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.


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.

My Grandmother Used to Say… with @meganslayer #grandmother #advice #holidays

Grandmother Banner

The holidays can be a tough time. So many people to see and places to be. The spring tends to be easier, but not always. I know, because of DH’s schedule, what holidays I can attend and which ones we won’t be able to because there isn’t time. Or because we’ve decided to have just our family, not the extended one.  It happens. One year we might be able to make it to all the big gatherings and the next…none. It’s not fun. My grandfather passed last year and it’s getting close to the anniversary of that, so I do want to be around the extended family. But it’s not always feasible.

My grandmother used to say (and still does), just tell the boss your grandmother wants you to be there and to give you the time off. If that doesn’t work, then cry. If that doesn’t work, then let me cry and I’ll get your boss to let you have time off.

I love my grandmother, but crying doesn’t always get the job done. Sometimes you’ve just gotta bite the bullet and do the job. You’ve got to go to work. I get her meaning though. She wants us to be there. It’s not the same without all the cousins around. Plus, you don’t know how long you’ve got to have those people around. It’s tough.

Some days I get frustrated. I know she’ll say she’ll volunteer to talk to the boss so we can be there. Some days it’s funny. Other days, it’s frustrating. But I understand. I’m going to be a grandmother some day (I assume) and I’ll probably be the same way. But who knows.

Considering it’s almost a year since my grandfather passed and I’m sure this will be tough for my grandmother, I just might have to find a way to be at Easter after all.


Life with Dogs ~ @meganslayer #lifewithdogs #pups #oneeyeddog #jeepauthor

Darlington 2018

I love my dogs. I do. They’re loyal, friendly, sweet…and full of baloney. Not real baloney. But they live to be themselves. Once I think I have them sorted out, they do something I hadn’t expected.

My dog, for example. She’s only got one eye. She lost the other to glaucoma that got out of control. I guess it’s part of her breed. I still think that’s funny because she’s part basset and part beagle. Which part is her breed? Which part is the one to decide what she’ll genetically get?

But she’s only got one eye now. I have to be careful which side of her I stand on and I made sure to touch her back if I’m behind her so she knows I’m there. I still play games with her to make her hunt for me so her hunting skills – which she only uses to hunt me – are still sharp.

This post, though, is how she still amazes me. She’s 13 and down an eye, so that’s pretty amazing, but that’s not what I mean.

I woke up this morning to scratching and grunting. Both dogs are fixed so I knew it wasn’t that. What the heck was she doing? She’s got a dog bed and it’s pretty plush. It’s at the foot of my bed, so I know she has to be in the room. So I continue to hear the scratching, so I get up. I round the bed and there she is…half under the bed and stuck. She’d somehow wedged herself under the bed and was scratching to get out. How’d she get there? I’m not sure, but I’m guessing the big dog mushed the bed down just enough that she probably rolled while she slept. She’s a sound sleeper. She probably woke up thinking, gee, this is tight. I should get out of there. Then started scratching.

Needless to say, I got up earlier than I wanted, but I helped her get unstuck, so it was worth it.

And yes, that’s my pup in the picture this week. 🙂


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.

the baby.jpg

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?


Things My Grandma Used to Say by @MeganSlayer #musings #grandma #advice #iamwriting #jeepauthor

Grandmother Banner

This week for my post about my grandmother, I’m focusing on my paternal grandmother. Shes’ a unique person. She always has been. Some people just see her as her disease – she has dementia. Others see her for her OCD. I see her as a woman who has lived through a lot and survived. She’s a little silly, very stuck in certain ways, confused, sad, but also fun and sweet.

I’m lucky to still have both of my grandmothers. When I was a teenager, I actually had four–no five–grandmothers. Four I knew and one I didn’t.  I spent time with my grandmothers and with the exception of two, I was allowed to just about destroy the house, with grandma’s help, if that’s what I wanted because she had fun making a mess, too.

