~Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's my birthday, my b-b-b-birthday

It's my birthday today and I'm sitting here in the office with my double monitors and view of the pollen-covered parking lot. I've never had to work on my birthday before, but I've been taking a lot of sick days while I've been getting my medical issues sorted out, so I didn't want to use another personal day just yet.

It's not that bad: working on your birthday. Everyone in the office has been wishing me well, and I wouldn't have gotten that sitting at home in my jammies and watching bad TV. My boss canceled our morning meeting so I could sit at my desk and eat my breakfast, which was Italian leftovers. A coworker said I could pick whatever restaurant for lunch and he would pay, and he hardly complained when I said I wanted the wing place that leaves your mouth feeling like hot garbage.

I also skipped out of the office midmorning to go rent some movies for this weekend, sneaking back to my desk 30 minutes later. And then I did it again after a couple of hours of on-line shopping to try on a pair of pants when I didn't know what size I needed. My office is in the middle of the city's shopping mecca—every store I could possibly desire is less than a mile away. No one's really bothering me with any work, so I'm getting away with it.

That bad part is I'm sitting in front of the computer with the Internet in front of me and my credit card beside me. I've so far managed to justify $175 in birthday purchases to myself. And I still have two more hours left at work. But who knows, I may sneak out the back door a few minutes early.

Dinner last night was great. And by great, I mean anticlimactic, which was the best possible outcome. Family crisis averted. Tonight Scott is taking me to our restaurant, followed by going to 80's night at a club for some dancing. Tomorrow night I'm meeting up with the friends for some karaoke, and Saturday night we're having dinner with my mother and Scott's mother. They haven't met yet. Like how I slipped that in there?

~Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tit for Tat

The more emotional distance I put between myself and the situation with my father, the more the answer came clearly. This is the fight worth having.

My father had an affair. He proposed to my step-mother while he was still married. He wanted to wake me from my bed in the middle of the night to tell me he was leaving and my mother screamed at him to at least wait until morning. "Let the children have one more night of good sleep," she said. "Because it will be the last good sleep they'll have." And then he picked up and left.

But what I'm doing is morally reprehensible.

I feel like he is saying it's okay to cheat and divorce, as long as you don't move in with your new family before heading to the court house. And I will never accept that. I will never be okay with that.

This isn't about the apartment; this is about my father forgoing his chance at righteousness when I was 5 years old. He forfeited ever passing judgment on me. Luckily for me, he was so busy with his 4 new children that he didn't have time to tell me what to do. I'm not sure he ever showed enough interest in what I was doing, good or bad.

And now I'm on the eve of my 27th birthday. I am full-time employed with my name on a lease and car title. I feel like the raising has been done and it's a little too late to begin parenting.

I will never accept his hypocrisy in this situation. I feel very strongly about this. If I went out to dinner with him and pretended things were okay, I would not be true to myself or my ideals. I feel the same about even maintaining a relationship with him. Yesterday I asked him to stop hurting me and the man said no. This is the fight worth having.

So I went home and sat down with Scott and I told him my decision.

"I have never seen you so upset as you have been in the past couple of days," he said. "I'm going through my family stuff too, but this has affected you differently. You've just been so hurt and anguished." Scott took a deep breath, "So I called him."

"You talked to my father?" I blinked.


"You went into the lion's den without any armor?"

"Yes. I didn't want to be the wedge between you two. I told him that I meant no disrespect to him by moving in with you. I told him that my intentions were honorable. He liked hearing that. And I told him the real reason I signed your lease."

"YOU DID WHAT?" I gasped.

"Relax, I said that my lease ended in February and that's when I moved in because my name has been on this lease all along. Anyway, your father did most of the talking and he didn't say it outright, but he alluded that he just needs more time to get used to this, and that eventually he will be okay with all of this," he gestured. "He said you hurt him, he hurt you, and now it's time to move on."

