Friday, February 24, 2017

It's A Good Thing You're Cute!

I woke up with murder on my mind. That's not unusual since I write murder mysteries and do most of my writing in the morning. But this morning B, my 18 year old Norwegian Forest Cat, was in my sights. 

Several times in the night B woke me up wanting cuddles. Or maybe it was food. Either way, the first time was around 11 pm, not long after I shut the book I was reading and called it a night. From there it was almost every couple of hours with her most insistent demands occurring around 3:30 am.

This is not the first time this had happened, but it was definitely her most demanding. It started with nudging against my arm, then against my hand, with her nose. Then the nudging became more insistent with her wedging her entire head under my hand and tossing it upward. Of course, I was semi-awake at this point. Sometimes I accommodate her demands with a few head scratches and pats, then roll over and go back to sleep. I did this twice last night, but at 3:30 am I waited to see how far she'd go if I didn't respond. She finally resorted to a series of head butts against my shoulder. Really annoyed at this, I rolled over and went back to sleep without petting her. She's even been known to gently nibble my elbow or fingers when I ignore her.

I managed another hour's sleep, but around 4:30 am the meowing began, soft and gentle at first, then it swelled to deep guttural pleas. B's normal meow is a soft, almost inaudible squeak, common in the breed. But she now has feline dementia. Yes, that's a thing and the vet confirmed it. I first noticed it early last year when as soon as the lights were out for the night she'd start that guttural meowing somewhere in the apartment. I'd get out of bed and investigate, sure she was hurt. Instead I'd find her in the middle of the living room. Sometimes she'd be playing with some of her toys, sometimes she'd be wide-eyed with fear and confusion, just like a person with dementia.

Some nights when I'm super tired, I'm proactive. Instead of going to bed and waiting to see if she'll begin her nocturnal cries, I'll pick B up and carry her into the bedroom when I go to bed. Most nights though, she's fine. Other nights when she begins crying, I just call her name and she follows my voice into the bedroom and all is good. Sometimes, for no reason at all, she'll start that deep demonic meowing when I'm still up. It never lasts long and I can usually diffuse it with a few words of comfort.

In other respects, B is pretty healthy for an old gal. She'd be about 90 if she were human. She's missing teeth and I have to watch her blood pressure, but that's about it. I also have to keep an eye on her eating patterns, as the kitty dementia can sometimes cause her to lose her appetite or forget to eat.

As most of you know, I'm planning on travelling in an RV when I retire in a few years. At her age, B probably won't be around when that happens, but if she is alive, she's definitely becoming a van cat. Annoying or not, there will be no cat left behind. I've had her for 15 years now and she's going nowhere without me. And vice versa. 

We'll be a couple of fluffy old ladies wandering aimlessly in our golden years

I just hope one of us remembers where we're going.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Camping? Don't Look At Me!

I have a confession. I am not a camper. My idea of camping is a hotel without room service. And I'm about as outdoorsy as chintz curtains.

When I said this recently to my friend Barbara over lunch, she looked at me with surprise, and more than just a bit of curiosity. You see, Barbara and I bonded over our mutual love and admiration of an RV, specifically the Winnebago Travato.  Barbara bought hers just a few months ago and I hope to purchase mine within the year. She bought hers so that she and her dogs could camp in more comfort than a tent. I want mine to travel the country when I retire.  Different uses for the same vehicle.

I guess it does seem odd that I'm not a camper, yet want to travel extensively in an RV, especially to our country's beautiful national parks. But you see, the Travato is small and self-contained with a kitchen, bedroom, toilet and shower. All the comforts of home, but on wheels.

The last time I went camping, real camping as in sleeping on the ground in a tent, I was in college. I did it twice and swore never again. It wasn't the discomfort that turned me away, or the cooking on an open fire. Honestly, it was the bathroom issue. Squatting in the dirt, using a smelly port-a-potty, or standing in line at a crowded campground restroom, just isn't my thing. Never has been, never will be. And then there's the bugs. I'm sure I'll get bugs in my rig, but hopefully not crawling into my bedding while I sleep, or try to sleep.

