Marilyn Pappano

Have you ever heard of the author Marilyn Pappano?? Yeah… me neither. She has written over 80 books… but they fall under the ROMANCE genre, which isn’t something I read normally. Her latest… A Hero To Come Home To… has been on many ‘must read’ lists lately so I thought I’d check her out.

She wrote an essay on the topic ‘Why I Write’. My jaw dropped as I read it. Except for a paragraph towards the end… I could have written this exact essay!!! It was almost like she read my mind and wrote it all down. Well… and of course I haven’t written any books yet, so there’s that portion to omit.

I rejoice!!! I am not alone!!! I’m not crazy!! OK… I went a little far… but I’m sure you get my drift. Read the essay below and tell me what you think.

Copied from the Publlishers Weekly site… dated November 8, 2013 is her essay:

When I told my mom the news of my very first book sale, she heaved a sigh of relief. “So you’re not weird, after all. You’re a writer, and writers are supposed to be eccentric.”

That, in its simplest form, is why I write. It’s not what I do; it’s who I am. Though, yeah, it was nice having an excuse for my persistent weirdness

But there are other reasons. I write to escape, to grow, to make use of a world where I don’t always fit in. I write to share my emotions and opinions, to make sense of life, and to use up the surplus of words that float around in my brain. I’ve always been a talker, and if not for the outlet the books provide, people would be hugely sick of my voice.

I find sanctuary in writing. The real world can be a brutal place. Really, what control do we have in our lives? So many of the decisions that make or break us are out of our hands. We have to deal with politicians, corporations, the unfairness of life, the ugliness of the human condition. We can work our very hardest, do our very best, and still fail.

But the worlds in my head (always two or three of them at any given time): those are mine. I am in control. I am the queen of everything that happens in them. There is no problem facing my characters that I cannot make better, no hurt I can’t fix, no happiness I can’t express. The scariness of life, disappointment, betrayal, chaos, peace, death, love, hate, guilt, indifference, heartache—with all those excess words looking for an outlet, I can make things right for those characters.

I not only get to provide cheap entertainment for myself, which is pretty cool, but I can entertain other people. Readers have shared their fears with me, their memories, their low points, and their hopes for high points, and they do it because I’ve written characters going through what they’re going through. I may not have personal experience, but I have loads of empathy, and those wonderful words help that to come across.

When I was a kid, words weren’t so lovely. I had a speech problem, and only those closest to me could understand me. Kids teased, and teachers got exasperated. Two great things came out of it: my love of reading (books didn’t laugh) and my habit of observing others at any and all times. I still do both, still love both, and put them together in every page I write.

I write because I’m eccentric, and because words have the power to wound but also to heal, to enlighten and encourage and entertain and amuse, and to satisfy a yearning in all of us. And because words are also truth, I do it because I really am weird. And I’m okay with that, because I am a writer.

And here’s another blurb from her that totally resonates with me. Taken from her blog…

Saving Words

I’m never at a loss for words. I can easily say in a hundred words what someone else can say in ten. Like Seinfeld, I can talk a lot about nothing.

But sometimes I find myself at a loss for meaningful words. My husband asked me what it felt like when I get a particular vertebrae that gives me a lot of trouble adjusted, and all I could come up with was, “Good.” I’m pretty sure that if I put myself into a character who was asked the same question, I could describe the touch of the hands; the pressure, gentle at first, then increasing; the hard push; the twist of the hands; the loud craack!; the instant of pain, followed by warmth and tingling; then the relief.

I hear about someone who’s going through a tough time, and I say, “Poor thing” or “Bless her heart,” when the heroine in my current book would say, “Oh, that poor darlin’. That just breaks my heart. I can’t imagine where she’ll find the strength to get through this, but I’ll pray that she does, and you tell her, if there’s anything I can do for her, just let me know.” While my heroine in my other current book would say, “Geez, that sucks. She must have really pissed off the universe. If I were her, I’d have a couple drinks, put on my boots and start kicking ass. And there wouldn’t be any taking of names.”

It’s not that I don’t feel/know/understand things. I just put all those feelings/knowledge/understanding into books instead. In real life, “good” is good enough for me.

Like I said… I don’t read ROMANCE… but I’ll be honest, if her books are anything like these examples I might have to pick one up and give it a try.

