Tag Archives: children

A Word is A Word is A Barrage of Idiosyncrasies

describewords1

One cannot deny the brilliance of Words and the people they come from (everyone!) One cannot deny the effects they can have, the lasting nuances they can have, whether positive or negative. It’s almost impossible to define the word “Word” in and of itself, because the Word encompasses nearly everything. It’s like trying to define a dictionary. Life is a dictionary.

A Word can tell you everything you need to know about somebody. Whether they are crazy, calm, quaint, an idiot or just idiosyncratic. A Word can warn you of danger or tell you that you’re safe. A Word can describe a time, a day, a life, a song, a sequence or a kazoo. They can rhyme, they can reason, they can define and they can sing.

In fact, Words are a song all of their own.

And knowing how to place them is key.

(Flashback story time): I used to belong to a writer’s group and attended meetings regularly (almost religiously) and participated in events and activities as much as possible. One night, we had a guest speaker. A pretty famous guy who talked about all his published works, fiction and non, and all the things he had done in his life to put him where he is today. He even wrote a text book that is required reading in some colleges, and he’s done some research of grade-level reading. For various reasons I will not give a name, as I am unhappy with some advice he gave and do not want to discredit him in any way, he is a great writer and an awesome guy. Anyway, his advice was this: “If you want to make it as a writer, don’t write anything above a third grade level.” I GET where he is coming from on this. Hell, the New York Times and major science magazines write between 3rd-5th grade levels. Our average reading level in this country IS… 3rd grade.

I was at a 12th grade reading level when I was 8 years old. I’ve spun words since I was 9. I’ve been writing full size novels since I was 14. One of my proudest accomplishments at an elementary school level was being able to read full chapter books by the time I was 7 (six, if you count Baby Island.) His advice was ATROCIOUS to me.

Not just in that it goes against everything that writing and reading is all about, but that he would discredit SO MANY PEOPLE, to say that people won’t understand our writing unless we write so that an elementary school student can understand? How INSULTING.

To me, writing and reading is about EDUCATING. You want to write so a school kid can understand, then that’s ok. But in my opinion, you better be writing a children’s novel.

I learned most of the words I know by reading, and reading beyond my grade level. If you write with the confidence that your readers are smart enough to understand, it doesn’t matter if you’re writing at a 3rd grade or college level. Here’s what I did when I came across words I didn’t know: I looked them up (remember dictionaries? Google nowadays?). Reading at an early age is the reason why I love words and use them. They’re the reason why growing up my two favorite books were a Dictionary and Thesaurus.

Think of it this way. If your reader didn’t love to read and learn, they wouldn’t be reading. Don’t insult them and yourself by bringing down the “intelligence level” of your writing. You’re all brilliant, some may just have never been told so.

So I’m telling you so.

Keep on reading everything you can. Get your children to read. Continuing the education and development and expansion of the human mind is dependent on reading. Don’t be afraid to try reading new things- You never know what you may learn!

Stacey

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“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity”

-Edgar Allan Poe

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cover    For more information on my published novels, click here!

thevillagepoetpress  Visit The Village Poet Press (My publishing company)

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The Made in China Noodles

twoyearoldpic

So yesterday, as I was babysitting my five and two year old nieces, I learned some valuable lessons. 1. It’s ok to be silly occasionally, 2. One bite of everything in the kitchen is sometimes the only way you can get a toddler to eat lunch, 3. The Evil Skeleton Man who steals lego trees from lego Yoda’s house can build his own plane to fly after Yoda and his posse when they steal the trees back, HOWEVER, he magically cannot follow them into the cave because… I’m not sure why… but eventually, Yoda feels bad and gives him back ONE of the trees, in which, according to instructions, the Evil Skeleton Man has to immediately return to Yoda’s house and steal again. 4. Almost every toy in America is made in China.

This was pointed out to me by my five year old niece who can read a few small words, and spent ten minutes pointing out to me all the toys she had that said “made in china”. She would find on the toy where it said “made in china”, hand the toy to me so I could see for myself, and then in a conveyer belt like situation, I would then hand the toy to the two year old who would look at it, nod introspectively, and immediately feed it to her doll.

Most of the toys were pretend foods, bananas and little piles of plastic peas and fake spices and little jars of brand-name foods (I suppose, somewhere, some head-hancho in charge at the giant food factories said “We could make a fortune if we designed cheap little fake food toys with our labels, have the Chinese make them for 6 cents an hour, and distribute them throughout America. Free advertising, cheap labor, everybody wins!” ) Anyway… where was I. Oh yes. The made in china fake food.

