Friday, November 15, 2019

Mental Health, Insurance Companies, & Medical Marijuana

This is going to be an angry blog post. FYI. 

I have health insurance through my job. It is one of the larger companies so most doctors accept it. Mental health services are another story...

I've outgrown my current therapist. I just need a little more something. I'm out of the depression hole and leaving the house again, but I want to dig deeper. I also want to get off pills, which requires understanding how my brain works and developing coping skills to handle whatever the pills are currently handling for me. 

I've been hunting for a new therapist for two months. I have a fucking spreadsheet. Most of the therapists who accept insurance, and there aren't many, are not accepting new patients. I'm on several waiting lists. Two places were nice enough to kindly tell me I'm so low on the list that I should look elsewhere for services. 

Great. 

I called a few therapists that do not take insurance and the going rate is $150-$200.  That's per session. After the initial intake session. Which is $400-$500. 

What the fuck, yo.

I called my insurance company and they indicated that once I met my deductible they would kick in a portion of the cost for a therapy session. I didn't get to the part where they would help pay because I got stuck at my $5000 deductible. 

Dude. My copay is $30. If I went once a week for 52 weeks-a calendar year-it would cost me $1560. That is nowhere close to five grand!! I don't have five thousand dollars to spend on therapy. That's close to half a year's rent money!

I bit the bullet a few months ago and got a private psychiatrist who doesn't take insurance because my old psychiatrist moved out of state. I pay her $200 for a 30 minute session to write me prescriptions for meds I don't really want to take.

Grrrr.

Today, it got worse. We had a presentation for open enrollment for benefits at my job. In speaking with the rep from the insurance company, I discovered that only $100 of a $200 therapy session will count towards my deductible. Essentially, I'd need to fork out ten grand before the insurance company would help pay. Once I've spent $10K, they will contribute $50 towards a $200 therapy session. 

Did you catch all that math? I had to ask the rep 4 times to explain it to me. 

Let me repeat. What the fuck. 

I'm so annoyed right now. I need a therapy session to work through my inability to find a therapist and the exorbitant cost of therapy. 

My next blog will be about medical marijuana.  

Happy Friday, ya'll. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Hot & Humid Bad Decisions


A wave of nostalgia hit me tonight while I walked the dog. It was dark outside, yet hot and humid enough for a simple stroll to quickly bring sweat to my brow.  I was reminded of my hometown in the heartland, the Great Lakes region where people are familiar with the long, cold, snowy winters. Less known, though, are the short, hot, humid summers.

Growing up, there was, at best, a baker's dozen of days that were perfect. No humidity. No coats needed. No blizzards, tornadoes, or heat alerts. When it wasn't cold enough for your snot to turn icy after two minutes in the elements. And it wasn't eighty degrees with 90% humidity—that means mist in the air for you Southern Californians.

Nightlife on hot, humid nights was dangerous. The residual Puritanical ideals that lingered in the Midwest were temporarily put aside.  It was acceptable to wear little clothing as the news warned everyone of the very real potential for heat stroke. The misty air in the night clubs mixed with the overall lack of clothing lead to very, very poor choices.

These were the nights the shy girl became emboldened due to her unusually excessive amount of skin showing.  Men's ability to control their urges became internal Holy Wars as women in short skirts, tiny dresses, and crop tops danced around them. Everyone was sweaty. Everyone.  

The sweat, mist, skin, and darkness became a recipe for bad decisions.  

These nights created spring babies and chlamydia outbreaks.  

Alcohol was the catalyst on hot, humid nights for women, who usually took pause, to throw caution to the wind and lead a man they'd just met to the promised land—her bed, car, or the bar bathroom, whichever fit her fancy.  Men rejoiced and everyone's orgasms hit just a little bit harder.

While Mother Nature was at rest before the inevitable thunder storm that followed hot, humid nights filled with stagnant mist in the air, men and women were drinking, fucking, and sweating like the gales that were to come.  

Those memories are hazy, but I'm pretty sure I had a great time—sans chlamydia.

Friday, August 9, 2019

City of Sibling Love


It’s been a minute since I’ve been able to write. I’ve actually been doing work… while at work. I’ve also had a fair amount of headaches. Ones where my eyes burn and the computer screen is like the sun burning my corneas.

I’m not doing well with getting out in the world and meeting people. I binged the latest season of Queer Eye and realized many of their make-overs included pushing someone out of their comfort zone and, often, letting people in. I felt sad as I realized I didn’t have anyone to let in, at least not in my current city. There is the problem at hand. I don’t have a problem connecting with others, but I have to meet them first.

I place a lot of restrictions on myself in order to adhere to what I believe is the optimal schedule for the highest quality of sleep. The last two men I tried to date took issue with my schedule. It was an inconvenience for them and they ridiculed me for being an “old lady” who goes to bed at 10pm. It felt demoralizing and deterred me from trying again.

I am content to come home, walk the dog, and meander around my apartment. Content is not what I’m looking for, though. I know me. I know I need excitement, adventure, and passion to be my happiest self. I want more than just contentment. God, I keep coming back to the same question. How do I get out in the world and find my tribe in this foreign city of brotherly love?

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Getting On My Mental Health Game… Or Trying



How did I do this weekend? I went out with some people from my job who work in a different division. It was good to be out with people. Unlike in my younger days, I listened more than spoke. I think this served me well. They say the less you talk the more people listen. I agree in certain situations.

