Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'd Like Your PoV, Please.

I revisiting some of my work, and I'm now considering taking a thriller I've written and changing it from 3rd person PoV, to Omniscient PoV.  I'd like all of my characters to have voices in this story, so I think omniscient is the best way to do that.

To all of you writers, I'd like to know what is your usual point of view when you write.  Or, do you have different PoVs for different stories?  Tell me what you think about it - what are the strengths and weaknesses of your favorite PoV?

A short post but I'm trying to stay focused.

Talk at you later,


Saturday, August 28, 2010

For the love of SmellyCat

As I was sitting on my sprawling ass today (I mean sofa), rapping away on my laptop, I found I was getting distracted from the grunting, wheezy, whining noises from my sofa buddy SmellyCat.  He's my five year old long-haired Maine Coon tabby.

 When I brought him home almost four years ago from the local SPCA, he was a slim, spry, bundle of curiosity.

Today, as I observed him as he slept, as he always does (during my waking hours, anyway), wondering why he makes so many strange noises of late, I realized that SmellyCat was a feline version of me. I think I'll create a pseudonym for myself - KellyFat.

I've heard many stories, and even seen photographic proof that owners slowly start looking like their pets - mostly dogs - but is there a phenomenon where pets start looking (and behaving) like their owners?

A startling, but enlightening revelation it was.  My beloved companion is becoming the mirror-image of me.

It's no big secret to those who know me that my idea of exercise is a nice brisk sit on the couch rapping away on the laptop; and I will even put in the effort of carrying the laptop out to the deck at the back of the yard on a nice day.  But I have an excuse...I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis four years ago (hey, that's around the very time I brought SmellyCat home), and it is debilitating, let me tell you - well, it was for the first year.  Right now, it's an inconvenient pain in the ass.

So, I confess.  I haven't exercised in four years.  The doctor said that the only really safe form of exercise for someone with RA is swimming. However, I have a fear of public pools.  I feel like I'm in a bathtub with a hundred people, and a lot of them being toddlers who have snot coming from their noses, and who knows what in their "Lil' Swimmers".  As a result of my lax lifestyle, I've packed on 40 lbs. But enough about me.

As I looked at SmellyCat lying next to me, I suddenly felt gripped with guilt as I realized that he too has packed on ton of weight, as well.

 My husband makes fun SmellyCat now and again, and then brags about how his cat, Rosie, is the best hunter/gatherer he's ever seen in a cat. He even takes her for walks daily throughout the house.  He'll say, "Come on Rosie, lets go for a walk," and she'll stand between his feet and follow him as he makes countless trips from one end of the house to the other."  It's hilarious to see; it really is.

Then there's SmellyCat.  As he lays around completely unmotivated all day, not even a fly, moth, or dragonfly can tempt him.  And the realization of this today kinda breaks my heart.  On top of this, he's developed a slight limp in his right front paw.  Hmmm...arthritis maybe?  That would be uncanny, don't you think?

So I made a decision...I am publicly declaring that I am going to take at least 30 minutes each day to get up and move around, whether it be walking, cleaning, or the elliptical, and I am setting a goal of losing 20 lbs by Christmas.  I'm also vowing to get my sidekick up and moving as well.  I'll fill you in on our progress during the next four months.  Wish us luck.

I'll talk to ya later,


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Pride and Joy.

This post is more personal than normal, but tomorrow is my son's 14th birthday so any proud Mom would dedicate one little blog to her child on such a special day, don't you agree.?  As I write this I am reminded that 14 years ago at this very moment, I was in the most agony this body has ever endured, and I'm no spring chicken here - I've pushed this body to the limits more times than I'd like to admit.

I gotta hand it to mothers of multiple children because, despite being mentally challenged, you are all very very brave women!  And I say that with the utmost respect - not in a derogatory way - because the way I see it, you HAVE to have some kind of crazy to do it twice, let alone more than that.

Anyway, I digress. Here I go making my son's birthday all about me...he's heard it 13 times before, so I'll try to refrain during this birthday, especially during his birthday get-together tomorrow with all of his buddies, from reminding him of the misery he, as a just-about-born baby, inflicted on my body - the body that has never managed to be the same ever since.

At this time of year, I love to break out my old pictures.  I'll show him my modelling photos from my early twenties.  "You were so pretty, Mom," he'd say.  Then I'd show him the pregnancy pictures of my growing baby bump and spreading hips - oh, and of course I'd tell him how proud I was to be pregnant.  It was one of the happiest times in my life.  He believes me.