"What the hell is this, the Bible? He's just doing this for his 'eye for an eye'?" I crossed my arms and slouched against the back of the couch.

"I'm not defending him, I'm just telling you what he said," Scott explained.

"If he's so hurt and upset, why does he want to have dinner so much?" I grumbled.

"He doesn't want to do it at the expense of missing your birthday. I told him I would talk to you when you got home and you would call him with your decision about dinner tomorrow," Scott finished.

I rolled my eyes. I was prepared for war. My battle ax was sharpened and aimed at the enemy. But if Scott can man up and call my father, and my father can make concessions, then I guess I can too. A lot of people are invested my relationship and I would be disrupting the family balance.

I picked up the phone. "You can go to my step-sister's apartment when she's cohabitating, and you can not care if my brother did this, but you sure as hell aren't coming to my apartment. I think that makes you cruel." I sighed, "but I will come to dinner."

At 9 a.m. this morning my phone rang. "Fine. We'll be at your place at 7," my father said.

"But I didn't clean."

~Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Right Fighting versus Fighting Right

Yesterday morning I received an e-mail marked From Dad:

My not wanting to come to your apartment that you share with Scott in no way reflects how I feel about you or him. I welcome him to come to my home any time. He is welcome at the beach house anytime. He is a welcome to participate in as many family activities as he chooses.

I wish you would reconsider not having a birthday dinner. I can assure you that we will not discuss anything that would make you or Scott feel uncomfortable. My intent is not to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but to celebrate my daughters (sic) 27th birthday as a family.

First off, good. This is the first time he has ever acknowledged my boyfriend. When my father calls, he doesn't ask about him; when he invites me out to dinner, he excludes him; and when he set up the family vacation this summer, his name was left off the list. So this is good that he acknowledges all of this.

However, it looks like he is remaining firm on his stance not to ever come to my home. Which, in turn, makes me still not want to go out to dinner. His hypocrisy in this situation astounds me.

I let the e-mail sit and then avoided two phone calls from my father. Clearly he was making an effort and the ball was officially in my court. After pouting for most of the evening, I called him back.

"I don't want to step foot in an apartment that you're sharing with a man when you're unwed," he said.

"But you went to my step-sister's apartment when she was living with her boyfriend! Why can you go to hers, but not mine?" I asked.

"I don't remember going to hers. That was 6 years ago."

"Well you know, Dad, this isn't really the point. I think when it comes to taking the moral high ground, you have no right to talk. At all," I spoke sharply. I thought bringing up the cheating and the picking out the new family would put a stop to this asinine nonsense.

"I don't have a right to say anything when it comes to the moral high ground, but so what? I am."

I sat at the other end of the line, dumbfounded. I could feel the black storm cloud form above my head as I sat on my living room couch. If I had actually started getting rained on, I couldn't have been any more surprised.

"Well I think it's pretty shitty that my father refuses to come to my apartment. I am completely insulted and hurt over your actions," I snapped.

"It's my way of showing my displeasure in your decision," he reacted.

I reached for an old argument: "If you can't accept me, then I don't think you should be there."

"I do accept you."

"No, you don't!" I shouted. "I can't go out with you and pretend that this doesn't exist. That my home life doesn't exist. That my apartment doesn't exist!"

"I shouldn't be a part of your home life. I don't want to be a part of your home life. That's between you and Scott. It has nothing to do with me."

"That's right! It's between him and me! And by you being vindictive and refusing to come to your daughter's apartment, you are inserting yourself right in the damn middle of my home life!" I hollered. I mean, I can't be the only one convinced that I'm arguing with a crazy person. I took a deep breath and tried another tactic. "Look, I am telling you that you are hurting me, and you won't do anything about it. You are refusing to make it better. You have every right to your opinion, but the way you are going about it hurts my feelings."

"You hurt my feelings by moving in with a boy."

My mouth gapped open, "I thought you said you wanted nothing to do with my home life."

