Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Christmas Card to You!

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest New Year!

An early snowfall here in Southern Berks County, PA in late November, 2012

Thank you for your support of All Things Audry.  I am so grateful for every “like”, “share” and comment.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Guest Post: Amy Ferris: "S is for Shame-Less"

Welcome Amy Ferris, co-editor of the anthology Dancing at the Shame Promsharing the stories that kept us small.

S is for Shame-Less

By Amy Ferris

I can now list my shame alphabetically. 
I can. 
A is for abortion(s), B is for bad, bad boyfriends, C is for countless nights waiting for the phone to ring and cigarettes, D is for drugs...

And on and on and on...

When Hollye and I ventured out in the world - the publishing world - with our anthology, Dancing at The Shame Prom, we both knew the essays we were going to contribute for the book. We had talked, and talked, and shared and talked some more. Both of us are straight forward in terms of speaking and writing our truth. It's become our individual and collective mantra: Speak the truth, write/right your life.  
We both write blogs about writing and living our truth.
We don't hold back. 
It's not in our nature. And since Hollye and I are great at talking through life issues, the more we talked, the more at ease, more comfortable I was with putting my shame - my personal shame essay - out in the world.

But what happened after the book came out in the world was unexpected. 
Holy cowsville.

A whole new wave - a tsunami - of shame manifested. 
It was like an infestation of shame starting with A.

I started remembering every little single detail of every single 'bad, awful, unpleasant, horrifying, embarrassing thing" I ever did, said, and yes, thought. I wanted to hide in a corner, stay in bed, change my phone number, and yes, even run away. Like far away where no one knew me, and I could wipe my past away with the stroke of a Bounty paper-towel.

It was as if writing about one shameful experience sparked all and every shameful experiences I ever encountered. The cork was out of the bottle. I remembered guys I slept with whose names I didn't know, I remembered the lies I told my mom, I remembered driving without a driver's license and getting into an accident, I remembered dying my hair vermillion, and shaving my eyebrows. I remembered the boy I loved madly and passionately who didn't even know I existed.
A floodgate opened.
And then I was filled with more shame. 
Buckets of shame. 

But, Hollye and I have a huge desire and goal. 

We want to wipe shame off the planet. 
We want girls and boys, men and women to awaken to their greatness. 
We want folks to shed the coat of misguided personal beliefs that keep them small, keep them from being intimate.

We want this book, this anthology to open hearts and create dialogue.

We want women to stand tall, be proud, wear their imperfectly perfect lives with joy and hope and unlimited self-esteem.

We want folks to know that every single god awful mistake can be transformed into a mighty powerful mission.
We want regrets and worry and fear and self-loathing to go the way of dial-up connections.
We want every single human being to know that what drives us, motivates us, clings to us... is love. 

And just like that tsunami of shame took over, there was a moment of understanding, an epiphany of sorts. I knew with every fiber in my being that every single shameful thing I ever did, or believed I did, or felt I did, was because I wanted to be loved. 
Wanted to feel important. 
Wanted to be noticed. 

A calm after the tsunami.

And just like that I started loving me, imperfectly perfect me, just a bit more. 

Amy Ferris
Author. Writer. Girl.

Book: Dancing at The Shame Prom, sharing the stories that kept us small - Anthology, Seal Press (2012)
Co-edited by Amy Ferris & Hollye Dexter

Book: Marrying George Clooney, Confessions From A Midlife Crisis,Seal Press (2010)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What the “Ho-Ho-Ho” were you thinking???

from the movie, "The Christmas Story"

Every year I say the same thing, “Yea! It’s the holiday season.  Play the Christmas music! Break out the decorations! Let’s shop!  Let’s bake and drink and be merry!”

 I love it …  I hate it!  Why is most Christmas music so annoying – stop yelling at me in song that it’s “the most wonderful time of the year”!  And shopping – the pressure of expressing my love and affection for people through a personalized travel mug or something equally unnecessary that makes the gift receiver ask, “What the Ho-Ho-Ho were you thinking?” And, who has time to bake when I can’t decide what to buy and who has the best sale prices!  Of course, there’s always time to drink – and be horribly hung over while listening to obnoxiously loud Christmas music! 

Oh the guilt of hating it – Actually, yes, I do love it!  Family memories and traditions and the “there’s always next year to buy you something better” mentality and the children and, oh yeah, all that religious stuff, of course – the true meaning of Christmas…

Three phrases that sum up Christmas are: Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men, and Batteries not Included.
English Proverb 

I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included.         
Bernard Manning 

Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice."
Dave Barry, humor columnist

Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food, and beer.... Who'd have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment, and spirituality would mix so harmoniously?
Bill Watterson, cartoonist and creator of Calvin and Hobbes 


And finally, a nice quote to put all the madness into perspective:

As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December's bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.
Donald E. Westlake, crime fiction writer

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Guest Post: Nina Burleigh, contributor to the anthology Dancing at the Shame Prom

Welcome Nina Burleigh, contributor to the anthology Dancing at the Shame Prom, and a post about being a woman in the Middle East.

Take it away, Nina ...

Hello?  Guest post, where are you???

Unfortunately, I have yet to receive the post.  Allow me to assume the position of the girl on the cover of the book other there to the right.  

Coming soon ... As soon as I get the guest post, you will see it here.  Right here.  In this big open space right here.

Wanna hear a prom story?  Okay, so I was never a woman of the Middle East but I did grow up in a South East-ern town of Pennsylvania.  And, get this, I went to the prom on a double date with my now husband - only, and this is scandalous, he was my at-the-time best friend's date.  And the guy that was my date is still a friend of ours and he had his first child, a son, on the same day -the same exact day - as we had our first child, a son!   

That story wouldn't qualify as shameful enough for the anthology.  Those stories have a lot more to them.  Check it out:

Dancing at the Shame Prom: The Stories That Kept Us Small 

Whether it was the one-night stand you always regretted, the family secret you never revealed, or the emotional abuse you endured in silence, there are some things you are so ashamed of you keep them hidden for a lifetime. Shame can hold you back from what you love, diminish your sense of self-worth, and prevent you from fully being who you are. But what happens when you finally relent and share that secret burden?

In Dancing at the Shame Prom: Sharing the Stories That Kept Us Small (September 18, 2012, Seal Press), editors Amy Ferris and Hollye Dexter encourage readers to confront this powerful emotion head-on. They gather together 27 gifted and talented writers who reveal, explore, and embrace the root of their shame, in the process demonstrating the strength that comes from defeating their demons.

In a brilliant display of bravery, these writers share their darkest fears, offer up their most vulnerable moments, and reveal jaw-dropping secrets. Journalist Nina Burleigh discusses the shame she felt at being coerced into posing for "artsy" naked photos in "Year of the Rat." In "Playing Dead Under the Family Tree," Monica Holloway shows how her husband's infidelity initially isolates her with the shame of being alone. Meredith Resnick's story "Original Bra" weaves together her complicated feelings about body image with her quest to buy her first bra. From spilling long forbidden secrets to revealing their innermost faults, these authors openly share poignant and life-changing moments of humiliation, embarrassment, and despair, along with the wisdom they learned from letting go of the shame that's been weighing them down.

Freeing, provocative, and audacious, Dancing at the Shame Prom is about divulging the secrets that have made you feel small so that you can stand up straight, let the shame go, and finally--decisively--move on with your life.

Paperback: 264 pages   
Publisher: Seal Press (September 11, 2012) 
ISBN-10: 1580054161
ISBN-13: 978-1580054164
Twitter hashtag: #TheShameProm

Dancing at the Shame Prom is available in print and e-book format at Amazon,  Barnes & Noble, as well as your local independent bookstore.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Twilight: Breaking Da- …uh, Middle-Age??? Part: I’ve lost count

Yes, I went to see Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 on opening night.

Yes, my friends (including the fabulous friend who rallied us together to celebrate her birthday at this event) and I were most likely the only ones in our age bracket attending the movie who were not chaperoning a “tween”/teen.

Yes, the ten o’clock show-time was way after my usual mid-lifer bedtime routine.

And, yes I awoke the next morning thinking, like Bella in the movie, I had achieved immortality:  (I really did!)
My face was pale, too pale – perhaps it could be lack of sun and make-up, but still…  My lips were red – and chapped so I had applied pomegranate flavored lip balm, but still, they were red … My eyes were red, too – bloodshot from lack of sleep actually, but still, not their normal color … I had a thirst, a deep desirous thirst – not for blood (that’s just gross).  No, it was for coffee, a thirst for caffeine.  I went to run from my bedroom to my kitchen at inhuman speed - like Bella ran through the forest of the Pacific Northwest 

(about that part in the movie, I was anticipating her unexpectedly smacking into a tree – I mean, speed plus trees equals smack, am I right?)

