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Buy A Book, Meet A Person, Learn How To Order Coffee

It’s official…I have books with my name in them being delivered to my house in short order. Because I am thee of little faith in myself, I only ordered a few and then later remembered that my mom will probably buy all of those and then the rest of ya’ll be out of luck. Or buying it somewhere else. So I’ll get more and you’ll have options and we can all pretend we know how this works…I KNOW HOW THIS WORKS. *I tell myself as I struggle to remember how to use a pen*

DO YOU LIVE FAR AWAY AND WANT A SIGNED COPY? READ THIS

For my out-of-town friends, I have set up an easy way for you to pre-order the book with a little Paypal button on the bottom right side of this page. For the low, low price 15 dollars I will send you a signed copy of ‘But Did You Die’. If you want me to draw a stick figure in there, I’ll do it. If you want me sign someone else’s name, I’ll do that. You want a great recipe for pulled pork? I’ll add that in, too. I JUST WANT YOU TO HAVE A BOOK. So order today and give me faith to order more books.

DO YOU LIVE CLOSE AND LIKE CHEESE?

For my local friends, do you want to eat wine and cheese at my house? Possibly have me sign a copy of this book right in front of your face? Well, let’s make that a reality. In the next week, I will be sending out FB invites for a book signing, wine drinking, porch sitting, cheese devouring event that will be held the day this book is released. It’s a release party…just like Beyonce has except no one famous will be there and I don’t have valets to park your car. If you don’t want to see me in person, feel free to order your book and I’ll ship it to your home and you can be a total hermit. I don’t judge, you do you.

ORDER COFFEE LIKE THE CHILL DUDE YOU REALLY ARE

Here’s how to order coffee if you want to make your life easier and my life easier and hopefully get in and out in a timely manner. Start with the size you want, then I won’t have to ask you 6,000 times. Next, this part can get tricky so only do this if you feel like you are nearing pro ordering status….begin your modifications. Like “Grande nonfat 2 pump….” That’s how we will yell it out at the end of the bar, so this will make life less confusing for everyone. Not a fan of that? Then just give me your size, your drink and then the modifications. What you don’t do is this bullshit…

“I want a latte with 2 sugars.”

“What size?”

“I SAID TWO SUGARS.”

“What size?”

“Are you deaf? I said a latte with 2 sugars.”

Don’t be that guy. Just be cool and give us the size and don’t be a douche if we don’t spell your name right. Do you know how many spellings there are for Braxton and Mackensie? I’m sorry, blame your parents.

And order my book today, so I don’t have to use the ones I already ordered to build a raft and float myself down the river while I cry. Thank you for your love and support.

angels gravestone

Not Dead Yet….Apparently

According to my social media numbers, I died about 18 months ago. Not an actual death with a funeral where people show pictures of me on vacation while they drink wine and whisper about all the things I perhaps should have done or said or made better. I just had a social media death. Like a jump off a cliff after the best party of your life. Or being the fun gal at dinner and then holing up in your house for 37 years with a lot of cats. It was that kind of death.

For three years, I wrote for a few blogs, created a new writer website for myself (this one, with my old pictures where I look like I’m really invested in myself..cause I was), and submitted many stories to competitions and anthologies. I read every blog about writing and publishing and even tried my hand at a YouTube channel. That is a whole blog post of its own. And I loved all of it. I was excited because my belief was that the harder I worked toward my goal, the sooner it would happen. Then nothing happened. I spent hundreds of dollars to travel to writing conferences where I met other writers, publishers, PR people. I thought I was doing exactly what I needed to do to get results. And then, I got zero results.

In the midst of that, I had to return to the workforce to provide insurance for my family. Months later my daughter went through a very challenging period that required my husband and I to make adjustments to our lives. Then one million other very difficult things kept happening. When people say bad things happen in threes, I just laugh. “You mean 3 thousands?”

