Should books be banned?


Warning…this blog is not funny.  I needed to write this and it may cause you to think (the horror) but these words needed to get out.  Recently in the book world, a book and an author came under scrutiny due to the content of the book.  It was declared a “banned” book by Amazon due to its content and that is where the controversy started.  It was even advertised by the author as a “banned” book.  Which led me to ponder, as an author, at what point should a book be banned or never published?  Should we ever silence someone’s voice?  What content in a book is considered unacceptable to be published?  Should book banning be a thing? And where do I stand on this subject as an author?  As a reader?

We all have heard the stories of books being banned based on content, language and sometimes sexuality.  And not just in other countries.  It happens here too.  In fact, my favorite book of all time, Gone With the Wind, was banned for the vocabulary used in reference to African-Americans.  To be honest, as many times as I have read that book, I was never bothered by the language.  I looked at it as historically accurate.  But, nonetheless, it was banned.  So at what point is a book considered pornographic?  Racially inappropriate?  Is it censorship?

In the book in question, there is an inappropriate relationship between a father and daughter.  One that is romanticized, not condemned.  And not just romanticized, but it is sexually explicit.  It was this content that made Amazon decide not to publish it so it was published on another platform.  The book was advertised as “banned” and many readers grabbed it to see what the hype was.  There is a “trigger” warning on the book, however it is quite vague and does nt really alert readers as to the situation that this book deals with.  A father/daughter relationship that is romantic and sexual in nature with a minor.  The girl is 16 and the book implies that this relationship is consensual.  Now, before I go any further, I must say this.  I do NOT condone this subject matter.  I feel that this type of storyline is bordering on irresponsible as an author.  I feel it could lead to many girls feeling like this situation is ok, that it is not abuse.  And THAT is not ok with me.  But did I feel like it should be banned?  I thought long and hard about this.  It was not as clear of a choice for me to make as I thought it would be.

I have always been in the camp of reading and books should never be banned, but this book and it’s subject matter made me stop and think.  Is it alright to write and romanticize molestation?  Should this voice be allowed to be out there in the world?  This subject matter really sits wrong with me.  But, then again, some forms of pornography also sit wrong with me and I don’t feel it should be banned. Because to each his own.  So why is this different?  Why am I feeling like this should be banned?  This book is about an underage child having a romantic relationship with her father.  **SPOILER**  You do find out at some point that they are not blood related and she is adopted, but still he raised her as his child and she considered him to be her Dad.  This REALLY bothers me.  I cannot stand any children being abused or sexually molested in any way.  It is a topic that is a hot button for me, maybe because I see it way too much in my line of work.  I frequently feel that child molesters should be locked up for life because they cannot be rehabilitated, no matter what people say.  When I heard about the subject matter of the book, I was disgusted and horrified.  How can anyone write about such a thing and romanticize it?  I was actually sick to my stomach over the fact that someone would publish such a story.  It involves a minor.  I do not care what the age of consent is in the state where the story takes place.  It is a child in a relationship with her father.  NOT OK in my book.  Not ever.  And I will always be outraged over this subject matter.

But should it be banned?  Should any book be banned? I sat on this subject for a long time.  It really hit home because as an author, what if I wrote something that someone considered inappropriate and called for it to be banned?  What if someone doesn’t like the word fat?  So this is my view.  No.  A book should never be banned.  Because if we start banning books with this one, then we will end up banning books like Gone With the Wind, Huckleberry Finn and many others over content or language or sexuality.  Readers have the right to read what they want to read and voices should never be silenced.  I realize that this viewpoint may not be a popular one with this book, considering the subject matter, but it is my opinion.  And I stand by it.  NO BOOK SHOULD EVER BE BANNED.  Amazon has a right to refuse to publish it and I have a right to not read it, but it should not be banned.  We live in a country that was founded on freedom of speech and everyone has a right to express their speech however they see fit.  I will choose not to read this book due to its subject matter, same as choosing not to read some forms of pornography but I will say this.  I urge this author to consider the implications of this story.  I urge her to look at whether her story will cause more harm then good and consider whether or not it needs to be out there.  We have responsibilities as authors.  We are responsible for our words and the impact they cause.  We need to look at the cause and effect these words can have on a person.  Therefore, I urge this author to consider her words and their impact and her responsiblity for them and whether the story should actually be out there.  Think when you write.  Was this a story that maybe should have just be kept to yourself? What statement were you trying to make with this subject matter?  As authors we need to consider these things when writing.  I even considered whether or not to write this blog.  But here I am…loud mouth and all.

