Well, reviews are beginning to trickle in for my new book, Something Blue, and I'm tickled pink to see that readers are really enjoying it. I think it's fabulous, but I'm a bit biased. If you read Something Blue -- or any of my books -- and enjoy it, please take a moment and post a review on Amazon or Goodreads or your personal blog or on a bathroom wall somewhere or anywhere at all. We poor, pitiful writers lock ourselves away from the world and labor all alone, sweating every word and punctuation mark, all in hopes of telling you a good story, so if you could return a little love, I would appreciate it sooooooooo much. And besides, you'll make my mother happy.
But here are a few reviews so far, and I didn't even have to pay any of these wonderful readers to say these nice things!
GREAT BEACH READ by Angie Q:
"This is the sort of book I enjoy when my brain decides to take a day off. Loved, Loved, Loved this book.The characters are recognizably Southern in every way and in all the various quirks. It was laugh-out-loud funny in parts and sweet and touching in others. It caught the essence of the crazy roller coaster in the week preceding a Southern wedding and dealing with all the crazy, neurotic, infuriating relatives (especially mothers and sisters) that you love."
COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN by T Wright:
"Best book I've read in ages! The characters are loveable, down to earth. I read this book out loud to my husband because he kept asking what was so funny. Someone should take notice and make a movie. YES! It was that good!"
A TOUCHING, LAUGH-OUT-LOUD STORY by aacaboo:
Lots of characters, a great mix of people & real life, "Happenings". I'm from a big Albanian Family & the before's and after's ....rehearsal, etc...could have been written about my family. A good laugh-out-loud book, great story line. Highly recommend it.
EASY READ by Susan Hastie:
"This book was one that you didn't want to put down. The characters were very colorful and about as disfunctional as they could get. I found this book to be quite funny in parts. Thoroughly enjoyed it."
FUN READ by Bobbie Largent:
"I really enjoyed reading this book. Had a hard time putting it down once I started reading it. Loved the characters."
GREAT CHARACTERS AND A STORY THAT WILL KEEP YOU MORE THAN ENTERTAINED by Christeymg:
"As a Southerner I saw people I know and people I'm related to in this story. Funny, sassy and smart. I understand the comparison to Steel Magnolias (which I love) but this is a story all to itself. Grab a copy and get ready for a truly enjoyable escape. Great summer beach read!"
DELIGHTFUL by Ann Lindell:
"You'll recognize the many Southern female archetypes in this tale of the preparations for a small town wedding. The smart, sassy characters and hilarious dialog will have you laughing out loud! Highly recommended."
Okay, you know those FABULOUS cookies I got at the Porter Flea market last week? I bought two packets of five cookies each for $10. Only today, I am balancing my bank statement and see that I was charged $100.06 for those cookies.
Now, I really enjoyed those cookies, but seriously, for $100.06, I think the woman should have thrown in a couple of free samples.
Thank god I kept her card. It doesn't have her personal contact info on it, just the restaurant where she is the pastry chef. The answering machine informed me that they are closed on Tuesdays, so I had to leave a message.
I know it was an honest mistake, she was using her smart phone and one of those square card readers, but damn it, she has $90 of my money that — i know it's hard to believe — I happen to need quite a lot. I have plans this weekend!
I am just thankful that this did not set off a string of bounced checks! i'm POOR and I don't have a lot of cushion in my checking account, damn it!
Adding insult to injury, i decided to play it safe and call my bank, first to make certain nothing had bounced, and second to ask if I should file a dispute over the charge. I did not want to be told later that I should have reported it immediately -- because you never know how banks and other businesses will try to screw you.
Well, it took half an hour on the phone with Suntrust, jumping through hoops to get to a live person in customer service. If I were God, I would outlaw automated phone systems, I swear I would. I kept telling it i wanted to talk to a representative, and pushing zero, and it still kept insisting, 'In order to make sure your call gets to the right department, tell me in a few words…." ARRGGGGHHHHHH
Finally I get a person. And the accent is so bad I can hardly understand the guy. After going round and round, asking him to repeat himself, he says yes, he does see where my account was charged $100.06 on 6/9/14. I nearly screamed, "I KNOW THAT! I KNEW THAT BEFORE I CALLED YOU! THAT'S WHY I CALLED YOU!!"