The time I had spent on my writing went to more important things and eventually I lost the ability to see what the point was in the first place. Not that I was mad, i was just apathetic to something that looked so self-absorbed after dealing with real life problems. I couldn’t be funny and I couldn’t write my book and I could barely get out of bed sometimes. So I accepted this part of my life and stopped doing anything that didn’t involve work, kids, spouse, or shoving food in my pie hole. I was (and am) surviving. That’s what we have to do as humans sometimes, survive. I quit Twitter, Instagram, and my own blog and kept up on FB because I needed somewhere to compare my fucked up existence to other people who had perfect kids and spectacular homes. (Yes..I have issues.)

A year went by and then I stuck my toe in. I checked my blog email, which I hadn’t done in months, and had a request from a prolific blogger for me to submit a piece of writing. I still don’t know why she asked, but she did and I’m grateful. Then I finally sat down and wrote about the hard things with my daughter and I let a dear friend read the piece because I wanted to maybe, possibly (HOLD ON TO YOUR PANTIES) submit it.

“This is the best thing you have ever written. I’m sobbing.”

Because I’m super awkward at compliments, I replied with “Still got it.” Which loosely translated means “I feel like a fake and I’m not sure how to respond without humor.”

And then all the things I had worked so hard for, all the dreams I had for myself were suddenly here and I hadn’t really done that much work to get them. My brain couldn’t understand…work less and get the things? But why????

And I don’t know. But I know that my personal belief system up to this point in my life has revolved around things happening for a reason and in the exact right season. Even the hard things. Had we not tackled the situation with my daughter when we did, it could have ended badly. Had I not checked that stupid email account, i would have never known someone wanted me to write. Had I not finally posted online that I was alive and doing things, people may have believed that I was dead. Or that I had given up forever. I haven’t given up forever. I’m just different and a bit lazier and a bit smarter and a lot more clear about needing to calm the fuck down. So I do that, too. Then I write a bit and hug my kids and ignore Twitter and have sex with my husband and make dinner and it all seems to work, so I’m not questioning it as much. I’m not dead…I’m just different.

gas station

Death In A Gas Station Bathroom

Warning: This story contains a plethora of complaining and overly dramatic descriptions of one woman’s experience driving in the snow. If it triggers you to send this woman affirmations or messages that read “It could have been worse” ,please move along to a happier, fluffier, more inspirational post. This isn’t it.

I almost died in a gas station bathroom. But before that, I was wishing I would die so I wouldn’t have to sit in my car on the freeway while it was closed down for an accident because three flakes of snow fell and people lose their damn minds. Every year. Every year the same people who have roots so deep in this state that they think it represents all of America, forget that we get snow. Then they forget that snow makes roads slippery and then they think “Well, fuck it…I have four wheel drive.” And then 5,000 of my closest car buddies and I end up parked on the largest freeway in Salt Lake City on a Wednesday evening.

I’m wishing for death because my car has been in park for 45 minutes and I’ve already been away from home for 8 hours at a job that drains me of any and all patience. I dream of jumping out of my car, standing on the roof, and getting the attention of the semi truck driver next to me so we can commiserate on how fucking ridiculous this is.

“Can you believe this? We are parked on a freeway and I have two boxes of wine that I just bought that I can’t even drink it because even though I’m not driving, I’m in my car and may have to drive at some point. Maybe.”

“I know. But why are you standing on the roof of your car in snow storm with no coat on?”

It’s like that truck driver thinks he’s my mother.

YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER AND I CAN STAND ON MY ROOF WHENEVER I WANT.

YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER AND I CAN STAND ON MY ROOF WHENEVER I WANT.

I don’t get out of my car, but I do look longingly at those boxes of wine. Then we start moving!! Three inches. We move three inches and then I put my car in park and pray for a quick death. On NPR they are playing a piece that I think is very fitting in my current situation, it is about how people freeze to death and it was written so the listener feels like they are the one who is freezing to death. Am I freezing to death and this whole traffic thing is just part of the hallucinations that happen before I strip my clothes off? Maybe i fell in the parking lot of the liquor store and I’m reaching a body temperature of 97 degrees because no one thought the lady with two boxes of cheap wine was freezing to death, they just assumed she was taking a power nap before tackling the wine housed in Ziploc bags.