Then I'll show him the pictures taken on this very date, of me holding my 6lb 15oz bundle of joy as I lay, immobilized from the internal and external stitches they gave me "down there".

I'd always, always reassure him that his wrinkly skin and protruding ears didn't bother me in the least when I first seen him- I knew he'd eventually grow into them.  And then I'd point out my huge left leg that was sticking out from under the sheet...He'd say it reminded him of the TV show he'd once seen about a lady who was so obese that she literally lived in her bed, but he'd reassure me that I had a long way to go before I ever got to that point.  He really loves his mama!

Now, seeing him as a teenager, I get teary-eyed thinking back to those great times.  I love watching him grow.  He handles responsibility with great respect.  He's very mature for his age, people tell me.  I agree.  He's intelligent and loving, and free with compliments.  Hell, he even told me that I looked just like the lady on the box of hair dye I use, only that she has one chin.

I'm so looking forward to the remaining teenage years, and high school.  It's very promising that he is going to be an upstanding member of society.  And, just like I promised him 14 years ago, he did grow into his skin and ears.

I love you, buddy!  All joking aside, I couldn't be prouder.  Have a wonderful day...you deserve it.

I'll talk at you all later.


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Monday, August 23, 2010

The Pickets are Getting Uncomfortable

Sitting on a proverbial fence, all the while holding a laptop and a stack of resource books, is losing it's appeal.  Sometimes it's good to sit up here; I have a wonderful view of both sides of this fence on a clear day. It's just when things get foggy and I can't see clearly, do I get confused and annoyed.

On one side there sits a couple of Adirondack chairs with a cast iron table in between.  Iced tea and a leather bound copy of Sherlock Holmes wait patiently for an old married couple to enjoy their familiarity.  Majestic mature oak trees provide comfort and protection from the elements.  Life has always been this way and it is good, if you have the patience to wait for it.

Looking to the other side of this proverbial fence I am captivated by the energy and busy-ness that is all around. No grass grows under the youngsters feet on this side.  There is a hot tub, and an outdoor grill.  A weather-proof large-screen TV  faces the Eurostyle outdoor living room  furniture.  iPhones are ringing; eReaders are being read, and there is an overwhelming sense that time waits for nobody.  Instant gratification abounds on this side.

I take in the scenes all around me as I sit on this fence while I frantically rap away on my laptop and scan the pages of my resource books trying to absorb every single tidbit of information I possibly can, so I can hurry up and make up my mind to which side I will be stepping down into.

If you haven't figured it out yet, and I'm sure you have, these metaphorical sides of the fence represent the two sides of publishing - commercial publishing (some call it traditional), and self-publishing. (including eBooks, POD and vanity presses).  My brain is on information overload.  I'm sensing that there can't possibly be too much more I have to learn.  I have all the information I need to make a decision... but I just can't!

I am convinced that both sides have very valid arguments.  If you are a writer who is somewhat new to the idea of publishing your works, and you find yourself in the same predicament, then reading the following blogs won't help you in the slightest...Honestly.  I thought I had it all wrapped up and was about to take the pickets from my ass when I read J.A. Konrath's Blog called A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. After spending days reading his arguments for publishing your books straight to Amazon, I was convinced that was the best option for me.  I'm not at all patient, and I LOVE immediate gratification.

That was until today, when I was surfing around and found Lynn Price's blog.  She's the founder and editorial director of Behler Publications.  She is extremely generous with information a writer must have about commercial publishers, and if you take the time this site deserves to read her blog archives, you will glean valuable information about self-publishing as well.  She is also one of the wittiest, most intelligent, and confident bloggers I've ever read.

So, on the fence I will remain.  I'll place a cushion under my ass, and have the kid's keep my martini glass full as I settle in for the long haul.  Patience is a virtue, and hey, I got all the time in the world.  I'll turn my eyes away from both sides for a while and focus on my laptop - not to research anymore, but to write.  Sorry I neglected you, sweet love of mine.  I've had others vying for my attention, lately, and I confess that I was enamored for a while. But, baby, I'm back. 

When I'm close to a decision, I'll let you all know.  But until then, I'm hanging a DO NOT DISTURB sign on my door.  My novel and I have come catching up to do.

Talk at you later.


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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mama Liked the Roses.