It doesn't help either that I just finished reading Lost Canyon by Nina Revoyr. It's the story of four urban backpackers who go on the camping trip from hell.  Great read and I highly recommend it, but pretty scary stuff.

But I do love nature and being out in it. Fresh air. Big trees. Peace and quiet, except for the nattering of squirrels, chirps of birds, and the babbling of brooks. Sign me up! Over the years, I have often rented a cabin or stayed at a lodge in the mountains or at a place by the beach. I'm not much for vacationing in big cities. And I've taken enough cruises to be bored with them. Nor do I want to spend my time holed up in crowded RV parks and resorts. I'm sure I'll spend some of my time in those places when I'm on the road, but not the majority of my time.

Dumping my first black tank.
I guess that makes me more of a glamper than a camper. Although I hardly think dumping RV sewer tanks is glamorous. It's not difficult, and I had to do it when I rented an RV last year, but glamorous, no. And there's no room service in a national park or out in the middle of nowhere. Or Uber Eats. Or even local pizza or Thai delivery.

It is fun though, planning and getting ready for my next big adventure. I realize I'll have to be more of a handyman than just calling the apartment manager and hoping he'll fix the leaking faucet. I'll have to do those things myself and, like dumping my first black tank, it will be something new to learn and know I can learn it.

I have this long list of things I will need when I hit the road. On it are the usual RV things like a drinking water hose, sewer hose attachments, water regulators and filters, lanterns, and a propane grill and stove for outdoor cooking. (Yes, I do intend to cook outside a good part of the time, even though my rig will have a nice galley.) I've already started collecting some of these items, and friends and family provided quite a few on my last birthday and Christmas. There's even bear spray on my list.

Yes, bear spray...

Thursday, February 16, 2017

This Senior Moment is Sponsored By ... FitBit

Last night I had a moment of panic. I couldn't find my car in the parking garage at work.

I usually park on the 6th floor of the 7 level garage, but when I left work around 7:15 pm last night I could not find my car!

It can't be stolen, I thought.

1) We have a security garage and you need a monthly parking card or ticket to get a car out. True, there was a murder in the garage several years back, but car theft, no.

2) I work in a fancy pants area spitting distance from Beverly Hills. There are WAY BETTER cars to steal in that garage than my 10 year old Ford Focus. Daily my old, dependable, and paid off car keeps company with Porches, Benzes, Jags, and Lexuses. I've even spotted the odd Rolls Royce. Unless a thief was looking for spare parts, I doubt my compact car, with its side-by-side Bernie and Hillary bumper stickers, would catch their eye.

I walked the entire floor area of the 6th floor, not just the area where I usually park, telling myself not to panic. It had to be somewhere. I even took the elevator down to the 4th floor to look. For years I parked on the 4th floor. I only changed to the 6th because since I come in later than most people, it was easier to find open spots there after the recent reconfiguration of all the spaces on all floors. 

4th Floor - no car. I even aimed my fob at another white Focus, but it didn't flash hello back.

The thing is, I always park on the same floor just to AVOID forgetting where I parked. And after 7:00 at night there aren't that many cars left in the huge garage.

Panic started to well. I really can't afford the hassle of a stolen car right now. Been there, done that. Not to mention all the junk in the car that I really didn't want to lose and/or replace.

I took the elevator back to the 6th floor and started walking around again. Still no car. Then I started walking down the circular ramp to the 5th floor and started canvassing that floor. Still no car.

Anxiety was growing in my chest like a runaway weed. I might just have to go to the parking garage office and confess that I was a dumb ass old woman who'd lost my car. Then they would put me on a golf cart and drive me around each floor looking for my misplaced vehicle. While the ride sounded nice, I wasn't ready to face that humiliation.  Trust me, I've seen them do it before for people in my situation.

Taking a deep breath, I started down the last row of the 5th floor heading for the 4th, determined not to end up in a golf cart. I'd walk every damn floor first.

WAIT! Is that it?

