The Joy Thief

I have this relation who I secretly refer to as the Joy Thief. Why? Because anytime anything good comes my way, she has to cop an attitude for why it didn’t happen to her.

Example: one day one of my novels hit the USA Today Bestsellers list. I shared the news (this was the last time I shared such news with her) and her response, “Oh, that’s nice. It must be nice to have a job you get paid for even when you don’t work.” She was referencing my receiving royalties after the book is released. Uh, excuse me? I worked my ass off to write said book and to market said book to get that many copies sold. It didn’t just happen.

She isn’t a writer so she really doesn’t understand how much time and even money goes into writing a book. Yet, every chance she gets she remarks how jealous she is of me for not having to have a real job. Again, 25 books didn’t just write, publish and market themselves. If she wants to be a writer and collect royalties, then shut up and write a book…or two dozen.

Another circumstance, I got food poisoning from eating at a restaurant with my ex-mother-in-law (a mere coincidence? I’m not sure….). Anyway, I had to cancel my plans to help her move some lawn furniture because I was camped out in the bathroom, calling Huey on the big white phone. Instead of a “Oh no, I hope you’re okay. Is there anything I can bring you?” She texts: “Lucky you. I wish I could have gone to eat at XXXXXXX.”

Really? She really wants to play that card? She goes out to dinner probably 5-6 times per week and only a week ago, she was bitching to me about it because it was making her fat. She’d moved up two bra sizes in the past three months because her husband had been taking her out to eat every night. I eat all my meals at home except two days a week I’ll eat lunch out because I have to travel two hours from home for some medical stuff that takes a few hours before I have to drive two hours back home. Then this particular night I went to a $9/plate large-chain Mexican restaurant because my ex-mother-in-law was in town for one of her two yearly visits and get deathly sick and she’s bitching that she’s never gotten to eat there?! Next time she can take my spot. I don’t know what was more uncomfortable sitting at the table with all my ex-inlaws (my ex-husband wouldn’t take my kids, so I had to and got roped into staying) OR driving home and feeling like three pounds of crushed glass was working its way through my intestines. I’ve never clenched my cheeks so tight in my entire life. I prayed my asshole wouldn’t fail me on the way home.

Thankfully, it didn’t.

The examples could go on and on:

She came with me once to a craft fair. I paid for everything I purchased with cash, she used her credit card for most of hers. She commented how lucky I was to just have money to blow. I spent $75 total (admission, lunch for both of us and a few nicknacks) because that was all I had in my pocket. She came with only $20 in cash used it at the first booth, then fished out her credit card for 3-4 other shops where she bought so much crap we couldn’t carry it all. I’m not lucky, I came prepared and stopped when I reached my limit.

She got in my car once and saw I had a DQ Blizzard cup in my cup holder. “I wish I could have gone with you to Dairy Queen.” I didn’t even eat the damn Blizzard one of my kids did.

I helped her move stuff all day and when we were done I said I was going home. “You’re so lucky you get to go home. I have to stay up all night and unpack.” Well…I did just use my back and my gas to move you. Not to mention it took longer than it was supposed to because she was running late so I had to ask another friend to pick up my kids from school Now I need to get home to my house full of kids and cook dinner and do homework.

I wore a dress to church that I bought from the clearance rack at Dillards three years ago. “Oh, I love your dress. Where did you find it?”  I inwardly cringed. “Dillards.” “It must be nice to go to the mall so much. I buy all of my dresses at yard sales.” That’s an outright lie and I know it. I’ve seen her plunk down $150 for a dress at a department store and at the fair and at a boutique. She also swears flip flops that are at least $40-50 a pair. Who the hell pays that for flip flops??? I clearly got into the wrong business if that’s what people pay for flip flops. I can string you up a pair for that! I honestly don’t care how much her dresses cost compared to mine. I don’t care where she gets hers or where I get mine. I shouldn’t have to justify wearing a department store dress to anyone. Period.

