Category Archives: Embarrassment

10 Things I Wish I Could Say on Social Media

How many of you scroll through Facebook and find yourself rolling your eyes. I know I do. I know freedom of speech is one of our God given rights but I find myself wanting to tell some of these people to shut up.

Here are some of the things I find myself wanting to say, but can’t.

1. Your boyfriend is NEVER going to make it as a musician. He’s forty, cannot sing and is using this music thing as an excuse not to get his lazy ass a job.

2. Stop complaining about your job ALL THE TIME. Everybody’s job sucks sometimes. EVERYBODYS. That’s why they call it work. You’re not special. If it’s that bad quit. If you’re being dramatic, stop.

3. If everybody you know has a problem with you, then it’s you. Not them. Stop being so negative.

4. You claim to be a devout Christian and yet you KEEP having children out of wedlock. With different men. Really?  Don’t be such a hypocrite.

5. Stop telling us how happy you are with your life. Truly happy people don’t have to tell the world all the time how happy they are. They are out being happy. Not posting it on Facebook.

6. And on the same note, nobody needs to hear how much you love your kids. You should love your kids. You should take care of them. YOU’RE A PARENT. Show your kids you love them. Don’t tell us.

7. Stop bragging about getting drunk. You’re thirty. It’s not cute. You look like a loser.

8. Don’t air your dirty laundry in public. Not classy. I don’t care what your boyfriend/husband did. Be an adult. Talk to him. Make it work, because both are you are so crazy nobody else is going to want either of you.

9. No more political ranting please. You sound bitter and uneducated.

10. Vaugebooking. Either tell us what the problem is or don’t. If you’re attention seeking go see a therapist. Facebook is not therapy.

But despite all of that I love Facebook. I love cute animal pictures. Cute kid pictures. I like to see what people are watching. What people are listening to. What people are reading. I like to see the changes in people I knew from long ago. Where they want to go, where they have been.I even love food pictures. Facebook is how I keep up with my family members. It’s where I see their happy news, it’s sometimes how I learn of their tragedies. I’m probably never going to give it up.

So what are some of the things you wish you could say to certain people on Facebook?

Moms and Hot Sex Scenes

Last weekend my entire family came from New York to celebrate my twenty-eighth birthday. We went to a small family owned Mexican restaurant that makes kick ass guacamole and really good raspberry margaritas. That fact that we were ALL together was a novelty. With work and school and living in separate states it’s rare we all get to eat at the same table.

So there I was seated between my parents and across from brothers. Everybody was having their own conversation when my mom mentioned to me that she was still reading Dangerous Curves Ahead and that one scene brought up a memory from her past.  I knew the scene she was talking about. I knew it very well because it took place shortly after my hero and heroine get it on for the first time. So, I turn to look at her and quietly say, “I guess you survived the sex scene.”

At that point all conversation at the table had stopped.  My father looked off into space as if he had suddenly went deaf. Three brothers stared at me. The word SEX seemed to have a magical effect on them, because normally they never pay any attention to what I say.

“Yes, I survived the sex scene,” my mother continued, not seeming to notice that the table suddenly went quiet. She put her hand on her forehead and stared at me. “I can’t believe you know so much. I can’t believe you’re so descriptive. A mother doesn’t want to think about her daughter knowing so much about sex. It makes me uncomfortable.”

I have read HUNDREDS of romance novels in my day. While my stuff isn’t exactly sweet, it certainly isn’t anywhere near erotica. “You just don’t read romance novels trust me, Ma. That was nothing.”

Meanwhile in my head I’m thinking, wait until she gets to second sex scene. Wait till she reads my books that are coming out for Harlequin.  But I say nothing. I catch my youngest brother staring at me from across the table. He’s always surprised when I know anything about sex. In his eyes I’m supposed to be this lame virginal super good girl, who has never heard  the word  PENIS much less have seen one. And I understand why he thinks that way. I’m the prude in my family.

photo (11)
My mother and I on my 28th birthday.

But I’m twenty-eight. Hello!

“It’s like Fifty Shades of Grey without the torture,” my mother goes on, clearly distressed about my life’s choice to write romance novels.

