My family has a tradition that prevents us from celebrating birthdays in public venues like restaurants. I don’t know when or why we started it, but it’s been going on for years. Seeing as how I hit 40 this week, I thought I’d give you a behind-the-scenes peek at Score family birthday shenanigans!
There will be some people in your life who will judge you or question you or be completely confused by your sadness over the death of someone you never met.
That is their problem, not yours. So don’t feel like you need to apologize for being genuinely sad or happy for someone you don’t know. That actually makes you a really great human being.
And it means that Luke Perry was really great at his art. Because you connected with him through his roles. You rooted for him.
I hope someday when it’s my time, when I am dragged kicking and screaming and maybe a little drunk and full of tacos from this earth, that people I never met will feel sad. That I will have had a positive impact on them even without being at their dinner table or living in their neighborhood. I want that for all of us. I want our reach to extend beyond the circle of people we see every day. I want us all to matter well beyond our kids and cats and coworkers.
Your ability to care about others beyond your circle is one of your greatest talents. The fact that you can get up at 5 a.m. with me to watch a royal wedding, or cry over a fictional character who doesn’t exist anywhere but your head and the author’s heart, the fact that you can mourn the death of a child of a friend of a friend of a friend makes you beautifully, wonderfully human. Despite what Twitter and the news say, we are compassionate, loving, and beautiful.
Now, let me tell you why I am so sad over Luke Perry. His role as Dylan McKay on 90210 imprinted pretty fiercely on me. This was my first TV experience of watching a regular girl (Brenda) from a regular place (Minnesota) catch and keep the eye of the bad boy. The unattainable, devastatingly attractive, no-on-can-have him, can’t-stop-thinking-about-him guy. Not only did she catch his eye, she unlocked him to find a good (I’m totally ignoring the Kelly fiasco here), vulnerable man who loved her. Now, THAT is my kind of catnip when it comes to a love story. The regular girl unlocks the unattainable guy and they live happily ever after… again, minus Kelly.
Over the decades since that show, I’ve always thought of Luke Perry fondly because of the impact of his art.
So maybe it’s not Luke Perry for you.
Maybe it was Grace Kelly or Bernie Mac or George HW Bush or Mr. Rogers or the elderly lady who lived down the block that you always meant to visit but never got around to it…
My point is, there are people out there we don’t know that we can still be profoundly happy for and sad over. Those people won’t be the same for everyone, but as long as we’re not crapping all over someone else’s exaltation when a Kardashian has a baby or their devastation when their favorite poet passes away, it’s all good. It’s all beautiful. And it’s all worthy of feeling. Feel your feelings. Don’t apologize for them.
Oh, and you all better be clutching tissues someday when I head off to that great book signing in the sky.
Note: I originally posted this wall of text on Luke Perry in my reader group on Facebook.
Mr. Lucy and I are back and badder than ever after an adventure in the Grenadines. We hoped on this ship here and bounced around the Caribbean island chain, soaking up the sun, rum, and camaraderie.
We were on board with 30+ other fine folks, sailing the high seas looking for adventure. Most of our vacations together could be labeled comatose what with our lounging, our snoozing, our sipping, and our staring off into space. So this one was a serious shift in gears for me. But it was so worth it. And it really made me appreciate how great out house and bed and bathroom that doesn’t have the shower head mounted directly over the toilet are.
But this trip wasn’t about luxury and relaxation. In fact, I got sick twice (BAD—I barfed coffee) and Mr. Lucy’s day-long hangover took us out of commission for a third. We got home late last night and I’m still rocking back and forth like I’m on the water! However, despite all that it was one amazing trip!
I learned some important things:
- My life needs more adventure that pushes me out of my comfort zone.
- The people living adventurously laugh more and look 20 years younger than their comfortable counterparts.
- Youth has nothing to do with how well you live your life. Most of the other passengers were close to if not over 70, strolling the rolling decks with a rum punch in each hand.
- Everyone has a story. One of my favorites is the opening pick up line that launched a decades-old marriage. “Hi! I’m Urs. Want a fish?” That was followed by a Swiss man dumping a dead salmon into the unsuspecting arms of a woman who at the time was in love with a piano tuner. They were married four months later.
