THIS is life with boys!

I went into my boys’ bathroom to hang up signs to remind them of proper hygiene and manners:

 

 

(Yes, they were ALL necessary. 😉 )

After I placed my signs, I peeked in the tub and found…

Lego Bath

Seriously?! Why are the Legos going for a soak in the tub? None of the boys have had a bath in ages so all I can imagine is they were either A. trying to clean them in a very strange way; B. they did this to get a rise out of me. I didn’t say a word!

Friday is almost here, enjoy it and your weekend!

Imma B.

Facebook Legacy Contact

I’ve had it up to here with Facebook.

Since you all cannot see me, allow me to post a visual:

My annoyance level with FB

I’m so tired of the bickering and arguing over political crap and the only other things posted are about cats.

I’m done.

Yes, I like cats and all, but I don’t have a desire to watch them all day. Needless to say, FB was becoming a time suck. “Oh, I’ll just scroll down a little more, maybe it’ll get better.” No. “OK, a little more.”

I couldn’t go on this way. I was done. So…last night I decided to pull the plug. I went to my account settings and I started in the general tab. There it was as the last option:

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 6.08.48 AM

Legacy Contact? Years ago, when I first signed up for Facebook, my kids went to a preschool that had Legacy somewhere in the name. That’s where my mind went. I seriously thought there was some connection between my Facebook account and the contacts in my phone–which there is. Believe me, FB knows ALL.

Anyway, I’m a blonde, so that was just the logical path for my brain to go down.

That wasn’t at all what this was about. It was to set up a person to memorialize your FB account after you’ve kicked the bucket.

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 6.17.44 AM

I’m personally not sure if I’d want someone to memorialize me after I’m gone, but hey, it’s actually a good thing for FB to institute. I have several friends on FB who’ve passed away and I wonder what happens to their accounts.

Under the “Learn more” link, I read up on what they can and cannot do: pin a post as themselves to the top of your page letting everyone know you’re six feet under, accept friend requests on your behalf forever after. Or until they also start pushing up daisies and their Legacy Contact takes over–which begs the question, would their Legacy Contact assume their role as YOUR Legacy Contact? Hmmm, question for the Universe…  They cannot, however, delete any friends (so let your mother-in-law know your widow won’t be able to delete her when your gone–no matter how much she wants to) or read your messages–so that kidney you sold on the Black Market in exchange for enough money for your iPad will still be your little secret. 😉

If you’re interested in learning more about how to set this up and what your Legacy Contact can and cannot do on your account, here’s a link.

Have a blessed day and I hope your life has just been enriched as much as mine was.

Oh, and I’m still on Facebook! Come find and follow me here!!!

Imma B.

SaveSave

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:

DO NOT ENGAGE THE ENEMY!!!

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!

Cheers,

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.

 

 

STOP texting and talk to ME!!!

I think we’ve all been there. We invite someone over for dinner or coffee–just some girl time between friends–and they spend the whole time on their phones texting someone else. Why bother to come over? Just sit at home and text ME from there. This irritates me so much, but you know what I do? Probably the same thing you’ve done: grab my phone and start texting someone else, too. At least it kills the awkward moment.

The most annoying though is when I’m in the car and someone does this to me. I have this friend who is notorious for not wanting to drive. Why? She claims its because I’ve lived here longer and know the area better; but the real reason is because she spends the whole time texting her boyfriend while I’m driving. Then, when he isn’t texting her back quickly enough, she calls him, lets the phone ring once and hangs up so he’ll call her back and she can pretend it was an accidental dial…but since she has him on the phone, blah, blah, blah. At least when she does this I can at least hear the conversation and don’t feel quite as annoyed. Weird how that works, I know.

I think people who do this crap should pay a “being rude” fee. Buy my gas. Or pay for my presence–$100 an hour should be good enough. 😀

If you’re a serial texter when someone else is in the room STOP. It’s just downright rude!

Just some thoughts from…

Imma B.

My Clever Son

In my house we have direct consequences for actions. Usually, they’re very definite consequences and I try very hard to tailor them to the action.

In regards to chores, it goes like this: If your chore isn’t done properly, you get to do it again and again until it’s done properly.

When my kids were toddler and pre-school age, this just consisted of at that moment redoing the chore. Now that my kids are a little older (all of mine are in the double digits-  0_o ) the rules are a little more…er…severe. If you didn’t do a good job of your chores today, you get to do that same chore again tomorrow and whoever was supposed to have it, gets a day off.

Example: you don’t get the laundry washed, dried, folded and put away today, you get to do it tomorrow–and if more has accumulated, guess who gets to do it? YOU! With so may bodies in this house, we have to do a minimum of one load per day. It’s how we manage. I’ve tried having “laundry days” they just don’t pan out because Mt. Laundry forms in my mudroom because nobody has time to fold and put it away.

