The Name is Bond. Jane Bond. Or Not.

I have some very, very sad news.  It was a hard week for me, once I came to this realization.  Because I found out something important about myself…

I will never be a super secret spy. sad face

 

I had already had given up my dreams of being a princess (no pedigree) or a ballerina (not so gifted with the gracefulness).  I also accepted that I was not going to be a scientist (let’s just say math and I are not on the same wavelength) nor a truck driver (Yes, I wanted to be one!  But I think you have to have some sort of spacial awareness for that, yeah?).  But darn it, now I’m not going to be a super secret spy, either!

Before I was born, my dad was in the CIA.  So I always just imagined that should I ever have the inclination, I would be a natural, right?  Because surely I inherited the genes.  But I didn’t!  In reality, it turns out I would be more of a Maxwell Smart-type (old people like me will get that reference) and I’m just so dejected.

My first inkling of my less than sneaky skills was when I ‘friended’ my brother and his wife on my Kinley Dane Facebook page.  Seems innocuous, but it took me a few days to realize that if friends and family on my personal Facebook were to see that my brother ‘liked’ or commented on something on my Kinley Dane Facebook, they would know about Kinley Dane and my super secret alter ego would be exposed!

So I regrouped my spy skills and banned my brother from liking and commenting.  When I posted a picture of myself on my Kinley Dane Facebook, I think my text to him was, ‘Whatever you do, for the love of God, DON’T LIKE OR COMMENT ON MY FACEBOOK POST!’

But then I found myself commenting on my brother’s posts in one persona and then continuing the conversation in the OTHER persona.  Multiple times.  And I couldn’t blame him for that, much to my disappointment.

The final straw came when I posted the same video on both of my Facebook pages.  I took this silly video of my pets in my bed (if you want to watch it, go here) and tried to post it directly to my personal Facebook from my phone.  After a while, when it still hadn’t appeared, I tried to post it again.  And, oddly enough, it still didn’t work, so I decided to try another way and posted it to Facebook from You Tube on my computer.  That time it showed up, so all was well.  Until I logged onto my Kinley Dane Facebook page and saw the darn video posted twice there!

So that was it, slapped rudely in the face by my own ineptitude.  But there’s good news on the horizon!  There’s still one more childhood dream job I haven’t explored, yet.

I’m going to be a lion rescuer!  Or an orphaned monkey caregiver.  OR a goat keeper.  Yeah, that is definitely one I still want to be.  I mean, what could go wrong, right?

 

goats-on-trees-in-morocco-5

 

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Is The Candy Gone? Is It Safe To Come Out, Yet?

Woo, Friday was a tough day, food-wise for me.  It started first thing in the morning at work, because everyone decided to put their treats out right away.  I stayed strong the first part of the day, eating my normal breakfast and determinedly trying to focus on work and ignore the siren calls of the junk.  But by lunchtime, it was all over.

To preface this, you should know that about 5 months ago, I completely changed my diet.  I primarily eat a plant-based, whole food diet now.  I’ve lost weight, I look better, feel better and all that fun stuff.  I definitely treat myself now and then, so I’m not completely inflexible, but generally I try to keep my treats to one meal or dessert. And normally, I honestly have no trouble sticking to it.  But on Halloween?  It was an all day food orgy of the junkiest kind.

 

hot dogcakecandy wrappers

 

There was more, but those are the ones I paused long enough to take a picture before I stuffed my big mouth with them.  It might not seem soooo terrible, but consider this: I no longer eat meat, sugar or processed food.  Which pretty much exactly represents what I ate that day.  Saturday and even Sunday were TOUGH getting my raging food hormones (are there such things?  it sure feels like there are) back under control.

Halloween night was actually a reprieve.  Because our weather was awful this year, my brother and sister-in-law decided to take the kids to the mall for trick or treating.  I had no idea malls even did this, but apparently, it’s a thing!

I figured it would be crowded, but people, I had no idea…

mall halloween 2

The kids had to wait in these HUGE lines to get their candy:

mall halloween

Which meant there was not a lot of candy to be had.  Fortunately for the kids, they have the most awesome aunt (me!) and grandparents who brought them some extra candy to make sure they had their proper allotment of Halloween goodies.

And, okay, I did kind of pull a pathetic aunt move by buying the girls organic suckers, instead of the ring pops I was also considering, but thank the candy gods,  my brother told me the next day that the girls loved them.

organic suckers

I wasn’t completely pathetic…I did get them some other fun suckers and I got my nephews giant Hershey bars and other chocolates…

Halloween suckers Hershey barcandy bars

 

…AND now I want junk food again. Great.

