Monday, December 31, 2012

Smell Ya Later 2012

Another year has kicked the bucket. It seems like yesterday that I blogged about 2011 kickin' it.

Wow. I sure as heck didn't blog all that much. I was kinda busy being mopey about how last year started. Curious? Search and ye shall find

This year was my break from Social Media. I didn't blog over at Heroes and Heartbreakers that much. I could be found on Twitter or FB but it was sporadic. I also kept getting rejection after rejction for my Women's Fiction.

I may have physically started 2012 with an ectopic pregnancy but I seemed to be purging myself of my literary baby for the entire year. Ya know that first novel, that Jersey Shore Women's Fiction that taught me how to actually write a novel??? Yeah, I kinda put that baby to bed. For reals. And it's been cathartic. Cleansing. Freeing.

All those agents and editors read, squeed and gleed, but ultimately passed. I have some more submissions out there but I have the feeling it's all gonna be the same and it should be. The novel isn't where it needs to be. I know where it needs to go but I'm not going to write it. Not yet. Maybe not for a while. Unless one of those editors or agents says yes! Then well, I shall get right on it. But in the mean time they are outta sight and outta mind. I'm not giving up on the Irish-Latino Philly maniacs who took over my brain for the past four years. No way. I'm just moving on while they figure out how they want to be told. Yeah, yeah, I know I've said that before but this time its true and the reason is this; I'm finally writing my 2nd book!

A YA (Young Adult) Paranormal/Horror. I LOVE IT! I have an agent who said smell ya later to the Jersey gang but wants to read this. This agent also has the greatest last name in recorded history but that's another story for another time.

So, will I blog more this year? Prolly not. But I will try.

What I will be doing is finishing my YA and officially finishing my 2nd novel.

Curious about my YA Paranormal? Well, I did NaNo for the first time this year and here is a little bit about it from my profile:

A Touch In The Dark-Book One of the Fear No Evil series:

Aurora Ray O’Riordan died for ten minutes and has a scar on her face to prove it. She also has the ghosts that followed her back... and they are very angry that she is still alive.

The scar on Rori's face is an everyday reminder of the night her mother died and she lived. It starts at the tip of her right index finger, snakes up her arm, twists up her scalp, and spiders out-— hugging her eye like a vine. Its compliments of the downed power line that snaked over her crumpled body, feet away from her dead mother. She remembers nothing of the ten minutes she lay dead on the hood of the family car. The scar is all she knows.

That and being the resident freak of her sophomore class. The girl whose hooded sweatshirts constantly cover her face, where sometimes lights flicker when she enters a room, and the girl whose very own mother haunts her dreams.

The dream crosses over into her real life as reflections of her mother’s ghost appears in mirrors and windows. Another specter, the dark silhouette of a hooded man with a rusted machete, joins her. And when Rori innocently bumps into Jimmy, the new boy at school, she somehow electrocutes him, sending him across the hall with a single touch. He has similar vine like scars on his neck and chest. In an instant they know they are somehow connected.

An attraction builds between the two and the fact they cannot touch only makes things more difficult. Especially when they begin to investigate their past and discover the same ghosts haunt them both. What they find will re-write her family’s history and put every life they come into contact with in danger, especially Jimmy’s. When the truth comes to light one of them will either join the deadly spirits hunting them or regret living to tell their tale.

Scary? Intrigued? Hope so. If not, well, thanks for reading anyway!

Have a drink for me tonight. I'll be having one or at least two for you.

Until next time, may you have many snorts and Ha cha chas.

Happy New Year everyone. Smell ya in 2013.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Jillian Stone=Ha Cha Cha!

Happy Pub Day to Jillian Stone!
Well, isn't that a Ha Cha Cha cover! Yum. I don't give out Ha Cha Chas to just anyone. The witty and wild Jillian Stone sits in the front row of a very special class.

One of my favorite authors. One that has the ability to make me snort, sigh, and ah-hem, fan myself.

That's what I call the Charli Mac Ha-Cha-Cha factor.

And today A Private Duel With Agent Gunn is officially on shelves! Woot woot!