I choose not to read this book but I also choose that it not be banned.  Books should never be banned. I will always stand up to censorship.

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did think long and hard about book banning and ended up more torn than I thought I ever would but I didn’t die.  I am Fat Girl who feels all authors should write responsibly but should never be banned Running.  The experiment continues…

Book Signing Etiquette 101 Or Don’t Be A Dick


All this writing about Austin Book Fest makes me remember that I am about to be an author at the Boise Book Fest in October!  What?  I really hope that some of you readers come find me and Seester there and buy some books.  I would love to meet some of you!  That being said, let’s talk about going to a book signing and what you should expect or basically book signing etiquette 101.  I mean, we all know I have told you the etiquette for comicon and really a book signing also has some etiquette rules.  Not every one will be as courteous as you, but at least you won’t be THAT person at some event.  Main rule is this:  Don’t be a dick.

First off, look at the rules set by the book signing.  If it says you can only bring in a certain number of books by an author, then try to stay at that number.  If you have more than the allowed number, be courteous and get out of line and get back in.  Seester and I stood behind a lady who not only pulled out about 20 books, but also had bags and bookmarks and all sorts of stuff for the author to sign.  I understand that bloggers might want a lot of stuff signed to give away, (I mean I am a blogger too remember? Plus, I have a book blog on Facebook called Devouring Pages) but at least try to notice that there are others behind you.  It was super frustrating to us as we had other authors to see at ABF, and this bonehead had to take up our time as well as that author’s time.  It had to have been overwhelming to the author to watch her pull out that much stuff out of her bag like it was Mary Poppin’s bag.  Where did she keep it all?  At most signings, authors have their books for sale anyways so you can always buy them there, providing they don’t run out.   But really, be considerate of the other fans in line behind you.  Now is not the time to start an hour-long conversation about a plot point in a book or about why the author killed off your favorite character.  That is what email is for.  On the other hand, if you have something you want to gift your favorite author, then bring it.  I watched a friend of mine bring Rachel Hollis a framed scripture quote for her baby nursery and Rachel was super excited and grateful for the thought she put into the gift.  (A side note….I once sent Rachel Hollis a shit ton of Tootsie Rolls because she told me how much she loved them….no joke.  I am kind weird like that.)  Authors love meeting their fans, taking pics and just getting to know some of them that they have met online.  Just don’t be that weird creepy stalker book person who tries to clip a lock of their hair or something (SOTL Man I am looking at you).  In other words…Don’t be a dick.

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Stalking author Sara Ney…don’t be fooled.  She likes it.

Now that we have talked about bringing in books to a signing, let me tell you something…put them in something you can carry.  A lot of people I know bring those rolling crates to put their books in as they walk around.  Those are great, till it gets super crowded in the venue and you start running over everyone’s toes and slamming them into people’s calves.  This might have happened to me a few times, just saying.  Seester had one to start at the beginning of ABF, but as it got crowded, she opted to go leave it in the hotel room and use a bag.  I have even seen people with wagons.  Yes….WAGONS full of books.  Can you imagine the amount of money that is in that one wagon?  I mean for reals….a wagon?  To me that is a little crazy.  I realize that this might be the only time you might see the authors, but a wagon?  I was just happy to talk a little with some of them and take a pic even if I didn’t have a book for them to sign.  But bring a wagon?  Hard pass. Don’t be that dick.

Don’t be afraid to tell an author how much you loved their book, how much their writing means to you or even be afraid to speak to them like I am.  I admit that I am not the best at doing this part because I get overwhelmed and nervous, but look at what happened when I picked up Party Girl by Rachel Hollis!  I became her newest stalker!  I mean newest fan…yeah that is what I meant.  BFFE actually made it a goal of hers to read one book by every author at ABF so she could see if they would be ones she would want to get a signing from while she was there.  It was an amazing goal and I think she accomplished reading at least one book by every author.  Who knows….you might find a new favorite author to binge read.  Soon, you are reading everything they read, following them on social media, setting up secret shrines and sending them a shit ton of Tootsie Rolls in the mail.  Not that I have done any of that besides binge reading….yeah not me.  Excuse me while I go shut the door on the closet to my Colleen shrine.  Don’t go all Anne Wilkes from Misery on them and kidnap them and make them write you a book (hmmmmm…..this is a new thought to do with Colleen), but by all means tell them what their writing mean to you.  I saw a girl get overwhelmed by meeting Amy Harmon at ABF and she started crying because Amy’s books meant so much to her.  As an author, this is the highest form of compliments…we all hope to actually touch just one person.  I mean if it ends up with someone so obsessed with you that people end of creeping in your bushes and taking pictures to sell to People magazine, then that might be a problem.  Or is it?  I love a good stalker as much as the next person.  I might even encourage them….if you stalk me, it’s ok to tell me. If you get served a restraining order, then you will know it is time to back off.  Rachel Hollis (I swear I am not a stalker) made this fantastic video about the types of people you meet at a book signing and it is spot on so I am going to share it with you here.

