Wednesday, June 18, 2014

After We Invest: How Our Graduates Still Mess The Nest


  Since our younger son moved back in with us after college graduation, I've noticed that some things haven't changed at all. Miraculously, he was able to get through finals, intern at both the high school and college levels, and still can't keep track of his cup. He goes through several different glasses a day, while scattering them around the kitchen and family room. Sometimes he'll even drink out of my husband's glass, if he mistakenly uses one from the same set. I try to use the same mismatched glass with an embedded lipstick stain to insure that no one will go near it. Yes, it's disgusting, but at least I know where it's been. After I was whining about my dishpan hands, one of my friends chimed in with another small skill that she wished her college graduate had mastered.

 When her son finally completed writing his thank you notes, she noticed that he had difficulty addressing the envelopes. Not only did he forget to leave room for the return address, but he wasn't even going to use stamps. It turns out that this isn't that unusual. Between texting and emailing everything from photos to resumes, many young people aren't used to actually mailing letters.

 This reminded me of when our older son was eleven-years-old, and went away to overnight camp. I made sure that he was equipped with plenty of stationary, so that he could write every detail of his first summer away from home. I remember how excited we were when his first letter came in the mail. I struggled to open it, as it was addressed upside down. Finally, I found a pre-stamped postcard inside the envelope detailing that the lake was too cold, and for swimming and water sports. The rest of the boys didn't seem to mind, as they were busy snapping towels at each other in the cabin. It took him two stamps to tell us what a terrible time he was having in less than three sentences.

 Another mom chimed in about how college life turned her relatively neat daughter, into a total slob. Clothes were thrown around everywhere, and junk was piled up so high that she continually lost track of her car keys. That sounded very familiar to me. Things were getting messier here by the minute, and the aromatic gym bags filled with everything from missing socks to half-eaten protein bars were starting to mysteriously pile up.

 Yes, it was time for a nice, calm talk. I don't know where he got this from, and my husband certainly wasn't willing to take any blame for it. As soon as I got dressed, we'd have ourselves one dandy of a chat. Just as soon as I found my belt. I know I wore it yesterday. Where could it have gone?  I searched for about twenty minutes until I realized I was already wearing it. I too am a college graduate. Heaven help us all.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Wrong Number


Once upon a time before there was Caller ID, a young man named Stuart would call our house and ask to speak to Bonnie. I would tell him that there was no one here by that name, say goodbye and hang up. A week later he called again and we had the same conversation. My mom overheard us talking and said, "Would it kill you to be Bonnie?"

I was 23-years-old, still living at home, and on the verge of becoming an old maid. "No, I'm not gonna pretend to be someone else. We don't even know anything about this guy except that his name is Stuart, and he doesn't know how to dial a phone. To which my mom replied, "Well, he seems nice."

This was at a period in my life when I was working at a job that I loved, but I was in between boyfriends; while my mother and grandmother both had steady beaus of their own. Hence, my grandma hatched her own plan.

My grandma decided that she was going to fix me up with her friend's grandson, after discussing it with his grandmother on the bus. She had never met the grandson, and barely knew the grandmother, but what did I have to lose? I thanked her and told her that I wasn't interested. Although that didn't stop her from handing out my phone number.

He called a few days later, and we laughed about how funny the situation was. The fact that our grandmothers were desperately trying to fix us up, was hard not to find amusing, Since our conversation went so well, we agreed to go out on a date.

I remember that we went to see the movie This Is Spinal Tap, and out for a nice dinner afterward. It was a fun evening, but we parted friends. We fulfilled our promises to our grandmothers, who may have sat on opposite ends of the bus from that point on, and nothing more. 

My mom waited up for me to find out how our date went. I told her that we had a good time, but that I wasn't interested in going out with him again. Then she said that she had a feeling we weren't going to hit it off, but not to worry. Before I could question why Mom announced, "Stuart called again, and I told him my Bonnie would call him back tomorrow."

*This is a repost from April 2012.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

IWSG: Secrets of Honor Cover Reveal


Once upon a time, there was a jewel thief. Her name was Katia. She worked for The Government. Yes, that government. But one day, Kat took something she shouldn’t have. She really shouldn't have done that.

This is an intriguing tagline for Carol Kilgore's latest book release. Since the Insecure Writer's Support Group coincides with the same week as her cover reveal, it seems only fitting to combine both events. If you haven't already done so, you can visit  Alex J. Cavanaugh, and the rest of the Insecure Writer's Support Group here.

The Top Ten Reasons Why I'm Insecure About Carol Kilgore's Secrets of Honor Cover Reveal 


 10. I've lost track of how many books Carol has written.
  9.  I haven't read as many book as Carol has written.
  8.  Carol's great at writing about sexy characters.
  7.  I write about my mom who's sexier than I am.
  6.  Carol writes mystery laced with humor.
  5.  Most of my humor remains a mystery to those who read it.                          
  4.  Secrets of Honor has a stunning cover.
  3.  I look stunning in a burqa.
  2.  Carol's bio is almost as entertaining as her books.

And the #1 reason why I'm insecure about Carol Kilgore's cover reveal:
 1. I wanted to kill two birds with one stone.
 1. No one does "Crime Fiction with a Kiss" better.

BLURB For Secrets of Honor

By the end of a long evening working as a special set of eyes for the presidential security detail, all Kat Marengo wants is to kick off her shoes and stash two not-really-stolen rings in a secure spot. Plus, maybe sleep with Dave Krizak. No, make that definitely sleep with Dave Krizak. The next morning, she wishes her new top priorities were so simple.
As an operative for a covert agency buried in the depths of the Department of Homeland Security, Kat is asked to participate in a matter of life or death—locate a kidnapped girl believed to be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. Since the person doing the asking is the wife of the president and the girl is the daughter of the first lady’s dearest friend, it’s hard to say no.
Kat and Dave quickly learn the real stakes are higher than they or the first lady believed and will require more than any of them bargained for.

The kicker? They have twenty-four hours to find the girl—or the matter of life or death will become more than a possibility.

Carol writes grocery lists, texts to her family, new lyrics to old songs for her dogs, love notes to her husband, and novels for herself. And for you. In between, she blogs weekly at Under the Tiki Hut and is active on Facebook and Twitter.
She sees mystery and subterfuge everywhere. And she’s a sucker for a good love story—especially ones with humor and mystery. Crime Fiction with a Kiss gives her the latitude to mix and match throughout the broad mystery and romance genres. Having flexibility makes her heart happy.


You can connect with Carol and her books here: