A Survival Guide to Menopause

Years ago, one of my former co-workers decided it was time to tell her teenage children about menopause. She sat them down and when she was done telling them about the mood swings and weight gain and irritability and sugar cravings, her seventeen-year-old son asked, “Should we hide the knives now?”

At the time, I thought this was hilarious. But deep down inside, I was terrified. My own mother had been irritable to the point of insanity … although in hindsight, it may have been the three teenage children living under her roof that were driving her nuts. :)

So I tried to prepare my husband for the inevitable. Mostly I told him, “When it’s that time, just lock me in a padded cell.”

Fortunately we have resources today that we didn’t have back in the day when my mom went through menopause. Like the internet, where we can talk about our problems with people who are going through the same thing. Like naturopaths and health food stores and a host of other remedies designed to fit the individual user’s needs.

Thanks to years of preparation for The Big Moment, I find I’m sailing through these years without a padded cell in sight. Sure, there’s the odd sleepless night, the occasional moment of teeth-baring confrontation, and the daily hot flashes. But for me, the most outstanding menopausal side effect has been the lack of creativity. Pulling story ideas and words from my brain is akin to building a space shuttle, an impossible task for one as mechanically challenged as I am.

But it’s getting better. And now the awesome PJ Sharon (Young Adult author of Wanning Moon, Book 1 in her latest series), has written a wonderful post on menopause. Whether you’re a reader, a writer, or just someone who’s looking for help on dealing with this tricky time of life, check out PJ’s Survival Guide to Menopause.

Make sure you read through the comments for more helpful suggestions. I’ve found a few tips to help me get back my writing mo-jo.

And remember to follow PJ’s advice to do your own research and to see a doctor to discuss your options.

Enjoy!

Screaming into the Night

Recently, the Bandit Creek authors had a discussion about our parents reading our books which led to – of course – their reactions to the sex scenes each of us had written. There were reports of no reaction at all to parents ignoring the sex scenes in favor of discussing character development. Even an “I thought they were never going to have sex!”

This discussion reminded me of the very first book I ever completed. It was a romance titled No Way Out which was targeted toward the Harlequin Superromance line.

No Way Out contained two or three sex scenes. Before I sent it off to the publisher, I wanted to ensure it was edited, so I asked my mom if she would edit it for me. She said yes, of course.

When she was done, I picked up the manuscript and asked my dad if he’d read it too. He answered with a resounding “No!” and wouldn’t look me in the eye.

His reaction has always puzzled me. You see, my dad loved to read and back then, he read everything. Sweet romance, steamy romance, mysteries, thrillers. The only genres he didn’t read were science fiction and horror.

It was during the aforementioned Bandit Creek author discussion that I finally came up with an answer to his perplexing reaction to reading my book. This is my theory and I’m sticking to it…

So I gave my mom the book to edit. She read the first sex scene, got a little turned on, but couldn’t put down the book and continued to read. By the time she reached the next sex scene, she decides to spice up her sex life and read the sex scene to my dad.

My dad was so horrified by the thought of his baby girl and sex that he not only refused to read this book – and anything else I might happen to write in the future – but he turned down my mom’s overtures and ran screaming into the night.

Yeah, it all makes logical sense now. And that’s my 2012 Halloween horror story.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Dear Debra Kristi – A “Dear John” Letter From Thor

My dearest Debra Kristi,

Oh how I miss you … let me count the ways. I miss your wonderful smile and the bubbling joy of your laughter.

Sept 6:
I am miserable without you but have arrived safely in England for my visit with CC MacKenzie. Let me tell you a little bit about that sod CC. To ease my heartache, I called her Mum, but instead of cuddling me to her breast, she told me to man-up, then forced me to pose in her greenery. You know how plants make my eyes water and my nose run. I miss your care, dearest Debra. May I call you Mum when I return home?

Oct 1:
After a long lonely journey across the vast ocean, I have reached the shores of Canada and entered Lisa Hall-Wilson’s domain where I’m fighting for my life…and my dignity. Remember the days when you tickled my tummy and called me “your boy”? Oh Mommy, dearest Debra, when will this torture stop so I can come home?

Oct 8:
From the Great Lakes to the Prairies, I’ve arrived at my next destination in time for the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. Unfortunately, I’m stuck in a post office bin, freezing my tushie off. <sob> I’m so lonely for your arms!

