Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On My 2011 Year in Review

Have you ever sat at your computer, or desk with a pad of paper and a pen intent on writing a list of what you've done during the year--only to draw a complete blank? 

Do you see me jumping around waving my hand? Oh yeah, complete brain dump, right here.

I know I've done stuff. 

Probably a lot of 'stuff'. I just can't remember it. 

At least not without help. 

I asked my best friend what I've done this year, she is after all my best friend so she'd have a pretty good idea, right?

Her response: "Worked your ass off."

As true as that is, it wasn't much help. 

She wrote this blog the other day, and I was so impressed with it I wanted to write one myself. 


  • Completed P90X
  • Got a new tattoo
  • Completed two novels
  • Started a third
  • Completed a short story
  • Wrote several pieces of Flash Fiction
  • Completed six college classes
  • Changed my major
  • Welcomed the Marine home from Afghanistan
  • Said goodbye to the Marine when he deployed... Again.
  • Added the Niece to our home--for a permanent stay.
  • Turned 30
  • Went to the Living Desert and rode a Camel with the Munchkin.
  • Made friends and lost friends who weren't really friends.
  • Experienced the Munchkin in her first dance class
  • Watched the Munchkin in her first Christmas program
  • Found out I had allergies...bad allergies.
  • Saw the Lt Dan Band in concert and met Gary Sinise 
  • Went to San Diego with my best friend.
  • Started doing Zumba
  • Started doing Yoga
  • Went to Universal Studios, Knotts Berry Farm and Calico Ghost Town.
  • Rode on a tram
  • Discovered twitter (yes, I'm slow, but you can follow me @rsemeline)
I'm sure there is probably more, but that will have to be enough. 2012 is going to be insane. Really insane. Not to mention great. 

2012 is going to be great.

What did you do in 2011?


Sunday, December 25, 2011

On Christmas

Just thought I'd take a moment to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas. May it be filled with joy, love, and happiness.

Now back to my regularly scheduled couch time.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On Preparing for the Holidays

It seems like I've been baking since November. 

Oh, that's right. I have been.

It's called the preparing for the holidays. Something I feel like I've fallen behind on.

Who decided it was a good idea to have two holidays filled with baking, so close together? They sure didn't discuss it with me. I'd have offered June as a good month for one of them.

This is the first year I've gotten into the Spirit in years. It's a nice feeling. We're actually trying to create family customs and memories (even though the Marine isn't here to participate). 

That would explain the lack of writing I've managed to accomplish. 

Oh well, the writing will be there later, right? The Munchkin won't be this young forever, and I don't want to miss out on making Applesauce and cinnamon ornaments with her while she still likes me. 

I'm off to continue the baking. It's a never ending process, I tell ya.

I hope this week has found you happy, joyful, and in the Spirit of giving. 

May your Christmas be Merry and filled with all the love and excitement you could want. 

Season's Greetings,


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On Saying, "You Look Amazing".

My sister-in-law has always been beautiful. Both inside and out. She's got a beautiful skin tone that speaks of ancestors not as pasty as my own. When I first met her, shortly after I started dating the Marine, I thought she would have fit in as some type of Eskimo Princess (forget for a moment I have no idea about Eskimos or whether they have Princesses). She's got long black hair that is so thick and shiny it would make Barbie jealous. I know at times it makes me jealous, and I'm a redhead. 

She's also one of the nicest people I know. She volunteers to help others, spends quality  time building relationships with her children, and looking for ways to influence others in positive ways.

Not too long ago she started working out. Zumba, Pilates, Turbo Kick, hitting the YMCA etc. She's still gorgeous,  but now she's gorgeous and missing a hundred pounds. Of course, I told her she looks amazing, because, HELLO, she does! She responded, "I've always looked amazing, but I know what you mean. Thanks."

I internally cringed when I read that. Some how, I think, I'd managed to step into the metaphoric crap. 

In a society so consumed by physical appearance, how is a person supposed to congratulate someone on an amazing accomplishment like losing a hundred pounds, without sounding like it's a backhanded compliment? 

By saying I thought she looked amazing, did it sound like I didn't think she did before? That I had thought she needed to change her appearance? 

Looks shouldn't be everything. Being skinny, with nice skin doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be a beautiful person. In fact, I've known plenty of people who would be considered beautiful, because of their outward appearance. 

They were some of the ugliest people I've ever known. 

Inside where true beauty really is, they were empty. There was no love, or caring--just selfishness and hate. 

It sucks to feel like giving a compliment will be in poor taste, but wouldn't it be worse to ignore the hard work someone has put in? I know she's proud of her accomplishments, and she should be. I also know her main focus wasn't getting skinny for skinny's sake, but for getting more active and healthy both inside and out. 

The same reasons I workout several times a week, don't eat fried foods, drink tons of water, and keep positive thoughts at the forefront of everything I do. 

What are your experiences with saying 'You look amazing' or something similar? Did the person take it as the compliment it was intended as, or did they take it as something worse? I'd love to hear about it.

Remember, as long as you're healthy, happy and caring, your true beauty is already apparent to the world. The outside is just wrapping.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On the Shortness of Life

Since September 11, 2001 our country has been at war. Thousands of people have lost their lives, and the military men and women as well as the Country as a whole understand the dangers in the Middle East. What many don't often realize is how dangerous the military's job is even when they're stateside.

According to this article, early last night four Army helicopter aviators died during a training exercise near Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington State.

They weren't inside some Middle Eastern country, they were within the borders of our own.

Yes, I'm sure they knew the dangers of their job each time they set foot on a helicopter, and though I didn't know them personally, I've known many like them. They did what they did each day, and loved it. It was who they were.

That doesn't make the loss any less severe for the  families and friends of the four pilots, or the family and friends of any person who dies unexpectedly.

I wish more than anything there was a way to guarantee the safety of our men and women during training, but there's not.  

This holiday season while everyone celebrates the joy of being together, we should all take a moment to realize how short life truly is.

Take a moment and thank those military men and women you know, not just for the sacrifices they've already made, but for the ones they could make.

My heart goes out to their families and friends.

May the aviators rest in peace.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

On Between the Hours of 8:00 and Noon

If you've ever had to make an appointment for a delivery or a pick up, or some other 'meeting' that requires someone to come to your house (the exterminator for the bugs who have started wearing your clothes and shoes, the repairman for the dishwasher that sprung a 'small' leak that now looks like Niagra Falls, or in my case, today, the LoJack installation guy) you know they never give you a set time. 

It's always in a window. 

Usually between three and four hours. 

For me, it always seems to be between the hours of 8:00 and Noon. 

I obviously have nothing better to do with my time than wait for four hours for someone I'm paying to get around to me. 

Today, my LoJack needs its two year service (okay, it's needed it for several months). Which, in theory is a good thing since the light on the little doomahickey that hangs from my key ring has been flashing angrily at me for over a month. 

