Spellbinding stories of mystic love and soulful hope . . .

Archive for the ‘General Poo Dee Dah’ Category

My sweet SWEETIE novel: amazon’s monthly 100, lucky me.

sweetie by kat magendieYes, yes; I know lately my posts have been more about my books than usual. It’s something I have shied away from, but when I do that, my readers tell me, how do they know when I have a deal? Or a new book coming out? They have to stumble on it, or Amazon sends them something, or my publishers promote it. And lately, for some reason, Amazon has been focused on giving deals on my books. First The Lightning Charmer was $1.99 (it is still $1.99! I just checked. They keep extending it!), and then Family Graces was $1.99 (not any more), and now my Sweetie novel is on their Amazon Monthly 100 deals for, guess what? Yeah, $1.99. Must be the magical number. It means incredible savings for my regular readers, yes, but what it also means is that new readers find author’s books when Amazon does these deals. So, while I am not  making a lot of money, I am gaining readers: and that, my friends, is mighty wonderful. Few authors go into this for the money, and if they do, they soon realize that this better not be the reason! *grin*

Sweetie has been one of the most talked about of all my novels. I’ve received more mail on this book than any other. Though I will not go look, I have been told people “argued” on Amazon about the ending: many loved it and some didn’t. Despite any of those who may have not liked the ending, it has a 4.4 star rating, so I am guessing most loved the ending and the book *yay!* I took a chance with that ending–but, it was the only one that worked, the only one that was true, that it could ever be.

Some of the questions I receive on Sweetie are: “Are Sweetie and Melissa lovers?” This always surprised me, for the book isn’t about sex or sexual love–it’s about friendship and loyalty, and family in all its forms. I cannot place Sweetie and Melissa as lovers or not as lovers–it is for the readers to decide who they are and who they became after I wrote the last words. “Did Melissa ‘find’ Sweetie at the end?” I never answer this directly, for it would take away the magic. But, okay, what do I really think? Yes. I think Yes. I believe. Yes. I’m also asked: “Did you experience something like what happened in that weird revival tent? It was so vivid and real!” *laughing* No! I made it up! And thank you to those who asked that and said it was so vivid and real! And, “Sweetie can’t feel physical pain? What’s up with that?” This is a real condition, but I didn’t want to make the story “just about” that or the center of that by focusing too much on it or, again, taking away the “supernatural quality” of Sweetie: it’s hovering there; it is a part of who Sweetie is; it is why the town is afraid of her (that and her strange mother), a town that believes in superstition and magic and the supernatural.

Some blurby stuff on Sweetie:

1743500_553542498076585_1943216434_nSWEETIE, a crossover novel for adults and older teens. Kat Magendie writes about the dark bends in the hollers of the soul, most usually the soul of high coves of Appalachia, coal country, West Virginia, or North Carolina, but it could be the soul of any of us on this whirling ball of deep spirits and spit . . . Sweetie is the haunted child of poverty and superstition in her mountain town. Tough for a reason, wild for good purpose, and doomed like her family, if the righteous decide it’s time to clear out the hoodoo troublemakers. Melissa is the opposite, good girl, good family, except for the core of courage that turns out to be a match for Sweetie’s. Odd best friends. And maybe doomed.”

“A little mountain town in the 1960s, a reclusive girl who feels no pain, an unlikely friendship. Melissa will come to understand that just because Sweetie feels no physical pain, does not mean she cannot be hurt  . . . 

Lyrical and poignant gothic southern storytelling. Sweetie is a wild girl, rough, almost feral, yet brave and endlessly honest. When Melissa, a shy, stuttering town girl, befriends Sweetie, the two enrich each other’s lonely lives. But there are some in the Appalachian community who regard Sweetie and her peculiar heritage as sinister…

As always, I appreciate your support. This thing I do is nothing without my readers. You just can’t imagine (unless you too are a novelist) how it feels to know people are reading your work! And if they love it, well, this is the greatest feeling of all. I have so much gratitude. 

Ten answers without questions . . . .

Keep your eye on the prize, y'all

1. Well, since you asked—more than I want to admit.

 
2. Yes, I have, and it hurt like the dickens.

 
3. When hell freezes over, you jackass.

 
4. I might, if I have enough vodka tonics racing through my veins—teeheehee. Oh You!

 
 5. Because if I don’t, the voices in my head take over by shouting and jumping up and down and punching me in the brain and playing football with my synapses and it ain’t pretty, and in fact, is rather disturbingly weirdly fascinating.

