Tag Archives: God

Am I a Real Person? I’m not sure.

Hmm, am I a real person?

Hmmm.__Wait_a_minute_00000

*Please wait while I hum the Jeopardy theme song in my head for 30 seconds while flying around the room on my unicorn*

Project1

The answer is . . . no.

I am a robot: eat, sleep, write, eat, sleep, write, eat, sleep, write.

Okay, SERIOUS MODE: On.

Hello, I’m Jamie Ayres, and the truth is, I wish I were a robot. I’m more real than I care to admit. If real means being a frustrated, insecure, hot mess. Yeah, the past month has been crazy.

If I was a robot, I could accept or refuse thoughts from bullies without getting upset. I could wire my brain and abilities any way I wanted. I could program myself to be happy no matter whom or what surrounded me each day.

But that’s not the mark of a real person. And as my second novel, 18 Truths, was being released and attacks were coming from all sides, I recognized God was showing me my own personal truth in the midst of it. He allows bad days to happen to make us aware of how much we need help.

My definition of a real person is one who tells the truth, means what they say but doesn’t say it mean, and has a good heart. From that perspective, I rather like the label of being a “real” person, even as I listen to the voices of my characters whispering in the dark corners of my mind.

Alien PKO_0003410That doesn’t mean I’m not opposed to the Little Blue Lady abducting me

*puts on foil hat and chants, “Take me to your leader.”

Together, we will rule the Earth!!! 

Be careful what

you wish for!

Want to know more about Jamie Ayres? Hop on over to her website (Quick, before the Little Blue Lady does)

Check out Jamie’s book HERE. The paperback is on sale. Wahoo!

You can also feed your ereader, cause they need a little love, too.

(Tissues sold separately)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Why do we put up Christmas wreaths on our doors?

Don’t ya just hate it when your kid asks you a question and you think, umm, because we do, that’s why.

I never remember questioning anything when I grew up. We just did certain things at Christmas. I looked forward to it. But I never really asked “why”.

Did you as a lot of questions, or is this just a quirk of the new generation?

Anyway, this is the reason behind hanging a Christmas Wreath on a door, courtesy of our pastor. (I’ll paraphrase)

A Christmas wreath, in essence, is an advent wreath without the candles. it is a circle–without beginning or end, compromised of evergreen branches.  It symbolizes God’s everlasting love for us, and our hope in everlasting life with Jesus.

Wow. Pretty cool, huh?

So next time you see a wreath on a door, take a moment to remember the true meaning of the Christmas season.

Merry Christmas

Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Our Journey with the Total Transformation #7

I just experienced a miracle – right in my own home.

I know it’s not Tuesday, and I usually don’t post at all on Wednesdays, but I needed to share this.

We just went through a very common occurrence in our household. Yes, it involved screaming, but what was different, is how it played out.  It was nothing less than a miracle.

My Nine-year-old came home from school today with a toy he received for something outstanding he’d done in class.  He was quite tickled with the prize, and loved the new toy.

My youngest loved the new toy too, and they both were playing nicely with it.  (Yes, a recipe for disaster, but I can’t not let them play together, can I?)

Anyway, long story short, my nine-year-old suddenly shrieks “He broke it!” and the tears started to flow.  I run to the scene of the crime, to see my youngest staring at the mess he’d made.  I could tell by the look on his face that he was stunned.  He had no intention of breaking the toy.

I immediately tried to defuse the impending breakdown by saying “I don’t think he did that on purpose.”

As I tried to calm the older child down, my youngest grabbed his head and started screaming and running up and down the hallway upstairs howling at the top of his lungs.

I had no idea what to do about that, so I consoled the older boy, saying that I didn’t think his brother meant to break it, and told him that his brother would buy him a new one.  He was sad, but okay with that.  I asked him for the wrapper so I could figure out where it came from, and while he was doing that, I reached for the phone to call the “help line” to find out what to do about the meltdown upstairs.