For more information on Marilyn… check out her site at www.marilynpappano.net

Found MONEY!! – DP#48

Are you like me??? Do you get a THRILL when you stick your hand in a jacket pocket and find money??? If so… then let me tell you about www.missingmoney.com.

STOP reading this post and go to www.missingmoney.com. Simply type in your name and state (if you have moved make sure to check that state too)… and it will tell you if there is any unclaimed property being held by the state treasury. If so… you can easily fill out a claim online.

Make sure you check this once a year… perhaps on your birthday. I did this a few years ago and got a check for a few hundred dollars. I did it again a few weeks ago and was totally shocked to get a letter in the mail today saying I was getting a check for a few THOUSAND dollars!!! Woo! Hoo! Just in time to pay for the exterminator!!!

Here’s a copy of the letterhead from my claim disbursement:

Money letter

 

Now for the fun part of this post…

I was bored last week and sat at the computer entering names and states of my family members and friends. SOME are due money!!! Could it be you???

Why are you still reading this!!! Go to www.missingmoney.com and see if money is waiting for you to claim!!! You can thank me later 🙂

50 Shades of Grey – Really?

The run away best seller 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy by E. L. James is now available in hardcover. Really?

The powers that be at Doubleday Publishing timed the release so the books would be available for Valentine’s Day. Really?

The boxed set of all three books in a collector’s edition retails for $80.00. Really?

First off… I haven’t met ONE woman who felt the books were worth all the hype. My mother thought they were boring. My neighbor just couldn’t get ‘into’ them. My daughter didn’t finish the trilogy and I personally found the love story angle too hard to take seriously.

Granted, my mother and neighbor were not Twilight fans (readers of the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer) and didn’t get the fact these books began as stories on a fan page for Edward and Bella, but my daughter and I did. It didn’t make the stories any better as far as I’m concerned… besides I’m on TEAM JACOB.

Secondly… the real bonus of reading the books on an e-reader or in paperback is the secrecy of it all. Soccer moms throughout the US could read the books and keep them away from little impressional eyes… therefore not having to answer inquiring minds.

I was speaking to a Barnes & Noble employee the other day about the release. After rolling her eyes all she could add to the conversation was that she laughed hysterically when the LARGE PRINT edition was released. Her circle of friends also see no need for the hardcover editions.

Last of all… and more importantly in my opinion is… basically every woman who has wanted to read this trilogy HAS. Getting these books from their significant other as a Valentine’s gift I doubt would be appreciated. Now… the toys that are used in the book? THOSE would be a better gift choice 🙂

The books have been on sale in the US since January 29th… and are not a strong seller. The paperbacks are ranked #7 on Amazon where the hardcovers are over #5,000.

If you are interested in reading more… check out the USA Today article.

 

I got my EYE on you…

Eyebrows that is…

Didja know there is an entire salon that deals exclusively with… EYEBROWS? Really! I’m not kidding.

Have you taken a good close look in the mirror at YOURS lately?

A few towns up the road there is a place named The Arch Brow Bar. According to their website they are ‘pioneers in the art of eyebrow shaping’. I thought I would go in and see what they do. I was stunned. I had no clue there was so much you could do to eyebrows, including dying them. “OK”, I thought to myself. “I’ll bite. Let’s see what it’s like to get your eyebrows dyed”.

Years ago I had a large mole removed from the beginning of my right eyebrow. Hair that I used to tweeze now was needed to fill in the bare area… that wasn’t happening.

Also as we grow older our brows lighten on the outside edge causing a ‘surprised’ look. I am not self-conscious about my brows, but I thought this would be a fun adventure. A ‘girly’ thing to do… which is so out of character for me.

First off you have to OBTAIN an appointment with a ‘browista’… not a ‘barista’, a ‘browista’. The place is so booming my appointment had to be made 2 weeks out. I thought you could walk in off the street… silly me.

The day of my appointment I was asked to arrive a few minutes early. The receptionist handed me a clipboard with a 2-page information and medical history form to fill out. “What the heck?” I looked around the waiting room at the other patrons. I was definitely out of my realm. A group of young twenty-somethings, brandishing fresh mani-pedies, and cell phones blinged out to the point of blinding all the drivers on the highway outside filled the chairs.

