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Guys, I have  to post today about the book. I have to.

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Y’all, it is a heckuva thing, to write a book.

Once the book was out there, with an actual cover and pages, and sitting on shelves in bookstores, and libraries, it was like I had a baby, and then wrapped it up, set it on a bookshelf, slapped an isbn sticker on its adorable soft little bum, and walked away.

I don’t even have any books in my house anymore. I kept giving them to people. Authors get a box of books (I think I got about 15) to do whatever they like with. I kinda considered throwing all fifteen of them on my bed and rolling around in them with glee like that money scene from Indecent Proposal, but you know? That’s a movie from the 90’s* and nobody remembers it. Also, rolling around on a book is uncomfortable. I know this because there is always, ALWAYS at least one book nesting in my bed anyhow (housekeeping challenged) and the other night I rolled over onto A Prayer For Owen Meany and bruised my spleen.

Also, this might rumple with the book cover. As I am a tidy author, there shall be no rolling.

Here is what happened recently about this book:

I had a friend inform me about amazon. It’s this place on the internets where people buy stuff? Anyhow, my sweet little book is on there, and it had some reviews.

And by some I mean a nice number. Less than twenty. More than ten. Still ok. I didn’t much mind. I knew people were reading it, liking it. I knew also that most readers were moms, saddled with small children probably. The likelihood that she was going to set down the small cherub stickily attached to her side and try to post a review of Bottled the next time she has some time to herself was pretty small. If she was like me, she would use that time to go the bathroom and take a nap. Maybe not at the same time.

But then, just recently, another friend told me: “You need 50 reviews. If you get 50, your book will be an ‘also liked’.”

Guys. Wait. What?

This is how I do marketing, by the way. The majority of the time, my book selling moments are paired with me saying, inevitably, “Now, wait. What?”

Bewilderment. It’s part of my platform.

The “also likes”? You know them, I bet. Whenever I am buying, say, a tassled gladiator sandal, and amazon, oh so cleverly suggests that a RED leather tasseled gladiator sandal might also be something I like, I often find myself nodding and just feeling all warm and fuzzy about Amazon.

“Yes. Why, I DO like those? How did you know, Amazon? You really get me!”

“It’s like we’re *crosses fingers* like this.

When I was researching other books to write my book proposal, the “also likes” saved me. It’s how I found a small army of books about drinking, about moms drinking, about recovery.

And it’s also where I didn’t find something: Laughter.

When the publisher, Central Recovery Press, asked me to write the book they asked, “Will you write about the harrowing, painful, and totally life-altering experience of being a mom in recovery. But will you, you know, make it funny?”

Ah, CRP. You also get me. It’s like we’re *crosses fingers again* like this.

I wrote the book. I slaved for nine months (For real. A book baby.) and then, WHAMMO, it arrived. Big celebration. Cigars. Champagne (not really, that would be dumb). And along with it?

Its evil twin, Marketing.

So now the book is out there. And evidently Amazon would like suitable proof. I really had no idea how to do this, so I took it on, with the same enthusiasm as a mom trying to get volunteers for the next Fun Fair. I pestered those that I knew had bought the book. You poor people, if you had actually been kind enough to send me a pic of you reading Bottled, with a cup of tea, in your cozy chair, I was coming to find you. I went all Liam Neeson on the situation. Sorry.

I tweeted. I messaged. I emailed. I texted.

I became the Most Annoying Person in the World.

And nearly** every time, here was the response: “Sure! I would love to!”

Those guys. They were the best. Simply the best. It’s like they really got me. We were *crosses fingers yet again* like this.

It’s good, yes, to be “also liked.” But do you know what all of this taught me?

Gratitude. People are so willing to help. And with the conversations that happened all day long, they reminded me, again and again, about friendship, willingness, generosity, and time. It blessed me completely. Completely.

Thank you. I “also like” you too. Did you know that?

We’re like this.

 

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*Am I the only one who thinks the 90’s was just about a couple years ago? It’s not The 90’s. It was just, you know, a while back. Weird.

