It Could Happen: Adam Lambert and Cheri Visit the Haunted Mansion

Halloween is a perfect time to visit the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland with Adam Lambert.  It could happen.

haunted-mansion

Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is a “spirited” tour through a haunted estate.  Doom buggies carry passengers through a ghost-filled mansion and grounds.  It is spooktacular year-round and gets a special makeover Jack Skellington-style for Christmas each year.  At the end of the ride, you will be warned to watch out for hitchhiking ghosts.  Take that warning seriously.  Hitchhiking ghosts are real, as you can see from the photograph.

hitchhiking ghostsHappy Halloween!

 


On Throwback Thursdays or #tbt, people post old photos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  But on Thursdays at Blog This Mom!® we don’t look back.  Instead, we post photos in a series called “It Could Happen.”  It Could Happen photos at Blog This Mom!® always involve Adam Lambert because Adam Lambert, that’s why.


Note:  There’s still time!  You have until 11:59 PM PST on November 8th to enter to win an autographed copy of At the End of Magic and/or to be one of eight lucky readers to participate in an online book club meeting on Skype with the author, Mary Petrie.  All you have to do is leave a comment here.

at the end of magic small

At the End of Magic

If you don’t know Mary Petrie, it is my pleasure to introduce you to her, her blog Minnesota Matron, and her first published novel, At the End of Magic.

at the end of magic smallMary and I first met years ago in the way that bloggers do, each of us tracing the other back through links in comment sections of various blogs. Mary is an award-winning writer, a feminist, a mother of three, and teaches English and Gender Studies at Inver Hills Community College (she is currently on sabbatical working on another book).

At the End of Magic is a fantastic read. It is at once gripping and soothing as we are guided to examine edges raw and places deep in Mary’s characters. Perhaps we more easily explore the boundaries of our own existential and everyday struggles and triumphs when reading about someone else’s. Mary takes us there and back and there again. Her characters’ strengths and vulnerabilities are deftly probed and compassionately exposed. We know them, and we are they, even as we want to look and look away.

Motherhood and all of its vicissitudes and victories is a central theme as the stories of the co-protagonists unfold and merge. Leilani is a mother without a daughter, and Delphi is a daughter without a mother. To be sure, At the End of Magic is neither specifically about motherhood nor is it written for mothers. It is written for anyone who has experienced and/or lacked a relationship with a mother. In other words, this book is for everyone and anyone.

The story behind the story is as compelling and affirming as the novel itself because Mary’s book is not self-published so much as son-published. Those of us who have read Mary’s blog for years remember her son Stryker from the days when he was HWCBN (He Who Cannot Be Named); he didn’t like his mom’s blog or want to be mentioned there, a feeling commonly shared by teens of bloggers. Stryker grew into a young man who recognized his mother’s genius and wanted her to realize her dream of publishing that novel, which had been put on the back burner as Mary balanced mothering, career, and writing. Stryker put wings on magic. Before finishing high school, he worked in secret to have her book published, a graduation gift to her before he left for college. I strongly encourage you to read the story behind At the End of Magic here, where you will also find a link to an excerpt from the book.

There’s more!

Mary has graciously agreed to give an autographed copy of At the End of Magic to one of you! Just leave a comment on this post to enter to win it. I will draw a name from comments left here prior to Saturday, November 8 at 11:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time). The winner will be announced on Monday, November 10, 2014.

But that’s not all!

Mary Petrie is going to participate in an online book club in Skype (much like we did with Melissa Westemeier’s book, Kicks Like a Girl; you can read about that here). All you have to do is leave a comment here if you want a spot. Eight lucky participants will join Mary and me (at a date and time to be determined) for an in-depth discussion about At the End of Magic, Mary’s writing process, and any questions you may have. Personally, I can’t wait!

at the end of magic book club graphic

At the End of Magic is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.


NOTE from Blog This Mom!®:  This book review and giveaway is unsolicited and unpaid. I do not receive any compensation if you purchase At the End of Magic except for the warm and fuzzy feeling I will get knowing that you enjoyed Mary’s book.  Besides, I have policies about reviews, you know, because this joint is a serious operation with policies and official legal language.

It Could Happen: Adam Lambert & Cheri Debate!

On Throwback Thursday or #tbt, people post old photos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  But on Thursdays at Blog This Mom!® we don’t look back.  Instead, we post photos in a series called “It Could Happen.”


 

Election Day is November 4, 2014.  It is a midterm election year.  All 435 seats in the House and 1/3 of the seats in the Senate are up for grabs.  There are also various state and local races to be decided.

It is important to be informed about the issues and candidates.  Therefore, I have been watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  It is also important to understand the political process.  Accordingly, I have been re-watching every episode of The West Wing on Netflix.

DebateClearly, Adam Lambert and I are ready to debate anyone, anytime.

Who Has ISSUES? Me, That’s Who!

So. I have some issues. And by issues I mean ISSUES.

Who doesn’t, really? Well, some people think they don’t have issues. So, there are people who know they have issues, and people who think they don’t have issues, the latter of which is actually a double serving of ISsuEs. But that’s just my opinion, which you should take with Pliny the Elder’s grain of salt because I have ISSUES, that’s why.

So, recently, I decided to do something about my ISSUES. Again. I previously mentioned that I’ve been trying meditation hahahahahaha. Like most Southern Californians, I’ve been in therapy before, so I thought I’d give that another go. At my new therapist’s recommendation, I enrolled in an eight-week Mindful Self Compassion course, which may prove to be fatal; I’ll let you know. The course includes a half-day silent retreat at the end, which I’m positive will kill me if I actually show up. It was really nice being blogging friends with you while it lasted.