Get to your signing early.  This is a great piece of advice I learned from experience.  Especially if there is going to be 1200 people at the signing.  You might think that getting there at 7 am for a noon signing sounds insane, but I wanted as much tie as possible in the signing.  I wanted to make sure I had the full four hours to meet people.  Talk to people in line.  You ill find people who like the same authors you do and might be crazier than you over them, discover new bloggers to follow, and maybe even meet some new best friends.  Book signings are a fantastic way to network if you are an author and even if you are attending as a reader.  You can meet people in PR, advertising, editing, bloggers…you name it and they are at a book signing.  It can be a great way to jump-start a book blog or get advice on getting started as an author.

I am going to encourage every one of you to join me at a book signing or find one of authors you like…it really is an experience that you will never forget.  Authors are people too, as I realized when I watched Colleen Hoover go into the bathroom last year and thought “OMG!  Colleen pees too!”  Don’t be surprised if they know you after talking with you online or seeing you at a couple of signings.  I am lucky that my name is so unconventional (Thanks Mom!) that a lot of authors remember it.  It creates a great conversation starter sometimes.  But find one near you, go by yourself or with friends and fangirl out.  Just remember the key piece of advice:  Don’t be a dick and have fun.

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did decide to share with you book signing etiquette and maybe encourage your stalking a bit because who doesn’t love a good stalker but I didn’t die.  I am Fat Girl who sometimes stalk authors but is NEVER a dick Running.  The experiment continues….

 

Authors Fangirl Too


I know I have talked about fangirling over other authors before, and this year I thought I was totally cool at Austin Book Fest.  I mean, I had met Colleen Hoover and managed to remember how to speak English and have conversations with her this year.  I was pretty sure that I would not freak out over an author this year.  Wrong.  So very wrong.  At ABF last year, I was standing in front of this author’s table waiting to get up to another author to get my book signed.  This author was so freaking cute and her table was covered in my favorite color…pink.  I kept looking at her book and casually picked it up to read the back.  It actually sounded super cute and fun…my type of romance.  I love sweet romances that are not heavy on the sex.  I can do without all the heaving and thrusting and weird body part names that authors give them (like flower, flesh tower, love muscle….you get the idea) sometimes.  Don’t get me wrong, when done well, a good sex scene is just that…good!  But anyways, I decided to take a chance on this author and buy her book as when I started talking to her, she was just as sweet as her book looked.  When I got home, I immediately read the book and fell in love.  This started my obsession with all things Rachel Hollis.

Rachel Hollis is genuine and sweet, just like the characters in her Girls series.  I started following her on social media, reading all of her books, trying her recipes on The Chic Site and then got invited to be in her street team.  It was here that I found other fans of Rachel and got to know her better.  She really is a wonderful beautiful soul.  When I found out she was going to be at ABF again this year, I got super excited.  She was the one, besides Colleen Hoover, that I wanted to meet the most. I really do want to be just like her…I am pretty sure we were friends or sisters in a past life because she reminds me so much of myself. But I did not expect what happened when I did meet her.  I did not expect to be sitting on a sofa, laughing so hard tears were running down my face as she sat next to me.  Nor did I expect to freak out and forget how to speak English again.