He says he has to transfer me to another department if I want to file a dispute of the charge. I say, fine okay, whatever. After being on hold FOREVER, i have this woman on the line. Her accent is terrible too, but finally we understand each other and she says I should just wait and see if I can get the vendor to correct the charge, because filing a dispute will take a lot longer.
Hmmm… is this just a tricky way of telling me "Go away and don't make this our problem"? Maybe….
Before hanging up, I asked her as politely as I could manage, where she was located. There's a pause, and finally, she says, "Offshore, ma'am. The Phillipines."
I think I am going to find a new bank. On the average Suntrust has been okay, at least since the massive screw up fifteen years ago when my wallet was stolen at Kroger. They closed my account and then gave me a new one, but neglected to reroute the direct deposit of my paycheck to the new account. Instead, they put it in the old one, which was closed, right? So i couldn't get to my money! Yippee! That was a fun time! Bounce charges out the wazoo! But I finally got them to fix everything and eat those charges.
But I don't want to do business with them anymore if they, like so many other businesses, have shipped their customer service jobs overseas to people I can't even understand. I hate sounding like an ugly american, but seriously, if your customers can't understand you, that's not customer service.
Something has been wrong with my right arm over several days, now, but yesterday, for some reason, I woke up in greater than usual pain, and it just kept getting worse. By around 1 pm, I started crying. At my desk. At work. I'm sniveling.
And nothing helped. Not ice, not the brace, not the four Aleve, six tylenol or eight Advil taken in the course of eight hours. Not the first hydrocodone. Nor the second.
The third hydrocodone, however, taken around 9 pm, put me to sleep, which was all I was praying for at that point, assuming that a swift and merciful death was out of the question.
At some point I called the hand specialist my GP had referred me to on Monday, and begged to be seen as soon as possible.
Today at 3 pm, I saw him. The visit was mainly comprised of the doctor poking and pressing and thumping and asking, "Does that hurt?"
His diagnosis? "Probably tendonitis, and probably carpel tunnel, but we'll have to send you somewhere else for THAT test."
After he suggests all the stuff that any moron without a medical degree would guess, which happens to be the stuff I'm already trying (rest, ice, braces, anti-inflamatories), I ask him, "Is that it? That's all you can suggest when I'm in such pain I can't hold anything, I can't sleep, I can barely fill out your freakin' 20 pages of forms?"
"Well, I could give you a cortisone shot. Wanna try that?"
Of course, I said yes.
As he prepares the syringe, he smiles and says, "You're not gonna like me much later tonight."
"I don't like you very much right now," I say, flexing the hand that he has set to throbbing again with all his probing. "What happens tonight?"
"Well, once this lidocaine I'm spraying on your elbow wears off," he grins (I swear, he grinned!), "your elbow is gonna hurt a lot until the cortisone kicks in, probably tomorrow."
Before I can tell him to get the hell away from me, he says, "Okay, here's a little stick."
Yes, there is a little stick. Not too bad. I sigh in relief.
Then he says, "Okay, now you're gonna feel some pressure."
OMIFREAKINGOD, SOME PRESSURE? No, asshole, this is not SOME PRESSURE! This feels like someone is trying to shove a kabob skewer through my elbow. Perhaps it was just my imagination but I swear I felt metal scraping against bone. And it just goes on!
The "pressure" continues until I am gasping and trying to curl into a fetal position, stopped only because he has my right arm held down on the table. I think I may have used the F bomb. More than once. IT HURT. VERY MUCH.
It's also possible I hissed at him.
"And I'm trying to make it bleed a little," the sadistic bastard tells me. "That will help the healing process."
SERIOUSLY? How about screaming? Does that help the healing process? What about smacking the living daylights out of the doctor? Should I try that and find out?
