Life as Amber knows it

"An adventure in the making…"

Monthly Archives: December 2012

Finite, Baby!!!

IMAG0784I started out 2012 with the following resolutions list:

1.) finish writing “Searching for Ellen”

2.) read at least 25 books

3.) do something I’ve never done before

4.) get down to my pre-Benny-baby weight

5.) ween off anti-depressants

6.) take a vacation

#2 was completed somewhere around March, #3 with the start of the TweepNation Podcast, #4 I knocked out by August, #5 was completed before Valentine’s Day, and #6 took place in late-September. And its been a busy year. But prepping last week for the TweepNation podcast for this week, I decided to pull up my list of resolutions from 2012, and talk about what I did and did not accomplish.

Seeing #1 on the list uncompleted, especially when I had accomplished everything else? Really chapped my ass.

You see, I started out 2012 asking three of my favorite Indie Authors, Russell Blake, Barry Crowther, and Claude Bouchard for a favor. And the favor was for them to ride my ass until I finished writing “Searching for Ellen”. Which they did. And sometime around February and March, they were joined in the whip cracking by Dionne Lister, Scott Morgan, Charity Parkerson, and Justin Bog. Personally, I think everyone involved with the whip cracking was highly entertained by the idea of bossing me around.

“Write the damn book!” and “Your story is too important to not tell,” were the two most common smack-talkin’ phrases I recieved. Bossy coupled with supportive always seems to get me to complete a job that’s left undone.

But what I didn’t count on was getting inspired to write other books. I figured that “Color of Dawn” and “Searching for Ellen” were all I had in me. And I can remember emailing one of my whip-crackers to say, “Okay, I know I said I’d write it this year, but I just had to write this other book. I couldn’t help myself!” To which they responded: “Okay fine. You’re writing. Just don’t let this story go. Don’t put it so far on the back burner you forget about it.”

Which I never could do. Because “Searching for Ellen” has always been a weight, one which grew heavier as more time passed. Originally started in January 2000, and almost completed in October of 2002 hand written in several spiral bound notebooks, still, I didn’t feel right about publishing it. For starters,  in 2002, Indie Authors weren’t as wide-spread and well known. But several things about the story just did not sit well with me.

So I sat on it. Occasionally, I’d pull out my notebooks and copy what I’d written over to a word document. But the reality was, I was fudging, buying myself time. The end of 2002 brought with it the devastating diagnosis of Endometriosis, and as the year turned over into 2003, I found myself battling with depression, while planning a wedding (you’d be depressed as well if you’d been told you most likely would never have biological children, something you had always dreamed of doing). And while I came out of my depression, 2003 turning over into 2004 brought with it a new marriage, and the biggest surprise of all: my pregnancy and the birth of my oldest child Amethyst.

Who can write when there’s a new baby in the house screaming all day long from his new baby crib mattress? Or when you’re struggling through post partum depression?

2004 became 2005, and I promised myself I’d write my story.  A promise I ended up breaking with one excuse or another, and before I knew it, it was 2006, I was blessed with my first nephew, and my father had open heart surgery. And we began trying for a new baby.

Life gets in the way on everything, except if you do not let it. What was really holding me back was my fear of truly sitting down, looking over my life as an adoptee and the search for my biological mother with a microscope and reliving some of the most painful experiences of my life.

In truth, I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Because I was struggling during that time. As the calendar moved through 2007, I had surgery, I finally became pregnant and suffered a devastating miscarriage. I waited, very impatiently for 2007 to come to a close, and when it did, I vowed once again to finish the book I had started so many years before. But 2008 yielded yet another surgery, and I became pregnant with my daughter Autumn, a pregnancy that was spent in fear of losing the baby I so desperately wanted. 2009 began with my life as a mother of two, and I began a second descent into post partum depression, all while moving from an apartment that truly was a home, into my in-laws house after they were both laid off of their jobs.

And I just could not write, not so far down in my depression that I could hardly keep myself together enough to take care of my daughters. A family member in need of help that summer, along with my father suffering a horrible fall just added to the weight I was struggling over.

2009 became 2010, and for the first time in my life, I ended a year where I had no written a single word except for grocery lists. And I was also pregnant with my third child.

2010 brought with it my son, and the decision to have a partial hysterectomy at the young age of 33. Bored out of my mind, with little else to do during my recovery, I joined Twitter. Several months later, after receiving a kindle as a gift, I discovered Indie Authors and the amazing work they do. Following one led to my following others, and before I knew it, Twitter was a daily part of my life, and I began writing again.

