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Category: News

Therapy, anyone?

I will be forever grateful for the Commonwealth of Virginia for having the foresight to establish the pre-paid college tuition program. Way back when the program started and my husband was so hot to sign up for it, I was wary–it seemed way too good to be true. I almost nixed the notion but he insisted. But now that we’ve got kids of college age, it’s been a real financial blessing, at a time when we needed it most.

However I really wish Virginia had also thought to launch a pre-paid psychological counseling program as well. Be it for kids or for parents, well, you decide. But let’s face it: you can’t easily get out of the parent/child relationship without the need for a shrink, and frankly, therapy can rank up there with college tuition in terms of the big bucks.

With nearly two decades of parenting under my belt, I’ve drawn a few conclusions about little people (in age, not stature). One is that humans are genetically pre-programmed to have particular food tastes. I know, I know, this notion seems ludicrous. And it might be. But hear me out. Take me, for instance. Loathing of all things nutritional from infancy, I was weaned by default on Froot Loops and Sugar Pops. This fact ranks up there in my childhood lore right alongside tales of one of my earliest spoken words: “thit” (I had a lisp. And no, the word wasn’t a command to be seated).

this was definitely not me as a baby
this was definitely not me as a baby

But as one who perceived vegetables as something not intended for human consumption, I could never quite relate to someone choosing to be a vegetarian. Foreign concept, thank you. I know everyone says that you if you make the kid eat it, he will. No way.

My oldest child will eat most anything and sometimes prefers the weirder the better. I’ll never forget shopping with him at Fresh Fields when he was about 10 and he begged me to buy him octopus. Octopus? I can cook most anything, but I draw the line at creatures with suction cups.

Our middle child declared herself a vegetarian at the ripe old age of eight, purely out of empathy for her fellow creatures. It helps, though, that she loves—actually prefers—vegetables. And this child sprung from my loins? Our number three takes right after me. Learned early on to purse her lips so tight that nary a veggie could pass through the gateway to her gullet. Perfectly happy to eat all things bad-for-you, spent quite a few crucial developmental years eating only hot dogs.

So getting back to the therapy. The youngest child, who thrashed, flailed, and otherwise made mealtimes quite uncomfortable if the concept of mandatory vegetables was ever implemented, announced to us the other day in an accusatory voice, “You should’ve forced me to eat vegetables when I was little.”

Um, hello, Dr. Freud? No, not in that way. I merely mean that I think I need a shrink, because I cannot believe that this child is now blaming us for her childhood obstinacy. After all those countless jars of Gerber’s spinach she splattered all over my face (can’t exactly blame her—have you ever smelled that stuff?), even the sweet potatoes that weren’t sweet enough for her. I vividly recall a temper tantrum that drew dinner to a halt over her having to eat a no thank you bite—a mere bite!—of a cherry tomato when she was eight.

Headstrong, thy name is offspring.

And then there was the dreaded summer camp debacle. For years we pleaded and cajoled with our kids to get them to agree to attend summer camp. Try as we might, those kids wouldn’t budge. “No camp,” they all moaned. “Never!” To be honest, when they refused, we didn’t force the issue too much because camps were always pretty expensive and well, who wants to pay for something the kid’s gonna hate? I sure didn’t want our kids needing therapy because we forced them to go away during summer vacation.

Cue last week at dinner when my son said, “You should’ve forced me to go to camp.” Piping in were the other two, entirely irate at our irresponsible parenting. So instead of them needing therapy because we forced them to go to camp, we’ll need it because they now blame us for not forcing them to go to camp. Get the picture? Virginia? I’m waiting!

Alas, if I had a dollar for all the parenting mandates they’ve told us we’ve failed upon, well, maybe I could start funding that Virginia counseling program myself. I’m still waiting for the kids to blame me for not making them clean their rooms more. And the girls for me not teaching them how to sew and cook (tried that, to no avail).

In lieu of that therapy fund, though, I think I’ll resort to what I’ve known best since my childhood days: Froot Loops. A big bowl, no milk, because really, who wants to add anything nutritional to that?

dig in!
dig in!

Welcome Guest Author Candace Havens

Geeze, I must have been writing fiction for longer than I realized because I started to think how long I’ve known Candace Havens from various writing groups online and I can’t remember, it’s been that long. And we’ve been doing it long enough to have witnessed trends come and go, and come back around again. Candy’s got a new book in her latest paranormal series featuring the Caruthers sisters, aka “party girls who save the world–between cocktails,” this one titled Dragons Prefer Blondes. When not writing fiction, Candy Havens is a journalist who has interviewed most of the big names in Hollywood today, and has a regular slot on KSCS in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Please welcome Candy Havens!

JG: Tell me a little about your book.

CH: In “Dragons Prefer Blondes” Alex Caruthers is a socialite who knows when it’s time to turn in her dancing shoes and kick some serious dragon booty. But she soon finds herself in big trouble with a dragon warrior. For help she turns to Jake, head of Caruthers security—and a total hottie in a suit—and asks him to pose as her boyfriend. Their relationship might be fake, but Alex can’t deny that Jake makes her burn hotter than any dragon could.

JG: What got you writing in the genre in which you write.

CH: I’ve always been a fan of touch chicks and magic. Shows like Buffy, Alias and La Femme Nikita always appealed to me. I knew I wanted to write something along those lines but with some kind of paranormal/magic tie-in. That’s how Charmed & Dangerous was born. I’ve managed to mix those two things for all of my books. Though, I am trying something new for Harlequin Blaze, which will debut in Feb. 2010. (smile)

JG: Favorite thing about being a writer?