 
6. I will if you will.

 
7. There is no evidence. You can’t prove it.

 
116-0018. Yes, they are real; they have always been real; they will forevermore be real; they have been real since 5th or 6th grade and they will be real when I die. Everything from the tippity top to the bittity bottom is Real and Mine. Please stop asking.

 
9. A lot more than you think *coy smile*

10. Three big huge earth-shattering ones, but I was alone. *winks*

Saying goodbye to Professor Dawg . . . .

For those of you who don’t visit my facebook page, I have the sad news that Professor Dawg, who often accompanied my writing posts and workout posts, has left us. We had to let him go a few weeks ago on the vet’s table–I was in Oregon and didn’t get to say a final goodbye; though I’d been saying goodbye to him for a few months before his death, as he’d been ill. He was a good dawg and a good friend. He will be very much missed.

Goodbye Jake . . . Professor Dawg. I won’t be able to use Professor Dawg’s photo here any more after today – it would just break my heart.

my workout buddy

my workout buddy


This woman's face in my hair is not a touched up photo - it really did just show up in the photo - about a week before he died.

This woman’s face in my hair is not a touched up photo – this woman’s face really did just show up in the photo – about a week before he died.


Professor Dawg

Professor Dawg

Work-out writer: when blog is ignored to meet novel deadline, no apologies are given – cause I’m old enough to say “well dang” and let it go

ch130421doing same thing and expecting different results – anyone see yourself here? haw!

zoo-sign

4366-adult-funny-birthday-card-spell-it-out-birthday-provance

1342371261138_5507736

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Earth Week on Karen Elliott’s blog

You can look forward to …

Monday, 4/22, Lizi Beard-Ward, Louisiana, USA

Tuesday, 4/23, Tom Carter, China

Wednesday, 4/24, Kathryn Magendie, North Carolina, USA

Thursday, 4/25, Jean Michel Leclercq, France

Friday, 4/26, Angie Ledbetter, Louisiana, USA

Saturday, 4/27, Susannah Friis, Australia

photo

later y’all !

Work-out Writer: After the big cussin’ hissy fit, we may see a truth we tried to deny

He was an ass . . . but . . . . was I, too?

Jerkface, sumbitch! Huhn!

Workout: Saturday while on the treadmill doing a new, and particularly high energy part of my workout, some jerkface came over, waved his hand in my face, and then bitched me out for stomping on the treadmill. I couldn’t even respond—I was so furious, a sailor would blush at what caught in my throat and I had to swallow down.  All the rest of the weekend, I was pissed off, and within that anger came a little depression and anxiety: what would I do? That newer part of the aerobic workout kicked my ass but good and was something different, made me sweat, helped control my stress and take down my jitteriness a notch. I kept seeing his face; kept seeing his hand waving in my face; kept seeing me punching his face until it was a bloody-ass pulp (um, yeah, not proud of that thought, lawd!)

I didn’t even look forward to my next workout, for I thought, “It’s all ruined. My joy is ruined. My workout is ruined. Woe is me.”

*woe is wittle me*

*woe is wittle me*

Meanwhile, I’d conveniently forgotten how many people said I inspire them, how they enjoy my joy. I’d forgotten that the addition of this stomping was fairly new, and in a quiet little dark corner of myself, I knew I shouldn’t have been doing it—it just felt so good I ignored everything and everyone else. I was being stubborn. I wanted want I wanted. I didn’t want to give it up cause it was just so cool.

omg - I was being an asshole, too!

omg – I was being an asshole, too!

But, when I allowed my rage to subside. When I stopped thinking, “That sonuvabitch jackass mo-fo, rude asshole!” I heard what he said, not how he said it. And folks, yeah, I sure was being disrespectful to others and the equipment at that particular addition of my high-energy workout. Admitting that made me pull up my big girl panties and acknowledge I was being an asshole, too. I don’t excuse his delivery system, for he had no call for the way he treated me, but hidden in his Big Ass Stupid Face Assholedom was some truth.

This morning, as I stepped on the treadmill, someone said something so positive, reminding me that I wasn’t a bad person, I hadn’t always been so out of control, and I felt my joy slipping back in. Instead of stomping like an over-crazed idiot, I found something else to do that kicked my ass even better and more efficiently, and without worrying about hurting myself, and just as wonderful, I was still respectful of the machines and others.

