Thursday, March 21, 2013

Good things come in three

My face warms when I hear the words, “Yes, hello, my girlfriend has just published her first novel, entitled This Morning I Woke Up Dead,” Troy pauses. Laughs. “Yes, we’re very excited, thank you. And yes it’s as intriguing as the title. I read it and really loved it.”
Troy is my biggest fan. My manager, PR person. And my love.
He goes onto say that he is helping me to promote my novel and we’re looking for avenues to put the word out about my book and if they’d be interested in writing an article to help support a local author.
Oh my.
          Local author.  
          Talk about a rush!
While writing my novel, it never occurred to me that at some point, I would need to actually talk about it with others and promote myself. Ugh. Inside I still feel five years old. Thick glasses. Patch on one eye like a Pirate. Arm in a sling. Sweaty palms. I have grown up a lot since then. I ditched the patch. I wear contacts. All my limbs work well, most of the time. But at heart, I will always be that nerdy little awkward girl.

Until my twenties I was uncomfortable calling or speaking to a single soul on the phone.
          “Oh, yes, Mindy is here.” Troy nods excitedly. “You want to interview her? Oh, sure of course.” Troy’s green eyes are glistening with excitement. He is smiling his amazing big charming smile, melting me as he thrusts his slim cell phone into my hands. I don’t want to let him down or let him know how chicken shit I am. I want to make him proud. I will do this.
Well, maybe.
          My eyes bulged as I say, “She wants to talk to me??”
         “Uh, yeah,” Troy whispers holding his strong hand over the phone, hoping to mute my resistance. One second passes. Two. Three.
           It literally feels as if there is a balloon being inflated and deflated inside of my stomach as butterflies and fairies dance in celebration of the release of my novel. Shaking my head, I breathe, “I can’t.” Five year old me just wants to crawl under a blanket. Instead, I pull my long hair over my face, as thirty six year old me screams inside: This is awesome! Talk to her! This is what you want!
           “You got this babe, you got this,” Troy says encouragingly, giving me the courage to take to the phone.
          “Hello?” My palms sweat in remembrance of my younger days. As I collect myself, I hear an excited voice speaking. I remind myself that this is important, and to pay attention. When I tune in I hear an excited voice say, “Hi, this is Tammy from TBA. Would you like to meet and do an interview for the TBA newspaper?”
          “Um, sure. When were you thinking?” Part of me wants her to say, next week or even better, next month. But no.
          “How about right now? Do you like tea, or coffee?”
          “I love coffee.” I tell her and we plan to meet in half an hour.
          Troy and I always talk about how timing is everything and we don’t believe in coincidences. Things happen for a reason. Tammy from TBA explained to me how her friend was supposed to do the interview for the paper and even be on hand for the Pocatello Art Walk to sign some books, but unfortunately, she can’t make it. “Can you do it?”
           “Yes,” I cheer as I smile proudly and dance around my living like my fairy friends. Lucy, our dog, rolls her eyes at me and sighs.
Personally, I truly believe that everything works out when you’re in tune with want you want.  Meaning, you are grateful. 
 You believe. 
  You go get it.


         At this point, I was still in my pajamas. Diet coke black T shirt. Faded gray yoga pants. And cascading down my back is my unruly bed head hair. To top it off, I have a couple of pimples in great need of some concealer. Luckily, adrenaline kicked in and I've never got ready in so little time.

My meeting with Tammy went very well.

She bought me lunch and coffee. I gave her my last copy of my book. I also gave her chills when I told her about my book. And again when I told her that those are my daughter’s hands on the cover of the book. And for a third time when I told her that my daughter plays the violin and they’re violinist’s hands.

Tammy was thrilled. She explained that a spiritual reader friend of hers told her that whenever someone or something gives you the chills it means that you are at the right place and with the right person. I think it means something amazing is happening and to pay attention.

        Just before our meeting ended, I signed my third book. The first was to my mom, second to Troy. Three is a recurring theme in my book. Coincidence? I think not.

Troy made two more phone calls that day on my behalf.

          I am honored and grateful and excited and proud to say that I have my first book signing coming up at TBA- The Basic Alternative Magazine April 5th, 2013 in Old Town Pocatello, ID. 

