Monthly Archives: March 2012

Ready to Fly!

Look what the mailman brought yesterday. The first copies of Fly Away Home!

My heart pounded as I tore open the box and the feeling I got as I lifted that first copy into my hands can only be described as euphoric. After two long years my dreams were suddenly a reality in which I could hold. As I skimmed through, my life literally flashed before my eyes. Fifty two years of triumphs and shame. My strengths, my weaknesses, my marriages and my children’s lives, now in print. In twenty-one days it will be available to the world and no matter how it is received, I shall try and remember these three quotes:

“I admire anybody who has the guts to write anything at all.” -E.B. White

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at your typewriter and bleed.” -Earnest Hemmingway

“To share your weaknesses is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” -Criss Jami

Happy Birthday Khloe

Today is our puppy Khloe’s first birthday. Khloe, who joined our family last summer is a King Charles Spaniel (sometimes called a Cavalier). She is all brown except for a thin stripe of white on top of her head, on her chest and the tip of her pawns. Khloe is a happy, true fast, energetic girl.

We have another Cavalier named Mia, who came to us in 2005. She’s the perfect combination of chestnut brown and pearly white fur. Mia is a global nomad, who’s lived with us in Norway, Texas and the Netherlands. She even has her own passport. Mia is sweet and gentle.

Mia welcomed the new puppy into our home with open paws and never showed any signs of seniority. When Khloe wants to play, Mia simply hides under the table. When we go for a walk, Khloe leads and Mia follows. When Khloe finishes her treats (she eats fast) Mia will share what’s left of hers. Mia even gave up her bed when Khloe insisted on taking it over. Don’t feel too bad for Mia, because she got upgraded into my bed.

Two years ago Mia was diagnosed with MVD and Syringomyelia, we were hit hard by this devastating news. Unable to imagine our home without Mia and knowing how hard it will be to replace her, we decided to get another dog right away. Hence, Khloe.

We brought home a silky little puppy, who loves to cuddle and play. She follows me around the house all day long and whenever I sit, she hops right in my lap. As I’m writing this post I’ve had to stop twice to let her out, and then in again. She has brought me her toy to throw three times and I caught her chewing a pencil that dropped from my desk. All the while Mia’s been snoring on the sofa.

The question I’ve asked myself everyday since we brought Khloe home is; Will I ever love her as much as I do my old friend Mia? The answer is; Yes, I will…

Its amazing how attached we can get to a pet (or two). I happily  obligingly vacuum up dog hair EVERY day…

Happy Birthday Khloe!                              Khloe & Mia

Lets dish People

For those of you who don’t know me, let me tell you a little something about myself. I read People magazine from cover to cover, every week (and have been doing so for years). I usually download it on to my iPad every Sunday afternoon and then along with a plate of cookies and a large mug of piping hot mint-tea, I devour it.

Its not just about Hollywood movie stars, its full of real stories about real people. Some stories make me laugh and others make me cry. I recently read an incredible story about a 96 year old man named Jim Henry, who’d been illiterate his whole life. Two years ago he learned to read and write and has now published his first book, In a Fisherman’s Language.

There is a section called Style Watch, featuring the latest styles and trends of the season. Although I seldom find myself in the market for a new dress, I still like to check in and see the latest frock Kate has been wearing. I’m also obsessed with all the beautiful dresses worn on the ‘red carpet’.

I’m always humbled by People’s, Hero’s Among Us section. Just click on the hyperlink and you will too.

There are new Movie, TV, Music and Book Reviews every week. Whenever my husband and I leave a movie theater with him grumbling, “Next time I pick the movie.” I simply reply, “Its not my fault, People gave it four stars.” I like the Music reviews, but love the book reviews and have thus far been totally satisfied with almost all of their recommendations. Since I live in Norway and they’re reviewing whats on TV in the States, this section really doesn’t apply to me.

All right, I’ll admit it, I saved the best for last. Star Tracks, Scoop and Passages are my guiltiest of pleasures. I can’t help it, I’m just so darn curious as to whether or not Heidi and Seal will get back together. What Lindsey Lohan will do next, and why friends and family hope its not too late for the troubled actress Demi Moore.

Welcome to Hollywood my friends, playground to the stars. Entertainment on and off screen. Where its fun learning who’s dating who, the break-ups, the make-ups, the melt-downs and the plastic surgeries.

Why do we give these people we don’t even know and who don’t know us so much of our precious time? Because celebrity gossip gives us a common interest and something to talk about. I think as long as its kept on an entertainment level, its all good.

I love a sunny day

The sun decided to grace us with its presence this weekend. In Norway this means drop everything your doing and get outside! So I did.

Cause down the Shore every thing’s all right…

I’m here today, sipping a glass of sweet iced tea and ready to give my definition of a real honest to goodness Jersey girl. I’d also like to pay tribute to all those girls like myself, who’s path led them elsewhere. (You know who you are)

Any girl born in the state of New Jersey can call herself a Jersey girl and I won’t argue with that. However, in my opinion a true Jersey girl is born and raised in the salty air of the Jersey Shore. She grows up with tan lines on her shoulders and sand between her toes.

Contrary to the girls we see on reality television series such as Jersey Shore, Jersey Housewives and Jerseylicious, we don’t all have big hair, smoky eyes and are dripping in costume jewelry. I’ve caught a few episodes from these programs and must admit, I laughed in spite of myself. What we do have in common with these ‘other Jersey girls’ (besides loving the mall) is attitude. We can be loud and opinionated, we say whats on our mind and yet we’re friendly and fiercely loyal.