WHUPOW!

Writer: Sometimes when we’re given critique/edit suggestions from our editors or beta reader, or whomever, that we don’t like, we may be tempted to say “Oh, they just don’t get it; they don’t understand what I’m trying to do; they SUCK! I ain’t listening. If I change this, it ruins everything! If I take that out/put that in/alter that, then what?  Waaaaaaah! Sumbitches!”  We push any rational thought aside, cuss, holler to the four winds of the universe how unfair they are, and how they just don’t get us and our work. Want to smack them three sides to Tuesday. We may want to give up, give in, be depressed and defeated. Put aside the work and walk away.

Well, shit . . . huh. I guess I see what you're saying . . ..

Well, shit . . . huh. I guess I see what you’re saying . . ..

However, if we still our minds and think of the bigger message, even if it’s embedded in a delivery we don’t appreciate, we may just find some truth in that critique/edit. We can pull on our big girl panties, or big boy undies, and acknowledge how we are being intractable, childish. We can pull back and look at their suggestions/comments, see if really they do have something to add to our manuscript, after all. Then, we find a way to work the manuscript into something that still gives us joy, makes us excited, and works ever so much better to make the work kick-ass.

images (1)

I actually do have a can of this!

WHUPOW! Open up a can of whoopass and get going!

Ten ways Exercise Makes for Better Sex:

our bodies are wonderlands . . .

our bodies are wonderlands . . .

1)      When you feel better about your body, your confidence level rises. It’s that, “Yeah, you can look, because I’m taking care of myself. Let’s leave the lights on!”

2)      Endorphines do more than make you feel energetic and happy, they can also rev you up for sexual pleasure. The more of those endorphins you have racing through your body, the easier it is for you to be aroused, and to reach orgasm. Yeah. Endorphins give you that “runner’s high” but they also give you a sexual high. Would I lie to you?

position the ball between your feet and hold hold hold! squeeeeeze . . .

position the ball between your feet and hold hold hold! squeeeeeze . . .

3)      Your strength and endurance rises as you grow stronger both aerobically and in muscle tone. Stronger muscles  gives you the strength to try different positions, to have the endurance to keep going until you reach your ultimate goal, or to, um, well, no way to say it but: thrust more energetically *teehee blushing* As well, strengthening your smaller muscles, the ones you can’t see, helps with sexual pleasure, orgasm, and for women, the ability to tighten and release for stronger orgasms. Ready to hit the gym yet?

Ka-POW!

Ka-POW!

4)      Regular exercise keeps you and your body and all its wonders working better well into your old-agedom. Good sex isn’t just for the young. Keeping fit in the gym will keep you happier in the bedroom. There’s no reason why you can’t be having better and stronger orgasms even in your 50s, 60s – 70s? I ain’t lying!

5)      If you are regularly exercising, you probably are having more sex. Why? Cause you feel great. Cause you feel powerful. Cause you feel better about your body. Cause you have more control. Cause it keeps you fit and young and raring to go in all areas of your life and that includes the bedroom. Cause exercise means you care about yourself. Cause you are hyperaware of your body and how wonderful and beautiful and powerful it is, and what you can do with that body and how much pleasure you can bring to someone else, and to yourself.

kiss . . .

kiss . . .

6)      Exercise sends blood flow to all the yummy places. Do I need to spell that one out? Naw.

7)      The act of sex itself burns calories. So you burn calories at the gym, then you burn calories in the bedroom, then you start to notice your clothes fit better; you’re developing a bit of a strut; you’re feeling sexy, alive, powerful.

stoke the fire . ..

stoke the fire . ..

8)      Though this has never happened to me—and I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or not—there are reports of women having core-gasms. Yup. Orgasms during certain exercises. Huhn. Well I’ll be. Dang!

9)      It’s possible for testosterone to be released during exercise—and testosterone isn’t just for men, y’all. Testosterone increases sexual Want. But, as well, exercises also may help to keep our hormones on a more even keel, and the better we feel, well, the better our lives are, and again, that includes bedroom activity.

10)   Exercise lowers stress. If we’re stressed out, then the last thing we may want is sex. Exercise is a great way to lower those stress levels to make us feel more open to sex with our partners, or, well, all by our lonesome—wheeeeeeee!

So, get yourself to the gym, or if you prefer, work out at home. You’ll feel great, and your sexual health/life/ energy will greatly improve. I promise.