I've read devoured some of the scenes from Agent Gunn already. As always, Stone delivers heart pounding action, thought provoking history, cackle inducing wit, and the cross your legs kind of steam that keeps one turning the pages. Agent Phineas Gunn "Finn" must investigate and keep tabs on a past love. A love so fierce it pains him still, especially since she believes he killed her brother. Cate, a famous ballet dancer, has plans on bringing to justice those that took her family and save her remaining brother at any cost. Problem is she's stalked by the man she believes is at fault, Finn. Together they search for the truth while keeping a suspicious eye on one another, and other body parts... Yum!

There's a very sexy ballet rehearsal scene. Hard bodies clashing in close proximity... Made me grab the old dance bag out of the closet for my very own private two step with the man. (*Do not try this at home ladies. Unless you are a professionally trained dancer. Or at least in shape. Thankfully, I spared the hubby my Seinfeld Elaine-esque moves and just jumped his bones. Carry on.)

If you haven't had the pleasure of reading one of Stone's novels, imagine this: Novels filled Johnny Depp/Robert Downey Jr. -esque steampunk hotties. As a fan of the Sherlock Holmes films, I dare say it should be Stone writing the next script. Yes, she's that good. The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard Series reads like a well scripted and perfectly cast action packed movie. Her heroes and heroines have real issues, like Victorian Era PTSD. And they're so damned sexy to boot! The clever dialogue, luscious descriptions, and a fast moving plot have Jillian Stone and these hotties forever on my TBR list.

This past summer I had the honor of reading an advanced copy of A Dangerous Affair With Detective Lewis. And I am ashamed to say that life got in the way of my reviewing here in a timely manner. So, I figured today would be the perfect day to do so.

Rafe and Fanny are childhood sweethearts torn apart by deceit. (My favorite trope!) Years later, after the gruesome murder of Fanny's father, Rafe is sent by Scotland Yard to protect her from further harm, as a plot to kill Industrialists is underway. Fanny is headstrong and determined to stay away from Rafe, the man who broke her heart and ruined her life. Rafe is determined to keep Fanny safe and win back said broken heart. Being chased and nearly shot at every turn keeps them practically on top of one another or at each other's throats. And that makes for some great tension, angst, and of course, my favorite: some HA CHA CHAS!

Here's a line that made me sigh, when Rafe notices a subtle part of Fanny with an implied longing. I love that...

Rafe reached for her hand to help her down from the carriage. He caught a glimpse of white fingers through the crochet-work of her gloves.

Here's a line that made me swoon, when Fanny snuggles next to Rafe in bed after suffering a bit of shock and he comforts her...

"What is that?"

He muffled a snort against the fine hairs of her temple. "A good guess would be my cock." He made an adjustment to his trousers. "Actually, I'm quite certain of it."

..Astonishing really, that he could find himself lying in bed with Fanny Greyville-Nugent and not make love to her.

Oh, and to make the post come full circle, we get introduced to Agent Gunn in Detective Lewis. And, well, two Scotty too Hotties in one book had me re-reading a few scenes. Sigh and swoon.

So, if you love this:

Mixed with this:
And you don't mind a little of this:

Or a little of that:

Then you'll just adore her:
Jillian Stone


Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Power of the V... In Publishing

It’s an election year and whether you’re an Obama Mama or a Romney Mommy we cannot deny how women have influenced campaigns nationwide. The current political dialogue may teeter from the economy to health care but in the end, the focus comes back to us, or rather, our vaginas.

What does this have to do with publishing? Humor me for a sec. This diatribe about our whoohas has a point.

Here's a chat I had with the hubby recently:
Hubby: Are vaginas really magic?

Me: Well, yes they are. You're here, aren't you? You constantly try to do things to it; some new, some old, and some from national geographic. It also makes your jiggly bits do things, too.
Hubby: Oh, yeah. Can they stop things from happening from just thinking about it and stuff?

Me: Duh, of course they can. With just three Kegel Clenches, while whispering "There's no place like this V, there's no place like this V, there's no place like this V," Vaginas can prevent spontaneous combustion, calm murderous rages, simulate orgasms, and organize the hell out of a closet. We can't divulge all they can do. It's kind of a top secret thing. If everyone knew the government would weaponize them. Could you imagine Dr. Evil-esque lazer beams attached to them? The horror!
Watch the following commercial, “Hail to the V”, about how the most influential Women in History derived their power from a fresh clean feeling down under. Watch it. Now.


