Meet the Cast from Words from the ‘Rents: Introducing Diva

Car wreck

I know there has been a pause in posts, but I’ve been slammed with other work and quite frankly, I was saving this particular introduction for a particularly special day.

Today is that day.

If you’ve been following my other blog, or my Facebook page, then Diva really needs no introduction. But since I’m doing this for my new fans and followers, allow me to introduce her. Diva is my daughter. Her actual name is Taylor, but I’ve called her Diva since she was 13. Before that she was Diva-in-Training or DIT.

And today is the Diva’s birthday.

She has been the light of my life since she entered it 20-something years ago. She pretty, she’s smart, she’s wickedly savvy, and she has inherited the family wit. My exchanges with her are some of my favorite parts of the book. She is the perfect blend of brilliance and space cadet-ness.

The quote card above was from a conversation that occurred the day before Thanksgiving, I think in 2012. Maybe it was 2011. As you can figure out, she wrecked the car. It wasn’t her first accident.

It also wasn’t her last. But we’ll just let that go since neither accident was her fault. And I would be terribly remiss if I didn’t mention she is an awesome mother. Other than my adoration for her, I don’t think I’ve seen a mother adore a child as much as she does my granddaughter. It is a wonderful thing to witness.

And that is pretty much the cast from Words from the ‘Rents.

So, as promised, my next post will detail what writing this book was like.

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Meet the Cast from Words from the ‘Rents: Introducing Dad

Kill You

I mention in the book that my dad is so laid back he’s almost horizontal. That really doesn’t do him justice. I’ve never seen the man flustered in a crisis. Ever. I’m like him in that regard.

Dad is an everyman. He can fix a car, repair a washer, butcher a pig and build an addition to a house. I know this because I witnessed it all growing up, and even pitched in at times. He is a firm believer that a girl/woman should know how to do everything a boy/man can do…but thinks that if a man is around to do those things, he should be the one to do it. Which is why even though I mow a mean lawn and trim a mean hedge, with him around I seldom get to do it.

He’s a veteran of the Korean War. He’s shared some stories about his experiences over there, but all I know for sure is that for 28 months he either patrolled the border or drove trucks up and down the supply line, taking fire along the way.

He’s a man’s man who never wanted a son. He said he was too afraid he’d have a son just like him. I’ve heard the stories…he was right to be fearful. I know how I was as a kid, I can’t imagine how things might have been had I been a boy. I say me instead of my sister because she never got away with anything. I on the other hand…heh heh

A drill sergeant who seldom yelled and never cussed. Til this day I don’t think I’ve ever heard my dad utter a swear word. He’s also never had a drop of alcohol. Mom says dad cussed a bit when he was younger, but that if he was driven to that point, it was best to get out of line of sight. Both my mom and my aunt (one of Dad’s sisters) also confirm that he’s never drank.

Anyway, that’s a bit about my Dad. Just like mom, I don’t want to give too much away and ruin this or subsequent editions of Words from the ‘Rents, but at least those of you who aren’t familiar with my dad now have a bit of insight. However, I could have summarized this entire post with one sentence: Dad’s a cool dude. 🙂

Meet the Cast from Words from the ‘Rents: Introducing Mom

Shoes

This is a snippet from the book. Yes, my mother actually believes this and said it. I’m with her on the money and the food, but I’m not quite as keen on shoes as Imelda Marcos  Mary Belle.

I thought I would spend the next couple of posts filling you in on who is who. And since we’re quickly approaching Mother’s Day, it made sense to start with Mom.

My mother is responsible for my sarcasm. She is by far the most sarcastic person I know. The funny thing is, she doesn’t realize how funny she is at times. She’ll make an off-the-cuff remark, everyone laughs (at least those who “get” sarcasm) and she gets a confused look on her face. Which makes things just that much more funny.

She’s very devoted to her religion, which means she fights to urge to call me a heathen on a daily basis (at least). If it weren’t for her strong religious beliefs, she would worship both her granddaughter and her great-granddaughter.

And that is a brief description of my Mary Belle, the “Mom” in Words from the ‘Rents. I barely told you anything. When you read the book, you’ll get even more insight into what makes my not-even-five-foot-tall-because-she’s-shrinking mother tick.

🙂

PS – Come join the Facebook Page for the book.

Congrats, It’s a Book!

Today Words from the ‘Rents is officially released to the world! Of course, like any proud parent author, I’ve taken a bunch of pictures of my little bundle of joy. Check them out below.

Here she is in print on Amazon.com:

WftRAmPrint WftRAmPrintback

Amazon, Kindle/ebook style:

RentseBookV2

And on CreateSpace, also in print:

WftRCS

Isn’t she beautiful? I’m so proud! 🙂

Enjoy!