Work-out Writer: Muh-muh-muh-muh-my Persona(s)–The Bionic (writer) Woman

finding strength

finding strength

Three times a week I put on my work-out clothes, take my gym bag of goodies, and head out to Waynesville Recreation Center, whereupon I put on my running shoes, climb upon a treadmill, and work my ass off—running, skipping, jumping, flailing, hopping, and jitterying about. The music is blaring in my ears (which is a joy, for I don’t have a chance to listen to music as much as I’d like). I am facing forward, seemingly in my own world as I do what gives me great pleasure—

dsc09814I thought I was an island of me, until people began to approach me. GMR calls them my “fans” and it makes me laugh, the sorta-kinda-irony of it being I am more well-known in that gym than I am as an author here in my little town, or at least it seems that way. Even outside the gym, I am stopped and told, “Hey! You’re that woman in the gym! The one on the treadmill!” I don’t mind. What makes me happy about it are the things they tell me—that I’m a bionic woman, superwoman, that I have so much energy, that I am—and this one really makes me happy—an inspiration to them to work harder. When I am gone away from the gym when I travel, they seem to miss me, asking about me, asking where I’ve been. I feel missed. I feel thought about. I feel substantial. When I’ve worked extra extra hard, they notice: “You sure tore it up today! That treadmill must be broken!” I grin at them and say, “I sure did, didn’t I?” What they don’t know is how they are inspiring me to work harder–because they notice, because they see me, because I don’t want to let them down. I want to be the person they think I am. I want to be better and better and better.

DSC_0022Far as I know, none of them know I am an author. They all know me as “that bionic woman on the treadmill.” It’s a persona I have come to love.  Those who see me on that treadmill, and then on the matt-work afterwards, see my dedication, my passion, my energy, my love for what I do. They see how hard I work, how I kick-ass and then give a little more, and then more, until I have no more to give, and then I try to push just a tiny bit more. They see me sweat, hair flying, body tensing and releasing over and over, the explosive action of my plyometric movements, the intensity of the workout. They see all of this because it is right there in front of them.

DSC_0174If only my readers could see me as I create—see the outside and the inside of me, the workings of me. For my writing is manifested in the same kind of way—through energy and love and passion and hard work and kicking ass and then giving just a little more and a little more until I am exhausted but happy, happy danged ole happy, and then I push a tiny bit more. They could see me staring ahead at my screen, fingers flying over the keyboard, my brain filled with activity—tensing and releasing as my synaptic firing flings words and characters and setting onto the page. All for you.  But you cannot see that, my dear readers. Unlike my “fans” at the gym, I sit alone, out of your sight, working so very hard for you. What you do not know, just as the “gym-fans” do not, is that you are also inspiring me to work harder–because I don’t want to let you all down. I want to be the person you think I am, and more. I want to be better and better and better. I want to give you joy when you read my offerings. I want to make you think, and laugh, and cry, and wonder, and wander, DSC_0175and I want you to ask for more from me and of me–because I have more to give, so much more.

our bodies are wonderlands . . .

our bodies are wonderlands . . .

Because I love it. I am passionate about the writing, my books, my words, the language, just as I am about being fit and healthy and strong. I want to make you happy. I want to make you proud of me. I want to inspire you. I want to be known as the Bionic Woman of writing. I want you to miss me when I am not around.

When you pick up one of my books and read, imagine me—metaphorical sweat dripping, hair flying, body tensing and releasing over and over, the explosive action of my plyometric movements, the intensity of my workout. The passion. The love.

For you.

Our minds are wonderlands

Our minds are wonderlands

The work-out persona and the writer persona are so very much the same.worker

Naw, the gym ain’t no charity–so stop donating to it! But, join a gym wisely.

Always looking in the rearview at what I missed? hell no!

Being on the road is nice, but too much of it pretty much sucks :D

Hi Y’allses! Did you enjoy your holidays? I did–had a wonderful time in Oregon with my little Oregon family. However, with a few exceptions (like my little Oregon family), I can say with sincere LAWDYNESS that I am sick of traveling. Enough. Yup, good to be home now, and after extensive travel over the past 14 months, I am ready to spend quite a long time in my little Smoky Mountain cove finishing up my new novel The Lightning Charmer, rocking on the porch (less’n it’s too cold, which it is right now), taking mountain walks, and kickin up my heels on the gym’s treadmill. Yup, y’all, I am one of those people who love love love to exercise–it was part of what made me a good trainer. Same as I love love love to write, which makes me a pretty good book writer, too, I think!