Geez, I'd passed right by my own car at least once already. It was parked between two dark SUVs on the far side of the 5th floor. Its compact presence hidden by the two larger vehicles like a white egg tucked protectively between the feet of a papa penguin. In spite of the bumper stickers, just to be sure, I aimed my fob at it. Yep. The lights flashed a cheery hello. It was my baby!

The 5th floor?! I never park on the 5th floor. Why did I park on the 5th floor? Obviously I'd lost my mind that morning and it hadn't improved throughout the day.

But my FitBit was happy. According to it, I'd walked nearly a full mile in the garage.

A dotty senior citizen wandering in a concrete desert. 

But at least I didn't have to ride the golf cart.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Reader Complaints Or Blackmail?

Last weekend I marched in the Women's March in Los Angeles. I marched in defiance of the new administration, not just against Donald Trump, but also against his team and cabinet choices. I also marched in protest of the many programs he threatens, such as women's health care, saving our national parks, environmental protection, and most of all human rights for all people of all faiths, national origins, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.

On Sunday I received a PM from a reader announcing that she would no longer buy and read my books because she found me too "liberal and militant" in my political beliefs.  This didn't surprise me at all. It wasn't the first time a reader has said they were no longer reading my work because of something I said or did or wrote. Although, it was the first time I was called "militant."

When I first became published by Midnight Ink close to 12 years ago, a reader of my earlier work when it was self-published announced to me that she would no longer read my work because the parent company of Midnight Ink, Llewellyn Worldwide, published books on the occult. And they do, along with books on paranormal, self-help, natural healing, and many other worthwhile, non-main stream topics. If that reader was really going to stick to her guns, that would mean she would have to stop reading books by most of the major publishers too, since most of them have divisions that also published similar topics. I'll bet she never thought about that or followed through.

Over the years I've received many e-mails and messages from readers saying they were no longer going to read my books based on some of the following reasons, and most of those noted below have received multiple support:

  • Too much swearing, especially when in came to using "the Lord's name in vain"
  • Too much sex (They were talking about Odelia Grey books!)
  • Contained gay/lesbian characters
  • Not enough Christianity or religious tones (Nor will they EVER.)
  • Because some of my books were only available in digital (BTW, short stories and novellas are only in digital because of short length; full-length novels are in both print and digital)
  • One woman even wrote that she would no longer read the Odelia Grey series because she felt I was promoting unhealthy lifestyles, but if I put Odelia on a diet, she'd return to reading them (Oh, bite me!)
  • And when I wrote my more graphic vampire novels, I lost some readers, and again when I started penning the Winnie Wilde steamy romances

People are entitled to their opinions, and I support that right even if I don't agree with those opinions, but sometimes I wonder what readers who write such e-mails and messages are hoping to accomplish. Are they just venting or trying to influence authors with a gentle form of blackmail?

Trust me, no writer worth their salt is going to bend to such ridiculous comments and demands. A true writer writes from the heart and follows the story and characters. If I sanitized my books to meet all of the above, nothing would get written, or if it did, wouldn't be worth the paper it was printed on.

I admit, I am quite politically and socially vocal on my personal Facebook page, and from time to time remind readers that if they don't enjoy my personal posts, they can join the Sue Ann Jaffarian Fan Club or follow my Author Page. I never post personal views on these pages unless it's about books.

Publishers often warn authors not to put their personal beliefs and opinions out on the Internet for fear of losing readers. But many of my author friends do, as I do. It's who I am and I have the same right as everyone else to freedom of speech. If I lose some readers, I can live with that better than I can being muzzled for the sake of a few sales. And since publishers make most of the money off my books, you can see why they are concerned more than I am.

In parting, I will re-post here what I posted to my Facebook page last Sunday, just so you all know where I stand in case you weren't paying attention:

Someone just told me they were no longer going to read my books because I am so liberal and militant in my politics. Hmmm, okay. It's your choice and I'm not going to try and talk you out of your decision. After all, there are things I boycott based on my principles, all things Kardashian being one of them. But for the record, in case there are any others out there on the fence, let me be clear: I am a single, white, straight senior citizen, a moderate democrat, and an atheist. I believe in equal rights for ALL human beings of ALL faiths, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and orientation. We all have the right to walk this earth in peace and without molestation from those who are hell-bent on making us into their own image. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a book to write, because I still have other readers.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Today I Will, Because I Can

At the beginning of the year I set two physical goals for myself. One was to lose at least 50 lbs. The other was to walk or bike at least 2017 miles in this year.  I'm half way through January, and am happy to report that I'm on target for both. To date I've walked/biked over 45 miles and lost nearly 5 lbs.