The night before the signing, our group of friends went down to the lobby to hang out and hopefully meet some other book nerds or authors there.  We were standing there talking when BFFE pointed out that Rachel Hollis had come over to where we were and sat at a couch near us.  I couldn’t even speak.  BFFE grabbed my hand and told me to go talk to her to which I shook my head.  Nope.  I couldn’t do it.  I admire her so much that even though I had met her before, I was afraid word vomit or actual vomit would come up and I would make a complete fool of myself.  It is one thing to talk to someone you admire online and another to talk to them in person.  Even Colleen makes me nervous still and I get super shy around her.  Luckily, my BFFE is super outgoing and she took my hand and pulled me in Rachel’s direction.  Rachel looked up from her drink as we approached, said my name and waved.  I about died.  Literally died.  She immediately got up and enveloped me in a hug and I just didn’t know what to say.  BFFE told her how nervous I was coming up to her and she laughed and said that I shouldn’t be.  Then she told me to sit by her like we were the best of friends.  I had to figure out how to form words so that I didn’t end up doing an interpretive dance in front of Rachel Hollis.  Although she might have joined me.  A few of my friends are also just as obsessed with her as I am and BFFE went over to tell them she was hanging out with us.  We decided to take pictures, of course, and this is how we ended up in hysterics.

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OMG my face.  I might be a tad excited to meet Rachel Hollis
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Selfie time!  How freaking adorable is she?

As we were gathering for what I would call a photo-op with Rachel Hollis, one of our friends, S.G., saw us all sitting together and jumped in for the photo.  Being it is our group of weirdos, she started posing all crazy and being her normal self.  We all started to giggle because she is so outrageous and she turned around and said “What?” and then it happened.  She saw Rachel Hollis sitting in between two of us.  She did a double take and the words “Oh My God it’s Rachel Hollis!  Rachel Hollis guys!  Are we taking a picture with Rachel Hollis?  Hey girl hey!”   And then, being who she is, S.G. turned around and once again posed for a photo.  Meanwhile, we are all in hysterics, tears running down both mine and Rachel’s faces over S.G.’s comments.  We laughed forever over this moment and we still all talk about it.  At least I am not the only one to fangirl like that over an author.  I am glad that Rachel Hollis is such a good sport and loved hanging out with us weirdos….at least I hope she did. Also, “Hey girl hey!”  Might be my new favorite phrase.

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The before shot.  We all look so normal here.  Photo credit:  Cecile Bonzo
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The best photo ever.  Hey girl hey! Photo credit:  Cecile Bonzo

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did meet Rachel Hollis and almost die of laughter but I didn’t die.  I am Fat Girl who still fangirls over other authors and forgets to speak English Running.  The experiment continues…

 

Adventures at Austin Book Fest


In March, I went to Austin for a second year to attend Austin Book Fest and had some fun adventures that I need to share with you!  You might recall that last year this is where I met Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher for the first time, forgot how to speak English, and met some of the bestest group of friends ever.  I got to meet up with my book friends again and meet some more amazing authors, as well as spend time with Colleen which is like a dream come true.  Have you ever been to a book signing?  Well, I am here to tell you that it can be the craziest thing you will ever experience.  There were 1200 bookworms at this signing and at times it felt like it.  Yes, that is right….you saw that number correct.  1200.  Book signings can be so much fun.  First off, you meet other people who like the same authors that you do and this creates instant friends, no matter where you all live.  Plus, if you are an author, like me, you get to meet other authors, talk with them and get some fantastic connections in this weird world of publishing.  It was quite the adventure, let me tell you.  And I had the best group of friends around to traverse it with as you will find out.

Now, at ABF this year,  I had the pleasure of sharing a room with four other book nerds:  my Seester, BFFE, Calliebear (who went with us last year) and my #soulmate. This is a new person I need to introduce you guys too, actually.  She is one of my book friends who I swear we were meant to be friends.  We have so much in common it is scary, hence the name #soulmate.   Four of us met up at Dallas airport and then picked up Seester to drive up to Sulpher Springs to the Bookworm Box that night to hang out with Colleen Hoover.  How has this become my life?  This is something I frequently thought throughout the weekend as lots of things happened to me that I have no idea how they actually occurred.  I was going to get to see the Bookworm Box in person which was something I was looking forward to so much.  I even got to see my books on the shelves in the store, which was amazing.  Completely beyond words.  The first night involved squees of joy, hugs, laughter, pizza, dancing around the store, interrupting Colleen’s live broadcast and cramming 5 girls into a tiny hotel room.  I might have almost killed my #soulmate as I tried to go to the bathroom and almost fell on top of her on the roll away bed.  But luckily, we all survived.  There was hotel hallway shenanigans and we might have been those loud obnoxious people in a hotel room at 11pm and for that we apologize but really we could not control our laughter as BFFE and I looked so gorgeous for bed complete with Breathe Right strips and my hair rolled up in socks to curl.

