I Am… An Idiot

I don’t know if “idiot” is actually the right word to be using here, but I’m going with it anyway.

My husband and I moved the last weekend of April (9 days ago). The two of us did everything without any assistance from anyone. All of the packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking. At one point, there was a couch on the top of our station wagon while our queen-sized mattress was crammed into the back. We did it all in two days.

For healthy people, this might be something to celebrate. I am not a healthy person. I pushed myself much harder than I should have.

On my good days, my baseline pain level is around a 3-4. The days we moved were not good days. Stress tends to trigger chronic conditions into “flares” and moving is definitely stressful. I was starting my days out at a 5-6 and ending at around a 9. It wasn’t smart, and I won’t ever do it again. I told my husband that when/if we move again, we will be paying someone to do it for us. This move showed me that I am no longer capable of safely pushing my body that far.

Right now, over a week later, I am still walking with a limp due to the non-stop pain in my left leg. I am hesitant to go to the doctor because I doubt there is anything they can do for me and I don’t want to hear the lecture on how I shouldn’t be doing such strenuous activities. I already know that. I knew it before I did it. I’m just too damn stubborn to accept my limitations sometimes.

With all of that being said, I couldn’t be happier that we got moved! We are in a very nice neighborhood. The neighbors are friendly. I haven’t once been awakened by people fighting next door. I now have a washer and dryer in the house and a dishwasher, which make my daily life so much easier. My home isn’t falling apart, and even my dog seems to be more at ease.

After a week of unpacking and getting things in order, I finally feel (mostly) rested and ready to get back to work.

One final note, I know that I missed the deadline I set for the giveaway for BookBub followers, and I apologize for that. I will be announcing the winner tomorrow. Today, I’m going to be busy catching up on all of my social media since I have been offline for the better part of two weeks.

Enough about me though… How have you been?

Random First Lines #2

They had been together for twenty-five years. She hadn’t loved him at first, but he thought that had changed at some point. Now, he realized he had been mistaken about that.

As he felt his breaths becoming more and more shallow, and increasingly painful, he wondered what it had been that pushed her over the edge. He hadn’t seen it coming. As a matter of fact, he had convinced himself that she was happy. The ropes binding him to the bed and the knife sticking out of his chest proved that wasn’t true.

He found it hard to focus on his own thoughts. Death was surely not far off. His last conscious thoughts were of her. Would they believe her when she told them she hadn’t been with him willingly all these years? Were her parents still alive? If they were, how would they feel when their long-lost daughter came back into their lives after a quarter century?

 

I got the first line for this HERE

Be A Part Of The Process

Teresa's Think Tank

As an author, I am always looking for ways to improve. Whether it be how I market myself and my books, or simply the quality of my writing, I want to be better! I can’t think of any better way to do that than to get feedback from other people. I believe I have come up with a way to accomplish this goal that will be fun for everyone involved…

Teresa’s Think Tank

 

Teresa’s Think Tank will be a small group of volunteers gathered in a private/secret Facebook group. Together we will discuss what you think works and doesn’t work as far as how I’m using my platform as an author. I plan to start with no more than 20 members. If there are other authors involved in the group, you will be allowed to ask for advice on your own platforms as well. I would like to try to keep at least a 50/50 balance of authors to readers. (Yes, I know authors are readers as well!)

Here’s what I need from members:

  1. Have a gmail account. I will be uploading my current works to be reviewed exclusively by members as I am writing them. This will allow members to have the chance to read my stories before they are completed and provide feedback on what they like/don’t like about it before I submit it to be published.
  2. Have a Facebook account. You can’t be a member of a Facebook group if you don’t have an account! The group is invite only and will be the place we have our discussions.
  3. Have a Twitter account. This isn’t 100% mandatory, but it would be helpful as it is the social media platform I am most active on.
  4. Be willing to participate. I’m not asking you to dedicate hours of your time to this. I would like to see at least some kind of interaction once a week. If you volunteer, but later decide you don’t want to continue, no offense will be taken.
  5. I will be offering gifts/giveaways occasionally to members. These will likely only be available for US residents as international shipping can be very costly. It is not required that you be a US resident, but if you choose to be involved and don’t live in the US, please understand you may not be eligible for all of the perks. I will do my best to find things that are cost-friendly for any international members.
  6. Be a fan of the mystery/suspense/thriller genres! This one is actually pretty important seeing as how these are the genres I usually write. If you hate them, I doubt this will be something you enjoy being a part of.