In October of 2011, Barry Crowther began helping me get ready to release “the Color of Dawn”. And I decided that enough was enough. It was time to tell my story. I put out the call for whip crackers to help me finish my book. Shortly after Dionne Lister and I began the TweepNation podcast in January of 2012, I began looking over what I had written. And while I had a book written, it was not the book I was meant to publish. What I had written at twenty, twenty-two, twenty-three, and twenty-four was tinged with the hurt of a humiliating first marriage, and not an honest telling of life as an adoptee. On the fourth podcast, the subject of my book came up, and I stated I was rewriting the book, taking out the parts of my ex-husband. When Scott Morgan, our guest that week, asked me if I’d be not telling the full story by removing that part, I answered honestly that no, that part of the story wasn’t part of the story, and was in effect, me just whining about a bad marriage. Dionne described it as not writing about the leech on your leg while you’re climbing Mount Everest.

I needed to remove the parts about the leeches on my legs, and just write from my heart.

Thirty-five gives a new perspective on a person’s life story that twenty-four just can’t do.

But fear colored what I wrote. I’d read over journal entries, and I’d find my heart pounding and tears filming over my vision. And I had to stop. Because I was being taken to a very dark place, a very hurtful place when I was working on the book. And for the first time in years, my body as well as my emotions were clean of any medication to numb out any painful emotions. I was feeling fully everything I have been through in my life.

So it was hit and run writing. Because I could only read over what I had written, what emails had been sent and received during that time in short bursts.

During late September, I returned to Pennsylvania to take photos and interview my younger brother and sister. I also took with me everything I’d ever written about my experiences as an adoptee. Daily, I’d re-read those journal entries, and daily, if I didn’t fully break down and sob, I’d still cry over the hurt I experienced, over the feelings of isolation and loneliness at going through something that momentous on my own, with no one to show me how to get to where I needed to be. I faced a lot that week, both about myself and what my biological mother went through by having me so young and giving me up for adoption. On my second to last night on the East Coast, Dionne and I recorded our podcast for the week, and after, we spoke on the phone. I was a total mess, sobbing to my dear friend, and she listened and finally said, “You need to be angry. You have every right to be angry about this. I don’t think you’ve ever let yourself feel anger about this.”

I’ve spent October, November, and most of December thinking I wouldn’t be able to finish “Searching” this year. I also spent it soul searching and doing heavy thinking. But on Sunday night, after seeing my resolutions list for 2012, something shifted and clicked in my head. And like its happened with every other book I’ve written this last year, the drive and the addiction to the written word took over, and I just had to write. Come hell or high water, no matter the cost, I had to write until it was finished.

Wednesday night, sitting around, talking with a friend, I looked at him with tears in my eyes and said, “I do not want to write this book.” And he said, “Then don’t. Trash it.”

“You know I can’t do that.”

“Will you feel better when you’re finished writing it?” he asked. And my answer was yes.  “Then finish it finally,” was his response.

I worked late into Thursday morning, and before I had my first sip of coffee on Thursday morning after a couple hours sleep, my ass was parked back in my desk chair, and I wrote my story, finally.

At 4:05 p.m. on Thursday, December 27, I wrote the final line to a book I’ve been working on since January 23, 2000.

I also happily wrote to Barry Crowther, Claude Bouchard, and Russell Blake to tell them I did finish the book this year, just like I promised I would.

I’m taking a few days rest, to just live life without the weight of the need to write that book on my shoulders. New Years Eve I’m going out with dear friends to ring in the new year. January 2nd, I’ll wake up and begin the second draft revisions. And when that’s completed, I’ll send it to Scott Morgan to tear apart, so I can give my readers the best work I can do, because that’s what they deserve.

Cheers, Dear Reader! There has been so much to celebrate this last year… Join me in celebrating achieving dreams long dreamt.

~Amber Jerome~Norrgard

Searching for Ellen 1

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Thank You!

To say 2012 has been an incredibly busy year is an understatement. I’ve put out eight books (the last seven of which this time last  year? I had no idea were even in me), had five of those books become best sellers, started two podcasts, started a yearly short story erotica flash fiction competition, and began an organization that will publish a yearly anthology with the intent of benefiting one worthy non-profit organization. I’ve gone from saying, “Huh?” to saying, “Do this, this, then this, then this” in regards to book formatting. I’ve learned how to design covers, and even did a very groovy cover for my TweepNation co-host Dionne Lister’s second book. I’ve began the work to start my own publishing company. I’ve driven from Dallas, Texas all the way to New Jersey for a week long road trip. I’ve busted my ass and lost a total of seventy-five pounds. I’ve rediscovered my writing, and the pure blissed-out joy that comes with the craft. But most importantly, through out all that? I’ve been blessed to meet several kindred spirits who a year ago with strangers to me, but are now family.