Then I went home and stayed up until 2am. This made Saturday less than productive. There was a free event downtown I wanted to go to. I should have as I now know there were LOTS of men there. My typed of men. Alas, not only was I tired, but it was balls hot. There will be other opportunities this summer.

Did I stop the (excessive?) thrifting? No. Not at all.

My dog is getting to be an old lady. We don’t walk as long or as fast as we used to. I’m getting older as well. A perfect storm has been created and my damn pants are super snug. I got some new jeans and a summer top that covers my lonjita. (Spanish for little belly roll.)

Sunday I spent a large portion of the day messaging or chatting with my BFF in another country.  Though it did not get me out in the world, it was an opportunity to check in with my support system. Things have been going pretty well for me lately, but my friend was in need of a kind ear. She is embarking on a fun life adventure (that offers awesome travel destinations for me) and is in that early stage where things are really fucking scary.

I’ve rolled into a new city with no job and done exactly what she is doing—job hunting her ass off. I have a degree, a second language, and great work experience.  I know I’m very marketable. I always get a job (7 cities so far). That early stress never changes, though.

It felt good to be on the giving end of support versus the receiving. And she found out yesterday that she got the job. (Yeay!)

All in all, the weekend wasn’t too bad. Part of strengthening my mental health situation is not being so hard on myself. I may not have engaged as much as I’d wanted in the world outside my apartment, but I didn’t sit at home and cry and/or binge watch TV all weekend.

On a side note, I have a Why Netlfix Binging Is Bad For Depression blog post and Why I Love Binge Watching The Magicians On The SYFY Network coming soon.

Side note number two is that Smashwords is having a big sale until the end of the month. I know, I should have mentioned this earlier. I forgot. The link is below. Smashwords is a great site to support small independent authors. Like, smaller than Amazon authors. It is also a place where established authors publish under different names and genres. Side note two and a half is that all the super erotica that Amazon won’t publish is on Smashwords. So taboo yourself out.


Unwanted House Guests


Lately I’ve been feeling decent. Some days aren’t great, my head hurts, I’m a little emotional, but on the whole the last week or so has been OK. I’m very rigid with my after work schedule when I don’t feel good. I obsess over sleep hygiene and cut myself off from the world so as to not be distracted. The risk of doing something or being exposed to something that will upset me is too great.

When I’m in a good place, I feel bad going home after work to just watch TV and do my normal routine of getting things ready for the next day. It’s summer. There is plenty of sun. No winter coats or the process of layering up before leaving the house.

I’m nervous, though. I don’t have friends to call and hang out with. I have to make friends. I’m still stuck in that mode. Making friends is draining and takes more than 90 minutes on a Tuesday night. That 90 minutes includes drive time.

I feel like I’m stuck in the gerbil wheel that goes nowhere, and I’m not running that fast.  Last night, two obnoxious house guests, Guilt and Shame, paid me a visit. I sat on my couch re-watching season 4 of the Magicians and realized I was on my third episode.

3 X 40ish minutes = 120 minutes

Two hours of the 5ish hours I have in my evening were spent staring at the TV. Another hour was spent reading. None of these are activities that put me out in the world.

Thankfully, Guilt and Shame did not bring their cousin, Hopelessness. I would rather keep Guilt and Shame if it means I continue to be aware of the need to get out in the world and have the  desire to do so. Knowing is half the battle, right?

And so the quest for a healthier life continues.

On a side note – season 4, episode 10 of the Magicians – off the mother fucking chain. I’ve watched that particular episode three times now and Margot is still moving me to tears. She nails her scenes and her character. She does an angry breakdown so damn well. I imagine the crying breakdown is hard to do in acting, but the angry breakdown seems harder to pull off. Idk. I’m just the observer.

On a side side note – I read Darkness Descends by Alisha Ashton. It’s fucked me up and now all the books I’m reading are sucky. DD was 700 pages of awesome. It’s that book which makes the next five books you read seem subpar. I’m powering through, though… 

Friday, July 12, 2019

focus on the outcome, not the steps



Part of depression is pulling away from the world. Isolation. Depression is selfish in the sense that one is absorbed with their own feelings to the point they cannot see past it to other’s needs. That is what a textbook would say, but I’d agree on a personal level.

When I was at a low low loooow point, I didn’t leave the house except to walk the dog and get groceries. (I am so gratefully for my crazy ass dog. Pets can greatly help with depression – if you’re a pet person that is.) Not only was I not leaving the house, but because I was in a new city I wasn’t meeting people. I wasn’t building a support system. My support system is scattered around North America.  I was alone and very lonely.

I’m leaving the house again. Yeay, me. But where the fuck do I go?

It seems overwhelming to go out into the world and drop myself into pre-established groups of people. I’ve been slow rolling it. I’ve started going to thrift shops up to an hour away, especially on sale days. Though retail therapy isn’t the healthies form of therapy, it was a good first step for me. I learned more about the areas surrounding my new neighborhood, saw some beautiful sights on my drives, and thrifted my ass off because I love that shit.

I discovered Eventbright has an app with all kinds of events. (Like really, ALL kinds of shit. Some events provide hookers and some stress that weed will not be provided. You must bring your own.) I’ve been to a metaphysical expo because I’m into that and have a couple more on my calendar.

I got back on Facebook. When I was depressed, I didn’t want to see people’s happiness. I recently moved and joined a Facebook group for my new neighborhood. From there, I discovered all the events listed on FB. There’s a shit ton!