 … as I was saying, I went to run like a blur to the coffee pot and … Ow, crick, crack - I moved at the not quite forty, mother of three speed which wasn’t very impressive at all …or immortal-like. 

Finally, yes, I had not achieved immortality - though I would have enjoyed being able to move that quickly - (Think of how much time I could save at the supermarket!)  But, I did feel twenty years younger sitting at the movie on opening night – and that counts for something!

Hey, blog readers, have a Happy Thanksgiving!          
I’m off to bake a few pies and then, continue writing the exciting last hundred pages of novel #2: Secrets, Lies and Apple Pies.  (Hmm, maybe I should include a werewolf with a hot man body and a forbidden vampire romance … Ha!)  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Secrets, Lies and Pin-worthy Pies


Delicious news or even fattening news depending on your perspective:  

As I continue conducting research for my novel in progress, “Secrets, Lies and Apple Pies”, I’ve moved away from how to properly overindulge at a German Beer-fest to learning more about the fine art of pie-making.  And, I’ve discovered that I need brush up on my pie making skills - so what better timing than this month of feasts and culinary challenges!

Pin-worthy:   I’ve launched a new Pinterest board dedicated to all things (no not "Audry" this time) … wait for it … pies!  Yes, pies!   I bet you’ll never guess the title.  Yup, “Secrets, Lies and Pin-worthy Pies”.

Easy as pie.   Hopefully, the timing is perfect for all you bakers (or once a year bakers) out there.  Got a great pie recipe, apple or otherwise?  Comment here with the recipe or where I can find it to re-pin it.  As for the phrase, “easy as pie”, from my experience attempting to create one from scratch, the only thing easy about pie is eating it!            

Happy Baking!  Now, it’s time for my main character to get baking!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Deja-Vu of the Stormy-Kind

The forecast for October 29, 2012
Fortunately, Hurricane turned Superstorm Sandy created minor havoc around my area.  We did lose power, but for a mere 24 hours.  Perhaps our greatest inconvenience (and, trust me, compared to the images I’ve be seeing over the past week, I really can’t complain) was that the bus couldn’t make it out to us due to fallen trees and downed wires blocking roads. 
My neighbor kindly drove my oldest son to school in the morning as she was heading there anyway and so my twins who have afternoon kindergarten could stay in their pajamas.  As my neighbor drove along, she commented to my son how strange it was that we’ve had these two big storms around the same date in October for two years in a row.
From last year's post: "Mother Nature is on Crack!"
Flashback to last year:
Not a Superstorm, but a Nor’easter was to blame.  (And there’s a Nor’easter expected to move in later today – the South is starting to look more and more appealing!)

As my neighbor marveled at the coincidence of the timing of it all, my son didn’t seem so impressed.  Their conversation went something like this:
My son: “Isn’t it a tradition?”
My neighbor:  “Isn’t what a tradition?”
My son:  “You know.  We have a storm around Halloween every year.  It’s a tradition.”
Oh no! Say it isn’t so!
On a more serious note, my heart goes out to all those in need in the storm ravaged areas.
 I’d like to pass along a website for a list of items currently in great need:  
For those of you who live nearby, Lords and Ladies Salon Medical Spa will be conducting a collection of such items this Sunday, November 11th from 9am to 4pm at their Douglassville location.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Book Review: Televenge by Pamela King Cable



by Pamela King Cable
Andie Oliver is a faithful woman--to God, to her handsome husband Joe, and to televangelist Reverend Calvin Artury, a Godfather in a Mafia of holy men.

Raised in the 1970s to be subservient and submissive in the tradition of the Bible-belt South, she becomes a prisoner of that tradition. As a reluctant member of Artury's evangelical megachurch, the House of Praise in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Andie's dream of children, home, and marriage falls apart when Joe is hired by the ministry team. Joe had been a gentle lover, a kind man, and a hard-working and faithful husband. Only lately had Andie felt him turn his attention more to church than her.