I’ve had friends throughout my life. I’ve had best friends. But only rarely did I come across friends that truly got the drive, the need, the want, the flat out passion I feel for the written word. And that’s fine. I mean, I’m totally supportive of their love of movies, cooking, crafts and dressing their furry babies in outfits that match their own. Okay, actually, no, I do not get that last one. Unless it has no fur? Do not dress your dog or cat up in a stupid sweater. Because I’ll laugh at you. And then I’ll stop talking to you. Because seriously, reality check here people: the dog doesn’t give a shit that you got it a fuzzy pink angora sweater. The dog is just waiting for you to go shopping for more stupid clothing so it can chew the fugly ass sweater you put on it off and then shit it out in your over-priced designer shoes.

Bitchy-rant completed. For now…

Like I was saying before I got pissed off at the idea of a dog in a sweater, I’ve had friends in my life. Excellent friends who have always been there when I needed them. But rarely did I find friends who understood my love of the written word, how I could read the same book over and over again, how my fingers would itch to pick up a pen and scribble out what was pulsating across the screen of my soul. And though I began my life as a “tweep” out of sheer boredom (nothing much else to do when you’re recovering from a hysterectomy and bored), things shifted drastically for me when I began talking to Indie Authors. After two-and-a-half years of not writing anything other than grocery lists, in June 2011, I began writing again.

In October of 2011, I asked Barry Crowther what would be the most fateful question of my life: “Will you read my poetry and tell me what you think?” And what he thought was, “Send me what you have, and I will help you get this published ASAP.”

My life has been turned upside down, shaken up, and tossed around since.  And I would not change a single thing that has happened since I clicked on the “publish” icon on KDP’s website, good or bad.

Its been a tumultuous year. So much has happened. But it has led me to realizing a dream I’ve long harbored as a very close second to becoming a mother: to be an author. And it has given me so very much to be thankful for, most importantly, friends who aren’t just friends, but are family.

I’ve found my village, and I’ve assembled the yurts and I am so very grateful for the blessings my village has brought to my life (feel free to figure out on your own which member of the village is the idiot).

So, if you’ll allow me this rambling and heart felt paragraph, I’d like to say thank you to those who have done all they can to help me, both professionally and personally this year. If I forget someone, please please please forgive me and remember, I’ve got three kids, three WIP’s, and two podcasts going on. Not to mention a bunch of other stuffs.

Thank you to Barry Crowther, Dionne Lister, Justin Bog, Scott Morgan, Charity Parkerson, David Griffin, Russell Blake, Claude Bouchard, Melissa Craig, Kriss Morton, Damien Boath, Staury Papdopoulou, Rob Zimmermann, Ben Ditmars, Kim Stapf, Erica Travis, Ellen and Steve Bedford, Dan Loughin, Becky Loughin, Ciara Ballintyne, Diana Sichta, Deena Schoenfeldt, Mark Rice, Derek McPhee, and countless others who have been there to help and support me, and kick my ass when it needs it.

But also, Thank You to YOU, dear reader. Thank you to everyone who’s read a blog and commented on it. Thank you to everyone who’s bought and downloaded my books, thank you to everyone who’s reviewed my work or told me that its touched your heart. Thank you to everyone who’s listened to my two podcasts, to everyone who (for some reason insane reason) has told me they love my laugh.

Thank you for a year that has taught me more about life, both personally and professionally, than I ever though possible.

Here’s to an even better 2013.

Much love, snorts, and vodka shots,

 

~Amber Jerome~Norrgard

The 2013 Quillective Project to benefit Operation Kindness

Qullective  Project 1 small-1

Update: December 18, 2012

After meeting with the awesome Kriss Morton, Ben Ditmars, Scott Morgan and Robert Zimmermann last night, we’ve got a name for our book to benefit Operation Kindness and a name for our group. “Four Paws” will be a poetry collection, to be released around February 23, 2013, with 100% of proceeds benefiting Operation Kindness, the oldest no-kill animal shelter in North Texas.

I am thrilled to announce that this will be a yearly project to be released in late January to early February each year.  Allow me to introduce: The Quillective Project, a literary collective designed to annually benefit one nonprofit or not-for-profit organization through the power (and sale) of the written word.

Organizations benefitted by The Quillective Project will be those that espouse compassion, selflessness, kindness, and hope, for humans and animals.

Want to help us promote this incredible project and make a difference?

Sign up here!

What I remember

AmethystSono1It’s currently 6:19 p.m. Eight years ago, at this time, I was hooked up to a fetal heart monitor and a contraction monitor, giddy, blissed out, and bouncing around. Which proved the point that I wasn’t “fully in labor”, as my doctor tried to point out to me, from the safe distance of across the room. Further backing up his claim was the fact that when he asked me if I wanted to hang around and see if thing progressed, or if I wanted to go home, I chose to go home. Because at one day shy of being a full forty weeks pregnant, early stages of labor or not, I wanted Chik Fil A, and you just do NOT get between a hugely pregnant woman and her food.3691750-R2-002-00A

In hindsight, I get what the medical community is saying when they break down labor into stages. I do. I understand how they need to classify who’s more in labor than others. But I can also remember thinking, when a contraction ripped through me and I attempted to remove my husband’s testicles with my finger nails (obviously, I didn’t succeed since we had two more children), that if you feel like your back is filled with crushed glass and a giant is twisting it? That’s labor.