Here's a photo. I was introduced to Louise Bolliger, another local author here in Pocatello

My second book signing will be at Barnes and Noble in Idaho Falls, ID. So far, we've had an amazing response. I am selling lots of books and had a lot of great things happen and numerous compliments regarding my novel. 

     I believe. 

            I also believe good things come in three’s. 

What do you believe?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Chapter One of This Morning I Woke Up Dead

     Hey Everyone! 

     Good morning, and thanks so much for stopping by. I am so excited and thrilled and grateful for the release of, This Morning I Woke Up Dead anywhere books are sold and featured on Amazon and I've decided to share the first chapter! Please feel free to comment and ask questions and wonder, what if?
Enjoy and have a wonderful day!

Chapter One


Today when I woke up, my reality changed irrevocably. Life as I knew it was forever altered. Powerful just to say the least.
Other than the fact that I am not alive, things remain similar. The sun is out. Birds are singing. Kids are laughing on their way to school. I look the same: blonde wavy hair that hits just below my bra strap; icy gray eyes with the ability to stare anyone into submission. I'm average height and weight. I'm twenty five years old. Now for the things that most might find unusual. Things that most would be alarmed by. But not me. I know better. Blood does not technically flow through my body. Nor does my heart beat. I do not need oxygen to breathe or food and water to sustain myself. For lack of a better explanation, I am for all intents and purposes, dead.
 No one else knows, but they are all dead too. Choosing to ignore the signs and living an easier existence is fine for most. It was fine for me too. Before. Before I realized the truth. As soon as I knew the truth, it all vanished. My life as I knew it was over. Leaving a black hole in my soul, an ache that would haunt me into oblivion. My fiancĂ©. My family. My job. All of it is inaccessible. That's how it works. The only way it can. This is the part that I am not so crazy about. I can see them. Feel them. Hear them. I can't communicate with them. I know they are there. But they have no idea where I am. It's horrendous to be so close and yet so very far away.
So, you're probably wondering how did I die? Well, the better question might be: when did I realize that I was never alive? Not in the traditional sense.
No one on Earth is alive.
Think of Earth as one enormous waiting room. On Earth, we can do all the things needed to learn and grow for the next cycle of life. Life on Earth is a practice run. A dress rehearsal. While we're on Earth we can play. Love. Find our talents. Those who are smart, use them. It's a pity that not near enough of the population do. Most waste their time on Earth gossiping, arguing, spending too much money, worrying about anything and everything. We cause pain. To ourselves and others. The opposite of living. Why? I don't know. What I do know is that love, being happy, and feeling gratitude for everyone and everything is all its really about. Why most get distracted with negativity and ugliness is beyond me. Not that I was perfect during my rehearsal but I fought like hell to be close. I always chose joy. I counted my blessings. I had everything. A job I enjoyed. Money for the goods and services I needed. A family who loved and cared for me. And the best part of my prior existence, I had Love; he was my best friend. I was grateful for him. For my life. For all of it.  I was rewarded with an abundance of worldly attributes. The truth.
Perhaps that is why most chose not to believe in the reality. It’s less frightening being in the dark about it. When I was a child, I was terrified of every unlit hallway and corner. Forget about closets and under the beds. Hell no was I going to go down to the basement after dark. I always imagined the worst case scenarios. Robbers. Monsters. Ghosts. An intimidating gruesome boogeyman always ready and waiting to pounce and steal me into the purple darkness. Luckily, a blue light from the waxing moon provided enough of a glow in my bedroom and prevented that from ever happening.
“Hadley,” my mom would call. “Get that blanket off your head; you'll suffocate.”
With a sigh, I would manage to pacify my mom by making an air hole just large enough for my nose to be seen. Back then I was terrified of the things that went bump in the night. Things that I couldn't see but somehow sense were there.
I didn't go to my funeral. I didn't think I could bear the pain of seeing them all crying out for me. When it was I that was crying for them. They were sad for the wrong reasons. The only thing separating us is ignorance.