I think it's taken to taunting me. 

It's like a game.

I try to catch it blinking, but I miss it more often than not.

What can I say, I'm easily amused. 

So today during the hours of 8-noon, I'm hanging out at my house (the same place I hang out whenever I get a free moment), trying to get something useful done. 

Like work on the YA WIP, or sketch out the most recent short story ideas that have decided to plague me at night when I'm supposed to be falling into a peaceful, restful, rejuvenating sleep.

Instead, I've discussed with my best friend topics for articles I want to write regarding the Marine Corps. Though, I'm not sure in my present state of mind those would be a good thing. 

I've also decided to make brownies, because while I'm looking for things to keep me busy between 8 and noon, I was skeezing on Facebook and realized that today is National Brownie Day. How did I not know this day existed?

Pretty sure my waistline is not going to be happy with me for this. 

That's okay, I'll do some extra yoga. :)

What is the worst experience you've had when it came to a window of time and waiting for someone?


Saturday, December 3, 2011

On Women and Sex

This month I'm working on an article about married women and sex.

Men often complain their wives don't have the same sex drive as they'd had before they got married or during the first year after the ring was placed on the woman's finger.

Many women complain about not wanting to have sex with their spouse at all, because of a lack of emotional intimacy. I've spoken to many of my friends and each of them have a similar story to tell.

For this article though, I want to touch on the feelings, concerns, and actions of people I don't actually know. I want to see if everyone is like this, or if it's just a few select people.

I need as many women as possible (either married or formerly married) to truthfully fill out a questionnaire. I don't need or want names or locations, just truthful responses to the sometimes touchy questions. I'm hoping for at least 100 women to fill out the questionnaire before I begin writing the article.

I could really use all you wonderful blog readers' help. Even if you're not married or have never been married, maybe you know someone who is. Pass along my email to them and I'll send them the questionnaire.

If you're interested send an email to rsemeline (at) gmail (dot) com, with the word "questionnaire" in the subject line.

Please have the questions completed no later than December 15, 2011.

Remember, the answers are completely confidential, and your names will not be shared. Ever.

Thank you in advance for your participation., and please share this post with your friends on twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On Nanowri...No?

On the first of November I decided to throw my writing hat into the ring of Nanowrimo. This was all well and good, but for a few minor problems.

1. I was scheduled to take an accelerated class throughout the month, and by accelerated I mean cramming an entire semester or quarter or term (depending on the schedule structure of most colleges) into a four week period. This includes writing multiple essays, a research paper, four assignments that included approximately one hundred and four question and equaled around fifty-two pages, and three tests. This doesn't include the nearly five hundred pages I had to read during those four short weeks. *twitch twitch*

2. Thanksgiving. This was the first year I've actually been responsible for an all out Turkey Day meal. Plus, my best friend flew in for the dinner so between writing and spending time with her--I chose her. Okay, her and the firemen and paramedics we took food to. 

3. The Marine was on leave, because he's preparing to deploy. Again. He's going to be gone a long time and miss a lot of things during the next...long time. The Munchkin, Niece, and I wanted to spend as much time with him as we could. After doing homework there wasn't much time left.

Needless to say, I did great for the first twenty days of Nanowrimo. Things started to go down hill on the twenty-first day. My brain was no longer focusing, I was getting surly and snarly at everyone, and I was stressing myself out because as much as I'd like to be some kind of super hero--I'm not. I'm just an average woman who needed to spend time with her loved ones and relax after one of the most grueling classes I've been in.

I made a conscious decision on the twenty-first day of November. Nanowrimo was going to have to try again next year. It just wasn't important enough for me. I made my choices, and decided what was most important to me. This year it wasn't Nano. 

This doesn't mean I didn't write. I did. I also tossed around a few other ideas for stories and articles I'd like to publish. Do I respect those people who stuck it out and succeeded in conquering the beast known as National Novel Writing Month? 


Do I especially respect the novelist who managed to beat the beast by writing 50k in two weeks?

Hell yes, I tip my writing hat to you, oh great one.

Do I respect myself for the decision?

Most definitely. Though some people might consider it quitting, or losing. I consider it a move done out of intelligence and respect--not only for myself and my family, but out of respect for the characters I'm so lovingly writing about. They deserve better than my stressed out writings. They deserve my passion and focus. 

So, on this last day of November, my official final word count for Nanowrimo is: 30,184.

Though, if I counted the eight page research paper, the fifty-one pages of questions, and the occasional blogs I'm sure I wrote more than the 50k. 

It's all in how you look at it. 


Monday, November 28, 2011

On the 'State' of Happiness

So, this morning I read this blog post, and thought I'd give my own spin on it.

I've been part of the military my entire life, in one form or another. The funny thing is, I barely remember the moves, because my father actually retired from the Navy when I was a little older than what the Munchkin is now.

When my father retired we headed to his home state of Washington, and moved into the only home I remember. Now, there are flickers of memory from previous places, but they're pretty fuzzy from the passage of time. They don't really count.

We arrived in that little town in the Pacific Northwest just in time for me to begin first grade in the fall of 1988. I was lucky as far as the life of a military brat was concerned. I attended school with most of the same people from '88 until I graduated in 2000.

I wasn't moved around at random intervals like my sister was--she had to start all over again during her junior year in high school--and because of this I didn't seem to have the wanderlust that other people did. I didn't dream of backpacking through Europe, or flying off to the Middle East. I was content. Happy.

Kind of.

Then I hit my 20's and the wanderlust appeared. Not like it did in everyone else, but in a subtle way I didn't really notice. Between the ages of 20 and 24 I moved every six months. Not out of state or out of country, just to different places around the county.

In March of 2005, my brand spankin' new husband of a month--the Marine--had orders to Hawaii, and for the first time ever I was leaving the Continental U.S. Since then we've moved four times and lived in three different states.

I've still never been to a foreign country.

And my wanderlust is great.

I can't stay in one place for longer than two years without getting that 'itch' to move. I start getting antsy, and I start hating everything about the place I live. In the case of the desert, it's become a physical thing. I've NEVER had allergies, but in the last eighteen months I've not only acquired them, but they've set out to murder me.

Forget itchy, watery, or dry eyes. Forget sinus pressure. Bring on the allergy induced asthma!

That's right.

Why do something half-assed like boring sinus pressure, when you can go big and hyperventilate from a lack of oxygen? While doing nothing more strenuous than sitting on the couch? Or even better--sleeping.

Anyway, like the above mentioned blog, I've often wondered if it's where I am that depends on my happiness level.

Will I be at this level of happiness no matter where I'm at? Is there some place I'd be happier?

I know that while living in Washington I was never happy. That didn't become obvious until after I moved away, then it was so obvious I didn't know how I'd missed it for so long.