Although I left Jersey years ago for greener pastures, I’ve never lost my Jersey-ness and carry my Jersey girl title like a badge of honor. I try to get back as often as I can and no matter how long I’m gone, I feel as though I still belong.

Sitting here now, thousands of miles from the Garden State, what comes to my mind is family and friends. A #2 with extra vinegar from Jersey Mike’s Subs. Giant tomatoes, fresh off the vine and still warm in the summer sun. Crisp white corn on the cob dripping in melted butter. A frosty Pina Colada topped with Dark Jamacian Rum at Martell’s Tiki Bar and of course, our hometown hero Bruce

Sha la la la la la la la, Sha la la la la la la la, Sha la la la la la la la, Sha la la la la la.

Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

 

 

 

 

 

You may think writing a book is hard work, well I got news promoting it is even harder!

I was told by my publisher that if I wanted to sell books, I’d have to join the world of social networking. This meant Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and of course blogging, which brings us here; A few weeks ago my eighteen-year-old son was home on a study break and as usual in desperate need of money. For once I was able to use this to my advantage. I hired him to make a book trailer and set up this blog for me. After all, he’s a member of the new-age. I on the other hand, was from the old school of encyclopedias and typewriters.

My first post went out without a hitch and my little soldier marched back to school. With a whole week before my next blog entry was due, I had time to cruise the net and check out other people’s blogs. Big mistake, because this is where all my doubts and fears started to settle in…

Imagine the horrors, when I realized my blog was missing all of its social media buttons. These were the tools needed to spread and share my words with the world. How could I get them in place? I sent off a desperate e-mail, picking the brain of a fellow blogger. Among other things, she answered with words like widgets, tags and catagories…oh my.

I then made an even more desperate phone call to my daughter in the States, knowing she too uses social media in her work. I ended up even more confused by words like tweetdeck and hashtags. What was I supposed to do?

After hours of searching the dashboard of my blog, I found myself lost in a wonderland of unanswerable riddles and swimming in a pool of my own tears. Determined not to give up, angry one minute, happy the next and pouring tea cups out of my tea kettle all night long, I somehow figured it out!

With my social media buttons now proudly displayed on each side of my first blog entry, a rush of adrenaline took over my brain. I wrote and POSTED my second blog entry. Another mistake. I woke the next morning to find my blog a cluttered and untidy mess. Not to mention the button that read ‘Follow Me On Twiter’, no spaces between my paragraphs and displaying only half of my second blog entry. To make matters worse, upon checking the stats I could see that six people somewhere in the world had already seen it! All I could do is wipe my tears and clean up the mess.

As Alice said after falling down the rabbit hole, “Well, after this I should think nothing of falling down stairs.”

Guilty or not guilty?

Do you know that ‘why-did-I-do-that’ or ‘why-didn’t-I-do-that’ feeling we get everyday?

For example:

  • Forgetting a birthday or anniversary (when it was written down on your calendar)
  • Ordering pizza instead of making dinner (twice in the same week)
  • Meeting friends instead of cleaning the house (and you have company coming)
  • Haven’t called your mother in weeks (and promised yourself everyday, you’d do it tomorrow)

I think we can all agree its called guilt. If you don’t feel guilty about these things, then chances are you’re probably a man.

We women on the other hand are guilt hoarders and can very easily tie ourselves up into knots of shame over anything and everything. Sometimes we even go so far as to feel guilty over feeling guilty. It would seem this is our burden to bear for being the more caring and sensitive sex.

If this isn’t bad enough, we take it one step further by feeling guilty about things that make us feel good and then beat ourselves up for breaking our own rules!

For example:

  • Chocolate (I promised myself only on weekends)
  • Shopping (the last thing I needed was another pair of shoes)
  • Gossip ( I should have never told her that)

The question is, what can we do to lighten the burden of our guilt?

Well, I’m no expert but I’ll tell you how I deal with my guilt. I let it quickly roll over me in waves. Some waves are stronger than others and I’ve actually been knocked down a time or two. But I just keep telling myself, if I didn’t feel guilty then I wouldn’t care and there is nothing wrong with caring.

As for those guilty pleasures… Whether you’re having your nails done and really can’t afford it, having a few cookies with your last cup of tea before bed, or just Keeping up with the Kardashian’s. (I’m guilty of all three) Don’t worry ladies you probably deserve it.

Hello world!

Standing here on the threshold of my first ever blog entry, I find myself feeling both intimidated and empowered.

Intimidated because I’ve spent the last few years of my life quietly locked away writing my memoir, ‘Fly Away Home’. Chained to my Mac with nothing more than a cup of tea and my own thoughts. No one reading or judging my words except myself and all my secrets still safely tucked away.

I confess I was neither a writer nor a journalist. I was simply a woman with a story. After deciding to tell my story, I attended a series of write your life stories workshops, in the Hague. My teacher was the very gifted and talented author, Jo Parfitt. Jo also happens to be a publisher, who believes my story can and will find an audience.

I must also admit my grammar skills are horrendous. If you continue to read my blog which I hope you will, you may find yourself wondering… How did she write a book, when she can’t even get her commas in the right place? I’ll tell you how…editing. A good editor has the ability to turn all the ramblings of a writer into a nice and tidy little package called a book. I was lucky enough to get Jane Dean to edit my book. Jane has gone above and beyond in supporting me throughout this process.

Finally, everything has been pulled together by the talented designer Lisa Hall at lemonberry.com Lisa has created and transformed the contents of my manuscript into a coherent whole. She is also responsible for designing my awesome book cover.

These women are like three fairy godmothers, making all my dreams come true.

Oh yeah, and why do I feel empowered? Because on April 20, 2012 my book Fly Away Home will make its debut at the American Book Center in the Hague!

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