I think that about sums it up! If you would like to be a part of Teresa’s Think Tank, there are several ways to let me know:

a. Contact me on Twitter

b. Contact me on Facebook

c. Send me an Email: tfhurstauthor@yahoo.com

d. Comment below!

Keep in mind that I am limiting the group to only 20 members to start. If I feel like a larger group will be helpful and manageable in the future I’ll post again asking for volunteers!

Open Letter to Americans Not Voting For Trump in 2020

Dear Non-Trump Supporter,

Can we talk for a minute? The 2020 election is still 20 months away and I’m already beginning to feel burnt out on the ugliness. Can we maybe take a step back, breathe deeply, and think about what the damage we’re already doing to our cause?

After the heartbreak that was the 2016 Presidential election, I had hoped that we would do better this time around. From what I’m seeing now, it’s going to be worse if we don’t stop attacking one another for supporting another candidate. I think the current count of Democrats running for president is somewhere around 16 right now. (There are so many I’ve lost track!) There are at least a couple of Independent candidates as well and one Republican officially announced to oppose Trump.

Reality Check Time: Not all of them are going to make it to the big show!

Now, I realize it’s exciting to find that candidate you truly think can win it all and make all the positive changes we want to see in this world. I haven’t found that candidate yet. I’m the voter who has to see how things play out. I need to do lots of research, watch debates, and weigh out the pros and cons of each candidate before I cast my primary vote. I’m a hard-sell.

What I’m not, is a voter who is willing to bash another voter for their choice in candidate. Hell, I won’t even bash a Trump supporter simply for casting their vote. I may have issues with their reasoning, but I don’t do personal attacks over purely political differences.

I’m already seeing people being bashed for their choice. It’s ridiculous. Let’s look at the big picture. What is the one thing we all hope for at the end of the day on Nov. 3, 2020. We want to see someone other than Trump win the election, right?

We aren’t going to achieve that goal if we consume ourselves with negativity. We need to work together if we’re going to vote him out. If the supporters of each candidate running against Trump fall into an all-or-nothing mentality, we’ll never be able to win.

Have we so quickly forgotten that this is precisely what caused Trump to win the 2016 election? Registered voters who either didn’t vote, or cast a “protest vote” because they didn’t like the outcome of the primaries made the difference in the election. It is time for us to set aside our differences and recognize our similarities.

Now, I’m not going to get into the debate over rigged primaries or who should or should not be allowed on the Democratic ticket. That is not the point of this post. The point is, we need to stop attacking one another. The Trump campaign is banking on his opposition destroying itself from within. Take a look around at the nastiness that is already being spewed. It has started. If we don’t put a stop to it now, it’ll only grow and we’ll be dead in the water.

Let’s do it right this time, and let’s start now.

Just Stop

New-Mesh-Pattern-Print-Leggings-fitness-Leggings-For-Women-Sporting-Workout-Leggins-Elastic-Trousers-Slim-Black.jpg_640x640

I’m a bit late coming across this, but I am left shaking my head for so many reasons. If you dare, take a couple of minutes to read it, then come back here to see my response and add your own:

https://ndsmcobserver.com/2019/03/the-legging-problem/

Allow me break this down one paragraph at a time…

“I’ve thought about writing this letter for a long time. I waited, hoping that fashions would change and such a letter would be unnecessary — but that doesn’t seem to be happening. I’m not trying to insult anyone or infringe upon anyone’s rights. I’m just a Catholic mother of four sons with a problem that only girls can solve: leggings.”

  1. Why are you allowing a piece of clothing to torment you to the point that you can’t stop thinking about it?
  2. No, you aren’t “trying” to insult anyone or infringe on their rights, you’re ACTUALLY doing it.
  3. Your “problem” with leggings is yours to deal with. You shouldn’t expect others to solve your problems for you.

“The emergence of leggings as pants some years ago baffled me. They’re such an unforgiving garment. Last fall, they obtruded painfully on my landscape. I was at Mass at the Basilica with my family. In front of us was a group of young women, all wearing very snug-fitting leggings and all wearing short-waisted tops (so that the lower body was uncovered except for the leggings). Some of them truly looked as though the leggings had been painted on them.”

  1. Let me help you understand why some women choose to wear “such an unforgiving garment” as pants. First, they are pants. Second, they are comfortable pants. Third, not all women are self-conscious about their bodies.
  2. Why is what other people are wearing something you are paying attention to at Mass? Shouldn’t your focus be elsewhere?
  3. I’ve seen a video showing women walking through a mall with painted-on pants (and tops <gasp>). My only concern was whether or not the paint would begin to itch when it dried. They looked good though.