But this past Thursday morning, after a restless night, I slept in, then told myself I didn't need to get up and do my daily exercises, especially climbing on my recumbent exercise bike for 30 minutes minimum. I whined and wheedled, trying to convince myself that it wasn't important that day to meet my daily miles quota to keep me on track.

Then I remembered something, or rather someone. A lot of someones, actually.

I have several friends and family members who have passed away in the last few years. And I have a lot of friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and social media friends who have had or are facing horrible physical challenges and diseases. Some are even facing the reality that their days on this earth are few.

That's a very sobering thing to remember while snug in bed whining to your cat about peddling a few miles while watching the previous night's The Daily Show.

Shame on me!

I am 64 years old, and while I am overweight, I  enjoy excellent health. Yes, I have some arthritis and stiffness, but nothing too bad or debilitating. So far any discomfort can be handled with the occasional ibuprofen.  I am truly fortunate. And I never want to forget that, not for one minute.

In the end, I got my lazy fat ass out of bed, climbed on the bike, and rode it for 6.02 miles. And I'll do it again tomorrow and the day after.


Because I still can.

I do it for me, and for those who cannot and wish they could.

Every mile is for them.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

I Take It All Back

I Will Not Be Silenced by Mecronin
On November 16th I wrote a blog titled Trump Is My President. And I meant every word  of it. Every word, even though I had grown to despise Donald Trump and what he stands for, does, has done, and wants to do.

But today, after the last few weeks' revelations, I say to you all:


And no matter how long he occupies the Oval Office, he never will be. Ever. I will NEVER refer to him as "President Trump." Never. Ever.

I was willing to give this oozing infected sore of a human being a chance. I really was. But not now. Not after the reports of just how tight his ties are to Russia. Not after watching him nominate people hell-bent on destroying our government's agencies and our way of life. Not after watching Trump and his power-hungry smug family pick our pockets and make themselves richer, along with their cronies.

No. No. No. A thousand times NO!

I don't know if there is any legal way to stop his inauguration. But if there is, I hope with every cell in my body that it is done. This man has no right to take the highest office in this country, knowing what we know now.

He may have won the election, one way or another, but he hasn't won me, and as long as I still have my right to freedom of speech I will fight this pus pocket. I will march. I will write and call my representatives. I will watch the news and pay close attention. I will do what it takes to fight this travesty.

I may be a fat old woman, but I will not be silent or still.  There's too much at stake.

I'm sure I'm going to get hate posts and e-mails about this blog, but so be it. And if any of you still think Trump is the best choice for this country, just know that I'm going to be marching against you too.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

A Hope Chest for Retirement

When I was a girl, young women had hope chests. These were long wooden storage containers, usually lined with cedar. Some were fancy, some plain, but all were real solid furniture.

The idea behind a hope chest was for young women to collect household items they would need once they got married. Some of this gathering started after a woman was engaged and some started in high school in high hopes of getting married one day.

HOPE chest - get it? Since I never married, I guess I just didn't have enough hope, although I am a rather hopeful sort.

I remember some of my older cousins showing off items they'd purchased or were given to add to their hope chests. Although I never had a hope chest, even at a young age I'd received a few handmade items for it.

As I started cleaning out my belongings to downsize for life in an RV, I found the only two hope chest items I still have. One is a quilt top that was made for my mother when she was only about 12-13 years old. It had been made for her hope chest. The butterflies on the quilt are made from scraps of her old dresses and one square contains her initials and the date the quilt was made - 1937. It had never been finished off and she'd passed it down to me when I was in my early twenties. I decided to finally have it finished off into a quilt to use in the RV as a bedspread and blanket. It will be larger than I need, but will be a lovely memory of my mother in cramped quarters. And certainly cheerful!