Gyms make money on Sales, so they want to impress/entice you in–but be sure to look in the nooks and crannies of the gym and the contract: When I worked as a personal trainer at a gym, January/February were our busiest months, and so sometimes we trainers had to help with “sales.” I hated “sales” because, as many of you may know, I have a hard time “selling” things, even if I believe in them!—e-yup, I also sucketh at promo and marketing and salesmanship of my novels. Lawdy.

move move move your body, stretch, be strong!

ask questions about the trainers at the gym, ask to meet them and talk to them first

So, during those busy “sales days,” we trainers, and other gym staff, would tour unsuspecting prospective victims clients about the gym while touting the wonderful exceptional qualities of gym and staff–some things we were told to say bordered on “not quite as wonderful as said.” Well, I was always honest/truthful, even if it meant I would not make that sale and would not make any extra money, but that’s just how I rawk-n-roll. Listen to the “spiel” but look carefully about the gym and ask as many questions as you need to: Is the gym clean, and do they regularly clean the equipment? Is the whirlpool/jacuzzi cleaned properly, drained, sanitized, and re-filled regularly, etc.? Is the equipment in good shape? Do the staff seem upbeat, excited to have you there? Is the contract easy to understand? Do they offer a few free weeks you can take advantage of? What kind of classes are offered and are they included in the contract? Etc etc!

Gyms take in monthly contract sales whether you and you and you and you attend the gym or not, and even sometimes over-book because of the “donations” concept, so why just “give” them your money? GO!: Sometimes I’d hear the salespeople talk about “donations/donators.” Yeah. Those are the people who are all gungo-ho’d to join a gym and work they’s asses off after the holidays (or before a wedding, or a reunion, or whatever the event may be), and after about a month, or when the event is over, their happy asses quit going to the gym—and since they signed a contract for a year, la tee dah, all they’s butts are doing is making a donation every month. It’s difficult to worm your way out of a contract, folkses, so think twice before signing your name to a binding document.

Most Gyms will work with you, for they want/need your business: What I would suggest to potential clients of the gym was to sign up for a shorter contract—say three months. Yes, it was not as good of a deal, but three months was, and is, a good amount of time to see if you’ll be consistent in your gym-going. Then, if you are consistent and want to continue, work with the gym for a better contract–believe me, folks, all gyms WANT and many NEED your business, so you can ask them to give you a good deal or you walk–just be reasonable, for after all, it is a business where people/bills have to be paid, too.

Ha! *personal trainer evil eye!*

well, huhn!

Ask about free personal trainers, and use them, but ask about their experience: When you sign up at a gym, take advantage of the (usually a few sessions only) free personal training service, if it is offered. Do, however, ask them what kind of experience the gym trainers have. More education does not necessarily mean a great trainer, but they should be certified by a reputable agency (you can do your research), and what they say to you when you talk with them should make sense to you, and fit your personal goals. Of course, if your personal goal is to sit on your ass, well, no reputable trainer would say, “Sure dude! I can work you out on your couch! Just show me the money.” Haw. Lawd no.

Gyms should offer, at the least, a trainer/staff to show you how to use the equipment properly: You simply must know how to work that gym equipment properly, with proper form, to effectively, and safely, work out. Don’t think you are “bothering” the trainers, for that’s what they are there for. And, if they are worth a dang, they will enjoy showing you what to do—I used to love the busy times, because I hated standing around twiddling my thumbs. I loved training, and when someone wanted me to help them, I did it gladly and with passion, and for free. I had clients who paid me to work with them, but that was separate from the help I gave to clients on the gym floor. Take advantage of trainers who are walking about the gym. If they do not have trainers on the floor, then ask a staff person to provide someone to answer questions/help you with equipment. If there is no one available, maybe another gym is in order? However, don’t try to wheedle free hour-long sessions from a trainer, y’all, now! Dang!

Try out some new products and let me know if you liked them, or not --ewwwww on the vodka here--and maybe I'll try them for my next I am your Guinea Pig" post  . . .