Part II – Along Came Facebook…

I joined Facebook in 2007, but didn’t really start to interact on the site until late in 2008. After an interaction with my parents when I came home to visit, I posted part of the conversation as my Facebook status.

People thought it was funny. I appreciated that. The one day I posted a snippet of a conversation I had with my daughter. Again, people thought it was amusing.

Hum…okay, so what I had been writing about for two years was still interesting to others. Good to know.

For the next couple of years, I could share a snippet here, a snippet there and with each share, the post got more attention. People started suggesting that a write a book and include the snippets. At first I laughed the idea off. I mean, I had tried that once before, and it wasn’t exactly a blockbuster idea.

Then again, this was a whole new era. People downloaded books and read them on screens. Ebooks are the norm now instead of being some novel idea that no one thought would catch on.

Huh. Maybe this was a good idea after all.

Earlier this year I started sifting through my Facebook posts and blog posts looking for material that would be interesting enough to put in a book. That took a while, like several months. I actually located blogs I had forgotten I had. I grabbed stories about mom and dad, my daughter, my ex, friends, work, writing…anything I thought might be interesting.

I selected the ones I really REALLY wanted in this book, and then wrote several more because I didn’t want the entire book to be a repeat. That didn’t seem fair or sporting. Of course, unless you’ve been friends with me on Facebook for several years, ALL of them will be new to you. But still can’t put out a book without, you know, writing a book. 

And that is the story behind how I decided to write Words from the ‘Rents. I’ve had a request to explain how I felt about the process…that will be a post for another day…but soon, I promise. 🙂 

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY! The book goes live. I’m sooo excited. This truly is a dream come true. Getting the proof in the mail and holding it in my hand was one of the best feelings ever. I really hope you all like the book. I can definitely get used to the feeling!

Come back tomorrow and I will have all the links to the book so you can get the version you want. Ebook? Got ya covered! Paperback? Just click the link.

See you tomorrow! 🙂

Why I Wrote Words from the ‘Rents

The short answer: because you told me to. But y’all know me well enough to know I only do what I want to do, no matter how many people are yelling at me.

So, here’s the real reason.

This book as been years in the making. I have been sharing snippets of my relationship with my parents, daughter, other family members and friends for years. It all started when I was chosen as a writer for an online e-zine called The Einkwell. I wrote a weekly column called Moments of Clarity. The entire column was me sharing about mom and dad, my husband, my daughter, the pets and my own strange spin about what was going on in the world. I wrote that column for two-and-half wonderful years, between 2000 and 2002.

But like many e-zines at the time, there was no real profit in the venture and the owner had to let the e-zine fold. I was devastated, and quite frankly I was rather unkind to the owner, a woman named Marcette Harvey. Marcette, if you’re out there, I want to publicly apologize for my behavior and my words. You did what you could and you gave me and other new writers a chance and a platform when you didn’t have to. For that I will forever be grateful.

Prior to the e-zine folding, I had compiled my weekly columns into a book, wrote a dozen or so new ones, gave it the same name as the column and published it as an ebook…that sold exactly five copies. Mind you, this was in 2002 when ebooks were in their infancy. But even though sales were nonexistent, I still got glowing reviews that revolved around the stories I told, especially the ones about my parents and my daughter.

So, when your column goes away and your book’s a flop, what’s a writer to do? Well this writer quit writing. I took a job in a call center and did that for a few years. Then we relocated to a different city and I worked in call centers and eventually got a job as a proposal writer for an insurance company. But all the while, I was storing away conversations from holiday gatherings, family vacations, phone conversations and other familial encounters. A part of me knew they would come in handy someday, I just didn’t know how or when.

Tune in tomorrow for Part II, “Then Along Came Facebook…”

Welcome!

This is the official blog for my book, Words from the ‘Rents! I could go into what a labor of love this book is and how it pays homage to my parents, daughter and other important people in my life, but I won’t.

Do you want to know what this book is about?

Conversations. Being real. Saying what you feel and accepting the consequences. Blank stares after hearing something you never thought you’d hear.

These conversations actually span a period of 30 years. I was a teen, my parents were younger and my daughter wasn’t even the thought of a thought. But the words of wisdom still ring true in my ears and my heart. Hopefully they will put a smile on your face too.

This blog will serve as the home for all things ‘Rent. The release schedule, my personal appearances, guest blog hosting, interview information will be be posted here. So, check back often and see what’s going on. This is also where I’ll provide insight into me. Me the person, me the writer and all the me’s in between.

So, welcome to my world. C’mon in, grab a refreshing beverage, get comfy and get ready. I think it’s gonna be a fun ride!

🙂