A Memoir by Lisa Vaughn


Lisa was conservatively raised in a Catholic family in no-where middle America, where excitement is scarce and dreams are for sleeping. Little did she know, at age thirteen, she would suddenly find herself on a totally different path.

Through an unlikely chance meeting of a fellow classmate, she's surprisingly mesmerized, almost consumed, to befriend a girl who is obviously from the other side of the tracks...the cool side. Lisa does whatever she has to just to be accepted into this small club of coolness. Little did she realize, she was signing up for a lot more than social status. The two best friends find themselves innocently taking their relationship to a foreign level neither had experienced or saw coming.

A rollercoaster ride littered with choices and challenges Lisa never fathomed facing, especially in no-where middle America. She will find out what she is made of as she faces the consequences and struggles that come along with going against the grain.

Throughout their six year relationship, you will witness a touching story of human nature at its best...and at its worst. Showing just how far the human spirit can be challenged and pushed to a point where your “fight or flight” instincts naturally kick in. Struggling just to survive in a world where you are not like everyone else, but at the same time you really are. The daily struggles - both internal and external - are exhausting, yet necessary in their quest for one simple human need....love.

Finally breaking through all constraints that hold them back, reaching levels of one-ness that few actually obtain in a lifetime with their partner...only to find once they've reached that special place, it's not quite the right fit...for one of them, at least.

This contemporary story, told in the voice of the teen that lived it, will lead the reader through highs and lows, giving insight to the everyday challenges of the socially unaccepted, which will no doubt leave them rooting for the underdog. A true story of human resilience and the power of love...plain and simple.

*Please be advised, this memoir is real, honest, and raw. If you're looking for your typical 'sterilized' read, I'm not your girl - but if you're looking for a read that is written from the heart, certain to impact you on a human level, follow me! Have I got a story for you!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Find Your Reading Glasses..It's SaturdaySample Time From 'The Gifted Ones'!

This little ditty comes from Chapter 8: The Nightmare Continues

They made sure all evidence of this episode went away, literally, when they marched me down to the burning barrel, late one afternoon. They handed me my diary and instructed me to throw the pages into the flames, like some sort of sacramental ceremony. I couldn't believe what I was being asked to do! As much as it killed me, I knew I mustn't waiver and blow my cover. I'd come so far to turn back now, my pride and beliefs would have to take a back seat, momentarily. Against every fiber of my being, I threw a handful of pages into the charred barrel, watching my naked soul burn in the orange glow, fighting back tears of grief. Chunk by chunk, pages of lined notebook paper, with my private words, thoughts, and feelings, melted in the flames. Bits of paper ash floating skyward, filling the atmosphere, polluting the air with my dirty laundry. Watching in horror, as the play-by-play documentation of the most significant phase of my life was slowly being destroyed, right before my eyes voluntarily, by my own hands. How cruel, how ironic. I could only pray that I would never forget the most minuet of details. Each memory, each piece, held a special place in my soul. How could I forget? I knew I never would. They'd never control my mind, my memories, or who I loved. And I certainly would never forget what they had taken from me.

My only salvation was to know they had not succeeded in breaking me. Burning those pages did not erase the truth. I had found my soul-mate, and we would be together again, no amount of torture was going to change that fact. It would only be a matter of time.

Whatever doesn't kill us, only makes us stronger, right? Funny, Peggy never preached that saying.

Make that two points for Lisa.

***
If you'd like to learn more about my story, please see my full synopsis, other 'teasers' plus reviews from past readers just like you! Links found on this blog. Thank you for stopping by! Happy Saturday!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

FridayFeelGoodAssignment:Support Your Indie Authors!Please Leave Reviews!

Just finished a great read? Feel like telling everyone you know about this fab new find? Do the author a HUGE favor and leave your review on any popular social network - Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords, just to name a few. And if you're feeling extra supportive, tweet that review and/or post it to Facebook. Most review sites have a button right under your review to instantly tweet or post to your wall!

Such a simple way to show your appreciation and to tell the world about your awesome find. The author will love you forever - believe me, we read em! Writing can be a lonely road - your feedback is our only way of knowing how 'the public' is receiving our work. You are our report card, so to speak. But with the good, all authors realize, will come some bad...hopefully not too much, but we all know not EVERY book is written for EVERYbody, so please remember to take that into consideration when reading bad reviews about a potential future read for yourself.

10 minutes of effort brings a lifetime of 'feel good' to an indie author! And I'm willing to bet there's a little good karma in it for you as well!

