Thursday, May 31, 2012

Have you been waiting for "The Influence" in print?

Quick announcement (again): The Influence will be out in print earlier than we had anticipated, hopefully within the next month.
So, you can either:

1. Sit back and wait to buy it from Amazon or my web store. I believe the list price will be $10.99.


2. You can pre-order a SIGNED copy from me for $12.99. Simply go to my website by clicking here and click the button to purchase. Please make sure your address is correct. Your signed copy will be shipped to you as soon as they are released.

The Influence is still available for Kindle on Amazon and there will be a free promotion running this Saturday (June 2).

Peace, love, and yippee!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Sometimes I can see it
It just lays into my head
Suddenly, I can hear all the voices
That once bled

Sometimes I can see it
It just breaks into my soul
I can feel, I can breathe
I can sing what was foretold

Suddenly I cry and
Suddenly I lie and
Suddenly I lay down and die

Suddenly I cry and
Suddenly I lie and
Suddenly I break down and fight

What else can I do?
I've tried it all anew
And maybe it's just time that I face it soon

I can always see that
It isn't just me and
How I got this far isn't written in the sand

Sometimes I can see it
It just feeds into my head
I can dream, I can scream
But still that life is dead

Sometimes I can see it
I'm just worried I'll forget
It will come and it will go
And I'll be faced with regret

Suddenly I cry and
Suddenly I try and
Suddenly I find that I'm alive

Suddenly I smile and
Suddenly I feel and
Suddenly I realize, it's all real

Suddenly I breathe and
Suddenly I believe and
Suddenly I'm stronger than I've ever been

Suddenly I see it
It just lays into my head
Suddenly, I can hear all the voices
That once bled

Suddenly I see it
It just bleeds into my soul
And now it stays and never breaks
And it's here until I go

Friday, May 25, 2012

Free Promo Coming Up!

Quick announcement: The Influence will be participating in a Facebook event "Free eBooks" on June 2, 2012.  This would be a great time to grab your Kindle copy of my book for free if you haven't already downloaded it.  And the best part? Other books are also listed so you can grab those as well.  Have a fantastic weekend, y'all!

Peace, love, and freebies,


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kindergarten conquered! Reality of 1st Grade hasn't quite hit me yet.

My son graduated from kindergarten yesterday. At the risk of sounding horribly cliche, it seems like just yesterday I was dropping him off for his very first day.

Simply from a work-at-home mom perspective, it's amazing how much your child going to school opens up the world around you. I have a new appreciation for the job teachers do. I've also become more community-aware. It's hard to explain but, indeed, as much as his world changed, the world changed a little for me, too.

When the year first started, we had some problems adjusting. It took several weeks before the crying stopped. The first several days were fine, but then the reality that he had to get up early and go to school every day set in. I can't say that we didn't have a few unpleasant mornings in there as is true with any parent, I suppose.

Get ready for long, hot summer days!
Then came the behavior tickets. He pulled quite a few those the first couple of weeks as he tested the boundaries of the rules his teacher had set. And even then, his behavior wasn't optimal. Then came his horrible handwriting. I couldn't understand why he wasn't thriving and was already considering how we might approach holding him back a year. But then we took him for an eye exam (shout out to the fine folks at Dr. Habel's office in Rainsville!) and found out he was severely far-sighted and let me tell you, after he got his glasses, he was like a brand new kid. He walked around saying, "Wow, I can see up close now," not realizing before that moment that he'd had any problem seeing at all. His behavior improved and his grades improved. And the proudest moment of any writer mommy? He discovered his love for books. We now make regular trips to the Rainsville Library and he's signing up for their Summer Reading Program.

But as much as I enjoyed watching him thrive in school this year, I'm doubly looking forward to enjoying the summer. I've taken off school, too, in order to take advantage of the first summer I've been able to breathe in six years. I might post some of the adventures we have planned here on my blog.

In the meantime, congratulations to all the graduates out there from kindergarten on up! 

First grade? Naw, don't really want to even think about that just yet.

Peace, love, pomp and circumstance,


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My "I can't" got up and left before I kicked its lazy...

