2012 Day the Last

This has been a helluva year. Before I recap the good and the bad, let me share my holiday break with you…

Christmas day… We had a great holiday. The boys arrived home from their dad’s around noon. We opened gifts, enjoyed the day…then headed to nonnie’s house for Chili and more gifts.

My niece, Double A, tried to steal my sparkle! Can you believe that?

 All the boys (including El Jefe) received Wife Beaters in their stockings… Yes, we were dreaming of a white trash Christmas…

 Next year’s Christmas card, maybe?

I’m not sure which Rader liked more, his iPhone or his Hulk Hands. haha.

Christmas night, the sleet an snow came down with a vengeance. We lost several trees and the eerie sound of limbs crashing to the ground all night was really creepy. It was beautiful, but I was over it after about 15 hours.  18 of those we were without power, and we were very lucky. The boys’ dad was without power from Tuesday – Sunday. No thank you.

Now…let’s talk about 2012 and why I’m glad it’s over…

What I loved about the year:

  1. My friends. The people who love me and care about me no matter what. They have supported me through a very tough time. They knew I was trying to hold it together, and when I pulled away, they pulled me back. I am very lucky. So very lucky to have them in my life. 
  2. My love. We have been through a very rough year financially. It could have killed our relationship, but we are stronger than ever. And 2013 is looking fantastic. I’m very lucky to have this man in my life.
  3. My boys. I’ve never been closer to them. They are the one thing I’ve done right in my life. Maybe even the only thing.  I am so proud of the young men they are becoming. And I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings to them.

Why I’m ready to kick the door closed on 2012:

  1. Being a one income family. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t fun. I fought depression…I adopted the mantra “Fake it til you make it” and I’m ready to stop faking it. I don’t do fake very well. 
  2. My health.  I had complications from a procedure last February that lasted all year. We finally figured the problem out in October, and it looks like it’s finally getting better. Of course, as a result of this issue, I’ve gained weight. I’ve been sad. I’ve stopped exercising. That is all changing. 
  3. Loss. I’ve lost friends this year. I have always been the one who reaches out to people. I’m the fun one, the sparkler, bright and shiny and happy. And for a few months last year, I couldn’t be that person anymore. And the people who know me and want me in their life reached out to me. And there are a few who didn’t. Who took my absence as a reflection on them not on me. And I’m so sad. I miss them terribly, but I was trying to patch my life together and I didn’t have the energy or the life left to reach out and mend the tatters. I just couldn’t do it. Maybe this year I’ll find the strength to recover the loss, because I do feel the emptiness without them in my life.

2013 is looking bright. We are a double income family again. We are lucky to have the support of our family and friends. And I’m very much looking forward to what this year has to offer. Bring 13. Bring it hard.

Sparkle on, my pretties. Have a fantastic New Year’s Eve and please be safe. If it doesn’t rain, I plan on lighting up the firepit and ringing in 2013 with my family. It’s gonna be a good night. Cheers!

in the right direction aka 2011:Day the 12th

For the past two years, instead of New Year’s Resolution, I chose three words to describe the previous year and three words to describe the coming year.



I was on vacation this year, and I didn’t get to do a Day the 1st posting…so I thought I’d rectify that somewhat…

2011 Day the 12th

My words for 2010

Focused would be the one word that did not ring true for the entire year. I flailed a bit. I barely wrote & I got off my fitness routine.

But sparkly and fun? Hell yeah.

So let’s get to 2011.

I’m not going to describe the coming year in three words. I’m not going to continue to make resolutions such as “Be a more disciplined writer” like I did the past two years. (because let’s face it, I’m not a disciplined writer. Not even close. So why set myself up for failure that way?)

I have one goal and one goal only for this year: Move forward.

I spoke briefly on this at Fictionistas on Friday. I’m putting one foot in front of the other and getting my life back in order. Part of doing that is cutting the negative out of my life and leaving the past where it belongs. Now it’s time to focus on my present and move into my future.

I promise to sparkle hard while I move forward. I really look best in glitter, anyway. 🙂

“We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.” Charles R. Swindoll

Attitude is everything.

ETA: my friend Elen reminded me that one of my resolutions
from the past two years was to “Laugh everyday.” She gently nudged me to
continue to do that. So, I’m officially editing my resolution list:

Move forward
Laugh everyday

Thanks Elen!

2010: day the 1st

Last year, I chose 3 words to describe the previous year (2008) and 3 words to describe the coming year (2009). Let’s see if I did a good job predicting what 2009 would be for me.