But this column is about my paternal grandmother. I mentioned she’s got OCD and dementia. It can be tough talking to her because she remembers certain things the way she wants to because that version makes her happier than how the event really occurred. She’s 87. I won’t argue with her.

My grandmother has been good for some odd advice, but this one was one of the oddest. Not bad, but a little different. My Grandma used to say, you have to dust the legs of the table because you never know when someone will look there.

Yes. She said that. The legs of the table. I always wondered why she said it, but I was usually the one sent to do that dusting, too. I didn’t know anyone who crawled under the table during any family events. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized what can be done under a table. I’ll let you go where you want with that. But why would she care about dusting the legs of the table.

Looking back, I see what she meant. It wasn’t for shenanigans happening under the table. She meant, pay attention to the details. If you’re going to do something, do it fully and right. If you’re going to dust, make sure you’re getting all of it. She’s right. Why do something half-assed when doing it right is best? I’ve tried to follow that advice in my own life. Oh, sure. I’ve cut corners here and there, but if I want something done and done well, then I do it right. It’s best.

Do you have interesting advice from your grandmother? Something that might be a tad off the beaten path? Let me know!


Life With Dogs…with @meganslayer #dogs #life #sleep #jeepauthor #iamwriting #tryingtowrite #authordogs

Life with Dogs

Note, that’s not my dog. I didn’t have a photo of her handy to post. I will next time. Plus, this photo was just too cute not to share.

I’d planned on writing blog posts for both days this weekend. Planned on getting a lot done. Yeah, I said planned. My dog had other ideas.

I love my dog. She’s my dog. People like to tell me she’s just a dog, but she’s not. She’s mine. She adopted me. For whatever reason, she’s decided I belong to her. Works for me.

Most of the time I don’t mind her shenanigans. I mean, she’s a dog. She can’t always control herself. I know that. But this weekend, she was a real pill.

It started out with a pair of matching socks. No, the more I think about it, the whole thing started Sunday morning at three a.m. I don’t sleep well. One noise and I’m wide awake. I hear the dog making noises and wake up to find she’d barfed. I clean it up, get her settled and go back to bed. She graces me with the same thing at five-thirty, but this time I got her outside before I had to clean anything up.

Then after I was up for the morning,  I found a puddle on the floor. Seems when I’d decided to wash the grays out of hair the night before, she had to go out, but couldn’t, so she left me a present. Needless to say, I found the puddle in those matching socks.

I get teased by DH. If I’m wearing matching socks, it won’t be a good day. If they don’t match, then it’ll be okay. Turns out, he was right yesterday.  After the multiple messes, my pup decided it would be great to wander the house. This isn’t bad, just…I have to watch her. Last month she had to have one of her eyes removed due to glaucoma that was uncontrollable. Not good. But she’s bounced back wonderfully. Really. For being 13 and down an eye, she’s a champ. She’s still got the spunk in her step and can’t wait to go for car rides. It’s just that sometimes she strolls the house for what seems like forever and occasionally if she doesn’t think anyone’s around, she’ll leak.

She didn’t intend to make a mess and I can’t blame her for having an upset tummy. It happens to the best of us. I honestly can’t blame her for the puddle, either. I should’ve been watching her. She’s old and leaks. If I’d have been keeping an eye on her, she might not have done it. Like I said, she has to be watched.

But I bring this up because I was told the other day that authors have brilliantly wonderful lives that are full of glamour and fun. I can’t say I don’t love my life. I have good dogs, good cats (well as good as cats can be), a great family and I get to do what I love by writing. But it’s not all rainbows and skittles. Not by a long shot. I ended up going through three pairs of socks yesterday. Got mud on my jeans when I watered the plants because I went to check one of them and transferred the dirt from my hand to my pants. See? Not thrilling stuff.

And yet, I managed. I’m still here. I’m breathing. I will get some writing done later. It’s a good day. Even with the puddles and mishaps, it’s good.