There's something funny about the word "closure". Just the mere mention of this simple two-syllable word brings about the image of two people tangled in a long and complicated rift. To get closure, you would think that it would involve the same two people. Right?

I always thought that. Up until the last few years, I've been caught up in a web of my own. From one abandonment to the other, I'd survived. But the life I'd led was indicative of how I'd been treated.

When I was four, my earliest memory was not a very good one. In fact, it was the defining moment of my life. My biological mother pushed me through the door of my father and stepmother's apartment and said, "Here, you can have her." I'd always wondered if I was somehow bad. Why didn't my own mother want me? Why did she keep my sister over me? Didn't she love me?

Over the years, I was shoved from one person to the next, given to other people to raise. I couldn't help but think that it was my fault somehow. That was exacerbated by the guardian I lived with the longest in my childhood, who tried to mold me into what she wanted me to be and if she saw any sign that I wasn't conforming, she would tell me I was no good, that I would end up a bum, and no man would ever have me. In the middle of all this, she heavily restricted my diet in an effort to curb impending weight issues while simultaneously telling me I was already fat (when I most definitely wasn't) and she consistently accused me of sexual activity when I didn't even know what sex was at that age.

Years later, as an adult who could never quite finish anything I started, I had a husband who left me, too. It seemed never ending. And I believed everything I'd been told as a kid; I would never be good enough.

When I remarried and started having kids, it opened my eyes. I started wanting answers and closure so I reached out to my birth mother, who I hadn't had contact with but a couple of times over the course of 20-something years. I laid my heart out to her only to be disappointed when her response came back full of excuses and self-pity. There wasn't an apology. That's when I had to learn that I had to move on without answers and that it was okay. When I got past that, I realized I wasn't mad anymore and that I actually hadn't been mad for a long time. That was my closure, although I hadn't recognized it at the time. I think that was the first time I realized that it wasn't feasible to continue to blame her for my own actions (or inaction, as the case may be).

That's when I got my butt in gear and started taking my ambitions seriously. From there on out, it's been hard work and determination, something that was reflected recently in my grades for my first semester back in college in 10 years; I pulled a 4.0.

I relearned the closure lesson this week, albeit a little more in-depth this time. I thought I needed answers and closure so I asked questions to a person who'd wronged me a long time ago. But I never got the answers I sought. I don't know if he just didn't want to answer them or was too ashamed by the way he'd treated me to answer them. Nonetheless, for whatever reason those questions weren't answered, it made me realize that I'd been okay with what he'd done for a long time now. He apologized, which was great, but I realized that I didn't even need that. I'd already had closure and had already moved on in my life.

And for the first time, I think I really understand what closure is. It's not about two people resolving an issue. It's about resolving it within yourself and understanding that you don't have to (and shouldn't) rely on others for your sense of identity and purpose.

I've been surprised at myself at what I've been able to do and accomplish since I first found closure. I swear I'm not trying to brag; I'm trying to illustrate to those who may have found themselves "stuck" how they, too, can move on. It burns me to hear someone say, "I'd like to do (insert ambition here), but I just can't because (insert obstacle here)."

You know, it would be easy for me to say, "I can't," too. I could throw my hands up and give up on my writing and on college and I'd have a million legitimate reasons to do so.

But you know who I'd be saying, "I can't," to? I'd be saying it to the two most wonderful kids on the planet. I refuse to tell the loves of my life that "I can't," because that would be like me giving them permission to say they can't either.

So you've been through hell or you've made a big mistake. Are you going to let that rule over your life? I hope not. I hope you realize that you are more capable than you give yourself credit for.

Peace, love, and closure,


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dear Sylvania, Christianity isn't reflected by what's written on a sign.

I rarely write about religion because when I do, it tends to:

(A) Bring the ugliest of ugly out in people.


(B) Sets me up as a verbal punching bag for those who don't respect others' opinion and/or are angry about anything and everything and yet about nothing in particular.

But I'm putting it out there anyway. Like it or don't; this is how I feel about this Sylvania mess.