My husband is a Koi connoisseur.  He's been raising Koi for decades, so it was no surprise to me when he came to me this spring and announced that he was going to dig a Koi pond in our tiny backyard for the few remaining fish we had.  I was glad to be getting the fish out of the house.  He dug the pond by hand, put in the liner, filled the pond, built a waterfall, and acclimatized the Koi to their new home.

I'm not an outdoorsy type of person.  I don't like to touch dirt, so the idea of gardening had never sat well with me, until I was touched by the effort my husband put into this backyard oasis.  The pond deserved some plantation around it, so I choose a number of mound bushes, small trees, flowering spreaders, a couple of peony bushes, and something I'd always loved...rose bushes.  I chose three different color roses and had my husband strategically place them in the garden, according to planting directions.  For a couple of weeks, I
waited anxiously for signs that I'd be seeing beautiful roses, and they didn't disappoint.  Through our short summer here in Alberta, the rose bushes blessed me with some beautiful blooms and made a beautiful addition to my husbands magical pond.

Summer is bowing out for the year.  Daylight hours are quickly being replaced by chilly nights.  I look at my rose bushes and I feel anxious, because I really have no idea what to do next.  So yesterday I found a gardener on Kijiji who is willing to give me all the advice and information I need to ensure my roses will make it through our bitterly cold winters.

Writing is like cultivating rose bushes to me.  I love writing as much as I love roses, but I think I'm taking a lesson from this summer of rose care.  Writing needs to be cultivated and pruned and respected in the same way.  Before I can expect to see the finished product I have been so long anticipating (a published book), I know I have to hone my craft.  I planted the bushes (ideas), fed and watered them (writing the manuscripts), pruned (edited and reedited), got some helpful advice from people and the internet (joined online writers communities and a local writer's group), picked up some tips about growing bigger, better roses (resource books and online articles about writing), and wait patiently to see the fully bloomed roses (sending in submissions and queries).  The rest is up out of my hands.  Either the roses (book) come, or they don't.

There are three legacies I'd like to leave to my loved ones once I'm gone:

  • Be true to who you are.  Don't pretend to be what people want you to be.  There's nothing worse than a hypocrite.
  • That I loved roses.  Every single time I look at my roses, I sing the song "Mama Liked the Roses", by Elvis to myself.  
  • The written word is beautiful.  Treat it with respect and use it to express yourself, your ideas, your imagination, your feelings.  Write letters to your loved ones.  Use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation.  And hopefully, along with this legacy, I'd love to include a tangible reward for my efforts, a published novel.  
I hope you enjoyed the photos.  This last one is of the final result - at least for this year.  There's always more work to be done, but that will have to wait until spring.  

I'll talk to you later.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

The time of year to plan our winter escape is here again.  Each year we head to Mexico, and each year there are fewer and fewer pictures of me taken.

Since being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis four years ago, I've been slowing accumulating fat around my muscles - I do have a six pack under four inches of yellow, lumpy fat.  I'm also a mortician so I know first hand what body fat looks like under the skin.  GROSS!

Two years ago my husband Brad accompanied me to a swim-wear store at the mall.  Even though my blood pressure hit the roof as soon as I stepped foot into the store, I was comforted a little by the fact that the sales lady was over weight as well.  I chose a couple of one piece bathing suits and silently mourned the bikinis I had purchased the years before - they were dead to me now.  I also chose two resort dresses; one of which was a convertible style that you could wear eleven different ways.

The jolly sales lady hung my potential purchases in an empty change room.  My husband said he would wait close by and that he wanted to me to show him how they looked.

First I tried on the black suit with a plunging neck line.  I'm also flat-chested, so this style seemed futile on my figure.  It was like advertising a Smart Car at a Porsche dealership. Brad scrunched his face and shook his head with disapproval.  Next was a brown tummy-trimming one piece that seemed to do what it promised to do.  My legs still looked like tree trunks but at least my belly had some shape again. Brad said it looked great. This was the one I chose.  I then tried on the convertible dress, which was made of a clingy T-shirt material.  Looking like an overstuffed sausage, I reluctantly opened the dressing room door, and as much as Brad tried, he couldn't cover the look of...what's the word for it...fiasco on his face.  Tears defiantly filled my eyes, and I closed the change room door.