** True story. My friend, who shall remain unnamed but is My Pastor’s Wife, said: “Dana. I can’t review it. I actually have not read it yet. I am so sorry.”

And I responded something like: “That’s ok. Just lie. Really. I think. Oh. Wait. No, that would be bad.”

She didn’t respond but I am sure she prayed for me, which is good because at that point I think I had gotten a tad crazy.

Marketing. It can snap you like a twig.

This is the post where I toot my own horn. Maybe back away?

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So, last weekend I got to do something most of us moms dream about:

I slept in a hotel room. And, I woke up WHEN MY EYES OPENED ON THEIR OWN.

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I don’t really know why I put that image above, but for some reason, this weekend made me channel my inner diva gymnast girl.

Anyhow, here is what else happened:

I met up with my two girlfriends, KATIE AND MELINDA* and we ate a lot of food. The hotel gave ups a free bottle of wine which both girls insisted we not drink so that was good. They have my back. They’re my posse.

Also: we shopped at Sephora. Considered having my eyebrows done, but decided not because you know:

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However, I found a lipstick that, I kid you not, LIFTS my lips. I did not know this was a thing that needed to happen to my lips, but it’s awesome. Also, the stuff makes me coffee in the morning and I think it speaks three languages. It’s that good.

Then: I went to Teavana. I spent a lot more money than I should have. On tea. Want to know why?

It’s because they waft it at you.

Here’s me in Teavana:

Me: Oooooo, pineapple tea?

Young, earnest, serious tea drinker salesguy: Why yes. That’s our Oolong Geisha Fly By Night With a Pineapple tea. Here, (pulls down canister)…

Me: (starts to bend forward and take a sniff) Uh, what is that beeping sound?

Tea Man: Ma’am. That’s the You’re Doing It Wrong Buzzer of Shame. You do not sniff at the tea. I WAFT it AT you. Now, back away.

Me: I do the whaaaaaat? Dude. Are you ok?

Pretentious Tea Man: Yes. This is my job. I open the canister. And then, (flourish), I WAFT it at you.

Me: You get paid to do this?

Sad Tea Guy: I applied at Nordstroms. They didn’t want me. So, here.

And that’s how I spent crackamillion bucks on tea that smells divine, but still tastes like hay.

And finally!

This:

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fuzzy picture. warm, fuzzy feelings.

Y’all. I wrote a book. Did you know, I wrote a book?

Anyhow, we go into the Barnes and The Nobles and start perusing all the books we want (a million), and then… I get this thought…

Maybe. Just maybe… MY book is in here?

And I go up to the desk and say, “I am looking for a book? It’s by Dana Bowman? It’s probably not here but I thought I’d ask?” (Uptalker = insecure.)

And the nice lady takes me over and there it is! On the shelf! And I grab the nice lady and say, “That’s ME!” And she thinks I am a little off. I can tell. But then I tell her I’m the author, and then grab the book and proceed TO SHOW HER MY PIC ON THE BACK FOR PROOF, AND I JUMP A LITTLE.

Clearly, I need more work on the coolness thing. Because jumping up and down at Barnes and Noble is not something people do.

So, the nice lady who is clearly not impressed says, “Well, IF you ARE the author, you can sign it.” I show her, again, the picture on the back and even consider taking out my driver’s license, and then I GRAB at her a little because I am just so excited.

At this point I think nice book lady just wants me out of the store. So she gets a pen and I get my girl friends, because they will be excited for me. They are my girlfriends. They know when to squeal and jump. The nice book lady is not reacting like I wanted her to – with jumping and squealing and all that. I really wanted to have a moment with her. Alas, it was not to be.

So, I had the moment with KATIE AND MELINDA*. The best girls ever.

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That’s Katie. She always has good hair. I would hate her for that but I can’t because I love her too much.

So, lookit. I found my book at a bookstore and I signed it. Signed two of them. And the book lady was patient and I teared up a little and hugged her. Afterwards she probably noticed the topic of my book and she said, “Ohhhhhh. It’s all very clear to me now. Why she was… that way.”  Whatevs, lady. I wrote a book. You just sell ’em.