 

 

Friday, the five of us traveled to Austin.  Let me say that was a fun road trip filled with singing, eating everything we could find, laughter and reading.  It got a little weird when #soulmate turned to ask me what I was reading.  I looked at her and said “A sex scene from your book.”  #awkward.  We laughed a good deal over it though.  We checked into our bigger room in Austin that also included a roll away bed but one I would not kill #soulmate in when I went to the bathroom.  We met up with all the rest of our book friends and so much laughter and fun occurred.  We even threw a surprise baby shower for one of them that night.  This group of girls are some of the best people I have ever met.  I even ended up in author Mia Sheridan’s suite drinking wine with her and her husband and wondering again how this was my life.  There was a lot of shenanigans I can assure you.

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Book friends really are the best friends….good thing they are as nuts as me.  Shenanigans.      I love these girls

Saturday came the signing and believe it or not, book nerds started lining up at 5:30 am for a signing that started at noon.  And we thought our group getting down there at 7 am was early!!  Knowing there were 1200 people in line made us all get up early and be obnoxious together for hours.  Seester and I even took the opportunity to walk through the line and handed out our bookmarks to people.  Hey!  Free advertising!!  Finally, we got to go inside and the chaos of a book signing ensued.  We had studied the floor plan earlier so we could make a game plan but that soon all went to shit as the room became over crowded and Seester and I couldn’t people much longer.  A group of our book friends and us decided to take a break and ate lunch for an hour because it was insane and then headed back in once the crowd had thinned.  The authors even offered to stay longer than the signing lasted which says something about them.  I can’t even imagine how bad their hands had to hurt and their smiles must have felt plastered on as they had to take picture after picture and sign a million books.  I met some amazing authors and met some more book friends this year.  And my group….well….let’s just say I found my pack of weirdos.  BS girls…we are totally a gang.

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The amazing authors I met:  (top row) Mia Sheridan, Amy Harmon, Tara Sivec (bottom row) Chelsea Cameron, Sophie Jordan, and Kim Holden.  These women all make me want to be a better writer.  Also ignore my stoob rolls in these photos.
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BS shenanigans continue amidst the chaos.  Someone might have farted.
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Oh Sara Ney….how I love to stalk you.  Some call it stalking, I call it love. And no one else thinks we are as funny as we do. #selfiequeens
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My #soulmate. She is like the other sister I never knew I had.  And a kick ass writer.  Even if you read a sex scene she has written while she is next to you in the car.  #awkward

If you ever get a chance to go to a book signing, then do it.  Even if you only know one author…do it.  You will discover new authors for you to read, make new friends and hopefully find your clan of weirdos like I have.  It will be an experience you will never forget.  You might even get to hang out with one of your idols like I did with Colleen Hoover.  Now excuse me while I go add more pictures to my secret shrine of her in my closet.

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did get to experience a book signing with the best group of friends I have ever met on the internet and discovered that I want to be a better writer but I didn’t die.  I am Fat Girl missing Austin Book Fest and my BS girls Running.  The experiment continues….

 

Why Colleen Hoover Is Like Santa Claus


We all know I think Colleen Hoover is one of the best people on the planet, not to mention on of my favorite authors.  I think I might have mentioned that a few times or two.  Well, I have now decided she is like Santa Claus.  I have not come to this conclusion lightly, but with a great deal of thought.  I mean Santa is pretty magical, but so Colleen.  Pretty sure she would ride across the sky on a unicorn if she could.  For reals.  Let’s discuss why I came to this conclusion.

Last night, There I am sitting on the couch, watching reality tv and eating kumquats.  I mention this because I like to say the word kumquat.  It is a fun word to say.  It sounds a little dirty and also a little weird.  Kumquats are indeed a little weird…sweet and sour all in one bite and wicked addictive….peel and all.  I had forgotten how much I like kumquats so there I was mindlessly enjoying these weird little fruits and squeezing their oil all over the place when BFFE messaged me.  She proceeded to tell me Colleen was doing a giveaway (Reason #1 why Colleen is like Santa…she gives away shit…for free.  Like presents).  Ok…no big deal, Colleen does giveaways all the time.   I figured this one was in relation to her new book that she co-wrote with Tarryn Fisher, Never Never Part 2, that had just come out.  But no.  BFFE blew my mind with the following conversation:

BFFE:  “She is doing a giveaway with YOUR books in it!! Yea!!”

