An Exciting New Announcement

Whenever I tell people about being a writer, I typically get one of two responses: “That’s not a real job” or “Do you write children’s books?” It is entirely frustrating that people assume that I’m wasting away my college degree by staying home and writing and how I’m not making any real money. “What a waste of intelligence.” I think the bigger waste of my talents and intelligence is listening to them.

Recently, my youngest son’s bus driver asked me what I do all day under the assumption that I’m watching soap operas and cleaning the house. When I mentioned that I write, she asked if I wrote children’s books. I explained that I write novels/novellas that are generally geared to younger adults and that I do a lot of ghostwriting for other websites to earn an income in between. Rather than judging me, I got a rare response of excitement and interest that only happens every few years.

I kept thinking about that for a while, then the incident with my son happened. (As seen in “When Racism Attacks“, my previous blog post.) Then it hit me: I’m going to write a children’s book. The story has been written and all that is left is the artwork. I am extremely excited about this. If you want to kept updated about how this process is coming along, feel free to like my author page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrianneKLaRochelle/

 

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Remodel: The Kitchen

This one is short and sweet. Just like my kitchen? Har har.

Before

Before

When we first saw the picture of it on the website we were searching for homes on, everyone winced at the picture. I understood; it was pretty tiny and I love to cook. How was this ever going to work?! It turns out there was a name for this kind of kitchen: a galley kitchen. When we saw it in person, we acknowledged how small it was but it wasn’t as small as we thought. The pictures certainly made it look like it was too small for more than one person to stand in it. We can fit most of our family in it at a time, so that was

Before

Before

fine. Being that I am the only one who really cooks in the family, the fact that it was small wasn’t really a big deal to us.

The only real change in terms of remodeling was the floor. It was simple adhesive stick on tiles that you can just grab boxes of at Home Depot. It is both very inexpensive (bought 3 boxes at $27 a box) and it is quite lovely looking. The cabinets received several cleanings before I felt it was ready enough to just leave it be. Originally it was discussed to paint them, but the lovely solid wood was really hard to part with and with the urging of family members, we left it alone. The pass through in the wall is incredibly handy and I love how classic it is. That, along with the shudders on both the kitchen and dining room window, provided a lot of charm that I felt should stay because it’s something you can’t buy in a more modernized house. I love how unique it is.

After, showing off my awesome mixer

After, showing off my awesome mixer

The other big changes are the appliances. The oven didn’t work so we had to get a new one, and we wanted to upgrade to an energy saver fridge

and not leaving the 1960’s appliances in. The 1960’s hood range still exists. We are too poor to replace it, and quite honestly it is still in very much working condition. Which is the same that I could say about the washer and dryer that was left. Old, but in working condition. I’ll take it.

Friday, the living room. Monday, will come the tween’s bedroom clean or not. I suppose showing it a

After

After

mess will give a realistic picture of the tween lifestyle.

It’s Been Too Long

I had hoped that a successful run at NaNoWriMo, that I would be able to get back into the swing of things. I failed to take into account that I spend my day chasing around an active toddler that is an expert climber, while working on editing said novel to claim my hardcover first edition. That has taken a considerable amount of time, as has my yearly holiday baking. Those homemade cookies do not cook themselves, though I wish they did. I hope to get back to my routine after the holidays.
I can’t wait to hold my first edition. I want to be able to hold it, hug it, and show it off. It’s one thing to publish an ebook. I felt really excited when I put both books up on Amazon. But this is different on so many levels. When I came up with this story 10 years ago, that was one of the pushes that led me to college. I put it on the back burner for a long time after that, until I decided to resurrect it for this year’s contest. This was to be my masterpiece. Then, I get to see my masterpiece in my hands. It’s more real than a ebook you have on a Kindle. This is going to be great. This is my other baby. I am proud of it, and extraordinarily proud of myself for completing it.
I am fearful if I spend too much time editing it that I’ll question it and tear it apart unnecessarily because I’m too hard on it. Even the cover has to perfectly fit my vision, which unfortunately my husband has to deal with as my go to photographer. It will work out though, I have faith in the both of us to accomplish this together. And I can’t wait to share it with all of you. In case I don’t get back here until after the holidays, I wish you and your families a Happy (and safe) Holidays.

This Week’s Happenings

There was a few items in the news that I didn’t have the will or ability to focus an entire blog edition on. So like usual, I compiled them for one post of its own. They aren’t important news tidbits, mostly random discussions on Pop Culture related topics. Enjoy this week’s happenings.