- Some people have very violent reactions to motion sickness meds (me) and become convinced they are going to die (also me).
This trip was a lot of travel. Planes, ships, vans, and one long-ass car ride home at 2 a.m. Thankfully all of the planes had movies and TV. I watched:
- Black Panther: one of the best movies I’ve ever, EVER seen in my life and I don’t even like super hero movies!!! It delivered on every level and from a storytelling perspective it was perfection! If you have the chance, watch it!
- Bad Moms Christmas: a surprisingly heartfelt sequel.
- Pitch Perfect 3: Nothing will beat PP1, but I still love those aca-bitches.
- Under the Tuscan Sun: a rewatch for me.
- A rerun of the Kardashians after my touchscreen stopped working.
You’re probably more interested in the books I read, aren’t you? :) I approve these priorities. I also approve the following books!
- Engagement Rate by Annie Dyer (awesome beginning to a new family series)
- Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley (funny, reminiscent of Stephanie Plum!)
- Sophomore Slump by Alan Lee (hardboiled, smartass PI mystery)
- The Brightest Star by B. Cranford (I started this one on the plane home and haven’t finished it yet, but it’s a second chance story and you know I love those!)
I also learned that our asshole cat Cleo is ONLY AN ASSHOLE TO US! All week I was bombarded with texts from our cat-sitting friends sharing videos and pictures of cute Cleo snuggling and playing pleasantly with them. She didn’t stab a single one of them in the face! Not even once! WTF, Cleo?
Anyway, we had an amazing trip and are happy to be home! Blue Moon #6 is with the editors for its July release and tomorrow I’m starting a new project! I think you’re going to love it! xoxo
I’m not sure where December went, or 2017 for that matter. But I find myself already in the throes of January. How in the ever-living crap did that happen? Sigh. Anyway, let me catch you up, internets.
The Christmas Fix came out last month and was quite the Christmas hit! Here’s a few things that readers are saying about Cat and Noah and their enemies-to-lovers holiday rom-com…
“I laughed, cried, really ugly cried and smiled all the way through this loving Christmas tale.” – Thatmom
“The banter between the main characters is funny, sexy, angsty, and hot all in one.” – Xandy85
“So freaking cute! Ahhhhhh…..I love Enemies to lovers and this book hit me in all the feels!!!!!” – Andrea Danielle
And none of those reviews were from my mother! I know! Right? Mr. Lucy and I were thrilled with the reception that The Christmas Fix got. And, being a giant sucker for all things Christmas, I’m already plotting my 2018 Christmas novel.
Anyway, if you haven’t picked up The Christmas Fix, get those grabby hands on it. It’s in Kindle Unlimited!
What else have I been up to? For Christmas, Mr. Lucy and I visited six houses and something like 32 people! It was magnificent! We were still worn out by New Year’s Eve, so we went to an early dinner with friends and then were in comfy pants on the couch to watch the ball drop.
How about you? What did you do for the holidays? Did you make any resolutions? My main New Year’s resolution is to find more time in my day. I want to remember more things, not just wake up to a blur of writing all the words and zoning out in front of the TV to unwind every night. I want to finish 2018 with more amazing memories than 2017.
I’ll be checking in again soon with a new reader profile! I can’t wait!
It’s Father’s Day in the U.S. and what better time to give all the dads and stepdads and stand-in dads out there a shout out?
You are our non-fiction heroes. Whether you’re coaching disastrous kid sports teams or working overtime or answering the seventeenth “Hey, daddy?” in five minutes, you and your big hearts are my inspiration.
Special thanks to my dad for—among many other things—
- coaching our soccer teams
- making our stuffed animals steer the truck
- chasing us up the basement stairs until we all developed fears of stairs
- pay day hoagies every Friday
- introducing me to John Wayne movies
- cooking dinner every night
- reading every single one of my books
- shooting that mean turkey with your slingshot when it was chasing me
- enjoying excellent novelty t-shirts
And for all you readers out there who are missing a father or a father figure today, I hope warm memories brighten your day ????