It turns out, that I'm at my 'happiest' or at least the 'happiest I know', when I'm some place sunny.

I don't do well with gray and dreary days filled with clouds and rain.

I 'thrive' in my own way, when it is sunny and bright.

It could be negative four out and as long as it's sunny I wouldn't care--though on a side note, I'm not a fan of extreme temperatures in either direction.

There isn't a particular 'state' I've found that I'm happiest in, and maybe that state doesn't exist. I know it's time to move again (even though a part of me would really like to buy a house and put down roots). Someday maybe I'll even get to a foreign country.

In my mid-twenties I believed Ireland was the place I needed to be.

Maybe it is.

Where is the place you're happiest? Have you found it yet?


Thursday, November 17, 2011

On Being Swamped

November is evil.

Between class, holiday preparation, the Marine preparing to deploy again, and Nanowrimo I haven't had time to think. I completely spaced that yesterday was Wednesday until I was finally getting horizontal last night. By that point there was no chance of me writing a blog post.

For the last week I've been eyeballs deep in research on gangs for a research paper that is due tomorrow. I just finally finished is, and I'm more than happy not to think of gangs for the next...oh however long I can get away without thinking about them for. Let's just say there is some pretty scary and gruesome facts involving youth gangs.

Tomorrow is my last day of class, and on this most glorious day I've got not one, but two tests. Yes, that's right I have two tests in the same class. I've also got a hair appointment. :) I'm going to have pretty pink streaks added to my natural strawberry blonde hair. After the month I've had, I deserve this.

As for Nanowrimo, I've done pretty well balancing it all out. I'm a little over half way to their word count goal. I've taken the past two days off because of the worn down feeling of my brain. My allergies have been killing me and have taken their tolls as well. However, I'm not worried. I'm pretty confident that as long as I get back on the 2k daily word count again in the next couple of days I'll finish right on time. I won't be early anymore, but finishing on time will just have to do. :)

How have you been this week? I'd love to hear. Please, let me think of something other than gangs, violence and death (the real-life kind, not the fictional variety).


Thursday, November 10, 2011

On 236 Years

In 1775 the United States Marine Corps was created inside a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania bar-- the Tun Tavern.

Every year the Marine Corps celebrates its birthday in the fashion fitting its origin. Marines across the world, regardless of where they're located, recognize today, November 10th, as their birthday. If you live anywhere near a Marine Base you will most likely hear people discussing the Marine Corps Ball-- for months prior to today, because it really is THAT BIG of a deal.

Marines will don their dress blue uniforms-- you know the ones you automatically think of when you hear the term Marine (yes, the one on all those Marine Corps commercial), take their dates and spend an evening celebrating with their Brother Marines.

I guarantee it's much fancier and classier than the original days of the Tun Tavern, but these celebrations don't stray far from their roots. There are speeches, and food, alcohol and laughter, but in my opinion one of the most important parts of the celebration is the table they have set up for their missing brothers.

No one sits at this table, but there is a place set regardless.

It is to remember all those Marines who didn't make it back, who aren't there to celebrate, and those who will never be forgotten.

So on this joyous day you'll hear Marines saying "Happy Birthday" to each other, because today is as important to them as the day they were brought into the world by their mothers. Today is the day the men and women celebrate the creation of the lives they have chosen for themselves.

Take a moment to celebrate with them. If you see a Marine, acknowledge today as his day, and thank him for all he and his brothers and sisters, both past and present, have done in the last two hundred and thirty-six years.

Happy Birthday, Marines.

Semper Fi.


The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps! -- Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

On Books You Should Read

My friend, K.K. Sierra, pointed me to this article this morning while I was trying to figure out exactly WHAT I was going to blog about. The only things happening in my world consist of huge amounts of homework, and intense writing sessions where I try to continually make my writing goals (while not going crazy). November is a stressful month.

Anyway, after reading the article, I decided it was important for me to post my own version of it.

1. Because I've read only about six of the works on here, and I did in fact graduate from high school with no ill effects.

2. Because I'll be the first to tell you, I'm not a fan of the 'Classics'
   2b. Except I did enjoy the original Robin Hood, the Count of Monte Cristo, and Little Women

3. As K.K. and I discussed, I see very little reason a teen needs to read the 25 books listed, because really they have little to do with the way the world is now. There is probably a reason why very few high schools are requiring those books to be read anymore.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a huge, huge, huge-- did I mention HUGE advocate for reading. I've had an intense love affair with the written word since I was four years old and successfully read the I Can Read book, Frog and Toad Together.

I'm also a HUGE advocate for reading what you want as long as there are words in it (though I must include here that I still have a major issue with Comic Books and Graphic Novels because the word count tends to be less than most short stories--but that's just me).

Here is my list of 'must read' books that you'll probably never find on the 'Classics' list or in a school.

Any of the original 'Fairy Tales' by the Brothers Grimm

One For the Money by Janet Evanovich

Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Series (all Four Books) by Ann Brashares

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo

L.A. Requim by Robert Crais

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max (For a lesson in what NOT to do to be a productive member of society--and to laugh.)

Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

The Root Cellar by Janet Lunn

Mirror Image by Danielle Steel

In Her Shoes by Jennier Weiner

A Time to Kill by John Grisham

The Client by John Grisham

The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield's The Sandbox: Dispatches from Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan

Hot Ice by Nora Roberts

Hot Rocks by Nora Roberts

While My Sister Sleeps by Barbara Delinsky

What are some must reads on your list? I'd love to know. I'm always looking for more novels to read. I've read some other great novels as well, but if I listed everything I've read this post would never get out. :)

And if you're interested, the blog K.K. Sierra wrote about this topic can be found here.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

On Hitting Thirty

Last week I hit the big 3-0.

A lot of people worry about leaving their twenties and growing older.

Amazingly, I don't.

Being thirty doesn't feel any different than being twenty-nine did, and twenty-nine didn't feel any different than twenty-seven or twenty-eight.

In fact, being 'older' hasn't meant much to me since I hit 21, and even that didn't have a huge affect on me.

This decade though, is going to be different.

I have great plans for my thirties.

* Publish the wonderful stories running through my head.
* Watch, participate, and enjoy my daughter as she grows up.
* Graduate from college.
* Read amazing novels, both YA and Adult.
* Live life to the fullest and love with all of my heart.
* Take each day as it comes and know if the day didn't go the way I planned there is always another day.
* Be young at heart and always learn from the youth around me.

The people I love and hold dear to me, celebrated in my tiny home in the middle of the desert, and it was great. We played Clue, drank rum and coke, and laughed.

We laughed a lot.

That's what turning thirty is to me.

It's life.

It's experiences.

It's beautiful and wonderful.

And it's me.

I am thirty, and I am happy with that.

What age are you looking forward to or dreading? What was your favorite age? I'd love to know.