One of the toys was a small pile of fake rigatoni and meatballs. The five year old hands it to me and says, “I can’t find where it says made in China. But that’s probably made in China too.” I look it over carefully, I say, “Nope, I don’t see it either.” She takes it back, studies it in an apparent obsession to prove herself right (that it was indeed a made in China toy) and finally finds the miniscule print on the edge of one of the pretend rigatoni. Sure enough… Made in China. “Good eye.” I tell her, handing it over to the two year old, who looks it over thoughtfully, nods and says “Yup. China.” I laugh, and we continue our game. As soon as the two year old has all the toys and her doll is pretty full by now, we distribute the “food” amongst the other dolls, stuffed bears and baby princesses. Then the mama has to go shopping for her baby princess, so my five year old niece grabs a baby stroller (ahem, “shopping cart”) and begins to “shop”, an excuse to take all the pretend food back from the dolls and her sister so she can be the only one playing with them again.

The two year old is quick to catch on to this tactic, and the demands to keep certain toys commence. The ice cream, the can of Roserita’s Refried Beans (Traditional Flavor) and a banana. She looks around, she is missing something. As I am telling the five year old to share the toys with her sister, the two year old is uninterested in anything offered. I ask, “What are you looking for sweetie?” And she suddenly demands, “I want Made In China noodles!!”

And from then on, the rigatoni and fake meatballs was referred to as “The Made In China Noodles”, or “China Noodles” for short (because let’s face it, The Made In China Noodles is hard for a two year old to say).

It was adorable to say the least, and she didn’t understand what was so funny to me. But it made me realize that how kids process what they hear (which is everything, EVERYTHING, no matter how quiet you say it or how many rooms away they are, or how hard you deny) is so literal, down to earth and exactly what  they see, it makes me wonder where and when in a person’s life between childhood and adulthood do they learn to internalize what they think? A child cannot comprehend not saying what’s on their mind, exactly the way they see it. (Some, albeit, are a little more literal than others. For instance, the pink bow CANNOT go with the green frog, because the frog is green, so it HAS to be the GREEN bow. This, I will never forget. Though, logically, it makes sense.) They all still tend to say exactly what they see.

I’ve been struggling the past few years to overcome the urge to never say what’s on my mind. It doesn’t help that I can’t really pinpoint when it began, or who in my life told me it wasn’t all right to speak my mind (because damn them, it made life difficult for awhile there) Now, for the most part, yes, I speak up when the need arises. But I don’t think I could ever get to the point again that a toddler is naturally. Where the sun is shining because it IS. It snows outside so we can play in it (duh). Where fake plastic noodles made in China aren’t fake, aren’t plastic, and aren’t made in a little Chinese factory with overworked and underpaid “staff”- But they are the baby princess’ lunch. Where the sparkly green bow goes with the green frog because it’s green. There’s no point in analyzing it- the logic is all right there.

I have two memories from when I was two years old. I have a vague remembrance of that “It is because it is” mindset. It makes me wonder, why do I feel the need to over analyze things so badly now?

Why can’t I be like a child and tell things as they are, all while letting my imagination take me on the wildest adventures possible?

The world will never really know when this ability dissipates or how, but it comes at different times for everyone, and in this society… Most often always comes. It doesn’t have to. So, while you’re reading this blog and I’m trying to understand again what a two year old already instinctively knows… I’ll also state that I had the time of my life yesterday, and I love those little darlings with all my heart!!

Stacey

 

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Christmas Blessings

Christmas-Tree-Fireplace-1024-127315

My Christmas Blessings for the year 2012:

1. A brand new niece

2. Four other wonderful nieces that are and will always be my inspiration

3. The first snowflake on Christmas Eve so light you can see all six points of the ice crystal on your glove

4. Eggnog and coffee, and vegan Christmas cake

5. Destroyed bon bons in which turned into My Magical Coconutty Slivers of Life that people still loved

6. Seeing my grandparents again, which doesn’t happen nearly enough

7. Wonderful friends, family and followers

Thank you, everyone, all my dedicated readers and friends, for being part of my life! Have a very merry Christmas!!

 

Stacey

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What it means to be an aunt

What does  it mean to be an aunt?

It means that you know a certain, special kind of love that you can feel no other way. It means that you care about these special little people in a way that you never knew possible. It means that you can be a mother figure and a friend, a partner in adventure and a shoulder to cry on. It means discovery and compassion and learning for both you and your nieces/nephews. It means you get to know these little people like no other- because you’re the aunt, you’re a confidant, and sometimes you have to be strict like a mom (but usually they know they can get away with more with you than they can mom or dad) and it also means that it gives you a chance to relive your own childish impulses.

