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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Southern Comfort; Aftermath now available!


When it comes to love, they will do what it takes to survive…
In the aftermath of the Homecoming Dance, a great rift has opened between Mark and Blake, one that began with the refusal of a dance. New alliances are strengthened and old ones reinforced. Mark makes his choice when he decides to move out of the Davis home, back to George’s house… and Todd. Clay does his best to give Blake what he needs, even if that should entail choosing Mark. Todd’s mother steps in to nurse George back to health, and that bond only deepens. Will Mark do what he just told Blake he couldn’t, and give Todd his ring? Will Clay show Blake that he’s the better man? And will new student Taylor Andrews throw a monkey wrench into Mark’s plans in ways he can’t even imagine?
New alliances will be forged and tested, and emotions will run rampant in ways no one has foreseen.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Soft Skills....who should be responsible for teaching?

That's a nice list, isn't it? All great things!

When you think of soft skills...what comes to mind?  I think that they are either a personality trait or something that is fostered and taught.  Ahhhh but there's the quandary.
Who's responsibility is it to actually teach these things?

Parents? Teachers? Clergy? Bosses?

I can honestly say, I think a lot of it should come from the parents. Children learn by example. They mimic the world they are brought up in...no matter how good or how bad.  They can follow it or reject it altogether too.

For me: high school taught me the interpersonal, the flexibility was something I was born with, but the attitude was the biggest change for me. I used to have a crappy one!  But my last boss (who was awesome) taught me a LOT and he believed in me and respected me. He let me spread my wings and pitch in my ideas.  So my attitude changed drastically thanks to him.

How about your own experiences? Who do you think should teach these things? The modern workforce is clamoring for folks with these abilities...they are not being taught...so who should be doing it?




Time for Plan C


Well boys n girls...it is time for Plan C.  Plan Creative or Charming or something else I haven't conjured just yet.

Plan A went away in 2015; that was, a marriage, a house, the little white picket fence and goals. My life got complicated. (VERY)

Plan B was going great! New man, new state, new environment, and a great job.  Well...that job went away in January.

So now...I still have my man (my fiance), a roof over my head, and a brain full of creativity (it's just stuck in neutral).  I also have loads of education (which is a blessing a curse).  A Masters is terrific if it's in your current field and you have a job already.

Have you ever reached a point for your Plan C?  My goal now is to try to land any type of gig, but to work very much on my long-neglected books, ads, networking, etc.

I wish you (and me) luck!!




Saturday, April 29, 2017

Three years of shots...



Hi all! An update on my baby boy, Jack.  He is still going strong after over three years after being diagnosed as diabetic.  So far he has endured two pancreatitis (mild) attacks (where he gets sick for two days and we have to give him pills for anti-nausea and one to stoke his appetite), and over 2,000 shots!!!! (one shot every 12 hours) and a move to another state.
Still...this little trooper keeps going strong.
He just turned 13 this year and we didn't know if he'd make it to 10. (sniff)!!!

I love you baby boy!!! You are mama's 20-lb angel 💖💖💖

Friday, April 28, 2017

Sick of the Rat Race


The rat race. The 9 to 5. The daily work that gives us the ability (mostly) to buy housing, food, clothing, and all the things we need (and hopefully some we want too).

Since the early 1990's I have been firmly ingrained in the corporate world. From receptionist to file clerk and working my way up (and sideways) to learn all the MS Office you can handle, plus I was a top number-cruncher. At one point in time my then husband and I were doing just fine...until 2006 when the world as we knew it ended and I became the sole breadwinner. I earned two degrees in seven years...but now I need to leverage that knowledge.

As I type this during my now third month of unemployment I wonder...what did it get me? Where am I in my life? I am 40+ years old, no children, but I have a very hard-working fiance who is blue collar. (a shrinking field in its entirety for manufacturing in this country) but at least he has a job. My now ex-husband is still draining me a little at a time (no worries, there is a light at the end of that tunnel) but I'm still making next to nothing. I either have to learn an entirely new job or...

I need a non-traditional job.

All my life (working life) I wanted the 9-5, secretarial role, do my bit kind of gig. I quickly found out that's not what I wanted at all and was typecast (after being Speedy Gonzales on a 10-key) in the accounting world. A stigma that haunts me to this day. I cannot get away from it, as much as I try. (I had been pursuing a 3rd degree in accounting when my personal life blew up. So much for concentration! Plus, I decided, that was not what I really wanted. It was a great distraction, but the mission failed.)

I have many skills and talents, but none of which the modern labor force seems to pick up in their keyword searches of my resume. In three months I've had one phone interview and two agencies call. Let me tell you, I've done the agency bit since I was 18 years old. It's time to stop that altogether, (but that's another post.)