All told? I was in labor with Amethyst for thirty-eight hours. I pushed for two hours before she finally graced the world with her beautiful soul, covered in her own meconium from a bowel movement she had while in utero.  I can remember thinking during the pushing phase that she was in there, hanging on to her umbilical cord like a protester, shouting, “Hell no, I won’t go!” I can remember in the moment before that final push, my 100_0041doctor looking up at me and saying, “You’ve waited twenty-seven years for this, are you ready to become a mother?” and wanting to cry. I can remember, as clearly as when it was happening, the fear that ripped into my heart when I did not hear her cry, and how panicked my voice was when I asked the doctor why she wasn’t crying. “They’re discouraging her from crying in case she asphyxiated any meconium, Amber, ” he said while stitching me up. “Trust me, they wouldn’t be discussing their Christmas plans so calmly if she was in trouble. She’s fine. I give you my word.”

I can remember when they finally brought her over to me to hold thinking, “If I don’t hold her right, will they take her away from me?” And how when they placed her in my arms, she fit perfectly, and I finally understood what so many people meant when they spoke of love at first sight. And I can remember how on Christmas morning, she managed to hit me with a stream of urine from two feet away during a diaper change. I can remember how a few days later after her belly button stump finally fell off, we gave her her first real bath, and once we wrapped her up in her towel, she shit all over it in protest at being clean.

I remember her laughing hysterically when I would say, “Boop! Boop! Boop!” and video taping it, a video that to this day makes me howl with 50304057609_0_BGlaughter. I remember her calling me “Mama” for the first time, and how she told her father the words, “I love you” first and feeling hurt over something so small. I remember how her face lit up when she walked across our living room and into our kitchen without falling for the first time.  I remember how jealous she’d get of my oldest nephew Luke when I’d hold him. How for the most part, you could put her in her crib at night and say, “Night Tookie, I love you,” and she’d go right to sleep, but occasionally, she wanted to be cuddled and rocked to sleep.

How she went through a phase of calling me “Noggie” instead of “Mommy” or “Mama”. How she never once crawled out of her crib. How she always has done things in her own way, on her own time line. How after I gave birth to her sister, she refused to look at me in the hospital and for the first few days home because she was so angry at me for having another baby. And how her face looked when she realized that mommy’s and daddy’s IMG_2181always have more room in their hearts, and will always have more than enough love for how ever many children they have. And how she was so helpful when we brought her younger brother home from the hospital a year and a half later.

I remember how bravely she, after a summer of saying there was no way she was going, took a deep breath and let go of my hand and walked right to her seat in kindergarten, teaching me more about courage than any other person I’ve known in my life. How she drew me pictures and would sit on my bed and talk to me, “So you don’t get bored”, after I had my 100_3193hysterectomy in November of 2010. How she would shout, “Hey, need a hug over here!” randomly. How much she adores her friends and tackles them with hugs every time she sees them, and tackles them with even fiercer hugs when they say goodbye.

How when she got her ears pierced last fall, she squinted her eyes shut, and after it was finished, looked at me and said, “That’s it? Man, that didn’t even hurt!” How last spring when my first book hit the number one spot in its genre and she asked me what I was so excited about, and I told her, she said, “I’m so proud of you Mommy!” How when I asked her if she knew why mommy was taking a week’s long trip last September, she thought for a moment and said, “Probably for poetry or a chapter book, I’d guess.” And how when she 75326_10150100169656241_4172222_nsaw me before she went to school the morning I finally made it back to Texas, how she ran down the stairs to throw her arms around me and hug me.

Like first love, a first child is different. Because it is a first love in its own right. It doesn’t diminish or darken or change any other love you experience in your life, but it changes you forever. Last June, a friend asked me what I’ve learned from being a parent. And what I’ve learned is that I have far more strength, patience, and love than I thought possible. Being Amethyst’s mother has shown me a side of myself that I didn’t know existed. It’s given me a gift that has changed me 480088_10151204147866241_408667549_nalways and forever, and that is the gift of understanding, the gift of patience, the gift of unconditional love.

Happy eighth birthday, Amethyst. You have given my life it’s meaning. I love you.

 

~Amber

“It sucks, but you’ll get through it….”

IMAG0331Recently, I had the good fortune of taking my first vacation in over eight years. Of course, me being, well, me, I not only refused to fly and drove two days going and coming back, I also turned it into a working vacation. The idea was a good one, at least on paper: Drive to Norristown, Pennsylvania, visit with my younger half-brother and -sister, spend their birthdays with them, work on the autobiographical account of being adopted and searching for my biological mother, and bonus: get to see several dear friends that lived on the way. Like I said, it was a good idea on paper. And certainly, days one, two and three of the trip were exciting: I dropped in on my publisher, Charity Parkerson on the way, saw several beautiful states, got to stay with a dear friend, and got to see the beach.

