with Hidden Heart and working on Book 2 in the series, Lost Soul.


Contact Maria-


Love Lost



Hidden Heart (Coming Soon)


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Your Name Here

When I was little, before I went to school, I don't remember disliking my name. Well, unless my parents would yell my first and middle names together...that was never a good sign. "Rachel May!" and my response was usually something like, "I didn't do it!" But 9 times out of 10 I actually did it. Bad kids raise your hands...you've done it. We all have, at least once. I didn't really give much thought to my name. It was mine.

Upon entering elementary school, I was introduced to a bunch more Rachel's and not all of us shared the same spelling. There was another Rachel, same spelling as me and in my same class (it got confusing sometimes, but it was usually cleared up with using a last initial). There was a Rachael and a Rachelle (and she pronounced it Rachel). As we progressed in school and some students left and more arrived, and our classes got larger, we ended up with 3 Rachel's in the class. That's probably about the same time that I really started to dislike my name. I began wishing I had a shared name with a more popular girl in school, or an exotic name that wasn't shared at all. Seeing - Your Name:______________ - used to make me annoyed because I didn't like my name. I wasn't the cool Rachel. That Rachel was another Rachel in my class. I was just Rachel - a nobody that always tried to be happy-go-lucky,

By the time I graduated, I liked my name alright. It was common, but it's mine. I think part of my dislike of overly popular/common anything stems from this issue. LOL. It took me forever to read Twilight because of its popularity, and I won't list anymore of what I didn't read or watch, because that list is pretty long and intense.

Now, I love my name. I have a few decades under my belt and I know there's no other me. Part of me is my name. My last name is my husband's and kids' name. And I love them with my whole heart. I'm not just my name, I'm me. I'm quirky, dry, sarcastic as hell, creative, and caring (there's more but the rest is pretty boring).

That being said, I have had some odd luck regarding my common name. First, middle, and last are pretty stinkin' common. The first time I remember a mistaken identity happening was I think about 4 years ago. My husband is from a small town in the mountains about 4ish hours away. Loads of people know him and know me or my name as his wife. One night there was a Rachel Walter that ran into some bad luck, or her bad choices caught up to her. Anyway, whatever the reason, things happened and suddenly my husband was getting calls asking about my condition. That was pretty shocking. I made a joke about it and said I should change my name. Every time the mistaken identity happens, I do this. It's incredibly annoying to repeat the phrase, "I'm not THAT Rachel Walter." It's one thing for the average person to contact someone that shares the name of who you're trying to contact, and I don't mind it all the time. As frustrating as it is, sometimes good things come from those times. But other times, it's not so great. Like when the mistaken identity comes from professionals. It makes me incredibly sad to lose faith in businesses, either that I know and respect or haven't heard of, to be contacted about a different person. It makes me question their ability to perform whatever if they're contacting ME about something I didn't write. I respond to them with "I'm sorry, you have the wrong Rachel Walter." And most times I never hear anything from them. In the last week I've had a baker's dozen emails for other Rachel's (various spellings of first and last name) from businesses. Even a few within the writing community. It makes me sad because of the lack of research involved when trying to contact someone. Part of me wants to believe that it's pretty difficult to find the right person you're looking for. I know that even in this day in age, some people aren't online.

Boys and girls, one day you'll love your name. I still love mine. And if you share my luck at all, one day you'll have some funny stories to share regarding your odd luck.

Your Name Here: Rachel Walter! :)

I don't mind it now. I'm Rachel!!

Oh, and I'm the Rachel that wrote this post. Just so there's no confusion.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Introducing: Nicole Banks

Welcome to the Halloween week edition of Introductions! (Two authors this week! WOO!)