I’m a little stuck, though. Thrifting is a solo thing. It’s not really a way to meet people. Maybe there’s a thrifting group out there? Am I reaching? Idk.

The New Age Expos, as I shall call them from here on out, are potential opportunities to meet people. The one I already went to was on a particularly challenging day. One where I cried for no reason. I cried thinking about my mother dying—but she’s not sick. Or near death. I cried while thanking my dog for supporting me. She just rolled over so I’d rub her belly. I cried because I felt like a failure. Suffice to say, I was a bit of a mess and didn’t talk to anyone at the expo. I had a pounding headache that I was nursing and the fluorescent lights at the Expo felt like they were burning my corneas. (Shouldn’t New Age stuff have soft lighting? Am I the only one that seems logical to?)

I need to stop doing solo shit and throw myself into an activity where I will have to actually talk to people. A situation where there will be no way of avoiding it. Because I’m very good and creative at finding ways to avoid interacting with people when I’m feeling low.

I was told to focus on the outcome—meeting new people and strengthening my support system—instead of the steps that seem mammoth which I have to take in order to get to that desired outcome.

God, that seems scary. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Booshie Ass First World Problems


Someone recently described my current job situation as being in golden handcuffs. Ain’t that the mother fucking truth.

I’ve moved around the continent over the last 12 years, thus having a variety of jobs. All have been in some kind of social service/helping field. All have allowed me to be in direct contact with my populations of service. These jobs have kept me in the community and not an office.

I’m writing this from my desk in an office.

I audit, make graphs, and sit in meetings. I know that I’m still helping people—just indirectly.

We’ve all had that job we don’t look forward to each morning. I try to keep in perspective that although I’ve like most of the work I’ve done in the past, I haven’t always had the best bosses and/or coworkers. I recall one job where I disliked my boss so much I often cried on the way to work. (I cried in bathrooms at that job too.) Though I’m not enamored with my coworkers and boss, they are not malevolent people. My boss isn’t a jerk or asshole. He doesn’t micromanage. But he isn’t passionate about anything. There’s no fire. I chose the social service field because I’m passionate about helping others. Each day that passion is a flame snuffed out. Really, the candle isn’t even lit anymore.

So leave you say. Go find a job you love.

I’ve tried.

Nothing pays as well as this job.

I’m making the most money of all the jobs in my life. I have never seen a biweekly paycheck this big. I buy the good toilet paper now and live in an apartment where dead bodies aren’t found on my morning dog walk. (Yep. That’s a true story about my last apartment.)  I don’t worry as much about money. I know I can pay the bills, even the unexpected ones. I have a freaking retirement plan!

Are there other opportunities at this company you ask. Maybe at some point, but not right now and not anything that’d be better.

This is one of the least stressful jobs I’ve ever had. Sure, there’s a woman who sends me bitchy emails and forces confrontation upon me, but it’s manageable. We sit on different floors and see each other five times a month at most. I work 40 hours and never a minute more. I have time to write this blog post…

So what do I do? Stay at a job that brings me not a lick of personal fulfillment, or take one of the other jobs offered to me for less money, more work, and more satisfaction? (I’ve been on a few interviews. OK, a lot of interviews.)

I ask myself this question damn near every day. I’ll let you know when I have an answer. For now, I’m going to eat my lunch that does not consist of dried noodles in a cup or anything made out of meat from a can.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Mid Year Review


I was recently reminded that I am an author. Or was an author. I sometimes forget that I wrote books as it has been four years since I’ve pushed the PUBLISH button. It seems like a lifetime ago—and it sort of has been. Two states and two countries ago, I was an author. Am I still?

I was once excited to come home and write. So much so that I had to limit my writing to the weekends as I would forget to eat or go to bed. This is no bueno when you have a day job that pays the bills. I remember these stories eating away at me until I put pen to paper (fingers to computer keys) and purged them from my brain. It was a rush, a high, a dragon chasing expedition.

And then it wasn’t.

I didn’t wake up one day and decide not to write. Life changed. My circumstances changed. My country, state, and city changed. I changed.

It wasn’t a happy change, though. I’ve spent the last four years battling depression, anxiety, and trying to get off the prescription pills that doctors have been feeding me since I was 13 years old.  I’ve been given multiple diagnoses and seen so many psychiatrists I’ve lost count. I’ve spent four years working on Emily.

So she can say what she wants.

I’ll never be “better” or “cured” or “fixed”. I will spend the rest of my life managing my mental health. If happily ever after existed, I’d say I’m far from it. It’s hard to write a HEA when I haven’t seen the light at the end of the tunnel. I know it’s there and I’m moving closer, but it’s still pretty dim where I’m at.

I have a book story-boarded out. I have all the major parts… except the end. I know the end, more or less, but can’t envision it in my head yet. I can’t seem to write it. I can’t seem to write much of anything lately. I’m writing this blog in what I hope will be a starting point.

I might shelve the whole book and start something different. I don’t fucking know. I just know I want to write again. I want a head clear enough to find words that accurately describe my thoughts and ideas. They were once neon bright and are now muted pastels.

I vow to myself, today, July 5th while sitting at my desk (at the office, not working) that I will attempt to say what I want in this blog. I will write what I can and give myself permission to not write a novel. I will not pressure myself with shame and guilt to produce a book that will be subpar. (God damn that shame and guilt. They are some nasty bitches.) I will put this out there to the universe and anyone who might be reading this as a means to hold myself accountable.