I have an affliction; I cry much too easily.  As hard as I willed myself to keep it together, the tears kept coming.  I changed as quickly as I could, I opened the door, I passed the one brown bathing suit to my husband, crying, and said "I gotta go. Please buy this for me", and I exited the store bawling.  I'm sure that all the people who were sitting in rest area just outside the store knew exactly why this plump woman ran out of the store crying.  I headed for the bathroom, and once I felt stable enough to face my husband, I walked back to the entrance of the store where he was waiting for me.  I have a wonderful husband; he put his arms around me and just hugged me.  He knew saying anything would sound like appeasement, so he just kissed my cheek and we left the mall.

Last winter, I decided to head back to that store to buy another one piece.  I was determined to get in there and get out without any drama.  See, I had already resigned my mind to the fact that this is the body I have, so I just had to make the most of it...a little defeatist, but hey, it is what it is.

I purchased a $160 black boostier style strapless, gathered, one piece.  Much more than I could afford, but I justified the purchase as my reward for having to see myself in a bathing suit each year.  It was much to nice to wear in the ocean or the pool, but it looks hot with a pair of dressy capri pants.

So, now it is that time of year again.  I haven't lost any weight, but I haven't gained any either.  The thought of being seen in a bathing suit is making me nauseas again.  I can't go through my yearly ritual of treating myself to a new suit; it takes too much out of me.  Having let myself down again - I promise myself each summer that I'm going to be beach ready by winter - I find myself trying to talk my family out of going on vacation this winter.  I say, "we should save the money, and go someplace different next year" or "we should put the money toward our car loan" or "why don't we do something special for Christmas at home".  I don't see any sign in my family that they will concede and agree with me.

My only option now is to loose as much weight as possible in the next three months.  Cabbage soup it is.

I'll talk at you later.


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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Person to Person Keeps a Writer Sane

Well, after months and months of doing what every new writer does - write, read, research, learn about the industry, join online writing communities, subscribe to Writer's Digest and start a blog - I took a step out of the virtual and into the traditional...I attended my first meeting of Writers Inc., the local writer's club here in Red Deer, Alberta.

I was excited to meet real flesh and blood people who share my passion for writing, but I'll have to wait until next week to get to know them all a little better (about a baker's dozen of them). I walked into the quaint old farm house, which is also the main office for one of the local tourist attractions in Red Deer called Sunnybrook Farm.  It's a genuine working hobby farm in the middle of the city, so this metaphorical step back for me into the traditional writer's group couldn't have had a more appropriate venue.

As I sat in on a Skype Interview with Turnstone Press's own Jamis Paulson, and listened to questions from this group - questions I had previously learned answers to from my time spent in the information age called the internet - it wasn't lost on me how important it is to take time to remember and preserve our roots.  This little working farm, in the middle of the matrix of concrete and glass we call a city, is as important to preserve as it is to preserve a small flesh and blood circle of writer's like the one I attended this evening, which sits in the middle of the electronic world of writer's communities, blogs, instant messaging, instant information, eBooks, and e Readers.

Writing is a very solitary and lonely endeavor.  We tend to get into a mind frame that prevents us from participating in the real world; family, friends, physical activities, outdoor time and social activities. We lock ourselves away from these things until our goal is achieved.  I was falling into that mind set.  Despite my apprehension about walking into a room full of strangers, I am so thankful I did.  They understand me.  Their loved ones understand my loved ones.  It can only be a good thing for me as a writer, so I look forward to allowing this group of people into my solitude, because they have welcomed me into theirs.  If you write, remember to live. I think we too often get caught up in our stories and our characters that we forget about the plot and the characters of the real world.

I'll talk at ya tomorrow.


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I don't know if times have changed significantly since I was 13 - significant enough to raise my eyebrows at the situation I found myself in earlier this evening.  I have a son, who is about to have his 14th birthday.  He's always been interested in girl, even from toddler-hood.  So it has been no real big deal to me whenever I'd overhear him talking about this girl or that girl to his buddies.  For most of his life, he had been raised in a strict Christian household and had gone to a strict Christian school.  When I divorced his father six years ago, I decided I wanted my son to go to public school; it took four years to do this, but this year will be his third year at public school.

I've never been worried about him getting involved with the wrong crowd or smoking, drugs and alcohol.  I believe his foundation is strong and he has never done anything to betray my trust.  That's why I'm okay with him having a girlfriend at this age, as long as I can monitor the relationship by allowing he and his friends (yes, girls as well) to socialize in my home.  I can keep an eye on he and his friends without feeling intrusive.