“A world in which women continue to be depicted as “babes” by movies, video games, music videos, etc. makes it hard on Catholic mothers to teach their sons that women are someone’s daughters and sisters. That women should be viewed first as people — and all people should be considered with respect.”

  1. You’re right, women do continue to be depicted as “babes” in all of those outlets. Personally, I don’t have a problem with that because I believe we should consider ourselves “babes.” I don’t think there’s a problem with having the self-confidence to consider oneself attractive. Also, lets not forget that women are also depicted as brilliant, strong, and even super-heroes.
  2. If you are trying to teach your sons that women should be “viewed first as people” you’re doing it the wrong way. If the only way you can help them see that is to tell them that women are “someone’s daughters and sisters” you are teaching them that the value of a woman is based on her importance to someone else. STOP IT! Women are valuable simply because they are human. My value doesn’t start or end with the relationship I have with my parents, siblings, husband, or children. My value is mine without those relationships coming into play.

“I talk to my sons about Princess Leia and how Jabba the Hutt tried to steal her personhood by putting her into a slave girl outfit in which her body became the focus. (That’s the only scene in the whole franchise in which Leia appears in such a way — and it’s forced upon her.)”

  1. Is a fictional character the best you can come up with? I can offer you a few real-life examples of men diminishing the worth of women based on their appearance:
  •     Donald Trump (or any other person) rating women on a 1-10 scale
  •     Men catcalling women as they walk down the street
  •     Basically all of the men in this video

“Leggings are hardly slave girl outfits. And no one is forcing them on the countless young women who wear them. But I wonder why no one thinks it’s strange that the fashion industry has caused women to voluntarily expose their nether regions in this way. I was ashamed for the young women at Mass. I thought of all the other men around and behind us who couldn’t help but see their behinds. My sons know better than to ogle a woman’s body — certainly when I’m around (and hopefully, also when I’m not). They didn’t stare, and they didn’t comment afterwards. But you couldn’t help but see those blackly naked rear ends. I didn’t want to see them — but they were unavoidable. How much more difficult for young guys to ignore them.”

  1. You’re right, no one is forcing women to wear leggings, just like no one is forcing you to look at their butts when they do.
  2. If their “nether regions” are under the leggings, then they aren’t exposed. They’re covered. Again, stop it!
  3. Those young women didn’t feel any shame for what they were wearing. Don’t make them feel uncomfortable because YOU feel uncomfortable. Your feelings are your own, don’t push them on others.
  4. Let those men worry about themselves. Stop trying to be everyone’s mother.
  5. Apparently your sons have better manners than you. You were definitely ogling the bodies of these young women.
  6. I ignore the bodies of other people every time I am out in public. Unless those bodies are physically intruding on my personal space, they aren’t a problem for me. If I see someone/something that isn’t visually appealing to me (or perhaps TOO visually appealing) I avert my gaze. It’s pretty damn simple.

“I’ve heard women say that they like leggings because they’re “comfortable.” So are pajamas. So is nakedness. And the human body is a beautiful thing. But we don’t go around naked because we respect ourselves — we want to be seen as a person, not a body (like slave-girl Leia). We don’t go naked because we respect the other people who must see us, whether they would or not. These are not just my sons — they’re the fathers and brothers of your friends, the male students in your classes, the men of every variety who visit campus. I’m fretting both because of unsavory guys who are looking at you creepily and nice guys who are doing everything to avoid looking at you. For the Catholic mothers who want to find a blanket to lovingly cover your nakedness and protect you — and to find scarves to tie over the eyes of their sons to protect them from you!”

  1. I cannot argue with your first four sentences in this paragraph.
  2. ACTUALLY, we don’t “go around naked” because it’s illegal in most places. There is nothing wrong with being naked. In and of itself, being naked isn’t sexual. My personal opinion is that the world would be a better place if we were all naked and stopped acting like our bodies were something to be ashamed of. Stop teaching our children that boobs are a sex organ. Stop acting like naked equals bad.
  3. No, they aren’t just your sons. Men are also their own beings. Fully capable of controlling themselves just as women do when we see shirtless men on a daily basis.
  4. Why do I feel like that blanket would be itchy and hot, unlike those comfortable leggings?
  5. Use that scarf to cover your own eyes since you obviously can’t keep from staring at other women’s asses!