I believe the first half of 2009 was very much these things for me. And I believe determined made it all the way through the year. Bright managed to finish the race, but I lost my shimmer every once in a while. Centered fell away sometime in the summer and never returned.

Overall, I feel pretty good about the words I chose. I think Centered was replaced by Frustrated.


What three words are you going to use to describe the coming year? What 3 words would you describe 2009 with?

Here are the things I planned to accomplish in 2009:
Be a better mother (Check)
Be a more disciplined writer (Nope. Not even close)
Run the 10K and keep training for a half-marathon (Did 5K and decided I’m more a walker than a runner. Also lost 35lbs)
Get a tattoo for my 40th birthday (Check)
Laugh every day at least once (Check)

2010’s list:
BE A MORE DISCIPLINED WRITER. (maybe if I put it at the top of the list and in all caps…)
Cook something new at least once a month.
Continue to exercise 4+ days a week and lose final 30 lbs.
Spend more fun time with the boys.
Teach Ian how to drive.
Laugh every day at least once. (this should be on everyone’s list every year, don’t ya think?)

I don’t think of these as resolutions, just goals I hope to accomplish. What are your goals?

Welcome 2010. It’s gonna be a great year.

40 at 40

I turn 40 this year. That’s a pretty momentous occasion so I’m going to ring in this decade with style.

I’ve decided to rip off a friend of mine who did a “50 at 50” list and make myself a list of 40 things to do at 40 but I need your help because I don’t know if I can come up with 40 things. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

<–20-something Mel

39 year old Mel–>

40 at 40

  1. Run a 10K
  2. Train for and run a half-marathon
  3. Get a tattoo
  4. Visit a place I’ve never been before
  5. Get waxed (Legs, pits and um…yeah. I’m gonna go there. All the way there. That will be some blog…)
  6. Meet with a financial planner
  7. See a professional (insert sport here) game
  8. See Staind in concert
  9. See Springsteen in concert (now that I’ve been properly recruited into his cult fanclub. However, I really shouldn’t add this to my list because I’m afraid that my recruiter’s ego can’t handle another stroke)
  10. Lose 2 sizes
  11. Buy myself a nice piece of jewelry
  12. Get a passport
  13. Visit NY (yes, this could also be the “visit a place I’ve never been before,” but NY deserves its own line)
  14. Skinny dip in the ocean
  15. Go deep sea fishing
  16. Teach my son how to drive a stick
  17. Take a shot (or 2) of Patron (in the comfort and safety of friends who can handle Mel-on-Tequila. Have never had Patron but have been assured by many that it will change my life. It will definitely change the life of the people who witness this event, I can promise you that.)
  18. Take an unplanned road trip (although does putting that on my list make it a plan?)
  19. Get a housekeeper (at least once a month)
  20. Take up SLR photography again
  21. Write a short story or novella (never done this, dunno if I can!)
  22. Go camping in the mountains
  23. Plant a new gardenia bush
  24. Steal a summer kiss at sunset
  25. Take a winter vacation somewhere snowy
  26. Face time with each of my out-of-state friends
  27. Try at least 1 type of new (to me) food
  28. Go golfing (took lessons a few years ago but never made it to a golf course)
  29. Write a letter (not an email, a letter. To a friend or a family member. Someone who will appreciate the effort and hopefully someone who can decipher my chicken scratch.)
  30. Have a book launch party 😀
  31. Finish this list (for Marcus)

Okay, I’m only at 30, but if I complete THIS list, I think I’ll be doing pretty damn well. What do you think? Have any suggestions?

2009: Day the 1st

Wish I had something witty to say, you know, so we can start the year off right. But nothing’s coming to mind. Could be because I was up past 2:00 and the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet.

Hope everyone had a safe and happy night and that you were able to ring in the New Year with the people most dear to you.

I know everyone posts their New Year’s Resolutions, but I’m not really gonna do that. Barbara Samuel suggests that you think of three words to describe the previous year, and three to describe the coming. So I’m going to give that a try.



Here are the things I plan to accomplish this year. Not resolutions.

Be a better mother
Be a more disciplined writer
Run the 10K and keep training for a half-marathon
Get a tattoo for my 40th birthday
Laugh every day at least once

What words did you pick? Did you make resolutions or are you refusing?

ETA today’s note from The Universe:

Dearest Melissa, I was about to wish that your every dream for 2009 come true. That you find yourself surrounded by friends, laughter, and good times. I almost wished that your every cup runneth over financially, romantically, spiritually, and creatively. That good health be your faithful companion, peace your guarded ally, and love your perpetual guide. When suddenly, it dawned on me that as an infinite, powerful, fun-loving gladiator of the Universe, with eternity before you and the power of your thoughts to help shape it… it’s you Melissa Francis, who will be granting wishes this year.