It’s a special kind of balance that one must find, to be an aunt. You can’t let them get away with anything dangerous- but you can run through the sprinklers with them on Easter afternoon and if anyone looks at you funny, you can say “Oh I’m not their mom, I’m their aunt.” And people laugh. You’re expected to be a child and you’re expected to be fun, but also expected to be an adult. Like I said, a balance.

I’ve been through every stage of aunthood from newborn to preteen, and I’ve learned more in these years than I would learn any other way without them. I honestly could not imagine life without them- and even more of an honest admittance, they’ve probably kept me out of more trouble than I care to admit. (I became an aunt for the first time at 16. When you’re an aunt and faced with a tough and/or potentially irresponsible decision, your thoughts become “What will my nieces think of me?” Or even better yet, “What if they copy me??” No way.)

So I’ve learned every trick in the book to find that balance between friend and substitute mother (though, I still know nothing.) I have some tips for all those who are aunties (and I’m sure this whole blog pertains to uncles, too.)

**The pictures in this blog are for affect. They’re not my actual nieces because I have no permission from their mothers to use their pictures. Yes, as the aunt, you need their mother’s permission as much as they do.**

The Newborns to six months:

If you’re holding a baby this age, chances are mama needs a break. By now, you’ve already learned the tricks to rocking a baby to sleep, feeding them, calming their tears- or having patience when none of the above works. Once in a while, you’re going to have to change a diaper or two. But in some cases, when any of the above occurs- You can hand them right back to their mamas.

The upside: You get to be there from the first days of their lives and watch their milestones- their first smile, their first coo and expressions, the joy you feel when they finally learn to roll over on their own (and learning what panic REALLY feels like for the first time when they demonstrate their new ability right as you’re changing their diaper and they roll WAYY too close to the edge. Oops. Don’t tell mom. It’s a well-known fact that moms panic worse than aunties.) You get to share in the new moments that come with their first bites of “solid” food and when they can sit up (with assistance) and kick their legs and- it’s a beautiful time.

The Infants six months to two years:

This is a busy age. And an ever-changing one. In such a short span of time they go from scooting to crawling to toddling to walking to running (in that uncoordinated toddler way that often leads to bumps on their bottom. Hurray for diapers. Sometimes I think they’re better for breaking falls than their original purpose.) They go from puree cereal to finger-picking whole cheerios and you get to learn just how many inventive ways a child this age can get messy and how many ways it’s truly unpreventable and how often they must be cleaned. The element of surprise is essential. Playing is sometimes as easy as hiding behind a washcloth and saying “peek-a-boo” when they least expect it.

The upside: This is a FUN age. These are the months where you really get to know them, learn who they are with them, their habits and their likes and dislikes and personalities. This is also the age you’ll find yourself crawling around with them on the floor, picking them up and rocking them, giving them rides on your shoulders and calming their tears. Sharing with them smiles and giggles and toys and learning all the ways that a simple gesture of love can fix a boo-boo. A kiss or a cuddle or a talking stuffed animal (whose voice is supplied by you, of course. But they don’t know that.)

The Toddler two to four years:

These are the years that spawn the words “Uh-oh”, “No-no” and “I love you”. These are the years where infancy disappears and suddenly you’re left with this rambunctious little one with the wildest ideas and the funniest things to say. And sometimes, the most righteous tantrums you’ve ever seen.

The upside: You get your exercise, you learn what fun really is, and just how much love one tiny little person can have for you, and certainly vice versa. By now, you should know their food choices and that they change day-to day, with the occasional months-long phases of eating nothing but one single item (usually something like chicken nuggets). You learn that playing pretend is more than just a game. That when they designate you a fairy or an elephant- you ARE that fairy or elephant until further notice (which may be NOW, and it may be in three days). You learn that repetition doesn’t mean something repeated two or three times. It’s something that is done over and over and over until 1. You find an adequate distraction or 2. THEY get tired or bored. Because your exhaustion means nothing, and your boredom certainly doesn’t count. You know that children learn through repetition- and you don’t have nearly as much energy as they do. Also, as an aunt, when they throw a tantrum, unless in immediate harms’ way- it’s time to get mama and watch her argue with a stubborn-as-stone toddler. But best of all: You learn that their hugs can fix you just as much as your hugs can fix them.

The Little One four to six years:

Guess what? This age is even faster. And just when you think they’ve outgrown the dangerous phases, they get worse. The boo-boos often go from bumped noggins and stubbed toes to skinned knees and twisted ankles. More bandaids are needed (and not just for the affect of caring for a non or barely-existent wound and magically curing it with a bandaid) but because now, they’re actually needed. Your job, as the aunt, is to keep up with them. But if something goes really wrong or you get tired- it’s time to get mom or dad.