Vivid and tragic, Televenge exposes chaos in the megachurch, and embraces those who discover their destiny in unconditional love in a world fraught with fear and intimidation. With more twists and turns than the Blue Ridge Parkway, Televenge takes you from the Piedmont South to the Hawaiian Islands, to Nigeria, Africa, and back to the high country of North Carolina.
Televenge is a full course meal of a novel.  For readers who like to sink their teeth into a hearty plot and vivid characters, the plight of Andie Oliver’s personal struggle for love against a corrupt televangelist will keep you turning page after page. 
As a slower reader who fully imagines each and every scene, I tend to shy away from longer works, especially those that dwell in the darker side of humanity.  That said, I am so glad I kept with it and was able to feel the immense satisfaction of experiencing the unexpected plot twists as Andie, the main character, is finally able to come into the light. 
Pamela King Cable artfully evolves and matures the character of Andie in a true-to-life manner.  There were times in this novel when I wanted to yell, “Wake up!” to the younger version of Andie.  And then, once she gave birth to boy and girl twins (I have my own set of boy and girl twins), I worried over Andie and her children hoping our author wouldn’t allow too much of the dark forces in this novel to overtake them.  Plus, I very much enjoyed how an otherworldly spiritual aspect was weaved naturally throughout the novel guiding and supporting Andie in her journey. The conclusion brought tears to my eyes due to, no doubt, by the emotional stake I had invested through the many hours I spent reading and wondering if Andie would survive her plight. 
Televenge provides much food for discussion on several topics, the popularity of televangelism in America, the idea of unconditional love and the possibility of redemption in a person’s life no matter how bleak the current outlook.  If a book leaves me thinking about it long after I've finished reading it, then the author has done her job well.  As for Televenge, Pamela King Cable has crafted a story that I won't soon forget.
About the Author:
Pamela King Cable was born a coal miner's granddaughter and raised by a tribe of wild Pentecostals and storytellers. She is an award-winning, multi-published author who loves to write about religion and spirituality with paranormal twists she unearths from her family's history. Married to a megachurch ministry team member as a young adult, she attended years of megachurch services. Pamela studied creative writing at The University of Akron and Kent State University. She has taught at many writing conferences, and speaks to book clubs, women's groups, national and local civic organizations, and at churches across the country. Nearly a decade in the writing, Televenge is her debut novel. She lives in Ohio with her husband, Michael, and is currently working on her next novel.  
Connect with Pam online: 



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Welcome Sonia Korn-Grimani and a Guest Post On the Power of Determination and Positive Thinking

Welcome Sonia Korn-Grimani
Please enjoy today’s guest post by author and singer, Sonia Korn-Grimani.  Prepare to be inspired and encouraged!

On the Power of Determination and Positive thinking

For the creative person who wants to do great things, for anyone with goals and dreams, accomplishing your goals can often seem like an uphill battle, and it is. I wanted to share some simple practices of cultivating positive thoughts that will help you in your noble struggle. These things I have learned over time and through life experience, and they have helped me get through the toughest times.

I don’t profess to be a guru of positive thinking; I frequently fall victim to bouts of depression and anxiety, as do so many wonderfully creative people I know. But when I see myself falling into a pessimistic rut, I think of a long-term goal; and even though it may seem futile at that moment, I focus on the next small step towards it. That is always something I can do, even if it is small thing, a menial task even, and working on it gets me out of my rut. It has been said that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Well, take the step, even if it is a baby step. Then take another. It will help you get back on track. It’s a simple idea—perhaps so simple that it shouldn’t even need be said—but you can only achieve what you set out to do. And you need to think “yes I can” to start.

When you set out to do great things, accept that you’re going to have setbacks. It’s guaranteed! But the key is to not let the setbacks deter you! I’ve never been one to give up easily—a trait I learned from my mother, who never gave up, and in doing so, saved the lives of so many…But when you hit a setback, focus on the good that is happening around you to help put things in perspective. You may have worked yourself into a dead end, lost something important, faced rejection, have to completely change direction or start all over…but instead on concentrating on what is going wrong, focus on something that is going right. Concentrate on that. Feel solace in that small nugget of positive thought, of beauty, of love. Do not become stuck in criticism! Acknowledge the missteps and learn from them, and discover new paths to move forward on.