I already know what I want to write about next. The Magicians on the SyFy network. I’ve been freaking obsessed. Just finished season three. I love love love a good quest. I’m about to pay for season 4 on Amazon, and I’m really fucking cheap so this is a big deal. Netflix only goes up to season 3.

Stay tuned.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Kendrick Lamar - Damn

I give K Dot a solid on his 4th album, Damn. In the days leading up to the release, one thought pervaded my mind. Just keep telling the truth. Por favor, (pooooooor favoooooor)  I beseech you.

He did. And he used beats that don't sound like every other intro out there. I continued listening. My trigger finger to jump through songs took a break while I listened to Damn.

I got quite drunk too.

I'm quite drunk now ;)

Kendrick Lamar uses his voice like an instrumente. Along with his lyrics, this skill keeps him in heavy rotation--the rotation of the elite. I want to take the energy he has to offer into me. At the end of the record, I feel as though I've been taken to a more authentic place. Que estoy lleno de esta energía bien fuerte.

"I cant' fake humble because your ass is insecure."

That line has yet to leave me.


This is the last man I fucked with. I didn't even know we were in competition.

In summation, thumbs up to Damn. K Dot is the realest indeed.

Going to pour the beer that will push me over the edge of being able to type.

*Throw your hands up*

Thanks
Emily




Monday, February 20, 2017

Where the hell have you been?

Hola folks. It's been a hot, hot minute since my last post and for that I greatly apologize. Sometimes we don't know which direction life will take us, and for me that has been exceptionally true as of late. 

My Mexican adventure sadly ended much sooner than I had anticipated or desired. The universe brought me to a new city and a new job where I have learned and grown in the past year. Unfortunately, the last 18 months have been a roller coaster--Emily in a walking boot for what felt like forever, family death, family member diagnosed with MS, upheaval in my sister's (AKA BFF) life, death of my beloved cat of 15 years, a shitty apartment that came with insect and rodent roommates, and a job that I simultaneously love and hate. 

Don't get me wrong, there have been good times. I went back to Mexico for Christmas and had an amazing time with the friends I made there. I've gotten to spend more time with my sister in the past year than I have in the past decade. I've helped reunited families in the child welfare system, and I dipped my toes in the Atlantic Ocean for the the first time in my life. 

All of this, though, has left little time or energy for writing. And any writing that has been accomplished has been journaling to keep my head on straight. I still have a slew of story ideas in my head, but they've been buried under the stress and strain of daily life. I come home from work and have nothing left. 

Even my reading has suffered. (Don't shoot me!) I've read Dusty Delinquents twice, a few PA romance books, and Long Way Down by the Ritchie Sisters. Other than that, it's been child welfare referrals, self help books, and the ingredients on the cereal box. I must give a shout out to all the social workers who have been doing this for years. I truly do not know how you keep at it, because I am exhausted! 

It was my hope 2017 would ring in a new year with a clearer mind, but I fear it is the opposite. I am now in the process of moving to a new apartment (gotta find one first) and deciding if the child welfare field is for me. It is my great hope that I will soon be able to sit at the computer and create stories for you all to read again, but for the time being I have to take care of Emily. 

Glass half full--I think I have a plethora of new experiences to draw on. I already have new ideas floating around the back of my head as I fall asleep. I just need the time, energy, and the emotional stability to write somewhere other than in my journal. 

Thanks for all those who've hung in there and helped me through. Special thanks to Jaci J's Crazy Bitches. Really, you ladies are my sanity. 

Laters-
Emily

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Link Speaks

Sooooo, I had this burst of ideas occur in my head while stopped at a traffic light. As usual, I had no paper or way to document it. Grrrr.

It was Link's voice I heard, his story, his thoughts, emotions, and POV. I am so excited to write. I'm going to try like hell to write on Friday. May the Universe keep any drama from occurring!!

Below are some potential Links.

Enjoy.

-E


Please note: I have no idea who these men are. I got these pics from Google. If one is your husband, boyfriend, baby daddy, life partner, or bed partner--GO GET IT!!!











RELINQUISH BY SAPPHIRE KNIGHT




Free bird- He calls me free bird, yet I’m not the one who’s free. At least not as free as he is. He’s covered in tattoos, roaring down a Texas highway, and living life. I sit here, pondering what my life could be. It was only supposed to be fun, a few casual hook-ups. I’m Avery, flustered Barista- looking for a diversion. I’m not like the others. I’m not ready to give-in and accept my fate.
2- I didn’t have a clue that the pull would be so strong. To concede, or relent, to just submit to my feelings for her. She came looking for me, when I had no idea I wanted to be found. She’s so strong, it’s mesmerizing, but I’m not the only one who notices. Just when it hits me of what’s right in front of me, waiting, things turn chaotic. I’m 2 Piece, a stubborn member of the Oath Keepers MC. You think you know me because I’m a typical biker? You don’t have a clue. Together, this is our story. Can we relinquish and submit to our hearts?

RELINQ TEASER 1
RELINQ TEASER 2
A soft vintage portrait of a glamorous woman. 

Secrets - Book #1

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1RqT0qD
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1RqSUiJ
B&N: http://bit.ly/1GWTFaU


Exposed - Book #2
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GWTnRt
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1EoFZVw
B&N: http://bit.ly/1FdpTUr

Sapphire Knight is the author of Secrets, Exposed, and is working on book three- Relinquish. Her books all reflect on what she loves to read herself. Sapphire is a Texas girl who is crazy about football. She has always had a knack for writing, whether it is poems or stories. She originally studied psychology and that has only added to her passion for writing. She has two boys and has been married for ten years. When she’s not busy in her writing cave, she’s busy playing with her three Doberman Pinschers. She loves to donate to help animals and watching a good action movie.