I don’t know if I’m a complete weirdo, or if everyone envisions their perfect day of just the right amounts of family quality time, productivity, health consciousness, and relaxing. When I took complete control of all the hours in my day (24 to be precise), I failed miserably in all arenas. I thought not being at work for nine hours a day would magically turn me into the productivity fairy, sprinkling creative writing dust around my home office while laundry and dishes and dinner took care of themselves.
Yeah, that was total crap. Apparently, if I don’t have a plan and deadlines and a list and alarms on my phone, I get zilch done. I don’t even know what I do with my time! I have a feeling vast amounts of hours were being sucked up by social media and articles on how to be productive and opening my fridge 37 times to see if anyone had put anything new in there in the last 15 minutes.
Finally, when I realized that having the time didn’t mean I would use it effectively, I had to get tough with myself like a parent of a teenager with self-destructive tendencies (aren’t they all self-destructive?).
My perfect day now looks something like this.
9 a.m. Get ass out of bed.
9:10 a.m. Cheerfully scamper down to the home gym and workout for 45-mins to an hour. Feel human.
10 a.m. Enjoy a protein shake full of delicious fruits and veggies would be ingested as well as 10 to 15 minutes of meditation practiced
11 a.m. Answer emails, hang out with the readers on social media, catch up on whatever non-writing stuff needs addressed.
Noon. EAT! Best part of the day. Also, remember to take my a.m. vitamins.
12:30 Start writing in one-hour increments and hit 1,000 words an hour. My word count goal is 3,000 every day so on my PERFECT days I can be done in three hours of writing.
Afternoon between hour-long sprints. Prep dinner, throw in a load of laundry, respond to texts, put away clothes, yell at the cat, go outside and smell flowers.
5 p.m. Triumphantly save my work in progress in three places, slam down the lid of my laptop, and cockily announce to Mr. Lucy that I’m done for the day.
5:05 p.m. Walk back in my office, open the laptop and tackle anything that came up since my morning perusal of the world. Return phone calls. Drink a martini. Shop online for things I’d resent if I had to leave the house for. Hone my craft by reading blogs and books and articles. Take care of normal human being things like yelling at my insurance company, calling my parents, activating credit cards. Really at this point in my perfect day, the world is my oyster.
7:00 p.m. Either make dinner or go out to dinner. Remember to take the rest of those vitamins that give me nice fingernails and regular heart beats.
9 p.m. Hit the couch (or bed) with a book and Mr. Lucy (just Mr. Lucy) and entertain ourselves (do “research”).
Midnight: Wind down before official bedtime. More meditation and the satisfaction of a day not wasted.
Perfect day, right? OK, so here’s how my day actually goes (which should be noted is a VAST improvement over 2016). What can I say? I’m a work in progress.
9 a.m. Ignore alarm.
9:30 a.m. Check texts, email, and social media through the one eye that deigns to open in the morning.
10 a.m. Drag ass out of bed. Trip over cat on the way to the bathroom. Then make the fatal mistake of sitting down at my computer before working out. Get distracted.
11 a.m. Drag ass downstairs to work out.
Noon Feel marginally better. At least I accomplished something. Even if I did have to skip meditation. Maybe I should give it five minutes… Nope! Now I’m starving. Stuff face or say “Yes, please” when Mr. Lucy suggests going out to lunch. (That’s also a fatal mistake because we tend to procrastinate really well together so a lunch out can last up to four hours depending on how many tasks and errands we can come up with to keep us from our actual work.
2 p.m. Start writing. Battle for the first hour. Feel dejected. Wonder why I don’t know what I’m doing yet. Whine to Mr. Lucy about everything. Then remember that I left load of laundry in the washer three days ago.
3 p.m. The washer is running again. And it’s time to write. It goes much better because my self-loathing tells me I can’t possibly be a writer with the way I use my time. “Oh, yeah?” says my rebellious streak (the only thing stronger than that obnoxious self-loathing). “Watch this!” I write like it’s a job that I’m really good at. Take a few breaks to wink suggestively at Mr. Lucy.