“You were called 'Hadley'?” The only other person I have met so far in this realm, asks me. A glint of a smile hints at the corner of his full lips.
“Yes.” Looking down, I see that I am wearing my favorite pair of dark wash skinny jeans, nude heels, and navy polka dotted top. As well as my signature cream cardigan. I don't remember putting this outfit on.
“You can choose another name.” Logan looks at me with his fierce green eyes and then continues, “You know, if you want to be called something more,” he breaks eye contact and looks off at some nearby Earth kids. They're picking flowers and saying, 'he loves me, he loves me not.' Shaking his head, Logan says, “Traditional.”
“Hadley is fine. Can they sense us?” I point at the redheaded little girl. She is giggling about something.
He shrugs. “Sometimes. Sometimes not. Instead of they, we refer to them as Unknowns.”
I nod, and I finally understand what the chilling spine tingle I had sometimes felt truly was.
I am now a boogeyman. Mom would be so proud. Way to face your fears, Hadley, she'd chide. Or so I imagine.
Logan takes my hand and leads me down the sidewalk. “It’s best if you don't linger around the ones you knew. It can be,” he pauses, searching for the right word, “Painful, seeing them moving on without you, and as if you never mattered.”
I wonder if Logan is speaking from experience. It’s more or less obvious, but I don't feel comfortable enough to ask.
Logan laughs and says, “They seem so clueless. I mean, we practically beg them to figure it out. Why else would one have a bullet hole wound in their head unless they were already dead?”
“Some have bullet hole wounds?” If I appear shocked he pays me no mind.
“Oh, sure. And puncture wounds, or scars where they were mutilated in accidents, or burned by nasty chemicals. But don't worry; most never notice their prior battle wounds.”
I cringe, and not for the first time, I wish I was still an Unknown. Luckily, I didn't find any outrageous scars or mutilations; I figured it out a different way.
Logan snorts, hiding a laugh at my discomfort.
“How did you figure it out?” I ask, wondering if Logan has a visible mark somewhere on his flawless appearance. The man is chiseled. He wears his black formed fitted T shirt and faded jeans very well. If I were to guess, I'd say he was about five years or so older than me.
He catches me eyeing his biceps and squints. It is almost a wink. “Sorry, can't tell you. And don't you tell me how you did either.”
I sigh. “But why?” I feel like we could bond over this.
“Don't get all whiny and Earthly on me, kid. You're supposed to be above all that now.” Logan leans down and says, “If we tell each other how,” his lip curls as he continues, “The more we will want to tell the Unknowns. And that, darling, is forbidden.”
“No one will learn that way. You have to find out for yourself or you aren't deemed worthy to be here. You must be enlightened.”
“Makes sense. I guess.” Then I ask, “So what am I supposed to do now?”
“How about I tell you what you can't do and everything else is fair game, okay?”
Against my better judgment, I nod; I am craving information. Especially information they don't require me to figure out alone.
“You can't make contact with The Unknowns.”
“That's it?”
Logan nods. “That's it. But believe me its harder than you think not to.”
“What happens if I do?” I immediately think of Dominic. My love.
Logan looks me in the eye, reaching into me with his demanding gaze. He emphasizes each word, “You don't even wanna know.” After a beat, Logan laughs sardonically. Confusing me a little.
Pondering his statement for a moment, I wonder, I am already dead, what's the worst that can happen to me now?
Logan clears his throat and says, “Okay, so, Hadley.” The way he says my name- as if he is spitting out glass- makes me turn away from him. My face flushes. I see that the kids are no longer picking daisies. They have moved on to torturing bugs, pulling the legs off of a daddy long leg, laughing at him as he tries to crawl away. Logan flashes them an indignant look and shakes his head in disapproval.
“You listening?” Logan prods.
I nod.
“Okay, so first things first. We’re all spirit guides here, we help the Unknowns. Come with me and let’s find out what your assignment is.” Logan steps over and around the bugs but through the kids, making the red head shiver. Seems sort of backwards to me, avoiding bugs in favor of passing through children. But who am I to judge?
“Assignment? Like a job?”
“Yeah. But we base your, job,” like my name, he says the word as if it tastes sour. “On what you're talents are,” he snorts a laugh. Why he found it funny, I have no idea. “We don't work just for the sake of working and getting money. We do it for fulfillment. Because we like what we're doing.”
“Huh. Sounds good.”
“Yeah, it’s real nice,” he says with a lot of sarcasm.
I raise my brows questioningly.
“Never mind.” The way he has says this lets me know not to press him. What a tease. Tempting me with his knowledge that is just out of my reach is something I feel he enjoys.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Never enough time