Please feel free to browse my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, and Smashwords - Find direct button links on this blog! :) And thank YOU for supporting INDIE!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Brush With Literary Genius: Stephen King!

Okay all you Cujo loving fans out there, this ones for you! (And really, who doesn't love Stephen King?)

WE all have that one story we break out at a party - sharing our experiences mingling with the rich and famous, our brushes with the elite.  Well, mine just happens to be with Stephen King!

Like I said in an earlier post, I am lucky enough to live on the gulf coast of SW Florida, which just happens to be the same spot where Mr. King spends his winters, or so I'm told. I won't go into details on exactly where, as I am a big supporter of privacy - but lets just say it's a nice quiet key in a slightly sleepy town that gets its share of tourist in season, but nothing compared to the bigger tourist cities. I frequent this particular key many mornings on my bike rides, marveling at the lush tropical landscaping and the multi-bazillion dollar mansions that line the gorgeous gulf coastline - far from my middle-class way of living, by the way. 

I have lived at my current location for about twelve years now, and have gotten somewhat accustomed to seeing Mr. King occasionally taking a morning stroll in his neighborhood  -  although I always do a double-take, still thinking - Hey! Was that...? He catches me off guard sometimes in his basketball shorts with knee socks, but the book in his hand is a 'dead' giveaway (uh, no pun intended!) - walking while reading...now there's a true lover of the written word!  We politely nod 'good morning', going about our morning routines. I've also passed him on a few bike rides, or caught him standing beachfront, drinking his morning coffee, as I jog by along the shoreline. All my Stephen King sightings were fun and exciting, but nothing holds a candle to time I ran into him at the grocery store - my first REAL encounter face to face!
It happened about ten years ago - long before I even thought, or had an inkling, that I would one day be an author myself. Back then my younger sister was the aspiring writer in the family, certainly not me. And her all-time hero and mentor? You got it - Stephen King. 

My husband and I had been boating all day and stopped by the store on the way home to pick up dinner. To say I was disheveled-looking would be an understatement. I had spent an entire day in salt water and scorching sun - I was tired, sun-burnt, and hungry - not to mention painful to look at in my sea-crusted bathing suit paired with an oversized t-shirt coverup. 
We dragged ourselves into the store agreeing to make it quick, splitting up to save time. Mid shop-a-thon my husband smugly approaches me exclaiming, 'Boy you really ARE blind as a bat!'...Huh? Seems Mr. King had just frequented the same aisle as I, and somehow I had missed this unexpected 'star-sighting'. Luckily my on-the-ball hubby had overheard Mr. King asking the stock boy where the soda's were kept. I immediately forgot my lack of energy (and appearance) and went to find the soda aisle myself, seems I just got a hankering for something carbonated. I find the master-of-horror summarizing his choices as I quickly pass behind him, confirming, YEP...that's him! Feeling like a star-struck looney (which normally I am not-really!) but hey, it's STEPHEN KING! I make note that he's a lot taller and intimidating than I thought, and oddly, no one seems to know who he is! As I round the aisle to share my glee with my husband, I notice he's mouthing the words, GO GRAB A COPY OF HIS BOOK!  Ask him to sign it for your sister! Oh man, what a GREAT idea! I frantically run to the front of the store where all the books are kept and grab his latest and greatest at the time (which I'm embarrassed to say I don't remember which one it was now! But it had a bluish cover I think, and was spooky looking...duh) I'm halfway back to where I had left him when I realize I didn't have a pen or anything that resembled a writing tool. Damn! I take off again, tearing down each aisle frantically looking for office supplies, or that smashed stray pen on the floor...ANYTHING!  My heart is pounding as I fear he might already be at the check-out, and my golden opportunity lost. I ditch my unsuccessful search, telling myself I can borrow a pen off a cashier if nothing else. Times a wasting! Luckily I find him in the magazine section...READING! What else?! Whew! I hesitate for a second (what WAS I doing!?) but then imagined my sister's face when she receives this unique gift. Without thinking of how my appearance or matter of approaching him might look, I boldly step up to him. "Excuse me, Mr. King? Hi, I don't mean to bother you, but my sister is an aspiring writer and YOU just happen to be her hero! Would you mind signing a book for her?" (I've cut out all the stammering and noticeable octave change in my voice to spare my ego at this point, after all, I AM standing in front of him in crusty beachwear and matted hair, I think that's enough humiliation for a lifetime) I had no idea what his response might be. Would he ignore me? Tell me to get lost, stop stalking him, call security? I didn't care - I had already committed at this point, might as well go down with the ship! But much to delight, he was very gracious, and surprisingly humbled by me asking for his autograph. I had found a pen and I shakily handed it to him as he asked what my sister's name was. He opened the front cover to expose the first pages as he fluidly inscribed 'To Sue - Keep Writing!' Stephen King. I could almost see my sister's wide grin as I stood there in disbelief. I couldn't believe I had pulled this off, and he was SO cool. I expressed my gratitude and decided not to invade his privacy any further -  I left him to finish his magazine browsing. 