Monday, October 31, 2011

On My Favorite Day of the Year

Happy Halloween, to all my wonderful readers and followers. I love All Hallows Eve as much as I love chocolate, but not as much as I love chocolate ON Halloween. :)

In celebration of this wonderful day, the munchkin dressed up as a pirate princess, the niece went as an 80's flash dancer, the Marine got creative  as a civilian and I channeled my inner dark Muse.

All went well with friends nearby, the munchkin and her best friend Dylan made out on the candy front, and were adorable together. He of course was dressed as a mini- Marine.

As a family we celebrated the wiccan new year tonight, and as I prepare for bed I say a prayer to the spirits on the otherside of the thin veil.

This is a wonderfully magickal night that I look forward to every year. The traditions my family builds each year will be another memory for the niece and munchkin.

As one year ends and another begins I am excited to begin new projects, and make changes.

What did you do for Halloween?


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On Finding My Niche Part Deux

For a while now I've been following the blog, Glass Cases  (if you're a  writer you must take a look)  and the author, an associate Literary Agent for Curtis Brown wrote an interesting post that caught my attention.

I've been fighting with myself for a month now (or possibly forever) about what genre I want to write. I finally settled on Young Adult, not because I was settling, but because it was what I wanted.

Now, as long as I've been writing I've always worried my characters were 'too old' sounding for their ages. That my seventeen year old protagonist was too mature. Though honestly, I wasn't exactly making fart jokes and watching the Simpsons when I was seventeen, and neither was my niece who is eighteen going on thirty.

Maybe it's a family thing?

I digress.

After reading the post in Glass Cases and this post, it got me thinking. Maybe I'm looking at this wrong. Maybe it's okay to write 18-25 year old protagonists.

 Maybe it's okay to put the Adult into Young Adult.

Maybe I'm using maybe a lot.

It's possible.

When I first started writing I wrote a novel about a 21 year old college student who was a government assassin in her 'spare' time. It didn't fit with YA and it didn't fit with the 'Adult' marketplace because women in the age range of 35-50 didn't relate.

Is it possible then, to write for the actual "Young Adult"?

Granted, when I was in high school I would have loved to read novels of college students, and people in their twenties. For that matter, I still prefer to read about younger protags. I have a difficult time losing myself in books with a protagonist who is in her late 30's. Maybe because after 25 everything seems to stay the same anyway?

What are your thoughts on putting the Adult in Young Adult? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On the Secret Circle

Back in 1992 L.J. Smith wrote the first novel in the Secret Circle series. I only read the first book recently when I rediscovered the series because of the new show on the CW.

I read all four of the novels in two days, and loved every minute of it. About the time Diana was introduced with her sunlight and moonlight hair, I realized I'd read it before.

Then again, I've read so many books I can't remember half the titles, and the descriptions are so generic most of the time I couldn't tell from them either.

Now, am I the only one surprised a series written in the 90's is just now becoming a television series?

Granted, aside from the title, the names and the fact the characters are witches, the show is nothing like the books. (In fact, half of the characters aren't even in the show).

I've come to expect this from Hollywood.

Shows and movies are rarely like the amazing novels they were adapted from.

Okay, those fans of Janet Evanovich and the Stephanie Plum series might point out that the movie rights for One for the Money were purchased in the 90's when the novel first came out, and the movie is just now-- kind of-- coming into 'life'.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I know.

R.S, why should it be any different with television shows?

Uh, maybe because it's television?

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the show for what it is.

A teen drama full of angst, stupidity, and sex. It is the CW after all. It's like Buffy without the Vampires or the kickass slayer abilities.

** Side note** If you've seen the show, did you notice each episode seems to begin with the same two people in bed together? 

What books or series of books have you read that you'd like turned into movies or shows, or wish hadn't been touched by the hands of Hollywood? When it comes to the screen play, where does creative license end and butchering begin?


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On Finding My Niche

The other day I posted about branding myself, and you can read that post here.

While branding myself is important, I realized that at some point in the near future I was going to need to decide who my target audience is. 

Would I write for young adults or for women in the 30+ range. 

I enjoy reading both types of novels, so obviously I couldn't make my decision based on what I read, but maybe I could decide to write both. Maybe in a few months or years I'll have an amazing story that needs to be written that won't work for YA. 

So I'll write it, and I'll use a different name, and I'll really be able to work on that multiple personality disorder. 

For right now though, I've come to a decision. 

I'm going to focus on YA, because that is what  I enjoy most. 


Now I feel better. :)


Friday, October 7, 2011

On Branding Myself

Before you ask, no I'm not talking about taking a hot poker and burning a design into my skin. I like tattoos--obviously, since I've got several of my own, but I draw the line at burning my flesh. 

What I am talking about is #mywana.

The other day I read We Are Not Alone: The Writer's Guide to Social Media, an amazing little read by the Social Media Maven, Kristen Lamb .

Of course, reading this has caused me nothing but grief.

Okay, maybe not grief.

 It is after all, an amazing book, full of insight and knowledge that anyone looking to make use of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and (gasp!) the dinosaur known as Myspace, should purchase, read, and use wisely.

In WANA, Kristen makes sure you know you are never alone during your journey toward social media excellence, and I learned so much from reading her words. 

First, being that I've been going about this blogging thing all wrong.

I've got to brand myself.

Just do it.

Sure, that's been taken already, but I was smart enough to take R.S. Emeline a year ago.

I did that much right at least.

I branded a name. The name that will go on my books, and the name that is attached to my twitter account so everyone who follows me or sees my tweets will associate the awesome words with R.S. Emeline.

Now of course, there is more to do.

I've been blogging daily for a while now, and there have been times where the blogs were good, and others when the posts were only so-so.  I want to change that.

I haven't settled on whether I'm going to be a Young Adult author, or a Romantic Suspense author. Sometimes I think I'd like to be a writer like Meg Cabot, or maybe Nicholas Sparks.

Regardless of what genre I choose or chooses me, one thing Kristen recommends is writing subject focused blog posts. This also means I'll be working on quality, not quantity. It's likely I won't be posting daily anymore, but expect to see posts once or twice a week.

As always, if something happens that I find amusing or interesting, I'll post those tidbits as well, but it's time to focus my writing and my priorities for social media.

I'm a writer.

I'm an author.

Hear my warrior yell.


If you're confused by social media, or want to get more bang for your tweet, check out Kristen Lamb's Warrior Writer's Blog. You won't regret it. You'll laugh, you'll smile, and you might realize social media is something you can make work for you. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

On A Day Off From Blogging

I didn't blog today. Not because I've suddenly decided to give up writing to become the world pole vaulting champ, but because it's October and I got to start my Halloween decorating. *squeeee*

I even have ghost lights around the Windows. Inside of course. What good would they do me outside where I couldn't enjoy them?


What are your favorite decorations for Halloween? Is October 31 as awesome to you as it is to me?

