Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Nanny Wanted

I have a friend who is a popular and well-respected author. On several occasions he has told me I have both the talent and the tenacity to get published. I love it when popular and well-respected authors tell me things like that.

My tenacity sent me back to school this summer. Self Publishing School, that is. Yeah. Who would have ever thought I'd be tenacious enough to publish my stuff on my terms? That's for another post, though.

Anyway, as you might guess, part of Self Publishing School was to write a book. So for the past couple of months I have been 100% completely engrossed in writing this book (which I'll talk about in another post). It has taken over my entire life and become the answer to every question.

Where have you been? I haven't seen you in a while.
I'm writing a book.

What's new?
I'm writing a book.

Why isn't there any food in this house?
I'm writing a book.

Why don't you ever call me?
I'm writing a book.

What's that smell?
I'm writing a book.

When is the last time you used a hairbrush?
I'm. Writing. A. Book.

You get the picture.

I was talking to a fellow classmate on the phone this morning. She is writing a book in the middle of moving to a new house. I can't even imagine. During our conversation, it dawned on me that I could really use a nanny - not for my kids - but for myself. Is there even such a thing? Adult nannies?

Here is the ad:

Wanted: one live-in nanny to look after grown woman who is at least 26 years old. Must be willing to cook, clean, shop, and remind approximate 26-year-old woman to eat, shower, get dressed, and to wear her glasses when staring at computer for hours on end. Must encourage her to actually follow the schedule in her planner and to be social. Attending writing conferences not considered a social activity. Daily walks are required. Trays of delicious food delivered hourly without asking is preferable. Must see to it that Peanut M&Ms are always on hand. Guacamole skills are a plus. Send resume to I'mwriting@book.

And just in case you didn't believe me about the glasses...

Friday, July 24, 2015

Cindy 4.2

Yes, it's that time when I mark another completed orbit around the sun. We celebrated a couple of weeks ago by going to a concert in Deer Valley. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy put on a fun show. I mean, who doesn't love good, trumpet-heavy swing music?

Anyway, as my birthday approaches, here's what I've been thinking about lately:


We need more of it. We need to give people the benefit of the doubt. If we want kindness shown to us, we must first show it ourselves. The Golden Rule and all that jazz.

Also, be kind to yourself. Ease up on the negative self-talk. 

I don't really know where this blog post is going, except to say that the older I get, the greater my appreciation for kindness becomes. My desire to be kind grows stronger.

All you need is kindness.
And maybe a Ford Mustang. (Another birthday, perhaps?)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Practice Field

Four years is a long time when you're young. I spent four years on the high school practice field, playing in the marching band. That's 2/3 of my teen years. That's a lot of time. Four years to make friends. Four years to have a crush on a certain trumpet player. Or percussionist. Or any boy who would pay attention to me. Four years to figure out who I was and who I was becoming.
Certain phrases echo at me. Eight-to-five glide step. Right face. Left Face. Forward. March. The sound of the show coming together and the sound of it falling apart. The cadence as we practiced entering the field. A well-timed rimshot when Mr. Lingwall cracked a rare joke.
There was marching in 100-degree weather. There was marching in the dark. There was marching before school and after school and even when it rained.
There was laughing and playing and drooling over Chris Montiel's '55 Chevy. There was sitting on the grass while another section got some personal attention. There was earning a solo when somebody else fully expected it to be theirs. There was sucking on lemon drops to make your lips pucker, and there were many reasons to pucker. Unfortunately, I only had one reason, and that was my size 7C mouthpiece.
The day I took the podium as Drum Major was my proudest moment on the practice field. I learned about leadership and confidence and how to get the attention of 240 people all at once. A whistle helps.
I learned a lot of things on that practice field.
I gave everything I had on that practice field.
And I was given much on that practice field.
Four years is a long time when you're young; and even though I didn't know it at the time, every step I made on that practice field taught me how to march, or glide step, if you will, through life.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

On a Darker Note

I spent the weekend at Solstice Writing Retreat, which is always a good thing. I love being around other writers - they're my tribe.

Louise Plummer was there, who quickly became one of my favorite people in all the world when I met her three years ago. She told a story about giving someone dark chocolate fortune cookies, along with, of course, dark fortunes.

She and her husband Tom, along with their son, came up with the list, which included such gems as:

  • Toe fungus next Wednesday
  • Don't bother counting your lucky stars
  • Dead man walking

We, of course, could not contain our laughter.

As a writer, I spend lots of time inside my own head. Naturally, the last few days have found me wandering into dark fortune territory.

  • Those stars you're seeing? Cataracts.
  • Say goodbye to your toaster this week.
  • There is a boulder in your future.
  • Lucky numbers? I don't think so.
  • I'd get that mole checked if I were you
  • You're going to regret eating that fortune cookie
  • Dinner: what goes down will come up
  • Stay home Monday. And Tuesday. In fact, don't go out at all next week.

Try it. You'll be hooked. 

P.S. My son has long held on to the best fortune he ever got from a cookie (dark or otherwise):

A lit candle frightens no monkeys.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Why Miscarriage Matters

It has been ten years since my last miscarriage. Over that time, the pain of those losses has softened. I don't think about those little lives as much, mostly because they are a permanent golden thread woven into the very fabric of my existence. 

They are me.
I am them.

But every now and then, something will come up that puts them at the very forefront of my every waking thought. So much, that I can't possibly think about doing anything else. I am their mother, after all, and if I don't stand up for them, nobody will.

This is one of those moments.

I just finished reading a news story relating to the woman in Colorado. The one who stabbed a pregnant woman repeatedly and then ripped her unborn baby from her womb. The mother survived.

The baby did not.

A judge has now ruled that the woman will not be charged with murder because the state of Colorado does not recognize the fetus as a person.

