Search This Blog

Thursday, December 29, 2011

10 Things I've Learned from Holiday Letters

1) Some people are not on FaceBook, because if they were there'd be no need to type and send the mass holiday letter. Everyone would already know their business.

2) My family vacation wasn't that great, no matter how I spin it. It behoves me not to let my kids read any of the Christmas letters.

3) No one who writes a holiday letter admits to tasting the flavor of mediocrity.

4) If my children have any inkling to change the world, they better get to it.

5) My kids are not as amazing as the ones featured in Christmas letters. They get into mischief at school. Sometimes they don't like each other at all. I have to talk in my mean mommy voice to get them to clean their rooms. This is not the stuff of Christmas letters.

6) My husband is not as amazing as the husbands of holiday letters.

7) I am not amazing either. My husband has to put his own clean laundry away. I haven't baked a batch of cookies in the entire month of December and my kids have had to make their own breakfast since they've been out of school. The women of holiday letters balance babies on their hips while simultaneously frosting cakes and saving the world.

8) There are some very gifted writers who use their talents only once a year. They blow their wad stringing together paragraphs portraying the mundane as dileriously fabulous.

9) There are two types of holiday letters: (a) Those that come from families in which nothing bad or disappointing ever happens, and if it does, it doesn't linger long enough for anyone to think it's important enough to write about. (b) Those that come from victims of the universe, but who, in the end, put their faith in God to work everything according to His will. ~ With either type of letter, they'll be sending the nearly same same one next year, only changing ages of children.

10) Christmas letters are so potent in content that some recipients simply cannot stomach them.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Satisfied Santa

My trashcan overfloweth with the remnants of the annual Christmas ransacking of the living room. The after-Christmas-calm has settled upon my house, allowing me to recline contemplatively, reflect on the months that sped by since last Christmas, and enjoy the tree, humble as it is. This week of unfettered relaxation comes only once a year. Though the thick anticipation has passed, I find peace in my mantra of, "This was a very good Christmas."

I breathe.

Santa sits at the North Pole sipping hot chocolate with his feet propped up on an ottoman. Satisfaction with a job well-done still glows on his rosy cheeks.

From the playroom, children's voices rise and fall, rise and fall, and rise again. Someone yells. Someone screeches. There's a clatter, but I refrain from seeing what is the matter. A herd of angry feet heads my way; a reminder of Christmas cheer and goodwill toward one's fellow man.

St. Nick, that jolly old elf, laughs at his cleverness in spite of himself. There's more than one way to deliver a lump of coal. He wrapped mine in a package of new toys and games for my kids to argue, pout, point fingers, compete and tattle over.

Though I plan to be nicer in 2012, I announce to the approaching posse that Santa isn't the only one who can make a list. And I hand each of them a set of chores and assure them that I'll be checking their work twice. I caution them, above the din of moans and groans, to proceed with joyful hearts and willing hands.

The melee thwarted, I cast my eyes and thoughts again upon the tree, humble as it is. It has been a very, very good Christmas: Three days after the ransacking, my brood is still interested in the toys and games St. Nicholas left.

Monday, December 12, 2011

East Coast - West Coast Communication Breakdown

For an upcoming freelance article targeted at helping parents navigate the tricky and oftne murky waters of teen romance, I put in a query at an on-line expert listserve for an expert source. My query read thus:

Summary: Teen Love
Due Date: 2011-11-22 19:00:00 EST
Industry Categories: General,Lifestyle and Fitness
Query: For the February issue of Augusta Family Magazine I'm working on a parents' guide to handling your teenager's romance. I am looking for a child development, or other, expert familiar with the topic of parenting teens. I will need answers to questions such as: 1) When is a parent too involved with the relationship and why should this be avoided?
2) What are the best ways to engage a teenager when discussing his/her romantic relationship?
3) How can parents ensure that their children maintain healthy romantic relationships?
4) What are the signs of trouble that every parent should be able to spot? ...and so forth. The interview can be conducted by phone or by email.
In your response to my query, please include your credentials and a few lines reflecting your thoughts on this topic. I will contact you if your expertise is right for the article.

The very first response I received within a couple of hours was this from a PR representative inWest Hollywood, CA 90069:

Hope all is well. We rep two relationship experts who can provide good health-related reasons why cuddling and relaxing in bed with your partner is good for you. Please consider this nationally recognized experts for your article.

That's not what I meant by "healthy romantic relationships" in my query. Here in the southeast, in the first buckle hole of the Bible Belt, we're not too keen on our teenagers cuddling and relaxing in bed together. In fact the teen pregnancy rates in this area of the country indicate that too much of that is going on already.

I guess her response is just another example of the the east coast - west coast communication gap. If questioned, she would probably defend herself by saying that my query was too slow for her to understand.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Quick Christmas Cash

My email overfloweth with "good fortunate." And my bank account soon will, too. This year I have no fear of suffering from the annual Christmas-cash-strap. No sir. Just read:

Firstly, I think i would start all with a proper introduction of
myself. My name is Mrs. Rabia Kabir, a 51 years old woman suffering from a long time cancer of the breast a widow to late Mustafa Kabir in Iraq, One Year ago, I lost my husband Mustafa and three children - Husam, 15 years old, Wasim, 12 years old and Merna, 6years old, this happened as the family attempted to flee heavy fighting in Baghdad.