The upside: As they continue to grow and learn and experience life- you find yourself doing the same thing. You can relate to them on a child’s level and relive your childhood. Barbies and dinosaurs are highlights of their days and weekends and every waking moment. Sidewalk chalk and crayons and pencils. You get to watch them learn their colors and alphabets and numbers. You’re expected to join in at their level. Pretend to be a child again.

The Big Kids ages six to ten:

What an age. School and homework and outside friends that are less playmates and more close and meaningful friendships, also increasing the potential for drama that your niece or nephew are stuck trying to figure out how to handle. By this time, you’re usually done tying shoes and wiping little faces and putting on hats and chopping up their food so they don’t choke. Now you’re beginning to learn that they’re growing up, but haven’t grown up yet. As an aunt, you need to keep a close eye on what they no longer need help with (shoes) to what they do still need help with (that difficult jacket) and sometimes they still need a hug and a kiss with their bandaid to fix their boo-boo, and sometimes they roll their eyes and can “do it themselves now, duh.”

The upside: Despite the fact that you’re having to step back a little more and give them room to grow and breathe and become independent- as the aunt, you’re still the one they can go back to when they’re insecure and need to be a little kid again for awhile before resuming their roles as the Big Kid. They know they can still be read to, curl up in your lap, get a hug and get tucked in at night. They’re not afraid to cry and throw tantrums and know you’ll be as understanding and patient as you can possibly be.

The Preteen ages ten to thirteen:

Oh boy. What an age. The gifts you give them are no longer that barbie they’ve had their eyes on- but those pretty pink earrings and hip new shirts or accessories or makeup (I honestly have no idea what boys this age like. I have nieces, so this particular age group is girl oriented.) You’re finding yourself more overwhelmed as an aunt than any other age. You thought holding a screaming baby was hard. Try comforting the tears of a ten year old who was insulted by her best friend in school. Boys are beginning to outgrow their cooties in the eyes of a girl. Tears and emotional upsets and independence and looks and shoes and relationships suddenly become their priorities (when I say relationships, I don’t mean love interests. What I refer to that their relationships with all the people in theirs lives change, fromthe friend to the parents to the teachers and boys.) You find yourself at a loss the moment you realize they’re no longer Big Kids. From the first swear word they say (and mean) to the first time they refer to the opposite sex as anything but “icky.”

The Upside: As an aunt your job is very, very tricky. You find yourself reliving the moments of your own pre-adolescence and the times you began noticing boys and learning about your body and barbies are no longer the interest of your life. The trick is to use this remembrance as much as possible to help you understand your Preteen niece or nephew and be there to hold their hand when they need it, and let go when they feel they don’t. You’re going to see them fall, you’re going to see them fail, and you’re going to stand back and let them know you’re there when they need you. You’re going to see them get back up, you’re going to see them succeed, and if you’re in their lives for any amount of time, you’re going to realize that you had a hand in it all along,  and your influence now is just as important as every other time in their life.

I don’t know what being an aunt to a teen is like yet, but I can tell you, I’m looking forward to the new experiences it will bring. Of course, as I google the word “Teens” to find a decent picture of a teenager or a picture to portray the essence of a teen for this blog, my screen is utterly FILLED to the brim of oversexualized teens either kissing, borderlining porn, trying to look like models, and even some pregnant ones. I realize now: Oh boy, I’ve got my work cut out for me. As the aunt, am I allowed to declare boys, tank tops, make up, driving, magazines, bikinis, and Justin Beiber off-limits? Do I have that power?

Watch me.

Anyway….

Being an aunt is a tricky job all around, and an important one. Here are some tips and tricks to help you through the times.

When a child asks a difficult question:

Inappropriate response: “Uh, I don’t know.”

Adequate response: “Go ask your mom.”

Bandaids go a long way. Even if the injury in question isn’t there- slap a bandaid on it.

When a preteen comes crying about their friends or boys, it’s your job to be a crying shoulder and a listener- not a dictator or the one to give a lecture. Just listen. It’s ok to relay your own experiences when you were their age, and how you handled it. In fact, it’s essential at times to do just that. But never lecture. They came to you for comfort and friendship and support. You’re not the substitute mother right now.

Appropriate nick-names:

Newborns and Infants: Baby, Little Baby, Love, Goober (haha, if the parents don’t know) and adding an “ee” sound to the end of their names.

Toddlers to Little Ones: Sweetie, Honey, Little One, Monkey, Banana, Bug, Big Girl/Boy

Big Kids: Sweetie, Monkey, Big Kid,or personalized nicknames. All of these are subject to change depending on whether the child finds them public appropriate or not. You can usually get away with calling them these things when not around their friends or strangers, or when they’re feeling mushy or not feeling good, even around others.