11195453_10153301966027112_1193872184_n



Nocte

Holy crap people. I just read Nocte by Courtney Cole and my head is spinning.

I'm the type of person who loves to be caught off guard by a book, but it rarely happens. I read the last 5% of thi book with my mouth hanging open. I loved it!!

When I wrote the L&J series, I left each book on a huge cliff with a WTF moment just having happened. Maybe I did that because it's what I like. Who know?

What do I know? I LOVED Nocte and recommend it. Ms Cole did not ask me to post this. I've actually never had contact with her. I'm merely a reader who wants to share a good book.

Happy reading folks-
E





https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23312692-nocte?from_search=true&search_version=service

Sunday, May 3, 2015

RELINQUISH BY SAPPHIRE KNIGHT

RELINQUISH BY SAPPHIRE KNIGHT

Free bird- He calls me free bird, yet I’m not the one who’s free. At least not as free as he is. He’s covered in tattoos, roaring down a Texas highway, and living life. I sit here, pondering what my life could be. It was only supposed to be fun, a few casual hook-ups. I’m Avery, flustered Barista- looking for a diversion. I’m not like the others. I’m not ready to give-in and accept my fate.
2- I didn’t have a clue that the pull would be so strong. To concede, or relent, to just submit to my feelings for her. She came looking for me, when I had no idea I wanted to be found. She’s so strong, it’s mesmerizing, but I’m not the only one who notices. Just when it hits me of what’s right in front of me, waiting, things turn chaotic. I’m 2 Piece, a stubborn member of the Oath Keepers MC. You think you know me because I’m a typical biker? You don’t have a clue. Together, this is our story. Can we relinquish and submit to our hearts?


RELINQ TEASER 1
RELINQ TEASER 2
A soft vintage portrait of a glamorous woman. 


Sapphire Knight is the author of Secrets, Exposed, and is working on book three- Relinquish. Her books all reflect on what she loves to read herself. Sapphire is a Texas girl who is crazy about football. She has always had a knack for writing, whether it is poems or stories. She originally studied psychology and that has only added to her passion for writing. She has two boys and has been married for ten years. When she’s not busy in her writing cave, she’s busy playing with her three Doberman Pinschers. She loves to donate to help animals and watching a good action movie.

11195453_10153301966027112_1193872184_n



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Him & Her Release Date!

If the Amazon Gods will it... 

Him & Her will be live on all platforms April 17, 2015. 




***This is a standalone novel.***

This isn't a story about a BLACK man and a WHITE woman who fall in love. It's not a story about how opposites attract. It's not a story about unity or overcoming society's expectations, delusions, biases, or criticisms. And it sure as hell isn't a story about how two people changed the country's view on race and love.


This is a story about two people who have more in common than everyone thinks. This is a story about a man who's been hurt by the woman he should've trusted most, and a woman who thinks romantic love is just a myth Hallmark invented.

This is a story about two people who discover they just... fit. This is a story about two people who are better together than apart, who learn that not only does love exist, but when it's meant to be, it's easy. It's fun. It's a small slice of heaven in this shitty thing we call life.

This is the story of two people who find love. Two people who know the color of their skin is just a shell that houses what's inside—and it's what's inside that counts. It's what's inside that they love about each other.

They just can't seem to understand why no one sees it, and why the differences in their skin color have to be the topic of every conversation. Or why everyone expects, no, wants their love to fall apart.

This is a story about two people on a journey, but their journey isn't about falling in love. Falling in love was easy. The journey is about staying together when everyone is hell-bent on tearing them apart.
...just because he's a black man, and she's a white woman.


Enjoy!
Emily

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Life Outside The Digital Word

While living in Mexico, I was largely cut off from mainstream America media. For me, I bought Kendrick Lamar's album To Pimp a Butterfly and only had the music. I came back to the States and fell right back into old habits googling interviews and whatnot about the album only to be met with other people's opinions, comments, and criticisms.

I had an A-HA moment when I realized that I got to listen to the album with only my thoughts and feelings about KL's lyrics and how I interpreted them. I fell in love with the words and the emotion behind them. There was no one to influence me or skew my views based on what happened at the Grammy Awards (still don't know cuz I didn't click the link) or what Lady Gaga had to say (don't really know that either).

In these times, we are so connected to out phones and electronic devices that we forget to just listen. Seems simple, right? Just listen. So why don't we do that? Why do we google the fuck out of something or someone? For me, I wanted to devour everything KL when in reality, I had what I needed. I had the music in my iTunes. Why do I need more?

I don't have the answer to these questions, but I do have the experience of listening to an album and forming my own ideas about what the music means to ME. I stayed connected to my country through music, but did so with JUST the music.

Try for a week, or even a day, to unplug and just listen. See if you can do it.

While you're at it, go a week without a mirror. I did.

And it changed me.

E

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Masturbatory Writing

Each time I sit down to write more of Chris’ book, I find myself captivated by her character. She was a strong presence throughout the entire L&J series as her friendship with Elle is unbreakable. As I get the opportunity to craft a story just about her and her background, I find myself so excited to not only be back in the MM world, but to write it through Chris’ eyes.

She is the queen of secrets, so I can promise you that you will not see what I’ve got coming at you. Her past is a like a rubber band ball where each band is a piece of her past that has shaped her into the woman she is today. Little by little you learn her secrets and discover why she keeps most people (even Elle at times) at arm’s length. She’s fucking fascinating!!