Wow, right? You totally want to run out and buy some vaginal perfume products. You could be Joan of Arc or Cleopatra with the right stuff for your stuff. But seriously, I believe that all Vs, regardless of being coiffed, fluffed, or au’natural have immense power.

And Empowerment is amazing.

So, I think I need to take the time here and empower Female Authors.

It’s hard being a writer. Rejection, self doubt, changes in the industry, and constantly honing our craft. Just finding time for ourselves, the creative side of ourselves amongst this daily thing called life is a huge challenge. You know, those things called families and such. I have a job, a kid, a hubby, pets, ailing relatives, friends, and this little thing called trying to be a published author. I haven't even had time to dye my hair. The teen, bless her heart, told me, in her, like, totally shocked, and, like, so annoyed 14 year old voice, that I, like, seriously needed to cover those grays. If she only had clue where else I have them. But that's another post.

I can't imagine being a published author, have all that pressure to succeed, and all of the above. I mean, its my goal to be there one day but it's daunting just trying to get there, with all of the above. Then to get there and not be as recognized as male authors? I have no words. Well, I do, but it's pretty filthy and one of the Nuns that taught me may read this. I push the envelope as it is already.


Writing is a solitary venture. But, we are not alone. We have a group of Amazing Women to draw strength from. It’s probably a group you didn’t even know existed.

Female New York Times Bestselling Authors.

Do you know that in the past ten weeks 74% of the NYT Bestselling works of Fiction have been written by women?

Yerp, you read that right. And I will type it again.
74% of the New York Times Bestelling Authors of Fiction in the top 10 for the past 10 weeks have been women.
For the weeks of August 5th through October 7th three quarters of NYT bestsellers were WOMEN. That’s combined print-hardback/paper, and combined e-books and print.
83% in combined print and e-book
64% in combined print- hardback and paperback
75% in total overall.
The power of the V.
Look at those numbers again? What do they tell us? E-books and print alone were a whopping 83%! Not once, in either category of Combined Print and Combined E-book and print did we ever fall beneath 50%, and we were only at fifty twice. The weeks of August 26th and September 23rd we had 100% of combined E-books and Print in the top ten!
These stats have me thinking of an article Jennifer Weiner and Jodi Picoult did a while back about how no matter how many books they sell that male authors continue to get the literary praise, all the editorial write-ups in the NYT and other prestigious papers, and especially more cash from publishers with marketing. And in case you're not putting two and two together that can mean less income for a female author. You can't market, you can't sell, you won't make as much money.

Like most other industries, women continue to make less than men. But Picoult and Weiner had the courage to start this conversation back in august of 2010 and its still going on. I cannot not thank them enough. Many have talked about it. A male author even recently stated how Weiner and Picoult are belly aching about the whole thing.

This little post is not long enough to dissect the topic. But we can at least start the conversation. Like, why do we continue to be treated as such when WE are the dominating the sales?
It’s a man world, so some say.
But we can change that by sticking together and writing great fiction. Staying in female oriented groups and empowering one another. Maybe a few of us can come together and write an article for Writer’s Digest and start the dialogue rolling in a more public venue? Maybe we can just continue to craft great stories and allow our dominance to speak for itself.
Either way, it is our time to shine with our formidable Vs.
The Power of our collective Vs.
The Vs that continue to dominate the NYT top ten bestsellers list in fiction. This is the message we need to shout from the rooftops.

When I have time, I will compile the stats for an entire year. When I have the time. Which may be never. Feel free, anyone here, to do so yourselves. Please. It would be awesome. My magic whooha needs to save its energy for other things.
Ha cha cha and happy writing my fellow Vs.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Flipping to The Darkside: I got an ereader!

So, I finally did it. I got an ereader.

Can you hear the Death Star's anthem in the background? Vader's heavy breathing? "Charli, welcome to the Darkside. Which book will you buy first?"

I must digress here. This reminds me of my daughter's recent nightmare with Valdemort. He's a greeter at a local grocery store, "Welcome to Valde-Mart, we're here for you home shopping needs."  I guess Vader and Valdemort will be my greeters over at Amazon. VAder, VAldemort. Hmm, never thought about that.

