Tag Archives: fun

Susan Speaks: Frequently Asked About The Eye


I am trying to keep my computing time to work time, so from now on, whenever these questions pop into my inbox, I’m sending you the link to this post. Because do you really think I won’t update here and on Facebook when things change? Really?

No, I mean that. REALLY?????

Sigh. You did, didn’t you?

So. Here we go:

How’s the eye?
Well, it’s still in my head. It’s still got a gas bubble in it, so it’s like looking through a prism. That, in turn, is worse than being both seasick and drunk at the same time and no, at least in terms of my eye, those two things don’t cancel each other out. So there’s a lot of people out there thinking I’m winking at them when really, I’m just keeping the injured eye closed. Trust me: the world at large is not this good looking that I’m doing this much winking.

How do you feel?
I didn’t realize how sick the altitude sickness medicine made me until I stopped taking it. That’s when I stopped sleeping twelve hours or more a day, too. Which was kinda sad. I mean, you do a lot of healing when you’re sleeping that much. Of course, I don’t miss the huge number of crackers I had to eat to keep my stomach calm. Now that I’ve kicked the meds and the crackers out of my diet again, I feel overall better. Just lazy and a bit slow. And that part? I’m kind of enjoying. How often do YOU get ordered to sit on the couch and pretend you’re a woman of leisure hanging out in Bora Bora? Although, cripes, I hope the furniture in Bora Bora is more ergonomically perfect for a woman of my lack of height.

How can you be such a good sport about this?
Well, what choice do I have? Dude. I’m a single mom. I own a microbusiness. Before this happened, I hadn’t chosen an easy path through this thing called life, but one thing I have learned is that if you can’t laugh, it ain’t worth enduring. So I am making the choice to make jokes. My favorite was to a friend who was happy she could roller skate after a layoff of like twenty years. “Just like riding a bike,” I said on Facebook. “Wait. We all know what happened the last time I rode a bike. Nevermind.”

That may be my crowning moment, but I’m always looking to top it.

Besides, you all are having a lot more fun following along when I’m leading the charge into the field of funny. And don’t forget, my eye is full of LAUGHING GAS. It kinda goes with the healing.

What do the doctors say?
My surgeon, who I like a lot, says very little. So there is no prognosis, either short-term or long-term. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. See above about having fun with it.

Any verdict about a concussion?
Nope, and no one seems to care about it. My massage therapist earned his keep again last week (and not just because neither of us could remember when we last shaved our legs) when he discovered I’ve got a lovely case of whiplash. So this one, we’re just not going to know about. But I still have headaches and I still have other symptoms, but they could all be explained away by the eye, so… maybe? Probably?

It’s the not knowing that is making me nuts. In fact, it’s easier to accept we won’t know anything about the eye than it is to accept that we’ll never know for certain how this impacted my poor brain.

However, I have been told that this little escapade of mine has made me funny. Or funnier, depending on who you ask.

When can you drive again?
Well, think about it. Do you really WANT someone driving when her eye is full of laughing gas? Just beyond the risk that presents to my vision if I do something dumb, and just beyond the fact that I have to keep my eye closed so I don’t have the acid trip-drunk-seasick thing happening…

I know driving me and my kids around is a pain in the rear. I get that. Trust me. I used to do it on a daily basis. I can’t wait to do it again. But right now, we all have to wait. And be it in six more weeks or a year from now, I promise to either pay it back or pay it forward. This does not mean I’m going to go drive for Uber, btw.

If I had a shot for every time I’ve been asked about driving, I bet I’d stop complaining about that weird acid-seasick-drunk effect my healing eye gives me. And not just because I’d be too pickled to care.

Can I bring you dinner?
This is a dicey one. For one, I’m independent as hell and the kids and I love to cook.

But here’s the bigger problem: people have shown up on my doorstep with food. Which is super nice, except… I have other health issues. And most people have shown up with some variant of red sauce, pasta, and/or beef, pork, or lamb. All of these foods (except for maybe the tomato sauce, but the jury’s out about me and nightshades) promote inflammation, and I have an inflammation issue already. So these good-hearted gestures are really doing a lot of damage, and at a time when I can’t exercise to offset some of the effects.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the gesture. I do. But… my favorite foodie care package came from Dawn, who took the time to ask what I was craving. She came up short on a quart from Bruster’s (not that I blame her), but she delivered trail mix from Aldi, who makes the best trail mix ever, and my most favorite food item yet: a bag of baby carrots!

