Page 4 of 16

Why I didn’t get my grandkids anything for Christmas

Yes, you read that right. I didn’t get the grands anything for Christmas. Not even a candy cane. First year ever. Lack of funds was only one of the reasons — I mean, seriously — there’s nine of ’em and at $20 a piece, that’s a good chunk out of a tight budget.

I worked the numbers every which way I could, $20 for those eight years-old and over, $10 for the younger ones. But then the younger ones’ options were slim at $10 or under. I considered going to the dollar store or the one-step up, Five and Under store, but then thought…why am I throwing even a dollar away for something that’s going to break, tear up, get lost before the end of the day?

Then I started hearing bits and pieces of what the kids were getting from their parents, other grandparents, and that jolly ol’ elf. After spending a chunk of back-breaking time every week day picking up pieces of play castles, toy cars, microscopic swords and tea cups, Barbie shoes and dresses, stuffed animals ranging in size from the hand held to the giant furry things…I decided there wasn’t a darn thing they needed coming from me that would come from a store.

So I decided to give each one, individually, my time.

I know — being with them sometimes 12-hours a day seems they have enough of my time. But honestly, they don’t. They don’t have me. They have grandma the waitress — which I’m quite good at if I do say so myself — I can balance six plates filled with PBJs on both arms and only drop the occasional chip. They have grandma the disciplinarian — which I’m also very good at. I get tickled at people who say they could never spank their precious little grand. Spend the amount of everyday, regular ol’ time with them that I do and see if you change your mind.  They get grandma the diaper changer or bottom wiper or nose wiper or pick me up from school taxi cab.Shaw Photography Group

But they don’t get grandma.

So my gift to them is my uninterrupted time and my full attention. One at a time. One on one. Emma’s looking forward to a mani/pedi, Landon, a movie, Ava, maybe one of those painting dates…whatever they want to do (within reason — yes, I’m still the grandma that puts limits on things). Even the little ones. A picnic at the park sounds good to me. It may take half the year to get these Christmas presents delivered, but I’m looking forward to each one of them.

 

New Year, New Chances

With 2014 quickly fading, it’s time to shift the focus to 2015. A new year filled with new chances, new opportunities, new promises. I’ve “claimed” 2015 to be mine and my family’s year. We will conquer fear of the unknown and stress of the known. We will shine.

How about you? Do you make resolutions or set smart goals? I do, and like most every other person, they tend to fall by the wayside by January 3rd. If they make it that long. We’re good at putting too much pressure on ourselves with unattainable goals, thus setting ourselves up for failure. But what about all those inspiring quotes that say “reach for the stars?” That falls into the long range category — before you can grab hold of a star, you’ve got to climb the steps of the ladder. And each step itself is a goal. An attainable goal.

My goals for 2015:

  1. Write a minimum of 750 words per day, more if it’s flowing. If I stick to that, Wink II will be finished by April.
  2. Have the last two grands potty trained by summer. The success/failure of this goal could affect goal #1. We’ll see. I’m sure Nina and Allen would like to go to the store and not have to buy diapers for the first time in like, 4 years?
  3. Avoid fast food. At all costs. Or at least limit it to once a week.
  4. Walk. In a more concentrated, focused effort. Chasing after the kids doesn’t count. That’s like short bursts of high intensity aerobics — grabbing Casey before he leaps from the first stairway landing, catching a toy Ivy threw at Ireland’s head, opening the baby gate for Aiden when he has to go to the bathroom, or those always fun massive searches for Pinky Pie or any of Ireland’s other lost Little Ponies.

And that’s it. I’m shooting for the stars. Step by step.

typewriter_quote

 

On the road

Touring is such hard work…Wink of an Eye has been out a week now and I’ve traveled to Greensboro, High Point, and Burlington doing readings and signings. Don’t tell anyone but all three are within a 30 mile radius of home. Didn’t have to pack an overnight bag or anything! Loving this journey 🙂

10644993_4943325077879_2462431861492722324_n

Wishing and hoping…

My Greensboro writing group

My Greensboro writing group

Grands Paisley and Ava dropped by to show their support

Grands Paisley and Ava dropped by to show their support

Sold out in Greensboro!

