Love, Love, Loved It

Hello my name is Cricket and I am a slacker. Actually I am absent minded and a busy gal, so hence the lateness to my posts this month. I will get back on track; I will get back on track…did that method of writing things one hundred times really ever work? Oh well, onward through the fog.

I am currently in the middle of a book and will be posting that review soon, but I wanted to post another review, one for a movie. Setting aside the connection I have with the creative crew on this movie, I would and do still love, Love, Simon. si If you have any interest in rom com, or enjoy movies such as The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire, 10 Things I Hate About You or feel good teen flicks in general you have to go out and see this one.

Love, Simon (released March 16th) is a new teen rom com set up for today’s world. It draws you in with the age old crisis of teenagers trying to find their place in their world, discovering themselves and searching for acceptance with their peers, their family and life in general, all while trying to fall in love. It makes the viewer, laugh, cry, sympathize and come to understand that love includes everyone, regardless of race, gender or religion. Everyone deserves to love and be loved.

Simon’s life is not unlike any other teenager of today. He has his close friends and their issues; he has his family and their issues, school and the issues of extra circulars, classes and graduation, it is all relate-able on a multitude of levels. On top of this, he and his peers are forever immersed in social media; imagine that. It takes us through the months of his senior year and how he is going to reveal his secret and find the person he relates to and eventually loves, all while trying to maintain what he thinks he has to portray himself as and help his friends.

The acting was wonderfully funny and I found myself laughing right out loud, as well as hearing others. I cried with characters and I cringed with others. It definitely had the “feels” happening. The scenes were characteristic of any average town and average school and they even managed to throw in a nice “colorful” number that had me smiling from ear to ear. I left the theater talking about the movie with everyone I went with and some that had returned for a second viewing. I have no doubt this movie is going to become one of those cult classic in the likes of Ferris Bueller or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

Love, Simon will be added to my “Tops” list in the way of rom com movies and I have no doubt I will be seeing it over and over again. Let me know what you think.

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New Release, Readers Wanted

So here I go! I am currently looking for ARC (Advance Reader Copy) readers. No more ghost writing for others, no more setting the bar low, I’m going big or going home. My book, Sweet Revenge & Gas Station Sushi, will be  making its way across the web as an e-book, and in print, in April. I’m all hyped up for this adventure and would love any and all reviews, as long as they are honest. Fingers crossed, I’m reaching for my dreams.

Click here for an advance copy.

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So nervous.

Procrastination be Thy Middle Name

Okay…with all I have been focusing on I totally forgot to do a February recap. Yeah, I can be a bit of a procrastinator. In college I was notorious for it, but to be honest, some of my best papers were written under extreme time duress. I am so thankful I no longer do that…cough, cough, choke. Being that I am actually out of the country right now, I figured I have a legit excuse, I was preparing for the trip which of course made me forget to do that recap. What? It’s only a five days late, geesh.

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February was short, but I managed to pack a lot in, even with a lovely Valentines holiday, a long Presidential holiday weekend and several doctors’ appointments. I am happy to say I have just about recovered from the ghastly death cough. Sticking with a good diet was not easy, with all the chocolate and dinner dates, but I did and was rewarded for it by dropping another two pounds. I read “Leaving Time” by Jodi Picoult, a definite good read if you are looking for one, and I started a new book for a site that I will share with you later. Posting has been on the regular and I managed to put up a few chapters to a book, Shot of Grit, on Wattpad. Feel free to check it out.

Paying it forward is still something I am working on and being honest in a kind and positive way isn’t always easy, but it feels good none the less. As far as Etsy goes, lots of product being made, but procrastination has played me here as well. So March will be my month to get some pictures up and some product posted. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

The smiles are coming more readily and with ease, and my mood is for the most part up. I hope you can say the same. Pictures and stories of sunshine, adventure and tropical waters coming soon, if you can’t wait to see, you can always find me on Twitter.

“Solace is a drink best served over ice with a twist of lemon”… but don’t wait to drink it or your ice will melt.

Leaving Time

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Jessica Metcalf is a unique and intelligent girl whose main goal is to locate her mother. Alice Metcalf is a woman of vast knowledge and vanished ten years ago. In Leaving Time, by Jodi Picoult, we meet both along with an array of other intense an intriguing characters, an elephant named Maura, a police detective turned private investigator and a washed up psychic. Each has their own individual story and each speaks in their own voice but, each one has an important role in the overall goal of this wonderful book.

