Choosing to Be Happy with @meganslayer #choosinghappy #bestlife #positive

CalmThere are just certain things that make a body wonder. Two days ago, the tot’s pet fish passed. Some have already told me, it’s just a fish. It’s not like it was a cat or dog or something. The thing is, this was tot’s pet. He was responsible for the fish. He’d talk to it, feed it, change the water, read to it…and it was his. Poor kid was devastated. Still is, but who can blame him?

We put down my orange cat before Christmas and it was tough. Broke my heart because he was my baby. I still feel like a heel for putting him down, even though he was failing and wouldn’t have made it through the night. So I get why tot feels destroyed.

But the passings got me thinking. I’ve been down in the dumps since Tuesday when I had to tell the tot about his fish. Just…made me depressed. I gave myself Tuesday and yesterday to feel cruddy. I mean, you need time, right?

I made a decision last night. I can’t just be blah. I can’t. It’s not me. So, I’m choosing positivity. I know, I know. Everyone does. It’s a thing. But I like to put a positive spin on what’s happening. Not the edits I want? Well, at least I have the edits and can get them done. Stuff like that. I’m choosing to just be happy. We only get one life (so I’m told) so I’m making the best of it. 🙂


Those Pesky Characters with @meganslayer #characters #iamwriting

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I am very much a pantser. I tend to let the story go where it will and clean up afterwards. I know that sounds kind of irresponsible. It’s true. The thing is… my characters are the drivers in the story. If they decide to zig, then I have to zig with them. I’ve tried to zag when they zig and it didn’t work.

I’ve had characters who have changed personality through the story. One example is in my recent book, Finding Michael. Tristan is a writer. He has a very high opinion of himself. He’s a playboy. But he grows through the story. He has a few realizations through the book that I didn’t see coming. Instead of arguing with him, I let him go and the realizations made sense the more I went. Fighting what he wanted to do, which I tried, didn’t help. He argued with me, too.

I’ve had entire stories, like Tristan’s planned out. Like written all out in a notebook, 40,000 words done, planned out. I knew where I was going with the story and started moving what was in the notebook to the computer. Between the notebook and computer, the characters change. They evolve. I like it. I want them to grow. Just because I might have liked the original idea doesn’t mean the way they’re moving forward isn’t good. Most of the time, it’s great. The changes show me more of who the characters are.

I’ve had a couple characters grow through a series and now that I’m at the third book of the Picture Me series, I’m seeing just how original and more themselves they are becoming. It’s refreshing and challenging, but a good challenge.

I’d rather have the characters be themselves and evolve with the story, rather than have them be static. I’d rather be pushed as an author. I like growing in my profession and writing.

A Little Story with @meganslayer #relivingthepast #bullies #nomore #bekind

I want to tell you a little story, it’s a true one, from my childhood. It’s actually from my teen years, but someone told me once that’s part of childhood. Don’t tell my teen that–he swears he’s not a child. But this story involves my freshman year of school.

When I was in high school, think Freaks and Geeks time, we were required to take 2 semesters of gym class over the course of the first two years. I hate gym. I don’t like to run. Don’t like to sweat and I’m not the most coordinated kid out there. I’m still not. But I was required to take gym.

One girl, I’ll call her Alice, didn’t like me. I don’t know why. To this day, I can’t remember why. I will admit I had a bit of a snob complex. Broken HeartNot because we had money. We didn’t. But because I liked being right. Sounds silly now. But I liked doing things the right way. Have a deadline for a paper? I’ll get mine in a day before because it’s the right thing to do. Need a ride? I’ll give you a life because it’s the right thing to do. That sort of action. Get good grades because…you guessed it…it’s the right thing to do.

So Alice is in my gym class. She’s a grade ahead of me and much more athletically talented than I ever will be. I believe she played basketball for the school. Bu she hated me. I mean HATED. I don’t know why. Really. I tried to avoid her whenever possible because I didn’t like conflict. Oh, I could be a moody teen when I wanted, but I did then and still do tend to avoid conflict.

But she sought me out. If we were changing in the locker room – why the room was always dimly lit, I’ll never know – but she’d made comments. She’d mention my underdevelopment or my sometimes ratty clothes (I said we weren’t exactly well off), or my hair. She loved to insult my hair. I let it grow way out until it was past my butt. Then around grade 8, I cut most of it off. I got tired of the endless shampooing and drying. I hated wearing it mostly in a braid because there was too much of it to do much with. I’ll agree the haircut I got wasn’t great. It was a bowl cut back when those things were cool. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t thought it was so neat. But that’s another story for another day.

Alice knew I wasn’t confident. I’ve had body issues all my life. She knew where to jab to make the most impression. I remember being told I should shave my head and start over again because it might improve my looks. I have thin eyebrows. Always have. She’d leave me little notes on the desk we shared in American History class that mentioned my lack of eyebrows and how it made me ugly. I hated going to that class and I love history. I hated gym, too, and now I had dual reasons for it.