We finished up our shopping - as I floated on air, proud of my tenacity and accomplishment. Heading towards the front of the store to check-out, guess what we see? Mr. Stephen King in line...and WE will be next! If we hurry. Suddenly our cart becomes turbo-charged as we slide up right behind my new BFF. Two close-encounters in one day! How lucky were WE? As we nonchalantly put our items on the belt -  uh behind MR. KING'S groceries, I might add - we are surprised by idle chit-chat between us and our new horror buddy.  I recall he was particularly amused at a tabloid that was slamming Michael Jackson at the time, dubbing him 'Wacko Jacko'. Stephen picks up the rag and reads it aloud shaking his head, explaining to us that he had just wrapped up a project with Michael and that, yes, Michael Jackson is a 'Wackjob'. I immediately recite the phrase 'Pot calling the kettle black' in my mind and crack a smirk. We laugh as he settles up with the cashier. Staring at him like a zombie, I suddenly exclaim out loud , "Oh, I can't forget to pay for this!" as I remembered the book I had clutched to my chest for safe keeping. Without missing a beat, he looks back at me and says, "Yeah, don't you dare forget, there's a whole nickel in it for me!"
We 'LOL', and I think, yeah right...there goes a man who has got to have more money than God, who's he kidding? Well you know what? I'm since a published author myself, and somehow I now think he wasn't joking! But then again, I recall seeing him take off - with his bottles of soda - in a fancy, silver two-seater sports car, headed towards his gulf-front estate...and all I can say now is, 'Man, that's a LOT of nickels'!    

Thank you Mr. King for giving me such cool memories of you! You are overly kind and warm to your fans, and if ever I run into you again, first,I hope I'm better groomed - and second, if you ever sign another book for me, I'm keeping it for myself!

P.S. My sister treasures the book you customized for her. She had it framed and displays it proudly! 


~The End~

Monday, September 26, 2011

You crave something different to read,but don't know where to look?Try Indies!

I'll let you in on a little secret...the perfect place to start is IAN! Independent Authors Network - THE place to find every genre for every taste. Step outside the box and discover a lesser known title, many at "can't pass up" prices! Ebooks and Print - you'll find them all at the Readers Cafe - Browse from the comfort of your favorite reading chair...no traveling required! Who knows, your choice might be the best book you've ever read!

Follow this link to my page - from there you can browse hundreds of talented authors in all genres:

http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/lisa-vaughn.html

We're not looking for fame or fortune...we just want to share our work with readers like you!
Please support indie authors and artist whenever you can ~ how boring would the world be without the arts?

Monday's Mindset of a Hippie-Chick: Hail the Underdog!

Here's this weeks glimpse inside my somewhat quirky mind... 

I noticed something about myself last week while on my typical morning bike ride. First off, I'm a lucky gal - I live near the gulf coast in SW Florida, so most of my bike routes include following the gorgeous shoreline along the key of my choosing. But please note, I do not live out there -  that area is reserved for a population much wealthier than I, in fact Stephen King has a house or two on one particular key. (Yes, I have had the honor of running into him on his morning walks, occasional bike ride, and even at the grocery store where he graciously signed a book for me!  But that's a story for another day!)

Anyhoo, as I ride along the winding roads that hug the shoreline, surrounded by mansions that make you wonder, Exactly what DO these people do for a living?!, I realized the houses that always seem to catch my eye time after time are the unassuming, modest homes that almost seem to be swallowed by their monstrous neighbors. Most  disheveled and  in need of maintenance and repairs - I picture how I could fix them up (on a budget) and make them shine, regardless of their inferior size. In fact, I always say if I ever won the lotto, I would rather purchase a home out there 'in need' than one 'newly constructed and fairy-tale perfect'. Oddly, I find myself almost feeling sorry for the houses.  And that leads me to my Mindset Of The Week: The Underdog! 

If you've read my memoir, you know I am a strong advocate for the underdog, as I am one myself at times. The weak, the misunderstood, the forgotten, the dismissed - all get my attention and pull at my heartstrings. Of course people (and animals) that fit this category get a special pass from me - I'm more willing to help, more willing to understand. But even weirder,  inanimate objects have made my list too - just like those houses on the key. This is nothing new for me, in fact, I do believe I was born with this special 'quirk'. Let me share an excerpt from my book, The Gifted Ones, to show you exactly what I mean.

Set up: My mother and I are shopping for school dresses, she is questioning my choices, but I stick to my guns, swearing I like the dresses, promising to wear them.

 I called them my “fat dresses” and refused to be seen in them. My mother had a conniption, questioning why I bought dresses that I obviously did not like, and had no intentions of wearing. There was no denying, they really were the ugliest dresses on the planet! The truth was, however, I felt sorry for them. Knowing how ugly they were, and how nobody would ever want or love them. Unable to leave them on the rack, to be passed by and ostracized, I sacrificed my wardrobe to give them a home. My empathy for the clothes was not counter- felt by my mother, however, as that absurd reasoning certainly did not fly with her, which resulted in constant fighting over those stupid clothes. Regardless, I hardly wore them but maybe a few times that year, mainly out of guilt for their feelings, not hers. Empathy, one of the main qualities I had developed early, had made me, at times, an overly sensitive kid - an easy target for ridicule. But not from my peers as you would expect, no, my main source of ridicule would come from my own mother.
***

I am well aware not everyone holds this 'empathy gene', as I call it. Obviously my mother did not. But I embrace my strange, somewhat overly sensitive quirk. I think it allows me to see the world at a slightly different angle than most, which certainly helped me through some tough years, and continues to guide me through my journey of self-discovery.  Maybe clothes and houses do not have feelings...but what if they did? I know the people connected to them sure do. My favorite line from the movie 'Indecent Proposal' is Woody Harrelson explaining to his architecture class that "even a brick wants to be something". And that's how I see the world - we all want to be something - to be heard, to be seen, to be accepted. And who am I to stand in the way of that? 

So hug an underdog today - with your patience, love, and understanding - after all, it takes all of us to make the world go 'round, and who's to say who the underdogs really are? ***

~If you enjoy peering into my world of wackiness, perhaps you would enjoy my memoir. Available on Amazon and Smashwords - ebooks and print ~ links above.  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

SixSentenceSunday..Lispers May Fear It,But The Rest LOVE It! Get Your 6!

6 (1/4) Lines From Chapter 9: Gaining Ground,Losing Ground

Lying in bed, waiting patiently, my nervous system firing continuously, as I silently listened for evidence of slumber from everyone upstairs. When I finally felt it was safe, I'd quietly make up my bed to look like a body was sleeping in it. No detail was overlooked. We simply could not risk getting caught again, only to relive the hell we had cleverly just escaped. I'd carefully exit out my bedroom window, remembering to unlock the garage doors for re-entry - both the outside and inside doors leading into the family room, the one nearest my bedroom.

SaturdaySamples Time! *The Crowd Roars* Drop In For Your Mini-Indie Fix!

Taken from Chapter 14: Beyond The Yellow Brick Road ~
(My parents had just helped me move into my first apartment)

Finally, the last of the boxes were brought in, and it was time to say goodbye to our helpers. The two people who had put me through hell, and also tried to save me from hell, stood there awkwardly. Not quite sure what to say, or how to make their exit gracefully. Quite a bittersweet moment. We clumsily said our goodbyes, and off they went, closing the door behind them. We looked at each other and began jumping for joy, relishing our accomplishment of freedom! We had really, really made it! It was almost unbelievable - too good to be true almost - there had to be a catch. Through all adversities, we had truly weathered the storms. Maybe Peggy was right - Time does bring everything to those who wait!

Hidden from society in our private world. The big difference now - this actually was our world! Complete with our own private walls - no one to monitor our actions, our words, our love. With absolutely no one to hide from, we were finally free “to just be” - as long as we were alone, that is. Yes, we had finally made it, but the cold, hard facts remained - society still forced us to live in secret. Even in our own home, we had to keep up appearances. Not only for parents, but friends, and co-workers alike. We were detaching from our parent's umbilical cord, but not even close to being totally free in the real world. Reality was, we still had to hide, even in the safety of our own home. That was just a fact of this lifestyle. But at least we could live it together now. Her and I against the world! And with that, we finally exhaled.

The next day our doorbell rang, a delivery man, standing outside our door, holding a planter in his hands. It was from my parents. The small card attached read: “Lisa and Selina, Welcome to your new home! Love Mom and Dad”. That simple card, with few words, meant the world to me. Although unspoken, it was finally proof they had accepted us. All those years of yearning for simple approval, especially from my mom, had finally come full circle. And in that moment, while reading that card, I felt a smidgen of acceptance and support coming from the only people I really ever needed it from - all this time.

That's all any kid ever wants in life, really - to be accepted by the people that brought them into this world. Pretty easy, you'd think. So why does it have to be so hard sometimes? I still have that card to this day, and every time I look at it, a lump forms in my throat and tears instantly well up in my eyes. It still packs the same punch it did years ago. A pretty powerful 2”x 3” piece of paper, huh?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Friday Feel Good Assignment: Call Your Parents This Weekend! Read Why...

I know, I know...you mean to, but...life gets in the way.  Been there, done that. In fact I was the biggest offender of all - blowing off my aging parents because MY life was full of well, living. Plus I knew everything was fine, if it weren't, I would of heard about it. 
Well now here I sit, unable to talk to them. I am now officially parentless. 

Yes, the inevitable finally happened. I lost my last parent to cancer about a month ago - on my birthday, no less.  I turned 48 regardless.  Although I've been on my own since I was 17, I'm just now starting to realize I am truly on my own. It hit me early this week - the fact that I will never again hear the voice of my dad...wow. Funny how it took a month to sink in fully. Never again will I hear his matter-of-fact reasonings, or his straight-and-narrow views on life. Or even that spur-of-the moment excitement in his voice when I would suggest we have a 'hi-ball' together, like we were doing something 'sneaky'. All those times are just memories now, locked in my mind. 

I know in the coming months my regrets will grow to include all the times I meant to call, but just didn't.  I am a mother of a 25 year old myself. And I am quite aware of the joy I feel when I receive that random call from my own flesh and blood. Usually he's on his way home from work - a quick call he makes before he walks into his own world, which includes his girlfriend and his own agenda. Those calls are truly special. I know at that moment he is thinking of me and just wants to be sure we chat before he is sidetracked by his own life. They don't come too often, but when they do, I drop everything to take the call.

So yeah, don't think your parents don't love hearing from you, they do. Even if nothing special has happened, even if you just share what you are having for dinner that night, at least you will hear their voice, and vice-versa...because you never know when that 'last' time will be. 

Take 30 minutes out of your weekend to touch base...trust me, you'll feel good and I know your parents will too! 

One short conversation I'd like to share with you that truly represents my father and how he saw the simple pleasures in life...

Set up: I was visiting him shortly after my mother's death in 2005 - we'd often go for walks to pass the time. On one particular walk with him and my sister, we started a fun conversation of 'If you were on death row, what would your last meal request be?'

Me: Well, since I am the health nut, I would want every desert I ever passed up in my lifetime! Bring me cakes, cookies, ice cream...you name it! The more calories the better!
Sister: I love salmon! My husband hates the way it stinks up the house, so I would love to have my favorite salmon patties and all the side dishes!
(Keep in mind my dad has had plenty of time to think of any exotic dish he could ever want)
Dad: Uh..well...I really like those Hot Pockets. I think I would like some Hot Pockets.

Simple man, simple pleasures! He taught me a lot in that afternoon, and I'll never forget it...or our simple conversations. Larry S.  4/20/1937-8/12/2011 

Now please...if you still can, go call your dad!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Getting Your Book Out There...Is It ALL About The Money?

I think most authors will agree, if you're looking to get 'rich', odds are writing a book probably won't buy you that house in Beverly Hills - especially peeps like me, the unknown indie author with one title to my name. Thank goodness I have other ways to earn an income!
No, my purpose is not money driven at all - my main purpose is getting my story, my message of acceptance, out there for the public to read, digest, and understand.
Writing a memoir is not easy, trust me. Especially when it comes to divulging intimate details of your own life, which are not always 'pretty'. But I felt if I was going to do it, I'd do it with full honesty and total transparency, all the while maintaining an entertaining, page-turning story that hopefully people will want to read.
So here I am...pimping my book. Not for that ocean side condo...no, it's dedicated to a world that needs to learn to accept each other and live in harmony.
Here's my two cents for the cause. And maybe, just maybe, I'll make that someday in book sales! But if not, I'm happy just where I am.
Have an awesome 'accepting' day everyone!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Losing My Soulmate To Find Myself~WIN Ecopy of The Gifted Ones,A Memoir

Yes, it's true. Sometimes we have to lose it all - and go through hell - before we find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. My favorite quip is undoubtedly, 'Life's a journey, not a destination'..how spot on those words are! Hopefully through that journey we find out who we are and what we are made of, as I think that's the whole purpose in the first place. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to find out who we are, sometimes it just takes one relationship.

My new friends, Orchid and Sandrine, have graciously agreed to host a give-away for my memoir, The Gifted Ones! Please check out their new blog to enter! Book reviews, discussions and more!
Good luck!

http://sandrinesmusings.blogspot.com/2011/09/gifted-ones-giveaway.html

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday's Mindset of a Hippie-Chick-A View Inside My Head As I See It...

Well, I've decided to start a new weekly segment entitled 'Monday's Mindset'. A glimpse inside my mind and whats in it...which sometimes is a happy place, but other times, yes, I have a rant...hey, I'm only human, just like you. So here's this week's debut, you might not agree, but hope you enjoy!

Well we all know it's coming...we all dread it...we all FEAR it - 'Criticism Of Our Work'.
I don't care who you are, or what you put 'out there' for criticism, it's just bound to happen - that one voice that rises above the sea of 'good' - that pulsating *RED* flashing bad review or comment. 
In my case it came as a 'not-so-great' book review of my memoir.
I'm an artist by nature, so critique is certainly nothing new to me, but thats not to say I 'like' it, but I do expect not everyone is going to enjoy my work - that's just a given in the art world, not everyone has the same taste. But this book thing is a new medium for me. 
Now, I'll be the first to stand up and admit, I am by no means an accomplished author or english major, far from it! In fact, I've never taken a writing class, and I certainly do not remember what my ancient english teachers tried to pound into my head so many years ago...to me that was boring and a waste of my time, I'd rather be sitting in art class where I belonged. With that said, I certainly am not an idiot, and pride myself in my ability to tell a story. And that's how I approached my latest 'art project' when I wrote my memoir, The Gifted Ones. I knew I had a great story, but more importantly, a message to convey, which I did...the only way I knew how - by being myself, telling it like it happened -  much like talking to an old friend. That's not to say I didn't 'fret' over punctuation, proper grammar, usage of words, etc, etc..in fact, I found myself SO wrapped up in that part that I almost forgot why I wrote the book in the first place! I knew I risked losing my voice as a result of over-editing, something I truly did not want to happen. So after many read throughs, and re-hashings, I hit the 'publish' button and sat back to hear what the 'public's' reaction would be. What I thought would be the most joyful time of my life (I had just PUBLISHED my life story!) turned out to be the most fearful! (I had just published MY life story! Egads!)
I took to the couch with my favorite blanket and lost ten pounds. 
Side note: I purposely chose to go 'indie' and self-publish for the pure luxury of being in total control. I didn't want anyone telling me how to tell my story. Same way I approach my artwork: solo! To me, my art (or writing) is a very personal place in my soul that can only be understood and executed by me, myself, and I.  
Fast Forward: Slowly the reviews started coming in. Much to my surprise they were good! A lot of them great as a matter of fact. Seems I was touching a nerve with many, and they related to my story, in fact they were REALLY relating to it, on the level I had hoped...they WERE 'getting it'! Yay! Life was good...great in fact. I walked on air. I had done it!
And then...yep...the stinky egg. Like I said, I knew it was coming...it just had to. 
The reviewer I am speaking of, in all fairness, did have some positive things to say, although unfortunately she chose to focus on her pet peeves, especially with indie reads. As she pointed out, she does not really enjoy self-published books, as she claims they are not edited properly (by professionals) and not monitored for overall content or proper punctuation. Hum. Okay, I can dig that. She's obviously one of the 'English major types'...that's cool. But the sad part is, I think she totally missed out on my entire message and purpose for writing my memoir in the first place. To criticize me for using bold type, or all caps in certain areas for purpose of expression, might have been unreasonable to her, and not 'proper' writing practice, but it was very necessary to me, and fit my writing style perfectly. Did I use phrases like 'should of' instead of 'should have'...yeah, I'm sure I did. Like I said, my style is easy breezy, not stiff and text-book like. I find it funny that almost all my reviews have commented positively on my 'unique' writing style. Yeah, she's right, I didn't follow the rules - I'm an artist, in my world there are no rules. Maybe that IS the true face of indie reads, and what sets them apart - we do not follow rules, we follow our voice. Of course I'm not saying a book full of typos and gibberish is a good idea, of course not. But to focus only on 'proper old school' writing techniques is sadly missing the whole point of what an indie author is all about. And to tell you the truth, I have found plenty of typos or misuse of common words within popular works by big name publishing companies. In fact, I'd almost bet in EVERY book I read there are some mistakes here or there...hey, we're human, people! We make mistakes! Did it ruin the whole read for me? Of course not. I prided myself for noticing the mistake, and moved on...enjoying the read. 
Bottom Line:  
Okay, maybe she just didn't dig my story, period. I can deal with that. I'm not for everyone, I know that...my ego isn't THAT big! But to trash a whole book for a few 'modern spins' on old school grammar rules is tragic to me. Where's the fun of being yourself in that? 
Freedom of speech and expression...isn't that what defines 'Indie'? It does to me at least. But what do I know? I'm just a hippie chick expressing herself...once again!  

(And by the way,I KNOW you looked for mistakes in this piece..and I'm certain you found some! Good for you! You're on your toes and alert...I like that. Now go have a great day, and enjoy something indie!)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

U Know It,U Love It..Six Sentence Sunday! A Sassy 6 From 'TheGiftedOnes'!

Six Sentences from Chapter 5: THE Year

The remainder of the afternoon seemed to last forever. We continued our make out session,keeping it pretty innocent - kissing with little conversation. I was so high on life! So high on her! No pot,no booze! Was I experiencing a natural high? A natural hormone high would better describe this unexpected feeling. A new venture for both of us,which seemed as natural as brushing your teeth.

Conversation was still at a minimum,time standing still...

Friday, September 16, 2011

OMG It's Time For Saturday Samples! A Fun Size Snippet From:TheGiftedOnes!

This week's excerpt was inspired by my newest fans -Orchid & Sandrine- after giving my memoir a 5star review! Click here to see review & join their blog! http://sandrinesmusings.blogspot.com/
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Excerpt from Chapter 5: THE Year

The topic soon turned towards me,as I complained of feeling like I had a fever. Maybe I was coming down with something - our faces just inches apart. Selina leaned toward me,her movements slow and smooth,as she quietly asked if I knew the only true way to test someone's body temperature? I swallowed hard while she continued to explain. “A true reading of a fever could only be felt by putting your lips on the person's forehead”,she said. I stared at her with wonder and fright,as a strange feeling washed over me. Something was different. I noticed her whole demeanor had changed. Was she about to play a joke on me,or was she being serious? Something crucial was about to happen,I could sense it. I instinctively laid there,my breathing becoming shallow,as I quietly waited. She leaned towards me,proceeding to do what she had just described. Surprisingly,I felt her thin lips pressing onto my forehead. Time literally stood still. There were no outside noises,no outside thoughts,no outside world. Hell,I don't even think I was breathing at this point,but I was certain my pounding heart was loud enough to blow our cover. It was just her and I,in a cold barn, with her lips on my forehead. My eyeballs as big as plates by then,I'm sure. Slowly,she moved down the bridge of my nose,her lips touching me in small,even increments. A lifetime seemed to have passed before I felt her lips touch mine. A dizziness swept over me as my world fell even more silent. My “fever” taking on a whole new meaning.

There we were. My best friend,my idol,my mentor - with our lips pressed together! We stayed in that position for what seemed like forever, neither of us making a sound. Each carefully calculating the other's next move. I surprisingly didn't have the urge to move,get upset,or even put a stop to what was happening. Maybe this was the moment I had been waiting for, but didn't know it? It just felt right to me. Perhaps she was testing me? I certainly didn't want to fail. Instead of freaking out,I surprisingly kissed back,and she instinctively followed my signal. Our fate was being sealed,yet we had no clue of the monstrosity of this moment.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

FridayFeelGood Assignment:Tell 1Person How They've Positively Impacted You.

We all touch people in our every day activities, most times without even realizing it. And I think we can all agree from experience, that interaction can go either way - it can be positive or negative. I'm always humbly surprised when someone tells me (usually years after the fact) how I encouraged or influenced them in some aspect of their lives, with absolutely no hint or knowledge on my part. That shocking news always adds a happy 'feel good' spring to my step, but also makes me realize how my actions, and reactions, are closely monitored by others, although I may be totally oblivious at the time...which in turn reminds me to be a better person and more aware of what actually comes out of my mouth!

So tell one person today how they've impacted you. Pick someone who has no clue of their influence! You'll make their day, I guarantee it - plus I know it will make you shine too - inside and out!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nature or Nuture? But What If There's a 'Grey' Area?

Born gay or made gay? I know everyone has their own opinion on that subject...but what if there really IS a grey area? What if some people can love regardless of gender? Is that even possible? I know the term 'bi-sexual' probably comes to mind, but what I'm speaking of goes far beyond labels I think. To truly fall in love with the PERSON, not the GENDER...that's what my memoir, The Gifted Ones, explores.

Although I was born heterosexual, I spent my early years in a homosexual relationship. Who does that? Well me, for one, I guess. Funny thing, I never thought my experience that odd, until I shared it with a friend some 30 years after the fact. She convinced me to write a book about my trials and tribulations - through the ups and downs of living against the grain of society and your programmed nature. I do hope you'll take the time to peak into this secret world not many talk about...and maybe, just maybe, you'll discover something about yourself or someone you know. An open mind is a beautiful thing after all.

A healthy love is never wrong.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Who teaches us HOW to love?

I know what your knee-jerk answer is to that question...duh, your parents? Well, what if they didn't really know HOW to love themselves? Sure, maybe they kept a roof over your head, taught you manners, and held the family together..but did they really teach you how to have a relationship? With a partner? Usually children learn from example, but in the era I was raised in (70's) no one went out of their way to actually 'talk' about what a healthy bond entailed. It was, after all, PRE-Oprah and Dr. Phil.

So where DID we learn that all-important, vital information needed for our futures in coupling? If you think about it, love is like a fingerprint..no two cases are ever alike..so maybe our 'teacher' HAS to be ourselves?

Unfortunately, mine turned out to be a trial-and-error kind of thing - and if you knew me personally, you'd know that's the only way I would of learned! (ha)
My memoir, The Gifted Ones, follows my journey -and rocky path- as I find my answers to that very question...Can anyone teach us how (or who) to love, or is it inevitably a solo journey that we must face and figure out on our own?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What did your 1st love teach you about life?Was yours as profound as mine?

We all go through it..our first love. And surprisingly, we all seem to live through it as well. But what, if anything, have we learned from it? Did our first relationship set the pace for future paths? Mine sure did, but at the time I had no idea just how much of an impact that innocent first kiss would have on my entire life. Which, thirty plus years later, I would find myself writing a memoir about my journey - and that all important, life changing, first kiss!
The Gifted Ones depicts my experiences along the way to finding love - the good, the bad, and the ugly...no sugar coating, nothing omitted. It's raw, real, and true...and oddly, has the ability to touch anyone whos ever been in love, has parents, or has been through adolescence. It's about the universal language we all speak: LOVE!

Please see snippets and teasers located all over my page - follow me on FB or Twitter - Share you first love impacts with me as well, I'd love to hear them!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

OMG..What? SixSentenceSunday? Today? Click now before the line forms..

Six Sizzling Sentences from Chapter 23: Gaining Strength
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If only,we had never found that bar!
If only,we hadn't been there the night SHE strolled into town!
If only,I could have been a better partner.
If only,I had never met Rod.
If only...I had really been gay.
Wow. Did I seriously say that? Out loud?

Friday, September 9, 2011

SaturdaySample Time..like cartoons for adults!A tasty tidbit awaits from my memoir:

Excerpt from Chapter 23: Gaining Strength

Was it true? Could it be? All this time I had been living a lie? How could I? Who falls in love with a person,builds a life with them,and then realizes they are not supposed to be with that person - let alone that gender? Who does that? Was Peggy right? Did I honestly need a head shrink? Was I that f*%#ed up in my head? I didn't consider myself bi-sexual,I had already been tested on that. Many girls from the bar had tried to hook up with us in a threesome-type situation,and although many were attractive to me,I just didn't have a feeling of desire for them. Selina was,and had always been,the only girl I ever saw that way. Could it be that I just fell in love with the person,not the gender? I didn't know what category that fit into. I truly had a unique situation on my hands. Did anyone else crisscross these particular boundaries? Surely I wasn't the only one! Did I really need to add a label on this f#*%ed up situation?

Friday Feel Good Assignment: Compliment a complete stranger today!

Ever get that? A complete stranger comes up to you to say something, uh, NICE? Wow..what an impact that can have! I have to laugh and wonder...why do such interactions have such an effect on me? Is it because they went out of their way to tell me something that they noticed and admired about me? Whatever the reason, I LOVE IT!
So try it today...go up to a complete stranger and say something nice. I guarantee it will make their day, and in return, yours too! (Karma baby..Karma!)

I'm thinking of starting a new Friday 'series'- Feel Good Fridays! Little morsels of feel good to finish up our week! Who couldn't use that?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Worlds Away Book Blog Tour Feature:Author Lisa Vaughn on 'Acceptance'

I'm proud to announce I am featured today on the 'Worlds Away Book Blog Tour'!
Please follow link to read my blurb about acceptance and to get more insight about 'The Gifted Ones'

http://www.carlylelabuschagne.com/worlds-away-book-blog.html

Sociable

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