Top Ten New York Moments

Perhaps you are actually like me.

Perhaps… you’re noticing some changes on the Momsie… And you’re doing this:

“What? WHAT? Momsie is DIFFERENT! This is DIFFERENT! THERE IS CHANGE AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS I START TO QUIVER LIKE A CAFFEINATED CHIHUAHUA.”

Ok, take a breath (believe me, I am doing a lot of that too.) Let me catch you up:

MY BOOK IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER AND HOLY CAFFEINATED CHIHUAHUAS I AM A MESS.

But, a mess in a good way. A perfect way, if you will.

Also, I really cannot spell chihuahua. Silly dogs. They quiver every time someone misspells their breed.

So, last week I went to the Book Expo in New York City, and I did all the cool author-book-signy things.

Also, I wore heels for a bit longer than I should have. There should be a warning label on those things.

Anyhow, without any more babble, here is my Top Ten Moments from New York, because that’s New York for you, it’s a Top Ten Moments kinda town.

MOMSIE’S TOP TEN MOMENTS FROM NEW YORK BECAUSE NEW YORK IS AWESOME:

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As one who has not had white flour in about five months, I salute you, New York sesame bagel with lox, cream cheese, capers, and onions. You were worth it.

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Well hello there, Mr….Stephanopikoikis. Stephfanipkikolus? Your name is right up there with the chihuahua, and you are just about as cute. So… tiny and cute and news-y. I just wanna put you in my pocket.

That sounds weird but he is kinda cute, no?

(It’s Stephanopoulos. Thank you, google.)

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People, just look at the lighting. It’s all… “She’s all glowy!”

Also, look at her HAIR (blowout prior to trip, thank you, Jessica. You are made me all Breck Girl and I kept tossing my hairs all over the place because that’s what you do when you are Brecky.)

Also, that’s Patrick, marketing guy, on my right. He kinda looks like he’s asleep but he was just checking his phone. Which is kinda the same thing.

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This kid’s wardrobe choice for Sunday church. Totally random, but it’s the whole combination here. The shorts. The bow tie. The smirk.

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I am not a selfie taker but New York had me at hello. I was just so happy I had to record it.

Plus, yes, I am letting the gray come in. I like it. Don’t message me.

5.

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This church was across the street from my hotel. My first night there I ended up walking around the block – and ended up in a completely different area, unintentionally. I used this church as a beacon, because my google maps did not like my hotel location. I find this symbolic because I am a writer and I like symbolism. Plus, it’s pretty.

In my wanderings, by the way, I turned a corner and myself on Broadway. Perhaps tiny jazz hands happened. Perhaps.

4. I saw Dakota Fanning. Boom.

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Ok, I walked and walked and walked. I spent a good few miles on the High Line – a really cool walking park that had been created out of old rail lines. So gorgeous. And I ended up here. And then… my phone died. So all I have is one blurry, foggy picture of Lady Liberty. She was beautiful and I never get tired of seeing her.

Here’s the High Line:IMG_8261.JPG

2. Ok, when I was on the plane to New York I got rather stressed out because I realized I had no cash, and I KNEW I wanted to tip my driver. And I knew also that I wouldn’t really be able to stop and get cash once in the airport, so, as travel does… I was getting all stressed out about this. And so, I stopped, took a breath, and prayed, “Lord, can you help me figure out how to get cash for my driver? Thank you.”

Then I looked around and decided I would read. And lo,there was a letter from my moms in my bag and I thought, “Oh! Her letters are like ten pages long, so I finally have the time!” And I opened it… and …..IMG_8137.JPG

Y’all. She put cash in the letter. That thing had been sitting in my bag for over two weeks. It was just enough for a nice tip.

God really loves to do cool stuff like that, I bet.

 

And finally….IMG_8170-2.JPG

  1. This church (blurry because we were hustling to get there) is where I went at SIX AM for a recovery meeting. And it was awesome. Also, it was a block away from Times Square. Because, that’s how a Momsie rolls.

 

I am just so grateful and excited about this whole thing. Blessed beyond measure.

It was perfect.

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Done, Part One.

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Setting: A college classroom. Various students are slouched in chairs, tired, and they are all wearing weirdly tapered Nike pants, which were so in style when I was a kid, but I still cannot fathom that young men are wearing these things today.

They kind of look like M.C. Hammer. But, you know.

I teach this class. The tapered pants are a distraction, but for the most part, we get through.

Last class we were discussing what a writer does for a living. And I was all:

“Hey, looket! I wrote a book. Like, for real. Here, let me show you!” And I showed them. But not, for real, because I have NO COPIES OF MY OWN BOOK for some reason. This is a weird glitch – but then, I figured. If you were Mark Hamill, would you have a bunch of copies of Star Wars at your house? That would be odd, right?

Actually, I so would. I would have a ton of Star Wars movies at my house.

And, too, I am not comparing Bottled to Star Wars. That’s just crazy.

Maybe Battlestar Galactica, though.

But I digress.

Then the whole class shouted, “NO WAY. Like, for REAL? Will you sign my notebook? Oh, wait, I forgot to bring paper. Or a pencil. So, here, sign my pants!”

That’s not how they responded. No. There were crickets. Crickets were chirping. I think one cricket felt sorry and said, “Nice job, dude,” but I am not sure because I don’t speak cricket.

Such is the glamorous life of a writer. You work on something for nine months and then you find yourself hoping that weirdly panted college kids will think you’re cool.

Ok, now, truth be told, I don’t really need the approval of these wee lads. But, at times, the writing life can be like this. You find yourself with all these pages of your life and you kind of carry it around, toting it from one reading to the next, and saying, “Please. Read me,”  hoping for a signing that has more then three people at it, one of which showed up because he was looking for the bathroom.

We writers. We are ego, coated in insecurity, propped up by a thesaurus.

So, a few weeks ago, I left my husband and babies (see below):

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These are not my actual present-day babies. I mean, they ARE my babies, but this is a much older picture. It was on my desktop. How could it not be? I mean, look at them. The adorable is strong with these two. Blond is all… Blondo Suave. And Red? Full on nutball.

Nothing much has changed really.

But, anyhow, I left ’em. And I drove here:

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To work on this:

 

IMG_7005.jpgAnd I was greeted by this guy:

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Look deeply into my eyes. I am here for you, dude. Write. WRITE LIKE THE WIND.

Yes. It’s a church. As I am a deeply spiritual person, and am always kinda Floaty with Jesus, it only made sense that my writing retreat would be at a church.

Ok, but seriously, my friend Sonya loaned me her house while they traveled. She has the added benefit of being a pastor’s wife.

But, I am deeply spiritual. Just not Floaty. One cannot be floaty with two small children.  That’s just asking for trouble.

So, I was working on the second book. The publisher that worked with me on Bottled actually decided to let me stick around, and so, Perfect* was born.

Actually. Not yet. It’s done… but it’s not DONE done. Because there is editing and fixing and moving and cutting and OH GREAT FLOATY FATHER there is still so much more work to do.

And I love it all.

Oh, and also, at the writing retreat? There was this:

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Cat, accessorized by a clip.

And:

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I’m in charge.

And:

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And IIIIIIIIIIIII EEEIIIIIIIII WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOUUUUUUUUEEEOOOUUUU.

IT WAS ALL CATS, ALL THE TIME.

Cats + writing + fifty thousand Blow Pops + too much coffee = and almost done book. It’s possible I’m dedicating it to those cats.

 

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*This is a working title. Other possibilities:

The Perfect Book

Second Books Are Hard

This is a Book and I Wroted It

Prefection

 

 

 

 

And so on.

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.

Conference Calls Make Me Twerk

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today!

The theme?

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So, there are moments in my life where I am astounded by the simple fact that I have made all the way here. For all this time. For this long. I mean, I’m not gonna get all mushy or fatalistic or weird on you (insert obligatory eye roll from the lawyer here), but here is the deal:

GOOD GRAVY I AM AN ADULT. IT IS TOTALLY SHOCKING.

Here’s what I mean for all you poor slobs out there who are reading this thinking, “Well… uh… yea. She’s surprised by aging? By how the days go by and then, uh, birthdays? This blog. I give up.”

No, I mean it. I really am surprised sometimes that I am not still 18.

And I am also very VERY grateful I am not really 18.

It’s a strange paradox. Being me.

Anyhow, I KNOW there are some of you out there who get this, right? For example:

  1. You get the mail. Inside the mail is a letter from the IRS.

Adult self: Opens letter, maybe even with silver letter opener thingie like they use in soap operas, reads contents, and goes on with your day.

Surprised That I’m Not 18 Self: Gasps, sets letter down as if there is a spider on it, looks around. The IRS is hunting you down. By MAIL. You are in trouble. Walks away quickly to eat a Snickers.

2. The phone rings.

Adult Self: You answer it.

Surprised by… you know: Gasps. Looks around. You are probably in trouble OR someone has died. Walks away quickly to eat a Snickers.

3. Someone is at the door.

Adult Self: You answer the door. LIKE A BOSS.

Surprised Loser Self: Runs and hides with Snickers.

For some reason my lack of adulting always reverts back to chocolate? This is good and bad.

Anyhow. Lately, I have had to do a number of things called: Conference Calls with The Big Kahunas At Central Recovery Press.

These people are wonderful and lovely. They are smart, and really good at what they do, and also, I think, super cute.

But they keep making me do CONFERENCE CALLS. THESE ARE HARD.

You have to listen to others, and not interrupt too much or breathe too heavily or snicker at them (laughing, not eating) because no one really gets why they are all talking business stuff and you’re over there chortling at something someone said like two minutes ago.

Also: they use words like “marketing” and “talking points” and “live radio interviews” and all this makes you feel rather jangly.

Oh, and there is a teensy bit of time delay with conference calls. So things like this happen:

Boss at CRP: Let’s talk again soon.

Me: I’m fine, and how are you?

So last week I had another conference call with my publisher about The Book*** (I wrote a book.Did you know?) and it went rather well, actually. And here is why:

I twerked before it. While waiting for my other conference callers to get on the line, I stood, in my pajamas in the kitchen, with my dog and some coffee (I had the coffee) and listened to the Muzak version of “Hips Don’t Lie” and my hips, they just could NOT lie. They had to get down. So, I walked around my house, rumping up against things and confusing the hell out of the dog, but it was HOT, I tell you. I was on FIRE.

No, not really, but it was good for my 18 year old soul to shake what my momma gave me (thanks, Mom!*) and get over myself for two minutes before Big Important Business.

Sometimes? You better twerk.

And then, totally slip on the linoleum because fuzzy slippers, and spill coffee on the dog** but you know, you managed to recover with hair flip and no groin pulls.

*My mom is mortified by this thought.

** No sweet pweshum doggies were harmed by the making of this post. At least physically. I did catch him on the phone with his therapist later asking if he could get in for an “emergency appointment.” The twerking. It’s gonna cost him.

*** Yes, I wrote a book. Bottled: A Mom’s Guide to Early Recovery.

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Want to order? Click here or here!

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The twerking. The horror.

Lions and Tigers and Podcasts, Oh My.

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Yes, this is a picture of my son, dressed like a bat. Don’t worry. It sorta pertains. But also, it’s just cute.

Well, my friends, it’s been a week.

A WEEK, I tell you. Like the kind of week that feels like it wants to tussle.

My week is all: “COME AT ME BRO! I’M GONNA TROUNCE YOU!”

I respond with:

“Can I just give you a hug and then maybe we get some coffee? Wait, let me find my scrunchie. And my glasses. I still am in my jammies. I can’t do tussle right now. Simmer down.”

I am in what is called FULL MARKETING MODE with The Book. (Did you know? I wrote a book.) Yep, that’s what I’m doing. It’s all kinda crazy. And I’m learning things like:

  1. You can do a full podcast from your car, parked behind your house in the back alley, at nine pm, as the cop car suspiciously circles past you because you’re parked right by the garage that was broken into last week and you keep waving, while you are podcasting, to the sweet police officer who kinda thinks you’re nuts anyhow. Long story. Has to do with bats. On the stairs, IN my house. I know, right? This is my life. The police think of me as “crazy bat lady.” It’s charming.
  2.  Every time I have an interview with anyone, I try to speak with a “low tone.” I was given the advice once that I kinda    sound like “nervous Minnie Mouse” on the radio, so from hereon I attempt a low, sultry, TOTALLY RELAXED voice… I like to think of myself as the Jessica Rabbit of Recovery, but with less cleavage.
  3. The snort laugh has happened. It was a live interview. Yep. So there’s that.
  4. All things said, (poorly and with some snorting) I can survive marketing. I really can.

Would you pray? Would you pray for the book to find itself in the hands of one who needs it? Would you pray that my words help? Would you?

Thank you my dears. I am ever so grateful.

Bottled: A Mom’s Guide to Early Recovery is available on amazon. Click here

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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!