You don’t have to say “no, never” to this kind of thing, but you CAN say, “Hardly ever, only occasionally”

Don’t burn up and burn out: One of the worst things you can do is to go in that gym all fired up and jumping around and slamming your fist in the air and Doing Too Much until you burn out and drop out. I saw it, and I see it, time and time again. That fired up WANT to be in shape and/or lose weight. The person will go to the gym every day, stay for far longer than they should, eating little food and/or foods that have

An apple a day may be a cliche, but it is solid advice--it just may keep the doc away, uh huh

An apple a day may be a cliche, but it is solid advice–it just may keep the doc away, uh huh

no taste because they think that’s the best way to lose weight. Dial it back a little and give yourself time to be used to the new load you are placing on your body with exercise—if you are too sore to work out, or have a stress-injury, you will not be able to continue your work out safely and effectively until you feel better. If you eat foods you hate, you won’t keep up with your new eating plan. Take time to think things through with a well-thought out plan for a reasonable exercise routine that you can slowly build on. Take time to think about meals that are tasty but healthy that you will reasonably fit into your daily meal-times. Don’t be unrealistic, but DO challenge yourself to try new foods/workouts!

Don't wanna hear you ain't writing or moving or eating right - huhn -

Do your research to find a gym/trainer that/who fits: Now, get out there and do some research. Find a gym that fits you. If you hate gyms, then I’m not talking to you in this post—although, I will say to you who hate gyms: Why? If it’s the money, fine, I can understand that, and perhaps you can talk to a gym about some kind of reasonable contract. But if it’s because you become a “donator,” then consider altering your thoughts and routines at the gym—and consider trying out the gym for a shorter contract time, or a gym that offers month-to-month without contracts–although, you could use that contract as a motivator–”I’m going because I simply will not throw away my money for nothing!” YEAH!

DSC08450-001Now, go ye and be healthy and kick-ass! I’m here for you if you have any questions–about working out, or about writing!

Moonshine and Santy Claus . . . a timeless Appalachian tale

maggie valley, north carolina blue moon

wrong moonshine, right? – haw!

Moonshine and Santy Claus - yup, chil’ren, it’s that time of year again – time for Moonshine & Santy Claus, that timeless Appalachian tale of Santy, Canadian Reindeer, and drunkenness -

Old Moon shone over the mountains, over the valley and hollows, and over my little log house. Snow drifted willy-nilly, until a sharp wind blew flakes around in an Appalachian clog dance. And on that splendorious Christmas Eve night, I tossed and sweated in my merry old bed. That night, something wasn’t right. I sensed it. Women my age Know Things. I got up and sneaked down the hall to the living room. And there he was. And that red-suited, white-bearded, jolly son of a fat bastard was eating the chocolate-chocolate chip cookies — the ones my spouse in residence baked for his theater friends.

 
I exclamated, “Santy, what the hell?”

He stuck his finger upside his nose and twinkled his eyes, but that stuff won’t work on women who Know Things. We’ve seen men try everything under the Moon and we aren’t tricked one speck. I tapped my foot and glared. He tried the old, “Ho Ho Ho!”

“Don’t get tricky with me, Santy.”

Santy shook crumbs from his beard. “Well, Kitty Kat, most people leave out cookies for me.”

“Not these cookies, buster. Yours are over there.” I pointed to the sad-looking cookies resting on a paper plate I’d baked out of a mix. They were supposed to be reindeer-shaped, but looked like horned elephants without trunks.

Cataloochee Elk, Tobacco Barn & Caldwell houseSanty looked at me as if I were a bit Grinchy.

I grabbed the cookie tin. “Okay, come on, have another cookie. Maybe Roger won’t notice. I’ll make coffee, too.”

“I have rounds to make, you know.” But Santy sat at my table and helped himself to another cookie while I brewed the Deep Creek Blend.

pash the 'shine, *hic*

pash the ‘shine, *hic*

Santy and I chatted about commercialism, and when the coffee was ready, I also added a bit of homebrew in our cups. I sat across from him and asked the same old same, “Santy, I don’t get it. How can you go all over the world in one night? And don’t give me that pixie dust crap. I’m of an age. I Know Things. I’m not easily fooled.”

Santy held out his mug for more, and I filled it with more hooch than coffee. Well, how’d I know about the Santy Claus Handbook (of which I received a copy from Mrs. Santy the very next week — she sure was hornet-mad at me). It reads, “Warning! Never mix alcohol with Santy Claus. If accidental ingestion occurs, please administer the anecdote of two parts elves’ tears to one part syrup of ipecac and then stand back.”

We ate more cookies. We drank more white fire lightning. Santy giggled. Now folks, when a grown man, even Santy, giggles, it sounds sticky, gooey, weird. But I was all full up with how I got Santy to sit down and drink a few with me.