Before my husband and children were killed, he deposited the sum of $10,000.000 (Ten Million Dollars) in a security company. My Doctor told me that I would not last for the next two months due to cancer stage. Having known my condition I decided to donate this funds to a God fearing individual.
And this one, from a young girl so sad and in desperate need of my aid and comfort:

I am Angela Louis 19 years young and the only daughter of my late parents Mr. and Mrs. Bob Louis My father was a highly reputable business Magnet-(a cocoa and oil merchant) who operated in the capital of Ivory Coast during his days. It is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in France during one of his business trips abroad.

My mother died when I was just 5 years young, since then my father took me so special. Before his death he called the secretary who accompanied him to the hospital and told him that he has the sum of Four Million five hundred thousand United State Dollars (US$ 4,500,000.00) left in one of the leading bank hear Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire and the money was placed in a fixed deposit account.
I am just 19 years young and a university undergraduate and really don't know what to do. The death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life.

Dearest one I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards. Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded. Now permit me to ask these few questions 1. Can you honestly help me as your sister? 2. Can I completely trust you? 3. What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you after the money is in your account?

But that’s not all. In addition to donations for my good deeds, I’m also due an inheritance:
My name is John Fanzi, a consultant to the government on foreign remittance payment. I am an heir hunter. When people die intestate (without a will) and with no known relatives, their names are released by the Treasury. Every Thursday, a list of these unclaimed estates, the Bona Vacantia ( Latin for "ownerless goods" ) is published on the Treasury Solicitor's website. The race is then on for heir locators to track down the often distant relatives in line for a windfall.

After proper verification through records of births, deaths and marriages along with censuses, electoral registers and other documents, and with your email address as the only contact detail on file; it has been approved that you should receive an inheritance payment of $5,000,000.00 (Five Million United States Dollars).
So many promissory notes arrive in my spam folder each day that I have taken to responding, so that the senders will not think me ungrateful for being the target of their goodwill. Prosperity has even forced me to turn down an offer from Dr. Osamu Nagayama, who desires to retain me as a payment agent for Chungai, Inc. If interested in the position, I must send him my name, home address, phone number, and current job title. Though I am flattered by the faith he has in my ability to manage the company’s receivables through my personal bank account, I declined for practical reasons:

Apologies. Though your tendering of such a sweet deal might have made me salivate last month, I find that I am the happy victim of a windfall of change (and dollars). Akim Musa is giving me 105% of $15.5 million. And all he requires are my account numbers for the deposit. Plus he’s sending me a goat.

Monday, December 5, 2011

With a Click of His Mouse up the Chimney He Rose

Santa is making his list and checking it off in preparation for his big night.

What about you? Have you finished your Christmas shopping? Have you started?

Save yourself some fuss and frazzle by giving the gifts of a good read and a good laugh. A set of books that will keep them rolling under the Christmas tree is just a mouse click away.


If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny takes readers on a romp with an AWOL hermit crab, a three legged pig and an immortal roach. Parents will relate to the perfectly impossible picture day and go giggly over illicit rhyming words. If Mama Don't Laugh will have spouses spontaneously reading out loud to each other while laughing until stuff comes out of their noses:

Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run chronicles the mayhem, mishaps, misjudgments, miscalculations and maladaptations of an ordinary day gone off the chain. You can run with Reba who's naked at the garden gate and sample Mama's bar-b-cue and Brunswick stew that doesn't come with slaw. Attend a pig roast with the communists and stroll down the aisle with a 40 year-old bridesmaid as she tries to convince herself that she's still beautiful. Adventures into and out of embarrassing situations abound:

Order from Amazon.com by clicking on the book titles or covers above.

Or make it an extra special gift by purchasing signed copies from the IfMama.com shop. For personalization, send me an email after placing your order. Your email should include your order ID, the name of the person receiving the gift, and two sentences about why you think this is the perfect gift for him or her. I'll mail your books within two days of payment.

Christmas shopping doesn't get any easier than that.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Black Forest

It's a well known fact that I'm a holiday humbug, a Christmas crank. I dread the countdowns to Santa's big night. The object of standing a Christmas tree in every room of the house is lost on me. Shopping, baking, decorating, partying and putting on a perfect Christmas persona leave me bedraggled. My favorite day of the season is December 26th.

Though I make no bones about my feelings, I do realize they are not popular. And while I really do try to avoid any extra cooking during the days ahead, I will make a guest a mixed drink in hot minute. It expresses goodwill toward my fellow woman (without a heap of work) and it puts us all in good cheer, which, as I understand it, is in the true spirit of the season.