Snort. Any who. Part of me did and still do feel like such a sell out. I love real books. I love perusing the shelves of real bookstores. No gadget can ever replace the crisp pages in my hands. But another part of me, that Vader we have in all of us, is relishing my new toy.

With gift certiciates burning a hole in my purse I trodded off to the good old electronics store, you know that big blue and yellow one. The techno-freak of a hubby assisted me with my selection. After about five minutes of me not looking at the one he wanted me to get he basically ordered one of the Geeks to snatch me up a Samsung Galaxy Tab. "You're getting this one." I am not the techy. He works part time at the store (just for the discount he gets and is completely addicited to) and basically said that for fifty bucks more I can have all this wonderous thing had to offer, email. internet, apps, yada.

Whatever. I just wanted an ereader and bought the thing.

How did I come to the decision to get what I once called the enemy? Honestly, it was simple. I've been wanting to get Catching Fire for weeks and its only available in hardback. Kind of expensive when you're tying to sell a kidney to send the teen off to private school at the tune of 12 big ones. I have to cut back. Books are a HUGE part of my budget. Since I had gift cards from my birthday and mother's day it was basically free.

Then I logged on and bought two books. One for $5.99 and another for $3.99.


However, there will always be books I MUST have a hardcopy of. Like Sarah Jio's upcoming release, Blackberry Winter. Like any Nicholas Sparks novel. Like Alma Katsu's The Reckoning. The cover alone screams you must have this one, fo'reals.

I devoured Catching Fire in two days and bought Mockingjay right away. As a writer there are so many books I must read for craft purposes but I may not necessarily want them crowding my bookshelf. I may even go digital with the craft periodicals. It's easier on the environments and lack of shelf space in my home. I may even subsribe to more magazines this way.

Although I once thought of the ereading revolution as the death to traditional publishing, I can see now that it's actually letting people read more. Like me. What are some e-books that you've bought recently? Share your own e-books too.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Game of Queries

In my quest for Literary Representation I shall be thence forth called Tenacious C. Imagine an arena filled with agents, writers, and publishers. In the ring I am the one wearing a fiery red and orange spandex unitard with a big C emblazoned upon my chest.

A bit much? Maybe.

Okay, so a little while back an agent rejected me and that single rejection propelled me to a place I never expected to be. But let me back track a bit. (Insert Wayne's World Time Travel Effects.)

With my Editor requests, which I am so blessed and lucky to have, I went on a massive query fest. The quest did not go so well. Some of my writing peeps hit me over the head when inquiring about the epic query fail. They screamed at me to query agents who rep Commercial and General Fiction. See, I'd been limiting myself to agents who rep Women's Fiction and/or Romance. What was I thinking, I know, I know.

So, I cast my net wider. Got some bites. Then this kind agent told me she had to regretfully pass. Her plate was too full. But she went on to say she did not come to this decision lightly. That from my sample pages she could see why editors were reading my MS. Then she said something that changed everything. "If you're tenacious enough with this you will be successful."

At first I clicked it off into the another rejection pile. But her words kept coming back to me. One word in particular.



1.Not readily letting go of, giving up, or separated from an object that one holds, a position, or a principle: "a tenacious grip".

2.Not easily dispelled or discouraged; persisting in existence or in a course of action: "a tenacious legend".

Yeah, that sounds like me with this novel, my baby, my first born if you will. See, I'd read an article that said you probably won't sell "the book of your heart". It kind of deflated me. So much rang true but this book of my heart keeps beating within me. Something about it won't quit. As if it's tenaciously clinging to my bloodstream.

Anywho, two weeks later at a writing conference I pitched to an agent, Agent Lovely I shall call her. 

This pic reminds me of her. Lovely. Elegant. Poised. And ready to make coffee, bake a pie, and sit down for a nice long chat. Agent Lovely turned the pitch into a 20 minute lesson. She wondered why I didn't tell her immediately that editors are reading it and about my contest wins. She also asked about my query status. I told her the honest truth. Then she hit me over the proverbial head with a smile as if saying in that southern way, "Bless your heart." 
Agent Lovely informed me I am no a cold query. I have credentials.

Huh? Exsqueeze me? What the what? I haven't been published. I have no agent. How in the hells do I have Scribe Street Cred?

Hit over the head again. Bless my little naive heart again.

Her answer:Major publishing houses are considering my work and I do not have an agent. I won/finaled in contests.

Oh. That stuff. I never gave myself enough credit for all that. All that hard work, blood, sweat, and tears. And don't forget all those ledge moments, the cyber breakdowns, and woe is me phone calls to JAWS. I never let all that sink in and register. For me, without an agent I felt insignificant in this writing world. One among the masses.

Agent Lovely went on to tell me I should be querying agents by leading off with my contest wins and editors submissions. That I can even query those closed to submissions. The worse that could happen? I hear nothing. Big deal, she says. See, the fool I am thought this agent wouldn't even be interested in my work. Being that she reps mostly non-fiction and that Women's Fiction isn't even one of her genres of interest on her Agency Bio. But the conference bio did mention she is actively seeking WF. And she was. Agent Lovely went onto to ask for a partial. Yay!

All this agently advice settled in my wee battered noggin over the next week and Tenacious C emerged.

I re-queried agents who'd rejected me the year before.

I queried agents not open to submissions.

I queried agents via email when they only accept snail.

I tenaciously queried my tookus off.

To date, I have 11 total submissions, only one is a partial. I am still awaiting to hear news on 9. One invited me to revise and resubmit. They wanted to see some things changed. I'll wait to hear from the other agents before jumping into edits. Bottom line, this agent loved my story and got my characters in a way no one else has. Another agency extended an invitation to submit my full exclusively. So, if the other agents pass, I can send to them.

You have no idea how nervous, excited, superstitious, and superstitiously nervous with excitement I am. Hopefully my next post will be about how I now have a Literary Agent!

**Please, do not take this post as an invitation to query at will. I broke rules with this query fest but did so with the advice of professionals.**

Friday, May 11, 2012

I am 36. There, I said it.

Dear Interwebz,

It has been five months since my last blog post. These are my sins...

Well, I really can't tell you all of them. But it has been ages since I've written a thing on here. You may last recall my whoa is me post about my girly bits. Sorry about all that pity party stuff. AJ has been MIA from here even longer. She is well. Thank you for asking.

Today is my 36th birthday. 35 was supposed to be my year. The year I got my proverbial shit together. Well, what fun would I have if I really accomplished that? Surely, I'd never Liz-Lemon anything again. I have matured slightly. Slightly, I say. We re-named our blog. I was tired of biting back at people. I have brittle teeth as it is. I guess I am mellowing out with age like a fine wine. And fine wine is my favorite!
I am still on the road to publication. No agent yet, but a few asked for my dance card. Do they know I'm a kick-ass breakdancer in my own mind, I mean right? Yo, Jay, drop the beat!

Maybe this is the year I get my shizznit together. Either way, it should be an adventure of Lemonesque proportions.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Liz-Lemoned My Miscarriage

If anything were normal in my life I wouldn't be here typing. I thought the cathartic post on my horrible 2011 would set a tone of hope and renewal for me in 2012. But there's something about every New Year we fail to realize. It's just another date on the calendar. Life doesn't magically change because of it, or because of heartfelt resolutions and the purging of all the bad from the year before. Below is how my first week of the New Year started and ended, in Liz-Lemon fashion. Below are the emails I sent out to friends.

January 5, 2012: The results are in. My uterus is fetus-free and deformed to boot!

Go figure, right. I couldn't just have any normal miscarriage or uterus. It had to be on Christmas Eve, in Church. BTW, Santa is officially on my naughty list. He's on my shit list really. I could really kick that f*cker in the red velvety balls. My red clown nose, screw that, it's Rudolph's now cause I stole it. Then as my Happy Holiday lingers so does all the joy of what an actual miscarriage is. My first one lasted about a week, one hellish week of pain, but a week. This one is still going strong. The cramps are just as bad, if not worse. Son-of-a-Dingelberry!

I went to the doctor on Tuesday, as scheduled, and they drew blood. My HCG (the hey your preggers hormones that make the Home Pregnancy Tests positive) levels were high and they should've been practically down to zero. Concerned, my doc scheduled an ultrasound for today. They said that it can be anything really. Like that I still may be pregnant. I promised myself I wouldn't get my hopes up but I did. Like an idiot I actually thought that maybe I'd get a late Christmas present. But nope. Not my luck. Never is.