Our neighbors, however, would like nothing better than to convince my husband and I to forbid my son from hanging out a couple of his friends who have a unique style of expressing themselves; long black hair that hang over their faces, skinny jeans (usually black), and even eye-liner now and then.   Yes, to look at these boys, you would think "a little eccentric." I took their empty concerns into consideration and spoke to the boys to let them know in no uncertain terms that disrespect for the homeowners on the street will not be tolerated, and if I witness undesirable behaviour, they would not be allowed to hang out with my son.  Since then, I have become the den mother to the whole gang.  I love the fact that the boys all feel comfortable enough with me to permit themselves to be themselves.  They know there is no judgement in this house.

What I wasn't expecting, though, was to have the little girl my son was "seeing" befriend me on Facebook so she could seek my advice.  It seems she told the boys something that wasn't true in order to gain attention from them, and this rumour she started about herself immediately ruined her reputation with my son and his friends.  Not only that, her parents found out about it, so she is devastated, humiliated and ashamed.  Desperately needing an adult (and maybe she chose this adult because I'm the mother of the boy she adores), she told me all the details.  Without getting any deeper into the details, I assured this confused young Christian lady that things will work out if she handles the situation the proper way, and that all of this will pass and be forgotten one day.  She said that the few kind words I offered her gave her the courage she needed to do what she had to do.

I was a 13 year old girl at one time, and I remember how very difficult that age is for girls.  All of this interaction with the kids got me thinking how lucky, blessed, fortunate - whatever - I am to have the privilege to be involved in my son's life at this level.  I feel responsible for his friends when they visit, and I think about them when they aren't around.  They open up to me about their family life, their school life, relationships, and anything else that is on their minds, so their problems become my own in a small way.

It makes me think about how very integral the parents of a friend of mine was in my teen years.  I literally wouldn't have been able to get through some situations were it not for the love and concern of virtual adult strangers and the small role they played in my life.  It is my hope that all parents be solid as a rock to their children, but more than that, a small stepping stone to their children's friends.  It may change a life.

I'll talk at ya tomorrow,


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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Brad.

Yesterday was my husband, Brad's, forty-fifth birthday.  Therefore, I did not blog.  The day belonged to him, and only him.

But tonight, as I sit and watch the recorded episodes of this weeks America's Got Talent, I struggle to find a topic to blog about.

I decided to blog about things that are on my mind, and right now what is on my mind is this...

  • What in the hell was America thinking when they voted for the winner of last year's America's Got Talent...I can't remember his name but he was a chicken plucker or catcher.
  • Why does Piers Morgan hate Howie Mandel so much?  I mean, he REALLY hates him.
  • How in the hell did he turn that girl into a tiger? I'm dumbfounded.
  • I hope I look as good as Sharon Osbourne when I'm her age.  
  • Man, this is a real tiger.  He's going to run out of air if someone doesn't get him out of that glass box.
In an unrelated thought:
  • Woks are really more trouble than they are worth.
  • I go away for one night but end up with three loads of laundry.  (wth?)
  • Why does SmellyCat insist on drinking out of the toilet when there is fresh water in his bowl?
  • How could a tiger-lily fully bloom in one night, when I didn't even see a bud there yesterday.  Hmmm. Go figure.
  • Is Brad too tired tonight?  
  • Howie Mandel is really sexy for a 55 year old!
  • Is Brad too tired tonight?
  • I gotta shave my legs.
  • I think I'll have a bowl of cereal before bed.  Alphabits or Shreddies?
  • Ahh...I'm not really in the mood tonight anyway.
I'll talk at ya tomorrow.


Monday, August 2, 2010

The Guilt Trip - A Mother's Legacy to her Daughter

"Do you have plans tonight?" my mother asked me one Friday night when I was 15 years old.

"Yeah...I was going to go hang out with Wanda and Wendy," I replied, know exactly what was coming.


"Well, if you have no real plans, I was hoping to go out tonight." Mom liked to go to Bingo.

"But it's Friday night, Mom, and I've been in all week.  So, I was kinda looking forward to getting out." I said, knowing that she was going to accuse me of "backtalking" her.

"Fine.  Go out then.  I'll stay home...again." she offered, staring at the television.

"No, Mom...You go out, I'll stay home with Lenny," I conceded. 

I have a brother who is 10 years younger, so growing up I spent a lot of time caring for him, helping him with homework, preparing his breakfast before school, babysitting, etc.

"No, really. Go out Kelly.  I don't mind.  I'll stay home."

