Sunday, February 28, 2010
My weird talent is that I can whip up alternate lyrics for almost any song at a moment's notice. I can make the lyrics fit the moment and mood, and usually work in a rhyme or two without a break in my rhythm. I am an improvisational Weird Al-esque gangsta...if you will...
Here are some of the songs I sang this weekend:
To the tune of "I dreamed a dream in time gone by" from Les Miserables
"I dreamed a dream there was no puke,
No snot to wipe, no poo to clean up.
But that sweet dream was sadly nuked.
You turned to me and then you threw up.
Oh the throw up came at night.
It came at morning and at noon too.
No time to rest no time to write.
Then the throw up became poo poo..."
To the tune of "Love Story" by Taylor Swift:
"You were both young when I first saw you,
so cute and sweet, wrapped in sheets,
but I would learn...
all about disgusting kid germs.
See the snot, see the poo in the bathtub,
Barf on the carpet and rattling chests,
wish I could rest,
how long 'til I kick you out of my nest?"
To the tune of "Healthy Food" by Cookie Monster:
Throw up too.
I hate nasty poo.
You little sickly dudes."
In case you hadn't figured it out by now, my weekend consisted of cleaning up barf and poo. There is nothing to describe the way it feels to just get one nasty mess and one kid cleaned up, only to have another mess erupting elsewhere. (And I do mean ERUPTING. The projectile action around here has been great and fearsome.) The hubs and I have done about fourteen loads of laundry in two days and gone through an entire bottle of Resolve carpet cleaner, a bottle of Lysol spray, and two canisters of Lysol wipes.
All this while mom and dad were running low grade fevers with the snot bug the Baby had given us. (Sorry peeps at Mother's Day Out! I really thought the kid just had a sinus infection. Which he does, and a double ear infection too because we Jay's believe in DOING THINGS BIG, but yeah...I didn't think he was contagious. But yeah, he is. Ask my red nose and sore throat. Sorry!)
And the really terrifying thing is: though five seems to have recovered from his 48 hour flu virus, and Baby's bottom has ceased exploding after switching antibiotics...there's still the chance...the horrible, awful chance that Baby or hubs or I will catch the 48 hour flu. I've sprayed the house. I've prayed. I've made offerings to the gods, and written some bad poetry about "The Month of Endless Snot, and Weekend of Endless Puke and Poo" (because it is a known fact that bad poetry wards away evil), but...I'm still afraid.
Send healthy vibes. And sanity. And maybe a round trip flight to Hawaii. (It's not running away if you come back! I'll come back. I just need like...a day. "A day without snot". I've got the title of my next bad poem.)
See you in a day or two! When I shall celebrate the alleged release date of MY SO CALLED DEATH by announcing the winner of the mug (there's still time to enter, leave a comment on the post below this one) and announce a new, more awesomer contest.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I just finished emailing my twenty or twenty-first reader regarding a certain Frequently Asked Question, and decided it would probably be best to post an answer here on the blog. That way I can refer people to the answer with a quick link, and we'll all be on the same page.
FAQ: When is the next Megan Berry book coming out? 2011? When? You can't just leave the girl like that?!
Answer: Okay...I'm going to keep it absolutely real and tell you...I don't know when the next Megan Berry book is coming out. Despite solid sales of the first in the series, my publisher had concerns that zombies wouldn't be selling come 2011. I didn't (and don't) necessarily agree, but I can respect where they're coming from. They need to make a profit and making educated guesses about where the market is headed is a big part of that. Only time will tell if their guess was the correct one.
So anyway, due to zombie-trend-dying concerns, they had me write a stand alone book, entitled THE LOCKET, for my 2011 book. THE LOCKET is a scary, intense, paranormal romance that I really enjoyed writing, so hopefully it will be something readers will enjoy while waiting for Megan Berry 3.
FAQ: But you just said...um...didn't you say there wasn't going to be a book 3?
Answer: No, I didn't. I said my publisher had concerns that zombies would be over. All you have to do is buy as many copies of UNDEAD MUCH? as you did YOU ARE SO UNDEAD TO ME (or more) and I'd imagine we'd be good to go for Book 3. I certainly want to write it--I already have the story extensively outlined--and my publishers are reasonable business people. They want to make money and aren't going to kill a series that's bringing in a steady revenue.
So, basically, the fate of the Megan Berry books is in your hands. You have the power. Buy a copy, get a friend to buy a copy, give a copy as a birthday present, convince your local book club to buy a few dozen.