Mild(?)-Mannered Politicians By Day, God's Warriors By Night

This whole Sylvania town sign fiasco has gotten people in a tizzy. Who will be the hero? It appears Councilman Tony Goolesby has stepped up to the plate. "I'm ready to stand-up for God!" he proclaims and a cheer erupts from the cyber-sphere. And just in time for elections, too. Oh, how easy it is for the masses to forget that just a few short years ago, this very man who is standing up for God lost his temper over a simple political matter at Ider Mule Days and ended up getting himself arrested.

On a side note, for those who would say it is a fluke, it's not that hard not to get arrested. I'm not saying I'm infallible, just that I've been on this Earth for 34 years and have yet to have a "run-in" with the law. Okay, so once about a decade and a half ago, I got a ticket for coming to a "rolling stop" at a stop sign, courtesy of the Fort Payne PD . Other than that, I haven't found it that difficult to behave in public.

Now, I don't know Councilman Goolesby personally (probably just as well) and I don't know if he's running for reelection (Update: I actually found out today - 5/15/12 - that he is running for mayor, so there you go), but I do want to put out a word of caution to voters who seem all too eager to jump on the religious bandwagon. I will say (DISCLAIMER: in no direct relation to Goolesby!), that when it comes to campaigns and elections and so forth, it's easy for any politician to proclaim they are Christian but it doesn't always mean the same thing to them that it may mean to you. When there is money or power involved, people will say or do almost anything to get their way, even if it means using their faith as a catalyst for support. I've always based my voting decisions with an amount of skepticism in cases of religion, as should everyone.

Signs with Scripture = Heaven?

As for the signs, I can see both sides of the fight. I think it's incredibly sad that there are people out there with nothing better to do than go poking around for the slightest little thing to gripe about. 

But, it is the law and aren't Christians supposed to obey the law of the land? No government should give the perception that it endorses, backs, or mandates any religion. I'm a Christian and even I agree with that.

I once had a preacher man tell me how baffled he was about how anyone could claim themselves a Christian but be okay with the above sentiment. Because I'm aware of our history, I say. I'm aware how many of our ancestors fled their home countries because of government mandated religion. Do we really want to give our government the power to tell us who, what, when, where, and why we can worship? Because that's how it starts. Keep reading.

But what ticks me off the most are the comments referring to "Christian rights" and how our rights are being stripped away.

Humor me, por favor, and answer the below questions for me:

1. Will anyone arrest you or cut off your head if you walk into a park, a store, or other public venue, bow your head, and pray?

2. Are you forced to attend a church not of your choosing?

3. Are you worried about your life and the lives of your family because you believe in God?

No? Great. Then riddle me this:

What rights exactly are being stripped away that prohibits you from praying, attending church, and worshipping God as you see fit?

Because, see, our ancestors didn't have that luxury. They were told by their governments when, where, and how to pray. But that's okay; as long as that government's beliefs lined up with your own, then there wasn't a problem, right? Wrong, because with any change in government leadership came a change in beliefs. And if you didn't conform, you were killed. Read up on your history, especially in the Middle Ages in Europe. Heck, take a look at what happened to Jews less than a century ago.

Oh, but Pamela, you're being silly. We would never resort to those barbaric measures.”

You may not, but how can you be so certain of everyone in the Christian faith? Take the Westboro Baptists, for instance, who think its okay to protest military funerals. And that's just because it is within the scope of the law. How far do you think this hate group would get if the government opened up to religion? These people claim to be of the same religion and faith many of us are. So you see, you can't be entirely certain that things like that wouldn't happen.

So great! We've succeeded in making our government a Christian government. But wait... we've been duped into electing someone of a different faith (or a fanatic of our own faith) that has the power to change the laws to favor their beliefs. Uh-oh. And the worst part of this scenario would be that we did it to ourselves by cheering on these notions that we need an openly Christian government.

If you're so boxed in that you think there would be no shift in population and belief systems as the future rolls on, then I have nothing for you. And if you think it's okay to persecute those who believe differently, I have nothing for you, either. This also goes for those who love to tell others they are going to go to hell or any variant on that. That is snobbery via religion and one of my pet peeves. Who knows what God really wants or what God has planned for others? Not I. And likely, not you, either.