Up first is Nicole Banks. I met her on Instagram. (See, it is possible to meet cool people on social media without starting a zombie apocalypse or an inappropriate photo attack! LOL)


1)  With Halloween right around the corner, share your favorite Halloween memory.
When I was little the neighborhood I lived in use to be insane during the holidays. Everyone always decorated and they always had the best candy. One Halloween it was so foggy barely any kids came out. Me and my mom went out and every door we hit they just handed us all their candy. No kids were coming and they didn’t want to hold on to the candy so I lucked out that year. (Best Halloween for candy ever!) I have to put this memory down too. When I was younger we went to this one house and a guy dressed as a wolf was on sitting on the porch. But he was so still I couldn’t tell if he was real or not. When I got close enough he jumped up and scared the crap out of my mom and myself. I hit him with my candy bag. I was like six maybe. The guy gave me all the candy because I was the only kid who didn’t scream and run away. LOL!


2)  What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done for Halloween?
It’s sad. I haven’t done anything crazy. LOL! I have cool stories but nothing that’s out of this world “OMG THAT’S CRAZY.”


3)  What is the creepiest line you’ve ever read in literature?
I don’t read creepy stuff, not anymore. When I was younger I use to read Goosebumps and Scary Stories to tell in the dark. (Parts 1-3) But I’m an old fart now and can’t remember any lines from those stories.

I will say I had to write a creepy person in my second book and that was not a place I wanted to be in for long. I needed a shower after every time he decided he wanted to speak up.



4)  Share one of your favorite local Urban Legends. Have you ever visited the spooky area?
 I’m from New York. We have Sleepy Hallow and Amityville horror house. I’ve only ever been to sleepy hallow and it was in passing because I had to go to a wedding. LOL

5)  I am very sound oriented. I love voices. Tell me one of your favorite voices (singer or actor). Sticking with the Halloween theme, what has been the creepiest or scariest voice you’ve heard (singer or actor).
I think Idris Elba has a sexy voice. I love him.
Willem Dafoe. I find his voice and the characters he plays very creepy. (He’s the Villian from Spiderman lol).



6)  If you were to write a horror, what type of villain would you write?
I’m a sucker for a slasher villain. However, in lit? I think I’d write a villain that got inside peoples minds. One that never had to lift a finger to hurt you but made you hurt yourself.


7)  Top five books that have touched your heart and stayed there…
These books didn’t necessarily touch my heart but they are my favs. They’ve stayed with me always.
Blind Obsession- Ella Frank (This book destroyed me. I will not pick up another book by this author because my heart can not take the torment).
A Native Song- Richard Wright
1984- George Orwell
The Outsiders- S.E Hinton (This probably started my love for lit)
A Vampire Queen Servant- Joey W Hill (This series was one of my faves!)


8)  What is something you think the literary world needs more of?
Kick ass Heroines. No more meek females. We also need characters not afraid to grab the bull by the horns so to speak.


9)  I’m from Pennsylvania and have only been to New York once well over a decade ago. I want to see your favorite places to visit. What would be our first two stops?
Depends on what time of year you visit. In the summer time? The seaport or the piers or of course Coney Island.
During the Holidays? We’d just walk around the city. There’s something magical that takes over NYC during the holidays.


10)  Which authors have inspired you the most throughout your career?
J.R. Ward. She just has this ease about her when she writes her characters.


11)  When you have seemingly a thousand things you need to be doing…what can we find you actually doing?
Laying down and resting lmao. I am the master procrastinator.


12)  Have you ever read a book that made you say something along the lines of: I wish I could pitch a tent in this author’s brain and live there forever!
Yes. Jr ward anything she puts out, I read. I fan girl her so hard it’s horrible. Oh  and Ella Frank.


13)  If you were to help out at a local haunted house theme night, what would we find you dressing up as to scare everyone?
Something undead. But not a zombie. I refuse to be called a zombie lol. But I would have like my guts spilling out and my skin peeling. I would run around and chase everyone! LOL


Thank you so much Nicole! It was a pleasure getting to know more about you! :)


Here's so more about Nicole Banks:

My name is Nicole Banks. I was born Aug 4th (Hello my fellow Leo’s lol) I’ve lived in New York City all my life and I love it here. It’s not what it use to be but, it’s still pretty dope.
I love the warm weather and just being near the water. I think every problem can be solved with either yoga, tea or a quick nap. (Nothing is too big that those three things can’t solve)
I like animals way more then people, cats especially. I think they’re my kindred spirits.  If I could I would have a sanctuary built just for them. (I’m probably going to be that crazy lady with ten cats when I’m wrinkled and grey).
I can survive off of pizza and pasta and I’m a coffee addict. I have so much caffeine in my system I can’t have coffee after a certain time or I’ll be up half the night lol.
While I’m a writer, music is my first love. Books are a second love of mine. I believe music heals your soul in ways nothing else can. I use music as my muse to write. I believe every song is just a story waiting to be told outside of the five minute mark.
I published my first book Shattered in 2013 and it’s the first book in my Shattered Hearts Series. The second book Into Pieces was published on June 30th 2015. I’m currently working on the next installment in the series.

Contact her-

Instagram: @_nicolebanks_
Snapchat- queenzb87


Into Piece by Nicole Banks is on sale now until November 1st!

Barens and nobles: http://bit.ly/1JdygMp
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1NNGTR4

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Introducing: Faith McKay

This week, Miss Faith McKay let me interview her!

Readers, this is Faith.

Faith McKay is the author of LIPSTICK & ZOMBIES and PROPHECY GIRL. She lives to write and only has bad days when she forgets that fact. When she’s not writing she can be found enjoying horror and comedy with equal abandon. When she’s found a good horror comedy you can hear her shouting things like “Ha! Right in the eye!” while giggling uncontrollably.


She grows a little weirder every day.



I have to say, I'm rather tickled this weirdo agreed to chat with a weird nugget like me. :) 


When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I don't remember having this realization, because I just always wanted to. I've always loved everything about books. I liked writing them. I drew little illustrations inside. I read them. I organized them on my shelf. I always wanted to be around books, in any way possible.

 In your experience, what has been the hardest part of your writing career?

Letting myself do what I do, so I suppose, doubt has been the hardest part. I question everything and it slows me down and spoils the fun and sometimes, at its worst, stops me from doing awesome things.

What’s your favorite quote?

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” - Helen Keller

There are a lot of days where I feel like I can't. I'm chronically ill, so I do face things I truly cannot do a lot of the time. This quote always motivates me to remember not to focus on those things but to focus on the things I can do, even if it often feels like there aren't many of them. I can still do something.


What type of atmosphere do you need in order to write?

I have a tough time getting started for the day sometimes, so I do things to help cut off the world. I put on big headphones, put on loud music, and try to sit somewhere where I see the fewest amount of movement possible (if I'm in a library, I sit facing the wall or window). Once I get going I usually turn the music off. It's hard to notice the world around me once I'm in it.

Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals?

I name my first draft documents weird things, in capslock.

Lipstick & Zombies (Deadly Divas, #1) was called WRITE IT OUT
Blood & Glitter (Deadly Divas, #2) was called SEE SEQUELS ARENT SO HARD! OH SHUT UP

It makes me laugh when I notice it and that's a good way to start a writing session!



Top five books that have touched your heart and stayed there:

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren (Yeah, I'm cheating! I'm naming a series!)
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Harry Potter by JK Rowling
Into the Forest by Jean Hegland
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern



What message or bit of advice would you give to aspiring writers?  How do you celebrate after typing THE END?

I'm combining these two questions you asked me, because THAT is my advice. My advice is to celebrate. Celebrate after you write the end, celebrate after you have a hard day writing, celebrate, celebrate, celebrate! There are a lot of days where what you're trying to do can feel impossible, and celebrating is a way to remember the things you've done before. If you can remember all those impossible things, it'll be easier to do the other impossible things ahead. 


Thank you so much for allowing me to interview you, Faith! It's been wonderful getting to know you a little bit! Keep on writing!

You can find out more about Faith McKay by visiting McKayManor.com or by following her on twitter. If you want to see all of her horrifying works in one place, you can check out her Amazon author page.




Here's a little about her book, Lipstick & Zombies

LIPSTICK & ZOMBIES (Deadly Divas, #1) 

WANTED. Five girls. Must be able to sing, dance, and kill zombies.

