Live Through Us at The Burrow


March 2016

Stop telling me that I am in control of my own life, for I am not

I keep hearing people say, “Quit making excuses. You are in control of your own life.”
I’ll give you this morning for an example. I am in the process of researching a current book project. After several phone calls, I manage to sell a copy of the not-even-written-yet book, and leave a message with someone. Will they call back? Will I get my information? There is no way to tell. That part of my life is now on hold, waiting for what the other person does.

But that’s not a very good example, is it?

Here’s a better one. While trying to do the three things I thought I could squeeze into the 15 minute break my son has between the first and second half of school, I had to change my process because it started raining (and promptly stopped after the break) and then stop altogether because my father is sick, and I had to make a phone call to the doctor for him. I did not get to do those things, and after school today, I still may not get to. Why? LIFE HAPPENS!!!! Things come up. I am so glad that your life is perfectly smooth, but mine, and most other people’s, isn’t.

But you don’t care about the little things. Even I admit those were paltry examples. OK, what about this?

I needed to build up my savings, so I went to work. I had just finished what I needed to do and was about to start building my “empire” by purchasing more land when something happened to drain my money. I started over again. I reached my monetary goal, only to have it immediately drained again. At this point, something else happened, causing me to have to quit work. In other words, I just worked 2 years for absolutely no reason whatsoever and wound up in far worse shape than before I started. Every bit of every dime that I made went to where it was not planned, and my health deteriorated.

So, I decided to get a job that paid more, aka, get a degree in something else. My doctor told me no. I was not healthy enough to do that. I waited, and the next semester started to do it again. My dad had to move in with me. At that point, I had to put everything in my life on hold to take care of his affairs. I am still not to the point where I can make a major change in my life hoping for the better. I supposed I could have said, “No dad, I’m not going to help you. You’re in control of your own life, and I have to live mine.” But that would have made me a terrible person.

So please, stop telling us how, “If I can raise 2 kids and go to school … blah blah blah … So can you!”

No we can’t. And we really wish you would shut up about it because all you’re doing is lobbing insults at us and calling us names for not being as lucky as you. And that is what it is, luck. Believe it or not, the majority of us lesser-than-thou are not here by choice. We grabbed the reigns of our life’s horse, but our horse got sick, died, and rolled over on us. We accepted it. We got up and started walking. I’m sorry our pace isn’t where yours is, believe me, we wish it were. I’m also sorry you haven’t had to go through what we have, for I believe it would have made you a better person. But ours isn’t, and you haven’t, and if we can accept that your life is better than ours, then surely you can learn to accept that as well. Please.

The Curse of Social Media

Ten years ago, I would have never imagined that some stranger would come up to me in a store and give me their verbal opinion about how what I am or am not doing is wrong — and be mean about it too. But now, I imagine it daily. Several times daily to be exact.

See, when the internet came up, we first had what was called bulletin boards — forums with but a select few members. These forums were highly selective, meaning you had to be polite to stay in one. Oh, and you wanted in one. It was these forums that told you the latest tech and where or how to get it.

Jump 30 years, and you have this thing called facebook. Now, facebook isn’t new to the field, there were others, myspace for example. You also have youtube. At first, these things were pretty harmless. And then the predators came.

Now, these predators are jerks. They don’t know you from Moses, but they feel they have the right to get on your facebook profile and comment on your posts.

This jerkiness is a disease, and it is highly contagious.

Years ago, my friends on facebook would have never commented on my posts, at least not harshly. They do now. Now everyone thinks they have the right to go up to people and say, “You’re wrong. Oh, and you can’t spell either.”


Allow me to inform you that you do not have that right. Would you, in your wildest imaginations, ever thought of yourself as someone who would go up to a stranger in a grocery store and say, “You shouldn’t buy those items for your child. Your child is only acting that way because you’re a terrible parent. You don’t eat enough and need to put on weight.” ???  Hmm? Would you?

If you can imagine yourself doing this, we cannot be friends. No, I’m serious. You’re a jerk, and I want nothing to do with you.


Friends I know to be good people, polite people, are now doing this on facebook, and what’s worse, it’s spreading into the outside world. Now you have jerks coming up to you outside of your home, outside of social media, and expressing their unasked for opinions.

OK, Miss Know-it-all, what are you suggesting?

Just this — If you wouldn’t do it in public to a stranger in the line at the bank, don’t do it online. If you were sitting at the lunch table at school, and you’re friend said something you disagreed with, and you wouldn’t immediately say, “I disagree with that, and here’s why”, then don’t comment on social media. In other words, treat online social settings as though they were real physical, face-to-face settings. Be … nice.

Yes, those other jerks will still be that, jerks. But you won’t. And maybe, just maybe, those of us who refuse to be impolite and rude to others may start a contagious trend. I doubt it too, but it’s worth a shot.


PS – For the record, I am far from guiltless is saying/posting things I should not have. But I am trying. Everyday I get a little better at being a better person. But I will never be perfect.

I hate raccoons

Yes, yes – we’ve all seen your cute videos of pet raccoons and what wonderful creatures they make. Well let me show you how they treat me.


See that? That’s what my lettuce/herb bed looks like AFTER I cleaned it up (OK, to be fair I didn’t put the labels back in place – what was the point?)


It yanked my poor little plants from their perfectly composted (2 year old chicken manure) home and threw them around the inside of the freezer/bed.


It them ripped them to shreds. Here are the leaves I had to throw on the ground because it – the demon spawned creature – decided they didn’t need to be attached to their fellow brethren anymore.


As you can see, what I was able to salvage may or may not make it.


I did still have a few plants left in their seedtrays. I planted those in the garden today. While knowing full well they may be destroyed this night, I really didn’t see another option.

This is not a good start for what I have already worked so hard to make a good year.

Concept art for Anya and the Power Crystal

Hi all. I have an amazing new illustrator, and he’s given me some concept art for the new cover of book 2, Anya and the Power Crystal. But in order to see it, you have to answer one simple question.

Who bullied Anya in the kitchen?

That’s it. (Don’t forget to capitalize!) If you know the answer, click here to enter it, and then you can see the new artwork. I will post new artwork as it comes in, so be sure to check back until I finally post a Cover Reveal!

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