Me leaving the liquotr store with my boxes of wine and nary a care in the world.

Me leaving the liquor store with my boxes of wine and nary a care in the world.

But I’m not freezing to death. It’s worse than that. I’m finally moving and all 6 lanes are going into one lane and once I’m clear of the accident, I realize the road is covered in three inches of freezing snow. I crawl through it in a lane of my own creation. The snow piles higher and higher and I realize that my windshield wipers are freezing to my windshield while they are moving. Did you know that could happen? I have a 5 inch by 5 inch viewing area and my car is sliding from side to side and now I know exactly how I die. My car will slide into the cement barrier that is only feet away, I will spin in six circles and get plowed into by the truck behind me who is clocking 60 mph because he has 4 wheel drive and cottage cheese for brains.

But then I don’t die there either. I pull off the freeway and into the parking lot of a gas station where i call my husband and blow the whole thing out of proportion for his entertainment. I’m sobbing and explaining in dramatic detail how bad the roads are and how I’m sure I’m going to die driving home.

“You should just get a motel and stay the night.”

This should be a relief, but it’s not because I just want to be home drinking my Ziploc wine, not hanging out in some shitty motel with a semen covered polyester comforter that doesn’t even keep me warm.

We agree I will trek home. And by we, I mean that I told my husband that I was going to drive home and I did it while my voice was cracking so he would understand that I was being a real hero in this whole situation. (Even I can’t deal with myself sometimes.)

Then I get out of my car and head into the gas station of death because I have been holding in 20 ounces of coffee, 32 ounces of water, and 6 shots of espresso for the last two hours. And I didn’t have an empty plastic cup large enough for my needs or else I would have been hunched in my back seat pissing in that.

Upon entering the gas station, I realize that all but one of the frozen vehicles parked out front belong to the people who have already been killed and placed in the ice cream freezer. The other one belongs the giant man taking up far too much space at the register. He’s staring directly at me, his tree stump arms crossed and the nest of messy white hair revealing his lack of care for personal hygiene.

I smile. Am I sure I can’t pee in my car?

“Hey” I say in a voice that reveals I would be the perfect victim for a late night homicide, “The roads are pretty bad out there. I just really need to use the bathroom, I’ve been sitting on the freeway behind a bad accident forever. And I still need to get to Tooele by myself.”

This is one of my many personality issues….when I get scared that I’m in the same room with a serial killer I have a tendency to tell them about my entire life, where I live, and how alone i really am right now. Easy target doesn’t even begin to explain it.

Imagine my dead, naked body next to those fish sticks.

Imagine my dead, naked body next to those fish sticks.

As I make my way toward the bathroom, Charles Manson’s twin brother begins to move away from the register and toward the same bathroom I am heading to.

“They won’t have those road plowed until tomorrow morning.” His words come out deep and scratchy, the way I imagine my voice will sound if I live to 99. Which I won’t because I’m going to be snuggling up to Popsicles very soon.

I awkwardly laugh and open the bathroom door only wide enough to squeeze my body in, close it quickly and lean against it with all my body weight anticipating what I will do when Mr. Manson pushes on the door. But he doesn’t. He’s probably sharpening his gutting knife or checking on his other bodies. I run into the stall, push the pee out my bladder like my life depends on it, and leave the restroom without washing my hands. BECAUSE I AM GOING TO DIE ANYWAY.

When I get close to the front door, I peek back to see if he’s waiting in the darkened corner of the store for me to come grab a Redbull before he slits my throat. But he’s gone. So I run out the front door and into my car, locking the doors with a fury only seen in horror movies. Then I feel a wave of guilt crash over me. I used that bathroom and didn’t even attempt to buy anything. The least I could have done was to pony up for a Snickers bar or one of those jerky sticks everyone touches but never buys. I just hope the Universe understands that I’m not an evil person, I just thought I was going to get murdered in a gas station bathroom.

Now I want some jerky.