Whatever emotion that stirs in you, allow me to offer my perspective. If one fetus is recognized has a human being - a person - then they all have to be recognized as such. And if they're all recognized as such, then, by that definition, abortion is murder.

When I was going through my years of miscarriage, I kept hearing terms like "spontaneous abortion" or "loss of fetal tissue."

Ugly, ugly words.

But the truth is, if those little babies, babies who had a heart beat at some point in time, babies who kicked and fluttered around inside of me, and who were most definitely wanted and loved; those babies could not be recognized as babies, humans, or people, because that would change the whole argument for abortion.

There are those who will argue that abortion has nothing to do with the case in Colorado. And that's the convenient truth, isn't it? The woman didn't commit murder. It was just a fetus. She committed abortion - it just wasn't the mother's choice this time.

Because if one is just a fetus, then they're all just fetuses.

And that's why miscarriage matters. The babies I lost were absolutely human beings in every sense of the word. Why? Because I loved them. I still love them. That love will never dissolve or fade. That bond, that love, that loss I feel... it's as real as the air you're breathing at this very moment. I don't think I could feel that way for a bunch of tissue.

Miscarriage forces everyone - no matter what side of the debate you're on - to take a step back. You can't talk about it without considering the implications it has on our "legal" definitions. And so as a society, we don't talk about it because it grays what is supposed to be a black and white argument.

People are free to make their choices. But every choice has consequences. And as someone who had eight "spontaneous abortions," I'll never understand why someone would willingly choose to do that to themselves on purpose.

Regardless, I do know this. My babies were more human than the woman in Colorado will ever be.

And I'll go toe to toe with anyone who says otherwise.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Life Changing Stuff Here

Hello, My Friends.

I need to tell you about the last month.

It. Has been. Life changing.

I made a new year's resolution to rededicate myself to my small copywriting business, The Bright Words.

I built a new website. I got professional pictures taken. I started looking for new clients. I attended a business conference. That's the life changing part. The speakers and presenters were phenomenal. It was the first time I've ever experienced true synergy - and I figured out what I'm supposed to do with my life!

Long story short - two of the speakers there are now mentoring me and helping me along. I'm learning a lot and I'm exhausted - but in the good way. And now it's time for me to do some major hustling.

So here it is:

 I Need A Small Army to Help Market My Business

I’m crazy. But you know that.

And I need the support of a small army of people who are even crazier than I am.

I’m putting together an Influencers Group to help me create a groundswell surrounding the launch of my business: The Bright Words. It’s already out there, and I’ve been in business for a while, but I want to take it to the next level. I’m in search of a dream team of authentic, dedicated, positive and proactive wave makers to help me spread the word over the next few weeks - in fact - my goal is to get 100 influencers to join this group in just 10 days.

It won’t be allllll fun and games (just mostly). I’m going to need a lot of help. It’s going to be work. There may be blood, sweat and tears. (Joke. Okay, half joke.). But, I promise you’ll get a glimpse into my brand of crazy, which is better than say, Kim Kardashian’s brand of crazy.

Here’s what I promise you if you join the Influencers Group:

        I will spread information about you, your business, product, or service far and wide - leveraging my unique strengths and avenues of influence.

       Access to me (and the other influencers in the group) in an exclusive Facebook group. This group may just turn out to create mutually beneficial relationships that could last a lifetime. You never know.

Here’s what you promise me you’ll do if you join the Influencers Group:

    Share information about The Bright Words far and wide—leveraging your unique strengths and avenues of influence.
    Join the Influencers Group on Facebook, and be an active participant and collaborator: sharing ideas together to help each other more effectively spread the word.
    Find other people - influencers - who you think would love to be part of this dynamic group.

Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1688969331329988/

That’s it!
Are you in? It may just help you out, as well.
Love ya.
Mean it.
For real.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

An Anniversary or Two, of Sorts

Today is February 17, which is the date my future husband proposed to me way back in 1996. That got me thinking about February 16, many years before.

What, you may ask, is the significance of February 16?

I attended Saguaro Elementary School in Casa Grande, AZ. The school had a discipline plan which looked like this: If you acted up, the teacher wrote your name on the board as a warning. If you kept it up, you would get a series of check marks next to your name, and each check mark had a consequence -- leading all the way up to getting a swat from the principal.

Being the good girl/people pleaser/teacher's pet that I was, I prided myself on never getting my name written on the board. Until the fifth grade on February 16, that is.

Because my last name began with an A, I was always seated on the front row. It seemed all my teachers were sticklers about seating us in alphabetical order in those days. The girl sitting to my right (I can't remember her name, but it must have also begun with an A) told me to pass a note to Albert Enriquez, who sat across the aisle, and one row back from me on my left. Mr. Jones was busy writing things on the board, so I had to time my hand-off just right.

Now, in my defense, I did not have a lot of note-passing experience, and I didn't want to get caught, so I very discreetly took the note, which my friend had folded into a small triangle, and placed it...
on the toe of my shoe. I kicked it in Albert's direction, just in time for Mr. Jones to turn around and see the note land nowhere near my intended target.

I still remember watching Mr. Jones' bony, wrinkled fingers slowly unfolding the little triangle. He read the note, glared at me through his horn-rimmed glasses, then slowly and deliberately wrote my name on the chalk board.

The humiliation was unbearable. I started to wonder if I should transfer to another school where nobody knew I was the kid who got my name written on the board. At the very least, I was afraid to go to school again the next day.

Fortunately, I stayed at Saguaro Elementary, where I remained in Mr. Jones' class for the remainder of the year. I am also happy to say my reputation did not follow me to Mrs. Mazur's class in the 6th grade.

Also, I don't recommend kicking as a method of note-passing.