Monday, October 3, 2011

On Music in Our Family

Music has always been a huge part of my life.

It's rare that I'll go an entire day without listening to some form of it.

My ring tones are songs.

I randomly burst into made up songs-- like a bad  horrible amazing musical.

Eat your heart out, Disney.

I listen to music when I share, when I workout, and when I do my hair.

My phone has hundreds of songs on it.

I have an ipod for the car filled with hundreds of songs, and an ipod for when I want to tune the world out.

If none of the music I have fits my mood, I'll go to and listen to streaming music there.

Sometimes, like when I was pregnant with the Munchkin, I'd watch CMT and GAC--just to hear the music.

Itunes is my Kryptonite.

I'd go as far as to say it's E-V-I-L.

All those songs at my fingertips, just begging me to download them.


The Niece and I will dance around the house to anything that catches our fancy, and we'll laugh and giggle like loons as the Munchkin mimics us.

It's a happy feeling.

Music has started showing itself in another way in our home.

The Munchkin will randomly break into her own songs, and she'll sing them anytime, any place.

Her favorite venue seems to be the dinner table, but she seems to enjoy the potty equally well.

Maybe it has to do with the acoustics in the bathroom?

Recently, the Munchkin and the Marine had an impromptu jam session in our living room.

Mary Had a Little Lamb seemed to be the favorite.

Some days, I really love my life.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

On the Munchkin Growing Up

Every day I am amazed by the things my daughter knows and does. Seeing her spell her first name-- which I admit is really long for a little kid to spell, and her last name makes me smile.

Knowing she can spell words like cat, dog, and hat also brings a grin to my face.

She isn't going to be my little girl much longer.

This makes me both happy and sad.

What a vicious circle.

I wouldn't change a thing.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

On A 'Splash'

On the back of the Wishbone Ranch dressing bottle the directions for use say a 'splash' of the dressing. Unfortunately, they don't define 'splash'.

Since I'm 'big' on following the directions (okay, I'm not really, but let me pretend) I splashed some dressing onto my salad.

Do you realize how messy a splash can become?


Anyway, I splashed the dressing onto my salad and I said to the Niece who was enjoying her own 'splash' of dressing, "A Tsunami is still a splash, right?"

How do you 'splash' your dressing? Do you use just a little, like the spray from the ocean? Are we talking white water rapids kind of a splash, or do you take the figurative bull by the horns and Tsunami splash those leafy greens?

I figure, as long as it's just a splash...


Friday, September 30, 2011

On Flash Fiction Friday: Karma's A Bitch, A Short

Karma's A Bitch: A Short

His name was Ken, and he was a prick. He knew this, and took great pride in proving it to everyone he met. In a few select cases, he'd pay extra attention to a person, and shower them with his personal brand of back handed compliments, superiority, and special training sessions guaranteed to accent their flaws and place him in the best light possible. He made sure those in his command never questioned that he was the best of the best of the BEST, and they'd never amount to more than the dirt he scraped off his boots.

What he didn't realize, was he wasn't the only person intent on screwing up the plans of other people, but he was about to get firsthand knowledge on the way it felt to have his dreams crushed.

In a very real, and permanent way.

Karma gazed into the mystical Pool of Choice and smiled. Today was going to be a good day.  


The sun was bright, and the sky was the clear blue it always was in the desert of some unremarkable third-world country. The temperature hovered in the mid-eighties, and there was a soft, cool breeze that hinted at the changing season. 

Karma leaned against the armored humvee, aviator glasses firmly in place, shading her eyes from the harsh rays. Her long black hair was tied back in an intricate braid and hung over her shoulder.  She remained where she was, booted foot resting against the wheel of the vehicle, when the man of the hour approached her.

"Get away from there. Who let you in here? Whoever it was, I'm going to have their rank."

"Now, Ken. Is that anyway to talk to a person with more power than you?"

His footsteps faltered.  "Who are you?"

She smiled. "Why, I'm Karma. Perhaps you've heard of me? They say I'm a real bitch."

His jaw clenched and a muscle twitched near his eye. "What the Hell are you talking about?"

She shrugged her shoulder and casually walked toward him. "You'll see," she said, patting his shoulder as she walked by. "You might want to beg for forgiveness, if you believe in that kind of thing."
The man cursed behind her, but she kept walking. She didn't turn when men in full riot gear surrounded him, weapons drawn.  As payment for everything he put out in the world Homeland Security destroyed his career, his life, and his dreams.

© R.S. Emeline 2011 All Rights Reserved. 


Thursday, September 29, 2011

On Being A Killer

Holy Crap!

I came to a realization the other day.

I kill people.

A lot.

In all different ways.

I'm a murderer.

Possibly a mass murderer.

A serial killer?

Does this make me deranged?

How do I feel about this?

Pretty good, actually.

I guess as long as it's in writing, even if the people might possibly share a resemblance to someone who might actually exist... it's not a big deal, right?

I'm not going to prison?

I really wouldn't do well in prison.

The beds are really small.

The food isn't great.

Oh, and I'd have to deal with a large population of women.

All. The. Time.

Yeah, not for me.

Good thing I only WRITE about murder and haven't ACTUALLY murdered anyone.

How many people have you killed recently?

Don't worry, your secret is safe with me.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On the Conclusion to the Cabin: A Short

In order to truly understand and appreciate this story you need to read this post first.

Now for the dramatic conclusion to K.K. Sierra's short, the Cabin.

Written, by, yours truly.

The Cabin II: A Short 

The assassin watched from the shadow of the woods, breath steady, body lying prone in the cold, white snow.  The woman had stepped inside moments earlier, and the assassin waited patiently for her inevitable exit.
It wouldn't take long. The man she was married to was snuggled up inside with one of her male cousins and two girls young enough to have watched and enjoyed that annoying show with the dancing creatures that spoke gibberish at each other.  
A patch of orange light illuminated the darkness as the door opened and the woman stepped onto the slick wooden porch. The assassin heard enough of the woman's words to understand the position she'd found her husband in.
A smile curved lips too often serious.  The woman wouldn't have to worry long, the assassin thought.
"Babe, wait. " A man, her husband, the assassin knew, ran out behind her. "It's not what it looked like. I can explain."
"Actions speak louder than any words you'll ever say."
"But, honey, you know I love you."
"No. What I do know is first thing tomorrow morning I'm going to my attorney's office. We're over."
"You don't mean that. Think of the children."
The woman laughed, and the sound traveled over the silent yard to the assassin.
"Funny thing, I am thinking of the children. One of us has to."
"I always--" the man's words were cut off, and his eyes widened in shock as a perfectly round hole appeared in his forehead.
The woman screamed, maybe in fear, possibly in shock, but the assassin preferred to think the scream was one of relief. Relief that she'd been spared--not that she'd ever had to worry, or relief that her nightmare marriage was truly and finally over.
When the authorities arrived the assassin was long gone, and there was no sign that a presence had been lying in wait in the woods outside the cabin.
If the woman knew who'd pulled the trigger, she never let on, but she did send her best friend a bottle of her favorite wine with a note attached that simply read, I heart you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On Touch Base Tuesday

With the Munchkin in school today, and the Niece and Marine both at work, I have great plans for 'my' time.