Finally it is over. I stagger out of there with a bruise forming on my elbow around a red puncture mark.
And as he predicted so glibly, it is beginning to hurt. I have taken one hoarded hydrocodone, and will probably take another one in a few minutes before I go to bed.
Damn it, another doctor bill piles up for no real new information, no significant help. Maybe the cortisone will help, but I won't know for a while.
I intended to get so much done today. Of course, I intend that every day. But right now, all I can think about is tacos.
Or should that be "are" tacos? Damned plurals. Life is too short to stress unduly about subject-verb agreement. (For me, not for you, of course. In the event that your subjects and verbs do not agree properly, I shall taunt you mercilessly. You'd expect no less, right?)
Yesterday we stopped in at the Porter Flea preview -- a craft and local goods market off Chestnut and 4th. Parking was ridiculous, so I don't know what it'll be like for the actual event today. I sort of made my own space, cause, I'm like, just that kind of creative individual, right? Of course, the boyfriend/partner-in-crime did not find my creative use of a one-way street (i.e. going the "wrong" way) at all agreeable, but I salute him for not shrieking like a little boy. He just dug his fingers into the door, cringed and said in a really admirably steady voice, "YOU ARE GOING THE WRONG WAY."
I love him, even when he's judging me like that.
It was weird being at an arts and crafts event where there was nobody I knew. Except for Harry Underwood, local artist who was a fellow member of the Plowhaus during my tenure there, though I am sure Harry doesn't remember me at all. I said hello, and he gave me a sort of blank look, but then, I think that's the only expression Harry has. There are those who think Harry is a little odd, and those who think Harry wants everybody to think he's a little odd as part of his artistic persona. All I know is that Harry's work sells for a lot more than mine. I was surprised to see him there; the event was entirely too self-consciously, yet innocently, hip for an eccentric like Harry.
In fact, the boyfriend and I were looking around wondering if we'd missed an age requirement sign somewhere, because everybody -- vendors and patrons alike -- seemed to be under thirty. It was a very hipster crowd, and while there was some interesting stuff there, there was a dismaying cooker-cutter quality to most of the goods. Jewelry and clothes were all very minimalistic. Almost no painters besides Harry but a ton of print makers, whose work all looked pretty much the same. And they were all so young and earnest! My cynical heart aches for them.
Of the interesting things I did like: Rebekah Turshen, the pastry chef from City House restaurant in Germantown -- which I will now HAVE to try out -- was there selling her homemade gourmet cookies. OMG. She makes a bunch of different kinds but i fell in love with the buttermilk cornmeal cookies. I know, it doesn't sound very appealing but they were AMAZING. I also bought a few of the chocolate expresso toffee cookies, but I am forcing myself not to open the bag until tomorrow. There are only about six cookies in a bag.
There was a booth with a young woman selling handmade eyeglass frames. I'm not sure how she makes them, they looked totally professional but in some really retro and fun styles. I would have bought a pair of these champagne colored cat-eyes, except that I am poor, and had already blown my entire food budget for the coming week on 12 cookies.
There was a guy there who made these head/face sculptures in little boxes, using mostly polymer clay and found objects. One of the found objects was actual bird legs. Yes, legs taken from a (hopefully) dead bird. Strangely creepy and yet intriguing. (But then, I have this unsettling but persistent desire for a bird skull.)
And I knew it would happen eventually but yes, I ran into someone making sock monkeys in funky costumes with hair and stuff. I like the name of her company, "Show Me the Monkeys." I think mine are cuter but she does a good job. I looked at her pricing and knew that, like me, she's not making enough on them to cover the real cost of time and materials. Not unless she's got a sweatshop of illegals sewing for her.
Strangely, seeing all this did not make me want to get back into craft events. It's just too much work. My feet started to hurt just looking at all those booths.
Now, all I can think of is tacos. I fear I shall have to just go down to Los Tres Amigos for dinner. Maybe I can trade them a cookie for a taco.
I LOVE THE WEB
Because nobody can interrupt me; they can only de-friend me.