That’s when the miracle happened.  I suddenly realized it was quiet, and then I heard murmurings from the front hallway.  I peeked around the corner to see my sons hugging, and the older boy saying.  “I understand, and thanks.”

I watched as my youngest walked away.  My nine-year-old approached me, wiping a tear from his eye, and said, “He gave me his harmonica.”

My jaw hit the floor as he held up the little purple instrument.  You need to understand that the harmonica is so important to my youngest that it might as well be plated in gold.  That was HIS recent present from school for being good.  He SLEPT WITH THE DERN THING!

I said, “[Dude] do you realize how huge that was? He loves that thing.”

He nodded.  “Yeah, Mom. He also said he was really sorry.”

Do you wanna read that again?  I do.

“He also said he was really sorry.”

My youngest slunk in the other door, and I showered him with hugs, and made sure he knew what a great job he’d done.

If you have a “normal” child you might not understand this… but this little boy with extreme problem-solving abilities just stopped freaking out on his own, and problem-solved that his brother was very sad, and found a way to cheer his brother up… as well as agreeing to replace the broken toy.

Unbelievable. I feel like God has reached out and touched my house.

Did you hear that sniff?  Yeah, I’m crying right now.

swish swivel squiggle

Our Journey with the Total Transformation:

Week One post #1

Week Two Post #2 and Post #3

Week Three Post #4

Week Four Post #5

Week Five  Post #6 and Post #7

Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Our Journey with the Total Transformation #3

If you’d like to be filled in on our journey thus far, please see post #1 and Post #2.  I’m not going to go over this stuff again here. and here is Post #3

Continued from Monday …

Dang guys, once again I am overwhelmed by the support, and all the personal emails–many of which made me cry.  Part of writing these posts is self-motivation to FORCE me to keep going, because I have committed myself.  I really appreciate all the good wishes.

This is what I have learned thus far from disk #1.  My son doesn’t think the way normal people do.  I can’t expect him to be logical.  I can’t expect him to react rationally.  I cannot expect him to act “normal” when he is upset.  He does not have the ability.  In other words… I CANNOT PARENT HIM THE WAY I PARENTED HIS OLDER SIBLINGS.

Is there something wrong with him?  Well, only in that he doesn’t THINK the way most people do.

*** He doesn’t think the way most people do ***

Sounds scary, doesn’t it?  My job is to help him work around this.  I can teach him to be a normal, thinking adult, but if I don’t act now, the chances of it becoming worse are far too high.

Now, I don’t know how to do this yet.  Herein lies our frustration.  Following the course by the letter, we need to do our workbook and let this all sink in before going to lesson two.  BUT WE WANT HELP NOW.

I’m turning again to the CD of “10 things to help you right now” and I am listening to it again.

***Putting the Plan into action***

Last night, my 6 year old punched my 9 year old in the face because it was bedtime.  I called the “help line” and they walked me through what to do.  What I needed to do sounded incredibly stupid.  What I wanted to do was what my parents did – beat me senseless—but I have to realize that my 6 year old is not me.  Returning the anger and spanking will not work with this child. So I sat down and told him everything they said… and he went to bed.

***Problems with the older kids***

Now here is a new problem.  “Mom, you’re just letting him get away with that?”

The older kids felt like I’d done nothing.  I called them aside, and explained “The Total Transformation” to them.  They complained that this isn’t going to be fair to them… that they would be punished for things and their lives would have to change because of the youngest.

I said, “Yes, things will change, but this is what we need to do to get our lives back.”

They were not happy.  They groan when they start acting up and I hit them with one of the “ten things to help you right now” tips… of course, they then immediately cave and do what I want. Crap – if anything I have to say this stuff works with the older kids without a hitch.  The youngest?  He can still tirade through it.

But it’s a new day in the Eaton household.  I’m not really sure what that means.  But I’m convicted to making that true.  Now that I am a little more “educated” and understand more about my son’s challenges, and our challenges as parents to a behaviorally challenged child, at least I am ready to move forward.

At the moment, though… after week one… chaos still ensues.  And something upstairs just broke… and yep, there’s the screaming.  Bedtime is always such a joy… until next time!

Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Our Journey with the Total Transformation #2

Last week I opened up with some really personal information, and I was encouraged by the outpouring of well-wishes, and emboldened by the number of you who contacted me both publicly and privately about your own personal battles.

Click here to see last week’s post. This is where we are.

My son’s most common phrase:  “I hate you.”

It doesn’t even hurt anymore.  I’ve managed to turn off my emotions.  I wish the rest of the family could.  It’s so hard, and my handling things without emotion just leads to fights between me and my husband, which escalate and draw in the rest of the family in one way or another.  Like I said last week, this is as close to Hell as I ever want to come.

We need to *****

Sorry, I had to mediate the screaming session going on upstairs. (again) and I completely lost my thoughts.

Anyway… We’ve now listened to lesson one “Why is my kid like this?”

Our frustration level with the program is pretty high right now.  We want help, but the first disk is really informational.  I’m trying to be as positive as I can.  I’m trying to keep my husband from throwing it against the wall.

Thinking it over, and remembering a comment from someone last week, the first disk seems a lot like a first professional session with parents.  It is all about assuring the parents that this is not our fault, which was a big concern.  Did we slip on the last one? Was he exposed to too much from his older siblings? Are we too easy on him? Too hard on him?  Why is our parenting working on the older kids and not him?

This is my situation.  I have a 9 year old and a 12 year old who are both off the charts smart.  They come home, throttle through their homework, and anything less than an “A” on a report card is a surprise (That we discuss in a manner of “how can we help with this” rather than being judgmental… we want school to be fun.)

Then we have our youngest, who acts out in school, has seen a counselor for anger, and his recent report card rated him at mid-kindergarten level across the board, and he is in the middle of first grade. I quietly contacted the teacher and asked if he was going to be left back.  This is when our lines of communication opened with her and his reading teacher.  I told them what we were doing, and they were excited and asked how they could help. Hey, I’ll take all the help I can get.

I’m going to cut this post here and continue it on Wednesday, because on finishing it I realized it was way too long.  I’ll start up right where I left off on Wednesday.

Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Our family’s journey with The Total Transformation program

Hello.  My Name in Jennifer Eaton.  And I have a child with behavioral problems.

Whew!  Getting that off my chest is HUGE.  If you have a child with a behavior disorder, be it ADD, ADHD, or any of the myriad of other things out there, just admitting that there is a problem is a pretty big step in the right direction.

Since my youngest was two, he’s always been “a handful”.  We kept waiting for him to get out of the terrible two’s.  I used to joke about him still being in his terrible two’s at five.

At six, when his “bad” behavior started becoming violent… when his siblings began to get hurt, when he would scream at us and break things if he didn’t get his way…  When I was afraid to sit beside him… when I cringed in fear when my son came near … we realized we had a problem.

We tried everything we could think of.  But it just got worse.

I work full time at an office, and my husband works full time from home.  He gets the worst of it.  Near the “end” I would drive up and sit in the garage for a little while, preparing myself for what I would walk into.  Sometimes I cried before even opening the door.

Our lives had become as close to Hell as I EVER wanted to come.  Our family was being torn apart.  We yelled at all of our children, not just the troubled one.  My husband and I started to fight– and quite honestly only our values kept our marriage together.

One day, my husband left (again) just because he had to get away from the house.  I understood.  I don’t know how he keeps sane… but within half an hour my middle son was bleeding from an altercation with my youngest, and I was sprawled on the livingroom floor uncontrollably sobbing, with my oldest son holding me, himself in tears.

This had become my life.  Lost, alone, and hurting with nowhere to turn.

That night, we contacted a child psychiatrist.  I was horrified, because being medicine-phobic, I didn’t want to pump my son full of drugs, but I had to protect my family, both physically and mentally at that point, because my other children were being harmed emotionally now.

The psychiatrist told us he could have us come in for six sessions at $200 a session, and by the end of the sixth session … are you ready for this … “I will be able to tell you if I can help you or not.”