I'm going to work on my YA novel.

Yesterday was the first time in the last month where I actually had time to do something on the computer other than homework and the daily blog.

It was a good day.

Words written on YAN: 1507

Goal for this week: Finish the remaining chapters and prep to do a hands on, paper and red pen editing/revision.

It was definitely nice to return to the little world I created, and can't wait to spend more time there today.

What are your goals for the week?


Monday, September 26, 2011

On Making Myself Feel Younger

It seems whenever I finish a course I always feel like I've aged, and not in a more mature, knowledgeable way.

I feel like I've got enough wrinkles to hide third world countries in, and I'm afraid to hug the Munchkin for fear she'll disappear within them.

Now that the life sucking black hole of a course I spent the majority of my life on for the last month is finished I decided I needed a little pick-me-up.

No, I didn't open a bottle of wine, though now that I think about it that sounds like a pretty good idea.

Even this early in the morning.

Instead, I scheduled a day at the spa.

It's rare I trust people with my hair, but my stylist is as much an Angel as her name suggests. My hair is youthful again, and more fitting of the woman I am when I'm not bogged down in analytically heavy colonial reading.

Did I mention I love the random hussy pink and purple streak I have in my otherwise natural strawberry blonde hair?

So now, even though I might feel like this:

I'm actually looking much more like this:


What do you do to rejuvenate yourself when you're feeling aged?


Sunday, September 25, 2011

On A Happy Thought

Life isn't always kind and things won't always go our way, but realize that whatever happens will make you stronger. It will lead you where you need to go and open doors you might not have seen otherwise. 

Keep your head up.  

In the words of Gary Allen, "Life ain't always beautiful, but it's a beautiful ride."


Saturday, September 24, 2011

On Back to Life

As of last night, I'm officially done with my Lit. class.

That means no more long hours of pouring over 'classics' to analyze what they mean.

It also means no more long hours of homework.

At least for a month.

Hopefully, it also means more happy posts here, with less predetermined ones... though I don't know.

I kind of like having set days where I update people, certain days where I post a short story... I kind of just like having a routine.

Is that bad?

I fully plan on relaxing this weekend, and enjoying the knowledge I don't have to do anything more strenuous than...

Well, nothing. :)

What are your plans for the weekend?


Friday, September 23, 2011

On Flash Friday: She Was Loved

It's "Flash" Friday.

She Was Loved

Her laugh broke the silence two breaths before she burst through the French doors of my studio. I placed the oil pastels out of her reach, and cleared my mind of anything but the spritely little girl vibrating with excitement in front of me.

"Daddy! Daddy! Guess what?" Her blue eyes, so much like her mother's, sparkled from beneath impossibly long golden lashes.

"You just won the lottery and are going to take care of me for the rest of my life?" I asked, tugging on one unruly flaxen curl that had escaped its pigtail.

She giggled again. "No, Daddy. You're silly. I don't even know what the lottery is."

I tapped one forefinger on the cleft of my chin. "Okay, you didn't win the lottery. That means you must have gotten your driver's license."

"No, Daddy!" Her giggle warmed my heart and filled the places so often empty.

I threw up my hands in mock frustration. "I don't know then. What?"

"I saw Momma."

My heart shattered like crystal against stone. "Sweetheart--"

"Don't worry, Daddy. I know she's an Angel watching over us." My little girl, a miniature version of my late wife, wrapped her arms around my legs and squeezed. "She's very beautiful, Daddy, and she wanted me to tell you it didn't hurt, and she loves us very much."

Words wouldn't form so I squatted down, wrapped my arms around what was left of my heart and pulled her against my chest. I missed my wife every day, and cursed the drunk driver who'd taken her from us, but because of the little girl in my arms, she'd never truly be gone.

Maybe she was an Angel. 

Maybe just a memory.

All I knew was, she was loved.


©Copyright R.S. Emeline 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On A Quick Note...

Nap Time is My Time

I guest blogged over at Nap Time is My Time. Swing by and check it out.

Hope you're having a wonderful Thursday--now it's back to writing the research paper.


On Borrowing From Your Children

Maybe it was the way I was raised-- though I don't remember seeing any awards for parent of the year on shelves in the house while growing up, but I have the strange belief that parents are supposed to protect, educated, guide, and help their children.
Not the other way around. 

In our home, and even in the home I grew up in, the parents NEVER borrowed from the children. It just wasn't done. 

For instance, there were times while growing up that money was undoubtedly tight, but my parents NEVER came to us and said, 'gee, could we bum a couple of bucks--just until payday?' In my house, the Marine and I would never dream of going to the Munchkin and borrowing money from her.

Granted, she's not yet four, but she's got a college savings plan and a savings account that has more money in it than most Marines, and they're supposed to be adults. 

Have there been times where access to a couple of grand would have been nice? Could we have used it and then replaced it later? 


If we weren't who we are.

That money is our daughter's. Not ours.

Every year the money we get from the child income tax credit goes straight into her college fund. We do not touch it.


The way we see it is, without her we wouldn't have that money so it should go to her. She's in theory earned it for putting up with us for a year. 

Not everyone agrees with me on this.

I won't steal borrow money from my child's future just because I didn't plan well enough for myself. The Marine and I decided that long before we ever had children. 

We might not be perfect people, or perfect parents, but our daughter will have opportunities our families didn't give to us.

If nothing else, the Munchkin will be able to say, "my parents never did THAT." 

It's something, right?

Do you have any experiences with this? What are your thoughts?



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On Wordy Wednesday

This week's random word is from the Urban Dictionary:

Post- Acquaintance Friend Request

The friend request sent right after meeting someone for the first time. 

Hope you've enjoyed this week's random word. Check back next week. 


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

On Touch Base Tuesday

It's that day again. 


The Munchkin is at school, the Niece is at work, and the Marine is doing whatever it is he does during the week. 

Me, I'm doing my thing.

The last week was spent working on school work. 

Due this week: 

  • Two essays
  • One research paper
  • Four reply essays to peers
  • 300 pages of American Literature reading
  • Final Exam
Oh, is that all? 

Pff, nothing to it. 

Who needs to sleep, eat, or shower? 

Interaction with my family? 

What's that?

Like always though, I'll manage. The family will eat, the Munchkin will know without a doubt, I love her, and the work will get done.

I'll mainline water, take chocolate breaks to maintain my sanity, and workout at 5 AM with the Niece to keep my body running.

The Marine will just have to wait for any other attention until I'm not a walking zombie.