We were in gym and she’d given me the latest insult about my outfit being uncool – I was wearing flannel before flannel was a thing. It was warm and we had flannels. Shrugs. Anyway, she’d insulted me, then left a note in my gym locker. She wanted me to die. She’d told me plenty of times I should kill myself because the world didn’t want to look at me and I did my best to brush it off. I said I don’t like confrontation. But this note really got to me.

She threatened to beat the living hell out of me. Granted, she was a rough kid. She liked to fight. No, she loved it. But this was going too far. Beating the hell out of someone…

Who does that? Over your looks? It was common then as much as it is now. I tried to block out how the note made me feel, but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to rock the boat, mostly because I thought she really would beat me up and I don’t know how to fight. I don’t remember if I gave the note to my mother or if she found it, but she ended up with it and was pissed. Like, went right to the school and marched into the principal’s office that day pissed. I was mortified. I just knew Alice would find out – mostly because she’d get into trouble – and would follow through on her threat.

Things did happen. I was hauled down to the principal’s office and accused of causing the argument. If I hadn’t provoked her – I was never told HOW I’d done it, but I’d brought it on myself – then she wouldn’t have had to retaliate. We were told to make amends and to stay away from each other. My classes were changed so we didn’t run into each other.

I’ll admit, I’ve stuck up for myself a few times and I don’t always back down, but in this instance, I did. I was a coward. I didn’t want to get my face mashed over someone having a problem with it. I didn’t try to kill myself, but I tried any and all means to get out of gym class and any other event that brought me in Alice’s circles. I hated the person I saw when I looked in the mirror because I thought, if she finds fault with me, then others do, too. If there are faults, then I’m less of a person.

In retrospect, it’s stupid. I’m not less of a person because she didn’t like me. That was on her. I never should’ve given her power over me, but I did. Once you’re bullied, you don’t forget it. I can’t say I’ve been perfect. I’m human. There are some people I just don’t get along with. That said, I’ve tried to take the high road and avoid them. You can’t get into trouble if you’re not around what causes you to get in trouble, right? Or I try to keep a stiff upper lip and be nice, even when I don’t feel that way. I’ve been catty. It happens. Doesn’t make up for my behavior to say it happens. I’m human. I make mistakes. I’d like to think the same goes for Alice. Maybe when she looks back on that incident, she’d like to do it differently. Maybe she doesn’t think about me at all. I don’t know.

I guess my point is no matter how nice or sweet you think you are, there will always be people who don’t like you. No matter how catty you are, it’s not right. You might think your actions aren’t doing harm, but you never know just how deep those cuts go. You may never find out.  You might have said something that was totally innocent and not intended to be mean, but was taken out of context and ruins a relationship. It happens. It’s not right and not fair, but it happens.

We’ve only got so much time on this planet. Why not make the most of it and live in harmony? Simply put, don’t be a dick.

Life with Cats ~ Writing, Working, Supervising ~ with @meganslayer #captainamerica #lifewithcats #cats #jeepauthor #iamwriting

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This installment of life with cats involves me trying to write the other day and me trying to sort out an issue yesterday. Doesn’t seem too exciting, does it? When there are cats involved, it’s never dull.

Two days ago while writing, I’m getting seriously into the story. Like…the climax of everything. I needed to concentrate. No interruptions kind of concentrate. I had X-Men: Days of Future Past playing and I paid James McAvoy no attention. Yeah. I was getting intense.

Then I hear it. Crying. Well, more like crying and begging, but in the form of the cat meowing. Captain America, so named because his white patch on his nose and chin looks like the Avengers A and it seemed like a good name at the time, wanted to play ball. He does fetch like a dog. It’s funny. He finds the paper ball, brings it kind of over and stares at you. When you don’t respond, he cries. It’s like, oh my gosh you’re not paying attention to me…and I want to play. But most of the time when he does this, he’s out of sight. Like…in the other room and I have no idea he’s even in there until he cries. Oh and this boy is a master of stealth, too. One minute he’s one place and the next he’s somewhere else and I have no idea when he went from point A to point B.

So I’m writing and getting into the story and he’s crying. Of course that rips me out of the story. I mean, I thought he’d gotten locked in a room or something. He does helpless well. Because I’m concerned, I put the story down and hunt for him. He’s sitting on the steps with the ball in front of him and looking very annoyed that it took me this long to bother to arrive to pitch the ball for him. Needless to say, once we’d done this two or three times and he’d decided he was bored, I’d lost all concentration on the story. Sometimes I think he knows he does it and it’s a special thrill for him.

Then there was yesterday. We have two cats. I had three, but one passed back before Christmas. Toughest decision of my life. I hate putting animals down. Even if he was failing and fast, it still sucked. Anyway, the black cat, Cap’s adoptive brother is missing a few screws. I really think when he was in the oven, so to speak, Momma left a few pieces out. He’s a neurotic cat.

So I’m dealing with an issue on a program. I’m the publicity chair for the author brunch and I’m in charge of the program. I wanted said program to look neat, professional and clean. I had the whole thing planned out and emailed the entire plan in document form, plus the banners, plus the menu, to the person who puts it all together. There shouldn’t have been an issue. I mean, it’s copy/paste from the one last year AND I had it all spelled out in the document. Should’ve been easy peasy. But this person swears, despite having acknowledged the email with the information all in and attached to it, that he never got the right stuff. Irked the crap out of me. I have proof he did get it.