"I don't."

"So why are you're feelings hurt? You know, you say you're not to be involved, and then you throw yourself right in when you don't like the outcome. That's not fair. You're not playing by the rules. You are setting me up to fail."

Then he said something—I don't remember what*—but it was blatantly obvious that no matter what I ever said to him, he would never stop being right. No amount of logic and reasoning would ever affect him. Nothing I said impacted him, including calling him out on his behavior. There was no point on continuing the conversation.

And to be honest, I don't know that there ever will.

* I just remembered. It was when he told me if my brother had moved in instead of getting married, it wouldn't have been as big a deal.

~Monday, April 21, 2008

F is for Family. And Fuck you, Father.

It started as a phone call to make birthday dinner plans with my father this week.

"Well, where do you want to go?"

"The Fish Market?" I tried.

"No, that's too expensive. I'll pick some place."

"Er, okay," I chewed. "So do you want to meet at my apartment first? We can do wine and appetizers?" This is what we do every year. "You haven't seen it since they upgraded me," I finished.

"No, Sarah. I do not want to see your apartment. I do not agree with you living with someone and I don't want to come over and see it anymore."

I was shocked. He just sounded so mean. "We can just meet at the restaurant then," I stammered. I quickly hung up the phone with him before he heard the tears.

"He said what?!" my mother gasped.

"It was just so mean and hurtful," I cried. "I don't even want to go out to dinner with him anymore."

"He proposed to your step-mom before I even knew about her existence," my mom growled.

"But he didn't move in with her until they were married," I said automatically. I think. I'm not sure; I was so little when it all happened.

"But he doesn't get to pick and choose righteousness," she barked. "I'm only telling you this so you will be angry and not sad."

"When my step-sister moved in with her boyfriend, they came to her apartment. She invited them over for dinner and they came. She told me that's what I need to do to get him over this. And I did. And he's refused," I sobbed.

"What does Scott say about all this?" she inquired.

"He's upset. He's upset because I'm upset. He's upset because he feels like the catalyst. He said he doesn't want to go out to dinner anymore either if it's going to be two hours of tension."

"I think he's right."

So I called my father back.

"I don't want to go to dinner anymore," I rushed, trying not to sound upset.

"That's your decision. Why?"

"Because I think you refusing to come over to my apartment is cruel and it hurts my feelings," I began.

"I don't agree with your lifestyle," he said clinically. It drives me nuts that he never shows any emotion towards me. He treats me like he does his customers.

"Well if you can't accept me, then you shouldn't be there to celebrate my life," I retorted.

"That's your decision," he repeated.

"No, it's yours. Goodbye."

I thought if I told him how I felt, he would change his mind. Instead he remained stoic as I cut him out of my life faster than he was trying to cut me out. I was stupid to think that we'd grown closer after my four-month stint living with him when I was 24. I was so stupid. All of a sudden I'm 16 again and I'm working two jobs to pay for my own way in life while he is a millionaire. Only one of my employers let me off for Father's Day; the other job denied my request off. And when I told him that I could only spend half the day with him, he got angry and we didn't talk for a year. My mother is right—he doesn't get to pick and choose when to be a father. He might have more right to his opinion if he didn't choose to live with and raise another family. He might have more of a right if I didn't serve as an afterthought.

And now we're officially estranged.

~Friday, April 18, 2008


I was greeted at home this week by two pots on the stove. Scott had made spaghetti. I don't know why I was so elated: he does all the cooking in our home (score!), but it's never even been started when I walk in the door, much less completed. Furthermore, because his kitchen specialty is Italian, he never makes it or eats it at home. I knew the spaghetti was made to please me.

I clapped my hands and looked around the apartment, but Scott wasn't there. I dug my cell phone out of my bag.


"You looooooooooove me!" I cheered. "Where are you?"

"I'm outside with Annoying Neighbor." (My term, not his.)

"You made spaghetti!" I cooed.

He laughed at my appreciation. "Well don't get too excited. It's just the jar stuff that my step-mom left us. It was the only thing we had in the apartment."

"But it was made by the time I got here. And it's spaghetti!" I chattered.

"I can't believe you're getting this worked up over something so small. It's no big deal, really."

But it was a big deal to me.

And when I came home the very next evening, I saw this:

And this:

He lit candles, moved the table from the wall, uncorked a bottle of wine, roasted a chicken, and prepared a salad and a heaping bowl of mashed potatoes. All waiting for me when I got home.

This time I danced and jumped while I clapped. "You love me! You love me!" I exclaimed.

"I thought I would really give you something to be excited about," he said. "And seeing the look on your face made it all worth it."

~Wednesday, April 16, 2008


"You know it's not fair," Scott whined. "I call my parents and they end up taking your side. They always take your side. They're my parents- they are supposed to agree with me and defend me, not tell me I'm an idiot and I should come back to you on my hands and knees."

"There isn't a 'your' side and a 'my' side. We're supposed to be on the same team," I pointed out.

Scott nodded, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. But still..."

"If it makes you feel any better," I offered, "My mom also thinks you were being an idiot." I grinned at him.

Scott groaned. "Great," he muttered. "I guess from now on, I'll have to do things backward-"

"Forward," I corrected. I tapped my finger to my nose and then pointed at him, the way I always do when I want him make the connection.

"Well, backwards from how I'm used to doing things."

"But forward in the relationship."

"Yes, forward in the relationship."

It is a girl thing

Start at 8:05 minutes in.

~Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Where you going?

I was sort of under the impression that once you get into a serious relationship—a real, committed, long-term, "let's see where this goes because I kinda wanna marry you and have your babies" relationship—you don't have to play games anymore. No more I know what you're thinking and ha! I'm going to beat you at your own game, sucker. No more bullshit, no more hidden agendas. I thought this aspect was nice.

The past two weeks Scott and I have been fighting. Bickering. It's not terrible, and it's not constant, and it's not over anything earth-shattering. It's more of your run-of-the-mill OMG, WHY DID I MOVE IN WITH YOU. CAN'T YOU SEE YOU'RE AN ALIEN FREAK balking.

At 7:30 am, Saturday morning, Scott was dancing around our apartment, doing impressions of me. "Where you going? I'm going to the bathroom! Where you going? I'm going to the fucking closet! STOP ASKING ME WHERE I'M GOING! I AM A MAN AND I WILL GO WHERE I WANT, WHEN I WANT, AND I DON'T HAVE TO TELL YOU!" he growled.

I looked at the clock on the oven. 7:48 am. Unbelievable. We were fighting before the stores were open. We were fighting while everyone else was sleeping. Granted, his imitation of me was pretty hilarious, but I had to stifle back my laughter because we were supposed to be serious right now.

"And you always manipulate things to get your way. If you want something from me, you work it out so that I have no choice but to give it to you!" he continued.

"What are you talking about? Give me an example," I asked, genuinely having no idea what he means.

"I don't have an example!"

"Then how am I supposed to know what you're talking about? You're speaking in rhetorics!"


"Did you just insult my vocabulary?" I laughed.

He stormed in the closet (I didn't ask where he was going this time) and he pulled a shirt off the hanger. I followed him in, grabbing my own shirt off the hanger. All of a sudden, it was a race over who could get dressed first. "No, you don't have to leave. I am!" I spat.

Scott called me on my bluff, walking out of the closet and onto the balcony to smoke. I went in the bathroom and did my hair and makeup. That has to be some sort of Saturday morning record. I emerged and grabbed my bag, stuffing it will items I thought I would need for my day out: a book, my mother's house keys, and a bottle of dog shampoo.

Scott came back in the apartment and saw I was serious about leaving. I've never been the one to run after an argument; it's always been Scott and he's always returned within the hour with some food item for himself. But even if we worked things out and the bickering match was over, I knew I would still not be happy sharing space with him. I'd hide out in the bedroom—all 10 feet away, with no door to separate us—and he'd get the rest of the apartment until lunch. And lunch was hours away.

I sat on my brown leather chair and tied my shoes. "You don't have to leave," Scott offered quietly.

"I do." Once there was a rabbit that was very sad because his ears were so long and narrow that he stepped on them all the time. One day a fairy landed on the bunny's head. She lifted up the bunny's ears and crossed them over like an x.*


"Because I am not happy here right now, and I need to leave and go do something that will make me happy." Then she put one ear through the bottom of the x and pulled. Next, she made each long ear into a loop and made another x like before.

"Where you going?" Ha!

"If you don't have to tell me, then I don't have to tell you." She put an ear under that x and pulled again. From then on the bunny remembered how to tie his ears into a bow, and he lived happily every after.

The response pissed him off. Of course it would, I beat him at his own game.


I drove to my mother's house and arrived at 9 am, surprised to see her up and doing her taxes of all things. She raised an eyebrow at my unexpected and early visit.

"Everything okay?" she asked.

"Scott's a jerk-face."

"Want to go shopping?"

This is probably the coolest my mom has ever been. A couple of hours into shopping (for Scott's trousers, no less. It wasn't my decision; my mom made me do it) I eventually filled her in on the morning events.

"Gosh, he has quite a stubborn streak in him," she said. "Is that what you would call it?"

"I'd call it selfish." My mother guffawed at my candidness.

At 4 pm, 8 hours into my day without him, Scott called. "Where are you?"

"I'm out," I said coolly.

"When are you coming home?"

"When I'm done. You don't have to tell me so I don't have tell you, remember?" Silence. He was hurt and I knew it. "Look, I'll call you when I'm on my way, okay?"


After shopping, my step-father helped me fixed a broken latch on my truck and then we washed the stinky Femme Fatale. It took another good two hours.


I walked in the apartment door, but as soon as I saw Scott, I became cold, despite my wonderful day out. "Do you have anything you want to say?" he asked me. The wet dog ran hurriedly under the bed, as she always does when it's tense in the house.


"Well I do."

I sat down and grabbed a pillow from the couch and smothered it over my face. "Ugh, I don't want another negative conversation," I groaned.

"I don't either," he said. "When you left this morning, I just sat here on the couch. I didn't do anything all day. I didn't know if you were coming back. I called my father, scared you were leaving me.

"I stood in the mirror and I took inventory of myself. I talk too much: I run my mouth off without listening to what you have to say. I bought a twelve-pack of beer and after it's gone, I'm going to cool it, because I know that's what you want. I don't even feel like I'm conceding on that. My father told me I could do whatever I want, or I can be in a relationship. Apparently that's just how you women are, wanting to know where we're going. I understand that now and I will adhere to it, but for the record, I do feel like I'm conceding to that.

"Is there anything else I can do to be the best possible mate for you?" he asked.

I paused.

"Just say it."

"You could take more of an initiative when it comes to responsibility," I said meekly.

"I agree."

"I mean, I know it's hard right now, with the circumstances we're in-"

"But you shouldn't have to print our your Wachovia Bill Pay every month and hand me a statement. I should already know what the bills are by asking you."

By george, he knew what I meant.

"Bottom line is that I want to be with you. I want to be sitting with you on the couch when I'm 75 and you're 70. Well, not this couch, because it sucks, but you know what I mean. I want to make this work with you and I'm willing to do what it takes."

And all it took was a taste of his own medicine.

* The tying shoes bunny poem is courtesy of

~Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Dollar Bill, Y'all

I came home to an empty apartment—unheard of since Scott landed himself in unemployment. The loft was quiet with the afternoon light pouring on the off TV. The Femme Fatale was presumably napping in her den underneath the bed. I had the place to myself.