To commemorate entering the figurative black forest of holiday mayhem, let's raise a toast to surviving to December 26th. Fill your highball with this mood brightening concoction, which is better than a box of chocolate covered cherries, from my favorite yuletide tome, Peterson's Holiday Helper:

Black Forest
8 ounces chocolate liqueur
1 ounce cherry brandy
1 ounce cherry liqueur
1/2 ounce heavy cream
1 maraschino cherry for garnish

Directions: Mix, shake, serve over ice. Give the jar of cherries to the kids so they won't tell daddy that you're hiding in the pantry drinking chocolate again. Serves 1.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Big Tuck Your Skirt Blog Tour Thank You

The Tuck Your Skirt 2011 Blog Tour for the advancement of Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run (which makes a very nice Christmas gift for all of the ladies on your list) was a wild success. It was thrilling and exhausting and exciting and now it's finished. Whew! I made it.

I could not have done it without the help of so many fabulous bloggers. Thank You! Please take a moment to visit some of them. Introduce yourself. Explore their sites. Make a few new friends.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Proper Southern Woman

The Tuck Your Skirt 2011 Blog Tour is running full tilt today at Proper Southern Woman.   You can read an excerpt from Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run titled Girl in Cornflower Blue. It's the tale of what happens to a proper southern woman when she stuffs herself into a bridesmaid dress at the ripe age of 40. Is she still pretty? You read and decide.

Stick around at Proper Southern Woman and collect a few tips and tricks for perfecting your proper persona.

The end of November has finally arrived and today concludes the Tuck Your Skirt 2011 Blog Tour. I've met so many wonderful women on the journey and I appreciate each one's hospitality. It's been fun sharing some insight into me and Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run.

Please take a few minutes to visit the blog tour hosts. Each blog is unique and worth the read.

I'd love to visit your blog, too. Email me if you're interested in hosting a guest post.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Future Fit Girl

The Tuck Your Skirt 2011 Blog Tour is running full tilt today at Future Fit Girl.   Stop by to see what she has to say and to listen to a podcast from Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run titled Double Dog Dare Ya, a story of true love and what happens when it gets a taste of fresh air and rural living.

Through the end of November, I'm visiting blogs around the country, participating in Q&A, sharing excerpts from Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run, and giving folks a chance to listen to podcasts and watch videos about me and Tuck Your Skirt. Some bloggers will be hosting giveaways so you'll definitely want to stop by.

I hope to see you along the virtual book tour trail. Meet the blog tour hosts.

I'd love to visit your blog, too. Email me if you're interested or check here for more details.

Monday, November 28, 2011

NaNoWriMo - A Peek at Love Letters From a Stoic

Truth be told, I failed miserably at NaNoWriMo. I've composed nowhere near 50,000 words. Life invariably worked against me and my overreaching commitment.

But, I have made some progress on the project, which recounts the WWII years, 1943-1945, during which my aunt and uncle were separated by his service in the U.S. Navy.  They had a marriage that evades comprehension by most modern standards:

And I do wonder in those giddy early days if she knew the life she was courting. If she knew she would never own a washer and dryer or dishwasher because of the expense. If she knew she would have no heirs and no say over what became of her home and her possessions even after B.C.’s death in 1993. If she knew she would fill her attic with Styrofoam meat trays and her basement with jars of pickled beets as if the next Great Depression loomed ominously, even in the post-war 50s and the bull market 80s.

But usually, we don’t know. Love makes us leap in without checking the depth. That’s what’s so ordinary about their marriage. What appear to be rigors and disenfranchisement to us, were true affections to them. I believe that B.C. took the role of caring for Nita and shielding her from want. She gladly submitted to his will. And I believe it was all born of love.

The first letter of WWII:

Open only if I do not return, he neatly penned across the front of a white business envelope, in a level, straight line. Then he tri-folded the single page into even thirds and slid it soundlessly into the sleeve. Using a sponge he moistened the glue strip on the flap and pressed it firmly in place.

The completed package glared at him, white and fresh, from the smooth, cold marble top of his wife’s dresser. This business of war raised all sorts of issues of trust. Trust in commanders to make the right decisions. Trust in one’s training, that it was sufficient for the duties assigned. Trust in God’s plan. Trust that he would come home and find the letter intact, untouched, unread.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Christmas Gift Ideas

What's better than the gift of a good read?

A good read that comes with a good laugh!

For Christmas this years, give the ladies on your list a set of books that will keep them rolling under the Christmas tree.

If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny takes readers on a romp with an AWOL hermit crab, a three legged pig and an immortal roach. Parents will relate to the perfectly impossible picture day and go giggly over illicit rhyming words. If Mama Don't Laugh will have spouses spontaneously reading out loud to each other while laughing until stuff comes out of their noses:


Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run chronicles the mayhem, mishaps, misjudgments, miscalculations and maladaptations of an ordinary day gone off the chain. You can run with Reba who's naked at the garden gate and sample Mama's bar-b-cue and Brunswick stew that doesn't come with slaw. Attend a pig roast with the communists and stroll down the aisle with a 40 year-old bridesmaid as she tries to convince herself that she's still beautiful. Adventures into and out of embarrassing situations abound:

Order from Amazon.com by clicking on the book titles or covers above.