I had terrible shocking WTF cramps on Tuesday night and told the Hubby if I got anymore I think I needed to go to the hospital. They went away and I waited on the couch until my appointment with the perionatologist.

Said ultrasound confirmed my empty uterus. But the doc wanted to be sure all was well so he gave me a Vaginal Ultrasound too. Oh, boy! What FUN! Yes, it is as awkward as it sounds. And is basically a dildo shaped wand you have to stick up you Hoo-ha while the doc moves it around like an Atari joystick. Then, in the Liz Lemon fashion my life is, the Ultra Sound Machine runs out of film. Doc says, "Hold this a sec." Yes. I have to sit up and hold that wand in place. All the while the hubby is standing there looking at me like he ate a lemon, not Liz Lemon, a real lemon. Screw you big guy. I wanted to say but I had to concentrate on holding a dipstick up my ying yang. The doc fumbles to load up the machine with more film. He tries to make light of the situation with a joke that it always runs out during the vaginal. Not funny. Hubby now looks like he ate two lemons and should be eating my two fists but my hands are otherwise engaged.

After fifteen long ass minutes of Doc's joystick ride in my Jay-jay he makes his diagnosis. No baby. Ovaries look fantastic, though. (He said that like he wanted to date them, btw.) And my uterus dips a little. I felt like saying no shit, you just got done poking the crap out of it. But alas, it dips. The Tootsie Roll Song popped into my head. (Now dip baby dip, come on now, dip baby dip...) I really have no clue what function my brain  is on half the time.

The Doc apologized for my losses and was so sincere the Charli Tough ass exterior practically crumbled. I have been ordered not to try to conceive for at least three normal cycles. Hopefully my HCG levels have gone down, I won't know til Monday. If they've stayed the same or gone up, then it's another complication. Wonderful. With my luck, I'll be back here next week with another WTF email.

Until then my friends, I cannot say enough for all your support and love. Like I said before, so few know in our family its been hard. Me and the hubby are struggling with what to say to one another. I have no writing mojo as my heart is broken, my body still healing, and my angry clown is festering to escape. I am looking forward to getting back to my writing life but until this is resolved, I gots nothing. Just that damn small spark of hope that I may still be pregnant.

January 10, 2012: I am home typing this on my couch. Recliner up, a heating pad on my belly, and I am heavily medicated. See, I am recovering from emergency surgery from an ectopic pregnancy. Yup, and it ruptured my right fallopian tube. But let me back track a little.

By Sunday my nerves were shot watching the clock, waiting around for Monday when the doc would call with my HCG levels, and the cramps had gotten worse. It was a bad weekend all around. The hubby's birthday was Saturday and he hoped I'd be all stoked to get out and celebrate. I wasn't at all. I was also fighting a nasty cold at this point and puked my guts up on Saturday morning. He thought that I was moping and the stress was making me sick. We had some heated words and basically didn't talk all weekend. Wonderful.

So, Sunday night I drag my sorry stressed out ass up of the couch and did some wash. Then I got dizzy. Then it felt like something exploded on my right side. I struggled up the steps from the basement to my 2nd floor bedroom, hoping the pain is gas or I may still be preggers cramps, not what I think it is. The pain lasted for twelve minutes. I can remember walking down the steps thinking I would fall down them. Through pain stricken tears I crawled to my hubby and said I needed to go to the hospital. I puked again before I left. I paced the kitchen floor thinking maybe the hubby was right, that maybe it was just stress. But my body was telling me something completely different. It was screaming at me.

We get to the hospital and I wait two hours in the ER waiting room. Now this is an inner city ER waiting room. Said ghetto-ness was in full effect. Crackheads, hookers, and a domestic dispute ended in fisticuffs right before my eyes. And crackheads in the ER are the worst. They think they'll get a flurry of free drugs and at the least a turkey sandwich. But it's one of the best hospitals and you gots to do what you gots to do in these situations.