The other hope chest item I found in the back of my closet was an old thin white box containing two embroidered pillow cases. (Remember when people actually added lace and embroidery to pillow cases?!) There's even a card in it saying it's a gift for my hope chest. I'm not sure yet what to do with these. They are yellow with age, but so sweet. Maybe I should wash them and use them in my RV too, but they are 100% cotton and will require ironing. Sheesh, I don't iron now, let along do it in an RV! I'm not even taking my iron with me.

As I ready myself for retirement, I have started a "hope chest" of things I'll need for life on the road. It's not made of cedar but is a lowly cardboard box with "RV" scrawled on the side in thick black marker. The quilt will go in there, along with a few other items I've picked up along the way or have received as gifts.

Right now my RV Hope Chest contains a set of Corelle dishes and matching plastic glasses, two collapsible lanterns, a cell phone holder, collapsible measuring cups and spoons, battery operated can opener, a hand operated food chopper, wind chimes, a cute personalized message board, and some items for organizing clothing. I've also received over $100 in gift cards to purchase RV-related items. Most of these were given to me during my last birthday and this past Christmas. A lot of items from my apartment will also be able to go with me, though most won't make the trip, like my beloved Ninja Kitchen System or my Keurig machine. But the Instant Pot definitely goes!

Hmmm, a hope chest for retirement. Could become a thing! Could an RV or retirement gift registry be far behind?

FYI - I could use a sewer hose fitting and a water regulator. A collapsible bucket, drinking water hose, and nesting cookware would also be nice. Believe me, I have a long list and it's getting longer by the day as I read up on accessories that will make my life easier on the road. Oh, and let's not forget some bear repellent.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

365 Days of Smiles

A lot of people would agree with me that 2016 was full of negativity. Hate speech, hateful behavior, and fights broke out everywhere, for real and online. I put this squarely on the election, specifically on Donald Trump, who I have come to despise and fear. I have never seen any one person whip people up into such emotional turmoil in my life, both for him and against him.

Who knows what in the hell 2017 will bring with him at the helm of our government. I shudder to think...

Which brings me to my personal little world.

I am still depressed and angry over the election. And don't you DARE tell me to "get over it."

But I do recognize that I am responsible for my well being and outlook on life, so I plan on tackling 2017 by looking at the simple things in life and celebrating them. One each day. Even if my day has been terrible. Even if the news is horrific. Each day in 2017, I plan on posting on my personal Facebook page something that made me smile that day, whether it be as simple as my cat sleeping, or a good meal, or a friend's gesture.

Each and every day, I will find something good in the day. And I will feel better for it.

I'm sure there will be days with lots of really great things, just as I'm sure there will be days with few. That's life in general, not just post-election life.

So come visit me online at my Facebook page to see what small slice of my life I'm celebrating that day. And if it makes you smile a little or a lot, it's a bonus for me.

BTW, I do monitor all comments, and snotty, negative and hateful comments will be deleted.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Bring It On, 2017!

Making 2017 Count is my battle cry for this new year. 2016 seemed rife with negativity, not necessarily in my personal life, but in general. I blame the US election for that and the rise in global terrorism. But I can't control those things. I must live with and through them. I must be willing to take a stand when necessary in a positive way.  But I can be responsible when it comes to my own year's activities.

On a personal level, 2016 was not a bad year:

  • I decided how I wanted to spend my retirement and started making plans toward that.
  • I cleaned up a lot of personal debt, am in a good stable place, and am saving more.
  • I wrote 3 novels.
  • I'm healthy, and while I didn't lose any weight, I didn't gain any. Seriously, my weight is almost to the ounce the same as on January 1, 2016.
  • I made a lot of new friends. Many new people came into my life this year, mostly through my new RV connections, and I have become personal friends with many of them. A gal can never have enough friends.

So, what's up for me for 2017?