I absolutely don't want to sound like a money-hungry freak after your hard earned dollars, but sales are going to be the number one determiner of whether I get to write that third book. And I am DYING to write that third book. Megan is a real person to me. I love her and would never want to leave her in such a perilous place. I'm really looking forward to giving her a happily ever after, but I only get to write books that publishers want to publish. I'm a working writer. I have no other job to support my family and my husband is retiring from his job in a few months.
And what kind of books do publishers want to publish? Books that sell. The end.
So I'll be doing my best to sell UNDEAD MUCH? with several signings and events in the next few months and I'm guessing sales are going fairly well so far (I've certainly been getting a LOT of email. You all don't know how much I appreciate it. I love hearing that you've enjoyed the book), but I wanted to give you an honest heads up.
And in more upbeat news, I'm going to be giving away a wrap around mug with April McGuire's kick-ass UNDEAD MUCH? artwork, as shown below:
I love this mug. It helps me get pysched up to beat down the day like a horde of rabid zombies. I hope it will do the same for you.
So...how to win? Just comment on this post and make sure your blogger profile has an email where I can reach you. I'll draw from the hat in a day or two and send this baby out.
Have a Wednesday,
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I showcased "Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet" a few weeks ago, but I thought you might want to learn a little more about Erin, the author. So she agreed to answer a few questions for me! Learn more about Erin's go-to book and why llamas are funny below.
About the book:
Hamlet Kennedy just wants to be your average, happy, vanilla eighth grader. But with Shakespearean scholar parents who dress in Elizabethan regalia and generally go about in public as if it were the sixteenth century, that’s not terribly easy. It gets worse when they decide that Hamlet’s genius sevenyear- old sister will attend middle school with her— and even worse when the Shakespeare project is announced and her sister is named the new math tutor. By the time an in-class recitation reveals that our heroine is an extraordinary Shakespearean actress, Hamlet can no longer hide from the fact that she—like her family—is anything but average.
In a novel every bit as funny as her debut, Erin Dionne has created another eighth grader whose situation is utterly unique—but whose foibles and farces will resound with every girl currently suffering through middle school.
About Erin Dionne:
Erin lives outside of Boston with her husband and daughter, and a very insistent dog named Grafton. She roots for the Red Sox, teaches English at an art college, and sometimes eats chocolate cookies.The Questions!
1. You're stranded inside during an ice storm and you're all out of milk and bread and can't make a sandwich or...drink milk with that sandwich. What book do you reread for comfort?
THE STAND by Stephen King (unabridged version). I reread this book about good and evil every few years, actually. It's the comfort of a good story, plus the destruction of mankind, all rolled into one. And it'd take my mind off not having a sandwich. Or milk.
2. fill in the blank) + (fill in the blank) = funny. Why?
llamas + anything else = funny. Why? Because llamas are inherently funny. Just think about it. (llamas + bank teller window. llamas + rollercoaster. llamas + drive thru headset. SEE?! Funny.)
3. If you could erase one word from the English language, what would it be?
I'd erase "irregardless." It doesn't exist, yet it gets used all the time. The English teacher in me cringes every time I hear it. It's REGARDLESS, people. That's it. USE IT.
4. What always makes you smile? (Visual aids welcome.)
My Constant Companion/daughter. She's very small, but absolutely hysterical.
Aw! Thanks so much Erin!
See ya'll tomorrow,
Saturday, February 20, 2010
MY SO CALLED DEATH is out early!! At least over at Amazon, check it out:
Just because you don't have a pulse doesn't mean you can't be perky.
One second, freshman Karen Vera's on top of the most fabulous cheer pyramid ever. The next, she's lying on the pavement with seriously unflattering cranial damage. Freakishly alive without a pulse, Karen learns that she's a genetically undead zombie.
Suddenly, Karen's non-life is an epic disaster. She's forced to attend a boarding school for the "death-challenged," her roommate is a hateful wannabe-Goth weirdo, and she's chowing down on animal brains every day to prevent rot (um, ew?). Even worse, someone is attacking students and harvesting their brains for a forbidden dark ritual. And it might be the hottest guy at DEAD High, the one who makes Karen's non-beating heart flutter!
Armed with a perky smile and killer fashion sense, it's up to Karen to track down the brain snatcher and save her fellow students from certain zombie death.
This book wasn't supposed to hit the shelves (or virtual shelves) until March 1st, so I'm not sure what all this is about, but go forth and snag that last early copy they've got available if you are of the mind.