All of a sudden, instead of pleading to go out, I'd be begging her to let me stay home.  Oh yes; she's that good.

Needless to say, I'd stay home, and Mom went out the door each time this situation arose knowing that her manipulation with guilt produced desirable results each and every time.

Today, I'm 41.  My mom lives alone, because her living with me just wasn't working for me.  And today, the guilt trip is still her preferred method of getting me to volunteer to do things I hadn't planned on doing.

Take today, for instance...My phone rings and once I looked at the call display, I rolled my eyes and thought to myself, I guess I'm going to be running out today.

"Hello," I said, with an obvious lack of enthusiasm.

"Hi," Mom replied, sounding all sick and miserable.  "What are your plans for the day?"

"Not much, I was just going to do my thing on the computer." (I've learned to never ask why she is asking, or how she's feeling.)


"Kelly, I was feeling so good this morning. I really was, so I got dressed and ready to go do some grocery shopping, but then I started to have stomach problems.  It's been a couple of hours now and it's not getting any better."

"Oh, really?" I say, again with a lack of enthusiasm.

"I was really hoping to get out today because I'm out of everything.  But that's okay, I've gone a lot longer than this without food before. I can drink black coffee and make these few cigarettes last until I'm feeling better and can get out."

You know what happens next, right? I offer to drop everything I'm doing to go get what she needs.  Now I know you may be thinking that any daughter would gladly inconvenience herself to make sure her mama has what she needs.  And I agree with that - in normal relationships.  The thing is, my mother hasn't been out of her apartment in weeks.  This phone call happens about twice a week.  She has it made.

But the wonderful thing about my mother is that she has never asked me to do anything for her.  I always volunteer. The sad thing is, I always volunteer because my mother is very skilled with "the guilt trip."

It's a legacy that she's leaving me.  I have a 14 year old son.  A few months ago he asked me to please never buy him clothes from Walmart; his friends at school make fun of him. So, when it came time to replace his worn out skater shoes, he asked me for a particular brand that all the kids were wearing. I gave him a limit of $50, but after looking around the stores with him, it was evident that we weren't getting the shoes he wanted for less than $100. 

I caught myself using my mother's technique when I said, "I'll buy them for you but I'm going to have to wait to get those orthotics I desperately need.  But that's okay; I've gone this long without them - I can wait another month or two."  What did I just say?

My son replied with, "No, Mom.  That's okay.  You need the money for your orthotics.  I'll wait until you can afford it."  I immediately suspected that I had passed on the "guilt trip" gene to the next generation, but one look in his eyes put me at ease.  He was genuinely sincere and selfless.

Needless to say, he got his skater shoes, and I got piece of mind knowing that my legacy to him is still to be determined.

I'll talk at ya tomorrow.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

More About Me

Well, today is the day I finally take the next step in creating the new me - the new and improved me.  I decided today that I'm not just Kelly Olsen anymore; I'm now Kelly M. Olsen

You see,  Kelly Olsen is the mother whose nickname is "Mom"; the wife whose nickname is "Honey"; the friend whose nickname is "Hey You", and the mortician whose nickname is "Crazy", because most people respond with "you must be crazy" when I tell them what I do to earn a living.

But as of today, I've decided that I'm now Kelly M. Olsen - the new and improved me...wait, that is redundent, isn't it?  I'm now all of those things I just listed, as well as fiction writer and blogger.  I don't actually know which level of achievement I must reach before I deserve to have the M. in my name; maybe its when I reach 100 000 hits on my blog, or when I can call myself a published author - not a self-published author, though; that is the kiss of death for those who want to be taken seriously as a writer - but I'm going to risk penalty of death by declaring myself important enough today to have the M. in my name.

Or, maybe I can even go a step further and become K.M. Olsen...Oh yes!  Now that sounds like an author's name, right?  It's ambiguous enough to sound mysterious - I could be male or female.  It's simple enough to be memorable - because nobody would remember either of my two former last names: Palfrey and Letourneau (I'm glad I got rid of those, especially the last one).  I like K.M. Olsen; I like it a lot.  But maybe I'm being  pretentious to think that people would actually refer to me as K.M.  I wonder if people call J.K. Rowling as J.K.? 

I'm babbling...so for now, I guess you can call me Kelly.  But I'm warning ya - as soon as I get to 100 000 followers, I'm going to insist you call me Kelly M.  Am I clear?

I'll talk at you tomorrow...

Kelly M. Olsen