And we don't just have to look at history. The terror our ancestors lived with is real in the current world, too. Two online acquaintances come to mind; one in the Middle East who fears for his and his family's lives everyday because of his Christian beliefs and another one who barely escaped the horrors of genocide when she was a child. It's horrible what other people have to go through every day and we want to sit here and squabble about words on a sign and how our "rights" are being stripped away.

I think Americans have lost a little of that rationalization that comes from fearing for your life daily like our ancestors once did. Like many in the world still do.

Seriously, it is a sign. It is a piece of wood with words on it and to consider that it holds any significance in reflecting the town's Christianity is ludicrous. In the meantime, the lawsuits that will crop up over this will likely bankrupt the town. I guess if that's what Sylvania residents want their tax dollars spent on, they can have at it. But what good is that going to do anyone?

Really, no one is being denounced or denied. You can still pray, you can still go to church, you can go sing Amazing Grace in the middle of Walmart, and you can even, as the Times Journal suggested, post your own signs.

Just as you may be baffled at how a Christian can think it is okay to take scripture off a town welcome sign, I'm baffled at how other Christians refuse to look at history and the bigger picture of what we'd really be giving up if we allowed religion in government. 

I always end my blog posts with "Peace, love, and..." whatever my overall thought for the post is. It is important because that is what my faith is to me. Believe, pray, share with others, be peaceful, be happy, and love one another.

The rest is up to Him.

Peace, love, and more,


Monday, May 7, 2012

Debitum Naturae

On the shore of a star
Below the spear of dark
A life speaks and bursts
Born of a dirty mark

She moves forth
And studies the shore
Water breaking, lives taking
Her fate that of the torn

Shrouded in fog
A murky move to her walk
She moves about each village
Destruction her only fault

A beauty unsurpassed
Life and love suggest a change
But a hurricane cannot be peaceful
She fears her doom near range

She soon settles in
His lips a source of comfort
But ecstasy can last for only so long
She grows restless in the slumber

Her fate sealed in
She sweeps his breath away
And proceeds down her own path
Heavy guilt and pleasure sway

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Don't pity me. I'm no weirder than you.

It's been an interesting couple of weeks since my book released digitally.  I'm learning some things.

First, there's been the pleasant exchange of words from people who have already downloaded my book.  It's quite a strange thing to get used to, being the introvert I am.  People address me as I walk into an establishment, "Hey, I've downloaded your book and can't wait to read it!"

"Great! Thanks!" I say as I try my best to be polite.  But I'm not the most socially adept person in the world, not by a long shot, and I feel quite awkward and self-conscious when responding to fans or would-be fans.  I am muddling through the best I can though, and hope beyond hope that I don't inadvertently give anyone the impression that I'm not grateful for their support.  I am very grateful and humbled, I just don't verbalize that very well so please excuse this.

Second, when people find out that I have written a book, the inevitable questions are, "What kind of book is it?" and "What is your book about?"

It's difficult to trim hundreds of pages down into a verbally satisfying synopsis.  I have yet to master this skill.  Most of the time, I simply say, "It's science fiction."  I can automatically tell who the fellow nerds and geeks are as their eyes will light up at the prospect.

But then by the same token, I can tell who the "normal" people are.  They either have an amused look on their face or a look of pity.  Surely, as a writer of science fiction, I can't possibly be grounded in reality.  My poor kids must be up to their ears in Star Wars toys.

Wait... um, so maybe that isn't the best point for me to make.  Eh, can't really think of another point right now.

But hey, I'm sure you normal people out there have your own weird quirks.  I have yet to meet anyone who wasn't, in one way or another, weird.  But I don't really think of it as weird.  I think of it as unique and unique is fantastic.  Without the uniqueness of people, I wouldn't have anything to write about.  Science fiction or not, a story has to have the elements of humanity embedded within.  Quirkiness is a huge element of humanity.

So you may laugh at my weirdness all you want.  As long as you don't mind me laughing at yours. :)

Peace, love, and uniqueness,