I finally got called to the back room where the magic happens. Speak about being under a microscope!!! The ‘browista’ pulled a giant magnifying glass with a light towards my head where she got a better look at every flaw on my face.

After much scrutiny it is discovered I needed a wax (no duh), and I have a cowlick in my right eyebrow. “What? A cowlick? In my right eyebrow?” Did you know you could have eyebrow cowlicks? At my advanced age you would have thought I knew this already. However, since I’m not a ‘girly girl’ I never noticed.

The dying process took seconds. I thought they were a little dark… but hey, what do I know? I’m not well educated in the art of eyebrows, so I left the decision of color up to the professional. I was assured they would lighten in a few days. I studied my reflection in the mirror, overlooked the red puffiness and liked what I saw. In all my years I never gave any thought to my eyebrows and now I have become obsessed!

Next came the joy of paying for this experience. Without giving the exact amount, because I am too embarrassed to say I spent this much on something so frivolous, let me just say that I spent less on dinner for two at Applebee’s last night. PLUS the ‘browista’ needs to be tipped. Fifteen minutes of consultation, waxing and dying… and it needs to be repeated every 3 to 4 weeks.

Bottom Line… I loved the concept, was pampered and treated well, loved the final result, am saddened that my meager household budget can only afford ‘special occasion visits , and would consider going more frequently when I win the lottery… or marry a millionaire, whichever comes first.

VOTE by MAIL!

Didja know…

There is no excuse NOT TO VOTE in New Jersey!!! Anyone, for any reason can send their vote in via mail. Really! Anyone! Any reason!

It used to be years ago when I was running around like a chicken with my head chopped off and my ill husband wanted to vote, I had to physically go down to the County Clerk’s Office, grab a form, have it filled out and signed with a doctor’s note… THEN when the ballot came in the mail I again had to physically go back to the County Clerk’s Office and deliver it.

NOW… you simply have to go to http://www.nj.gov/state/elections/voting-information-vote-by-mail.html , print out the pdf form for your county, fill it out, stamp it, and mail it. It’s a self mailer, so just tape it shut and send it off. Within a week you will receive a ballot in the mail. You then need to verify it is your signature and such, cast your vote (in secrecy) and mail it back. That’s it!!!

No more waiting in line on a cold night when you would rather be tucked inside your nice warm house cuddled in your jammies. No more running home on your short-enough-as-it-is lunch hour to squeeze in your vote. No more scrambling for a sitter so you can vote during the day and NOT bring the kids. No longer do you have to leave your warm bed early in the morning to ‘beat the rush’.

So now you have absolutely no excuse to NOT vote in the state of New Jersey… unless of course you decide you don’t want to. That’s a whole different discussion!

Are you going to vote on November 6, 2012? If so, have you definitively made your choice or are you still undecided? If you are not voting… why?

The most often overheard discussions about not voting is the person feels their vote doesn’t count. After all… as a legal US Citizen who is over the age of 18, and not incarcerated they only get to cast a popular vote. The plan being that the ‘powers that be’ in the Electoral College listen to the people of their state and vote the way they wish. In reality… you cannot count on that. The electors are usually ‘party based’ and have already pledged their votes BEFORE the actual vote is tallied. In election year 2000, elector Barbara Lett-Simmons of Washington, DC abstained from voting. Deciding she didn’t want to cast her vote for Al Gore as she pledged, she simply did not vote at all. The outcome of the election was not changed, George W. Bush still had the electoral majority. Yet Washington, DC had one less ‘voice’ in the voting process.

New Jersey will have 14 electoral votes this election… one less than past years due to the 2010 Census Reapportionment. 14 out of 538. Not too shabby.

Traditionally New Jersey has been a blue state, voting Democratic in the last five elections. Many polls are predicting the trend to continue. I wonder what would happen if the people of New Jersey surprised the Electoral College and voted hot and heavy for the Republicans. Would the popular vote sway the electors? Hmmmm? Wouldn’t it be fun to try??? Seriously… What do you think would happen?

I for one am a registered Independent. I have many friends on either side of the fence and a few sitting on top of it with me. I vote for the person I feel will do the best job for the USA! I do not care if the person in charge is purple, has two heads, and believes in ghosts… as long as they run this country like a well oiled machine with dignity and decorum.THAT’s who I’m voting for! And I hope the electors of my state hear my ROAR!