Things are being pieced together with the MC, but this time we are seeing it though Link’s POV which is also exciting to write. He is a delectable man who makes me cream my pants just writing about him. Then I stop and realize that he is a piece of my imagination and think I just might be masturbatory writing. (Is that a phrase?)

Anyhoo, I am so excited to share this with ya’ll, but it will be late summer probably before its ready. I might post some excerpts here on my blog, so keep an eye out.

Deuces-

E

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Why Kendrick Lamar Continues To Not Suck

This is my official what the fuck is up with the shitty music videos post.

Example one: Beyoncé’s Drunk In Love. Great song. Makes you wanna dance and then fuck. The lyrics are explicit and erotic. Jay Z rhymes about doing it against the wall and being in such a frenzy to be inside her that he doesn't have time to take her panties off and instead merely slips them to the side. She compares riding him to riding the waves on a surfboard. Specifically "grindin' on that wood, grindin grindin' on that wood, I'm swervin' on that,  swervin' swervin' on that big body, deserving all of this, surfin' all of this good good."

When she sang deserving all of this and I was dancing in my living room, my hands were motioning to my body as I assumed she would be doing with hers. It might have been sexy... what I did in my living room… or not, but that's what I expected to see in the video. And, maybe I expected her and Jay Z get a little freaky. At the very least, I expected to see someone getting freaky, even if it was actors.

The song is about being drunk at the club with the man you love and having the time of your life, then heading home to have awesome sex that's so off the chain you're willing to fuck up your million dollar Warhol print. (Probably one that Jay Z and Beyoncé have in their foyer for real.)

Doesn't that sound hot??? And like the makings for a great video??

I thought so too, but nope. The video sucks.

It's Beyoncé dancing on the beach (better than my living room dancing, but just randomly dancing nonetheless), then Jay Z comes on the sand to wrap while holding a snifter of liquor. Her and ole boy barely touch.

So not hot. Not erotic or explicit.

Just, blah.

Next up—How Many Drinks by Miguel.

Let me start by saying that I looooove Miguel. His songs make me want to dance, grind, and find someone to get warm and comfy with.

How Many Drinks, like Drunk In Love, has hot lyrics that basically ask how many drinks do you need before you'll go home with me so I can do dirty, dirty things to you?

Uh, one. If he sang that song to me while we got it on I could be ready after a sip of water. So I'm thinking it's going to be a hot video with him (or an actor) pursuing a woman in the club. Maybe there would be some dirty dancing and flirty chats before they roll out in the limo to his pad that where they have sweaty, passionate sex—and he sings the song the whole time.

ERRRRRR. Giant red X's from the Family Feud.


It's him and a shotty band performing with a few close ups of his face. You can't even see his face for most of it cuz it's all shadowed out. There are some lame side dancers who look like they should be in a Peter Gabriel video and give the saddest wannabe-lesbian performance I've ever seen.

WTF.

Total. Let down.

So, on the search for a video that was made with some thought put into it, that told a story along with the song, and that visually as well as auditorally stimulated me I went to my main man who has yet to do me wrong—Kendrick Lamar.

He apparently has a new song out that I hadn't heard cuz it came up first on YouTube. It's unreleased as far as I know on LP, but the song, simply titled I, tells one hell of a story. It's not erotic or dirty, but a story of the ghetto trying to tear you down and rising above it to love yourself. He rhymes about the city (or society) making promises that it never follows through on so he makes the promise to love himself—the one promise he knows can come to fruition because he himself, holds the reins to its success.

Heavy shit right. Yep, and the video rocks. It's a tour of Compton, his hometown and a place where some sad, sad shit happens. He takes you around the hood, all the while leading and being followed by a crew of dancers. It follows the story of the song AND when you thought it couldn't get any better, it does.

Mr. Big is in it! He got Ron Isley to do a little ditty on the video. Hello, that's cool as fuck.



I realize the production cost of a video is high and I'm not asking for every artist to recreate the Thriller video, but I searched some more of Lamar's videos and they all tell a story visually while he raps the plot to you. None of them were shitty. So the rest of ya'll artists need to man the fuck up, maybe get with Dre, and make a video I want to watch—especially the dirty songs! Hello! We're in the era of 50 Shades. Show me some skin!

OK. Rant done. Thanks for tuning in.

I'm out-

E

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chris And A Court Appointed Shrink

~Chris~

"Let me just get this straight," she slowly said as if I were mentally challenged. Bitch. "Your best friend is part of some motorcycle club and something about a drug cartel being involved? Am I correct so far?"

I nod to the bitch, thinking that not talking is the best idea ever at this particular moment.

She continues. "You were in a house where a man was killed because he kidnapped you, and he is an associate of a man named Burns, who." She pauses to flip some papers for dramatic effect before resuming her speech, "It appears was a less than clean leader of said motorcycle club. He got shot in the process and you ended up in St. Louis where this all started? And now you are here seeing me?"

"That about sums it up," I inform her, cuz she got the facts straight. Cue the judgment.

"Christine." Bitch is using my fucking full name. Shoot me now. "That's quite a story. And it's only a part of your story I'm guessing."

"Patient something confidentiality, right?" Just double checking before I let some drug shit slip.

"Of course, everything that is said in this room is confidential unless you express the desire to harm yourself or someone else."