“It is not!” I’m offended by this. There is no bondage in my book. There is no sex for sex sake. I’m rather fond of those scenes. They’re some of the best I’ve written. “Besides, you’ve never read Fifty Shades. How would you know?”

“I just know,” she says.

My brother Jordan who always has something to say, says nothing. Jason continues to eat tortilla chips. Jonathan keeps looking at me as if he is trying to figure out if I’m secretly turning tricks on my free time. My father continues to stare at the sun sculpture on the wall behind him. I feel sorry for the man. He didn’t deserve this.

I’m sure my family all thinks I’m a pornographer now, but that’s okay. I’m going to keep on reading and writing those sexy sex books. And maybe someday my family will get who I am.

What about you? How would you feel if your kid starting writing romance novels?

5 Arguments You Can Make Not to Procreate

My mother wants me to have a baby. Am I married? No. But that seems to be a minor detail at this point. I think she would be totally fine if I stole a baby from the hospital as long as she had something cute to spoil. We fight about this at least once a month.

“I want to have grandchildren. From you,” she says as she pokes me in the belly. “When are you going to start thinking about it?”

“I don’t want children right now. I’m only twenty-eight. I haven’t even been to Europe yet!”

“You’ve got it wrong. It’s only eighteen. It’s not only twenty-eight. You’re getting old.”

Then my brother chimes in. “You know she’s never going to have a baby, mom. She’s too mean.”

Another one says, “I’ll give you lots of grandkids, ma. When do you want me to start?”

We all look at him in horror, knowing that he should not procreate anytime soon.

“But seriously, Sugar. What about that guy you were dating? He had a good job and you two would make such cute fat babies.”

“But, he was an arrogant jerk and he was weirdly close to his mother.”

She shrugs and says, “That’s small potatoes. We need to think of the big picture here.”

My mother is clearly insane.

She cusses like a truck driver, is thinner than me and always takes every opportunity to embarrass me by dancing in public but I love her. And one day I plan to capture of her crazy awesomeness in writing but in the meanwhile I’m thinking up ways to distract her from my lack of babies.

Here are five arguments you can make not to procreate.

1. Point out that Oprah doesn’t have any kids. And she’s still pretty freaking fabulous.

2 . Remind her that you can’t keep a house plant alive, or that fish you won at the fair, and that you never have any food in the house.  And about that time you put your hamster in the washing machine because you thought it needed a bath. You’re totally not ready for a baby.

3. You would never lose the baby weight.

4. Tell her you don’t believe in sex before marriage. (Haha!)

5.  Remind her that you made it out of your teen years without any unplanned pregnancies, which is pretty damn good. And that you could have ended up like one of those TEEN MOM girls, but without the TV show and the fame and the Twitter following. 

So what about you? What kind of arguments could you make?

Glossophobia – Fear of Public Speaking by Katy Lee

Hello, Katy Lee here. Due to a speaking event I am attending this weekend, I decided to share my thoughts on public speaking again. Enjoy!

Writing is an isolated venture, except if you want to keep the lights on. For someone who wants to make a living as an author, stepping out to sell your work requires finesse in the art of public speaking. For an introvert, such as me, the idea of pitching to editors and agents to sell my work, triggers panic to set in. The concept of building a platform to gain readership means talking to people. Sometimes one-on-one. Sometimes on a stage. The point I am making here, though, is there comes a time when writing is no longer sequestered.

Are you ready to start talking?

Glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking, is remarkably common. In fact, some experts estimate that as much as 75% of the population has some level of anxiety when it comes to this. There are some people who fear it more than death, but most are able to control this fear to get the job done.

Many writers believe they have chosen a career that allows them to avoid public speaking. They think speaking jobs are in the corporate world or in sales. Or perhaps they think standing up in front of a group is found only in a classroom, teaching, or on a stage, acting. But things could not be further from the truth.

Agents and editors want to hear the excitement about your stories right from your mouth. If you have an opportunity to meet a literary professional face-to-face, you need to be ready to shine. Also, readers want to know you personally. With the social networks available now, this task is easier than ever, but chances for more intimate settings like a speaking event will help you connect with more people. Relationship building will give you a platform to succeed.