Santy finally answered me. “Ther’sh lotsh of Shanties. I got cou-shins.”

“Wha’ y’all mean?” I splashed us both another dollop.

“An American Shanta, an Italian Shanta (hic) a Frenchsh Shanta (hic).” (You all get the idea with the boozed-up dialect, so I will translate both mine and Santy’s slurs from here on out into regular language). Santy burped and said, “They’re my cousins, twice reproved.”

“Y’allses all cousins? You shittin’ me?”

Santy nodded, grabbed the jar, swigged right from it, held it out to me, and I did the same. I was feeling gigglied up myself by then. I moon-shined my eyes at Santy. His beard had more sweet crumbs in it, and his eyes were toddy-warm.

scrollSanty was strangely handsome in a red-suit-white-beard-I’ve-had-too-much-booze kind of way. I’d also forgotten something important: the Woman of Age Handbook reads, “Consumption of alcohol by a smart, savvy, intelligent, perceptive, all-knowing woman will render her completely idiotic, and worse, she loses all her powers gained from the ages. Plus, it rips through the retina to where even Santy looks hot.”

I asked, “Well, how you allses do it then?”

“It’s the big secret in Santa Land. But, pixie dust?” He brayed and snorted. “How bi-zarre!”

“Well, you got those reindeers flying around, don’t you? Huh?” I grabbed the jar from him and took a good-sized glub. It burned fire down my throat and I began to feel invincible. And by God, if I didn’t feel prettier, smarter, sexier, and to top it off, full of know-it-allism (but I didn’t know it was an ‘ism’ then). “Tell me, what’s that about, Scanty Pause, as if I don’t wanna know.”
Well, Santy fell out laughing. He slapped his knee and his belly really did shake like a bowl of jelly. It was flopping and a-going and looked so cute I had to pinch it, which I did. He said, “Mrs. Santy wouldn’t like that!” But I knew he wouldn’t tell her. They never do, do they? He said, “The reindeer come from Canada!” Then he rolled his eyes as if I should know what all that meant.

Time for Video/Photos No/Few Words: Jingle Dogs Reunion & Secret Places & etcAnd, golly gee, it did make sense. I nodded my head and said, “Oh yeah, Canadian Reindeer!”

He slugged back more and banged the empty jar on the table. Then he let out a big whistle. Next I know, there’s clattering and thumping and all sorts of racket, and I’ll be-damned if his eight not-so-tiny Canadian Reindeer didn’t come tromping into my living room. They knocked over things and sniffed around. Santy said, “There’s Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen.”

And I sang, “But do you re-calll? Where the hell’s the most famous Canadian Reindeeerr of allll?”

Santy just looked at me as if I was stupider than a worm. Then he snapped his fingers and the Canadian Reindeer tromped on out. Now, listen, I know those of you who are still around are thinking, “How come Roger hasn’t woken up with all this noise.” And I’ll answer by saying, “Well, hell if I know. I’m shrugging.” Anyway…

I got another jar and Santy grabbed it right out of my hands and drank it with throat-glubbing sounds to the tune of Deck the Halls. It was pretty cool. I asked, “Hon, how come you and your cousins don’t visit everywhere. Some kids don’t get presents.” I mean, there we were all comfy-cozy sweet, but there was
that problem there. It brought a dark old nasty cloud in the room that wasn’t the Canadian Reindeer’s fault . . . To read the rest, click HERE 

 

 

(Author’s note: I love to read my bio from when that story was published pre-2009- at the time I wasn’t a  Publishing Editor nor was I a published author! kewl! Thanks to VAGABONDAGE PRESS for publishing this silly but fun-to-write story! I will be mostly unplugging for much of the Christmas Holidays until after New Years – y’all have a wonderful season!)

Oprah says, “Don’t Be Attached to the Outcome . . . .” AHA! What about you and your “Goals?” . . .

$T2eC16ZHJHYE9nzpebcPBQwlkrIDOQ~~60_57When you have done everything that you can do, surrender. Give yourself up to the power and energy that’s greater than yourself  . . . and then don’t be attached to the outcome.”