Okey dokey, I better get myself out of here until the scent of sugar has dissipated.  Feel free to stay and snack, but just be sure to take the empty wrappers with you!

Oh, and p.s.  I do allow myself a few pieces of chocolate every night, because chocolate is one thing I’m not gonna give up.  I just make sure it’s dark & organic and I take these tiny little bites so I can savor it.  Here’s my absolute favorite brand!

Salazon-Chocolate-Co-Dark-Chocolate-Bar-Organic-Natural-Sea-Salt-850225002002

Cue angels singing. No, seriously, it’s that good.

What We Wouldn’t Say

Great, grey beasts holding secrets in their trunks, startled when I shouted, “Enough!  We can see you.”

Trumpeting, they left, spewing truths around the room.  We scooped up brittle pieces, examining them while they crumbled.

“Were they always this fragile?” we wondered.

 

I am participating in Yeah Write’s Gargleblaster.  To find out more, click the button!

Angst Away!

broken heart

I love angst.  Well, maybe not in real life.  Actually, it pretty much stinks in the real world.  But in romance novels?  Ooh, I eat that stuff up.  I love a good heart pang in the middle of a romantic complication.  But, speaking as someone who’s read plenty of romances…it’s a very fine line.  Because heart-pangy angst can easily slip into annoying stupidity.

As I’ve been working on my own novel, I have been thinking of what I don’t like in other people’s books, so I can try to avoid doing that same stuff in mine.  Easier said than done, but a good goal, anyway.  And one of the most annoying things to me in romance novels is manufactured angst.

Yes, I know, I just said I love it, but what I love is the angst that seems to naturally fit the plot, stuff that the characters have no control over.  Or maybe it’s something they do have control over, but it takes them a while to figure that out and find a way to fix it.

But when it’s because they don’t or worse, won’t talk about something, or because of the silliest misunderstandings, it makes me want to chuck the book.

You think he’s cheating because the very clearly villainous secretary implied that she was with him and then you don’t even ask him about it?  Stupid.  You can’t be with her because you thought you overheard her saying she loves someone else, but again, you don’t ask?  Come on!

But give me a man who has lost his family and is afraid to open himself up again or a woman who is pretending to be someone else for legitimate reasons and I’m all over that.  And if you make me cry a little, even better!

In the end, it’s all subjective and obviously I can’t entirely anticipate what will bug other people when they read my novel.  I can only write it from my perspective and hope that readers won’t feel the urge to gnash their teeth in frustration.  Or chuck my book.  There will be no chucking my book!

So fair warning to anyone who might want to read my novel someday, just so you know, and you’ve probably by now guessed…there be angst.  Hopefully not silly, non-communicative angst, but angst, nonetheless.  Cause I love it.

Safe Passage

 

I’m here, daughter.

Release fear; take my hand instead.  The same hand, last caressed, do you remember?

You held it when I left you.

Now let me

hold yours.  We will chase away seeping cold

together,

as time

falls away

once

more.

 

 

I’m participating in Yeah Write’s Micro-Challenge.  Find out more by clicking the button.

A Very Long-Winded Explanation For One Little Picture

When I had my original blog, Simply She Goes, I was Kianwi and I did my best to blog anonymously.  I never had a picture of myself, or even a human avatar, instead using things like flowers or lips to represent me out in the great, big Internet.  It’s hard to explain, but the thought of putting up my photo just made me feel too exposed.  This wasn’t really a problem, though, because lots of other bloggers don’t show themselves, either.

When I decided to start this blog and planned to build an online presence for my romance novel pen name Kinley Dane, I figured a picture of a pink flower wasn’t going to cut it.  An author needed a face, right?  But did I need to show my face?  I mean, it was a pen name, after all.  So I visited some clip art sites and searched for ‘blondes.’  Eventually, after wading through hundreds of cartoons of over-the-top sexy, I finally found a picture I could live with and bought it.  This one:

 

Fotosearch_k17144079

 

I thought it was cute and a little sexy, sure, but believe me, it was way tamer than what else was out there and it seemed to represent a romance author well.  So I slapped it on my bio and that was that.