Through their eyes we travel the winding, twisting road of Jenna’s endeavor to find out what took place the night of the “trampling” when she was three years of age and how her mother could simply disappear from her life for the last ten years without a single word or clue. The reader grows fond of these mixed up, emotionally heightened and sometimes exhausting characters. Not only will you discover the story of Jenna, Alice and Serenity, you will also be introduced to a wealth of knowledge on elephants (something I became enthralled with).

Leaving Time will leave you with “ah-ha” moments that lead to “no way” moments, to “I can’t believe it moments.” It will have you laughing, crying and cursing with anger and frustration. I loved each and every chapter, and as I read them, each character, in their own chapter, giving their own story while connecting to the main plot, I found myself longing to get back to another character’s story line. It kept me turning pages and trying in earnest to figure out what exactly had taken place on that tragic night. Leaving time is a well written drama that will keep you locked into its scenes, heart break and joy. I will definitely be recommending it to others and if you haven’t picked it up yet, I say…what are you waiting for?.

Judgy McJudge Much

Most mornings you can count on my actions like clockwork. I get up, get ready, drive my youngest to school, head back home to do some chores and then I am off to the races, and by races I mean Dunkin Donuts for my medium, iced coffee, black and a shot of mocha mixed in. The other day found this routine to be no different, yet upon driving out I had a type of “self-insight” that swiftly brought on a reprimand and the bright new light of understanding. All in a medium cup of coffee, who knew?

I had just popped my small straw through the lid into the nectar of the gods, looked to my right and then to my left to pull out, when I happened to lay eyes upon what can only be described as “an old jalopy”. I mean this car had been put through its paces and then some. I shook my head thinking “what a shame”, just as the owner came out of Dunkin and opened the driver’s door. You could literally see the door strain against its hinges and drop down a few inches, threatening to fall off onto the pavement. I think my head was still shaking from side to side. Here’s where I got smacked in the face with reality and handed a fresh bag of perspective.

Who was I to be sitting in my year old car, judging this man and his well-used, obviously faithful and loved mode of transportation? Shame on me…not that beloved clunker. Here my mind went instantly to how awful it had to be for that owner, terrible that he had to drive around town in that car, when in reality I was probably thinking of myself, and what I would feel having to drive it around in front of strangers, or worse yet people I know. That man did not look upset that he was driving that vehicle. In fact, I believe he was whistling as he carried his breakfast order out to be driven around with him, wherever he was headed. I shook my head again, but this time it was at myself.

Here’s the thing, Cricket Elleson was not driving that car and Cricket Elleson had no idea what that man’s life was. He had his reason and Cricket Elleson should respect them. Then I went several steps further with my thinking. I thought to myself, he’s probably got it all paid off, so that’s a plus. He may even be a mechanic and able to maintain this old car, obviously he knew someone if he wasn’t doing the repairs himself. Maybe this car was handed down to him from his father or grandfather and it was a prized possession that did give him a sense of pride in maintaining it and driving it around. Who was I to sit up so high and mighty and judge him? That car had probably seen lifetimes and had amazing stories to tell. The man had probably traveled all over in it, had it since college, taking it on road trips with friends and family, used it for his first job, carried people to appointments and parties, holiday gatherings and here I was labeling. I had a real awakening.

I know it seems like a throw away moment for most people, but that minute, sitting there with my morning fuel, I realized how judgmental I can be. I set my cup back in its cup holder and vowed right then and there I would try my darnedest not to take situations, material items or people and decided on them in an instant. I will give my reactions thought and truly see what is and isn’t. I will toss my label gun away and reserve the moment to see life from another stand point. Simple things in life sometimes prove to give us awesome lessons.

You Go Do You.

Today’s original post has been postponed. I had originally wanted to talk to you about some positive information I listened to this week while driving, but then was sidetracked by something that is equally dear to me and needs to be said, “It’s okay to do you.”