  1. The Death of “Glee”. With the death of the real life “Finn Hudson” Cory Monteith, I wonder what’s left in “Glee” for me. I enjoyed the show, because the lovingly dubbed “Frankenteen” was adorably dumb and bumbling and I really enjoyed him and Rachel. I don’t mourn his death, and that’s probably terrible. I feel bad for his loved ones, but I didn’t know him as more than a character on a television show. Most people would take this moment to go on a debate about drugs and whether or not you feel bad if an addict OD’s, but that’s not what this is about. I think “Glee” should consider the possibility of killing Finn off in the same manner to use it as a teachable lesson, though most people might think that this means they are profiting of the death of a main character. They would be silly, because they show is already going to profit off of the death with those people who love the macabre that will watch the show to see what the writers do about this. Also, I have no reason to watch this show since both Finn and Britney are gone and those were the only real reasons to watch the show without Shue or Emma being main characters. Half the fun was also all the hair and sweater/sweater vest jokes that Sue would toss towards Shuester, so I’m pretty much done with that show.
  2. Royal Baby Mania. I don’t get it. Okay, I sort of get it. Kate Middleton is a smiley, lovable ball of commoner turned royal. She’s the epitome of the tales we grew up with. She’s Cinderella, well, if Cinderella were rich before finding Prince Charming and marrying him. She’s down to earth and seems to genuinely care about people. I admire her as a human being, but I can’t say I want an app on my phone to let me know that the royal heir is born. I don’t follow her wardrobe though I admit seeing pictures of some of her outfits sometimes and think “I wish I could afford that”. Maybe I’m missing the allure of this love of the Royals.
  3. “The Purge”. I’ve seen this movie recently and it was a decent movie, not great but decent. I admit that I definitely thought about the premise and considered my own “purge” list. No actual person I know, but I’ll share the list: Justin Beiber, the people responsible for the reason why TV shows and commercials have such a volume difference, and whomever made the decision for Entemann’s to stop making that delicious blueberry coffee cakes.

Enjoy this terrible heat and weekend.

 

The Battle of “Shoulds”

I should be taking a nap. That’s the story of the past few days. The baby, still feeling a bit under the weather from the surgery and might be for a few more weeks, hasn’t been sleeping well. I missed Friday’s post for no other reason than “I should be taking a nap”, so I did. Today I realized I wanted to, but I really couldn’t let myself out of my own sense of obligation. The downside of working for money from home is you really sometimes can’t fight the temptation to just sleep instead of doing the work. Most days I fight it, and today I won.

With all this news over the George Zimmerman trial, I can’t help but to think that I should be writing a post about my thoughts on the matter. Since focusing my Hubpage on parenting, the blog is left to fend for itself. Usually I try to write about current events, but sometimes I can’t help but to rant about whatever I feel like ranting about on a given day. I keep fighting this battle of “shoulds”. Like, I should do some dishes and laundry while the baby is sleeping. But I chose the readers instead. Also, I choo chooo choo choose you, George Zimmerman.

One thing that bothers me is that when talking about the trial, you only hear George Zimmerman referred to as “Zimmerman” while Trayvon Martin is referred to by his first and last name. I don’t like uneven-ness. I don’t like the double standard, hell even Ted Bundy gets both his names uttered when being spoken about. And I would rather hang out with George Zimmerman than I would Ted Bundy. That’s a minor pet peeve in the whole scenario. Another thing I would like to point out, at the risk of getting readers mad at me, is that I don’t think that George Zimmerman is a racist. Do I think he’s guilty of trying to play a hero and chased after a guy he profiled as a criminal because of what he looked like? Absolutely. If I were walking down the street wearing a hoodie, I can safely say that I wouldn’t have been pursued as a criminal since my translucently pale skin would glow in the dark, giving away the fact I’m a white girl in a hoodie and we’re innocent and never do anything wrong. This isn’t about racism in America, I would even dare to say that this isn’t even about racial profiling in America. This is about a moron that wanted to be in the newspapers as the hero of the day for solving the slew of petty crime in his neighborhood. Well, at least he got his wish of being in the newspapers.

The issue at hand, unfortunately, isn’t really about someone who looks white killing an African-American child. I say really because it is a tragedy and it should be made to light that a kid died. But let’s blame the real culprit here: the law itself. This law needs to be changed, because who’s the next person that is going to get killed and have someone go “well I was just defending myself, he looked dangerous”? It’s similar to the gun debate: it’s not the guns that kill people, it’s the crazy people who are allowed to carry them that do. This law gives people a blank check to do this and walk away with their hands being clean. Next thing you know, Aaron Hernandez is going to say that “Odin Lloyd was going to kill me so I killed him in Florida and used a private jet to get the body up here. According to Stand Your Ground laws, this is perfectly acceptable!” People should be outraged that this guy got a blank check to kill someone. Maybe he should have stayed in his car. Maybe he should have followed him in his car while waiting for the police to properly handle the situation. Maybe Trayvon Martin shouldn’t have fought George Zimmerman. Maybe we should think for a moment what would happen if Trayvon Martin had killed George Zimmerman and gotten away with it because of this law. Maybe we should think about the outrage that would come out of that: “A black thug killed innocent neighborhood watchman who was trying to protect his community”. Maybe we should consider these points. This… this is the Battle of the “shoulds”.

Why Do We Even Bother?