Meanwhile, back at the therapist’s office as we began to Discuss Issues With Deep Roots and whatnot, it seems her philosophy is that Examining the Deep Roots is a worthy pursuit in knowing what Caused the ISSUES, but then Doing Things to deal with the Effects of the ISSUES is Essential. Immediately she identified that one of the Effects of my Issues with Deep Roots is that I am not so good at self compassion. (By the way, “not so good at” are my words. She’d say it in some sort of positive way that for the life of me I cannot figure out how to do. See? ISSUES.) So, she recommended the Mindful Self Compassion course and Other Stuff like that as part of the Doing Things approach.

Now for the point of this post (because I do have one): Since the very first session with her, I could not place where I’d heard her voice before. It sounded familiar. I was trying to focus on WHAT she was saying, but I kept getting distracted by WHO she sounded like when she was saying it. (See? ISSUES.) Then one day she had me close my eyes to do a guided self-compassion meditation (which, by the way, did not prove fatal, although when I first closed my eyes I thought it was all over for me). With my eyes closed, fully focused on just her voice, it hit me who she sounds like.

Julie Kavner.

So, basically, every time I go to therapy now, I hear Marge Simpson except softer and patient. But still Marge Simpson.

This is what therapy is like.
This is what therapy is like for me.

See? ISSUES.

It Could Happen: Adam Lambert & Cheri … Breaking Bad

Throwback Thursday is a thing on social media sites, right?  Folks post memorable photos from back in the day on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  But Thursdays at Blog This Mom!® are different because we don’t look back.  Instead, we post photos in a series called “It Could Happen.”


Here I am with Adam Lambert in front of our meth lab a very nice motorhome . . .

breaking badIt’s like we are Jesse Pinkman and Walter White (as Heisenberg), which would otherwise be perfect except that I don’t know a darn thing about Chemistry.  Eh.  A minor detail considering I’m super good at picking hats.

In other news, who is excited about Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad spin-off scheduled to premiere in early 2015?  I’m excited, that’s who.  Bob Odenkirk will reprise his role as lawyer Saul Goodman in a series set in time six years before Breaking Bad, although apparently there will be plot turns that tie the spinoff into the “future” storyline whence it came. Jonathan Banks will be portraying Saul’s private investigator, another role reprisal from the original show, and one that delights me because Mike was a richly layered character and a rather likable hit man in Breaking Bad.

Did you watch Breaking Bad?  Will you watch Better Call Saul?

Kicks Like a Girl: The Book Club on Skype

kicks like a girl book club

It happened!

First of all, a BIG thank you to Melissa Westemeier, author of Kicks Like a Girl, for so graciously giving her time on a Sunday morning to attend our online book club! Also, thank you to the great women who joined us for a lovely chat with coffee and tea. I think we would all agree that it was a pleasure getting to know each other.

Having the author attend the book club meeting was a treat because rather than speculate about things like a character’s motivation or why a particular setting was used, we could simply ask her. We were also able to take our discussion beyond the story into topics like Melissa’s writing and publishing process, which was an extra treat for us writerly (that should be a word) types.

We decided that Melissa’s novel would make a great movie. So, of course, we had to come up with the perfect cast. For the life of me I cannot remember whom we picked to play the main character, Gretchen Benton, because after we cast the role of the police officer I forgot everything else, that’s why.  If someone who attended the book club can remind me in the comments who is playing Gretchen, I’d be grateful. However, I do remember that we cast Taylor Lautner in the role of the karate teacher, and Taylor Kitsch in the role of the police officer. I’m not going to say which one gets the girl because I’m not a plot spoiler, that’s why. We also gave Melissa a cameo role (as Margo) in her movie because other authors like Stephen King, Hunter S. Thompson, Kathryn Stockett, and S.E. Hinton got cameos in the movie adaptations of their books, that’s why.

One of the things that readers often wonder about when a novel ends is what happens to the characters next. For example, in the book/movie The Fault in Our Stars, Augustus and Hazel travel from Indianapolis to Amsterdam just to ask the author of Hazel’s favorite book to tell them how it ends. But we didn’t have to go to Amsterdam or even out of our houses because we opened our laptops and asked Melissa what she saw for her characters in the future.  If you haven’t read Kicks Like a Girl yet, grab a copy.  You’re in for a treat.

My original review of Kicks Like a Girl is here.

Here’s a link to Kicks Like a Girl on Amazon.

Print

Here’s a link to Melissa’s first novel, Whipped, Not Beaten, which is also very good!

Whipped Not Beaten

You can find Melissa’s engaging blog, Green Girl in Wisconsin, here.

Oh, and we are so doing another book club with an author on Skype again.  Details coming soon.  Stay tuned!


NOTE from Blog This Mom!®:  Although I like Melissa Westemeier (and her blog and books), I do not receive any compensation if you purchase one of her books. I think Melissa will like us if you buy her book, but I think she will like us even if we don’t, and especially so if we are nice people because Melissa is a nice person, that’s why.  In any event, I have policies about reviews, you know, because this joint is a serious operation with policies and official legal language.

It Could Happen: Adam Lambert, Cheri, & Freddie Mercury

Throwback Thursday is a thing on social media sites, right?  Folks post memorable photos from back in the day on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  But Thursdays at Blog This Mom!® are different because we don’t look back.  Instead, we post photos in a series called “It Could Happen.”


Here I am with Adam Lambert and Queen . . .

queenQueen + Adam Lambert toured in the U.S. during the summer of 2014.  I went to two of those concerts and wrote about it here:  The Show Must Go On

Queen and Adam Lambert recently announced a 2015 European tour.  Pardon me whilst I exclaim, “I wanna goooooooooooooo!”

It could happen.

Tell us:  Do you have any future concert hopes or plans?  If you could get a backstage pass for any concert, what musician or group would you want to hang out with?

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