Another example, if we run out of a certain type of clean dish or eating utensil (plate, bowl, spoon, cup, etc) you get to do dishes again the next day.

This sounds mean, but this rule has really helped my boys to stay on top of their chores and not leave things undone so it falls on someone else the next day. Parenting is about teaching your kids responsibility, right?

So, my youngest child, who, I will openly admit is the academic of the family and fully plans to “use his noodle, not his back” when he grows up–meaning quite frankly, he’ll do anything he can to get out of his chores because he hates work has discovered a way to outwit me (or so he thinks!).

Today, I went to open the silverware drawer to get a spoon for applesauce and found this:

Silverware drawer.JPG

Well played, Son. But do you see that nasty stain on the butterknife? That means, you’ll still be doing the dishes again tomorrow! (And I’ll be adding an addendum to my rulebook: real silverware only.)

Love my kids! Gotta stay one step ahead though! 😀

Imma Boy Mom

I’m a Boy Mom–now for anyone who doesn’t know what this term means (my brother-in-law :-p ) it doesn’t mean that I’m a boy who is a mom. No, glad to say, I am not a man. I am definitely a woman. A woman who is a mom to only boys. In fact, if you include the animals, I am the QUEEN OF THIS CASTLE. Living the last 12, almost 13 years without another woman in the house, I’ll be so crass to say there are twenty sets of balls in this house. Both me and the dog only have one set: eyes; because I’m a (cough, cough, cough) lady (cough, cough, cough) and he’s been neutered.

I live in a constant testosterone title wave.

And I LOVE IT!!!

Nothing is greater than being the only female. Sure, you still have cramps which no one else understands and for the most part my guys are so young–and at just the right height–their little heads smack right into my sore, aching bosoms when it’s my time of the month, but I love them so dearly I just turn my head and grimace.

Part of the awesomeness of being a boy mom is I can get away with things those with   daughters sometimes can’t.

For example, nobody questions it when I wear my hair pulled back in a sloppy bun, or worse have a ratty old ball cap on my head. Which is almost all the time. When I do wear nail polish, people are actually so surprised they always compliment the color–even if it has chips after only a few hours. Cutsie shoes? Don’t have ’em and not a problem. I spend my days in sneakers or boots. Makeup is optional and my perfume is buried in the bottom left cabinet of my bathroom, collecting cobwebs.

IT’S GREAT!!!!

As for “mom things” like Target and Pinterest… Never got into those. I was a young mom who struggled in the poverty pit for years, followed by writing a break-out book series and suddenly having a fledging career develop almost overnight that required 12-hour workdays in order to support my deadbeat (now ex) husband and his irresponsible spending. BUT, now that my kids are getting a little older and I’ve given up the life of a slave to my computer AKA an author, I just might find an interest in frequenting Target. I might even branch out and peek inside Hobby Lobby, too!

Pinterest is a little easier to “visit” as I can do that wearing my yoga pants and a faded t-shirt in my living room. And that is exactly what I did an hour ago. I even created a “Boy Mom Board”. If you’re bored and care to check it out, click here as WP is being a doo-doo head and trying to make me upgrade to “business” plan (costing almost $25/month) in order to install the Pinterest plugin. I THINK NOT. At least not until I have more than just my mom reading my posts on a regular basis. 😀

Anyone else here a Boy Mom? What’s your favorite part? Do you ever feel like you missed out on not having a girl?

Open Letter to the Pharm Tech at Wal-Mart

Dear Sir,

Upon visiting your spot at the pharmacy counter twice within the last six days, I have come to the conclusion that you have a long, gnarly, sharp stick lodged in your posterior.

I am so sorry you suffer from such an affliction and if I were able to, I’d add you to my very costly health insurance policy so you could have it removed, post haste. However, since that isn’t a possibility, I’d like to offer a few suggestions for how to cope with such a condition in a manner that would be most pleasing to your customers:

A. Grin and bear it. As my kindergarten teacher used to say, “Turn that frown upside down!”
B. Quit your job and go to work at McDonald’s. If dealing with customers isn’t your cuppa tea, perhaps you could be a cook?
C. Suck it up, Buttercup.

Yes, sir, I understand options A and C are not that different. So really you have two options: learn a little about customer service and do the job you’re being paid to do (filling prescriptions and selling them to people, keyword, SELLING, not telling me that I need to take it to the front and go stand in the one of two checkout lines open) OR go to work somewhere else.

I do hope you found this letter as useful in career guidance as I did therapeutic to write. May the next time I go pick up an antibiotic I either see your smiling face as you ring me up or learn you’ve moved onto a rewarding career as the janitor at the movie theater.

Sincerely,

Imma B.

Garage Sale from HELL!