What????? $1200 just to evaluate him?  Six more weeks of sinking further into Dante’s Inferno, and not even knowing if this is the right course of action?

My husband and I stewed over this for a few more horrible weeks.  When one of my husband’s relatives neglected to invite us to a family party, and we found out it was because of our son, my husband lost it.  Our lives were falling apart, and our family was hanging by a thread.

After much prayer and contemplation, and hearing the radio commercial for the Umteenth time (If that was you, God, sorry I didn’t call the number sooner) I contacted “The Total Transformation”.

I’d hesitated before, because my son was only 3, then 4, then 5, now six.  I still was afraid that he was too young, but someone on the website said it worked for their six year old.

The package has arrived, and it is a workbook and a series of DVDs for a seven week program.  For the price of two visits to the shrink, I have a whole program, and for an additional $50 a month, I have live professional help from 9 AM to 10 PM on weekdays (Which I plan on using a lot)

I listened to the first “Quick help” DVD, and tried out one of the solutions on one of my older kids.  It sounded dumb, even coming out of my mouth, but my son blinked, looked at me for a minute, and then did exactly what I asked him to do.

It was a heck of a surprise!

Now, will it work on the problem child?  Only time will tell.  I’m not expecting a miracle, but I need to do something.  I need to get my family back, and I need to save my son.

If you have a problem child, you are not alone.  You may feel that way, but you are not.

We know this is going to be work.  I’m not expecting a miracle overnight change.  The next seven weeks are probably going to be the hardest weeks of our lives, but if we can get our family back… If we can stop walking on eggshells… if we can stop worrying about our children hurting each other, or breaking things, or even hurting US… wow… taking any one of those things out of our lives would be a step in the right direction.

I’m going to let you know how this works for me, because I KNOW there are others out there in situations like this.  And if a stupid set of DVDs can give you your life back, then DERNIT I want to let you know about it.

I will fill you in as we go along.

Take a deep breath, and pray for us.  We’re gonna need it.

Note:  Other than buying this product, I am in no way connected to the Total Transformation, so if it stinks, I will be a fair judge.  My husband and I have agreed to follow it exactly, and not take any shortcuts.  Trust me… we can’t afford to.  We need this to work.

Jennifer___Eaton

Sacrificing Virgins? What ever happened to Christmas Cheer?

Wanna see a review?  Make Believe is being reviewed on Jeanz Book Read N Review today. Please hop over and check it out — then let me know in the comments below if I should look at it or not 🙂

ChristmasFiligree

Today I am hosting the lovely and talented Terri Rochenski, Author of “Sacrificial Oath” from the Make Believe Anthology.  Awesomeness.

Here is the “Back Cover Blurb” for Terri’s story:

Sacrificial Oath by Terri Rochenski
An impetuous act unwittingly makes Alesuela the fulfillment of the Sovereign’s Blood Oath to their Goddess. In five days, she’ll be forced to make the greatest choice of her life: become the virginal sacrifice already promised, or force the man she loves most to die in her place.

With an impossible choice in front of her, she searches for ways to undo the oath, and in her quest, finds not everything in her life is as she expects.

ChristmasFiligree

So, Miss Terri… we both looked at the very same picture, and I came up with Last Winter Red, and you came up with Sacrificial Oath.  What gives?

https://i1.wp.com/www.jtaylorpublishing.com/photos/authors/11.jpgThe first thing I thought was how much the landscape (minus the tower) looks like one of the fields below the house I grew up in. Raised on a farm in central PA, there’s lots of corn – and snow. When I was a kid, anyway. 🙂

  1. Ummm… Okay…. So, they sacrifice virgins in the Pennsylvania farmland?  Remind me to steer away from there next time I’m passing through!

 Bwaaaahaaaaawhaaa!  I actually had a story simmering in my mind already concerning a virginal sacrifice and when I saw the picture prompt most of the story fell into place. My mother is my go-to for brainstorming & she shared with me a story from the Bible where a man promised God a sacrifice in return for victory in war. Poor guy got the short end of the stick. I merged the two thoughts together and came up with Sacrificial Oath.!

Oh!  Thank goodness!  For a minute I thought the mild manner farm chic thing was just a disguise!  So, What’s next for you?

My short story, Beginning of Forever, released on Dec 4th with Still Moments Publishing‘s Christmas Magic anthology. It’s an historical romance inspired by my sister-in-law’s life. More info can be found on my website’s media page found HERE.
I have even bigger & better news, but my lips are sealed for 5 more days – PR day.  😉 Be sure to swing by my blog on the 17th!!

OOOOoooo Terri’s holding out on us!

Thanks so much for stopping by, Terri.  Be sure to check out “Sacrificial Oath” in the Make Believe Anthology Available now.  Yay!

How about you?

Sacrifice any virgins lately? (Did I actually ask that?) 

Strike that!!!!!  Where did the inspiration come from for your last work? (Whew!  So much better a topic)

ChristmasFiligree

Make BelieveFor The Love Of Christmas CoverWhy all the hullabaloo? Well, it’s to promote my two new releases “Make Believe” and “For the Love of Christmas”

That’s why!

And don’t forget to click on “Enter to Win” for a chance to win your choice of the two titles! Yay!

Oh, I almost forgot… A few random commentors along the tour path will win their choice of anthologies, too. So be sure to hop on over and say “Hi”

ChristmasFiligree

Hop on over and send me some love!

ChristmasFiligree

Visit my Anthology buddies!  They are celebrating too!

Jenny Keller Ford

J.A. Belfield

Kelly Said

Lynda R. Young

Terri Rochenski

JenniFer_EatonF

An Amazing Feeling. Published.

An Amazing Feeling

If you hadn’t noticed, I’m excited.  I am a born writer.  It is a talent God gave me, but I suppressed for twenty years.  Always in the back of my head, though… I knew giving up writing was a mistake.

When I decided to take up writing again in 2010, my focus was to be published.  In January of 2012, I decided that it was going to be this year.  I was going to do it.

I threw everything I had into that goal… and here I am!

And believe it or not, it only gets better.  A little over a year ago I did a beta read for a woman who has since become one of my best friends.  We’ve been on a roller coaster ride together, both striving toward that elusive publication credit at the end of the rainbow.

I am so excited to say that Jenny Keller Ford’s Amulet of Ormisez – The work that had me questioning my own submission, will also be included in J. Taylor Publishing’s Make Believe Anthology, due out just before Christmas of this year.

It’s fantastic to be published, but it’s even better to be published alongside your friend.  Instead of one of us being excited, but at the same time consoling the other, we were both able to celebrate together.

What an amazing feeling.

I’m going to Hell. (A character Study)

As an author, I like to study people who are very different from me.  I try to figure them out… what makes them tick… why do they do the things they do?  Why do they think like they do?

I started pondering this last week when I wrote the last lines of my “Book Banning” article, and asked you guys not to bash any of the groups (probably religious groups) for not liking the books on the list.  I was thinking over why it was so important to me to make sure that no one singled out a religion.

Several years ago, I found out that I’m going to Hell.  Someone who is unfortunately bound to me by marriage informed me of this.  Kind of makes things awkward during Thanksgiving dinner.

Hmmm… Didn’t the Pilgrims come to America to avoid religious persecution?

Let’s think about that…

Until I met this guy, I was the most religious person I knew.  My friends and co-workers knew this.  They always apologized when they cursed in front of me (jokingly) and many asked me to pray for them if they were in need.  No problem for me.  I’m happy to do it.  God and I are pretty tight.

But now, apparently, I am going to Hell—so, I asked this guy “why”.  What do you believe in that I don’t?  Through discussion, I found out that we both believe EXACTLY the same thing.  So, why am I going to Hell?

Because I do not worship in the same church he does.  And apparently, everyone but his church is going to Hell.

I hope Hell is a pretty big place.

