This is what a migraine feels like

head explosion

I am sitting in a meeting with my boss, my boss’s boss, my boss’s boss’s boss, and the head of our whole freaking organization.

I should be on my A-game.

Instead, I sit there and silently sweat. My right eye pulses with a deep, throbbing pain, complemented by an occasional sharp stab that makes me gasp out loud. It’s like the doozers from Fraggle Rock have taken up residence inside my head and are pounding nail after nail directly into my eye socket.

I take my sunglasses off to better see something on my computer screen—something that would normally be legible, but is now no better than scrambled fuzz. The light from the screen burns through my cornea, increasing the pain by a hundredfold.

I put my sunglasses back on.

My boss’s boss’s boss is saying something. Something I need to pay attention to. But the words scatter when they hit my brain. By the time I’ve made sense of them, the meeting has moved on to another topic.

If only I could take more medicine. The last dose is still roiling in my intestines, causing acid to reach up and choke me. My stomach lurches. Oh please God,don’t let me puke.

I take several deep breaths and it calms. The doozers increase the pace of their hammering. The world spins a bit.

I wonder what would happen if I passed out right now? Probably I’d crack my head open on the floor and earn myself another concussion. But at least I’d be unconscious.

I open my mouth to speak, but have no idea if the right words come out. “Does that make sense?” I ask. Everyone nods their heads, so I guess it did.

My neck hurts. My back hurts. My clothes hurt. I can feel the waistband of my jeans denting my stomach. My bra is digging into my boob.

I feel tears pricking at the back of my eyes. Did I just whimper out loud? No one’s looking at me, so I must not have.

Who the hell invented florescent lights anyway? Satan, probably.

Wait, is the meeting ending? Hallelujah, praise Jesus, it’s over!

I garble my excuses as soon as I can and head for my car. The smell of urine in the parking garage assaults my over-sensitive nose, making me retch. The elevator is too bright. The sound of the door slamming too loud.

The key turns and I put the car in drive and my body on auto pilot. Please let there be no traffic.

Somehow, I get home. The couch awaits. Pulling the curtains closed, I put a pillow over my head and wait for oblivion to quiet the hell in my skull.

Sleep can’t come soon enough.

Raising a Girl: A Rant


“Mom, your belly is huge.”

My response was automatic.The stab of hurt reflexive. “That’s not a very nice thing to say.”

She shrugged, making no effort to take it back. And why should she? My belly is huge. Sure, it’s not as big as it could be. And there are many (some very good) reasons why it has gotten as large as it has. But there’s no denying the truth of its largeness.

So I had a decision to make.

I could dispense a lecture about how good manners dictate we don’t point out other people’s size to them. And about how hurtful it can be to say things like “huge” in reference to a person’s body parts (unless we’re talking about boobs or penises, but that’s another story for another day). And then, of course, I’d have to go on to explain why it’s hurtful.

Or I could let it go.

“Well,” I finally said. “That just makes me soft and squishy, which makes me a good pillow. And I know how you like to lay on me.”

She nodded and grinned, and that was the end of that. At least for her. For me? Not so much. I have to weigh every damn word I say.

I’m raising a girl in a hyper-sexualized world, where we’re all too aware of how our prettiness (or lack thereof) affects every goddamn part of our lives starting way too fucking early.

I’m trying to raise her to be proud of who and what she is, in every context. To feel beautiful in her skin, no matter how large, small, spotty or pristine that skin is. And to know that she is perfect just the way she is, no matter what the world says.

That’s what my feminist sisters tell me I need to do. And I’m glad to do it. Would do it, even if no one told me to.

But it’s fucking hard.

Why can’t we admit how fucking hard it is?

About 70 percent of the time, I’m really NOT thrilled with the body I’m currently saddled with. I hate the rolls on my stomach. The flab on my arms. The cellulite (moon craters) on my thighs. The deformed balloon that is my arthritic knee.

Sometimes the sight of it fills me with rage.

And I know, oh I know, that if I worked hard enough, I could be rid of it all. If I stuck to the vegan diet that I know works. If I went to the gym every day and sought the endorphin high that I love so much. If I gave up wine, and chocolate, and pretty much everything that tastes good.

If I did all that I could (maybe) be a size six again. Or hell, a 12. A 12 would be good.

But hey, guess what? I’m not allowed to talk about dieting. I’m not allowed to let my daughter know that I’m unhappy with my weight. Or why. If I mention it at all, I’m supposed to say, “yes, I’m eating better and and exercising hard, but only because I want to be healthier.”

In other words, I’m supposed to fucking lie. And she’s supposed to believe me.


Yep. That’ll work. Sure it will.

(surely none of us are that stupid, are we?)

But then, what am I saying to her when I don’t do those things consistently? What am I showing her when I skip the gym (for months at a time) to spend an extra 30 minutes on the couch with her (even if it’s just reading while she watches videos)? What about when I ask the hub to bring home takeout despite having a pantry stocked with beans? Or when I look in my closet, see her watching me, and admit, “there’s nothing here I want to wear today?”

I don’t know. I really don’t.

All I know is that being a girl is really fucking hard.

And raising a healthy one? Well, that’s even harder. Fucktastically hard, as a matter of fact.

And I’d really like it if we could all stop pretending it isn’t.

(and also, I’d like to say fuck one more time. I haven’t sworn this much in a blog post in years. it feels good.)








A New Story for a New Year (on a New Platform)

Just a Taste

I like deadlines. Well, no, I don’t like deadlines. I need deadlines. If I have no deadline, then nothing gets done.

This is not a great way to live, but some things aren’t worth fighting.

So, what’s a writer to do when she needs a deadline, but doesn’t yet have a book contract that would place one on her? Invent one, of course.

Or, more to the point, a series of deadlines. By placing her latest book up on Wattpad—and committing to putting new material up every Saturday.

At least, that’s what this writer did.

I released the first chapter of Just a Taste (which is most definitely not what it will be called if Harlequin ever does agree to be publish it), into the wilds of Wattpad this morning.

Next Saturday I’ll post the next one and the next one the week after that…and so on and so forth until it’s actually done.

It’s not perfect. Far from it. I’m still just telling myself the story at this point. But you guys can listen along with me—and hopefully, help me make it better by the time I hand it to my editor.

So what the heck is Wattpad?

Basically, it’s a social media site, where writers post their stuff, for free, and people who like to read stuff, read it. For free. And they comment and converse and have a good time doing it (I think).

You can follow people, and put their stories in your library, and read them from wherever you happen to be, on whatever device you happen to be on. Did I mention it’s free? I do hope you’ll come find me there.

And what’s Just a Taste about?

I’m so glad you asked! Here’s the description I posted.

When YouTube star Lily Sands returns to Dolphin Island for some much needed R&R, she runs smack into her old flame and first love. She has no time for love these days…but a vacation fling? That could be just what the doctor ordered.

Dan McGowan has no business getting involved with Lily again-he still has the scars from the last time he had to let her go. She can’t have his heart again. But his body? That’s another story.

After they’ve had a taste, the real question becomes…can they walk away when their time is done?

It will be a little bit silly, a little spicy, and hopefully, a lot of fun. Won’t you join me?

Check out Just a Taste.


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