Preteens: Don’t nickname them unless they have an already well-established nickname that they consider public appropriate. They will let you know exactly when they have outgrown a nickname and when they haven’t. The same rule for Big Kids applies for Preteens however: Sometimes you can get away with pet names or nick names when not around friends or strangers. And guess what? You’re the aunt, you can pet name or nickname them all you want, haha. Even if they complain. So if you’ve called them “Monkey” since birth, then by gosh, call them Monkey at eleven years old. Just not in front of their friends.

Essentially, what it means to be an aunt is that you are an important and loving part of their lives, and they an important and loving part of yours. And whether you realize it or not- your presence in their lives will making an impression with them for all time. Be proud to be an aunt. I know I am.

Stacey

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WTF…?

I’ve been doing a lot of research around the internet lately. Blogs, pictures, websites, whatever catches my fancy and truthfully, most everything does. Some things have become quite the curiosity for me, and I’ve decided there are a few things about this culture I do not understand. If anybody has some wise explanation for the existence of these strange, almost animalistic behaviors, by all means please enlighten me!

1. Planking.

This is not me planking

Talk about an (excuse the acronym) “OMG” moment. Or more like a “WTF” moment. What is the appeal of planking? I admit, the first one or two pictures I saw of someone planking was somewhat entertaining (haha, look at what that strange person is doing). But then I began to realize it has become a cultural obsession! How long has this bizarre behavior been going on? Where was I when it began? (Answer: Not planking.)

And people are just taking it too damn far, in my opinion. Not just by exhibit photo A (above), but this is proof of its gluttonous over-usage:

Now cook on HIGH for 4 minutes, turn once, and....

Who in their right minds would plank a baby on a microwave? That’s not cute. That’s dangerous and absurd.

The only form of planking I really understand is if it’s for some kind of act, something for entertainment as in contortionists and performers, for instance, this:

This is pretty cool

But this one is for entertainment and to show off your hard work and the skills that are produced from that hard work. Otherwise planking, to me, seems like a bunch of idiots laying around on their stomachs, propping themselves up on stuff or sticking their heads in toilets to look-… I don’t even know. Is “cool” the word I’m searching for? What term do the plankers use?

2.Taking pictures of your children with money

Is that how much he cost?

This is only one of literally hundreds I have discovered while scouring the internet for information. This one honestly baffles me. I just can’t figure out the “why”. WHY take pictures of your children with money? It seems to be most popular with babies. I just… the reason, the appeal, the whatever is just not there for me. Are we really so obsessed with money that we equate it to life?

3. The absurd over-usage of meaningless acronyms (or TAOUOMA, for short)

I concur

Now the usage of acronyms has been around forever, in every aspect of life and professions ranging from healthcare to the military to  ship captains and more. The idea is as a time saver. So you don’t have to write out full explanations that take up a lot of time or space, or acronyms used to shorten titles so they aren’t so long to say. Some common examples of typical abbreviations you may or may not have heard, but most you probably have, and I threw in a couple of old ones:

CD– Compact Disc (Common usage since CDs were born)

ASAP– As Soon As Possible (Common usage)

SOB– Shortness of Breath (Healthcare usage) We all know its other meaning.

PDQ– Pretty Damn Quick (Common usage in the 1800’s)

CQD– Come Quick Distress (Used by ship captains before SOS was put into effect)

SOS– This actually does not have an alphabetic equal. This has a morse code equivalent as …_ _ _… and that is how it was first established in Germany in 1905. It became known as SOS because the code spells SOS. In some places, the _ _ _ in morse code stands for the number 5, and there the code is known as S5S. SOS stopped being used, officially, in 1999.

ETA– Estimated Time of Arrival (Used primarily in the Military)

AWOL– Absent Without Leave (Used primarily in the Military)

MIA– Missing In Action (Used primarily in the Military)

APB– All Points Bulletin (Used primarily in law enforcement)

BYOB– Bring Your Own Beer [or Bottle] (Used for parties in which the host just invited a bunch of alcoholics and doesn’t want to spend an inordinate amount of money on alcohol. Or, for short: If you want to drink, bring your own!)

BM– Bite Me (Uncommon usage) or Bowel Movement (Healthcare usage)

DIY– Do It Yourself (Common usage)

FAQ– Frequently Asked Questions (Common usage)

LEO– Law Enforcement Officer (guess)

FIFO– First In, First Out (Used primarily in food service)

The government is super good at acronyms: CIA, DHS, TSA, FBI, ICE,

Super good- just check out this list!

And it continues on. Nowadays, everything is turned into an acronym!

I’ll start by being fair and admitting that I use some acronyms too.