In other book news, the new book deal has been announced. Here's the official blurb-y bit:
Stacey Jay's JULIET IMMORTAL, the real story of Romeo and Juliet, former lovers, now sworn enemies and immortal warriors for good and evil who wage war for the eternal souls of soul mates throughout time, and ROMEO REDEEMED, to Michelle Poploff at Delacorte, for publication in 2011, by Caren Estesen at Caren Johnson Literary Agency (World English).
Yeay!! I'm so excited to work with Delacorte and I can already tell that the intensely professional, and awesome, Michelle is going to put me through my paces and help me make these books something special. These are both Young Adult books (to answer Rhianna's question from the comments :)).
I also have more book news, but I'm going to hold off on that for a bit...tease you, taunt you...and try to think of a nifty way to make the announcement.
And come on back next week and win some stuff. I've got t-shirts, an awesome mug, and some other fun things to give away to celebrate my two new releases.
Have a fabulous weekend,
Friday, February 19, 2010
All three heroines in my next three books have dealt with some major trauma.
Heroine Number One watched her sister die in front of her when she was sixteen and has since lived in constant contact with death in a post-apocalyptic Mississippi Delta.
Heroine Number Two was murdered by her new husband before being granted the chance to become an immortal warrior for light and love and has spent a few hundred years fighting her ex and being generally tormented by the twisted tale he's spread about their tragic love story--namely that she killed herself for love of him. (Sound familiar? Yes...Juliet, she is back! And appearing in a Delacorte book near you sometime in 2011 if I can finish up by my early summer deadline.)
Heroine Number Three suffered through a near-deadly childhood illness, a prolonged hospital stay, and a few months of medically-induced hallucinations (or what she believed to be hallucinations) that would have made a weaker person crazy. Since then, she's continued to live with severe diabetes and the threat it poses to her dreams of becoming a professional dancer.
Three tormented heroines, and lord knows poor Megan Berry has had a rough time of it. People call the "Undead" books funny--and I think that's more true of the first book than the second--but if you really think about it, facing down killer zombies on a daily basis isn't all safe and cozy with a side of sweet dreams. Megan has been criticized for boo-hooing too much, but damn...wouldn't you want to cry sometimes if you were her? I would.
But I'd probably try to do my sniffling in private. I'm not much of a personal-angst sharer. At least not in big, public places like say...my blog (ehem, foreshadowing here...do you feel it?). I might twitter a little drama now and then, but my twitter followers are relatively few and over half of them are fake people with names like Bambie who want me to look at their homemade porn. (Annoying!...but that's a vent for another day.)
So anyway...trauma, heroines, personal angst...what was I getting at? There was a destination to this ramble, but I'm having a bit of a hard time remembering how I'd planned to get there.
I guess I'll just say this: It's 2:45 a.m. and I'm awake. This isn't the first time, or the last time. It won't be the first or last time this week, I'm fairly sure. I've been duking it out with chronic insomnia since my first son was born five years ago. Up until then, I was a FABULOUS little sleeper. I could zonk out anywhere, anytime, and sleep down a good 8-10 hours without a problem. Even if I had to get up to visit the loo--as we people of small bladder sometimes have to do--I'd go right back to sleep.
Head + Pillow = Zonk, Zzzz, Snore, Snort, Zzzzz.
Ahhhh....I can remember how good it felt, so sweet and restful. I remember what it felt like to awake rested and refreshed even though I haven't had more than a handful of those days in five years.
Yes. Five. Years.
For a few of those, I limped along on Tylenol PM, but eventually the insomnia got too big for Tylenol or Benadryl to grant me more than a few hours of rest. So one day, I was prescribed Ambien by some well-meaning doctor. I don't even remember which doctor it was. I've moved so much that I've lost track of who doctored me where.
Like an abusive boyfriend who starts out awesome and actually pays for dinner, the first couple of years with Ambien were good. We met up once or twice a week, I slept well--or at least didn't remember not sleeping well, Ambien can cause amnesia--and the sleep issues stopped being something I struggled with as much.
Then I got pregnant with my second son. The first few months of pregnancy are EXHAUSTING (really, you can feel that little person inside you sucking your life force big time until month four) so I slept fairly well. Then, the second trimester came and I was suddenly full of energy. Like, psychotically full. I was the crazy little pregnant engine that could! I went all day and all night, unable to sleep, getting physically wiped though my brain wouldn't shut down, until one day I fell asleep at the wheel.