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Now I know it’s important to give back, to listen, to be kind to others and all the things I have said previously, but you in and of yourself, all by yourself and for nobody else but you, are okay to enjoy your individuality and personal space with no one else judging you or causing you to fear the results, as long as it is not harming someone else, really, I promise. If you want to sink your toes in a kiddie pool while you bask in the sun and take thirty minutes to sip a drink and lose yourself in uninterrupted, deep thought and no one is being neglected or the house is burning down, it’s okay. If you want to fashion the Eiffel Tower out of toothpicks and it’s your passion, no one needs to be involved or care but you, that’s perfectly fine. If you want to learn a new trade or hobby, if you want to sing to every sixties song you know, if you want to create a masterpiece, or start a new adventure that’s personal to you, if you want to tattoo your body, tie ribbons in your hair or build that tree house that will give you your own private space to learn solitaire, it’s okay, you are good to go, because you are you and it isn’t hurting anyone.

Never let someone tell you that you are wrong or that you should feel bad for wanting something that is you or makes you feel worth something, no matter how silly, or how private you keep it. No one has the right to ever bring you down for those personal accomplishing moments. We all need to grow and express ourselves for ourselves and if you so choose to share it then again, your choice, you don’t have to or you can pick certain entities to share it with. You set those personal space rules for you and no one else should ever dictate how you should feel about doing you.

I’m not ranting, I am passionate. Everyone on this planet has the right to be happy in their own right as long as it isn’t hurting another person, animal or thing, and by hurting I mean it’s not illegal, or abusive, or deeming. You aren’t burning your neighbor’s car, because doing you means arson, or destroying a person’s feelings because you doing you means plastering hurtful graffiti on a bridge, but buying trinkets because they remind you of your grandmother, or painting a wall bright yellow because it’s your favorite color, or wearing your old, purple, unicorn shirt under your business outfit because it makes you feel safe and calm, is okay. Maybe no one has told you this, or maybe someone is making you feel like it’s wrong, I’m telling you right here and now, it’s okay to do you and it will make you a stronger happier and more balanced person if you do. So, get out there and be the best you for you that you can be.

Suffering and Sunshine

Being down is never any fun. Be it illness, a financial debt, loss of a friend or family member, material destruction, emotional state or even a sunburn, feeling awful is yucky all the way around. No one likes it, no one, but without it would we ever really know how great happiness feels? Suffering is in our lives for a reason, just like joy, peace and anger. Now, in no way am I saying go out and embrace your suffering, gosh no. My hope is that you all are well mentally and physically. I would rather have people smiling and laughing than in pain, any day of the week. What I am saying is that we can use it as a tool, a way to truly appreciate what we have in our lives, or what may come into them.

I am still suffering with this terrible respiratory “thing” that has been floating around the country. It sucks. It keeps me from getting out and doing what I’d like to do. It is keeping me from socializing, out of fear of contaminating someone else and it’s hindering my sleep. It’s a big downer in my life right now, but I know that when I get healthy again I am going to truly appreciate being out and about. I know that once I am able to do the things that I enjoy and not have to cough or rest, I am going to love doing them all the more and be thankful that I can do them. It will bring me more happiness than it might have before I was restricted.

This can be the case with other events as well. Finical burdens may keep us from buying the things we need or want, but the suffering helps us to look at our budgets and find out what we really need and what we can do without. If you are warm and fed do you really need to go out to the movies this month or can you take in an oldie but goodie on Lifetime, or open a book that has been collecting dust. It may be used as a learning tool, having the family come together and research budgets, or learn about banking, investments, and how interest works. It may also help to find out what your community offers in assistance, opening more doors than you may have expected.

When we lose someone close the pain can be so unbearable you may think you will never recover, but I promise there is someone else out there feeling that too and probably waiting for someone to talk to or listen to. Loss doesn’t have to mean forever sorrow. It can also bring joy as you share memories, pictures and details to someone who may not have known that person as well and may have wanted to, like a grandparent to a grandchild or long distance friend and relative that may have common relationships on social media or in a neighboring town. Go grab a cup of coffee and smile (and cry) while you reminisce. Sometimes it is the best medicine.

I guess what I am trying to say, and as cliché as it might be, without the rain we can never fully enjoy the sun. For all of those out there suffering, look for those rays, they are coming.

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Photography by my daughter.

Pink, Red and Murderous

Happy February!!! The month of love, flowers, chocolates…and murder (insert evil laugh here). As promised to myself and keeping up with accountability for anyone reading me, I have placed the first chapter to a new Wattpad story up today. It comes from the alter ego of suspense and mayhem, Emmi Kane-Darkli.  https://www.wattpad.com/story/137213480-shot-of-grit If you are looking for romance and chick-lit, this ain’t the one.

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