And what about when we face problems beyond our control? This is perhaps the most overwhelming challenge for me when I am trying move forward and stay positive. It is important to have hope, and perhaps this is the most important message I wish to convey here, and in my writing and in my music. I am not saying to simply shrug your worries off with “it will get better”—that is not positive thinking—that is “positive” without the “thinking!” But it can be helpful to start with those words of encouragement, even if you don’t believe it at first. When you have the faith that you will be out of your predicament, use all your faculties to find your way. Within each of us, we all have the power to do great things, to overcome the most formidable of obstacles! Believe in that, and in yourself, and the rest will come in time.
More About Today’s Guest Post Writer, Sonia Korn-Grimani:

Sonia was born in Wuppertal, Germany in 1931, as Hitler began his rise to power and the world became increasingly horrific. Being from a Jewish family, Sonia, who at the time was seven years of age, was declared an enemy of the state.

In postwar world, the few survivors of Sonia's family were refused citizenship status, and told that they must leave the country. Sonia immigrated to Australia where she worked in radio, television, and in film, making full use of both her linguistic and her musical talents. She organized interpreting and translating services for the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, began to travel the world, translating for the United Nations in the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Sonia’s television and radio programs made her a sensation, and by the 1960s, she was called upon by the Queen of Malaysia to tutor her in French. While French tutor to the Queen of Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur, Sonia continued to appear regularly on television and radio, singing, edifying viewers on classical music and speaking on women’s rights.

Sonia Korn-Grimani earned her doctorate in French literature and the teaching of foreign languages, and directed a multi-cultural language program at UNESCO. With her husband John, and their children Anthony and Renee, Sonia traveled and lived all over the world. She taught foreign languages at the university level, and performed frequently to the delight of audiences worldwide. In her album Cantos al Amor, Sonia sings in 16 languages.

In 1989, Dr. Korn-Grimani was knighted Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, and in 1996 she was decorated Officier des Palmes Académiques. These decorations were awarded in recognition of her lifelong dedication to and promotion of French culture and language.

Sonia continues to sing regularly at UNESCO events in France, and is also frequently invited to share her Holocaust experiences as a guest speaker in high schools, universities, synagogues and churches. 

Author’s Websites:

Thank you, Sonia, for a truly inspiring post.  Your attitude towards positive thinking is one I hope to adopt and make a part of my everyday.  Sometimes it is difficult to stay positive when chasing dreams, especially if you dream big.  I will return to this post whenever I need a lift in spirit!

And speaking of positive thinking, I invite you to check out my novels:

Secrets, Lies and Apple Pies
available for KINDLE and NOOK


 Going Barefoot in Greener Grass
Also, available for KINDLE and NOOK

Thank you!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mass Blogging Event: Finding the Music in Life

Today’s post is in participation with Women On Writing’s mass-blogging event, Everybody is Talking About Finding the Music in Life. We are celebrating the release of Sonia’s Song by Sonia Korn-Grimani. To read Sonia’s post and follow our symphony of participating bloggers visit The Muffin at Share your comments on any participating blog for a chance to win a copy of Sonia’s Song!

(If you follow the link above you will learn about the amazing life story of Sonia Korn-Grimani who found strength and resilience through her musical talents to overcome heart-breaking circumstances resulting from the outbreak of World War II in her home of Germany and Belgium.  Next week Sonia will guest post here on the Power of Determination and Positive Thinking.)

Fortunately, my life has never known such difficulties.  For obvious reasons, that’s a good thing - especially since my musical talents are in short supply.  I did learn to play the flute in Elementary School and my claim to fame was being able to string a few notes together that sounded like the theme to the original Star Wars movies.  I once held a “concert” out my bedroom window when I lived in Orchard Court.  A couple of kids I didn’t know parked their bikes to stop and listen.  After repeating the same notes over and over again, I ran out of breath and the kids gave up on anything more.  These days, I can spin CDs quite well in my two decades old “boom box” and, on occasion, pop in an old cassette mix-tape.   

I happened upon an infomercial the other night when I should have been sleeping called the Music of Your Life.  For six payments of $24.95 plus shipping and handling you could own a crate of CDs that “will take you back”.  Though listening to the ten second snippets of songs was enjoyable, it didn’t take me back since I didn’t exist when most of these songs were popular.  And then, I thought, what would take me back?  I set out to “find the music in life”.  (Yes, I do realize the mass blogging event topic didn’t need to be taken literally – but what fun is that?)