It sounds kinda crazy, but the snack foods — and healthy, anti-inflammatory foods, at that — have been the biggest blessing. That’s because I eat more than one meal a day. And I am a snacker, so a handful of trail mix, a handful of carrots… Oh, every day, I say a silent thank you to Dawn for her ingenuity.

I did also ask for super ripe cantaloupe at room temperature, perfectly crisp and chilled watermelon that’s been cut into cubes and snaps when you bite into it and then turns into juice on your tongue, and blueberries. The blueberries were delivered, thanks to a friend who was running to the grocery for me anyway. The rest, I think we’ll have to wait to summer for.

So what DO you need?
Honestly? Company. Pick up dinner (oh, how I could go for my local Chinese takeout) and bring it over and hang out with me while we eat. Together. Or lunch. Lunch is good. Come get me and let’s go out for a quick meal – but it’s got to be quick, and it’s got to be somewhere I can show up in my sweats. Because, dude, I’m allowed to be lazy, so I’m milking this. And it’s got to be quick because I swear the whole world is staring at me and yes, I’m the rare and beautiful Cyclops right now, but… like I said, there just ain’t that many good-looking people in the world who are worth winking at. Besides, I do get tired easily. After all, I’m busy healing! (I hope)

Which brings me to the final question:
Why did you get over the hot young thing?
I didn’t.

It’s the off-season.

Drooling, lusting, sighing, and off-color jokes will resume closer to my birthday. However, any of you who encounter him (and I’m looking at my nineteen-year-old pro athlete here) are free to tell him to quit wasting his time on my Twitter feed and friend me on Facebook instead. Because as most of you know: we’re having a good time over there. Think what he’s missing out on!


#SaystheEditor The Cool Stuff


A few nights ago, I popped a Benadryl in the early evening, and followed it up with another before bed. I did it without a care in the world because a few weeks previously, I’d researched Benadryl addiction for a client’s manuscript.

Today, I was researching a place in Ireland that was a home for unwed mothers and their babies.

I’ve discovered brew pubs in Wisconsin. Even found a hidden town in Ohio that I hope to explore.


Now, I make it clear that I don’t fact check when I edit. Carrying errors and omissions insurance is a little out of my price range right now, and even then, research like this does slow down the process and take the focus off the author’s writing. And my specialty is dealing with the author’s writing, in various focus points. I want to be working with your words, not checking out medicines and what model gun you’re talking about. I want to be making sure the characters’ eye color is the same at the start as it is at the end of your manuscript.

It’s just that every now and then, you’ll have a spelling inconsistency that I need to get to the bottom of. Or something piques my interest and it’s off to Google I go. So I put in the time to discover what’s up. After all, you’re worth it. And as someone who is hard-wired to be a writer and creative type, I’m terminally curious. Taking a few minutes out of my day because you’ve piqued my interest is, as far as I’m concerned, a good thing. I learn something I can probably apply in the future. It also means you’re creating a world in which readers will invest themselves — or, at least, you’ve gotten me vested in it. And that means I want to make sure what you are putting out there for a wider readership is as strong as it can be.

I’m sure I get things wrong from time to time. Thus the disclaimer. A few manuscripts back, I had never seen the term of endearment nena and changed them all to nina, complete with the squiggle over the second n. My author dropped me a note. “Nope,” he said. “That’s slang.” And sure enough, once I Googled it as slang, it showed up where it hadn’t in the other searches I’d done (and I’d done multiples on that one, trying to find it, using various dictionaries and online resources — none of which were apparently good enough).

This is truly the icing on the cake of an already awesome job. Learning new things, discovering things I hadn’t known previously.

Keep up the good work, you authors. Share your knowledge with the rest of us. Keep me, your faithful editor, on her toes — it keeps me from getting bored and finding my way into trouble. And it gives me really cool stuff to talk about in polite society or on a date. But mostly, it makes your fiction richer, deeper, and possessing more authority. And at the end of the day, that’s the goal.

But it’s good to have something to talk about in polite society or on a date. I don’t, however, recommend waxing poetic about Benadryl addiction to someone you’ve only just met. Not that I have tried.


Featured New Book: Lady Gwendolyn by Magnolia Belle


This is one of those rarities for me… a book I edited that I can tell you I edited — some folk like to keep their editors close by, fearing being told they will have to wait weeks or months for an opening.

I loved working on this book, I love how it turned out, and I think anyone who likes a good, fun romp with knights and ladies and hired hands and treachery and handsome men and valiant women… well, it’s all right here for ya. Have at it.