Sold out in Greensboro!

My Asheboro writing group

My Asheboro writing group

Listening to a reading in Greensboro

Listening to a reading in Greensboro

Every author's dream—a line for your book!

Every author’s dream—a line for your book!

In Burlington

In Burlington

Before the sell out...

Before the sell out…

Thank you, Patti Phillips!

Thank you, Patti Phillips!

The Countdown…Day 0

welcomehome

The Countdown…Day 1

1 Day. 1 Way.

Want to know how Michael Moran got his nickname “Gypsy?” Many people have asked and there’s been all sorts of speculation, but only one real answer. If you really want to know, the answer will be revealed in my next newsletter. You can subscribe by entering your email address in the button on the sidebar. And just so you’ll know how special you are to me, the newsletter isn’t shared over social media—it’s by subscription only.

1

 

The Countdown…Day 2

2 Days. 2 Random Paragraphs

I squeezed my eyes closed. That was not what I wanted to hear. Even if I took the Fifth, I’d never make it out of the courthouse alive. “If I have to testify, I might as well put a bullet through my own head and save him the trouble.”

Burke sighed heavily, pressing his fingertips to his forehead. After a long moment, he pointed a stern finger at me. “If anything happens to that boy, it’s on your head. And if anything happens to me…you inherited yourself a kid.”

2

The Countdown…Day 3

3 Days. 3 things to know about Wink, Texas.

1) As of 2014, Wink’s population is 951. Since the year 2000, Wink has seen a population growth of 1.60% The median home cost in Wink is $39,500.

2) In June 1980, a giant sinkhole formed in Wink. In May 2002, a second sinkhole opened up about a mile from the first. The sinkholes are called Wink Sink #1 and Wink Sink #2. Number 2 is much larger and measures in places, 900 feet wide or three football fields!

3) Singer Roy Orbison spent part of his childhood in Wink. The town is home to a Roy Orbison museum.

Wink Sink #2

Wink Sink #2

 

The Countdown…Day 4

4 days. 4th paragraph & more, 4th chapter

Although the air in the volunteer center was nice and cool, I drew in a breath and held it when I entered. The smell of ammonia was so strong I could taste it. A heavyset woman in flowered scrubs was leading a young woman with more challenges than anyone deserved to the restroom. The woman in scrubs eyed me suspiciously.

“I’m looking for Rhonda Walker. I’m her brother,” I said, hoping to put the woman’s mind at ease.

“Oh—so you’re Gypsy!” She smiled broadly. “Rhonda never mentioned how handsome you were.”

I winked at the woman. “You remind her for me.”

4

The Countdown…Day 5

5 Days. 5 women.

1) Claire Kinley – junior high & high school sweetheart, only woman Gypsy ever considered marrying.

I reached out, grabbed her, and pulled her to me. Her warm tears rolled down my bare chest. I lifted her chin and gently kissed away each tear, wishing to God I could stop loving her.

2) Sophia Ortez – smokin’ hot reporter helping Gypsy with his investigation.

That wasn’t part of the deal, Gypsy. I don’t tell you how to run your investigation and you don’t tell me what to write. That was the deal.

3) Rhonda Walker – Gypsy’s younger sister.

Gypsy—why is everything you own packed in boxes? And why are those boxes in my front yard?

4) Angie Moran – Gypsy’s mother.

Oh my God. My mother was going to prostitute herself to pay my hospital bill.

5) Gram – Gypsy’s grandmother.

Nothing like discussing your private parts with your eighty-year-old grandmother over morning coffee.

5

The Countdown…Day 6

6 Days.

Six. The number of times Tatum tells Gypsy that his father didn’t kill himself, in the first chapter. Not that Gypsy was counting. 6

« Older posts Newer posts »
%d bloggers like this: