Death by Gremlin

I almost died this week.

It was one of those moments when my heart palpitated inside my chest, my ass cheeks clenched, and I held on for dear life as the eldest gremlin yanked on the steering wheel and the car began skittering across the asphalt. Gravel crunched beneath the tires, and I managed not to yell any obscenities as my life flashed before my eyes.

As he got control of the vehicle, I could only stare at him with a bewildered look on my face. And as I tried to gather my scrambled thoughts, thoughts that were scrambled due to my brain being jostled around inside my skull, the gremlin looked at me and he started giggling like a hyena.

“What? Were you scared, bro?” he asked, in-between laughter.

My genius response… “Why didn’t you go straight?”

In my mind, there was a gravel road that went straight, which was what he should have taken since he was going too fast to turn safely.

With a smile plastered across his face, he said, “I had control. We’re fine.”

He was fine. I was not fine. Muscles I’d forgotten I had were already screaming at me. I’m not twenty years old, y’all. I’m almost forty. Forty-year-old muscles are not as resilient as twenty-year-old muscles. When one is strained, kiss the next month or two goodbye.

“We’re not fine,” I said as I released my death grip from the ‘oh shit’ bar. “We almost died. If you don’t know the road, slow down.”

And do you know what this fool’s response was? Take a wild guess…

“I do know the road.”

me: 😑

If I make it out alive, I’m gonna need an extended vacation after I finish raising these gremlins.

Tiff

Writing Group Shenanigans

If you are a fellow writer, you have combed through Twitter and other sites searching for quality critique partners. Don’t get me wrong, having family who will read your manuscript is freakin’ fantastic, but writers speak a different language that only other writers understand.

Case and point #1: If I asked my dad how my pacing was, he would say it sucks. He’d think I was asking about my jogging pace, which is atrocious at best.

Case and point #2: If I asked my sister about the MC in my manuscript, she would blink a few times and ask what the f*** I was talking about. Not kidding. That’s a friendly version of her typical sentence structure.

Anyway, you get the point.

A few months ago, I signed up to join a writing group thanks to the wonderful Bianca Marais’s Tweet.

Best. Decision. I. Ever. Made.

Y’all, I found a group of phenomenal ladies.

They catch stuff that leaves me blinking in a stupor at my computer screen. And we all bring something different to the table. I like to think of us as dynamic dynamite. Even if it is kinda cheesy.

Crystal has a smokin’ hot character, Slate, who we all drool over. Not to mention her strong, caring cliff diving protagonist, Luren. Her story has a really cool concept with steamy scenes. Keep cold water nearby. You’ll thank me later.

Defne has a genius character, Roya, who has been stepped on and plotted against from an early age. The political intrigue and tension between characters are killer. In addition, her story has a unique concept that gets my brain cranking.

Then there’s Joy. Joy has impressive descriptions (I’m not jealous, not at all). Her character, Fen, is cool, calm, and just might knock someone off. Assassin much? Yes, please.

On top of their amazing stories and fresh concepts, Defne pops into Slack with memes she created. And I died. On the spot.

For your viewing pleasure:

Defne shared her meme-making secret with us, and y’all, she created a meme monster. Me. I’m the meme monster. I’ve been memeing all day long.

And to add a little more sugar to the topping, Joy throws this at us:

Luren – Joy’s Amazing Drawing

Whaaaaat?! Girl has serious art game. If I could steal that ability from her, I would do it in a hot second. Instead, I resort to buying artwork I can hang on my walls and drool over.

And then…Joy turned into a meme monster and created these:

If you haven’t joined a writing group, I highly recommend checking into it. It can be scary because you’re putting your heart and soul out there for others to critique, but you will become a stronger writer. You will learn from your group members, and you will chase the same dream…together. They will understand you in a way no one else does.

So take the scary leap, find your writing people, and see the magic unfold.

~Tiff~

It’s a Wee Bit Gremlinly

Raising boys is like raising gremlins—cute and sweet one minute, razor-sharp teeth monsters the next.

In the midst of submitting to Pitch Wars, my gremlins decided to be a wee bit more gremlinly than usual.

As I was spit shining my submission package, my youngest gremlin mentioned he had written an essay in one of his classes, and his teacher was happy the movie Freedom Writers changed his perspective. I stop typing, my head turns sideways, and I ask him to show me. He ran off to grab his Google Chromebook, and I had a million thoughts zigzagging through my mind.

This gremlin is rule-oriented. Everything is black and white. There is no gray area. So what did my gremlin write? Please, please…let it be nice.

He comes back with his laptop and hands it to me.

I wipe my sweaty palms on my pants, grab the gadget, and dive in. The words veer by as I skim to the meat of his essay. And then I see this:

What. The. What?!

I read the last sentence out loud to my husband, and he dips his head to hide his smile.

This isn’t how we roll. My husband and I help people, and we try to instill it into our kids. But, somehow, we missed the mark with the youngest gremlin.

This was me the rest of the evening:

👆🏻Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a brighter note, the eldest gremlin started working this week. Here’s a tidbit from our conversation last night:

Being an adult sounds like fun. Until you go to work.

Welcome to the real world, eldest Gremmy.

<-insert evil laugh here->

I hope everyone else has had a phenomenal week. And if you submitted to Pitch Wars, you, my friend, are a rock star. Go celebrate!

~Tiff~

🤬Quitting Chocolate🍫

My partner in crime, my incognito redneck husband, decided to quit smoking. Great, right? Suuure, it is. Don’t let Sharon – AKA the optimism fairy – fool you. It sounds great. Fantabulous, even. But this chick isn’t holding her breath. Not this time. Sharon’s gonna have to sprinkle her optimism fairy dust on some other fool. ✨

As he’s splayed out on the recliner, peering down his phone while he lines up his next shot on some game he’s playing, he casually mentions he hasn’t smoked in three days. My mind races as I do a play-by-play of the last few days, and I can’t recall him rambling to the front porch light one up. Maybe he hasn’t smoked in a few days. But instead of encouraging him, I snorted in disbelief. 

I didn’t mean to… the sh*t just came out. Before you write me off, just stay with me for a minute. 

Several years ago, the man quit smoking and hadn’t smoked a single cigarette for two weeks, then he told me he needed to wean off of them instead of quitting cold turkey. You wanna know what happened? He weaned right back on them. He made up for the two weeks he didn’t smoke in one day. Not. Even. Kidding.

Anyway, he glances over at me, and the honest fairy 🧚‍♀️, Ruth, flutters on my shoulder, whispering in my ear, and the hard, ugly truth vomits from my mouth. Fairies are evil little b*tches. Don’t listen to them. Ever.

My sexy, patient husband listens to me as I smile sweetly at him, and I point out the cold, hard facts from the past. That’s right, gents. Us women, we remember everything… until the last breath rattles from our body. Tread lightly.

Two weeks pass, and the man still hasn’t smoked a cigarette. He hasn’t been a grumbling bear tearing through the house as the nicotine withdrawals hit him. I’m a bit shocked, and I now tell him how proud I am of his accomplishment. He mentions buying himself something as a reward, which I whole-heartedly agree to. He discusses how much money we’re saving a year, what others things we can buy or go do with the cost savings, and I’m beaming at him, nodding my head, eyes are sparkly and sh*t. Then he drops the mother luvin’ bomb on me…

Think of how much money we’d save if you gave up chocolate.

I blink once. 

Twice. 

My smile falters as I scan his face. This fool is serious. I stomped one foot like an angry toddler as I told him it’d never happen. I need chocolate. Hormones are angry, vicious monsters that need to be fed from time to time. It’s safer for everyone in our household.

He held up his hands, backed up a step, and agreed.

His life almost ended, and he knew it. Smart man.

Y’all didn’t read the title and really think I was quitting 🍫, did you? Blasphemy. It shall never happen. Ever. BFFs for life.

~Tiff~

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