Day four, however, started the working part of the vacation. I met up with my brother and sister (Dan and Becky), and spent time with them over breakfast, and after Dan headed off to work, Becky and I drove around the Montgomery County area of Pennsylvania, seeing the courthouse I was adopted at, the hospital I was born at, the houses our mother lived in when she was pregnant with me, and the home my parents brought me to after I I was born. Day five, Becky and I hung out in downtown Philly, and for the most part, behaved ourselves (seriously, it reallyIMG-1348275288-V was necessary that I pirouetted in front of the security officer at the Liberty Bell!), and for the rest of the parts, did a lot of talking. But on days four and five, after I’d drive back to my friend’s house, I’d quietly break down in the room I was staying in. And while I did get to visit with my awesome friend Diana and see Princeton University, I started day six by going through old journal entries and emails I’d written and received, and ended the day in much the same way. Days seven and eight  were spent pouring over what I’d previously written for the book, and highlighting legal documents and emails to see what was and was not relevant to the story I’ve been writing for over ten years. Day nine was spent driving back to Charity’s house, and days ten and eleven were spent driving from Tennessee to Texas. That’s right. I said days. Because I managed to not only get stuck in non-stop severe storms once I hit the state line of Arkansas (which somehow, miraculously ended the second I hit the Texas state line), but there was construction. And mother fucking car accidents. At one point, I texted a friend and informed them I was going to hook a u-turn and just drive back to the east coast, because at the rate I was going? I’d get there faster than I would Dallas, which was about five hundred miles away.

IMAG0387

We’re innocent, we SWEAR!

But I want to back track to day nine. I saw a great deal, read a great deal, and spoke a great deal about how I came into the world that previous week. And though the friend I was staying with was kind enough to let me break down on their shoulder my second to last night, by the time I’d made the fourteen hour drive to Charity’s? I had been in my head, alone in my car, with nothing but negative thoughts in my mind. Heart sick, Charity and I sat down in her backyard with a couple of vodka-laced drinks, and I unloaded on her. And she listened to me talk about how afraid I was of writing this book, of facing all those feelings that had come up in the previous week, most especially in that long drive to her house.

“I just don’t know what to do,” I’d said to Charity.

“That sucks,” was her response.

To which, I laughed and asked, “Any more sage advice oh wise one?”

“Sure: That sucks, but you’ll get through it,” was her answer.

Liberty Bell, BABY!

Liberty Bell, BABY!

That sucks, but you’ll get through it. While I rolled my eyes, laughed, and made a smart ass comment in reply to these words (and yes, later posted them on Facebook, because Charity is hilarious), in the two and a half months (how in the world did the time go by that fast??!?!) since I arrived back in Dallas on October 1, I’ve thought on those words. And I’ve thought hard.

The fact is, whether or not Charity was being a smart ass, doesn’t matter. Okay, she was being a smart ass, but only because that’s Charity, and one of the many reasons I adore her. But stop and think for a moment on those words: That sucks, but you’ll get through it. That’s true of everything I’ve been through in my life, every health issue, every loss, every heart break. It’s sucked, all of it, but I have gotten through it. At times I may have just ignored it and pushed the pain off to the side in its own small box so I didn’t have to look at it too closely until I was able. Other times? I gritted my teeth and bore down and fought my way through, because there was no other choice.

I could have finished “Searching for Ellen” ages ago. In fact, it was on my New Year’s Resolution list this past year. I can point to my Amazon Author Central page, and my Smashwords Author’s page. I can direct people to iTunes and the two podcasts I do. I can say, “Um, hello! Three kids!” And I can recite the hospital stays my father has had right beside all my own medical treatments and appointments. I can do all those things. They’re still excuses for one thing and one thing alone.

I’m afraid to write this book.

IMG-1348243641-VYou see, if I write this book? I have to face certain things about myself, about where I came from, and how I came to be in this world. I have to focus on, very sharply, the hurt that my birth caused a young woman who was wise and brave and loving enough to put aside her heartache and hurt in the best interest of her child. I have to look back and recall how it felt to have no idea what my heritage was, to have to say, “I don’t know, I’m adopted” when asked by a doctor what my family medical history was, to remember how lonely it felt to just not know who I got my odd colored eyes from. To wonder, and not know if I’d ever have the answer, if she ever thought of me.

I’d love to just say, “fuck it” and not write the book. Who wants to re-examine parts of their lives that are painful? Who wants to dredge up the courage to look at their life under a microscope and put out for all the world to see all the ups and downs of that life? Who wants to remember the frustration of not finding the person you’ve searched for over three years for, and not knowing if you’ll ever find them?

No one does. But I’m still going to.

Because to not write this book? To say “To hell with it, I’m not doing it!” would be a slap in the face to what any biological parent goes through when they make the heart-wrenching decision to give their child over to another family, to lose that opportunity to be called “mommy”, and to lose the chance of watching their child grow and develop. To not write this story is to minimize what I, and millions of adoptees have gone through when they make the choice to search for their biological parents. During my search? I would have loved to have known I wasn’t alone, that I wasn’t the only person who had gone through the isolation that comes with doing something that only another adoptee can understand.

I began writing “Searching for Ellen” in 2000, for myself. It started as journal entries, my only way of keeping hold of my sanity as I went through the frustration of searching for my biological mother. And while it’s my story, it won’t be finished, nor will it be published for myself. Instead, I’m gritting my teeth, grabbing a hold of my metaphorical “Oh Shit!” handle, and holding on tight and writing it for those who have been where I or Ellen have been. I’m writing it for my children, so they understand what it truly means to love someone so much, you’d go through a much worse hell for their sake. I’m writing it for Ellen, so she knows that the sacrifice she made was worth every tear she’s ever cried. And I am writing it for every person who ever gave me their time, their prayers, and their love, saying with their actions, not their words, “You matter. You have a purpose in this world.”

Wednesday, January 2, 2013, I’ll wake up in the morning, grab a cup of coffee, and check my email and social media. And then I’ll pull out my huge file of documents and emails and journal entries, open up a word document on my computer, and I will tell my story. And it will hurt like hell, and I’ll cry, and I’ll want to quit, but I won’t.

Because as my dear friend told me back in September? “It sucks, but you’ll get through it…”

Lots of love,

Amber Jerome~Norrgard

 

PS: I posted this blog at around 2 a.m. this morning, and when I woke up at 8 a.m., I had received an email from my younger sister, Becky. Becky has been the master behind several of my book covers, the most important of which is “Searching for Ellen”. After reading the post, my sister was bad-ass enough to create the awesome picture you see below, and told me to print it out and look at it when it got hard to work on “Searching”. Yet again why sisters are awesome, and why my sister is so bad ass, it rubs off on those around her. Thank you so much Becky!

It Sucks

The Operation Kindness Project

Coming soon!

In late January~early February, myself, Scott MorganBen Ditmars, and Robert Zimmermann will be releasing a collection of poetry to benefit Operation Kindness, North Texas’s oldest no-kill animal shelter. 100% of all proceeds from the sale of the book in both e~book and Print~on~Demand format will benefit this incredible organization, which will in turn benefit our furry friends who do not have their own voice. We’ve even got my favorite BAMF, the excellent Russell Blake writing the foreward. How else can an Indie Author feel when knowing she’s working with four authors she respects incredibly, especially when it’s for such a worthwhile cause? Awesome. The answer is Awesome! Stay tuned, check back often for updates, and get ready to make a difference!

Charity Parkerson brings some romance to AmberJeromeNorrgard.com!

Since jumping into the Indie Author Arena last January, I’ve met some interesting people. I’ve also made some wonderful new friends. And one of those wonderful new friends? Charity Parkerson. Whether it’s been offering her help with formatting, beta-reading something I’ve written, telling me, “Hey, why don’t you join my publishing company” and helping me find my feet, getting so angry on my behalf she offers to taser someone (that’s right… not only is she an excellent author, she’s a bad ass southern belle) or letting me crash at her place at the end of a very long road trip, Charity is one in a million, and I am so very grateful that I have been blessed to have her in my life. So when she asked for hosts for her blog tour for “The Adonis”, of course I was gonna say yes! And I’ve read it, and I came very close to falling off the non-smoking wagon due to the hot hot hottttttness of the book. Check out the links below to grab your copy, and you can always check out Charity and what she has going on here.

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The-Adonis By Charity Parkerson  Available at SmashwordsBarnes & Noble Amazon US, and Amazon UK

The-Adonis bookcoverBlurb:

 

Grecian Fantasies hosts one of the hottest balls in town, a naughty Nobody-Knows-Your-Name masquerade that is not only exclusive, but is also not for the faint of heart.

Pleasure, fantasy, fetish, and vice are all on the menu at this ball. The only thing not up for grabs is the notorious woman behind its creation, but that is about to change.

Excerpt:

“I’m Weston,” he said as he wound Rob’s ribbon around his neck, tying it in a neat bow, and making himself appear as a giant unwanted present. “What’s your desire?” Rob started to tell Weston that he desired for him to go away, but a bright yellow feather caught his eye once more, and his gaze found the Goddess across the room.

“I need you to fetch someone,” Rob answered, deciding to use the awkward situation to his advantage.

“Oh, yay, a threesome,” Weston cheered. “May I suggest Mike over there,” he said, pointing to a gigantic man wearing a plain black mask. “He has lumberjack hands,” Weston added cheerfully.

Rob paused. Lumberjack hands? No, he was not going to ask. “What are lumberjack hands?”

“You know, he can wield his . . .” Weston began before Rob waved his hand, cutting him off.

“Never mind, I get the picture.” And he did, too. He would never be able to wash this moment from his mind. Getting back on track before things got out of hand, Rob pointed across the room. “Bring her to me,” he ordered.

Weston’s face fell as he caught sight of the woman to which Rob referred. “I cannot,” he stammered, sounding horrified.

“What the hell? I thought you were supposed to fulfill my desires or some shit?”

Weston seemed honestly distraught over Rob’s aggravation. “I’m sorry. If you ask me to fetch anyone else for a bit of fun, then I am at your service, any service,” he added, raking Rob’s body with his eyes. “However, that is Theadonis and I cannot do as you command.”

“The Adonis,” Rob repeated, sounding ridiculous even to his own ears. “I thought Adonis was a man. That is no man.” As the words left Rob’s mouth, he found himself tilting his head to one side and studying the woman closer just in case he was wrong.

Weston rolled his eyes. “Not ‘the Adonis.’ Theadonis. That’s her name. She is the owner of Grecian Fantasies.”

~~~~~

And now for the good stuff… You know, the part where I ask way too many questions and the interviewee kinda rolls their eyes and answers anyways? Yeah, that part!

Who would your guest list include for your fantasy dinner?  Chris Helmsworth, Alexander Skarsgard, and Johnny Depp. Oh the fun we’d have.

What year would you visit in a time machine and why?  I wouldn’t. With my luck, I’d trip over a dinosaur and screw up all of history.

Who would you love to have a few beers with and just bullshit?  Reese Witherspoon. I just like her. She seems so sweet.

What is your go to movie or tv show?  Big Bang Theory. I never miss it.

When did you start writing?  When I was a teenager.

What book exceeded your expectations?  Harry Potter. I didn’t think that I would like it, but I snag it for free in a book club.

Toilet paper/ paper towels: what’s the correct way to put them on the dispenser?  overhanded  (FINALLY!!!!!!!)

If you’re going on a long road trip, what drinks and snacks are you going to pack?  Chips, Coke, and cookies. Good health is out the window on a road trip.

Which of your books took you the longest from starting the book to going live with the book?  The Danger from Within. It was my first and through a publisher, so it took forever.

Do your characters ever show up in your dreams? Most of my characters began from a dream.

What made you start writing?  I had a dream that would not leave me alone until I wrote it down and then it grew from there.

What character have you previously written that you would love to write another book about?  Lena.

What is your morning ritual?  Drag myself from bed, get ready to go for the day, pack kids lunches, get kids dressed, fed, teeth brushed, and driven to school. No rest for the wicked, lol

Do you have any writing quirks?  I either need for it to be completely quiet or to have music playing any other noises are distracting

What do you think of books turned into movies?  I’m always excited it it’s a book that I loved but usually I’m still disappointed. Except for Hunger Games which I think they did an amazing job with.

If you were going to a deserted island, what three items would you take with you?  Food/Water, my family, and my kindle

Name 3 books on your to-be-read list.  Haiku in the Night by Ben Ditmars, Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward, and To Kill a Warlock by H.P. Mallory

Best thing about where you live? It’s filled with celebrities yet everyone is left in peace

What book could you read over and over?  The Duchess by Jude Deveraux

Who is your favorite band or musician? Lifehouse

What book do you think is a necessary read?  The Count of Monte Cristo

What advice can you give to newbie indie authors? Get online, hit the social media sites, and make some friends. We’re all here for you.

 

goodreads picBio: Charity Parkerson was born in Tennessee, where she still lives with her husband and two sons.  She is the author of several books including twelve Amazon bestsellers. You can like her on facebook, follow her on Twitter,  visit her at her website  and you can check out her blog here.

Her “Sinners series” was voted one of the top ten best books by an Indie author in 2011- Paranormal Romance Reads

She was named as one of the top three Indie authors of 2012- The Book Connection  

She is a member of The Paranormal Romance Guild, is a Goodreads moderator, a member of Coffee Time Romance, and co-host of The Melissa Craig and Charity Parkerson show.

She won author of the week in August of 2011, and is a three-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath.

Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

Punk & Sissy Publications

Goodreads

What I’ve Learned

What I’ve learned is that sometimes, we need to take a magnifying glass to our own lives, to better see how we can live kinder, healthier, and fuller.
 
What I’ve learned is that sometimes, the disappointment you can have in yourself for past mistakes is a greater punishment than any punishment anyone else can give you.

What I’ve learned is that disappointment is the best motivator for getting yourself back on track to living a good life.

What I’ve learned is that I can still find a depth of strength within myself that I did not know existed.