I was driving slow. I rolled into a shallow ditch and woke up immediately. No one was hurt, thank god, but I was terrified. I couldn't put my older kids at risk like that. So I went on 2.5 mg of Ambien. My doctor told me it was safe for my baby and, thank god again, it seems like she was right. My baby is a precious, brilliant, physically fit little man who amazes me every day.
For me, however, Ambien became a bad habit, a nightly habit. I could not sleep without it. I'd try to "detox", but never last more than a night or two. I needed all the sleep I could get. I had a newly demanding full time writing job, two full-time stepdaughters, a four year old, and then, a new baby. After the baby was born, sleep became even more critical. I needed it in between those every-three-hours nursing sessions and the 2.5 mg of Ambien wasn't working. So my doc upped me to 5 mg and told me Ambien was now "approved for long term use" and "non-addictive". My bull-honkey meter pinged a little at her words--I knew by then what it felt like to go without the pill for a night or two--but I needed sleep so badly I didn't really care...until...
Until the 5 mg pill stopped working about 7 months later and I was changed to 6.25 mg of time release Ambien... and then that quit working a few weeks after that. Once again, I was told to double my dose. To take over 12 mg of a chemical to knock myself out for the night. Finally, the hippie buried beneath my tight-fitting skinny jeans and leather boots cried out for the madness to stop.
So I did. I stopped. I lasted three weeks--three weeks of night sweats and horrible dreams and almost no sleep at all--before I went back on the 6.25 mg dose. Nothing else worked. I tried homeopathic remedies, I tried sleep hygiene changes (yes, that's what it's called, funny, no?), I tried the old Tylenol PM standby and even a couple Lunesta since I'd heard that was a less addictive sleep aid. Nothing worked. Nothing. My body had become accustomed to the Ambien (ehem, ADDICTED, let's just get it out there) and had forgotten how to sleep without it.
The realization made me miserable. I felt ashamed, like I'd somehow failed personally though my doctor had prescribed the drug and it was hardly my fault I had insomnia. (The culprits were probably hormone changes--my body never has been the same since my first son was born. Combined with a sickly, poorly sleeping baby who didn't make it through the night without waking--usually because he was coughing so badly with his asthma and acid reflux that he vomited everywhere and needed his sheets changed--for two years.)
Determined to get off the Ambien and stay off, I made an appointment with a sleep specialist. I tried not to have too many high hopes for that day, but secretly...I did. I wanted help. So badly. So so badly.
The day of my appointment, I broke down in tears in front of my new doc--a very sweet man who had obviously seen his share of sleep-deprived boo-hooing before. I told Doc that I just wanted to sleep like a normal person again, that I needed to rest so I could be the mother I wanted to be to my boys, so that I could write the books I've been contracted to write and continue to put food on my table and fulfillment in my heart. I told him I'd do whatever he told me to do, but that I wanted to get off the damned Ambien. I didn't want to be a druggie. I wanted to get healthy and be well and hopefully some day not need the drug equivalent of a mallet to the head to sleep.
He prescribed an older anti-depressant called Trazadone that didn't really work for a lot of depressed people--because it made them too sleepy--but is the third most prescribed sleep aid behind Lunesta and Ambien. The words "antie-depressent" gave me pause. I absolutely do not judge people who need ADs. They are often a miracle for people who need them, but...I wasn't depressed. Despite the sleep crap, I'm a generally happy person. I look on the bright side more than the dark, I'm excited to get started on my day, and I honestly feel like I'm handling the stress of my increased mothering and writerly demands better than I did even six months ago.
But I started taking them anyway. I was at the end of the road and felt I didn't have much to lose. And Doc assured me that they were less habit-forming than Ambien and would be easier to ditch in a few months when--hopefully--my cognitive therapy, sleep behavior sessions (which start in a few weeks) started working.
That was about a week ago. Since then, I have been in the grips of progressively clutching anxiety unlike anything I've known since I was a young woman fresh out of college trying to support myself in widly-expensive New York City armed with nothing but an acting degree and the ability to carry large trays of food. My eyes hurt, my jaw felt constantly clenched, and my entire body suffered from a vaguely toxic feeling that wouldn't go away, even when I worked out. Strangely, exercise is usually the one time in my day when I feel rested and awesome, the endorphins kick in and I'm full of energy. But not this week. This week, my heart felt...wrong, and the euphoric feeling didn't come, and even the process of sweating felt...weird.
Needless to say, I stopped taking those pills. Today. And I vowed again to go man-made drug free. No more pills, just roots and herbs and things that help but don't make me feel toxic and dependant.