Glad you asked. Here are my goals for this year:

  • Successfully co-chair the 2017 California Crime Writers Conference.
  • Complete my 2017 miles in 2017 challenge, which goes hand-in-hand with more exercise.
  • Lose at least 50 lbs. 
  • Downsize my apartment for retirement aka minimize the crap I own. Someone posted on Facebook about disposing of 5 items a day, big or small. I like that. So most days, I will either toss, put in Good Will pile, or in the sell or save piles, 3-5 items a day.
  • Finish Odelia Grey novel #12 - a major priority since it's already tardy
  • Finish Winnie Wilde novella #3
  • Begin Granny Apples novel #10
  • Finish my novel Finding Zelda, which I've been working on for several years here and there.
  • Read at least 40 books in the Goodreads 2017 Reading challenge. Yeah, I know a lot of people read more, but remember, I'm also writing books, and by the time a book is done, I have read it at least 10 times and don't count that.
So bring it on 2017, I'm ready for ya!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A 2016 Fail Does Not Spell Failure

In January 2016, I made only one resolution: to walk or bike 2016 miles in the year 2016. You can read my pledge here.

I'm not going to mince words, I failed to meet that challenge. I came no where near it. I started off hopeful and determined, mixing up walking with miles on my exercise bike. I actually did quite well until about mid-July, then it all went to crap in a sneaker. In fact, by the end of August I had chalked up about 1200 miles, over half way to my goal.

Um, that was just after when I started becoming obsessed with making plans for retirement. Seems I can't walk and plan my future at the same time. Then there was the election frenzy that devoured both my time and emotions and turned me into a thumb sucking idiot on November 9th. I'm not making excuses, just taking a good look at what happened.

After August, I stopped tracking my progress and only exercised sporadically, but I'm sure I added more miles. Sometime along Thanksgiving I stopped wearing my Fitbit, but according to my Fitbit records until then I added about another 120 miles. So it's a safe guess that I walked or biked somewhere around 1500 miles for the year. Not my goal, but not a total slouch either. Kind of a slouchette.

So here I am, standing up before you all and saying:


Yeah, that's right. I'm not giving up.

My exercise goal for 2017 is to put 2017 miles on this old body of mine, come hell, high water, recession, or nuclear war.

Well, okay, maybe a nuclear war would stop me, but until that happens, I hit the road on January 1st.

Just think of all the miles I can chalk up walking the protest lines when Trump begins his reign of terror!

If you would like to join me and many others in turning this challenge into reality, join the Facebook Group 2017 in 2017.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Spoiled Crazy

Something I learned this past weekend:

You don't really understand how spoiled your cat is until you have to explain your pet's idiosyncrasies to your new cleaning lady.

This past weekend I hired a cleaning lady. She's only coming once a month to do the deep cleaning, but it's still a real treat. I walked her through my large one bedroom apartment and explained what I needed and expected. Along the way, I pointed out B's toys, B's paper pile, B's dishes, and explained B's habits and needs, and how after cleaning, said toys and paper pile had to be placed back where she'd found them.

After the woman left, I realized that B came off like a spoiled little diva and I came off as a dotty cat lady.

Guilty on both counts.

I do spoil B. She's 18 years old, has kitty dementia, and is my only fur baby.

But you don't really realize HOW MUCH you spoil your pets until you explain your pet's routine to a non-pet owning person. Trust me on this.  And it didn't occur to me until several hours after the woman left.

I also had to explain that no matter how often she came to clean my apartment, she would never see B because B is deathly afraid of strangers. But not to worry, I told her, B is real, just as the poop in the box is real, the bag of kibble is real, and the kitty bed is real.

And just in case she still thought I was making it all up, I showed her a photo of B.

Yeah, I'm not crazy, not by a long shot.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Regifting a Blog

I didn't think I could add anything to the Christmas Blog I wrote in 2015, and hope you don't mind my re-gifting these sentiments. There's nothing to update and revise, it's still how I believe Christmas should be celebrated for me personally.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas 2016.

I thank you for reading my blog and humoring me in my rants and shameful book promotion.

Sue Ann

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

No F**king Apologies

Yesterday I went on a red hot emotional rant on my personal Facebook page, complete with language that would make a sailor proud. Later than night, someone asked me if I had to put money in a "swear jar."