In the middle of my having a conniption, the black cat, Vader, strolls over to where I’m sitting. He’s neurotic, but he’s also nosy. Oh, and he loves pens. I had a pen in hand, taking notes, when he decided I didn’t need the pen and didn’t need the notes. He sat on the notes and stole the pen. Instead of getting even more irritated, the interruption actually helped. I appreciated his decision as my supervisor, to step in and de-escalate the situation. So anyone who says cats aren’t therapeutic is wrong.

They know when to step in, when to cause chaos and when to be themselves. I might get some writing done today. Might get to concentrate. I’m not counting on it. I know these two. They’re goofballs, but they’re nice goofballs. I can’t imagine life without them.

I Get Knocked Down…But I Get Up Again with @meganslayer #iamwriting #iamthinking #randomthoughts


Sometimes it seems like writing feels like working in a vacuum. Like you’re doing your own thing and it’s a wonder if anyone notices. Like you’re doing this awesome thing and you’re in your own bubble.

A lot of times, writing is like that. Like right now… I’m working on this blog post and I’m sitting alone in my office. I’ve got a movie running in the background and music playing on my laptop. Sometimes I think I should get a commission from the Marvel Universe because I’ve watched the movies so many times.

But I’m still working on my own. I can’t stand when there are other people in my space when I’m writing. Can’t. Drives me nuts. I think it’s because I get the feeling they want my attention and I need to devote my attention to the story. Okay, you’re probably wondering why I said that. I have a movie and music going. My attention is kind of everywhere.

Yes and no. I’m in my own little world. I hear the music and can glance up to watch the movie, but I’m focused on the story.  It’s great. I’m creating a world, getting lost in it and hanging out with my book friends. Like I said, it’s great.

But the thing is…writing isn’t totally in a vacuum. I need my friends. I need to hear we’re in this together. I need to know I’m not the only one with writer’s block or whatever. Sometimes I do want to talk to people. I want to know whatever I’m doing isn’t for naught.

So while it might feel like I’m in a bubble, I’m not. I’ve got friends and readers who rock, plus a family that’s a fabulous support system. I’m not alone and I’ve got one of the coolest jobs out there.

Sometimes It Just Doesn’t Click with @meganslayer #randomthoughts #blogging #writing #iamwriting

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There are some days when the story works. Like, just clicks and I feel unstoppable. It’s crazy, but fun. I mean, I know where I’m going and I can’t type fast enough to get the words down. The same goes for blog posts. Some days I know exactly what I want to write about. Every so often, I even have lists for what I want to write about. I know… crazy.

Then there’s today.  Yep. Today I’ve been stuck. It started yesterday, to be honest. I’d read some things on social media that sucked. Not about me, but about something that had happened. I know, vagueposting much? The post that bothered me doesn’t really matter. It’s done and happened and I can’t change it. Doesn’t mean it didn’t depress me. So that made wanting to write a tad difficult. The vitriol that followed the thing I read didn’t help.

I let the thing bother me, even though I can’t do much about it. That’s where I got myself into trouble. I didn’t comment. No way. But I tried to write. Just work on the story I had started. It didn’t work. Nope. I kept thinking about other things that bothered me–the loss of my cat back before Christmas, my 91 year old grandfather being in a very bad way, the stress from the EDJ, stress from the Author Brunch–and it all messed with my creativity.

So instead of getting totally bogged down, I decided to blog about this pothole in my road of creativity. Do you have these? Ever have a day when you just can’t think of anything to write about for the blog? The story gets stuck? I’d love to know about it. Maybe you’ve got suggestions for how to get beyond the block. I’m listening.

Do I Have to Do This All Over Again ~ Random Thoughts by @meganslayer #randomthoughts #reminders #monkees #lifewithcats

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie Head by the Monkees or if you even know who the band is. Maybe you’ve never heard of them. The song above is from their only movie. Yep. The movie is called Head. I used to know why, but I can’t remember at the moment. But the song above, Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again? has been playing in my head (Sorry for the pun) almost all morning. Why, you might ask?

It reminds me of this guy.

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Every time I walk through the house, he believes I should be going to his food dish to fill it. Never mind he has dry food in a self feeder and can get to it whenever he wants. No, he wants the wet stuff. The good stuff. Getting there, and getting there first requires him to vault over things, wiggle under my feet and play his best pest role in order to get what he wants. It’s an interesting dance we do, him begging and me not giving in until it’s the determined feeding time.

If I gave in and fed him when he begged, then he’d eat ALL THE TIME. No joke. He’d be the size of a house. Yeah, no. So I don’t give in. But that doesn’t stop him from trying to trip me to get what he wants.

Every day we do this dance and every day I remind him that no, it’s not time and no, I won’t be feeding him. Like it’s on a loop.

Do you have this issue? Am I the only one with a pesty, but adorable cat, who knows how to game the system? I can’t be. He cannot be the only one. And yes, that is my cat in the photo. Cute little stinker, isn’t he?