In my lowly opinion I think every blog needs to have a regular column. Since every other day I blog about random crap, I think that Fridays should officially be dubbed “From Hell Friday!” in which we have a guest share about a hellish ordeal they’ve suffered. This week I will go first with the day I entered into…

GarageSale HELL
Artem Stepanov | Dreamstime.com image purchased, modified and used with permission

First, let me get this out of the way so when you later see this in my post you don’t feel the need to crucify…er…correct me in the comment section. I don’t call them yard sales, rummage sales, moving sales or even garage sales. No matter what kind of sale it is, I call it a…

Garbage Sale.

No, I know how you read that, but stop and go with me for a minute. In this circumstance, I don’t pronounce garbage like garbage. I make it rhyme with garage. So pronounced more like “gar-bajh”

Yes, I’m weird, however, this term “fits”.

How?

  1. What is 99% of what you find at a garbage sale?
    Unwanted items.
  2.  Where do unwanted items typically go?
    The garbage.

Simple logic. Plus, garbage pronounced gar-bajh actually sounds kind of class, don’t ya think?

Okay, so my advice on hosting a garbage sale:

Don’t. 

That’s very plain and simple. Just don’t.

About two months ago I got a flyer in the mail from the president of my HOA saying that our neighborhood’s annual garage sale weekend was in two weeks.

My first reaction was to cringe. My second was, “Hmm, well, maybe I can offload some of my crap onto someone else and make a little money while making my crap their crap.”

I should have stuck with my initial reaction because before I knew it, I had fallen into the depths of Garage Sale Hell

For two weeks I stayed up late to do research. During the day, I neglected my cleaning to comb through my entire house and attic for things that would hold a value for someone else. Then peeled and created so many price stickers I was starting to see them in my sleep.

I was so super excited. I had done a purge on my house and I was hopeful to have a nice chunk of change at the end of the day.

Then came the “Big Day”.

At 5am, I started dragging all my crap outside. No easy feat considering how much I had gathered in my crap cleanse.

As I was putting stuff out, people started walking up. I was so excited. Not because I’m a natural born salesperson, because I’m not. I couldn’t sell a parka to an eskimo. Never even dream of selling one snow.

First couple came and snapped up 3 of the six children’s life jackets, paying $3 each for them for a total of $9. And THAT was the biggest sale of the day. I’m not even kidding.

From 6:30/7-ish to a little before 10 there was a steady stream of people. From 10-noon, it was dead. There was a minor uptick between 2-3 and not another soul after 3:45. It was miserable and embarrassing. At the end of the day I counted up how much money had been made…$72. Not counting all the hours I worked leading up to the day of the sale, on sale day alone, 12 hours were spent setting up, selling and cleaning up. That equates to $6 per hour which is less than minimum wage. Did I mention this was a miserable and embarrassing experience? Actually humiliating is probably a more accurate adjective.

Was it my location that drove people away? 

Heck no! I was the first house in the subdivision!

Was it that I didn’t have anything worth buying?

I guess it’s possible…I had what a lot of the blogs and sites considered hot sellers: super cheap Christmas decorations, kitchen stuff, kids things, clothes, etc, etc. I even had unopened, new in the package, high-end cosmetics. And I credit one particular sale of said products as the reason I didn’t make $80 instead of $72 😀

This lady who had on more makeup than a clown came up and found my box of makeup. She dinked around in the box for a few minutes, then brought a handful up to me wanting to buy it. Oddly enough ALL, not just some, but ALL of the price stickers from all the makeup in her hand were gone. Had I been smart, I’d have just said, “I’m sorry, that’s not for sale, I need to go fix the prices.” But I’m an idiot, so I told her what I had it all marked as. “Oh, that unused powder isn’t worth $3. It’s been opened. I’ll give you one for it,” she says.

I ground my teeth. That powder had not only been sealed, it had been in a sealed box not five minutes earlier. “Fine,” I said through clenched teeth. “I had these lipsticks,” which I see aren’t sealed any longer, either, “for $1 each.”

The lady sighs, counts the six lipstick tubes, the four things of eyeshadow, four makeup bags, a handful of bottles of nail polish and the powder and says, “I’ll give you six for all of it.”

Just wanting her to go as far away from me as possible since most of that was now unsellable I said, “Fine.”

The lady opens her purse where there is money overflowing from every nook and cranny, throws down a five and says, “I think that’s fair.”

I was livid…and numb. I just said fine as calmly as I could and walked away. There were other people in my driveway, it wouldn’t do to cause a scene and argue with her. But I’ll never forget that and never again will I ever host another garbage sale. I don’t care what people say about making hundreds or even $1,000 from a strategically planned sale. This lady ain’t doing it again. EVER.

What about you? Have you visited the depths of Hell and have a story to tell? If so, we’d love to hear it. It doesn’t have to be this long. 🙂 Just go to my Files from Hell page up at the top and fill out the comment form. It’s that simple. Then look for your story to be featured. 

*Please note: submission does not automatically mean you’ll be featured. To increase your odds of being featured, please read beneath the contact form.*