No, I told her. Not in my house.

Nor do I apologize for my salty language.

The funny thing is, in spite of growing up in a house where there was a ton of swearing, I never really got into it until I was in my late thirties. And the older I get, the more I seem to swear. Not all the time, but enough and at specific times. Usually when I'm really upset or angry.

Sometimes when I let a word or two slip around someone who does not know me well, they take in my silver hair, rosy cheeks, doughy body, and big smile, and do a double take. I guess fat old ladies aren't supposed to swear. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

Most of my books are extremely mild when it comes to swearing. My Granny Apples novels are almost devoid of anything shocking. The Odelia Grey books only on occasion contain a swear word and then only if it fits the character and situation. There's not even a lot in my Winnie Wilde romances, though there is plenty of steamy sex in those books.

But here's a real shocker to many readers: authors are not their books or their characters.

We are individuals who create those characters. I will admit that there is a bit of each one in us, good and bad, but we are not them.  Since I am a middle-aged, plus size paralegal, I am often asked if I am like Odelia Grey. No, I usually say. Odelia dresses better and swears less. And that's the truth.

So from time to time, you're going to hear me swear. I make no apologies for it, just as I make no apologies for my personal beliefs and leanings. Nor should anyone.

Often other writers tell me that I should be more careful about exposing my true self online, that it will turn away readers. Those writers show nothing or very little of their true personalities in social media. Others of my colleagues let it all hang out, much as I do. It's a personal choice.

However, if you are shocked by my language, or any of my personal commentaries or beliefs, then you should not be following my personal page on Facebook. That's where Sue Ann Jaffarian, the individual, hangs out, for better or for worse. If you need a sanitized version, then you should follow my Author Page or my Fan Club Page. I'm a good girl there.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Little Cheese With Your Whine?

I was about to take a leap of faith. Faith that I'd done my homework and faith in things lining up just right and ahead of schedule.

It's scary.

It's nerve wracking.

It's exhilarating.

This past April I got the notion of buying and traveling in an RV when I retire. At first I expected to do my research and leisurely buy the RV in 2018 or early 2019, closer to when I actually retire.

Then a funny thing happened.

My dream caught fire and became an obsession. I researched types of RVs, even rented one. I visited RV shows and dealers and lurked in Facebook groups until I finally landed on the one I wanted: a Winnebago Travato 59K.  This obsession became so real it started breathing and eating up my time and thoughts almost constantly. I started thinking I should buy the RV NOW. Seriously, I would buy it now and have it ready even though I wasn't retiring for at least 18-24 months.

Yesterday I was hit with a fire hose of cold reality in the form of a financial adviser, who is also a long-time friend. Bottom line, I should not buy my beloved RV now. Or rather I could, but it would not be advisable at this time.

My inner child kicked and screamed and threw a tantrum. But ... but ... but ... I want to, I whined.  I love instant gratification. Who doesn't? I wanted that RV NOW, just as a toddler wants that cookie NOW.

My friend assured me he wasn't saying don't, just don't do it now. He also assured me that my plan of traveling in an RV is perfect for me and definitely doable, but I needed to wait to pull the buying trigger. Then he outlined why based on my finances and other goals, and it all sounded like solid advice.


So I slept on it and this morning, well-rested, I could see his point clearly. I didn't like it any better, but I saw what he was seeing in the crystal ball of my future finances. He was seeing way ahead, to a time when I would no longer be working and collecting a nice paycheck. I was only seeing the shiny object in front of my face. Sometimes we need that dose of reality. Sometimes we need to listen to the voices around us. Not to the naysayers, but to those who are seeing the big picture on our behalf.

As I said to a Facebook friend yesterday when I suggested this hold on the purchase might happen: My dream is delayed, not deleted.

And it's not a long wait, but the benefits of waiting will pay off. And it's not like I have nothing to do in that time. Besides my day job, I have books to write and a home to dismantle.

Sometimes dreams are delayed for the right reasons.

But I'm still whining and stomping my foot in frustration.

At least let me have that moment.

Okay, that felt better.