So...I am saying here and now that while I am forced to look for something "traditional" I will work my side gigs and try to keep writing so that my books are at least seen and some fresh material is out there.  Plus I'm a knitting fiend and may open an Etsy shop or sell on Facebook.  I may pick up other crafts just to sell my wares if I find that there's a market.

OK, rant over.

To all my fans and friends through these tough years, Thank You a millions times over! Without you, I don't know what I'd do. You've fallen for Phillip or Sam or maybe even Mark. We love you and appreciate you all deeply.



Thursday, April 6, 2017

Wedding...take two

For those who might not know my story; I am a second-time bride coming this fall.
My first marriage ended amicably (we are still best buds) but he went on to become what he really wanted to be...a she.

So, that aside...my wonderful man (of nearly two years) asked me to marry him this past winter and I'm thrilled! But now the extra fun part...the planning.

If you've never been married before, let me warn you now. If you are not a planner or an organized person, or even have an idea of what you want...then start finding someone who can and get some ideas together.

Even though this is not my first rodeo, it has been 20 years since I last marched down the aisle. Lots has changed...from styles of gowns to cake toppers, and even tuxes.  This time around I am holding to what I wanted all along...an outdoor, small ceremony. No more super-long church aisle and close to 100 people. That's fine...if it's your first. But I'm middle-aged now (cough) and we want things a bit simpler.

I will wrap this up with some sites (and stores) that I am using to help me prepare. Go with your own style and don't let anyone persuade you to what you don't want.

Party City (great for all kinds of wedding stuff)
Hobby Lobby or Joanns, Michaels, Ben Franklin
Etsy (artisans galore!)
Amazon (found the gown here)
Thumbtack (where I've found the photographer and minister)
Ulta

Also never count out your local businesses. Bakers, florists, dressmakers, and corral friends and family who are gifted with hair and makeup, and even the shutterbugs.

Cheers!

Steph

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Loving the Masters of Music (Classical)

Who remembers their first ever concert? Was it rock? Pop? Country?

Mine was classical, and it cemented my love for these ageless masterpieces.

From the time I was very young, my father raised my brother and I to listen to and appreciate classical music. Only one of us got the message (me) ha ha. I can recall countless hours in the car hearing Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovitch, and many others of the masters of timeless music.

My mother too, had a love of older tunes and introduced me to big band and swing music as well. My brother introduced me to rock n roll and classic rock, but that's another post. LOL

As for the concert; I was 18 years old and just out of high school. I remember I had to borrow one of my mother's nice dresses (not a dresser-upper) so I could attend the symphony with my father. It was wonderful! I wish I could remember the program that was played, but I just recall being there with my dad and soaking up the wondrous sights and sounds of Powell Hall. Anyone who's ever been can attest to it's beauty and wonder. At Christmastime, it is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.

To this day I get a funny look when I ask for classical tunes during an MRI or an impressed nod when I mention anything about Mozart or Beethoven.  What thrills me most is my nephew is also versed in the classics and the three of us chat about our favorites. :)

Even my fiance is open to learning about the masters; I want to introduce 'Master of the Month" here at home, but may do so on here as well.

Who is your favorite or have you ever given classical a chance?  If not, I invite you to such a splendid world of sound and delight.  Who knows, you might just like it.








Monday, February 20, 2017

The black and white of it all...interracial dating


Dating someone of another race used to be (and still can be) a very touchy subject!

My personal experience is that of someone who has never dated outside my own race...religion, yes, but not race.

That said, I do know of several others who have and I know for some things go very smoothly (no family issues, etc.) But for others...dating outside your race causes friction from the very beginning and it never seems to stop.

This most comes into play when there are children involved. Which side do they most look like? Where will they fit in? If one side is not accepting of mixed race children, that amps it up even more.

The Ice Fairy series was a first for me in that it deals with a white boy and an Asian (Japanese) boy falling in love. One side is very understanding, the other is not; causing issues from the outset. 

What has been your experience with inter-racial dating?  Is it a bed of roses or a patch of thorns?


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Southern Comfort book #1 released! It Started With a Dare

Being gay in rural Georgia is no picnic.
Boredom at the Junior Prom leads to a dare that leads to a kiss between two eighteen-year-old boys. Mark and Blake come from different backgrounds, but the one thing they have in common is a mutual attraction to each other. Limited employment prospects throw them together unexpectedly. Forced to get along, they uncover truths about themselves and embark on a daring relationship.

But they have one major strike against them—Mark is unwilling to come out about his sexuality, and Blake doesn’t want to live in a closet. They either have to come to a meeting of the minds, or let the flame between them sputter and die.