        We all get 24 hours in a day. That never changes. All that we can control is what we do within those hours. Work. Play. Love. All of the above. Some of us work eight hours or many more and some of us much less. Some go to school and have to spend numerous hours studying. We all live very busy lives. I try to be as productive as I can. I love when I can spend most of my day writing, and still be able to take care of my kids and house. There’s always a lot to do: cleaning, cooking, running errands or working out at the gym. No matter what activities I fill my day with, I find that the older I get, the less time it feels that I have. Hours, days, weeks and even months seem to fly by in what feels like seconds. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it; the sun kissing the tip of your nose through your windshield on your way to work, or raindrops dancing in the street beneath your tires. A beautiful pink sunset reminds me that I am living on yesterdays dream and it’s time to make a new one.
Life is what happens while you are making plans. I am not saying I don’t make plans; I make lots of plans in fact. But I also set goals, and I go after them. Mostly I am grateful that I’m still here to do so. There’s a lot left I want to experience and along the way, have some fun.

    Last week, my boyfriend, Troy and I went to Utah and Las Vegas. We had a blast. We took time off from our every day routine, and got refreshed. We saw family in Utah, went to church for the first time in years and saw my nephew get blessed. Afterwards we had a great visit with my parents, brothers and their wives. I adore my family and every moment I get with them. 

     The next morning we headed to Las Vegas. It was a blissful 65 degrees! It felt so good on my skin. It warmed my soul. Although at times, it felt as if I had cheated the system. When we left home it was a brisk twenty five degrees. I thought to myself, I didn't earn this lovely weather, there’s another month of winter left. Nonetheless, I soaked it in and loved the brilliant sun’s rays and happy blue sky.
  We checked into our hotel and headed to a casino. Quickly, we won some money playing the craps table and some on video craps too. 
“I want one these for the house!” I cheered when I cashed out for $250 dollars after only ten minutes.

      Troy laughed and was proud of me for catching on to the game so quickly.

     While we were there we also did some shopping, a little bar hopping, and ate some amazing food. 

If you’re ever in Vegas check out,  The GriffinHerbs and Rye, hot and juicy and hash house a go go

We enjoyed every second of our trip, even when we forgot where we parked the truck the night before and had to walk up and down the stairs in search of our ride; we still had a great time.

        We were gone five days and if I didn't know better, I would have thought that it was five seconds. Looking back, I have to wonder, did all of that really happen? Did we really win a great deal of money, free and clear? Did we really eat shrimp with their heads and everything still attached, and crab legs with our bare hands? Did we really order ten dollar cocktails called the clover club from a mobster looking bar tender? Did he really bring me a thirty dollar fillet mignon? Where we really in a red dimly lit bar with a fire pit and cement walls and fancy exotic people looking over my shoulder as we sipped our beers and watched a silent movie? 

                      Yes. Yes we did. 
                 We did all that and more.

        On our last day of our trip, we drove five hours from Vegas to Provo, Utah. We stopped off at a place called, The Bombay house, and had some delicious Indian cuisine. It was served to us by an authentic Indian gentleman in a turban. Next, we drove a mere two minutes to my brother and his wife’s place and held their new baby boy. They had just got home from the hospital that afternoon and were gracious enough to let us stop by. It was better than anything else that had happened on that trip. Instantly, I fell in love in my new little nephew. Thirty minutes later, I tore myself away from him and we hit the road again. That night we had the pleasure staying with my other brother, his wife, and their darling three year old in their new beautiful home in Riverton, Utah. At this point we weren't much fun and were super tired, but it felt great to be in their space.

        And the next morning, we grabbed some coffee and bagels, and left for our house in Pocatello. It all went by so fast, in a blink it was over. In a roll of the dice, a push of a button, a swallow of a pink meringue topped clover club, a bite of Indian curry, and a kiss on a babies forehead, it all became nothing more than a cherished memory.