Unfortunately for me, this snowballed.  I moved.  Now I find myself in an environment where almost EVERYONE around me believes this, and they openly condemn my religion.  Holy cow!  Talk about the “Don’t know don’t tell” policy.  I’ve learned to live with this, though.  Rather than “coming out” and putting my head on a block for being “that religion” I just keep my mouth shut.   (Yeah, sounds meek, but it’s just not something I want to deal with.  It’s personal.  Politics and religion – keep it to yourself.)

What really bought this to my boiling point, was a recent dinner I had with a bunch friends.  Out of the blue, they started bashing my religion.  It was mild, and none of them said I was going to Hell, but it shocked me.

These people didn’t even think to ask if anyone was of that religion before they started bashing.

Now, I could have answered all their questions, and set them straight.  In retrospect, I probably should have— but in an eight-on-one situation, self-preservation instinct took over.  I kept my mouth shut, and just “observed”.

From a character study perspective, I try to understand how people like this can think of themselves as so much better than anyone else.  How can they quote scripture, while going against scripture at the same time?  I’d love to really get inside one of these people’s heads just to “understand.”

Any one of them would make a great character in a novel.  Talk about adding tension!  The problem is without completely understanding how these people are wired, I am not sure I could do them justice without making them seem like….  Ummmm…  Well…  let’s just say without letting my personal opinion of their outlook slipping in.

Creating a monomaniacal villain is easy.  They are a little tainted in the head.  That’s accepted.  But these people are “normal”, but really contradictory.

How do I create a character that thinks they are humble, preaches how humble they are, but actually has the worst case of a superiority complex I can think of?  Hmmmm.  Tough one.

I wonder though…. I hope I’m not the one with the superiority complex because I don’t think everyone in the world is going to Hell.

Since I am in the minority now, maybe I need to do a character study on myself?  Maybe I can ask the Little Blue lady from Mars to help me.

Thor: A review from a Writer’s Perspective

I just watched the movie “Thor” with my husband and son.  My son was so excited.  We checked the “Mommy” reviews, and I decided it would be okay for my oldest son to watch (The younger ones probably could have watched it too.  It was no worse than cartoon violence in most cases, and no cursing, which I appreciate as a Mom.)

Anyway… I wasn’t expecting much.  I really don’t know the story of Thor all that well, and I was just bracing myself for another really bad re-done super hero movie.  Wow, was I in for a pleasant surprise.

Lately, after struggling with plot holes in my novel, I am reading novels and watching movies with a very critical eye.  I knew this was going to lead into the “Avengers” so I figured that it would be open-ended.  I also knew it was a re-telling.

Would they do a good job?  Would they leave it open-ended?  Would it have a concrete beginning, middle and end that left me satisfied that the story was over?  If they do, will I be screaming for more?

Yes, Yes, Yes, and definitely Yes. (Can I buy my tickets NOW?)

Now, if you are a Thor fan, you might have hated this movie.  Like I
said, I don’t know the original story… but looking at this as a stand-alone
story, I think it was great.  Throw this Old God into our world with no power, and have him interact with “normal people”.  Genius.    I have to admit I spit my drink laughing a few times.  There is one character, the Poly-Sci Major, who had me in stitches—and it was all very real… not forced humor… just natural and honest comments that you could relate too.  Great, simple dialog… That is what made it funny.

So, My lesson learned from Thor?  You can write a novel that’s the start of a series that has a CONCRETE ENDING, but that also has enough “open
holes” to suck you into the next installment in the series.  The story is over, but it is “just open enough” that it can start up again in the drop of a hat (or a rainbow bridge, in this case.)

I’ve figured out what is wrong in my novel, now.  And it took me all
but a few hours to fix.  Yes, there are sub-plots that intertwine and draw the story forward into the next book, but I hadn’t made clear the ONE POINT that was the major driver, that DOES CONCLUDE in the first novel.  It did conclude in my head all along, but now, after a little revamping, it does for the reader to.  I just had to elaborate on one point that I did not make clear .

Thanks, Thor, for swinging your hammer and hitting me in the head.
Sometimes you learn things from the most unlikely places.