Or make it an extra special gift by purchasing signed copies from the IfMama.com shop. For personalization, send me an email after placing your order. Your email should include your order ID, the name of the person receiving the gift, and two sentences about why you think this is the perfect gift for him or her. I'll mail your books within two days of payment.

Christmas shopping doesn't get any easier than that.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Say What You Mean

I was just about to submit my Thanksgiving newspaper column last Friday, when that little voice of reason inside my head said, "WAIT!" Then it explained, "Sorry for yelling, but don't you think someone else ought to read it before it's in print on the most thankful day of the year?"

"Well, okay, I guess. Maybe. Sure," I relented, and recruited my soul mate to do me the honor of proofreading, even though I had reread it thoroughly myself. As a reward for indulging me I gave him a peck on the cheek, a squeeze of the shoulders and went upstairs to fold his clean clothes.

Suddenly, "OH MY GOSH! YOU CANNOT PRINT THIS," rang out. "LUCY! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? HOOKERS ? FOR THANKSGIVING? YOU WON"T HAVE ANY READERS LEFT!"

Naturally, I boot-scooted down the stairs and skid into the dining room where my computer was set up on the table. "I won't?" I asked surprised. Then I went into defense mode and argued, "But I let the readers off the hook, uh, no pun meant in that, and reveal that the lady of the night marks his place to turn."

Again, my husband squinted at the computer and mumbled as he read through the paragraph once more:

Every year I wait for someone to lower the boom. What I would give for one of my brothers to bust out with, “I’m thankful for the hooker on the corner of Jackson Avenue and Stewart Street.” Then add, after everyone has either thought, Yeah, I’m thankful for her, too, or I can’t believe he said that in front of his mother, “When she’s not there, I miss my turn.” It would sure shut-up mopy cousin Molly, who, every year, sighs heavily and says self- absorbedly that she can’t think of anything.

After finishing, he looked at me and said, "I know I'm not the only one who will read it this way. What you meant and what you wrote are two very different things. What I read is that your brother is sad when she's not there because he misses his turn with her."

Oh my! Happy Thanksgiving. Be careful what you say for your annual thankful moment in the spotlight. You might spend all of Christmas regretting it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vegan Thanksgiving?

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and those turkeys are up to tricks again. They've gone and disguised themselves as pumpkins.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Count your blessings that you're not a turkey.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bad Mama

I dug my dinging cell phone out of my pocket and glanced at the number on the screen. Though I didn’t recognize it, fate compelled me to answer, “Hello, this is Lucy.”

“Mama,” came a gasp rising over the wireless horizon, “Where are you?”
My legs stiffened. My lungs labored to draw in a fresh breath. A haze descended as I wrestled with how to answer my 12 year-old son’s question. At long last I casually whispered, “At the liquor store. We took your brother to meet up with his friends before the football game and then we came to the…” My voice grew weak again as I accidentally circled back around to having to say, “liquor store.” Whispering it, of course, didn’t change the matter or make me unseen by the Baptists and Methodists shopping the aisles on a Friday night along with me.

Earlier in the day, I huddled by my space heater flipping through one of my favorite cookbooks, Peterson’s Holiday Helper. When I stopped the flapping pages, I had landed right on a drool evoking recipe. Tonight, I decided. I’ll make dinner tonight. But I didn’t have a single one of the three ingredients on hand: Cherry brandy, cherry liqueur, chocolate liqueur.
“Where are you,” I exclaimed, both to change the subject and because it at last occurred to me that my child was probably not at home where I thought I had left him.

He told me the sad, sad tale of a boy who looked out of the front window of his house to see his mother and father and another child getting into the car. Immediately he suspected that we were headed to the football game without him, so he ran out the front door and down the walkway desperately pleading for us to stop.
When we did not, the lad sprinted down the street, chasing our tail lights into the dark. He ran as fast as he could make his short legs go, like beating a dying race horse. After arriving at our usual parking spot and seeing that neither we nor our car were there, the despondent child borrowed a phone to called me, his mother, the woman he has depended on and put his faith in since birth.

He thought we had mistaken, Mick, the neighbor kid from down the street for him and thus taken Mick to the game instead of our own son.
“Honey,” I scolded, once he completed his story, “How could you think that? I haven't even made dinner yet!”

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rewiring the Soul

The Tuck Your Skirt 2011 Blog Tour  is electric today at Rewiring the Soul.  Gabriella Kortsch, author of the book Rewiring the Soul, is my gracious hostess. Gabriella says, "While the subjects Lucy and I typically write about appear to be very distant one from the other, I felt that her particular brand of humour, so important in these times of worries, stress, and negativity, was especially germane to keeping ourselves on track in the positive sense of the word." Stop by to see what else she has to say ant to listen to a podcast from Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run titled Strategic Errors, the inspirational story of Anyjoe in the Kingdom of Anythinkinhappen.

