Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Growing Words

The idea behind making this new blog, Along the Rocky Road, versus writing on my old blog, Rocky's Modern Life was that this one would be full of books news, more professional instead of family-oriented to keep from giving personal information to those who might not care to read it. And while I plan to stick to that, sometimes the lines get blurred. I write, I read, but I'm a mom, too. And as a mom, I read books for kids and sometimes I am compelled to write about those books on this blog, because, well, it's about books!

So you see my dilemma.

I am about to get a bit emotional, here, with a story about my son and the book we read today. If you're not looking to read about another mom with another story, than stop right here. If you chose to continue, don't say I didn't warn you.

A few weeks ago, Aubrey had his second birthday- it's crazy, I know, how fast they grow. I didn't even mean to let it happen; one second he was brand new and so tiny, slipping slightly as his skin came into contact with mine for the very first time, from the outside, at least, and the next minute he was sitting at our dining room table, shy and apprehensive as twenty pairs of eyes stared and twenty mouths sang. He looked over at me, his eyes carefully assessing the situation and I nodded and smiled, the proverbial green light he was looking for. He blew out his candle, stuck his fingers in the icing, and the world was right again. For him, at least, in his two year old mind. And it was for me, too, despite the fact that he was growing up, growing away from me. Because in that one look he told a story; one of looking for acceptance and love instead of just expecting it as infants naturally do, and I tried to hold back the sorrow that came with him letting him grow; with nodding my head instead of rushing to his side to hold his hand and blowing out the candle for him.

The party came and went, and at the end of the day he was still my baby, if only slightly older. The reason I tell this story is because one of the gifts he got, from on my very best friends was Oh, the Places You'll Go! By Dr. Suess. We hadn't really had a chance to pick it up before today and read it. Sure, he flipped through the pages while I sat idly by and wrung my hands, hoping to heaven and back that he wouldn't tear them because I'm crazy like that, but we never actually read it. Today, we did. And my heart broke. And I cried. And I was humiliated, because, who cries over Dr. Suess?

Apparently, I do. But i just couldn't help it. And at that moment, in my teary eyed, thick voiced reading, I was struck by the magic that is Dr. Suess. The genius. What he's done and who he's affected and how he got to see some of the wake he created in the masses of the world. And to think he does that with so little words. We're always told that there's power in them, how they can warp and skew, enlighten or enrage. I read a quote the other day, something along the lines of, if the words we spoke were forever carved onto our bodies, would we be more careful about what was said? 

It's never struck so true before. And to think it took a Dr. Suess sized book to make it glaringly obvious.

I like to think that my books, this blog, my journal or anything else I've written is a part of me; my soul, my heart, the very thing that makes me alive. Like the little boy who was changed my life, forever my heart walking around outside of my body, these words have done the same thing. Maybe not so drastically, but nonetheless existing outside of me, for all to see, for all to criticize. But it was never a question to keep them to myself, just as Aubrey will surely leave the protection of my wings one day entirely too soon.

And if Dr. Suess is right about anything (and let's face it, he usually is)

There will be high's and there will be low's. 
There will be yes's, and there will be no's.
And, most assuredly so, 
Life will always be a tough road.

But it'll be worth it in the end, you see,
To look back upon all the things we've achieved
To see with smiling eyes the lives we've created,
The paths we've situated,
The people with which we've become infatuated.

The money won't matter-
The valuables, they shatter!
All that will be left is the happiness and the laughter,
The love and the happily ever after.

Monday, May 20, 2013

All That Jazz

I feel like I should be updating this thing more than once a week, but honestly, I totally forget to. And then I feel like I never know what to write! When it comes to writing books, I've got ideas for days. No, seriously. There's, like, a million story lines and plots and characters running through my head at any given moment. It's very hard to keep track of reality sometimes. Great, now I sound crazy.

I swear I'm not.
But it definitely feels like it.

Anywho, I had started working on Tailspin (Nathan's story) soon after publishing Toxic, but I wasn't feeling it, and if I'm not feeling something, I get writer's block, and if I get writer's block, I keep writing but the writing I do during writer's block just ain't any good. You get me?
So I put it aside and I didn't write for a while. I actually focused my efforts on sending out more queries to more agents about the book I first wrote back in October of last year (titled Originals.) While I did receive some positive feedback from a couple of said agents, it was still a no-go for that one. I intend to keep pursuing the traditional publishing route for Originals, but I can only do it in doses. So many no's gets to ya, you get me?
Then there's this one book I'm in the middle of, called Second Chance Love, and it's probably the one I'm most proud of, as far as the writing goes. I don't know, maybe I just think it's better than it really is because I'm putting the time and effort into it, but it's different than anything else I've written. The main character is twenty five and married and dealing with different issues than that of a just graduated eighteen year old. But we'll see how that goes and all that jazz.