Unfortunately...they also don't help me sleep more than a few hours. Tonight it was 10-1:45. Not a great night. Not the worst night. And maybe I'll sleep more when I go back to bed. Maybe. Or not. And there's always the sleep therapy to look forward to. Maybe it will help, maybe this specialist will have a drug-free answer or at least a good crutch.
In any event, to sum up:
1. I write some angsty heroines. I've never been through half what they've been through--or half what I'm sure many of you have been through in the realms of scary, miserable life experiences--but I've had a glimpse or two into the black moment they each face in their stories. On nights when I wonder if I'll ever sleep again, if I'll eventually beat this thing or if it will beat me, thinking of my characters gives me strength and purpose. This deprivation and suffering--yes, I'll come out and say it. Not to sleep is to suffer. Sometimes horribly. Sleep is necessary to life, so much so that people who do it without a problem take it for granted. I know, I did too, back in the days when I was a sleeper--isn't for naught.
It is not for naught--say that three times fast. Heh.
I use it in my work, I draw from it and manipulate it and use the feelings I feel to imagine what it must be like to live through some of the things my characters have lived through. I hardly believe that you MUST suffer to write (or make any kind of art), but using unavoidable unpleasantness in my work has helped me put a positive spin on the whole miserable deal.
2. Beware. Beware Ambien, but more importantly, beware any doctor and any drug and any promise that sounds too good to be true. Doctors are not bad people, but neither are they gods among men. They do dumb things, they make mistakes, they get kick-backs from drug companies to give you a LOT of these drugs. You are the guardian of your health and it's your responsiblity to listen to your body and mind and gut and challenge your doctors to help you take the best care of you.
I should have listened to the "ping" that warned me not to make Ambien a habit. I didn't. Whether I would be asleep right now if I had is something I can't know--I had sleep problems before, that was the entire reason the pill was subscribed--but I do know that I'd feel much better about my choices and my future.
Thank you for reading the longest blog post in the history of time (or at least this blog). I hope it entertained or thought-provoked or was in some way a satisfying use of your time.
Now, back to bed, and maybe to sleep, certainly to dream of a time when I won't be awake at this ungodly hour.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I'm really impressed with this template-maker's work. You can see more of her here:
She's got a lot of freebies on her site too, really nifty stuff you can download and print for scrap-booking or mess around with in photoshop. So go forth and visit her and tell her of her awesome!
I'm going to go back into my hole and write some tween. Yeah tween! I'm having so much fun on this new project. Julie Linker (of Zombies and Tiaras fame) and I are working on a book together. We decided the blog was not enough!
Later blog friends, have a fabulous Thursday,
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
A few weeks ago, the hubs and I made the seven hour drive down to Donaldsonville, Louisiana, a completely charming, mildly creepy, stinking-factory besieged town about an hour from New Orleans. No, it's not a particularly popular tourist destination, but it's the setting for my new adult, urban fantasy series for Pocket. There are two books currently contracted in that series and they're BIG ones--100k apiece--so I wanted to be sure I was really "feeling" the setting. I knew it would be as much a character as any of the people in the book.
And I felt it. I did. I fell in love with D'ville and had a little cry over it on the way home. Not because we were leaving, but because Donaldsonville felt like a dying place where too few people really cared about saving their town, a town so full of history and flavor it made me giddy. A town where many of the people were so generous and friendly and perfectly southern in the best sense of the word. And the food...ya'll don't even get me started on the food. Any place where grilled crawdaddies and shrimp and grits are AMAZING no matter where you order is a town where I could happily live forever.
But I won't be moving to Donaldsonville. The pollution from the nearby factories is out of control and the people who believed investing in this town could save it are giving up and pulling out. In the real world, Donaldsonville may be beyond salvation. But in my books, D'ville is recapturing it's golden days, despite the killer fairy infestation that has turned most of the delta into a very scary place to be...
I'll have some more on D'ville--pictures and history and alternative history--coming up in the next few months. I'll also share news on the series as it develops. I plan on telling you blog readers the entire scoop on DEAD ON THE DELTA. I don't care if I'm writing the books under an "adult" pen name (which I'm not sure I will be, or which adult pen name I'll be using...the final call has yet to be made).
This series will have adult themes, but as far as the sex and drugs and rock'n'roll aspects are concerned, I believe the books will be both safe and enjoyable for my readers who are 15-16 and above. Therefore, I will share a bit with you, on this, my first Teaser Tuesday...