Through the end of November, I'm visiting blogs around the country, participating in Q&A, sharing excerpts from Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run, and giving folks a chance to listen to podcasts and watch videos about me and Tuck Your Skirt. Some bloggers will be hosting giveaways so you'll definitely want to stop by.

I hope to see you along the virtual book tour trail. Meet the blog tour hosts.

I'd love to visit your blog, too. Email me if you're interested or check here for more details.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Social Report

Four weeks of etiquette lessons drew to a close on Sunday evening, culminating in a five course, seated dinner for the large group of previously unmannered 6th-graders. The esteemed Augusta Country Club on Milledge Road hosted the affair. Students eagerly entered the dining room and checked their seating assignments.

Young men wore sport coats, khaki pants, polished black shoes, and crisp white oxfords. Many added personality with colorful ties and dippity-do in their coifs. The girls looked gorgeous in dresses in a variety of styles and closed toe shoes with modest heels. Appropriately, all hems fell below the knee.

Over the course of the class, students received instruction in proper greetings, introductions, table settings, writing thank you notes, responding to invitations and other common niceties that modern society often discounts as unimportant. The evening provided practice of many new skills in an elegant atmosphere.

The meal began with a first course of salad followed shortly thereafter by a serving of seasonal pumpkin soup - probably put on the menu by an adult who would also expect 12 year-olds to eat aspic - and ended with an ice cream sundae. An adult stationed at each table guided his or her charges in napkin placement, silverware selection, and bread plate possession.

Pleasant banter between table mates, who reluctantly sat boy-girl-boy-girl at circular tables draped in white cloths, was encouraged. At the end of the evening, the children were complimented on their fine manners.

One gap in their mentoring became painfully apparent, however, as the boys and girls exited the building. My son did stop and hold the door for a young lady retreating with him, and I must admit I swelled with pride when her parents asked, "Who is that nice boy?" But as quickly as that happened, I prayed that the little girl would shrug her shoulders and dismiss her parents' intrusive, prying questions.

A loud voice yelled, "Hey preppy kid with the ears!" in my son's direction.

My son turned and loudly replied, "Say it one more time and I'm gonna come over there and bust your face!"

Four weeks of etiquette classes and no one taught these kids how to say polite good-byes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Marvelous Mommy

Marvelous Mommy, who really is marvelous dahling, hosts the Tuck Your Skirt 2011 Blog Tour today. It's a blog tour stop like none other. Okay, sure, it's a Q&A. You've seen that done a thousand times. BUT, this Q&A is different! Instead of straining your eyes to read text responses, you can click on the play buttons, kick back and relax, and watch video responses. You're going to love this one.

While you're hanging out with Marvelous Mommy, make sure to enter to win the Tuck Your Skirt tote:

There are lots of ways for you to enter and improve your chances of winning!


Through the end of November, I'm visiting blogs around the country, participating in Q&A, sharing excerpts from Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run, and giving folks a chance to listen to podcasts and watch videos about me and Tuck Your Skirt. Some bloggers will be hosting giveaways so you'll definitely want to stop by.

I hope to see you along the virtual book tour trail. Meet the blog tour hosts.

I'd love to visit your blog, too. Email me if you're interested or check here for more details.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

As Stunning as Rick Perry's Memory Gaps

Rick Perry is running for the republican party presidential nomination, but he can't remember which three government agencies he wants to delete: Commerce, Education, and . . . and . . . uh. The entire audience pensively waits, with fingers crossed, hoping he'll say IRS. But, instead, he says, "Oops." Jaws and hearts dropped. It's what we at my house call a shift-f-8.

My husband has a soft spot for Mr. Perry. He says things like that can happen to any guy. That's because he is the daddy of the shift-f-8. I, of course, have set about popularizing it.

How it began: A dotcom company employs my beloved. The company sent him to conduct a training for one their Atlanta clients. When he arrived, security refused to let him in until he produced the name of his "contact." His "contact," however, the person who requested and arranged the details of the session, was not actually employed by the client, which left my husband scrolling through emails searching for a name of a person who might vouch for him.

When at last he was granted entry, he raced upstairs to the meeting room with only 3 minutes until presentation time. Hastily he began setting up, turning on his laptop and loading the PowerPoint presentation. At one minute to go-time, he discovered that his computer was not communicating with the room's projector.

His "contact" offered her assistance. "Press shift f 8, that usually works for me," she prompted. While she watched, he used three fingers to press the shift key, the f key and the 8 key, simultaneously. He looked up at the screen, disappointed at the results.

His "contact" didn't say a word, probably because she was struck speechless.

Then my husband shook his head in frustration and did it again: He pressed the shift key, the f key and the 8 key. When nothing happened, he grew distraught.

The "contact" thought she might be the victim one of those TV shows that pulls crazy tricks on people and films their responses. She bit her lip to keep from bonking.

Suddenly, like coming out of a coma, my husband said, "Ooooh, you mean Shift-F8. Oops."