 

Then we all sassy-walked, all authory and stuff, outta there. I did a few step-ball-kicks as we departed. It’s possible I waved and said, “Farewell booksellers! And buyers! I wrote one of the books that is IN THERE! Goodbye, my people!”

Anyhow.

And then we all went and had this for dinner:

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You know why? Because we WANTED to. We had three cookies and a brownie and copious amounts of coffee. For DINNER, y’all. I know.

Also: we ordered a pizza at ten o’clock and watched two and a half of the Matrix movies in our hotel room, and our convos went like this:

“Why is she wearing high heeled boots? She can’t run in those.”

“I know. And that coat. It’s all flappy. It’s gonna catch on something. See! It just flapped at that dreadlocked guy! He has good hair. But he could just grab the coat and then it would all be over.”

“It’s a fight scene. It needs to be over. We shoulda written this movie. Oh Lord have mercy. They’re fighting again. Why do they have to fight so much?”

“Why are there always weapons laying about? Clearly these people have no children.”

“Keanu does really well in movies where he doesn’t have to register any emotions.”

I’m telling you, it was off the hook.

So, back to the book. And, if you are interested, you can see more about it here.

Also (shameless plug?) if you have read it? Would you leave a review on the Amazons? I will send you a puppy in the mail if you do so.

Ok, just kidding.

Or maybe, that lipstuff that I bought at Sephora. I just read the packaging and it says it will also fold your laundry and walk the dog if you ask it to, real nice.

*MELINDA AND KATIE wanted to be included in this post. I used their REAL names. No subtle code names (Helga and Bertha were my first options) for these guys, oh noooo.

Melinda and Katie: They are all real, all the time. And I am so grateful.

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This post was sponsored by: Sephora, coffee, AMC movies, absolutely no wine, big fluffy pillows, and those cute little chocolates they put on the pillow for you at bedtime.

But not Teavana. I think this post will make that poor dude reconsider his path in life. Ones career path should not include “Wafter” as a job title.

No Matter What.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today.

The theme?

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Ok, I am remembering growing up with my father. Here are some thoughts:

John Waynish. Very swaggery.

General Pattonish.  Very STRICT.

Dennis Hopperish.  Little bit on the edge. Like looking into the wonderful abyss of “I Might Snap Today. Do You Feel Lucky?”

Gruff. Not the cuddliest. But Hilarious. Sorta like a teddy bear, with a rifle.

(Yes, Dad, you’re reading this. I know. Don’t worry. It gets better.)

Here is also something:

Whenever I would get in trouble (This was often. Like a regular occurrence. I think I had it penciled in on the calendar for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Sundays optional), Dad would lecture. He would get in my face, and add the Vulcan Death Grip on my elbow to make sure I was listening. Did you know the nerve endings in your elbow really DO link directly to your eardrums? They DO.)

Oh, there was gnashing of teeth and wailing, I tell you.

But, I so remember this, no matter how awful the situation… no matter how much I wanted to squirm away or he wanted me to, as he so often said in total exasperation: “KNOCK THAT @#$% OFF!”

… He would always say this:

“Dana. No matter what you do, or how much trouble you get into (which will be a lot), I will always love you.”

“I love you. No matter what.”

No matter what.

I type that right now and smile. It’s a deep breath. A full sigh of relief. A drink of water when you are so very thirsty. No matter what. I was safe in his universe. I was loved. I am loved.

Seriously. I could go off the deep end, make fun of Fox News, get a huge tattoo, leave my dog at his house for house sitting*, and even (gasp) put a Democrat’s bumper sticker on my car.

I could even relapse. And he would love me.

(And no, don’t worry dad. This post is not some sort of roundabout way of telling you I have done so. The only relapse I have had lately is with my hardcore addiction to Candycorn pumpkins. Halloween crack, I tell you. I can’t quit them.)