Teaser, DEAD ON THE DELTA (unedited excerpt, c. Stacey Jay)
The Beauchamps were standing on the veranda of their massive, be-columned home as I bicycled by. Thanks to a fresh coat of paint each spring, Camellia Grove always looked bright and new, a virgin waiting for a bridegroom who had never come back from the civil war.
A creepy virgin, with vacant eyes and clutching hands.
I’d never liked the house and was glad it was at the extreme southern edge of town where I rarely had reason to pass by. Camellia Grove was one of the only plantation homes that hadn’t been wrecked in the riots following the mutations and a true treasure of Louisiana heritage, but that didn’t stop it from being strangely…haunting.
Today it was worse than usual. I couldn’t help but imagine the new spirit joining the ranks allegedly wandering the grounds. The Beauchamp’s groundskeeper gave ghost tours every October, candle lit journeys through darkened halls of the mansion, highlighting the tales of ancestors who had been stolen away before their time.
Marcy had taken a group from the halfway house the year before I’d graduated high school, but I hadn’t been able to giggle over the ghost stories with the other girls. I’d felt the eyes of those dead people glaring down at me from the paintings on the walls, horrified that my filthy tennis shoes were tracking mud along the gleaming hardwood. I hadn’t stepped foot in the place since, even on the third Thursday of every month when admission to the gardens was free. Who wanted to stand around staring at a bunch of flowers, anyway? The live oak trees lining the drive were the prettiest part of Camellia Grove, hundred plus year old sentries that arched protectively over the slick pavement leading up to the home, promising safety and permanence.
But today I didn’t slow to watch the lacy moss hanging from the trees sway in the breeze. Cane was still cataloguing the evidence, the coroner was loading up the body, and Percy hadn’t mustered up the courage to haul her ass back to the house and tell her employers what had happened to their little girl.
I knew she hadn’t. The Beauchamps were all looking at me expectantly. Even from a hundred feet away I could see the tension in their expressions. Barbara and her two grown children—James and Melissa—shuffled to the porch railing like a trio of well-dressed zombies.
See you soon, hopefully with that news I promised!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
It's Taylor Lautner's birthday. A very special birthday, no less.
Learn more over at Zombies In Tiaras:
And tomorrow I will have a big news post and will answer some FAQ about Megan Berry book 3. I promise. This whole snowed-in-with-kids thing is putting a cramp in my blogging style.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Actually, I think Pickles are Cucumbers soaked in MAGIC, but I would still wear that t-shirt. Because evil + pickles in the same sentence=funny.
Let's talk about pickles. I asked my twitter people yesterday what I should blog about and the only definitive response was pickles. So I'm blogging about pickles. If you'd like to see something more relevant to writing or publishing or my books here on the blog, be sure to @ message me on Twitter and tell me so, lol. You can find the link to follow me over on the left side bar.
I love pickles...
One of my favorite things to do when I lived in New York was go into a deli and order a coffee and sit there until they brought me the big dish of pickles. Then I'd eat them all. Five or six of those big, New York pickles. With coffee. And call that a "meal". (I was super poor, and I'll tell you, the starving actress thing is not nearly as fun in real life as it is in the movies. Hunger is over rated.)
Of course, I think this might have been a bad health choice. I went into a health food store looking for something to take for anxiety (because living in a city stresses me the hell out. I love to visit, but day to day I'm happier in a small town). Anyway, the African man helping me looked into my eyeballs--taking in their color or texture or something?--and told me to stop eating so many pickles and I'd feel better. I was AMAZED. How did he know I had a pickle problem? Obviously he had mad skills. I wish I still lived near his store. I think he had more knowledge than most of the doctors I've seen in the past few years.
One of my other precious pickle memories is of my Aunt Violet's home made pickles. She would can them herself. To this day I have never tasted a pickle so perfectly tart and sweet, so crunchy and almost...fizzy in your mouth.
I've been craving these pickles for years, ever since sweet Violet passed, but my mother refuses to make me any (even though she is retired and clearly has nothing better to do than spend two weeks of her life making me pickles. Kidding, mom...if you're even reading. Which you're probably not, though I know my sister is. Sarah! Go make me some pickles. Sure you've got a full time job and a horse, but as a single woman I think you could benefit from learning to can. I hear all the single guys really dig that skill in a woman. And I would totally continue to make turkey dinner every Christmas for you from now until such time as you get an invite from a better cook if you'll make me some good pickles.)
Seriously, despite the kids and the looming deadlines, I'm thinking about putting up some pickles this year. I'll be sure to take pictures of the dozens of bowls sitting around my little apartment if I do.
Peace, and happy Tuesday,