Because Your Mother Wants You To…

Because Your Mother Wants You To…

bookbuzz graphicI’m interrupting this Month of Mothers today to tell you to listen to your mother. She told me she wanted you to come to Book Buzz NYC – 2013 and she is never wrong.

If you don’t come, you will only be crying into your coffee when I post all the photos and you see all the fun you missed.

If you do come, you get: 1 FREE Shplika Vodka Pink Stiletto cocktail, complimentary snacks, thanks to Diversion Books, and lots of great deals on bargain-priced signed books!

Come get BUZZED with us! It’s not too late to RSVP: bookbuzz2013@gmail.com

If you think you’re still not convinced, watch this:

Right? So see you all tonight! And if you can’t make it, don’t sweat it. We’re still going to have a great summer together here in the Shed. Lots of fun stuff planned.

Enjoy!

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162762_2662032389151_5076510_nLet’s connect! Find me on Twitter and Facebook, and email me: francine@francinelasala.com.

(And also, find me TONIGHT and 7 of my fave author gal pals getting our buzz on at STONE CREEK BAR AND LOUNGE at 140 E. 27th Street –between 3rd and Lexington–from 7pm to 9pm!!)

“It’s Not A Chicken” by Richela Fabian Morgan

“It’s Not A Chicken” by Richela Fabian Morgan

IMG_6260***BOOK EXPO GOERS: Look for Richela at the Midtown Stage at 2pm Thursday!***

When I was in high school, my biology teacher Dr. Anthony DeFina had several human anatomy charts permanently adhered to the chalkboard: the skeletal system, the nervous system, the muscular system, and so on. He rarely wrote on the chalkboard, which was great because there was barely any room to write. Instead he loved pointing to his charts. He pointed to various parts of the body and, with his back to his students, called out a random name to tell him what it was that he was pointing to. He didn’t care that his dirty white lab coat—a serious sartorial choice for any high school science teacher—was a bit threadbare on the backside, or that we got to see underneath his comb-over from the rear. He would point and wait, sometimes tapping the mystery body part while we students rifled through our textbooks for the answer.

One day “Doc” (as he was affectionately known as) was particularly interested in our knowledge of the digestive system. But instead of going around the room for singular answers, Doc pleaded for a chorus. And we obliged.

“Liver!”

“Pancreas!”

Esophagus!”

This went on until he pointed to something too small to see from even the front row of desks. Exclamations turned into question marks, and the chorus was reduced to a smattering of tentative voices.

“Gallbladder?”

“Small intestine?”

Doc put down his pointer, turned to face us, and said in his best/worst Albert Einstein impression, “It’s not a chicken, it’s not a shvan, but it’s a DUCT—a bile DUCT.” Then he quacked twice before turning around and moving on. To say that we were stunned would be an understatement.

There is a reason why I am sharing this story with you. I am a duct tape crafter, but I sometimes think that it wasn’t chance or circumstance that brought me to duct tape.

IMG_2922Yes, it’s true that I began crafting with duct tape because of my kids. They were drawn to a shiny display of primary colored rolls at our local hardware store, like moths to a light. How could I say no? And it’s also true that my kids often inspire my work. Duct tape fingerless gloves or a reading pillow that looks like a book are not projects that I would have dreamed up myself.

But I think it was destiny. Because every time I start duct tape crafting, I hear Doc’s words, his quacking, and then the stunned silence of his perplexed students. Because every time I go shopping for duct tape, my inner monologue does a terrible impersonation of Doc doing his best/worst Einstein, and I sometimes find myself quacking up in the middle of the store. Because I am a duct tape crafter and I often think of how my high school biology teacher kept those anatomy charts on the chalkboard. It MUST have been duct tape.

Life is full of little stories that that can seem like coincidence. Doc and the duct story, me and my duct tape destiny. I haven’t seen or spoken to the man in almost 15 years. He doesn’t teach at my old high school anymore—is he even alive?? And what would he think of my duct tape crafting books? Would he crack a smile or make me name the parts of the digestive system?

For the past year I’ve had the pleasure of doing duct tape crafting workshops in libraries around the country. And if I’m in a particularly nutty mood, I’ll start the workshop by holding a roll of the sticky stuff up and asking if anyone knows what it is. It usually catches the kids by surprise, my incredibly silly question. Of course they know what it is! But they sometimes call it duck tape instead of D-U-C-T tape. And so I say to them in my best/worst Doc-doing-Einstein impersonation, “It’s not a chicken, it’s not a shvan, but it’s a roll of DUCT…tape!”

