Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spooktacular Fun

It's that time of year again, kids! If you just love all things dark and spooky you've come to the right place. We're all about celebrating the eerie and frightening this time around. Okay, I'll fess up. I'm a bit of a scare-dee-cat. But we all have our fears, don't we? Tell me here and now..What are YOU afraid of?
Is it that monster hiding under your bed? You know if you let your hand or foot dangle over, something is gonna grab it, right?
Is it the ghost in the attic? Come on, that bump in the night - you know it's not really the "house settling" don't you?
Or is it snakes, sharks, rats or spiders that rattle your nerves?
We ALL have something that gives us the creeps, don't we? And we all have our fave horror flick, and that one book that totally terrified us. I found The Shining to be particularly unsettling - the novel and the movie. "Here's Johnny." Thank you, Steven. 
And thank you to Kathy at http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com/2012/08/spooktacular-giveaway-hop-sign-ups.html for hosting another awesome (and HUGE) giveaway to toast this scary season.
And naturally we are giving away two copies of WISHLESS eBooks. (see more below) 
Be sure to leave a comment. Let us know what it is that makes you lose your cool. Happy Haunting to one and all!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Maid's Day Off - Dirty Little Details

It was one of those gorgeous fall weekends here; copper-colored leaves swirling in an amber, sun-drenched sky. A light jacket, favorite pair of jeans, comfy shoes and you're good to go. Outdoors, anywhere. Days like these spark thoughts of freedom, of hours without limits, of endless chores and dirty little details you would wish away if only you were able.

But on any given day the average person has a to-do list that just won't quit. Would I sound terribly sexist if I were to edit that sentence to read: "...the average woman..?" Yes? Oh darn. It truly isn't the case. And I'm not about to debate who works harder. Nor do I really care. It's a matter of opinion and a highly subjective one at that, I'm certain. Yet there's an old saying, "A man may work from sun to sun, but a woman's work is never done." As a single, working mother myself - I concur. And if history is any indication, further proof is in the pudding.

Rewind a few dozen years ago, (and then some) and there I am. A young girl, laying belly-down on the carpet, elbows bent, fists supporting my chin, television droning in my ear. From the corner of my eye, she flits by me - my own mother hoisting a fully-loaded laundry basket from one floor of our house to the other. Some time later she cruises by, a hanger suspended from her forearm, my father's shirt flapping in her breeze. Before the night is over she'll iron and then balance the family checkbook  - all while I lounge comfortably in front of the tube wondering why on earth she can't just wrap it up and chill out. I recall asking her to join me, on many occasions, as if her relaxation were solely contingent upon my invitation.

"Can't," she'd say. "There's too much to do and it's the maid's day off."

No. We did not have a maid. Ever. It was simply mom's way of implying that if she didn't do it, it wasn't getting done. And, by George, she was right. Again. (Aren't they always?)

Now before you get all riled up - yes, I'd help out - now and then. However, most often my mother was like the Lone Ranger minus Tonto. Most mothers are (including me.) If we want something done right we end up just doing it ourselves.

But I digress. A bit. The point is: our free time isn't ever entirely free. Even when we set it up to be that way. Even when we spend months planning a vacation somewhere far from our dirty little details, safely hidden from our laundry baskets and our checkbooks. Even when we swear we're going to devote an entire beautiful autumn afternoon to doing nothing other than comparing the different hues of red in the trees. Before you know it, it slips into your mind. A detail. Let one in and soon another follows. And another. And another. They're like ants flocking to an open picnic basket.

Now I ask you...where is that maid with the vacuum when you need her?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Medium at Large

I spent this past Saturday night with HER- the flaxen-haired, crystal-heeled Medium a 'la Long Island. Together with about 3000 others, huddled in the NYCB Theatre (footnote - if you grew up on Long Island, and no, it isn't pronounced Lawn Guyland, this theatre will forever be known as the Westbury Music Fair) we witnessed Theresa Caputo ring up the spirit world - on speed dial to boot.

Now, I'm no Medium Virgin. This isn't the first time I've seen Ms. Caputo or other lesser-blinged psychics. And I've received my fair share of messages delivered from my relatives and friends who have passed. Yet, I've never heard from them in a crowd. It would seem that when faced with jockeying for position or standing in line for their turn to chat, my dearly departed are somewhat slow to the draw. So our L.I. Medium cruised stealthily through the aisles ("Oh! I stepped in gum!") with her spirits in tow and I waited. I wondered if anyone I know might drop by and say hello. Before I knew it, the event was over and I hadn't been "read."

Ms. Caputo says that you don't really need to consult a medium in order to converse with your loved ones on the other side. She says they are with us all the time - listening, watching, knowing. So with that in mind (and with Grandma a no-show at the show-show) I closed my eyes and opened my mind to the conversation.

"Gram? Are you there?"
"Yes," she said, "I'm always here."
"That's great! So you're okay. I'm guessing you've seen the kids. They're nearly grown."
"Yes," she said, again, "And they are very special."
"Gram, do you know I'm writing books  now?"
"I do! That's wonderful. I'm so proud. I told Loretta. She's always so busy bragging about her granddaughter, the rocket scientist."
"A friend."
"Wow," I said. "so you have friends up there? That's great. About my books...have you read them?"
There was a pause. "Well...dear, I've been meaning to, but I'm quite busy these days."
"Busy? With what?"
Grandma explained. "Chubby Checker is teaching a Twist class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and of course, there's my Mahjong club. We meet every Wednesday at three."
"Oh, I had absolutely no idea."
Grandma's voice got further away. "But I'm told these books of yours are good. Keep at it. One day you'll make yourself a living from them."
"I will? Do you really think so?...Gram?"
Silence. She was already gone. The question would remain trapped in the universe, somewhere out there. As yet unanswered. I wanted to wish her back. Tell her that I love her. That I miss her. That I wear her ring. That I think of her and the life we shared way back when. Ask her what color the sky is where she is. Ask her what heaven looks like, has she met God.
Is she an angel now?
Silly me.
I already know the answer to that last one.

Ms. Caputo is right. You don't really need a medium to speak to the ones you lost. You just need an open heart.