At first, I didn't know what to do with space and time that was solely mine. I poured myself an iced tea and collapsed in my brown leather chair and picked up a book from the side table. I had barely flipped the page and the front door opened.

"Hey," Scott muttered.

"Hey," I mustered.

I finished my paragraph and looked up at him. He was standing in front of the kitchen island looking dejected.

"How was the job hunt?" I guessed.

Scott crossed the apartment and stood in front of me. "I applied for a job at McDonald's." Scott's eyes glazed over with tears, "Please don't tell anyone."

"Oh... baby..." I put my book down and stood up and hugged him. It has to be hard: being him. To be 32 and intelligent, no university but a solid kitchen résumé. The economy is in the toilet and no one's going to out eat; no one is hiring at any of the nice restaurants in town. And it's not just restaurants—unemployment is on the rise at 5.1%. Jobs are scarce. I know because even I looked to see if I could do any better.

McDonald's. That's considered the lowest on the totem pole. Even Home Depot and Starbucks offer part-time employees benefits. Moreover, he wouldn't fit in with anyone at the local store and it just so happens to be the one the boys at the bike shop go to. They would see him working there. My heart broke for him, because he can do better. He's worth more than that.


Scott ended up not taking the job at McDonald's. One other application called him back—the car wash. It is minimum wage like the fast food place, but there are also tips. Scott seems to like the manual labor, coming home tired and tan. The hours are flexible—there's no schedule and he can work whatever hours he wants with no cap. He's worked it out that if he works 10-12 hours a day, 5 days a week, he can potentially bring home more money than me. While I can't wait for the day where Scott's salary tops mine, I'm a little unnerved that it can be done so easily... and at a car wash.

Every evening when he comes home, he hands his tip money over to me. I'm being paid in one-dollar bills, so my bank probably thinks I'm a stripper. And a bad one at that.

Do these ones make me look slutty?

~Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Author Interview: Elieen Cook

I visited with a psychic once. The woman ended up being so far off the mark that I felt sorry for her; I felt like I hurt her feelings. Then my friend saw my psychic one Saturday night at Barnes and Nobles, scouring the Fortune Telling section with her nose in a Tarot card book. I don't feel sorry for her anymore.

So when Eileen Cook approached me about reviewing her new book, Unpredictable, about a girl who fakes psychic powers to win back her boyfriend, I was immediately interested. It's a charming story of a less-than-perfect heroine who will go to any length, including the oddest of things—posing as a psychic to negatively influence her ex's new girl—to get him back. And by less-than-perfect, I really mean Sophie Kintock is a slightly insane Bridget Jones. To illustrate, the novel opens with Sophie justifying what would most likely award her incarceration for breaking and entering her boyfriend's condo:

I would also point out that technically:
  • I’m not breaking into his condo but only the building’s laundry room, which, as anyone would tell you, hardly counts as a crime at all.
  • Since we lived together for six years before he moved out, in many ways any place of his is a place of mine as well.
  • Not to mention I haven’t broken anything to gain entry so it’s more like just entering.
Doug would point out that technically he is not my boyfriend since he broke up with me, but that’s a situation I plan to remedy.
I consumed the book in one sitting—the plot moves quickly enough that I didn't want to wait to find out what happens next. It's a lighthearted and enjoyable read that's perfect for by the pool or on vacation.

Mrs. Cook was also able to grant me an interview about her book:

You said in your research you visited several psychics. What's the most off-mark prediction you received? Was there anything that made you think twice?

One psychic told me that my relationship with my son would be difficult for a few years, but then we would be closer than ever. As I have no children (unless you count my dogs– and they're both girls) this was the most off comment I received. I didn't have any predictions that gave me the willies, but there were some that seemed reasonable. Overall, I found most of them very general and would fit for almost anyone, so I'm staying a touch skeptical. I am open to having my mind changed and I've heard other people have stories where they got very specific and what they felt were very accurate readings.