Quiz time!  See if you can finish the following lyrics from songs of my youth from the late 80’s/early 90’s (I wish I could watch this infomercial):

  1. So your girlfriend rolls a Honda, playin' workout tapes by Fonda
    But Fonda ain't got a motor in the back of her Honda
    My anaconda don't want none …
  2. Ring the bell school's back in break it down
    (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh) (x4)
    Stop …
  3. She's dressed in yellow, she says "Hello,
    come sit next to me you fine fellow."
    You run over there without a second to lose
    And what comes next hey …
  4. If there was a problem
    Yo, I'll solve it
    Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it …
  5. Brass Monkey …
  6. I-pulled- up to a house about seven or eight
    I yelled to the cabbie Yo home, smell you later
    looked at my kingdom I was finally there
    to sit on my throne as …
  7. Now all the ladies in the place
    If you got real hair, real fingernails
    If you got a job, you going to school
    And y'all need nobody to help you handle your business…
  8. She says we've got to hold on to what we've got
    Cause it doesn't make a difference
    If we make it or not
    We've got each other and that's a lot
    For love –
  9. And the Funky Bunch helps me
    To bring you a show with no intoxication
    Come on feel …
  10. I came to get down.  I came to get down.  So, get out of your seats and …

  1. Unless you've got buns, hun (Baby’s Got Back, Sir Mix-A-Lot)
  2. Hammer time (M. C. Hammer)
  3. bust a move (Young MC)
  4. Ice ice baby (Vanilla Ice – who I heard is trying to make a come back!)
  5. that funky Monkey (Beastie Boys)
  6.  the prince of bel-air  (Will Smith)
  7. Make some noise (Let Me Clear My Throat, DJ Kool)
  8. well give it a shot  (Living on a Prayer, Bon Jovi)
  9. the vibration (Good Vibrations, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch)
  10.  jump around (House of Pain)
How did you do? 

Well, I found the music from one part of my life.  Here's a few notable mentions:
"We Are Family" that happened to come on the radio as we pulled into our driveway for the first time as a family of five the day we brought our twins home from the hospital.
"At Last" by request in honor of my brother and sister-in-law's wedding!
"Brown-Eyed Girl" by request for my favorite brown-eyed friend.
"You Decorated My Life" by Kenny Rogers - stop laughing, it was my wedding song.
"Friends in Low Places" because other than hip-hop, I did listen to a good bit of Garth Brooks.
"Margarita-ville" because I'd like to go there now.  Really insert any Jimmy Buffet song here.
"Three Little Birds" because it reminds me not to worry.

I'm still taking song requests... Comment here! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fest versus Rest

Aud-toberfest   It’s no secret that I love the month of October.  Is it because it’s the month of everything “fest”?  That it’s the season of fall foliage, hayrides, cider and pumpkins?  That my birthday is smack in the middle of the month?  Yes, yes & yes!

NyQuil you are a friend of mine.   I joyfully flipped the calendar from September into October and started sneezing … and sneezing and sneezing.  At first, I lived in denial believing that it was only allergies and that it would pass. I’m planning on doing some “research” this weekend – Achoo!  Maybe.

Oktoberfest and Research for Novel #2 (wink, wink)  Is it a coincidence or a positive sign from the universe?  It just so happens that this weekend when I have a chance to attend a local Oktoberfest that I have arrived at the part in my outline which dictates that the characters in Secret, Lies and Apple Pies will be attending one drama-filled Oktoberfest celebration!   

A Pity-Party Fest is not the Best.  I’ve already lowered my expectations substantially this year with the onset of this cold - yes I said cold.  This year, my birthday is on a boring Monday.  Last year, my birthday landed auspiciously on a Saturday.  I was full of eager anticipation.  And it came to be a great day for getting out and doing something fun.  A lot of people close to me took advantage of that glorious autumn day, too … except not necessarily with me or because it was my birthday.  In the end, I made my husband begrudgingly drive me and our children up to Jim Thorpe, PA for their “fest” and wound up sitting in traffic for over two hours.  After that, I was pretty much over my birthday being on a Saturday as my high expectations burned and crashed.  Plus, let’s not forget how last year’s October ended in a freak snowstorm that knocked out power for nearly a week around here. 

Fest versus Rest.  Low expectations in place for this month: check.  Beer Stein filled with NyQuil: check.  Outlook for October 2012:

Will it be "fest"?

Or will it be rest?

I’ll let you know in November.