Acronyms I use regularly:

LOL- Laugh out Loud

IB– I’m Back

BRB– Be Right Back

TTYL– Talk To You Later

Acronyms I use sparingly:

WTF- What The Fuck (I only use this one when the implication is extreme.)

OMG– Oh My God (Only used with an undertone of sarcasm- and even then I feel my self-decency shrivel away as I use it.)

BTW– By The Way (This one is just habit.)

That’s pretty much it. LOL I adopted when it first began being used in the late nineties. Some of the others I adopted because of short-hand texting and limits to the length of texts on old or crappy phones.

BUT…

OMFG,WTF,LOL,ROTFL,LMFAO,TY,NVM,SMH,FML,B/C,J/K,BF,BFF,GF,NG,CAD,CYA,FOB,FU,G2B,AAMOF,HTH,IMNSHO, WYSIWYG, BBLBNTSBO, Et Cetra. (I’ll post the meanings to these at the bottom in case you don’t know.)

This is extreme. It’s said that in fifty years, we won’t even use words anymore, it’ll all be acronyms. To me, this is lazy and annoying. Maybe I’m old fashioned or being on the cusp of Generation X and Generation Y, I’m more X than Y. I also don’t believe that acronyms, unless shortened as a title, or something too long or hard to say easily (CD, DVD, FAFSA, ETC.) should be spoken, especially not in every day conversation. Every time I hear somebody say “OMG” or “WTF” or “BFF” or “LMFAO” I want to slap them and tell them to use big-boy or big-girl words. Like I said, maybe I’m just not as Generation Y as one might expect of an early 80’s baby.

3.2- Full words shortened into acronyms

PLS/PLZ– Please

THX– Thanks

ABT– About

B4– Before

Just as annoying! (Handy for text limits, however)

Anyway, this is just three of many. So, like I said, if anyone can explain this phenomena, just let me know! Thx and Ttyl!

Stacey

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Acronyms meanings:

OMFG,WTF,LOL,ROTFL,LMFAO,TY,NVM,SMH,FML,B/C,J/K,BF,BFF,GF,NG,CAD,CYA,FOB,FU,G2B,AAMOF,HTH,IMNSHO, WYSIWYG, BBLBNTSBO,

Oh My Fucking God, What The Fuck, Rolling On The Floor Laughing, Laughing My Fucking Ass Off, Thank You, Never Mind, Shaking My Head, Fuck My Life, Because, Just Kidding, Boyfriend (or Best friend), Best Friends Forever, Girlfriend, No Go, Control Alt Delete, See Ya, Fuck Off Bitch, Fucked up or Fuck You,Going To Bed, As A Matter Of Fact, Hope This Helps, In My Not So Humble Opinion,What You See Is What You Get,Be Back Later But Not Too Soon Because Of…

AND…

If you’re going to plank, don’t do it in a toilet. Or at least, make sure you’ve flushed the toilet first.

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The Jealousy Between Small Pets and Your Keyboard

My Jezzie

It never fails. I am left alone for hours in order to browse others’ blogs and read at my heart’s content without interruptions, but as soon as I decide I want to actually write one, the chihuahuador wants a cuddle.

Don’t get me wrong, I love her to pieces, she’s my baby and she’s still not feeling entirely herself after her surgery, I have no problems cuddling her. But why is it small pets asking for attention only want the spot on your lap (or desk) that is currently occupied by your keyboard?

Jealousy. And who can blame them? It’s bigger than they are, it’s warm, and it seems to be taking up an inordinate amount of their owner’s attention. Why? Think about it from their perspective. What is so interesting about that white (or black) plastic contraption that makes those human hands stroke it so lovingly, when those hands could be stroking their soft shiny fur?

It’s an odd sort of sibling rivalry, in which the small, furry and warm tail-wagger or paw-licker tries desperately hard to get their mom or dad’s attention while the other, much less warm, plastic electronic brother or sister gets all the attention. Is there no bigger injustice in this world to that poor animal??

I live in a small room and sit on my bed in order to type at my computer, and me and the keyboard in my lap take up less than 1/4 of the bed. But when Jezzie wants on the bed, she wants the spot the keyboard happens to be sitting in- even if it isn’t in my lap. It’s like the rest of the bed isn’t even there.

It’s no mystery that small animals are strange. All animals have their own personalities, but it’s the small ones that tend to overindulge in their particularities. Eccentricities, one may venture to call them.

And what happens when you DON’T move that keyboard?