The Universe

I totally dig The Universe…just so you know.

where did my morning go?

Okay, busy day today. Here’s my to do list:

Got a hair appt in 45 minutes.

Have to finish laundry and pack…heading to Oxford tomorrow.

Waiting for manuscript from lovely editor so I can dig into one last round of revisions. Good thing I’ll be in Oxford…no interwebs at the house to distract me.

Gotta pick up my daddy’s Expedition to drive to Oxford so we can bring some stuff in the attic home with us.

Hopefully will rent the house out while there. Otherwise, I may have to cry.

Things I’ve accomplished since Friday:

Finished new proposal and sent it to Deidre.

Painted my toenails BRIGHT-ASS-HOLY-SHIT PINK

Registered my son for high school. (I am way too damn young to be the mother of a high school freshman)

Joined PASIC (Published Authors Special Interest Chapter of RWA)

Finally decided to have transmission rebuilt in the van.

So, what’s on your to-do list?

I’m not sure if I’ll be around much this week…depends on if my Oxford neighbors still have an open wireless network or not!


  1. Finish revising proposal, send to DK.
  2. Start plotting new book idea.
  3. Clean off disgusting desk
  4. Hang anniversary present over desk.
  5. Vacuum and dust.

Wanna take bets on which of these things will be on tomorrow’s list?

In good news, Ian’s mid-term grades were fantastic. He has an A in algebra. At mid-term in February, he had an F. Call me dumbfounded. I am so proud. I think that Sylvan thing has really worked out in our favor.

Hey, if any of you out there are good with sending out positive thoughts, could you send them to Oxford and the house-selling faeries? I know the market is shite right now, but surely our house will sell soon? I don’t wanna have to go to work at Wal-Mart!

Rhonda is talking about bad dates over at Fictionistas. I’m sure you’ve NEVER had a bad date. Ever. Pop over and read about ours…

working for the weekend?

Not when you’re a writer! I am working TOWARD the weekend, but probably I will spend much of Saturday and Sunday butt-in-chair. It’s okay, though. Next weekend, I’m headed to KC with my best friend from high school to visit my best friend from college and one of my kids’ godfather, so I have to get this finished before I leave.

Cake, I tell you. Cake.

I made it to the gym this morning. One more day to go to meet my goal of 3 days this week. Maybe I’ll do a bonus 4th day just cuz I’m feeling good.

On my list of things to do today:

Work on manuscript
Buy a corkboard
Buy cake mix for school fundraiser
Do laundry and clean kitchen

On a sad note, I’m just sick about the death of Heath Ledger. Sigh. Not only was he beautiful to look at, but he was a brilliant, young actor and father. Anyway, I know there is death everyday and we put celebrities up on a ridiculously high pedestal and it seems weird to mourn a man that I never knew. But honestly, he seemed like a good egg–like he was one of the actors who could redeem Hollywood to some extent.

no resolutions, only goals.

I may regret posting this publicly but here goes. This is my checklist for 2008.

  • Read 50 books.
  • Lose 50 lbs.
  • Finish writing Love Sux
  • Write at least 2 YA Proposals
  • Write at least 2 adult proposals (I cannot control what I sell, but I can control how hard I try)
  • Complete new website (ahem, Fishdog….)
  • Attend 1 writing related conference. (may not be RWA National. Depends on when we sell the house in Oxford)
  • Write 5 days a week.
  • Take a vacation with Fishdog. Just us.

My intention is to post updates and mark off the checklist when I complete each item. What are your goals? Resolutions? Or are you in the ‘fuck it. live and let live’ camp?

Last night’s soiree (pics in post below) at Birdrunner’s place was great. I met her family and discovered her sister Kate reads my blog. (or is it Cate? Never got around to proper name spelling in our conversations. Of course, if Kate had realized she’d be mentioned in my blog, she might’ve told me her name was Marvin. I can spell Marvin.) Too bad Stinkydog wasn’t there. Sorry to disappoint, but there wasn’t one drunk in the group. Kinda disconcerting actually. No fun drunk pics. Oh well.

For those of you wondering, yes, I made it to midnight. Barely. I was zombie-like and talking nonstop to keep myself awake.

Happy New Year guys. Maybe I’ll be witty and fun in 2008 and totally worth reading.

Or not. Whatever. Just shut up and read anyway.