Me (completely confused and trying to not choke on my kumquat I had just shoved in my gob): “What the what?”

BFFE:  “On Facebook.  I tagged you.  Go look.  For reals”

I now have scrambled to open Facebook on my phone and go to where BFFE has tagged me.  This is what I see:

What are those I spy with my little eye?  MY books!!!!!!  On Colleen's giveaway photo!!
What are those I spy with my little eye? MY books!!!!!! On Colleen’s giveaway photo!!

I have now choked on my kumquat and scared Ninka Kitten by screaming out loud “HOLY SHITBALLS!”  (Another reason Colleen is like Santa…she makes you scream uncontrollably when something happens like when you get the present of a lifetime). It might have been screamed a few times actually and again I might have peed my pants a little (which we know also happens with Santa by my previous post about my Seester).  The conversation between BFFE and I then continued:

Me (incredulous and can hardly type):  “What is happening in my world?  It feels like a dream that I just got exposed like that by such a huge author.” (Reason #4…Colleen grants dreams like Santa).

BFFE:  “You so deserve it.  Hopefully people will buy your book.  So excited.  Is this cuz you donated some for Bookworm Box? ”

Me:  “I donated them and told her to use them however she wanted, for a giveaway or in the store.  Never did I think she would use them.  Ever.  First the charity announcement and now this…what is happening?  Am I in a parallel world?”

BFFE:  “Crazy awesome.  That is what it is.  Crazy awesome.”

A few more screams might have come out of my mouth as I reposted the giveaway and watched people like my facebook page of The Fat Girl Running (which of course you should go do right now!!)  Also I will now shamelessly provide you the links to both my books pictured above because I would be stupid not to do so!

The Running Experiment and The Revenge of The Sofa (click on the titles to go buy them cuz I know you want to!!  Then leave me a review to tell me how much you liked it.  Shameless plug I know).  Of course they are also available from my publisher InknBeans if you want to support indie publishing (hint, hint)

Today I have watched my twitter get followed, people follow my blog and more followers on Facebook….it is really like a dream that I got exposed like this and I didn’t even have to get naked, sell my soul to the Crossroads Demon and have Dean and Sam save me (although would that be bad?  Nope.) or sacrifice Ninja Kitten in order for this dream to come true.  Ever since my Seester introduced me to Colleen, I feel like things have happened that I would have normally had to do one or more of the above things for them to occur.  All I did was wish like a child on Santa’s lap….although I didn’t sit on Colleen’s lap.  I could have.  Although then I might have looked like some weird stalker if I had babbled about sitting on her lap and climbing on it at ABF when I met her.  Tarryn would have laughed at me…Colleen might have filed a restraining order.  Especially since I probably would have peed my pants in excitement.  Seriously…I need to wear Depends around that woman.  Colleen Hoover is one of the most generous souls I have ever met (like Santa she fulfills dreams, gives away presents, gives of herself and cheer up people with her writing….need I say more?).  I mean look at all she does to give back to people.  I have seen her countlessly give people copies of her books (she gave me an e-copy of a novella once because I was at work and couldn’t get it!) and raises thousands for charities that she just decided to do.  More and more like Santa every day.  Santa sometimes can be seen ringing the Salvation Army bell afterall…raising money like Colleen.  And Santa is magic that is full of good.  Pretty sure the magic that is in Santa is in Colleen.  Thank you from the bottom of my indie author heart.  Thank you Santa Colleen.

Now excuse me while I go back to eating kumquats….because kumquats is why.

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did discover that Colleen Hoover is like Santa Claus but I didn’t die.  I am Fat Girl who got a giant wish answered today and also discovered how much fun it is to eat and say the word kumquat Running.  The experiment continues…

Hooked On Phonics Worked For Me! Or Why I Respect My Seester (And Other Teachers)


This past week I did something that was turned out was actually fun but also made me respect the heck out of my seester who is a teacher.  I helped my BFF’s Momma with a book fair.  See, BFF’s Momma runs the library at one of the local elementary schools and needed some help so of course I said I would help.  I had no idea what I was getting into.  I don’t think I have spent that much time around children since I was a camp counselor back in the days of Camp Hantesa and Camp Lakamaga. If you are thinking “But you are a PICU nurse.  You spend all your work time around children.”  I spend my time around SICK children.  BIG difference.  I always joke that I like my patients vented, sedated and orphaned.  Kids are different when they are sick and you are helping them get better.  And once they get better and start pushing that call light too often, then it is time for them to get out of the PICU.  Don’t get me wrong….I really do LOVE children, however there is a big reason I do not have any myself.  I love taking care of them as my job, but sick kids are a whole different monster than healthy, loud, wild children.  Pretty sure I needed a large box drink of wine after helping at the book fair.