They pretend the keyboard isn’t even there. But  they don’t just go plop on it. They’re sneaky. Here’s Jezzie’s style of stealth:

First, upon jumping on the bed, she looks around at the rest of the bed and has already decided it doesn’t exist, so she turns to me. Seeing me with the keyboard on my lap, my hands hovering above it, she stares at me and gives me 1.5 seconds to turn my attention solely to her. If I don’t, she does one of two things: Gives the underside of the keyboard a nice nudge with her nose in attempts to knock it out of “her” spot, or paws my hand once or twice. Her satisfaction lasts only a moment past the pat I give her on her head or her shiny black fur, then she makes it very clear she wasn’t looking for a “good dog” and a “good day”, she’s looking for actual attention that will take up as much of my time as she deems necessary.

Pay attention to me

So she’ll resort to angrier methods, such as pawing my hands with her claws. When that doesn’t work- she turns on the dramatics. And this dog can be dramatic! Letting out a big long sigh and a huff, she circles a couple of times and lays in a ball, curled up next to my side- her face intentionally turned away from me. When I pet her, she ignores ME, and lets out a huff of irritation if I persist in trying to make amends for my apparent earlier diss.

Jezzie's Diss

So I give up, I sigh, and I turned back to my keyboard. For up to a full two minutes she’ll allow me to work, waiting just long enough to ensure that I have “forgotten” about the little ball of fuzz laying next to my leg, ignoring me in pretension as she plots her next move.

And most of the time, she knows exactly how long to wait. Because it isn’t until I’ve opened a new blog page, blank microsoft word document, or someone IMs me that she launches into her next plan of action.

Mid-stroke, mid-word or mid-response, focused on my duties, I notice a slight shift beside me and all of the sudden this long black form stretches out over my keyboard, belly up, looking for a belly rub with innocence on her face and a little wag in her tail, even though it’s quite obvious by her little bit of squirming and pained expression that laying on this particular surface isn’t the most comfortable place to lounge.

"Now what are you gonna do?"

And, then, of course, the added bonus that my IM, blog, or writing now spells

skldhfhhhhhh;;;””p’plllslssssssoghhioghioggjjjjjjjj;;;’.//,..

And she manages to squirm enough to hit “enter” in the process, thus sending somebody the eloquent Instant Message of:

skldhfhhhhhh;;;””p’plllslssssssoghhioghioggjjjjjjjj;;;’.//,..

And the receiving party of that instant message wonders if I’ve stroked out.

I try to scold, “Jezzie!” But that does no good. She’s won. She’s impervious to my frustration, especially as I find it funny and can’t manage to say her name without having to stifle a laugh. (Point in fact, and this applies to young children as well: When having an argument, once you laugh, they’ve won and everyone knows it.)

Giving up, I finally pull my keyboard out from under her, toss it aside to pet her, and cuddle her, give her the attention she wanted…

Jezzie gets her way

and then two seconds later, she hears a noise… gets up and runs off faster than my camera can capture. I think my dog has ADHD.

Where'd she go??

Well that has been my saga, and the reason this was published before I even started it (she laid on the keyboard while I was typing it out and somehow got it to publish itself) the reason it took almost a full hour to complete (the above scenario repeated itself about six times) and the reason I’m laughing so hard right now. Gotta love your pets and all their eccentricities!

Good day!

Stacey

Our compromise

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* Follow My Fantasy Novel *

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* My Video Blog *

* My Written Blog *

 

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Courage, Self-Sacrifice, and Old Vampire Dudes

So, they’ve changed the layout of the new blog post page. I’m not too good with change. Either because I’m a creature of routine (which, I imagine most people are) or I am wayyy too opinionated about things and am under the false belief that I should not express those opinions out loud. Because I tend to get in trouble when I do.

So, I had a few things on my mind I would like to share. Don’t worry, none of it is political. Just writing.

When my amazing ten year old niece asks “why would you make your main character a really old vampire dude?” I wish to say (but do not), “because he is a really HOT old vampire dude” (She is as yet not allowed to read my series. It’s not child appropriate, but I have told her a bit about my characters) And her question sparks my curiosity. Why IS my main character an “old vampire dude”? Surely it has more to do with just his hot half Italian half Spanish looks and suave hair and his tough soldier attitude with a loving and caring mentality toward his family, his self-sacrificing ideologies when it comes to protecting those he loves and his followers and his dedication for that of which he stands up for and believes in.

But possibly because he has no qualms about SPEAKING UP for what he believes in, and making it quite clear what he stands for.

I believe that my main character is somewhat a portrayal of what I WANT to be more than what I AM, as some theorize their characters tend to be “who they are” in a way. (And to make this clear, I would not like to be a tall Italian/Spanish “old vampire dude” regardless of how hot I find him to be. Maybe I would like to HAVE one, but not BE one) but the attitude he possesses is one of which I wish I could portray within myself, and portray to the world. I want to be able to, and be in a position, of which I can speak my mind. Hell, he’ll speak his mind whether appropriate for his position or not. However, in book one he happens to be king of his own royal line and commander of his own army that protects those in the “underworld” (vampires, sorcerers, werewolves, etc.) from an infamous enemy of centuries of cruel and brutal ways. So that’s not really an issue. He’s supposed to speak his mind.