Yeah, yeah. Heard that before. I cross my leg and lean back against the couch, arms spread wide across the back.

"You got the facts. I was locked in a room with my best friend, who I'd kill for by the way but that doesn't mean I'm homicidal so don't go scribbling on your notepad." Just making sure. "Shit was handled somehow or another. Dirty cops would be my guess. That doesn't mean shit's all honkey mother fucking dory though. My girl is struggling with her man, and how she fits in to it all. Plus she's all guilty and shit. And I got this hot guy who is so fucking perfect, but I'm scared as fuck to get near him cuz bastard isn't exactly always in the safest situations. Oh, and how could I forget?"

I throw my head back against the couch and smacked myself in the face, letting my hand rest over my eyes for a moment. "I thought I found one of the good ones—a university dude—and he turned out by pure luck to be in bed with the fuckers who were dirtying up the MC. His ass bailed as soon as his boss, Burns, got shot. Now I got another MC motha fucka up in my shit. Oh," I pause to let her know I'm about to change back to a previous topic, "we're back to the perfect guy I keep fucking up with. He's sex. Sex on a stick. Damn."

I shake my head, remembering the shit Link did with his tongue and that dick piercing. Shame going all these years without experiencing that. Such an awesome orgasm. Too bad he wants more. Shit I just ain't got to give.

"Toss in my family drama and it's a wrap, yo." Bitch wants to hear my drama? Well, there ya go.

I sit up so I can throw my hands in the air nice and dramatic--Aaron style. I look around at bitch's plaques on the wall, laughing at the thought of my own beauty school certificate in a black, plastic, Wal-Mart frame.

"Let's talk about your family."
God, her voice. It's like Meryl Streep should be sitting in this chair making up one of her great impressionist voices cuz this bitch sounds like a shrink off the mother fuckin TV. Too bad she's old-ish, fat-ish, and bound by law to listen to my bullshit.

"The family. The family. What can I tell you about them?"
"Are you close with them?"
I almost choke on a laugh. "God, no. The opposite. Where they are, I'm not. It's better that way."

"And why's that."

"It's more zen like that." I smile at her, but I lace my voice with sarcasm and pure fucking annoyance.
"So you don't talk to them?"

Is she not getting the hint? "Not until recently. Not until some of them decided to tango with the fucking Delmarcos of all families." I shake my head at my fucking luck. "Look, they all get along better when I'm not around. No one to cause fights or get mo fos locked up." I trail off those last few words, the weight of what Kendrick did for me still lingering in the back of my soul, never really going away. He's the one I miss the most. The brother who saved me even if I couldn't save him.

"Why do you think that is?"

"Huh?" Shit, what is she asking me?

"Why are they better off without you?"

I just done told this bitch why. Did she not listen? Should I write a mother fucking memo?

"It's just—fuck. It's just better when my mom doesn't have to look at me and I don't have to look at her. We love each other better like that."

God, that sounded fucked the hell up even to me. It is what it is. But ole girl is gonna have some shitty little comment coming. I know it. She taps the stylus to her tablet against her lips. I want to shove it down her throat.

"That's an interesting thing to say."

There it is. I laugh at her and her blindness.

"I look good, right?" Ole bitch tilts her head, surprised I'm sure by my sudden change of topic. Throw ya off ya game, hooker.

"Well, yes, you are a very attractive young lady." Young Lady. Nice one. Two points, biotch.

"I've been told I could easily do catalog work as a model, maybe some high fashion shit if I really hustled. It's a pretty shell," I motion to my body, "whatever God gave me." I lean back into the couch, resuming my position of one ankle laying on the other knee, and hands resting casually on the back boards of the sofa. "But I'll let you in on a little secret." I inch forward slightly. Sweet ole girl does too. "I'm trash. My momma was white trash who spawned four mixed boys and one white girl. She did her best I suppose, but the hood'll eat ya up and spit ya out."

Worse if you gotta take care of your white sister. If I were ugly, they woulda all left me alone and Kendrick wouldn't of had to rip motha fucka's nuts off, even if he did deserve it. Bastard wannabe rapist. Stupid mother fucker tried to fuck with the white girl on the block who had four giant brothers of varying shades of brown ready to throw down at a moments notice. Kendrick was always the one defending me, from the time I was born until the moment they took him away in handcuffs for saving me from violation.

My heart grows heavy. Black and heavy.

I look out the tiny window the court appointed shrink is rocking in her office. It look out onto nothing. Yep, nothing, but it looks like she's hung a hummingbird feeder. How nice.

Fuck, how many more sessions was I gonna have to go to.

"That's all for today Christine, I'll see you next week?" She lifts her voice up at the end like it was a question, like I had a choice.

I nod and mumble, "Ain't got a choice."

I stand up from the couch that was actually quite comfortable and shoot her the peace sign, but horizontally instead of vertically, changing it's meaning greatly.

"Deuces," I call as I exit her office, adding biotch  in my head.

Free at last.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Blissful Valentine by Amy L. Gale



Title: Blissful Valentine
Author: Amy L. Gale
Genre: Romance
Hosted By: Beautiful Promotions



Straight-laced 19-year-old Brooke Powers has two goals: First, avoid the party scene and all the drama and disaster that go along with it. Second, focus on attaining her Marketing and Business degrees. When her roommate begs her to attend a fraternity party she reluctantly obliges, but gets more than she bargained for when she meets enticingly charismatic fraternity brother, Dean Parker. After a mishap causes her to wake up in the worst possible place she can imagine, she vows to stay away from anything or anyone fraternity related. Staying away from Dean is a daily battle, one she's slowly losing. When her feelings conjure up old demons from the past, her strategically planned future turns into chaos. Brooke is desperate to keep herself on track. Will Dean be her downfall or is he exactly what she needs? 