Until I was messaging recently with an online friend.  We talked about my avatar and her sexiness, as well as the idea of having an actual picture up, so people could put a face to the name.  The more I thought about it afterward, it struck me that maybe this image wasn’t really the right fit after all.  For one thing, I started to worry that I was misleading people in a Catfishy kind of way.  I’m way more t-shirt and jeans than little black dress.  And even though Kinley Dane is a fake name, she’s still me.

I recently took a picture of myself to text to another online friend so she could see my blow out, as it looked very different from my normal, curly-because-I’m-too-lazy-to-straighten-it-hair.  I found out that it was the first time she had actually seen a picture of me, which really surprised me, because it had never been my intention to hide myself from her, it was more a side effect of blogging anonymously, I guess.

After much pondering, I’ve decided to suck it up and put a face to the name.  Yeah, it’s still a fake name, but that’s more for romance author purposes than anything else at this point.

So here goes!

 

Straight hair 2

 

I know.  This isn’t the best picture. I am like the anti-Kim Kardashian of selfies. Actually, I’m pretty much the opposite of Kim Kardashian in every way now that I think about it, but the point is, I’m not great at snapping my own picture.  I don’t remember to smile, because I’m concentrating too hard on looking in the right spot on my phone and clicking on the whatsis and when I do manage to smile, it comes out all wonky with a mentally imbalanced kind of vibe.  But since I don’t feel like waiting for another good hair day when someone else is around to take my picture, you get a serious selfie for now.  But hey!  That’s me, guys!

Okay, phew.  Glad that’s out of the way.

 

 

Heady Cheese

I was waiting on my Swiss cheese at the deli counter, when I heard muttering.  I glanced over at the customer next to me, who was scanning the meats.  His face suddenly lit up and he scooted closer to me, knocked his elbow against mine and pointed at the display case.  “I’m getting me some of that!  Hot head cheese.  Woo!”

I looked at the head cheese and then eyeballed him sideways as I scrunched my nose.  “Um, ew,” I said.  I know, it was rude, but head cheese?  Do you know what that is?  It’s bits and pieces of a cow or pig’s head and possibly brain, all processed into a hard meat jelly.  Yes, meat jelly.

 

I kid you not, this is what it looks like. (source)

 

“Oh, no babe, it’s good,” he chuckled.  “Have you ever had it?”

“Well, actually no.  I haven’t.”

“You gotta try it then!  You’re missing out.”

“Okay, good point,” I said, nodding my head.  “I don’t really know what it tastes like.  But just the thought, ugh.”

“Well you’re gonna try it today.  Come on, I’ll have the lady give you a piece.”

I stared at him for a second, shrugged and said, “Okay, sure, why not.”

For future reference?  If you say something like ‘why not’, that generally means there’s probably a reason why not and you might want to give it some more thought.  But sadly, I didn’t.

When the deli server handed me my Swiss, he gave her his order and asked her to get me a piece.  She smiled at me and quirked her brow, but I didn’t say anything.  I was preparing to eat brains.

She quickly returned with a gigantic slice of head cheese.  I grabbed it from her and peeked over at my new friend who smirked and said, “Go on!  Try it!”

I jiggled the slice a little, wincing, before I took a deep breath, ripped off a piece and slowly put it in my mouth.  Now, I don’t want to give anyone nightmares, but I’m telling you, there were chunks.  I chewed globs of brain matter, maybe some tongue or snout, all mixed in with gelatinous pieces of I-don’t-know-what.

But I’m proud to say, I swallowed and did not gag.  This was a major accomplishment, under the circumstances.

“And?” the guy asked.  “What do you think?”

“Well, um, it was interesting?”

“Okay, you gotta try some more.  Eat the rest of that slice,” he encouraged.

“I think I’m good, really,” I said with a grin.

“You need to try it with Saltines,” he said.  “They cut the spice a little.”

“I’m actually fine with the spiciness.  It’s more the pieces of brain that are a little hard to take.  So I’m all set, but thanks.”

He burst out laughing, reached over, snatched what was left out of my hand and shoved it in his mouth.  I stared at him, mouth hanging open a little, wondering if he really just did that.  But, yep, he did.  He ate head cheese out of a stranger’s bare hand.  This guy clearly lived on the edge.

I laughed and shook my head, then thanked him again and walked away, wondering how long it would take to get that taste off my tongue. As it turns out, it takes a really darn long time.

 

 

**if you eat and enjoy head cheese regularly, please don’t be offended by this post.  I grew up loving Spam and liver sausage, so I clearly have no room to talk.