This is a hard concept to explain to a ten year old, but I kind of wish I’d tried. It took me some time to realize this myself.

Why I made him a “he”, I’m not sure, except his female counterpart (just as self-sacrificing and strong as he) was killed by their enemy in the ultimate self-sacrifice for her people and her family of which sparked the whole series. Why I made him a vampire was unquestionable (he needed to live a really long time) and why I made him my main character- I’m not sure. The very first draft written back in the end of 1999, the original main character was a young 22-year-old female (who ends up being an off-and-on main character throughout the series) who sees visions. However, the book sort of chugged along until my main character was thought up, and he just seemed… right. He had connections through the whole book and the whole series and he was what kind of made the series.

It’s truly my belief that female writers favoring female characters, and male writers favoring male characters is a total myth. Sure, I bet there are plenty of female writers that “feel” (most likely are TOLD) that their characters HAVE to be female to be believable. Or that men tend to write their female characters too manly (also a myth)- but it’s not true. Someone who is true to themselves, and true to their characters can develop those characters of which are closest to them and remarkable to their readers no matter the gender or type of person that character is.

It’s all about personal strengths and weaknesses, in my opinion. If you use your strengths to the best of your abilities, and work on your weaknesses to further your potential, you can go whatever route and succeed. Hell, you can apply that logic to life as well as writing (or anything else).

I will admit I have an obsession with soldiers, family, children and vampires. And that I’ve grown to love my werewolves though they aren’t soldiers, their family dynamics are different than what I’m used to writing and their ideologies on life are quite different from those of my vampires/humans in a way of which they are more primal. Perhaps why I like them. One of my main obsessions also happens to be the primal nature of a human being and that is kind of what they represent.

I have epic battles in my stories, though I am opposed to needless violence. There’s always meaning behind the violence in my stories (defending themselves against the enemy, the primal nature of the werewolves, those of whom are protecting their families, enemies in this type of genre tend to have to be violent in certain ways in order for the good characters to progress and learn and become better for learning to defend themselves and their people, etc.) A lot of my characters are soldiers because 1. My series revolves around an army that protects “underworld” characters mentioned above, not just from said enemy but from other threats such as “real-world mortals”. 2. Because to me, a true soldier is self-sacrificing and brave, putting themselves on the line for the protection of others. Do not read anything political into this. I feel the same way about EMTs, some forms of healthcare (such as trauma surgeons, nurses in certain fields, people willing to put themselves in danger for the better of others) And I have plenty of healers and medics in my stories that do just that. I’m addicted to the idea of courage and self-sacrifice.

I have an obsession to family because I believe that there’s nothing more important in life than family (whether blood-relations, non-blood relations, close friends or those adopted into your life in such a way they become family) and nothing is as strong of a motivator as one’s love for their family.

I’m obsessed with children because, as my favorite Werewolf Alpha Female, whose species is borderline extinct, says, “children are a means to existence”. Without children, our species would not continue, so we better have them and treat them right. My series would not continue the way it does unless my characters had children, it’s just that simple. I switch perspectives, I switch characters to keep the flow going, and if I didn’t develop new ones once and awhile, the whole story would fall stagnant. That, and I just love children and always have.

And my obsession with vampires lies with two things- I just think they’re awesome, and I needed some way that my characters could be immortal, and still humanistic. My soldier vampires know that they’re “mortal” in the sense that they’re putting their lives on the line for others, and their jobs call for them to do so. But I still needed them to be able to live forever if I wanted them to. I can’t stand losing characters, though I will if I have to for the good of the story (such as the female character’s self-sacrificing murder to begin the series plot.)

AND, last but not least, I’m addicted to the idea of courage and self-sacrifice because I do not believe there is enough of that in this world. I believe if more people would work for the good of others, there wouldn’t be so much needless violence. I also believe that most people have courage within themselves, but possibly just don’t know it, and I hope that my characters inspire those people to find that courage within themselves and use it to better themselves. The more I write, the more I learn about courage, and I’m learning that I have more of it than I originally thought. I think most do, too.

So that’s all for tonight. Thanks 🙂

Stacey

P.S. WordPress, I hate this new setup. Please change it back 🙂

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http://sangueseries.wordpress.com/

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http://www.youtube.com/user/StaceyKatheryn

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http://www.facebook.com/staceykatheryn

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http://www.staceykatheryn.wordpress.com

 

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