What's a few more day, right?

On the writing front:

Have I written anything at all other than school related words?

Not really, no.

I'm going to try to write a few flash fiction pieces, but any real work on my YAWIP or revising of the Contemporary Short will have to wait until after this week.

Not the colors I'd go for...
Such is the life of a college student, mother, wife, aunt, and all around awesome person such as myself.

Maybe I should get a with a really inspiring cape that will flap when I leap tall buildings in a single bound... I'm thinking black and hussy pink, with knee high stiletto pirate boots. They'll be awesome with my red hair.  

What are your goals and updates?


Monday, September 19, 2011

On Knowing Names

The other day I picked the Munchkin up from school, and one of her teachers came up to speak to me. It turns out that my daughter gave them a reason to smile that day.

In class they wanted to know how many of the students knew what their mothers' and fathers' names were. 

Apparently the Munchkin had no problem telling her teachers what my name was, but when it came to telling them what her Papa's name was she said, with authority, "My Papa's name is, 'Honey'."

Looks like I don't use the Marine's name very often at home. 


Regardless, the teachers thought it was cute, and I have to admit so did I. When I told the Marine about it, he rolled his eyes and said, "Thanks, Babe."

Awww, gotta love what comes out of the mouth of toddlers. 

Do you have a story like this? Something your child or a child you know has said or done that made you smile? I'd love to hear it.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

On Weekend Fun with Family

This weekend was spent hanging out with my family.

The Marine was home, the Niece worked shorter hours, and the Munchkin was surrounded by love.

Friday night, after a quickly prepared meal, we got the Munchkin ready for bed, did the story thing, and sent the menfolk out to get fixings for smores.

Since we live in an area with an almost continual burn ban, and we don't own a fire pit on legs (though I've thought on more than one occasion to acquire one) we made our melty, marshmallow and chocolaty goodness in the microwave.

It's a rarely known science.

An art, if you will.

We sat around the kitchen table, chatted, laughed, and relaxed while inhaling our weight in sugar.

It was the most fun I've had in a long time, and I'm so glad I got to share it with people who are important to not only myself, but to my daughter.

Here is to many more nights of sugary bonding, and to family--not only of blood, but of the heart as well.

How has your weekend been? Did you do anything fun and exciting--like sky diving, or did you sit home and relax with loved ones?


Saturday, September 17, 2011

On Pre-Workout Torture

Last weekend the Marine and I took a trip to the local GNC to pick up a 'few' things. A few turned into a lot and I'm pretty sure we are responsible for keeping them in business.

But, I digress.

When the guy sold me my pre-workout muscle igniter he convinced me to avoid the fruit punch in favor of the orange.

I guess they don't sell this particular 'aid' in chocolate flavor.

Keep in mind I *hate* all things 'fruit flavored', especially anything pretending to be orange.

If it didn't come from an orange, then it shouldn't pretend to be orange.

Fast forward to the first day I plan to take the stuff-- and Holy Shit! Not only is it NOT orange flavored, it's not anything remotely digestible.

I tried several different ways of taking it, all with no luck.

I even conned the Niece to try some with me.

We tried to take it as shots.

I drank straight shots of liquor for years without problems.

Even in a shot glass I couldn't manage this, and I was supposed to drink 16 oz?

Turns out they sell a pill form.

We're going to try that.

Friday, September 16, 2011

On Flash Fiction Friday: Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After
There was a time when I believed love would save me.  When the man in front of me was my 'it'. I thought we were the lucky ones. The ones who'd found true love.
Too bad my Prince Charming was absent from fairytale class the day they covered 'happily ever after'.
"Honey. Babe, I can explain." The man who'd promised to love, honor, and cherish me tried to scoot away, but my foot resting on his prized possession made it difficult.
"No, Babe. You don't need to explain. In fact, the only thing you need to do is sign the divorce papers. I forgave your first indiscretion. Against my better judgment I forgave your second too. Looks like third time's a charm--or is it three strikes and you're out?"
"Come on, Babe. You don't really mean that. It won't happen again, I swear!" His voice rose an octave on the last word when I shifted the spike heel of my new shiny black leather boots.
"You're right, Jason. It won't happen again. Sign the papers, and I might just let you keep your friends."
His throat worked furiously, and I smiled.
"Alright. Alright. I'll do it... just get that torture device away from me!"
I ignored his demand to remove my foot and handed him the pen and papers. When his signature was affixed to each page I stepped away.
A smile tugged at my lips. It was time my story had a better ending.
"What happens now?" he asked eying me wearily.
 "What happens at the end of all fairytales," I said as I walked to the door. "She lived happily ever after."

Copyright: R.S. Emeline 2011 All Rights Reserved   

Thursday, September 15, 2011

On A Thank You

I haven't had a lot of time recently to peruse blogs, or even to check out the blogs of my newest followers.

I promise I will...

Just as soon as my brain stops leaking out my ears.

Until then, I want to thank all the new followers of this Fictzophrenic's Musings.

 Seeing your smiling faces--or linked handles (whatever the case may be) makes me incredibly happy.

It's a big relief to know I'm not really talking to myself.

Anymore than usual anyway.

If this is your first time visiting, please feel free to follow along.

You might even find something you can relate to.

Let's pretend I have use of the 'Force'-- Now, You want to follow me on twitter--where I in turn follow some truly amazing people.

Take a few moments to check out my twitter profile, send me a tweet--and we'll catch up.

Until my brain gels.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On Wordy Wednesday

So many people have been doing 'Wordless Wednesday' that I felt the need to be a little bit different. 

Today's random word of the day comes from the Urban Dictionary:


Once an efficient and fast method of communication and message transferring; now a way of harassing internet users with spam, credit card/insurance offers, porn links, and "Increase your penis size by five inches" advertisements. 

Hope you enjoyed the first installment of Wordy Wednesday. :) 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On Touch Base Tuesday

I feel like this a lot...
I'll admit it...

I've been a bad little author this month.

Class began the end of August and I've been brain seepage deep in American Literature (oh the joys of Puritan writing--and don't get me started on Columbus' letters).

It hasn't left a whole lot of time for my creative muse to flex her muscles in the fictional worlds I've created. In fact, she's been flexing those muscles in the form of essays and research papers-- I have to write another research paper this week...and I'm not sure what I'm doing it on yet.


Even though I haven't sat down and worked on any of my WIP, I've been running them through my brain every few hours, and I've done various kinds of brainstorming--generally while I'm supposed to be absorbing some bone dry literary 'work of art'.

There are approximately two more chapters until the end of the first book in my YA series, and then I need to do a few more revisions on my still untitled contemporary short story.

On top of that there are several other stories simmering in my head--just waiting their turn in the queue.

I've missed working, and look forward to getting back to it in a few weeks.

After my final.

I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday.

What are your goals for the week?