Five unknown students are desperate to change their lives.

They know they have what it takes to become one of the Deadly Divas.

Now they just have to prove it to what's left of the world.



Thursday, October 15, 2015

It Has Heart

I'm one of those people that craves music. I listen to music as much as I can. My taste is extremely eclectic. I can be listening to Bach and transition to Smashing Pumpkins, Frank Sinatra, Halestorm, Gretchen Wilson, Eminem... I'm not picky. I love music.

This morning I was writing some interview questions for an author that will be on my weekly Introducing... feature soon, and a song came on that stopped me. I completely focused on the words, no longer thinking of questions.

This happens every now and then. I'm a firm believer in sharing something that has the power to make me forget what I'm doing. So, here you go.

When you get a minute, listen to this song. Even if you aren't a big fan of Owl City, just listen.

"Love is confusing and life is hard. You fight to survive 'cause you made it this far." - Owl City - This Isn't The End

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Introducing...

This week I want to introduce you to a dear friend of mine, Donna Munoz.

She wrote the CUTEST book of all time! As soon as it was live, I read it to Little Miss (my 6yo). And she loved it!


Donna was kind enough to write me a post on how her book came to be. Here's a bit about Harley Farley and Donna:

How the Harley Farley Zombie Book series came to be...



One night at dinner, Eddie, Andrew and Daniel were too quiet! I said, "Hey! What would you guys do if a zombie walked through the front door?"

The dinner table was suddenly alive with screams and shouts of Legos and Xbox and Star Wars! The boys abandon the dinner table and come back with paper and crayons and pencils and drew all kinds of imaginitive, fun drawings of their special time with their zombie best friend. Soon, it became a family event- drawing a little zombie and giving him adventures. When Halloween came around, it only made sense to take our zombie, Harley Farley, Trick-or-Treating! So the family came up with silly rhymes and fun times. Daniel Corral illustrated a book for us, and I surprised my boys with their very own picture book: "Harley Farley's First Hallowen: A Zombie Book." We hope you enjoy our story! Up next: "Harley Farley Pajama Party!"
 
This book has really given me the opportunity to reach out to my community. Each October, I present my book, the moral lesson of unconditional friendship, and educational lessons like story sequencing and vocabulary, to hundreds of elementary school students. This year, I will present to approximately 2,000 school children. Every school I visit receives a free Harley Farley book. This year we will also host a Harley Farley Halloween Party for the children on the oncology floor of El Paso Children's Hospital.
 
I am so excited to see what the future holds with the Harley Farley books, and I love that it's a passion project for my boys and me. Thank you so much for your support!
 
Visit my Web page to watch the official book trailer, buy the book on Kindle or paperback, and print out free coloring and activity pages!
www.harleyfarleyzombiebooks.me



#WeNeedDiverseBooks
#ReadingBrave
#BlossomBookBash
#HarleyFarleyHalloweenParty



Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The post that has no point.

“She’s shy or weird, but she has a sweet kid.”

If my only redeeming quality is my kid is sweet, then I’m obviously doing something right.

My job is solitary. I write alone. I read alone. I edit alone. I email my file to my betas alone for them to read alone. I rewrite alone, re-edit alone, reword alone, and add scenes alone. I email my editor alone for her to edit alone. It’s a process, but lonely. It takes a lot of focus. I lose sleep, skip meals, lose time with my daughter and stepkids, I lose time with my brother and sister and their families, I lose time with friends… I’ve gone to BBQ’s, birthday parties, anniversary dinners, family get togethers, and holiday parties and when I get home and reflect, I find that I don’t remember a single thing because I was still deep inside of a character/scene/plothole/etc.