I finally get back there and tell the sad tale to about fifteen different peeps fifteen different times. I try to be all tough and decline pain meds. When I sat still there was mild pain, the pain I'd had every moment of every day since Christmas Eve. But when they started examining and poking I nearly crawled off the ceiling. After the third doc doing this I caved and demanded some drugs. More tests, more ultrasounds, and the verdict was in. Ectopic pregnancy. For about ten seconds in the ultrasound I got my hopes up. The Doc said she saw a pregnancy. I was foolish enough to think it was my baby, alive.

But no, twas not. I waited about another hour before getting whisked off to surgery. Hubby had to leave by this time to get the teen up and ready for school. He hated leaving and I hated seeing him go. The list of what ifs on my consent form scared the living shit out of me. Possible hysterectomy, blood loss, and even death. I didn't get to kiss my daughter goodnight before I'd left to come there. I didn't get to tell her I loved her one more time. I told the hubby I loved him before he left but I didn't get to tell him sorry for the fighting we'd had all weekend.

I prayed like the well trained Catholic girl I am. But while wheeling down the corridors to my possible death I started forgetting the words to the Our Father and Hail Mary. No good Catholic forgets those. If I died on that table I may not like my next location. Damn, I'd be going to hell for sure. Who forgets the Hail Mary??? So I started babbling to God to help a girl out. Then I started pulling images of my deceased brother and father, asking them to intercede and ask the big guy for a break. Then I started wondering why I was wasting my time on an entity that I wondered was even listening. That even if he was that I'd like to curse him out anyways for giving me all this hell. I finally settled on conjuring images of my daughter through the years, loving memories of me and the hubby. My family and friends. I even thought about the joy of writing for a moment.

Then as I am trying to calm myself I overhear the doc bitching how she's been up for 24 hours straight. Before I could protest I got shot with some happy meds. I started bawling and they asked what was wrong. Me, the tough chica from inner city Philly broke down. I told them I was scared while I scooted from the bed to the surgical table. I sobbed and couldn't get out that I was terrified to die, or lose all my girly bits, and that an exhausted woman would be cutting into me.

When I finally got settled instead of protesting about Doctor McSleepy I blurted out how sorry I was that I hadn't shaved my legs. I was mortified that they had to deal with my hairy ham hocks. Where in the hell did that come from? I really wonder what function my brain is on half the time. I told them that I'd rather die with dirty underwear then unshaved legs. That got a laugh from the crew and a weird calm came over me. I think it was the drugs. I figured if I could joke about my stubbly chubby legs then it was a sign. The doc looked so awake all of a sudden. And I could breathe and relief coursed through me. An oxygen mask covered my face and it all went black.

I woke up to bright lights, horrifying pain radiating throughout my entire body, and a throat that was on fire. I was told that the surgery went great. They got out the ectopic pregnancy and the ruptured tube . No baby, one less tube, and I was alive. A different doc did the surgery, saying that the other had just come off 24 hours straight with no rest. Divine intervention maybe?

This doc gleamed about his work. Said my uterus looked great, as did both my ovaries. He even went on to talk about how many women conceive with only one tube. That is something I've yet to decide on. Try again? I've lost two pregnancies since October. I only have one tube left and if I have another ectopic then I'll have none.

My body has been through the ringer these past few months, my heart more so. Recovery is going slow but its going. The family is taking care of me and my friends are awesome. The hubby stayed home all week. Being here for me. It's been so hard on us and it's not going to be easy moving forward but he's my best friend. He's always there for me. That is my true constant in all of this. His love for me and I for him. I'm so afraid until I look into his eyes. He keeps me grounded. He makes me whole but I'm afraid now I'm so broken I won't come back. Now, it's the me I have to work on. And I can do it with him by my side. With him I can do anything.

One day at a time. One keystroke at a time I am getting Charli back. Thanks for listening. Until next time my cyber friends.

Oh, I found out that a fallopian tube can weigh up to 10 ounces, so my New Years resolution to lose some weight is technically on track. Bad joke, I know, but at least I'm joking around a little. Honk-honk.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Goodbye 2011: The Official Pity Party Post

To say that this has been one hell of a year is putting it mildly. Not all was bad, nothing ever is, but lots of it sucked, sucked big time.

This year has been filled with immense loss. The kind of loss that changes you and how you look at life. The kind that makes you shake your fist at God or whatever the hell is in charge and ask why? WTF did I ever do that was so damn bad?