Valentine’s Day isn't always complete bliss.




BLISSFUL VALENTINE WILL BE ON SALE FOR $0.99 FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY.
GET YOUR COPY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!



BLISSFUL VALENTINE EXCERPT :

He stops and meets my gaze, then bends down and grabs a mound of snow, packing into a tight ball. He takes a step back and winds his arm, throwing the snowball straight and fast. It smacks against the metal sign on the far end of the small pond near a cluster of benches, breaking off into a multitude of pieces.
He wipes his hands off on his pants. “Give it a try.”
I shake my head. “No way, I throw like a girl.”
His picks up a mound of snow and packs it together, forming a perfect sphere. He hands me the snowball and stands behind me, pressing his body against mine. My heartbeats thump against my chest, causing a surge of adrenaline to rush through my veins. I tremble, holding the snowball in my right hand. At least I can blame the cold for my shaky arm. He runs his hand down to my wrist and pulls it back, up toward my shoulder.
He rests his head on my shoulder and talks softly into my ear. “Pull your arm back to here and step forward at the same time you throw.” He moves to the side.
Goosebumps form on my neck from his warm breath gliding against my cool skin. My stomach flutters. Here goes nothing. I stare at the metal No Parking sign and pull my arm back, throwing the snowball as I step forward. Tiny fragments of snow fly through the air. A direct hit.
I clap my hands and bounce up and down on my toes. “Holy crap, I actually did it. I didn’t think I could hit the broad side of a barn.” Dean comes over and raises his hand to give me a high five. I lunge forward and pull him into a hug, before I realize what I’m doing. My chest tightens and heat creeps across my cheek.
He wraps his arms around my waist and presses his body against mine. I step back and ease away, dropping my arms to my sides. “We better head back, I’ve still got lots of physics studying to do if I plan on passing the semester.”
He rubs the back of his neck and nods.
I slide my frozen hands into my pockets and hold them in tight fists. Note to self: when I think I’m finished embarrassing myself I’m usually wrong.
The perfect untouched blanket of snow moves into an array of chaos as we turn the corner to my apartment. My heart beats faster with each step I take forward. This walk is taking forever. If I don’t get away from Dean soon, I may end up doing something else I shouldn’t. I mean, we’re just friends. I take a deep breath and slowly exhale as we approach my driveway.
I dig in my purse and pull out my keys. “Thanks for my victory celebration.”
He places his hand in the small of my back on our way toward my steps. “First of many.” His hand moves to my waist.
Summersaults take over my stomach. I step onto the first step. My boot slips along the rim of the concrete edge covered in a thin layer of ice and instantly it knocks me off balance. My hands flail through the air, desperately trying to grab onto anything.
Dean jumps into action, catching me before my head smacks against the hard sidewalk. I grab onto his sculpted bicep and pull myself to my feet.
Fire burns through my cheeks, which are no doubt fire-engine red. I drop my chin to my chest and hunch my shoulders. He lifts my chin and gazes into my eyes. My heart pounds against the walls of my chest. Electric shockwaves flows through my veins. He leans in closer. My lips part and lava flows through my body. He tucks a stray strand of hair behind my ear. “I knew you’d fall for me sooner or later.” He places a soft kiss on my cheek and takes a step back, turning and walking away.





 Author Amy Gale
Picture

Romance author by night, pharmacist by day, Amy Gale loves rock music and the feel of sand between her toes.  She attended Wilkes University where she graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. In addition to writing, she enjoys baking, scary movies, rock concerts, and reading books at the beach.  She lives in the lush forest of Northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, six cats, and golden retriever.  


Contact Amy L. Gale:


 


1. Can you tell us a bit about the main characters.
Brooke Powers is goal-oriented freshman who wants to focus on her studies and avoid the party scene along with all the trouble that goes along with it.
Dean Parker is an enticingly charismatic fraternity brother and star player on Lakeview U's baseball team.
When Brooke's roommate drags her to a fraternity party, an unexpected mishap causes her wake up in Dean's bed throwing her strategically planned future into complete chaos.

2. How did you think of this story? What inspired you?
Since Dean and Brooke were already a couple in Blissful Tragedy, I wanted to elaborate on their awesome relationship. I decided to go back in time to the girls college years and tell the story. I have to be honest, I was inspired by some of my great college memories.

3. Is there anything special you would like your readers to know about Blissful Valentine?
Valentine's Day isn't always complete bliss.

4. Do you get writers block? How do you cure it?
I think every writer gets writers block at some point or another. I try and look to other sources to cure it, like music or re-watching some of my favorite movies for inspiration.

5. Top 5 Favorite Books
1. Beautiful Disaster
2. The Notebook
3. Fifty Shades of Grey
4. Dark Love
5. Thoughtless

6. I know you are a huge music fan AND Led Zeppelin fan. What songs help you write?
I usually come up with a play list based on the book I'm writing. When I wrote Blissful Valentine, I listened to Thank You by Led Zeppelin, Love Song by Tesla, Lay it on the Line by Triumph, Caught up in you by 38 Special, I Can't Fight this Feeling Anymore by REO Speedwagon, My Kinda Lover by Billy Squire, and Talk Dirty to Me by Poison.