My dad probably had NO idea how he was teaching me the most important lesson I am still learning about Christ. It’s been some forty years, and I still hear him say,

“No matter what.”

Thanks, dad.

Thank you for helping me see my Lord as a Father who loves, no matter what.

Thank you, Jesus, for giving me the father I needed. Just the right one for me. And for helping me to see, through him, how you love completely, recklessly, wisely, and all OVER us.

Amen.

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Isn’t that sweet?

And true.

*Ok, I gotta tell the dog story… I left my beloved, neurotic, rather nutball dog, Norman, at mom and dad’s while I went off to a baby shower. I was gone for two hours. TWO. Norman, evidently, didn’t like that (mom and dad were gone too.)

Norman ate their door.

Like, the whole door.

He ate it.

Why? Who the heck knows. He’s a dog. And he never even showed any tummy distress. Lived to see another six years. With a door INSIDE him. And my dad also LET him live. Amazing. Cuz I really figured dad would have to go all Old Yeller on Norman for this little escapade.

Never really gonna live that one down.

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This is the post in which I sing at you.

Lots of deep thoughts here… mainly about my ego and my crushing inability to sing.

Bottled is ready for order! Click here to take a look.

Blessings, my peoples!

Celebrate with Me. Despite Me.

Posting over with Five Minute Friday today, and boy… is today’s theme a good one.

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You know what? God’s funny. He likes to teach me stuff, every once in a while, and generally… well I’m kinda slow… So, usually His method of instruction?

 
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The “whack you upside the head” kind of instruction.

Recently… some of you might have heard… I published a book.

Yep. It’s right here:

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Interested in taking a look at the book? Click here.

I KNOW. It’s very exciting. And now… I am in full throttle marketing… which means I need to do a lot of things: get my blog all up to date with the book (haven’t done), get some more interviews set up (not yet), and write about it (the book) a LOT on the blog so much that I probably annoy all my readers (on the way to that)…

And really? I just wanna take a long nap.

And really also? Sometimes?? When my dear friends tell me, “Hey! I ordered your book! I can’t WAIT TO READ IT!” my very first reaction is that my brain gets a bit wonky and I cringe.

This is what I’m working through: I wrote a book about my recovery, and now it’s OUT THERE and sometimes my friends? I still feel a little bit shy about the whole thing. In fact… I think?? I feel a little bit of shame. Still. After all this.

Shame.

Shame is NOT a God thing. Shame is straight up Satan’s department.

And you know what? Shame is NOT what this book is about and it is NOT what I am about ANY MORE.

Take THAT, wonky brain!

So, I am writing this post, as quickly as my little stubby fingers will type, to get it out there:

HEY! PUBLIC! AND FRIENDS! DID YOU KNOW?

I am an alcoholic in recovery. And for a while there my life was all kinds of crazy. Like batshit crazy (that’s for my Southern friends.) and I then took a big huge breath and wrote this book and am like, unfurling that past crazy on all of y’all that are gonna take the time to read the thing.

And I am CELEBRATING that today! Because… well… It’s a big deal! And I am not drinking today! and the book might help someone else! AND THAT IS THE POINT!

Phew. Just had to get it out there. Thank you for supporting my crazy. It’s a lotta work, I know. Cuz it’s a lotta crazy. BUT IT’S SOBER CRAZY.

YEA! *Happy, celebratory dance*

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Thank you, God for the smack upside the head. And thank you, Kate Motaung, for the topic choice. Thank you for reminding me that shame can be turned around. Let it be a calling card to get closer to God, and then let it go. Take shame and turn it inside out, and let it teach you something about claiming God’s love. This makes the great deceiver really, really mad, because he would like you to fixate on the shame and just hunker down in it for a while…

I am taking shame and turning it into Celebration of Him and His promises instead.

Amen?

Amen!

Galatians 5:1. Forever.

Beware! Bad Language Ahead!

This post is brought to you today because of Mamalode, one of my favorite mom mags!!

But, really? Mamalode has a… *furtive whisper* a potty mouth.

Gasp.