She gets her feelings hurt if someone buys her a greeting card priced below the $3 mark. It’s a freaking piece of paper. In my family, we do The Nana. Meaning we send the wrong cards for different holidays.  Then we just keep them and re-circulate them. It’s great.

If I’ve had a bad day, hers is worse. If someone compliments me on something I bring to a potluck, she has to tell everyone about when she made that same dish and what she uses so I could improve. When I wear anything she hasn’t seen before, she says it’s cute and asks when I went shopping.

I have come to learn not to say anything other than how the weather is. Otherwise, I cannot enjoy a treat. I can’t talk about writing or she’ll bring up how lucky I am not to have a “real job”. I don’t tell her when I’m going anywhere fun or when I’ve done anything fun because she has to suck the fun and joy and life right out of it! And she wonders why she doesn’t have any friends except me…

I’ve bitched for about a 1,000 words to say this, if you’re a fun-sucker and do this crap, stop! You seriously won’t have any friends left. If you have (or had) a friend like this, advice please!!!

May your day be merry and your friends treat you right,

Imma B.

My #1 tip to authors–new, seasoned or ready to flip

Let me preface this with a little of my background. I’m a writer. I’m a published author of upward of 20 books–I honestly can’t remember how many, I’d have to go look because they all start running together after so many. But, I stopped writing sickening sweet love stories in order to be snarky and snappy and use taboo words like “crap, butt crack or asshat” without scandalizing the prim and proper ladies who read my tales. Or in other words, I went through the world’s longest most ridiculous divorce, I now hate romance and since it’s just me and the guys, there’s no reason for me to be a lady. So….while I’m currently not promoting any of my sappy claptrap, I can’t get away from wanting to write. Thus, I created this blog where I can be as bitter and cynical as I want.

And since I’m no longer writing/publishing tangled, silken webs of deceit I can share all my secrets!

Now, for my biggest secret. Oh, and yes, I know, if I truly wanted a bigger blog following I’d spend weeks or years even feeding everyone little pieces of inconsequential advise and build up to my biggest piece. However, my biggest is actually the most basic piece of common sense, and yet, so many don’t understand it. So, here goes:


If your book hits the NYT or USA Today or Wall Street Journal, you can be certain it’ll also be hit by the heavy fire of the one-star review machine gun. It’s a fact. Hell, you don’t even have to make a big list. You can sell just one copy and be shot in the heart with one of those nastygrams. It’s just part of being an author and putting your work out there. Accept it. But accept it quietly.

Do not under any circumstances engage the enemy–or in this case the negative reviewer or commenter or emailer or whatever. If someone says something nasty about your book, look the other way.

It’s a natural gut reaction to want to defend ourselves or our masterpiece, but you can’t. Well, you can. Nobody is stopping you, but I wouldn’t suggest it.

Why? Because without a doubt, YOU the author, not the nasty reviewer, will end up looking like an asshat. I can’t tell you why, even if the reviewer/commenter is totally ugly or even reviews the wrong book, they still come out smelling like a rose while you smell like a steaming pile of dog crap. True story. I’ve seen the careers of more authors than I can count go up in flames over something so petty.

So my biggest piece of advice: DO NOT ENGAGE THE ENEMY.

And don’t ask your friends to do it for you. I always cringed when someone defended my books under a negative review. I didn’t ask anyone to, but sometimes someone will come along and stick their neck out. I honestly wish that Amazon would close their comment on review section and leave the discussion to their discussion boards or to Goodreads. I think this leads to a lot of trouble and temptation for authors and some reviewers.

Here’s some free advice for the following places where reviews are posted:

Amazon reviews–stay the hell away!!! (It’s possible someone will buy a book based on a negative review. Weird, I know, but it happens. I’ve seen it: 1-star–“This book was too bland no sex…it all ended in a HUG. Yes, a HUG!!!!” Along comes a commenter. “Thank you. Your review was so helpful I’m so tired of having to bleach my eyes out after reading other books where so many disgusting details are given. I, myself, am an asexual creature and conceived my children myself (with the help of a turkey baster…).