Now, I could tell you to get over your fears and get up there and start talking, but I’ve been in your shoes and know that’s not possible. Your fear is real. For me, prayer was my first step. As in inspirational writer, I firmly believe God has given me these stories to tell, and so I told Him if I was going to do this, then I would need His help in relieving some of this fear. And as always He came through.

Opportunities presented themselves to me where I could learn coping skills for stepping out and opening up. Leadership classes such as Toastmasters were taken. I was then offered the children’s ministry director position for my church – speaking to children. Now there’s a scary task. But I did it, and little by little my fear went away. My fumbling over words lessened. My voice got louder, and I stood straighter. Yay God!

But about a year ago, I was invited to speak to a group of women at a monthly Aglow meeting. At first I said, “No, I could never do that. Children were one thing, but adults? Never.” But in the end I did end up accepting the invitation. Since then I have been invited to speak all over New England. It has been an amazing adventure.

The Unlocked Secret: God does not want us to fear anything. In fact, His Word tells us, He did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) And I don’t know about you, but if it’s not from Him, then I don’t want it. So goodbye fear, and let’s talk.

Question: Do you suffer with a little bit of Glossophobia, too? How do you overcome it?

Awkward Party of One

My name and graceful should never ever be put in the same sentence. In my head I’ve always wanted to be one of the sexy, stunning pin up girl types. One of those women who could lure a man from across a crowded room with just a lift of a perfectly arched eyebrow. You know the type, those women who could stop traffic just by walking out of building. I probably could stop traffic, but only by falling into the street.

Girl crush! Who I want to be in my head.

I’m clumsy. Terribly clumsy. And shy. I lack that flirting gene that so many women seem to be born with. I’m blunt, at times overly honest. You know that filter people seem to have? Mine’s malfunctions daily. I talk way too fast. Sometimes I don’t think before I speak. I can never manage to say the right thing at the right time.

I’m AWKWARD, though I do try to hide it, my lack of cool comes out at the most inconvenient  times.

I bought a brand new laptop not two weeks after opening it I dropped it then stepped on it.

I somehow got caught on a door at work and ripped my dress to shreds exposing my SPANX to the world.

computer!
Just the bottom of my broken laptop screen.

I walked into a parked car.
I always come home with random bruises on my hips and legs and arms, because I bang into desks and doors and walls. I have a knack for breaking my shoes when there isn’t a spare pair or a shoe store around for miles. (I’ve done this three times in the last two years.)

I used to lament my lack of grace. Hell, I still do. But I had a conversation the other day with somebody. I was talking about another writer that I know who is always kind and helpful and never has a bad thing to say about anybody. I mentioned that I wanted to be more like her. But that person told me that I shouldn’t want that. That I’m snarky and snappy and have a wicked sense of humor and that those things made me me and that shaped the kind of writing that I do. My awkwardness is how I got my voice.

You know what voice is, right? That thing agents and editors always say they are looking for when they are looking for the next big thing. Voice is that style, that attitude that tells the world who you are through your words.

So what’s my message in all of this? Embrace your awkwardness. It’s okay to snort when you laugh or trip over your feet. It’s okay to be goofy. Your individual-ness  can help to make your dreams come true.

So share with me. I want to hear about some of your awkward moments. Any and all comments are welcome.

Docendo Discimus: We Learn by Teaching by Katy Lee

Salve, it’s me, Katy Lee, and today I’m practicing my Latin on you. My kids think it’s only fair if they have to learn it, then so should I. But I have to say even if they didn’t, I wouldn’t be a good teacher for them if I didn’t learn right along beside them. How would I inspire them when they struggled? How could I help them if I, myself didn’t understand? The truth is I couldn’t.

Home educating my children was not something I entered into lightly. I knew it would be a commitment that would stake claim to the nume unus place in my life. Their education isn’t something to let slide like the laundry. They are depending on me for their preparation into the world. They are counting on me for the knowledge needed to make good decisions in regards to their lives.

So…Quo vadis? Where am I going with this? What would happen if I provided them with untruths? Facts made up because I was too lazy to do the research.

I might be able to get away with it for a little while, but honestly, my daughter would take so much delight in proving me wrong that in the end I would be the one with ovum on my face. (That’s an egg, BTW) And I know she’s not the only one. This world is full of people itching to catch someone in an untruth.