When I get the opportunity to take my kid/s to the park or play somewhere or whatever and I’m not focused on the book/scene/plothole/character I focus on her/them completely. I love the way they play, usually (sometimes they scare me to death; my stepson climbs EVERYTHING, and sometimes they don’t play nicely; my daughter gets very bossy and also has some OCD issues). This summer, we went to the park and I realized how much I’ve missed. Not just because of writing, but still missed. My boy is no longer a boy, he’s more of a man. And he cares deeply for his baby sister, even though they bicker almost constantly. My daughter is big enough to do so much on her own, I think she only asks for my help with the spring stools to make me feel needed. And I have no idea when she became okay with the tire swing. Last I knew she was still terrified of it. I also noticed that some things will probably never change. My stepson and husband played football in the field beside the park, then they played on the seesaw (the wrong way) and even chased Little Miss around. Little Miss spent most of her time making friends with other kids at the park, something she does everywhere we go, and forgot to get their name/s, as usual.

I may have been seen as snooty, I guess, Another mom tried talking to me, but I was rude and wouldn’t take my eyes off my family playing. After our failed conversation, she was on the phone and told whoever it was about how adorably my, then, 5 year old daughter was playing with her son, who was barely learning to walk, and said I was weird or shy but had a sweet kid.

I’ll own the weirdness and the shyness, because I’m both.

But I am sorry to that mom that I didn’t even look at her when I said hi back. I know how it feels to feel shunned. I was just so at peace watching my family play. I joined in later, after I worked through my thoughts and all.


I want to be better, but my job is solitary. I am making more time for everything, so that I’m not just about work or just about play or just about school… There’s a pattern to this schedule and it will become routine. I’ll make it work.


There really isn't much point to this post, I just wanted to share a bit of my thoughts from a personal moment this past summer. Have a great week everybody! I'll hopefully be introducing you guys to a new author this week. :)

Bookworm out!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Best Stairs EVER

Boring steps...let me introduce you to some paint.

A while ago, when I still had a personal facebook and stuff, someone shared a photo of a staircase that someone painted. But in a super cool way. THEY HAD A BOOK TITLE ON EACH BACK STEP! OMG! They were perfect!

I NEEDED THOSE STEPS

So, after months of discussions and planning....my sister is painting my steps.

BOOKSTEPS

I'm so freaking excited it's ridiculous.

She's only painted six steps so far, but it's coming along nicely.


There's going to be some touch ups before the final gloss goes on. And certain letters will get fixed. 

These steps get used every day. The bedrooms are upstairs, so it's really hard to keep these beauties perfect until completion. Especially with a six year old.

I'll post more photos as the steps get finished.

The books chosen are only a few of the books that mean something incredible to me. They're some of my favorites, for various reasons, and they aren't going to be all classics or all traditional published, or all indie books. If a book spoke to me on a deep level, they were considered for this project. 

My sister is awesome for doing this and putting up with me. I never would've done this myself, because I'm too hard on myself and no longer have a steady hand.

But, I'm so happy that something is finally going right in our home renovations! We've had some really REALLY bad luck...but that's a story for another day!

Have a great Monday bookworms!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Bittersweet Autumn

Growing up in the little one-horse-town that I grew up in, autumn always held its charm. The leaves would begin to change, the temperatures dropped at night, a few select houses would begin to prepare their house for trick or treaters, and with that change, the talk changed to spooky stories. Most of these stories were fabrications, but most had one common factor; Rehmeyer’s Hollow (Hex Hollow). Rehmeyer’s Hollow became “famous” for the murder of Nelson Rehmeyer, a witch or pow wow doctor. The murder happened in November, but because of the witch thing and cursing or hexing, it became more of a Halloween thing. You can look up what happened and the various stories, the topic of my post isn’t the background, but it’s pretty cool stuff actually. There are stories about the seven gates of hell being in Rehmeyer’s Hollow (which I don’t believe, but when you’re young those stories are exhilarating.) While I was growing up, there was a hay ride that went through Rehmeyer’s Hollow every autumn. Along the route, you’d pass The Hex House and various set ups that the community put together.