Goodreads–sure sign up and “claim” your books, but don’t ever go back! It’s a dark, dark place over there for authors.

Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and Kobo I don’t even think allow comments under reviews.

Yes, some people take pleasure in tearing a book to shreds and making authors cry. There are truly sickos out there. Some people are simply being honest and the book wasn’t for them. Some of the sickos will go so far as to make sure YOU see their writing because they had to endure yours–i.e. sharing their review on FB or Twitter and tagging you in it. Yeah, it happens. A lot. Either ignore completely or if they go this far as to tag you on social media, just shoot back a simple. “Thank you for taking time to read and review. 🙂 ) Then grit your teeth and cuss them out with your mouth, not your fingers!! Do NOT comment back. Ever.

I had someone tell me once that she always commented under reviews–good and bad. She thanked the good reviewers and left the negative reviewers an apology for “not connecting” with her story and offered them the next book in the series…

My “YOU’RE INSANE” radar started screeching when she told me this. She was nuts. This only lasted maybe two books.

Folks, authors are meant to write books. Readers, read and review. Authors who are more focused on reading the review sections of their current books rather than writing their next are going to A. get discouraged very quickly; B. be more and more tempted to respond and possibly shoot themselves in the foot.

As is the theme of my song today: DO NOT ENGAGE THE ENEMY.

For comments NOT left in the review section. Again, DO NOT ENGAGE THE ENEMY.

  • Ugly comments left on your blog–delete ’em, ignore them or smile and say thank you for visiting your blog.
  • An ugly email telling you that you suck as an author–ignore and delete. Don’t respond. You have no idea what they’re going to do with that response.
  • Ugly statements made about you on Facebook or tweeted out into the twitterverse–ignore.

If it’s not easy for you to ignore and move on (although I’ve already told you to stay away from reviews so you must enjoy being miserable) then find a friend and vent in private. Don’t have one? E-mail me. Tell me all the ugly things that meanie head said, then get back to work!  DO NOT ENGAGE THE ENEMY.

Imma B.

I’m weird. My thoughts on Nutella.

Imma B. Frank today. I think Nutella is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever had the displeasure to have touched my tongue to–and that includes polenta. It’s like a chocolate wannabe that will never be. More like a gagabee. Just yucky.

So no, Pinterest I don’t wanna save that bottle of crap or any of its “oh so yummy” recipes to my boards…but I’d love to take a real tack and puncture the heck out of it!!!


Speaking of. A few years ago when I got on Pinterest to help my author platform (didn’t work, there’s my writerly advice for today), when you’d hover over a picture, it’d show the little red rectangle in the corner with the tack and would say “pin”. Now it says save. Why can’t we pin anymore??? It is called Pinterest.

Maybe someone punctured their skin with a tack and threatened to sue…

#crazythoughts #thingsthatkeepmeawakeatnight #questionsfortheuniverse

All right, if you’ve read this far, how about leaving a comment? What is something you hate that goes against the mainstream? Share in the comments and I swear we won’t throw things at you!


Imma B.


This post was part of the Daily Post’s One Word Prompt: Puncture.

Daily Post Writing Prompt: “Taper”

I have yet to do one of these Daily Writing Prompt so I shall endeavor to join the ranks of the scores of others who do the post.

Here goes. Not really a story…merely an unnecessary fact about me and a new definition!

Sadly for me, when I was 13 my height hit a plateau or a taper, thus leaving this vertically challenged woman at the impressive height of 1/4 of an inch below 5-feet! But if anyone asks, I am 5 feet tall. I don’t care what the measuring stick says. I am 5-feel tall, I tell you.

Hick from the Sticks Definition of Taper:

When wrapping presents for Christmas with the young’uns, we mamas hold our finger on the seam of the paper and say, “Taper up, hon.”

Life enriching, I know and you’re welcome.

Imma B.