My husband blames the hassles in the security area, which stole his precious minutes of preparation time, for his deficient mental moment. If my husband ran for president he'd be hefty competition for Rick Perry, at least in terms of public shift-f-8 incidents.

What's your latest shift-f-8 incident?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pocketful of Playdough

What's the connection between running and writing. Find out today at Pocketful of Playdough where the Tuck Your Skirt 2011 Blog Tour is stopping to catch its breath today. Brianna asks Lucy very insightful questions about the disciplines of writing and running and how the two relate for her. You'll also find out what female southern writers Lucy admires most and who she wishes she could write like, if only for a day.

Through the end of November, I'm visiting blogs around the country, participating in Q&A, sharing excerpts from Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run, and giving folks a chance to listen to podcasts and watch videos about me and Tuck Your Skirt. Some bloggers will be hosting giveaways so you'll definitely want to stop by.

I hope to see you along the virtual book tour trail. Meet the blog tour hosts.

I'd love to visit your blog, too. Email me if you're interested or check here for more details.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11

On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour . . .

Happy Veterans Day!

May the world find peace through your efforts.


Source: www.Photohome.com


Thursday, November 10, 2011

My NaNoWriMo - First Installment

My NaNoWriMo project is tentatively titled Love Letters from a Stoic. It's the story of a World War II romance between a couple who have never smiled in a single photograph. When they laugh, it sounds literally like ha, ha, ha. They itemize every expenditure they ever made line-by-line in black ledgers and they never own a washer and dryer. Children are excluded from their marriage because they "cost too much."

These are the first paragraphs of the piece I'm working on. They are rough, so please pardon any errors or repetitions, but they introduce the importance of recording this stoic love affair wrapped within the bigger history of the world:

I have a fascination with writing about ordinary people. Not ordinary people who do extraordinary things, but the ones simply living life without recognition. They go through the monotony of the every day, day after day, with little notice, yet in someone’s heart they are special. The crux of it, I guess, is that if they matter in the whole scheme of the universe, then I do as well.

By the time we hit our 30s, we fall into our idiosyncratic habits. By the simple virtue, however, that we each and all of us have a routine, we do not stand out from the others. It is this not standing out that appeals to me. It speaks to me in that primal place where I ruminate about being remembered after my death. And not just for a few years, but into the far distant future. I’ve shored up those odds by reproducing and creating a generational effect. At least my own children and theirs will recall something about me for some time after I’m gone.

But what then? I’ll pass into history, my mark on the world no longer attributed to me. Just a mark gradually eroded by time. That’s the leveling factor. Sooner or later it happens that way to the great majority. It keeps us all ordinary, despite our puffed up opinions of ourselves.

As I’m experiencing the wild ups and downs of living, the dramas of friendship and family, every second seems to matter. Not in an astonishing or surprising way, mind you, but in a significant way that, by golly, affects the outcome of the next fifteen minutes or the week, or this manuscript. Two years from now, however, the conflicts of today will be all but forgotten, except perhaps for a residue of emotion attached to a season of the year or a sweater or a particular phrase.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Diminishing Gene Pool

The Tuck Your Skirt 2011 Blog Tour makes a stop at Diminishing Gene Pool. Do you like audio books? Today, listen to an excerpt from Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run, titled Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington, read by Lucy. You can even download it to enjoy later.

Through the end of November, I'm visiting blogs around the country, participating in Q&A, sharing excerpts from Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run, and giving folks a chance to listen to podcasts and watch videos about me and Tuck Your Skirt. Some bloggers will be hosting giveaways so you'll definitely want to stop by.

I hope to see you along the virtual book tour trail. Meet the blog tour hosts.

I'd love to visit your blog, too. Email me if you're interested or check here for more details.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rita Reviews

The Tuck Your Skirt 2011 Blog Tour makes a stop at Rita Reviews. Rita interviews Lucy, asking tough questions, like how she gets away with writing about her friends and family in Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run.

Through the end of November, I'm visiting blogs around the country, participating in Q&A, sharing excerpts from Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run, and giving folks a chance to listen to podcasts and watch videos about me and Tuck Your Skirt. Some bloggers will be hosting giveaways so you'll definitely want to stop by.

I hope to see you along the virtual book tour trail. Meet the blog tour hosts.

I'd love to visit your blog, too. Email me if you're interested or check here for more details.

Monday, November 7, 2011

To Summarize

You've got to try Wordle, a word art site I discovered. I fed it the url for this blog and it compiled a word picture summary.


Wordle: The Lucy Adams Blog

Friday, November 4, 2011

Another Hair Nightmare?

My hair, since the first time my mother pulled it into a ponytail so tight my grey matter bulged beneath my scalp, has been a source of constant angst. When the humidity is high, which in Georgia is 10 months of the year, my hair becomes a perfect isosceles triangle on my head. After my babies were born, it turned the same color as mouse fur.

Last night at Wal-mart, I discovered a product promising to cure my hair of its frizz and dryness and crazy curl: Organix Brazilian Keratin Treatment. The $14 price tag got it a ride in my buggy to the check-out and on home with me.