Every time I read the news or watch a news program, I’m guaranteed to have more questions than answers. Usually not always questions like “oh why does that even matter?” or “I don’t get what they are trying to say”. Usually they involve more of “seriously?” or “why?”. Is it a result of inadequate reporting on every news outlet? (I specify every because I want no misconceptions of what I mean, because I always point out that I think that they are all shams.) No wonder satirical news websites and television shows do so well: because we figure if we’re going to laugh at the regular news, might as well have one that is purposely trying to be funny. Or… is it that we live in a world that is so “shot to hell” that the news really is that terrible all the time.

First point, arming “rebels” or the “other guys” in Syria. (As always, I preface this commentary with I’m not a political or war genius, but these are questions the everyman/everywoman should be asking.) If there’s something we probably should have learned by now, it’s that training and arming “rebels” anywhere is a terrible idea. Why? I point out about Osama and the Soviet War in Afghanistan. Sure, we didn’t train them but we sent money and weapons to help them. And we all know that worked out well in our advantage 30 years later… oh, wait. It didn’t. It’s a hard position to be in, because there are innocent people caught in the middle of this but what would happen if we went in and fought a war? Those innocent people are really going to be harmed no matter which way this table turns. And how do we even know who the good guys are? Are there even any good guys to help? Or are we just going to flip a coin to decide which side is “less bad”.

And then there’s the IRS thing. As if there’s not enough actual problems with them, now they need to make more scandals up? I saw a news report about how the IRS are getting semi-automatic guns and being trained how to use them. “That’s a terrible idea” it was said. “Why do we want an organization that’s targeting the conservatives to have weapons? Oh, they keep having accidents with those weapons. I don’t get it.” I don’t get it either. It’s okay an everyday person to have any gun they want without training, but let’s not give a gun to a Federal Employee and train them so they don’t do something stupid with it. Have you seen how some people react when they get their taxes done? I’d want a gun if I were an accountant or IRS agent. Let’s stick to what they actually did wrong and get them on that. You really don’t need to make something up to make it known they did a terrible thing. Maybe next we shouldn’t allow a President to have a gun because “why does he need one?” Though, I suppose with there still being people out there who thing Obama is a sleeper terrorist, they probably don’t want him to have a gun either. Welcome to America, where they will fight for Gun Rights for everyone because it’s a constitutional right,  but not the IRS.

On a final note, I would like to thank the Supreme Court for announcing that a big company cannot patent my highly sought after ginger/alcoholic genes. I know, it’s a heartbreak to everyone that wanted access to my awesomeness. It’s really more of a surprise that the Supreme Court had to rule on whether or not my genetic makeup could be used by a big company to profit from while I get nothing but “stabby stabbies” by doctors for an obscene amount of money. Really? What next, they can take my eggs and patent them. Oh, I know… they can make me take an ultrasound on my own dime for a medical procedure they have no business being involved in to begin with… oh.. wait.

Happy Friday Readers, and enjoy your weekend. And make sure you get the men in your life a videogame or some other gadget to make them happy for Father’s Day, they really hate ties.

Why GameStop, Why?!

I’m a gamer. My son and husband are too. Needless to say, we buy a new videogame at least every few weeks. These purchases are mostly from Steam, but Steam doesn’t sell console games so we do eventually end up at GameStop since it’s right down the street. This is always an agonizing trip for me. Not only is there always an obscenely long line with people working that act like we inconvenience them for us wanting to purchase a game at their store. Oh no, I expect you to work since I pay your company an obscene amount of money for a game. It’s not bad enough I always end up in line behind two overweight people who obviously don’t know what deodorant is. It’s not bad enough that you would rather sit around doing nothing instead of dealing with customers. I’m sorry you have a job and people expect you to do it.

My gripe isn’t just with the very poor customer service you often get in those stores. The other issue is their love of “preorders”. I’m sorry, I didn’t preorder that game since if I felt like driving an extra 10 minutes I could just go to Best Buy and get the game I want because they actually care enough about getting money that they get extras for those who don’t feel like preordering a game. It wouldn’t be so bad if there was more than one person working at a store and you didn’t have to wait 20 minutes in line behind a guy that smelled like his last shower was 2 years ago only to be told “sorry, preorders only”. I quit, and I refuse to go back and I wish more people would do the same because too many companies think they can treat customers however they want.

Maybe I’m spoiled by Steam and Origin. (Also, a big “screw you” to GameStop, turns out I could just buy the game on the DS with Nintendo points and instantly download it.) I hope this becomes as popular on consoles so we never have to suffer midnight releases or rude customer service or disgustingly smelling clientele. You would think with a business model that’s dying, they’d fight a little harder for their customers. Instead, they can act how they want. I’m going to only buy my games in the comforts of my home in my pajamas and wake up to a predownloaded game instead of worrying about running out to get it. I’d like to thank Steam for making this possible for us and really loving us gamers. /endGameStopsucksrant.