One year, I think it was the Halloween I was 12, I was invited by a few friends to join them for the event. We had an allotted amount of time to dance and be creepy. I think we were supposed to be zombies, that part is fuzzy. I joined about eight other friends. The biggest thing I remember is dancing like fool to Monster Mash and Mambo #5. That was the last year we all spent Halloween together. The following March our beloved friend, one of my best friends, killed himself. But that Halloween was one of my favorites. I never thought I’d have that much fun dancing in front of strangers and people that might recognize me.

Every year, when the temperatures get cooler at night and the leaves begin to change… When talks of apples and pumpkins are floating around everywhere… When that feeling returns… I go back to dancing to Mambo No. 5 with my friends. I see my friend, who would be 30 now, dancing, smiling, laughing, trying to make the kids on the hay rides stop crying and start laughing. I hear my friend tell me, “Being afraid you’ll get made fun of isn’t something I’d worry about. I want those kids to remember Halloween isn’t just scary.”

Autumn is bittersweet, but it’s my favorite time of year.

Because suicide awareness shouldn’t be a day, a week, or month, I always make it a point to be there for others. I know what it’s like to be that low that you just want it all to end (I’ve tried and thankfully failed). I know what it’s like to smile and laugh and pretend you’re okay. I know what it’s like to lose someone dear to you. If you need a pep-talk, someone to listen, some advice, a funny text to cheer you up, or just someone to do nothing with…I’m that person.

Choose to live. Choose to love. Trust me when I say it’ll be worth it. The best is yet to come. You won’t be where you are forever.

You are not alone.


<3

Thursday, October 1, 2015

It's Hockey Season. FINALLY!

I love the puck.



If you talk to me, follow my posts on any media outlet, or know me in real life…you may have heard me talk about hockey once or a thousand times. There’s a reason for this.

I FREAKING LOVE HOCKEY

I’m a hockey nut.

I even wrote about hockey in Pucked.

There’s just something about it… I don’t even know why really. To me, hockey is the best thing since coffee.

I was around the age of puberty (so um…somewhere between 10 and 13 I think) when I went to my first live game. My sister, her husband (that might’ve been boyfriend at the time), and one of their friends took me to Hershey PA to see the Hershey Bears play. I don’t remember who they played. I WISH I DID! But sadly well over a decade has passed since then. Whoever they played, I fell in love with the game. I was more of a sporty, tom-boy growing up anyway. Of course I had girly moments (more when I was elementary school little) but sports and wrestling were a staple on my TV in my room, as well as cartoons…like Cat Dog and Smurfs. I’m not ashamed. Anyway, I remember before that I watched ice hockey on the TV. But I didn’t follow it until that live game. After that game I’d watch and learn the rules (I had already learned soccer and football enough to follow along and not get too confused). But I didn’t choose a team. Not until my senior year. Pittsburgh Penguins became IT for me. It wasn’t that far a reach because I loved the Pittsburgh Steelers already, too.

Then I graduated and met my husband, who loved them both, too.

I have a hockey husband…not my actual husband. I have one player that I love to the moon. But he’s married, too. So it can never be *sniff* but I know the rules, I know how its played, and I can chirp like the best of ‘em. Trust me, I am funny as h-e-double hockey sticks during hockey season. I follow stats. (I love statistics for some reason. Even if they're calculated in a redundant way sometimes.) There will always be a rivalry, but for me, it's not from hate. It's from history, it's from those very stats, it's because of the way the game is played. I respect the game, the players, the coaches, the officials... And when you have that kind of love, you can talk hockey with just about anyone. I'm a Penguins fan, but I can watch a Flyers game and see a great play, a perfect shot, an out-of-this-world save and show respect to the team.

In Pucked, Audrey zones out of her surroundings and goes berserk watching the game…That is me. Last season I wrote Pucked during games (intermissions and commercials mostly because I forgot I was writing and got sucked into the games). 

Life just isn't the same when hockey season is out. It's like take a coffee-addict's coffee away for 3 months. You get the shakes. You look at pictures from the past and cry in the middle of the night. Okay, maybe not. But still. Hockey season knocks the socks off summertime sunshine any day.

I’m just your average, every day, mom, wife, and author. That happens to love hockey.

I don’t need a reason. ;)