Is it detrimental to believe in wonder and magic?

I completely believe in wonder and magic– but I'm skeptical about people who say they have special powers. I think we can get caught looking for knock your socks off magic and miss the real magic– the feeling of falling in love or finding a killer pair of shoes on sale– in your size.

What about soul mates?

As for soul mates– I do believe that there are those rare relationships that seem destined. You just click with that person. However, I don't think there is just one person out there for us. I think depending where life takes you– you may meet different soul mates. Except for my husband– I always tell him I'm the only one for him.

There is no real description of the main character, Sophie Kintock, in the novel in regards to appearance and style. Is that because a piece of her exists in all of us?

There is a scene early in the book where Sophie describes herself as "overall average" and I had her avoid being too specific. I wanted readers to be able to have their own version of her and be able to place themselves in her shoes. There is no doubt that Sophie is way over the top, but I hope she embodies the idea of doing the things we might think about– but would never do.

I loved how Sophie tried to drive her ex crazy by stealing half of each pair of socks and moving his car to different spaces in parking lots. I wish I thought of those first. Do you have any other harmless retaliation ideas?

Being evil is way more fun than being good– especially in fiction when you don't have to pay any consequences for your actions. I really enjoyed having the chance to come up with wild plans for Sophie to carry out. If I think of any other great retaliation plans I'll be sure to let you know.

Care to share the most desperate thing you did for love? Did it work?

My high school years contained many pathetic desperate bids for love. These including the infamous calling and then hanging up (these were the days before caller id thank God), getting friends to get inside information on the object of my affection and general stalker like behaviors. Tragically none of these well planned strategies resulted in obtaining love. I dated my now husband through university and then we broke up. I took a leap of faith a year later when we went from not dating at all to getting engaged. A few people thought we were insane, but so far it seems to be working out.

I just read on your website that Unpredictable has been optioned for a movie by New Line Cinema. What actress would you like to play our heroine?

I never considered the idea that Unpredictable would be optioned for film so when the call came it was a total shock. I would be open to the idea of many actresses, but if I had to pick one I think Anne Hathaway would be interesting. I would love to know how they will adapt the story and then the chance to see it on the screen, plus I'm hoping if I go Hollywood I can meet George Clooney.

What other authors are your influences?

I am a huge reader. Some of my earliest memories include my parents taking me to the library and bringing home stacks of books. I enjoy reading a wide range of things from non fiction, to mysteries, to literary fiction to romantic comedies. I believe everything we read has an influence from learning the craft and inspiring us to do better. Some of my favorite writers include John Irving, Meg Cabot, and Minette Walters, of course ask me in another week and I'm sure I'll have a new stack.

Is there a message in your novel that you are trying to convey?

My largest goal was to make a book that people would enjoy and would make them laugh out loud. What people believe, why they believe it, and how they filter information to support their existing beliefs is fascinating to me and I enjoyed exploring it in the book using the ideas of psychics, skeptics and true love. If people think about those issues after reading the book that would be great.

Anything else you would like to share with your readers?

As a reader I know how many choices there are– so many books, so little time. I really appreciate everyone who gives a new writer a try, it's much easier to pick up and spend your money on an author you already know you'll like. I hope they enjoy Unpredictable and I would love to hear from them at eileen@eileencook.com

The first chapter of Unpredictable can be read at Cook's website here.

Unpredictable is available from most on-line merchants. Amazon's is here.

If you would like your product, book, or website reviewed on this blog, please e-mail me here.

~Monday, April 07, 2008

Girl Logic

Sarah: I don't want you driving my truck anymore.

Scott: It's never been a problem for you before.

Sarah: Well, it is now.

Scott: You know, you've never minded when it was me going to the store late at night to get you something.

Sarah: I've changed my mind. A girl has a right to change her mind.