When I read this last night in the January issue of O (Oprah) Magazine, I had one of her “Aha!” moments. For “attaching myself to the outcome” was exactly the thing I’ve always done. I’ve always been goal-oriented, driven, conscientious, competitive—nothing wrong with those traits, but when “attaching myself to the outcome” of my work, I create a never-ending river of rapids where, despite what I believe, I am not in control, and in fact outside forces and circumstance are completely in control of me as I hurtle from rock to rock, place to place, every so often my head above water, but so often I’m barely able to catch my breath.

In my life as a published author, this manifests itself as: I write the best books I know how with sincere love and hope and a whole lot of hard work and sacrifice. Where I attach myself to the outcome is when I angst and worry and make myself half-sick (or wholly sick) that I’m not achieving some “Desired Outcome” such as a literary prize, or a best seller list, or a review in some Big Magazine, or high on some ranking, etc etc etc—those are things for which I really have little control, so I’m tumbling willy nilly 084down those rapids, trying to grab onto slippery rocks (and banging myself up in the process), or grabbing at things just out of my reach. I attach my self worth to some outcome, instead of to what I have already achieved. I do not live in the Right Now where I see each step I make, each tiny,  or large, goal that I achieve in that moment as a success, as a part of my journey–I have not been paying attention, living my life for the moment. Everything has been about attaching myself to the OUTCOME–some faraway thing I’m hurtling towards.

What Oprah said so resonated with me, I felt my innards relax, gave myself permission to let go. It helps that I was ready for this statement, because already I’d been letting some things go, already assessing my life as an author, a woman, a mother, a grandmother, a sister, a friend. How many moments have I lost because I did not pay attention to the Right Now and instead kept looking so very far ahead? Well, actually, that’s still never-ending-circle thinking! Instead, I think, “Right now, I’m feeling happy to share this AHA moment with you.”

valerie-bertinelli-1-290x218What about how goal-oriented we are when it comes to fitness and healthand our weight? I mean, it’s all goal-oriented in the weight-loss field isn’t it? Actor Before; Actor After—everyone sees the outcome of the actor’s work on Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers, and let the games begin as you look at the “After” and say, “I want that! That’s what I want!” All the betweens for this person are unknown or forgotten.

But what if you didn’t attach yourself to the outcome? What if you didn’t attach some self-worth to the end-goal? What if you said to yourself, “Right now, this moment, I can’t control some future outcome—I don’t know what the future will bring. However! I can control the Right Now.” What if you lowered the FUTURE stakes by concentrating on the RIGHT NOW stakes.

When you say, for example, “I want to be healthy, in shape, and lose fifty pounds,” you are thinking of OUTCOME—the End Goal, some Thing that is off into the future. What if

Rainbows are right now; pots of gold are some goal where you miss the rainbow in the searching

Rainbows are right now; pots of gold are some goal where you miss the rainbow in the searching

you changed that to say, “Right now, I am going to go to the gym.” You go to the gym. At the gym you say, “Right now, I am going to jump on the treadmill and walk/run/walk-run.” Then you do it. You step off the treadmill and say, “I feel pretty good. Right now, I’m going to do some yoga/pilates/weights/stretching.” And you do it. You go home and you feel great, so Right Now you eat a sensible meal with some protein and carb. You say, “Right now, I’m going to eat an apple for dessert.” Who wants to think, “I can never have dessert again!” Bleah! BORING! UNREALISTIC! But, “Right now, I’m going to eat an apple for dessert,” is manageable, right?

Each thing you do, you do In The Moment, not thinking of outcomes, not basing your worth on some future goal, but on each goal no matter how small it may seem. You celebrate every small thing, or large thing, that you do and live in the RIGHT NOW.

Perhaps when you tell yourself, “Right now I’m going to go for a walk;” “Right now I’m not going to eat that candy bar;” “Right now I’m going to go to the gym and work out;” “Right now I’m happy because I lost a pound;” “Right now I’m happy because I was able to walk up the stairs without gasping for air;” “Right now I feel really great because I played catch with my kids/grandkids;” “Right now I look kick-ass in these jeans that I am able to now button,” you give yourself permission to live your life as it unfolds, in incremental joys, instead of always looking ahead and feeling frustrated because you Aren’t There Yet.

Stay in the moment(s) you are in. Enjoy your life RIGHT NOW. Celebrate every little, and big, moment in this Right Now.

How do you think that would feel? To live in the Right Now? Not to attach your happiness, your self-worth, your life on some outcome, but to let go of that and live your live in the moments? Why not give it a try?

DSC_0109 Right now, I am going to watch the rain fall on the smoky mountains and the birds flocking to the feeders.

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