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Doc is part of my story, of how I got to be where I am today. I may not know much about biology, but I’ll remember that man forever. My kids know the story well, and every now and then a tiny voice can be heard in my house, doing his or her best/worst mommy-doing-Doc-doing-Einstein impersonation: “It’s not a chicken, it’s not a shvan…”

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***Don’t forget BOOK EXPO GOERS: Look for Richela at the Midtown Stage at 2pm Thursday!***

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RICHELA FABIAN MORGAN is the author of the best-selling craft book TAPE IT & MAKE IT. She is currently featured in the book ALL THINGS PAPER by Ann Martin. Her next book, TAPE IT & MAKE MORE, is coming out September 1st. When she’s not picking through her neighbor’s trash for crafty treasures, Richela teaches eco crafting at the Sheldrake Environmental Center. She lives with her husband and two children in Larchmont, New York. You can learn more about her crafts, her cooking, and her domestic follies on her website: www.richelafabianmorgan.com.

Check out Richela’s Amazon author page, follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook. (You can also read an interview with Richela here!)

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Let’s connect! Find me on Twitter and Facebook, and email me: francine@francinelasala.com.

“A Motherhood Manual for Moving?” by Wendy Ely

“A Motherhood Manual for Moving?” by Wendy Ely

Kids at Sunset PointDo you ever wish motherhood came with a manual? I sure do. Especially this month.

First, let me introduce you to my family. Dan and I have a blended family. Our crew consists of one girl (my daughter) age 16. We also have Trevor (my son) and Mark (his son) who turn 15 in June and July. Alexis also has a boyfriend who has become part of our family. He is 17.

Okay… back to my story. Ten months ago Dan and I found what seemed like the perfect house for us. We felt that the landlord was easy to work with and we were eager to move in. Our hopes were crushed right away. The kitchen was too small, our landlord nagged us over everything (including what we threw away in our trash), and she had all of her mail sent to our house. These issues seemed small when we thought about our kids. The house was big enough for our crew and two cats. Our daughter was turning 16 and her boyfriend wanted to buy her a rabbit which our landlord agreed to. Both of our kids who live with us full-time were in great schools. Fine… we’ll stay here for another lease term (1 year). We reached ten months at that house.

Then… everything turned to chaos.

Imagine this… May 1st arrives. In May we have Alexis turning 16 with a giant party planned, both boys graduating 8th grade, and Alexis plays the drums in band. Besides that, she dances. May is the month where she has four dance shows in one week and a band performance the following week. And my landlord calls to say, “I need to let you know that your house went into foreclosure. I’m only telling you this in case you get some papers from the bank.”

So… I went into panic mode and we started looking for another house right away. Our landlord wouldn’t give us any information such as when the bank would be taking over. All we knew was that she hadn’t paid the mortgage all year. Our kids came home from school that day and I had to tell them that we were moving from the house they loved. Trevor doesn’t adapt well to change and began to worry. How would he get to school? What if we don’t find a house in his distract and he will have to go to another high school? The questions and worries went on and on.

The kids were our biggest concern. We didn’t want Trevor to stress over the move and we didn’t want to interrupt Alexis’ sixteenth birthday party or make them switch schools. But we also didn’t want to have the bank take over and be kicked out on the street. So we decided to evaluate our options and pick the best choice.

The problem with our area is that there really is a small number of middle class homes. You either find upper class or low… not much to choose from in the middle ground where we needed to be. Dan and I spent two days driving up and down the streets of the neighborhood we wanted to be in with hopes of finding a “For Rent” sign. Luck was on our side the second day and we found two houses right across the street from the school. We signed the lease the following day.

This new house is a lot nicer than our old house, has the right number of bedrooms with an extra bathroom, has a mini office space for me, we get to have our pets, we’re now in a safer neighborhood, and the best part… the house is across the street from the high school!

Moving was hard. Our old landlord spewed us a bunch of lies and tried bribing us to stay there even though she was losing the house. She also tried threatening us for breaking our lease. Because she lived next door, she knew our schedules and tried making contact with us whenever we went over there. We even found her walking strangers through our house without letting us know first. This inspired us to move faster.

And I have great kids. Alexis insisted that we postpone her party so we had a small birthday celebration. She had so many school projects to finish up she wasn’t able to help move often. Trevor stepped in and did extra, giving her time and us some help. On performance nights, Dan and I moved a load of stuff, ran home to change into “good clothes”, and headed over to the school. By the time we’d arrive home for the night, we’d be ready to drop with exhaustion.  And… we ate lots of restaurant food.
We’d went with our gut instinct it and it turned out to be the right thing for our kids. We often say we’d love a manual on motherhood, but you know what? We have them already. Our hearts and instincts are our manuals. My son confirmed this the first night at our new house when he gave me a hug, and said, “I love our new house.”

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WENDY ELY lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her children and her own real life hero. She keeps busy writing romantic suspense and contemporary romance novels, spending time with her family, and taking care of two cats. No matter what, Wendy believes in true love and happily ever after which she provides in her novels!

Connect with Wendy:
Amazon (check out her current releases)

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Email: authorwendyely@gmail.com

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Let’s connect! Find me on Twitter and Facebook, and email me: francine@francinelasala.com.