My very good friend lost an election, a campaign I worked hard on. Not too hard as I was concentrating on my writing, but hard enough. It was a personal loss and the fact I could've fought harder for him weighs on me day in and day out. My community lost more than anything. A community I live in, was raised in, and hoped to retire in. Not so sure about that now. I never thought I'd leave my 'hood. But I am thinking about it more now.

My beloved Aunt succumbed to cancer after a long, hard, and courageous battle. I hadn't seen her much until we got the news it would only be days. Then, when I finally saw her, the light was fastly dimming. Again, the guilt weighs on me. I could've done more. I should've done more.

The day my Aunt passed was my niece's 13th birthday, the day I met Nicholas Sparks, and the day I miscarried the baby I waited two long years for. Yes, after so long waiting to get pregnant, I did, and it only lasted six weeks.

Life couldn't be crueler, I thought, but I was wrong. I got preggers again right away. YAY! I thought. Finally something good may come out of all this grief. I lost that baby too. On Christmas Eve, right in church, as the choir chimed out Silent Night, before God and the newborn Baby Jesus, the cramp of all cramps came. I rushed to the bathroom and there it was. Massive clumps of blood and tissue.

My sick and twisted sense of humor had me thinking things no good Irish Catholic girl should. My baby, Gloopy we named it, (the first we named Klumpy), landed in the bottom of a church toilet bowl. Is Church toilet water Holy Water, I thought, too traumatized to think seriously. I made the sign of the Cross, looked one last time trying to be sure of what I saw, and then flushed.

When I returned to my pew my Hubby looked at me and he knew. One look and he knew. I had to tell him later what exactly happened. He never got the Christmas Eve gift I had planned for him. The positive home pregnancy test and a pacifier that said, I Love Daddy. It sits in my nightstand drawer now. Unsure if it will ever be used.

Then there are the rejections from this year. The ones on my first and only completed MS. The one that has gone through three title changes and god knows how many revisions. Those hurt but I learned from them. One of those rejections even made my heart smile. A lovely agent passed but praised the writing. She's made of awesomesauce and I even had a picnic lunch with her and other writing buddies in NY this summer.

The rejection that nearly killed the writer in me was for a piece I was ASKED to write. Was sought out for and begged to write. A FB writing friend said she'd been following me and was a secret fan. Yay, I thought, I'm unpubbed and have a fan! She was the editor for an English as a second language magazine in Korea. (I know right, I should've known!) The magazine was legit, so far as I could tell by the Internet, and I said okay. This "friend" saw my author bio page and asked me to write about how the death of my beloved brother sparked the writer in me. I ran some ideas by her and she signed off on me writing 2,000 words about the day my brother died from the POV from when I was 12. I dug up newspaper articles from that day. I asked my mother things she hadn't thought about in years. For two gut wrenching weeks I typed my little heart out, opening wounds long healed and letting them bleed all over the page. I was proud of what I'd written and sent it off. My editor was all smiles and tears. Then time went on and on and on. And nothing. I sent out some emails and was told the editor left due to illness and the new one wasn't interested in my story.

Yeah. I had no words at first. Then I spewed some off. How dare they, I thought, ask me to drudge all this stuff up and then tell me thanks but no thanks. I have profound respect for those who write their memoirs. I only wrote 6 pages and still tear up when I think about it.

However, there is the bright side.My daughter is so amazing and I know I am blessed to have the honor of raising her. And I have my husband. My best friend and soul mate who I wouldn't have been able to get through any of this without. He's my heart and my soul and the reason I am able to type this today. After all these years together I love him more than I ever thought possible. He's my rock. He's my home.

I also got to see AJ twice, once in NY then later in Niagara Falls. I have a job, my health, family and friends who care about me. I have a great network of writers I surround myself with. I did win a contest and two editors from major houses are awaiting my full as I type.

But, the guts to send out anything is gone. At a conference I had another editor from one of the biggies ask for my work but she later rejected it. All confidence is gone and I am desperately trying to find it as I type this Woe is Me Pity Party Post.

I am hoping 2012 brings the Charli Mac gusto back. The big balls that match my big red nose are sadly missed.