The thing about writing is, I enjoy it. A lot. It's always what I've wanted to do, besides being a mom. And it's different than being a mom. Writing is my own. I create it, but it doesn't need me. I need it. In some ways, it nourishes me, replenishes my soul on days when I'm all tuckered out. Like today, when the baby is sick and the house is a mess and dying your sister's hair blue doesn't turn out quite right (blue fades to green...whudda thunk.)
But more than that, it settles this piece inside of me that is constantly moving. Sometimes I feel like I can't think straight until I get all of these words out. It rattles and jostles and pushes against all of the other parts of my brain until I set fingers to keyboard and let the words flow free. And then it calms. It tires of running and it lies still, if only for a moment.

Maybe I am crazy.

Either way, I don't think I'm ever going to stop. I know I'm not the best writer in the world. I know there will be people out there who read my books and think, is this a joke? But that's okay, cause I don't do it for them. I don't do it for the money or the glory or the fame. I do it because it's a piece of who I am.

And of course, I find time in between everything to read because I'm obsessed with it, and like everything else I'm obsessed with (rounded numbers, smells...) it kind of takes over sometimes. 

My hardcopy read is still Rebel Heart by Moira Young because it makes me anxious and tense and I can't read it all at once. Which, incase you were wondering, is a fantastic thing. I've learned to pace myself when reading to fully enjoy each and every word, instead of blasting through it like I used to do when I was an amateur reader. Now I'm a professional...duhhhhh.

This week's Kindle read is Sapphire Universe by Devon Herrera.
It was a free download, along with about six other books I found this week, which has been incredible for my bank account, let me tell ya.

I'll end this post with a few things I've learned this weekend.
1. Birthday parties are exhausting.
2. There is such a thing as too much sleep.
3. I can only watch movies with an insane amount of action or else I get very bored and very antsy and ultimately end up annoying every single person around me.

Ps.- Star Trek: Into Darkness has insane amounts of action and was awesome to see via giant movie screen. I can imagine that it would be even cooler via 3D. Too bad I hate those damn glasses.

Happy Monday, everyone! Get your freaky weeky on!

Monday, May 13, 2013


Last night, my sister and I took my mom to see The Great Gatsby, and the whole movie I was thinking, Why haven't I read this book? In fact, why haven't I read any of the classics?

If you don't believe me, it's true. I swear. The school I went to might have required us to read a few, but that's where Sparknotes came in. While I always loved reading, I hated reading when people told me to read. Rebellious nature, I guess? Either way, I've been moseying through life without having read such things as The Great Gatsby, A Tale of Two Cities, Wuthering Heights, and I'm starting to think that maybe I'm missing out on something.

The movie, if you were wondering, was great. Leo did an amazing job, as usual, and it was clear that it was from the producers of Moulin Rouge, with the same dramatic elements and modern music turned 1920's. I definitely recommend seeing it, but maybe spare the men in your life and take a few girlfriends. I'd classify it as a chick-flick, for sure.

Now for this week's reads!

I'm still reading Rebel Heart by Moira Young as my hardcopy. I'm not sure what's taking me so long, except that it's a bit harder to lug around a big book and therefore I don't bring it with me as often.

For this week's eBook/Kindle read, I've got Running On Empty by L.B. Simmons. It was a free pickup and has a lot of good reviews, so I'm excited about it!

Toxic is receiving more and more attention everyday and the positive support has been amazing. If anyone has any questions about Toxic, feel free to contact me. Also, if you haven't already done so, sign up to win a paperback copy of Toxic at the bottom of this page.
Any specific classic that you would recommend to kick off my old school challenge? We all know that a strong start is the best start!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Ya Better Recognize

I have to say, I'm kind of proud of myself. I think I've almost got the hang of this internet thing.
Yeah, yeah, I know I'm late, but I just never realized how much it could do; how much it could offer! But now that I know, I think I might never be the same.

It's funny how things change your perspective. For example, the trip to Nashville really made me open my eyes to the actual song writers, instead of crediting the singers. I think we assume, Oh Kenny Chesney sings this, so he must have wrote it, too. But that's hardly ever the case. Had I not gone to Nashville and had the awesome experience at The Bluebird Café, I might still be living in that ignorance. But now I know, and I can't listen to a song without wondering who wrote it. It's a blessing and a curse, but I wouldn't change a thing.

The same thing goes for buying products, especially from websites like Etsy or Ebay. Those people need reviews and word of mouth hype. They crave it. And it wasn't until I published my book that I realized how true that was. No one will take your work seriously if there's no recommendations to go by.

Slowly but surely, Toxic is gaining recognition. Every time a new rating or review pops up, I do something like this:

It really is an awesome feeling. And so now every time I read a book, I make sure to leave a review. This time I'm taking it a step farther, because I was really, really, blown away by this book. Just as in Nasvhille, I find myself wondering, why aren't these people famous? Whether this author decided to self-publish for her own reasons, or because a traditional publishing house didn't pick it up, I'm not sure. All I know is that she deserves recognition, and you should check out her YA dystopian novel Tent City.

You can read my full review here:

Well, that was supposed to be my eBook read for the week, but I finished it already so...

This weeks hardcopy read is:


Happy Monday everyone! The good news is; there's only one every week! ;)