The book is Lady Gwendolyn, by my bud Magnolia Belle. And if I didn’t convince you yet that you need this one, check out what song makes Belle think of her book:

Bridge’s Ode, first track on “Celtic Classic: An Enchanted Journey” fits the mood of “Lady Gwendolyn”. It hearkens back to medieval times where the wild, piercing scenery of England and Scotland could steal your breath and the hardness of life could break your heart.

Here’s the book trailer link

Belle makes really good book trailers — and I am not a fan of trailers. But somehow, Belle has a touch and I have yet to watch one that she’s made and come away with a migraine.

Ready for the blurb?

In early medieval days, bandits beset a caravan taking Lady Gwendolyn Hampton of England to marry Angus Dewar in Scotland. In the confusion, she escapes, while the bandits think her maid, Madeleine, is her. From one peril to another, Madeleine must keep the ruse in order to stay alive. Lady Gwendolyn’s brother, Lord Richard Hampton, wants Madeleine as his consort, and tries to rescue her. Through betrayal, intrigue and murder, she becomes a woman of title, and must decide if she wants the life he offers.

Ready to get a copy? I know you are!
Smashwords (affiliate link!)

Amazon Author page


It’s a Girl!


Yeah, while Teen Boy is on self-imposed hiatus (his new thing is “I’m working on the blog” but when I look over his shoulder, my blog looks suspiciously like Minecraft), the Teen Girl has decided to bring you some Rockin’ Reads. Her choice of name, not mine!

Please welcome her and make her as comfortable as you’ve made the Teen Boy.

When he gets back from National Jamboree, I’ll see if I can get him reading AND blogging again.


ShapeShifter Fiction: Responsibility


“So JR was one of those kids who went to a school that had to cut their music program. What’s the big deal?” Kerri asked later that night, once Daniel had taken the manager to his house and the rest of the band had dispersed.

“So this turned into a fucking pet project of his,” Mitchell said. “Something that’s supposed to grow and advance the cause. We’re now supposed to save every last poor kid in the States, just so they don’t wind up like him.” He hung his head and shook it gently.

Kerri knew he was watching the ends of his hair dance. Usually, it amused her. Tonight, she was too baffled by Mitchell’s violent and childish response to react properly.

“Was it supposed to be yours and no one else’s?” she asked carefully. Next, he’d start accusing her of pandering to him, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. But when he got in these moods, anything was possible.

Except violence, thankfully. Unless Trevor showed up, and then it wasn’t violence. Not really.

“It wasn’t supposed to be anything more than fun,” he insisted. “That’s it. Fun. Fun for our fans, fun for us, fun for the crew and the media and everyone. Except fucking JR had to come in and fucking ruin it for us. Move out of All Access and into the Rocket Theater. Party with the fucking drag queens–”

“Watch it.”

He snarled. She stared him down. “If it’s not fun anymore, then don’t do it,” she said.

“It’d be fun if JR would stop fucking trying to grow it! It’s supposed to be small and stupid and silly and what people want to be part of. It’s not supposed to be huge and country-wide and taking on a life of its own.”

Kerri covered her face with her hands.

“What?” Mitchell demanded.

She looked up. “The problem with creating something awesome and amazing is that it does take on a life of its own. You should be flattered.”

“It just wasn’t supposed to be like this.”

Kerri tried not to sigh too audibly. “Well, it is, so you need to deal with it.”

“No,” Mitchell said. He stood up and immediately started shuffling his feet, like he was ready to go out for a run or something.

Except, Kerri had never known Mitchell to run. Not unless he was chasing Trevor, anyway.

“When it starts hitting too close to home, like JR just made it do, the fun disappears. It turns into the same stupid sort of responsibility that the entire fucking band turned into. Every time we turn around, we owe people shit. And now we owe JR ’cause his life would have been so fucking different if he’d only been able to play a fucking instrument.”

“Maybe his lack of musical background is part of what makes him such a good manager,” Kerri said.
Mitchell gave her a sharp glance, like he’d had the same thought and hadn’t been able to justify believing it.

“You’re letting this get to you,” Kerri said. “You’re not responsible for your manager growing up poor.”
“No, now I’m responsible for him being fucking rich.”

“He’s every bit as responsible for you and your success. It goes both ways.”

Mitchell growled. Kerri bit back a smile; he hated it when she sounded like Trevor, pointing out the obvious.

“I’m still not making a benefit song,” he said, sneering the last word.

“Don’t. No matter what connection JR’s got to it, the benefit is still your baby. Besides, what did Daniel and Eric say?”


“There you go. What are you so stressed about?”

Mitchell turned his back on Kerri and mumbled something that sounded like I feel responsible now.

She didn’t doubt that he did.