What seemed like a good idea in Wal-mart when I was alone after 9 o'clock, without children and running amok, in the bright light of day has caused me to pause. After more thought, I've recalled the times I tried to color my hair from a box and the resulting disaster of brassy strawberry blond that grated on the eyes like nails on a chalkboard. I looked as scary as this:

Then there's the time that I, oh she of the frizzy curls, decided to give myself a home perm. I ended up with something about like this:

I learned my lesson and the next time gave myself a body wave from a box. Egads!

As I read the directions for the home keratin treatment, my better judgement began to kick in. The treatment requires putting a liquid solution onto one's hair without over-saturating or letting it touch the scalp. Wait 30 minutes, then blowdry straight and flat iron each 2 inch section 7-10 times. For the treatment to effectively remove curl and frizz, hair must remain in this state for 48 hours.

Two days! Not only that, the directions also read that I could not disguise my gunked-up coif by putting it in a ponytail, twisting it into a clip, hiding it under a hat or even tucking it behind my ears.

For two days, I would have to pick up carpool, go to the bank, clap like crazy at soccer matches and walk the dog looking like Phyllis Diller. And based on past experience, there's a good chance that these results might last much longer, even with a good washing. If I'm willing to do such a ghastly thing to myself to save money, what else will I try? A home facelift?

 For now my Brazilian Blowout in a box sits on the vanity calling me to action. And sisters, I tell you I'm weak. I think this time it will be different, that I'll get more than I paid for. The box promises the end result will be worth testing my social stamina by going in public with tricked-out tresses.

Oh my gosh! I'm going to have to go pick up my children from school early so they can drive me crazy and remind me that though I have eyes in the back of my head, I don't have arms back there. There's no way this will turn out well.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Geeky Blogger

The Tuck Your Skirt 2011 Blog Tour  makes a stop today at The Geeky Blogger. Do you know how Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run got that title? Watch a video of Lucy explaining the inspiration for it. Enjoy an all new Q&A and learn a little more about Lucy and how she thinks . . . or sometimes doesn't.

Next week, The Geeky Blogger promises to post a review of Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run. Be sure check back to read The Geeky Blogger's thoughts. And if you're looking for new reading material, she can point you to it.

Through the end of November, I'm visiting blogs around the country, participating in Q&A, sharing excerpts from Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run, and giving folks a chance to listen to podcasts and watch videos about me and Tuck Your Skirt. Some bloggers will be hosting giveaways so you'll definitely want to stop by.

I hope to see you along the virtual book tour trail. Meet the blog tour hosts.

I'd love to visit your blog, too. Email me if you're interested or check here for more details.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NaNoWriMo

When that little voice inside my head suggested it, I should said, "Naaaaa, nooooo," but instead I clicked on the link and filled out my profile, registering myself to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Never mind that that I'm also obligated to celebrate Thanksgiving and ringmaster kids out of school for a week in the month of November. Oh, and then there's the Christmas shopping. And, I just remembered, freelance writing deadlines. I should also leave some room in there for the unexpected, a guest who always arrives around holiday time.

I guess I signed myself up for the annual NaNoWriMo for several reasons:
1) My clicker finger has an unpredictable twitch.
2) I feed off of a challenge. It's an incurable sickness.
3) I need some structure and a deadline to finish a project.
4) It'll keep me off FaceBook and Twitter.
5) I don't like to cook. This will give me a lame excuse to banter around.

For my project, I've chosen a book my sister and I began eons ago and have never completed. Love Letters From a Stoic is about the cut-and-dry WWII love affair between our third cousin and her Navy husband. It began with a sealed envelope on which he scribbled Open only if I do not return. In 1995 my cousin's husband, who had lived his last years in a nursing home, was dead and that envelope with those words was still on her dresser, unopened.

Don't go telling me I'm cheating because Love Letters From a Stoic isn't a novel. I can argue that it is a novel in the same way that Half Broke Horses is. Both are based in truth, but because the characters are no longer around to verify the facts, some of the details will have to be extrapolated from what my sister and I think we know. Therein lies the fiction.

To keep myself on task, I'm promising to share excerpts with you throughout the month. I'll be eager to get your feedback.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Momfog

Momfog hosts the Tuck Your Skirt 2011 Blog Tour  today. Lucy Adams answers some tough questions in a short Q&A. She reveals her first career choice, and why it didn't work out, plus she opens up about some her hidden talents. Listen to an entertaining podcast at the end of the post titled "98 Dog Years," an excerpt from Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run.

As a special treat, you can also read Momfog's review of Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run.

And that's not all. Be sure to enter to win the drawing for a Tuck Your Skirt tote:



Through the end of November, I'm visiting blogs around the country, participating in Q&A, sharing excerpts from Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run, and giving folks a chance to listen to podcasts and watch videos about me and Tuck Your Skirt. Some bloggers will be hosting giveaways so you'll definitely want to stop by.

I hope to see you along the virtual book tour trail. Meet the blog tour hosts.

I'd love to visit your blog, too. Email me if you're interested or check here for more details.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Who areYou on Halloween?