All my favorite places
Cuz who wouldn’t want to introduce children to all these marvelous places??

I really did not mind volunteering.  I love children and I love books.  What could go wrong?  I mean, I am the Aunty/Nina who ALWAYS buys books for the kids in my life.  Always.  So helping kids pick out books shouldn’t be that hard, right?  I might have forgotten that children have the attention span of a gnat and when placed in front of carts and piles of books, making a decision becomes the hardest thing they have ever done in their whole lives.  I mean the attention span of a gnat.  When I tell you these are the carts you can pick from that have books for under $5 on them, then do not walk across the room, pick up the hard cover book of Wimpy Kid and ask if you can get that one.  What part of this cart only did you not understand?  Nope…you also cannot have the ultimate guide to Pokemon from that other pile.  THIS cart only.  Ok, let me turn you around.  THIS cart.  There.  Whew.  Not to mention that they also sell all this little crap like erasers, pencils, pens, bookmarks and other assorted nonsense at the book fair.  Ugh.  I actually watched a child come in with $20 and spend $17 of it on that crap.  Do you know how many books you could buy with $20 at a book fair?  But nope, she would rather have the eraser shaped like a kitty, a game controller or a ninja than get books.  Sigh.  Pretty sure all the other book lovers in my life just cringed like I did.  I also did not factor in the fact that children would reach into their pockets, pull out a handful of assorted coins along with lint, gum wrappers and who knows what else and ask you how much money they had.  The amount of sweaty dirty covered in boogers crinkly one dollar bills I had to handle was unbelievable.  And they just dump into your hand along with whatever else was in their pocket and ask you if they have enough for the pencil or eraser or book.  Yeah…I needed the gallon size of hand sanitizer.  We had to keep a high surveillance on the cheap crap as apparently that stuff walks out in pockets.  BFF’s Momma actually caught a little 4-year-old, who was there with his siblings and Mom, put a book under his shirt and walk out trying to steal it.  Nice.  Real nice.  Of course the mom said nothing to the child.  Nothing.  Awesome.  If that had been me, not only would I have been yelled at right then and there, I would have also gotten beaten within an inch of life when I got home (or more likely the car…and then at home as well).

haha
Hahahahaha…pretty sure my seester needs this

The noise level and behavior of some of the kids really made me respect the teachers who have to deal with them on a daily basis for 8 hours a day. Are you kidding me?  I was freaking exhausted after helping out for a few hours each day.  Seriously…I wanna know how my seester does not lose her shit all over her students.  Pretty sure I wanted to several times after redirecting the same child for the third time or after telling the same child that the price of the posters was still $4.50 about fifty times.  Guess what?  The price did not change from poster to poster nor did it change from day-to-day.  Still $4.50 dude.  Fat Girl needed a box drink of wine after all of that.  I was so tired, it was all I could do to watch tv with glazed over eyes and then crawl into bed.  How in the heck was I ever a camp counselor for years?  And who put ME in charge of their children?  Seriously teaching has got to be exhausting.  I am still sure I would lose my shit over the child who asked me for the 100th time how to do an assignment.  Yup.  That would so happen.  Lose my shit and my job.  What scared me was that BFF’s Momma actually told me how great I was with the kids and that I would have made a great teacher.  Yeah……no.  I will take being a nurse where I only have to work 3 days a week and get to play with fun things like vents and drugs and blood and gore thanks.  I even had one of the kids whisper loudly to me “Hey you were my nurse!  I know you!”  Which makes me wonder what I did to torture the poor child for him to remember me.  Teaching children…I will leave that to awesome people like my seester who got voted Teacher of The Year at her school this year.  Yup.  She is THAT awesome.  She gets it from me.  My Fat Girl awesomeness rubbed off at some point onto her.  Kudos to all of you that teach.  I couldn’t do your job without a lot of wine and some Valium(preferably together).

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I thought I was gonna die from the amount of germ filled dollar bills from sweaty dirty little hands that  I handled but I didn’t die.  I am fat girl who has decided that I am glad I am not a teacher running.  The experiment continues….