Monday, September 12, 2011

On Things You Don't Know About Me

This isn't a usual blog, but then, what's really 'usual' for me? Huh?

I thought maybe my fellow readers would enjoy knowing some various information about me. What are some things not everyone knows about you?

Desert + Water = Happiness

  1. I'm a Scorpio.
  2. Halloween is the only 'holiday' I enjoy.
  3. I'm right handed.
  4. I have an Android phone with a touch screen.
  5. I hate touch screens.
  6. I don't watch Family Guy, the Simpsons, Modern Family, or any other 30 minute sitcoms. 
  7. I love crime dramas--my DVR is filled with them.
  8. The first concert I ever went to was Silver Chair. I was in ninth grade.
  9. My first pet was an Australian Sheep dog named, Rah Rah. I was four.
  10. I'm allergic to coffee.
  11. I love Big Train Chai.
  12. I went to art school.
  13. I used to do photography for a living.
  14. I'm an English Major with a Minor in Criminal Justice.
  15. I hate shaving. So I get waxed instead.
  16. I never used to believe in online dating--and then I met my hetero life mate online. 
  17. I used to be a daddy's girl.
  18. My Marine is my hero.
  19. When I was in my early twenties I could drink 10+ shots of straight liquor, and not black out.
  20. I no longer drink liquor.
  21. I enjoy a glass, and on occasion, a bottle of wine.
  22. I don't like pizza.
  23. I love McD's chicken nuggets.
  24. I've got one friend I've known since I was in first grade.  
  25. I'm a natural redhead.
  26. I love tattoos on men.
  27. I have eight tattoos.
  28. I wanted to be a homicide detective.
  29. My first foray back into writing was through Fan Fiction.
  30. I wrote Fan Fiction for Janet Evanovich's Plum Series.
  31. I have more than six stories being plotted in my brain at all times.
  32. I love the desert, but I miss the ocean.
  33. I'm the youngest child of my parents.
  34. I love high heels, but I don't wear them much anymore.
  35. I've had chronic lower back problems since the birth of my daughter.
  36. I do P90X to help strengthen my lower back.
  37. When I was younger I played clarinet, bass clarinet, and the drums.
  38. I also sang in choir.
  39. Now I only sing in the shower or the car.
  40. I'm married to my best friend--though I have to remind myself of that fact once in awhile. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

On September 11: With Guest Post From the Corpsman

September 11 Memorial

Ten years.

A decade.

3650 days.

A million memories.

Two wars.

Thousands of lives lost.

Millions of lives changed.

Today marks the ten year anniversary of one of our Country's greatest tragedies. 

What are you doing to remember it?

Are you:

Sitting around drinking a beer?


Sleeping off a night of partying, or preparing to party?

Are you living today like it is any other day?

Take a few moments, a few seconds, a breath-- and remember all that has been lost because of this day.

If you see a service member-- Police, EMT, Fire Fighter, Marine, Navy, Army, Air Force-- thank them for all they have done-- and remember they lost friends, family, and co-workers as well.

Remember that nothing is free in America.

Not even our Freedom.

It all comes at a price.

What price are you willing to pay?


Below is a guest post from my dear friend, the Corpsman. Take a moment to read his memories of that fateful day in 2001--and the years that have followed. You can follow him on twitter.

The Day that Changed my Life









I was doing what any recently graduated 17 year-old does on a Tuesday off.  Sleeping in.  I was supposed to go over to a friend’s house and watch anime while her mom and dad did business in town.  I remember my mom coming in and turning on the TV in my room.  She says “Two planes just flew into the World Trade Center in New York and another one into the Pentagon.”  I remember watching those first images I had seen and thinking to myself that this was a movie.  There was no way that this could happen in our country.  Seems that I was na├»ve as the rest of the country.

I remember that morning clearly.  I watched as the towers fell.  And then the reports of Flight 93 crashing in that field in Pennsylvania, as the result of the courageous passengers taking the cockpit.  Todd Beamer, who I assume led the revolt, was overheard by an operator over a cell phone, “Are you guys ready?  Let’s roll.”  I only wish that I would be able to do the same thing in that situation.  He and all on the rest on Flight 93 are real heroes in my book.

I spent the rest of the day at my friend’s house, keeping our plans.  We both agreed that we needed to do something to take our minds off the bad day.  We had heard and seen enough pain, and we enjoyed each other’s company.

I already knew that I was going into the military.  This day gave me a tangible reason to go.  This was the first time in my life that I was so sure of something.  And even knowing where it would lead, I was not afraid.  I wanted the bastards to pay for what they did.  These feelings have waned over time, but I am still committed to the service of my country, and to my fellow service members, the same as I was when I signed my name on that line.  My life in the military has been nothing but serving others, and I find that a fitting tribute to any man courageous enough to lay down his life for something he believes in.

I’ve deployed four times since joining the military.  Once on a hospital ship at the beginning of the invasion in Iraq.  One to the coast of Somalia to hunt pirates.  One to the Philippines to assist in the hunt for Al-Qaeda in Asia, and the last was to Iraq, to train and ready the Iraqi Army to defend their country.  I’ve made some good friends along the way, as I have also lost some great ones.  Some say it comes from the job.  Peace comes from knowing that they died doing something they believed in.

The almost spontaneous response of patriotism in this country after that day was overwhelming.  But it was sad.  Why does it take an event of this magnitude for someone to be patriotic?  You should be honored and grateful to fly the nations flag every day of the year, not just after a tragedy.  Now, I understand that being a patriot isn’t just about flying the flag, but it’s about support.  People say they don’t support the wars.  However, that’s all people cried for the days following the events on September 11th.  It just shows me that the average American doesn’t have the resolve or determination to see something through to the end.

Everyone knew that this was going to be a different type of war.  I’ve been there, and I can say that the cause is just.  What greater mission than to give another country the means to fight for what they believe in?  After all, if we don’t enable them to do so, who’s to say that someone else, someone more villainous and evil will fill that power void.  We need to see it through to the end, whatever the price.  If we end it prematurely, then what is the price paid by all those who have given their lives worth.  In my opinion, it would all be in vain.

Even though it seems so long ago, the day is as fresh in my mind as when it happened.  I will never forget.

2,606 – Deaths in the World Trade Center

87 – Passengers of American Airlines Flight 11, which at 0846 crashed into the North Tower

60 – Passengers of United Airlines Flight 175, which at 0903 crashed into the South Tower

125 – Deaths in the Pentagon

59 – Passengers of American Airlines Flight 77, which at 0937 crashed into the western side of the Pentagon

40 – Passengers of United Flight 93, which crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 1003

5,029 – Coalition forces that have died in Iraq

2,606 – Coalition forces that have died in Afghanistan

I remember today, and every day.  Have you forgotten?  What will you do to honor them?

n  Doc Seven Echo, “The Corpsman”