Everything imaginable comes to my door on All Hallows Eve. Children in every age group from newborn to nonagenarian trick-or-treat my house.





A national survey conducted by The Hershey Company, revealed that personal candy preferences may provide insight into Halloween costume choices. According to the survey:
  • About 30 percent of Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, Kit Kat Wafer Bar and Hershey's Milk Chocolate lovers will dress as a vampire, witch or monster.
  • More than 41 percent of Twizzlers Twists fans stated they plan to dress-up in period piece costumes from different eras of the 20th century.
  • Twenty-three percent of Jolly Rancher lovers plan to costume themselves as their favorite superhero.       
 
Halloween isn't just about the costumes and the candy, Charlie Brown. It's not about the Great Pumpkin rising from the pumpkin patch. Halloween is about making sure my children bring home a bucketful of chocolate and avoid the houses that give away those hard nougat chunks wrapped in orange wax paper. And good gracious, Granny, who wants a penny? I need the good stuff.

Thanks to the Hershey's, company I can plan a route for my children that is certain to ensure they bring home the mother load:
  • Houses with black shutters are 77% more likely to hand out Kit Kat Bars. 
  • Ranch houses are 37% more likely to give out Kit Kat Bars.
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup lovers should skip ranch houses and run from 2-story house to 2-story house, where they’ll have a 26 percent greater chance of receiving Reeses Cups.
  • Houses with brown doors are 32% more likely to hand out Hershey's milk chocolate bars.

Now hit the sidewalks kids and re-stock mama's
chocolate stash!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Meet Young Author, Stephanie Campbell

Stephanie Campbell is quite an ambitious 20 year-old. She published her first book, Until We Meet Again, at the age of 17, while still in high school.  She's now in the process of getting seven books out in the next couple of months (Whoo!). All of the books she wrote in high school have successfully found homes with publishers.

Stephanie says, "I've got really big dreams. I know that I sound crazy, but I want to be a New York Times bestseller, a USA Today bestseller, and I want to be on the Today Show." Actually, that doesn't sound so crazy at all. Stephanie sees where she wants to go and what she desires to achieve and she's working hard to get there.

Get sucked into another world with Stephanie Campbell's latest tome, Poachers:
Ronnie Toll has never played with other kids. He's never slept soundly throughout the night, turned a corner without checking first, or laughed for the sake of laughing. All Ronnie knows is a world of shadows and monsters. His mother and father, Marion and Leon, are the only ones by his side. But all that is about to change when his mother is murdered by the monsters that only he can see. With his only safe haven crumbling around him, Ronnie becomes a poacher for the other side to help protect human civilization as he knows it. The problem is, he’s taking on more than he bargained for when he tangles with creatures that are larger than life—and himself.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Queen of the Castle(s)

Today, the Tuck Your Skirt 2011 Blog Tour  is royally hosted by Queen of the Castle(s). Read a short but entertaining bio of me. But better than that, you can watch a video book excerpt by clicking on the first links (either Lucy Adams or Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run). You will never think about good cholesterol and bad cholesterol the same way again.

While you're there, enter to win the drawing for a Tuck Your Skirt tote:



Through the end of November, I'm visiting blogs around the country, participating in Q&A, sharing excerpts from Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run, and giving folks a chance to listen to podcasts and watch videos about me and Tuck Your Skirt. Some bloggers will be hosting giveaways so you'll definitely want to stop by.

I hope to see you along the virtual book tour trail. Meet the blog tour hosts.

I'd love to visit your blog, too. Email me if you're interested or check here for more details.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Peas and Drumsticks

Good mothers, I always believed, feed their children a well-rounded, well-balanced diet that includes a variety of foods. I've prided myself on limiting sweets but not creating desire via complete stringent denial of sugary foods. As a mother, I make a point to stock my refrigerator and pantry with a wide range of nutritious snacks so that my children feel like they have choices.



But when I find my teenage son eating a satisfying meal of peas and a Drumstick, I'm not sure if I have achieved "good" mother status. Though I'm sure, if asked, the word "perfect" would enter into the description of this self-selected culinary delight. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rebel Belle

Tuck Self at Rebel Belle is hosting the Tuck Your Skirt 2011 Blog Tour today with a very special treat. Tune in to the Tuck Talk radio program to listen to a recorded interview with moi.

As you've probably already guessed, a Rebel Belle is no ordinary southern lady. She's "A southern voice for bold self-expression." After enjoying the podcast, you really must take a peek under the Human Design tab. Then scoot to the Coaching tab and grab some inspiration for living your best life.

Over the next few weeks. I'm visiting more blogs around the country, participating in Q&A, sharing excerpts from Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run, and giving folks a chance to listen to podcasts and watch videos about me and Tuck Your Skirt. Some bloggers will be hosting giveaways so you'll definitely want to stop by.

I hope to see you along the virtual book tour trail. Meet the blog tour hosts.

I'd love to visit your blog, too. Email me if you're interested or check here for more details.

There was an error in this gadget