Why is it that…? (Part 1)

I was thinking, and no, thankfully, I didn’t hurt myself, but…

Why is it that you come up with the perfect snarky comeback after you’ve walked away from a demoralizing ass-chewing?

Why is it that a writer can come up with the perfect dialogue banter for their characters while driving 75mph down the highway with both hands on the wheel?

Why is it, that when said author from above gets home they’ve completely forgotten how that conversation came to be or even what half of it is?

Why is it that I have friend requests on Facebook from people I don’t even know and don’t have any mutual friends?

Why is it that when your alarm goes off at 6 a.m., you’re barely able to pry your eyes open, yet three hours earlier were wide awake counting the little popcorn balls on the ceiling?

Why is it that the technician at the nail salon uses something that looks identical to a cheese grater on my feet…even if they aren’t scaly?!

Why is it that at the craft store I can load up my cart with a mountain of craft supplies as a hundred project ideas race through my head only to get home and totally lose heart as I put it away?

Why is it that you can read, re-read, read again the same passage and not find an error, then as soon as you hand it to someone else and start reading over their shoulder, you find three?

Why is it that there is a curling iron that costs one penny shy of $400 that is covered in rhinestones and looks like it belongs in an adult toy shop?! (Don’t believe me, click here)

Why is it that the smaller the bikini, the higher the price?

Why is it that in Tulsa, OK they have these wooden “Up With Trees” signs all around that are supposed to help promote planting trees and taking care of the environment?

Why is it that the number of episodes in a television season keep getting smaller and smaller?

These are things that can keep people awake at night, folks. At least this person.

Have any questions for the universe? Post them below. Not that I’m claiming to be the universe, but it’d be awesome to have more oddities to ponder to keep me awake at night.

Imma B.

(Oh and a bonus, why the heck is there Christmas stuff out already at Hobby Lobby?!)

I suck…at life!

I suck at life. But that’s okay I’m NOT suicidal, so no need to panic. I have everything under control. 🙂

I’ve come to learn in my 31 years on this planet, there are two types of people. The first are more like cats than people in that no matter what, they always land on their feet. They could be headed straight toward a disaster of colossal proportions, often times of their own creation, and just when everything is about to combust in their face, BAM!! they manage to escape unscathed. These people make me want to wretch. While the first group of people have this ability that everything they touch turns to pure gold. The second group, which is where I belong, everything they touch (or even merely think about) turns to crap. That’s me! Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap!

I guess that isn’t completely true. I have had one teeny, tiny success. And no, I’m not talking about my kids. Those are two HUGE successes, but I can’t count them toward my successes. I just conceived, carried, birthed, rocked, fed, played with, taught and loved them. There successes aren’t really mine to claim. That should be true of all parents, please, for the love and mental wellbeing of your children, STOP trying to live vicariously through them!!! You have your life, live it and let them live theirs.

I digress.

I do have one success under my belt. Believe it or not by my crazy nonsense above, at one time I was a very common name in the Amazon bestselling romance books charts. I’ve hit national lists on more than one occasion and I’ve even swept up a few awards. But then my marriage crumbled to dust and once again, everything I touched turned to crap. 😀

So here I am, creating a new identity for myself. Except, I don’t want to write romance anymore. Gag. I want to write about the nitty-gritty day-to-day life stuff where I don’t have to please people with what I write or I won’t sell as many books. Nope. I’m done with that crap. I’m done crying over bad reviews or tanking sales. I’m done smiling politely when a reader walks up to me at a convention and insults my book…or my common sense for having a heroine dare to say anything unkind to the perfect hero. For the love of hair people, IT’S A BOOK.

So please, sign up to follow my blog if you want to read about the crazy day-to-day crapola I encounter (and believe me, I am a heavy duty magnet for the weird), to get the inside scoop on what authors face, for product reviews and recommendations, for interviews of whoever is crazy enough to want to come on here and chit-chat with me and whatever other life-enriching content I can come up with!

Imma B.