As writers we cannot be caught flubbing it. (Sorry, I couldn’t find the Latin word for flubbing) The fact is we need to do the research. We need to take our commitment in teaching the reader seriously. Because isn’t that what a writer is? A magister, or magistra in my feminine case?

Writers are teachers. Whether your main character in your story is a medical examiner or a horse trainer, whether your story carries a moral or aims only to entertain you still have research to do for your reader to get a full understanding. For your reader to learn something. And I can guarantee there will be at least one reader out there itching to catch you in a flub.

Now, I’m not saying you have to be an expert on something before you can write about it. But you have to be willing to invest the time needed to become the go-to person on a particular subject. That means shadowing a professional or interviewing experienced people in your field of interest. Get it from the horse’s mouth. (equus for all you Latin lovers.) The internet is great, and you can get a wealth of knowledge from it, but firsthand experience will be best if you can find it. No one can catch you in a flub if it’s the truth.

The Unlocked Secret: Vincit omnia veritas. Truth conquers all. When your work is backed by truth, you are golden. And not only that, but you, yourself, will be smarter for it because if you can teach it, you know you’ve learned it.

Question: What are your favorite ways to get your facts straight? Who have you had the pleasure of interviewing, and what did you learn?

Voila tout! That’s all!

How Do You Handle Bad News?

NOTICE: This is a true story that took place very recently. If you are sensitive to slighty yucky but natural things I suggest you do not read on.

I hate delivering bad news. In fact I dread it. Though in my line of work it is a necessary evil. As a special education teacher I find myself in contact with parents more than most teachers. Like daily. This week alone I had to call a parent to tell them that their child proceeded to color his teeth black with a magic marker when he was out of my line of vision. But most of my phone calls are little things. Like little Johnny is eating toilet paper and glue sticks and has a real fondness for chalk. Or Mikey has taken to looking up all the adults skirts. Or Becky is eating her boogers. A lot. Like so much I’m wondering how she has a nose left. Even though my babies are special most of what they do is not outside of the normal kid realm.

But there is one thing I hate telling parents. Like hate-hate. Like stay up at night wondering how I’m going to break the news. You think I would be a pro at it by now. Kids typical and special alike do it.  And I see more of it than one would expect teaching second grade.

“Excuse me, Mrs. Doe? Would you mind coming inside for a few minutes,” I ask a parent during dismissal.

The poor woman gives me the look. The what now look, that I see from every parent when I ask to speak to them in private. I know she isn’t going to want to hear what I have to say and trust me I don’t want to be the one to have to tell her. But one must soldier on in these cases.

“Your son is…. Um…” My ears start to burn.

Mrs. Doe looks at me with sympathy.  “What is it? Trust me. Almost nothing you can say would shock me at this point.”

“Your son has found his willy wacker.” (For the record I did say the real word but so low the woman couldn’t hear me.)

“Excuse me?”

“His thing.” My ears are on fire at this point. “He’s found his thing. And has taken to whipping it out at every opportunity. I guess the good news is that he doesn’t know what to do with it so he kind of just swats at it. But my point is that he CANNOT do that in school.”

The mother sighs, only, slightly mortified. “I was hoping he was only doing that at home.”

“Nope. He’s sharing his love with everybody.”

“How long can I expect this phase to last?”

“He’s a man, Mrs. Doe. It will probably be for the rest of his life.”

Thankfully she laughs and wraps her arm around me. “Thanks for telling me. Now how do we fix this?”

That problem I actually know how to fix. I have a file on my computer filled with information about this along with a bunch of other files most teachers wouldn’t dream of having.Like a nose picking file. And how to potty train children over five file. And a body odor file. But I digress. For me the only way to deliver unpleasant news is to plow through it.

On the reverse side I take in good and bad news the same way. I barely react at all. My poor parents have been disappointed many birthdays and Christmas Mornings. Because I barely reacted to my awesome presents at all. Although a child once surprised me with a plate of brownies and my face lit up like a the Fourth of July. (Go figure.)

So what about you? How do you deliver bad news. How do you receive it? Are you a reactive person. Are you easily surprised?