Scott: You do, but I'm so confused. It seems like when you're happy, you have no problem letting me borrow your truck. But when you're mad at me, you all of sudden say I can't take it.

Sarah: (Thinks about it for a moment) I don't see what's so confusing about that!

~Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Very Merry Birthday...

My birthday is approaching on the 24th of this month. I'll be turning 27—oh noes! Your body really does go to shit after 25, doesn't it?

Anyway, I really love birthdays and I really love surprises, and on the off-chance you love surprising people, I've temporarily posted my wish list on the sidebar.

Let's try to not make fun of my weird tastes, ok? :P

~Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Cracked Like Humpty

I yelled at the receptionist at work. She did and didn't deserve it. Mostly didn't. I just cracked under all the pressure I had been under and I took it out on her, and the thing is, I felt better afterwards. I made her cry and I felt better.

I immediately sent her a half-assed apology via e-mail, and then I sat down with my boss and told her the story while apologizing for my unprofessionalism. My boss in turn asked about the status of my medical problems and I cried a little in her office.

I brought the funk of the day home with me. I caught Scott in the hallway of our building about to take the Femme Fatale for a walk and I crazily yelled, "I had a rat bastard, cock sucker day!" for all the neighbors to hear.

"You think you had a bad day?!" Scott began. He then launched into how his day sucked without asking about mine.

I cut him off. "This isn't about you; this is about meeeeeeeeeeeee!" I shrieked and ran inside with my banner of crazy trailing behind me. I flopped myself down on the bed and cried—not with the dignity of silent tears, but wails of despair and a hint of temper tantrum.

Scott followed me in and tentatively sat down beside me, "What's wrong?"

I sobbed while I told him what a rotten person I was. His day honestly was worse than mine, and I greedily wanted the focus on me. My mental capacity couldn't take on anything additional. I told him about me belittling the receptionist into tears and the tension in the office I created.

"That's not like you at all," he frowned, concerned.

"I know, I've turned into this horrible monster!" I threw myself back down into the pillow and cried some more.

"Sarah, what is wrong?"

The thought had been running though my head for several days now. It was real, it was honest, and it was gut-wrenchingly terrifying. "I'm not happy," I squeaked.

Scott hugged me; he understood what I meant. This wasn't simply a bad day—this was a funk that had been going on for awhile now and I didn't see an end to it anytime soon.

"Being the sole budgeter, organizer, shopper, worker and provider is too great a burden. It's too great a burden on me," I cried.


The next day I came home to a spotless apartment, complete with vacuum tracks in the carpet. It was cleaner than I ever would have been able to get it. The laundry I started several days earlier and abruptly stopped had been folded and put away, even my clothes which he's never done before.

Scott was seated at my computer applying for a job on-line at Subway.

"I've never seen you this motivated before," I said as I dropped my bag by the front door.

"Yeah, turns out you can do a lot when you're sober," he replied. Sober. Scott had quit drinking.

He made me dinner and I watched a little TV before going to bed early. I've just been so tired. Lately I've been watching an episode of Gilmore Girls on DVD before drifting off to sleep. It's snappy and light-hearted, and has been the highlight of my day for several weeks. I turned the DVD player on to whatever disc of whatever season I was on and climbed into bed. "Come tuck me in!" I called from the bedroom.

Scott got up from where he was seated in front of the computer applying for jobs since I got home. I just meant for him to come kiss me goodnight, but Scott took my request literally and tucked the sheets in around me.

And it was the most comforting feeling I've had in years. I don't know why people give up on the tuck-in, but I am now a full proponent for it.

I woke up at 3 am. The lights were still on in the living room. It was the sound of the printer that woke me up and upon inspection I saw Scott was printing out more résumés. By this time, he had moved to the kitchen table and was filling out yet another application.

Things are only going to get better from here. I can feel it.

*Thank you to everyone who offered to send me money over the past week. I'm not starving nor facing eviction so I could never accept, but your kindness overwhelms me. Thank you.


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