7 p.m. Wrap it up. Immediately wonder if I wrote anything decent or if it’s all a steaming pile of crap. Who cares? That’s what the second draft is for! Celebration ends when I realize I forgot to schedule my oil change, put the clothes in the dryer, figure out why I can’t log into my credit card, and water the plants AGAIN. OMG, dinner.
9 p.m. Pretend I’m super cool and urbane for eating so late. Hope I don’t get heart burn when I go to bed.
10 p.m. Collapse on couch. Remember that I forgot all my vitamins. Eat a frozen Snickers and take half of the vitamins. Plan to do better tomorrow.
To the mamas, the mothers, the moms, and mommies,
To the moms who have experienced heart-breaking loss and still get out of bed in the morning.
To the moms who wanted to but couldn’t.
To the moms who just need one good night’s sleep or a week… or a month…
To the moms who birthed or adopted or aunted or mentored.
To the moms who just can’t get it together.
To the moms who are breaking on the inside.
To the moms who go it alone or have help.
To the moms who make mistakes.
To the moms who are too scared to let go.
To the moms who love and give until it hurts.
To the moms of cats and dogs and goats and fish and every other kind of non-human kid.
To the moms who spend six months planning the perfect birthday party.
To the moms who Google math homework and prom hairstyles.
To the moms who teach hard lessons.
To the moms who work in or out of the home.
To the moms who need a damn break.
To the moms who don’t think they’ll survive the terrible 2s, the threenagers, or the teenage years.
To the moms who think they’re doing it wrong.
To the moms who let their kids make mistakes.
To the moms just barely getting by.
To the moms who just can’t any more.
To the moms who slaved for hours on the perfect meal… that your kids refused to eat.
To the moms who went through the drive-thru or reheated dinosaur chicken nuggets.
To the moms who drove to Target just so they could sit and read in the quiet.
To the moms who trust their kids.
To the moms who can’t trust their kids.
To the moms who carve out a sliver of time to give themselves what they need.
To the moms who just don’t get their kids.
To the moms who still make time to text a friend.
To the moms who can’t remember the last time they saw their friends.
To the moms who just need a “thank you.”
To the moms who are amazed at the people their children are turning out to be.
To the moms who haven’t showered in four days.
To the moms running businesses and committees and fundraisers.
To the moms who don’t remember what it’s like to pee alone.
To the moms who try so damn hard every damn day.
To the moms who were terrified their teenage daughter would never really get it.
To the moms whose only escape is a good book.
To the moms who are scared what the future holds for your kids.
To the moms who count down to college.
To the moms who don’t want their baby to grow up.
To my mom and my grandmothers, aunts, cousins, sisters, and friends.
To the beautiful, smart, skilled, interesting, amazing women who run this world…
I see you. You’re doing a great job. You’re beautiful. You’re fucking incredible. I think you’re amazing. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there.
Happy day after Valentine’s Day, everyone! I hope you had a beautiful day!
Mr. Lucy made me look like a jerk and got me presents (Victoria’s Secret, the sexy AND the comfy kind) even though we said no presents and all I got him was a card. I made up for it by taking him out to a really romantic lunch… at a Chinese buffet.
We romance novelists know how it’s done!
That’s total crap. Out of the two of us, Mr. Lucy is the romantic one. Guys, he gets me a mid-month present every month. FOR NO REASON! They range from computer equipment to books to the perfect hoodie to olive brine for my dirty martinis. Each one is thoughtful, sweet, and has me waking up on the 15th like it’s Christmas morning.
You may be wondering what I give him. That’s a fair question. Beyond tension headaches and too much work, I have devised the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. Every time he leaves the house, I go to the window and flash him.
Keepin’ that romance alive all year-round!