Oct 9:
Am finally at the Seabrook residence. No doubt, you weep for my safe return. Serves you right! I’m sucking it up, being your brave boy and dreaming of the day when I’m once again nestled in your arms. Sheila took me to town where we got massages. Separate rooms, of course.  Even though I’m mad at you, I would never cheat on you, my dearest Debra. Goodnight, my love. Dream of me and I will dream of you. {photo deleted}

Oct 10:
My heart still aches for your smile, my dearest Debra, but this morning I woke muchly refreshed and decided I may never speak to you again. Next trip, you’re packing your bags and I’m staying home. Sheila introduced me to my new neighbors whom I’ve nicknamed Babs 1, 2, and 3. While the fireplace warmed my feet, the three Babs read me Sheila’s latest release Wedding Fever, a spellbinding tale of lost love, buried treasure, and a ghost that will steal your heart. Best story ever!

Oct 11:
Today, I wiped you from my mind and spent a lovely morning writing in quiet solitude with my new BFF Sheila, then headed out to visit with her mother who, incidentally, let me call her Mum (take that CC MacKenzie!). Mum served me milk and cookies and called me HER boy. I may never leave…

Oct 12:
Today Sheila showed me her rock quarry, in case I wanted to wield Thor’s hammer, but seeing as how it’s a wee bit nippy out there, I chose to stay inside and spend my time with Babs 1, 2, and 3. I’ve made the decision to extend my stay at the Seabrook residence, maybe indefinitely. Not that you’ll even notice I’m gone.

Oct 13:
Just time to dash off a quick note. Dear Debra Kristi, I’m in heaven and am writing to tell you that I’m moving on. Please pack my things and send them to the Seabrook residence (address enclosed). Sheila has promised to make me feel like one of the family. I’m in love!

Oct 14:
We had brussel sprouts for supper tonight, Debra. You know how I hate those green things. It’s like I’m eating feet…

Oct 15:
The men here are sissies. Apparently I’m expected to wield the vacuum with the same finesse I wield my hammer.

Oct 16:
My dearest, darling, beloved Debra … Please forgive my peevish attitude of these last few weeks and take me back.

Oct 17:
The honeymoon is over. Last night, I escaped the Seabrook house and made it as far as the corner post office. Although my box is securely taped shut, I live in constant fear that crazy Seabrook bitch will discover my betrayal and force me back home to wash her floors and dust her cobwebs. I live for the day when you and I are finally reunited.

P.S. Have I told you how much I love you? And I promise not to call you Mommy … ever!

P.P.S. I’m digging through the post office mail, searching for a U.S. stamp so I can mail myself home. I’m about to commit a felony, all in the name of our love. If I get caught, please promise you’ll come visit me in jail. Sheila will certainly give you directions.

P.P.P.S. Unable to locate the proper postage, I’m resigned to continue my journey to the western coast of Canada. But first I must hide the evidence of my betrayal. I have burned this letter along with all the other letters in the post office. I’m unharmed, thanks to my protective shield.

P.P.P.P.S. As you can see, I really didn’t burn the letter. I’m saving it in case I change my mind. For now, the mailman has arrived and saved me. North Saanich, here I come…

Your loving he-man, Thor

 

On the road again … Diane Capri reveals!

After a weekend of Thanksgiving, surrounded by family and turkey and pumpkin pie, I’m ready to get back to work today. Well, I might need to walk the pie and turkey gravy off first, but I’m itching to get my fingers on the keyboard so the words can flow from my brain onto the screen.

While I was away from the computer, I found some quiet time to think about the work-in-progress. The characters and plot are humming along and when I close my eyes, I can see them as clearly as if they were living right next door to me. Gosh, when I finally finish the revisions and hand this book over to the world, I’m going to miss these people so much.

Today you’ll find me on the road, guest posting at Diane Capri’s Licensed to Thrill site. Diane hosts a wonderful segment on the authors she knows and loves so be sure to check out Diane Capri Reveals and and read her interview with me. 🙂

Break Out Of A Creative Rut & Happy Birthday WANA1011 Class!

This post started out very simply. After a month long Write-A-Thin challenge with the RWA Women’s Fiction chapter, I ran across an interesting infographic from copyblogger.com on creativity and wanted to share it (see below).

Then I discovered that today the WANA1011 class is celebrating its one year anniversary. Rachel Funk Heller designed this beautiful commemorative plaque listing the names of all my classmates. So happy birthday to all of my WANA1011 classmates. It’s been a awesome year and it’s been a pleasure getting to know each and every one of you on Facebook, Twitter, and on your blogs.

Finally, this weekend is the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. I want to wish all the other Canadians reading this post a Happy Thanksgiving. We’ll be eating turkey at my mom’s house and celebrating our family connections. 🙂

So now let’s get back to the creative rut infographic. My favorite part is about separating work and play. What’s your favorite part?

How to Break Out of a Creative Rut
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

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