Now, right from the start, I always feel like I gotta apologize for the saucy language, y’all. It’s my mom’s fault.

When I was a kid, my sweet, totally angelic* mother would occasionally TRY, to the best of her abilities, to utter a bad word, and it would go like this:

Mom, frustrated about something:

“Well. This fiddlesticks. This was just working yesterday. I know because I used it.” Deep sigh. Looks around. “Well. This is just unacceptable. I mean… (jiggles handle on whatever it is) this is just really… I just have to say…” Big long silence followed by more sighs.

“Ok, I know it’s NOT ok, to talk like this, and I just am really, really sorry, but I just have to say…”

My sister and I are so poised and anxious for her to blurt it out that the stress is making us swear a lot.  But inwardly, of course.

“I am sorry. I really am. But this just is, well, you know…”

“MOM, PLEASE. JUST SAY IT. WE CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE! SAY IT!”

Sniff. “It’s just a *teensy tiny whisper voice” damn nuisance.”

And we can breathe again.

“I am so sorry! I know! Bad language and all! What is the world coming to!” and she grabs a hand towel and starts cleaning something.

Anyhow.

I won this award (See below) because I am! I AM! I am a Badass Mom!!

I am just gonna OWN IT! That’s right, Mother Forker!!!

Oh, I am so sorry, I got out of control there. I suddenly have a weird desire to go grab a hand towel and clean something…

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MEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Want to know more? Click here.

Thank you, Mamalode! You are the fracking cherry on the flipping cake of my fudgetastic day!

I am curious, what are your favorite non swearing words? Just to add to my repertoire? I need some new ones, badly.

*When my mom reads this? She’s gonna snort and say, “Angelic, my a$$.” I know her.

This is Marriage.

Long while back I had a friend who told me to read the book Tuesdays with Morrie. It’s a really sweet, sentimental book.

I know. I have really no idea why she suggested it for me.

Anyhow, the premise is this: If you spend time with someone, on a daily basis, you should really, you know, get to know them. Because people are generally awesome. They have stories to tell and lives that are lived, and we should realize how precious time is with them.

I know. It’s really sweet. And very true. And so, I was thinking just this morning how I have this other person who is like HERE like, A LOT and when, really, was the last time I sat down with him and just dug deep into his soul and got to “know” him?

It’s the husband. I’m talking about the husband. FYI. In case you were wondering if I had lost my mind and was talking about Steve the Cat. Or my sons. I do know my sons, but honestly? Deep conversation with my sons doesn’t happen too often because children.

So today! I am posting another installment in my series called:

THIS IS MARRIAGE.

So, here’s how we talk:

Exhibit One: We are persistent about calcium.

 

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Exhibit two: We do not freak out about scary stuff. In fact, we don’t freak out at all, we just blithely respond like it’s no big deal, leaving SOME OF US TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH KILLER EVIL STINGER THINGS.

There’s no resentment here. None at all.

 

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Exhibit Three: We go the extra mile.

 

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Exhibit Four: We get real. We even use saucy language.

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Exhibit Five: We quote scripture at each other. And by that I mean, HE sends me all these really uplifting, wonderful, LONGGGGGGG texts the bible all OVER the place. And I respond with my favorite verse. Because it’s short.

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Note how he completely ignores my snark and just keeps right on being SO HELPFUL AND SPIRITUAL. AWESOME.

 

Exhibit Six: We are very very honest. And we understand each other’s needs. Mine are usually about food.

 

 

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Exhibit seven: We are always willing to help out. Like when the husband needs to get a refill on a prescription we are more than happy to send pix.  And we are patient.

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And more pix…

 

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Exhibit Eight: We like to enjoy the little things. Like our kid. Dressed like a bat.

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Exhibit Eight:  We are straight up, no snark, here for each other. Even when autocorrect fails. We pray. Especially when we are far away, at Whole Women’s Weekend, dealing with a lot of stuff, and really really just needing an “I love you.”
I always get the “I love you.”

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This is marriage.

BOOM. 🙂