Mondays for nearly everyone suck. It really doesn’t matter if you work in the house or outside the house. Mondays are rough. So let’s talk good stuff to get the week kicked off right…
My top three Positively Monday Things:
- Not only did Mr. Lucy take me to Taco Bell for lunch, he also gifted me with a sexy bottle of olive brine for my dirty martinis. Not only does the man know me well, he also gives me a mid-month present EVERY MONTH. This one just happened to come a little early. #LuckiestWomanAlive
- Writing awesomeness: I finished my basic outline of Blue Moon #4 this weekend and I’m so in love with these two characters already. Word of Caution: totally teared up on the plotting of a continuation of Jax and Joey. Oh, speaking of tears, Heart of Hope comes out this week (1/12). And while it’s a novella, I packed the hell out of the feels into 50k words. #ReadWithKleenex
- It may be cold outside, but I’m lucky enough to have a warm home, fleece-lined slippers, and a feta-spinach turkey burger from the farmer’s market to make for lunch today.
It’s going to be a good day. Go out there (or stay in) and be awesome! What are your happies? #PositivelyMonday
I love New Years in the same way that I love makeover movies. It’s a NEW BEGINNING, GUYS! We can be anyone we want to be this year, do anything we want to do, smell any way we want to smell in 2017, because we’re metaphorically shaking off the shackles of 2016 and taking stock of our lives.
I took the last two weeks off of writing—and anything else that resembles working or providing a positive contribution to society—and started to think about how far off the rails I went in 2016. My little train car not only went off the rails, it rolled end over end, spontaneously combusting into a fiery pyre on top of a bunch of poorly placed gas cans. But I digress… and exaggerate.
Don’t get me wrong, 2016 was a beautiful year with many good things in it. It also left most of us feeling mentally violated at least four times a day. Combine a world gone mad with three ridiculously optimistic deadlines and I was a disorganized, crazy person by the end of it.
Which brings me to my New Year Makeover, or what I like to call “I Swear I’ll Do Better This Year.”
I’ve spent the last year luxuriating in the fact that I no longer have an office job to get up and put on pants and leave the house for. It’s great. It’s fabulous. I haven’t been this well-rested EVER in my life. What’s the problem? I putz around like a sloth under the guise of “checking my email” and “catching up on Facebook.” That putzing usually carries me right up until 3 p.m. when I haven’t written a word or taken a shower or accomplished anything else that is a socially acceptable form of adulthood.
I had planned to learn to meditate. I had wanted to get up every morning and work out. And the mornings that I did do those two things, I felt GOOD. Centered. Awake. Productive. But it’s so easy to talk myself into grabbing a cup of coffee and sitting down with my laptop for “just a few minutes” first. That ends now.
I will establish a morning routine that gets me out of bed at a not embarrassing hour AND starts my day in line with my priorities (the health and kick-ass writing priorities, not the coffee and putzing ones).
Be more present
Or present at all. Seriously any amount of presence is going to be a huge improvement over my current state of “Huh?” I’m going to put my damn phone down. I’m going to stare deeply into Mr. Lucy’s eyes when he talks to me. I’m going to give distractions the finger. I’m going to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch my way through 2017 instead of bumping around in a digital fog.
I’m going to pay attention to the person in front of me rather than the dozen on social media or text.
I’m going to murder anxiety
I waste a quantifiably huge amount of time regretting any number of things I’ve done/haven’t done and worrying about the million things that haven’t happened YET, but might at any moment.
Me: OMG! What if everyone just stops buying my books? What happens if my books start sucking and people stop telling their friends to read them? What if my income just evaporates and I HAVE TO MOVE INTO A CARDBOARD BOX IN MY FRIEND LORI’S DRIVEWAY? SHE LIVES ON A HILL!
I’ve failed a lot, or as Mr. Lucy prefers to call it “falling down.” And falling down still scares me, but what’s important is that every time I’ve fallen down, I’ve gotten back up. There’s no reason to think that in 2017 I’ll just take the next tumble and decide to curl into the fetal position forever. That would be the ultimate stupidness.
Every time that shitty little doubt-filled voice starts running its dirty (and not in the good way) mouth I’m going to do whatever’s necessary to stop it.
Not-So-Lofty Plans for 2017
- Lose the back fat that’s escaping my sports bras
- Buy less disgusting kitchen towels
- Eat more sushi
- Pet more dogs
- Run a 27-minute 5k
- Stop slouching like a vulture
- Stop leaving loads of laundry in the washer for three days
That’s my I Swear I’ll Do Better plan for 2017. What are your plans for this year?