CH: It’s so hard to pick one. I’d say being able to go to work in my yoga pants and t-shirts, and the kind letters from fans. Those letters get me through the tough days.

JG: Least favorite thing about being a writer?

CH: The business side. I’m told I’m good at it, but promoting and all of that takes so much time away from writing. Some day I swear I’m hiring minions to take care of all of that.

JG: What is the most interesting thing that’s happened to you since becoming a published author?

CH: Filming Nora Roberts in the toilet. Please, let me explain. I was the camerawoman for an episode of AuthorTalk, which is an online show done by authors Gena Showalter and Jill Monroe. I help them out whenever we are all in the same place, and I had the chance to film the Nora Roberts interview. Part of it included her fixing a hotel toilet, and I was standing in the shower, shooting the scene. It was one of the funniest moments of my life. I also saw what a great sport Nora was. I plan to be like that when I grow up and have 100s of books on the shelves. (smile)

JG: What’s your favorite type of pie?

CH: Again, making me pick one is not fair. I am a lover of all pie. But if I had to choose a pie or die, it would be chocolate silk pie. That stuff just melts in your mouth. (See how I did that without offending the other pies?) :-)

Thanks so much for letting me hang out!

Welcome Guest Author Sheila Curran

It’s been awhile since my fellow authors from the Girlfriend’s Cyber Circuit have had a new release so I’m happy to be able to tell you about Sheila Curran’s novel, Everyone She Loved. Sheila, also the author of Diana Lively is Falling Down, has been rebounding from cancer surgery and treatment, so we’re hoping to encourage a push to purchase her book because she’s unable to do much of the marketing for it herself. So please do go check it out!

(oh, and I found an interesting piece by Sheila on the lovely M.J. Rose’s Backstory blog so check it out too!)

Tell me a little about your book.

  • Four women, friends since college, live in a charming southern beach town. One of them, Penelope, has more money than God. Which may be why she insists on playing the deity from time to time. Despite her beauty and inherited wealth, she becomes preoccupied with what might happen to her husband and children if she died. So she talks her husband into signing a codicil to her will. If she should die, he won’t remarry unless the new wife (and more importantly) mother, has been approved by her sister and three best friends. Years go by, the codicil gathers dust, and more than its share of hilarity, until the unthinkable happens and everyone she loved must find their way without Penelope. Simply told, it’s old money in the New South, romantic confusion, legal entanglements, and the unbreakable bonds between four women – and a man.

What got you writing in the genre in which you write.

My first two books, which were never published (I call them my very own Master’s of Fine Arts) were murder mysteries. Oddly enough, I’m really not sure which genre I’m in. I guess you could call it a combination of ‘women’s fiction’ ‘mystery’ with a dash of commentary on human relationships and foibles.

Favorite thing about being a writer?

The days when I have gotten into the flow and lost myself in the lives of my characters.

Least favorite thing about being a writer?

The pay.

What is the most interesting thing that’s happened to you since becoming a published author?

Meeting other authors and finding out that they’re just like me. I always thought I was slightly insane. I worried about everything, was afraid to fly, hated to leave my children alone with sitters, got stage fright, was completely neurotic. But as it turned out, it was really about having this over-active imagination. So many writers I know share these traits, that I finally realized: these are my peeps! What a great relief!

What’s your favorite type of pie?

Apple. A la mode.

Advance praise for EVERYONE SHE LOVED

EVERYONE SHE LOVED is peopled with women of strong appetites . . .and Sheila Curran has amazing insight into the love-hate relationship that women have with each other and their own bodies. Curran is a beautiful writer, both witty and evocative…. I was up way past my bedtime, unable to stop turning pages…. Read this book, then pass it on to your dearest friend. She’ll thank you.  Joshilyn JacksonGods in Alabama; Between,Georgia; and The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

“Sheila Curran writes the novels that readers love …and … takes on themes that touch us all — love, loss, motherhood, wifehood, and the sisterhood of friendship. It isn’t so much that Curran has found her greatest muse in the unbreakable bonds between women, but that the unbreakable bonds between women have have found their greatest writer in Sheila Curran.”  Julianna Baggott, award-winning poet and novelist, My Husband’s Sweethearts, The Pretend Wife, The Prince of Fenway Park.

…Penelope Cameron, even in death, makes the lives of everyone around her richer-and that includes us, the readers of this brilliant novel.  We hold our breath as minor flaws become monsters, but in the end this group of friends and lovers really do take care of each other.  Everyone She Loved is for everyone who knows that love works, even when it’s complicated, for everyone who screws up, and can still do the right thing after all, and for everyone who enjoys a great novel, with friendship and forgiveness at its heart. Paul Shepherd, Mary McCarthy prize-winning author of More Like Not Running Away

Penelope Cameron May’s unusual last request sets off the action in this riveting novel of love and friendship, betrayal and lies. Sheila Curran draws the reader in and this inventive book won’t let go. Prepare to be surprised and moved. I read it in one delicious gulp.

Masha HamiltonThe Camel BookmobileThe Distance Between Us

‘Everyone She Loved’ was the voice inside my head – at a time when I first contemplated my own mortality … this could have been my husband, my girlfriends and my children … it raises every emotion and suppressed fear within us all, with a clarity that is both deeply uncomfortable and yet stridently beautiful.  Julz Graham,  Dimensions

Julianna Baggott and Sheila willl have a signing party at the Tallahassee Garden Club to benefit Healthy Start on July 9th, 5:30.

She’ll also be at the Barnes & Noble in Tallahassee on the 7th of July and in Jacksonville on the 15th.