“Leggings are so naked, so form fitting, so exposing. Could you think of the mothers of sons the next time you go shopping and consider choosing jeans instead? Let Notre Dame girls be the first to turn their backs(ides) on leggings. You have every right to wear them. But you have every right to choose not to. Thanks for listening to the lecture. Catholic moms are good at those!”

  1. Leggings are form-fitting, but they are not naked nor exposing to most rational people.
  2. Why should anyone give two shits about what anyone else thinks about what they are wearing. Are you not teaching those sons of yours to not worry themselves with the opinions of others and to be true to themselves? If not, you are doing them a great disservice.
  3. You do know jeans can be extra tight too, right?
  4. I don’t attend Notre Dame or know anyone who does, but my guess is they’re going to continue wearing those oh-so-comfy leggings as often as they wish.
  5. Yes, they have every right to wear them or to choose not to. It is their decision, not yours.
  6. I’m not Catholic, so I don’t know if Catholic moms are good at lectures as you claim, but if you are the example we are using, Catholic moms might want to see if Notre Dame has a course on the art of debate. You didn’t do a very good job of convincing anyone.

 

Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!

10 Random Books/Authors

I asked my fellow authors to pitch me their books on Twitter. I had around 30 responses, and I’m sharing 10 of them with you! (Note: I haven’t read any of these yet, but that will change!)

  1. The Fairy Stepmother Inc. by Maggie Hoyt (Twitter: @fairystepmuminc):  If the world were fair, Evelyn Radcliffe would be a successful businesswoman. Instead, she’s got two dead husbands, two teenage girls obsessed with marrying princes, and not a single fairy godmother in sight.

2. Daughter of Man by Jacob StevenMohr (Twitter: @jacobstevenmohr): An immortal barbarian is all that stands between us and the monsters at our door. One young soldier is all that stands between her and madness. Can he keep her sane until the fighting is over? Or will her rage destroy everything around her – including him?

3. Cracks in the Tapestry by multiple authors (Twitter: Tapestry_Group): What happens when the mundane meets the extraordinary? Magical NASCAR races, sailors and sirens, magical rocks from the heavens, missionaries and dogmen, family returned from the dead, and much more. Take a peek through the Cracks in the Tapestry.

 

4. The Polyandrist by Mason Malone (Twitter: @masonmalonecom): Bedding Gordon is the easy part. Keeping it from Nolan and Greg long enough to get the payment from Erica proves more difficult than she initially thought it would be. It becomes tougher still when Erica is murdered.

 

5. Dyrwolf by Kat Kinney (Twitter: @katkinneywrites): Lea has spent her whole life training to kill werewolves Now one is stalking her in her sleep. When she finds a shifter caught in a trap, she knows he’s the white wolf from her dreams. Not that it matters. He’s one of them. And they’re at war.

6. Unkillable Joe by Joe Vallen (Twitter: @JoeVallen1): “Unkillable Joe” is about a sub-par comic creator (who the narrator hates) named Joe. Joe is confronted by his own characters and things get progressively out of control until the narrator is forced to protect his own reality. [Anti-Suicide undertones]

7. In the Belly of the Beast and Other Tales of Cthulhu Wars: A Cthulhu Wars Novel by Ben Monroe (Twitter: @_BenMonroe_): Post-apocalyptic Lovecraftian survival horror! It’s “Silent Hill” meets “the Hills Have Eyes.” In the Belly of the Beast and Other Tales of Cthulhu Wars: A Cthulhu Wars Novel

8. Heaven nor Hell by Clinton Love (Twitter: @clintlove4real): A succubus, her half human son, and his ghost girlfriend tear up strip clubs, fight a demon hunter named Bunny, and risk divine retribution, so they can sneak into Hell, cause a riot, and steal the Devil’s pet rock.

9. The Wanton Interim: 13 Stories to Eat You from the Inside by A.E. Lee (Twitter: @BOCArnie): When do your fears take over? The moment between choice and chance, when anything is possible. A look into our base urges, through the sands of time, The Wanton Interim waits. 13 Stories to Eat You from the Inside.

10. Mark of the Beast (Jackson Dark Novels Book 1) by Trevor Wooten (Twitter: @TLWooten_Art): Jackson Dark is a Savannah, GA based freelance artist, supplementing his income as a private investigator. Now the mafia boss who got away with murdering his friend 5 years ago, is primed to take over Dark’s current city.

 

I hope you will consider reading one of these books and showing some love to these authors by following them on their various platforms. Most importantly — make sure to leave reviews for books/authors you love!