What I’ve learned is that forgiving yourself for past mistakes is necessary for moving on past that hurt.

What I’ve learned is you are never too old, nor too young, to re-examine what you’re doing, and change things to make your life better.

What I’ve learned is that I myself have to make what I want happen. There are no freebies.

 
What I’ve learned is it is time to let go.

Robert Zimmermann makes a stop on his blog tour at “Life as Amber knows it”!

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From Robert Zimmermann comes From Where I Stand, an emotional debut poetry collection.  Zimmermann explores strained parental relationships, loss of life, and the despair associated with grief.  Alongside these darker themes, he delves into the small areas of life that often go unnoticed but become the hope we are searching for.

Several months ago, I was asked to do a guest post by Robert Zimmermann for his Author’s We Love series. I got the added bonus of a new friend who truly understands my love of poetry, and some very entertaining conversations since. I’m also excited to announce that Robert and I, along with two other Indie Authors will be collaborating on a work to benefit a charity that is close to all of our hearts, but details on that will come soon.  As a psychology student, I love picking people’s brains, finding out what makes them tick. So let’s get to the good stuff. Robert was kind enough to consent to my overly-nosy style interview questions. Now for the really good stuff!

Who would your guest list include for your fantasy dinner?  Mmm, fantasy zombie dinner….kinky 😉 I’d like to have Nick Hornby, Brandon Boyd, Jim Morrison, Marie Howe, Hemingway, John Cusack, Edgar Allan Poe, and Sylvia Plath. I think that mix of authors, poets, musicians, and actors would make for a VERY interesting dinner party.

What year would you visit in a time machine and why? Tough question. I don’t think about going back or forward in time too often, if at all. Throw me in any year you’d like. Just give me the proper weapons, supplies, and brief on the place/time before I got please.

Who would you love to have a few beers with and just bullshit? Some of my writer/reader friends. All of them if it were possible. I won’t get into specifics since I don’t want to list some and have to leave out others. But there are many, many great authors, bloggers, and book lovers that I’ve gotten to know over the course of this year that I’d enjoy sitting down with in person and have a few drinks. I don’t have any real life interaction with bookish people. It’s limited to the internet. I value that interaction, but sometimes having it face to face would make for a good time.

What is your go to movie or tv show? Laugh, it’s fine….Gilmore Girls. I’ve enjoyed that show for years. It ended back in 2006, but since I own all 7 seasons on DVD I can throw it in any time I want. And I often do put it on during the day for some background noise in the house. I’ve watched them all so much that I can sit down in the middle of any episode and never be lost. It’s almost sickening if you think about it, haha.

When did you start writing? I started writing back in 11th grade. At that time I was writing a lot, sometimes writing multiple poems a day. Eventually it slowed down a bit, then a lot, and more recently it’s been a trickle compared to the torrent of poems in the first year. I’d like to think with the slow down of production, that the quality of my work has vastly improved.

What book exceeded your expectations? Is it ok to list one of yours? In all honestly, The Allegory of Dusk exceeded my expectations. I already knew it would be great, having read a good amount of your fiction. But while reading through it, I was blown away by all of it. Another book I’ve recently read was Treason by S.M. Boyce. The first book of her Grimoire Trilogy has been at the top of my “best books of 2012” list since I read it in the beginning of the year. I was looking forward to reading book 2 (Treason) ever since. I’ll just say that I gave the first book 5 stars and I gave Treason over 58K stars. Boyce has really honed in on her strengths when working in book 2. I can’t wait for book 3, next year.

Toilet paper/ paper towels: what’s the correct way to put them on the dispenser? HAHA!!! The deciding factor of whether or not you can live with someone. You NEED to have the paper go over the top and fall forward. If the paper is facing the wall it makes the task of tearing it off quick way too difficult.

If you’re going on a long road trip, what drinks and snacks are you going to pack? I tend not to take anything. Well, if I’m out on the bike I’ll have a bottle of water with me. Most of the time I don’t drink any of it though. When I forget water, that’s when I start wanting it. I’m strange. If it’s a car ride I try not to have anything with me, especially a drink. Less pit stops, the faster the ride will be.

What made you start writing? It was back in the 11th grade (which I mentioned earlier). I walked into school one day and my girlfriend at the time handed me a poem she wrote for me. After I read it later that day something clicked: “I could write a poem.” So I did. Sadly I don’t have that poem or some other early ones anymore. I think it was the most appropriate time in my life to start as well. Once I opened up the door to poetry, and writing in general, I couldn’t find the off-switch. I didn’t need to hold things inside anymore.

What is your morning ritual? Every morning, between 6 and 7, I wake up/get woken up by my dog. I take him for his walk. Then I feed him, turn on my computer and get to work….meaning get to work checking Twitter, Facebook, and my email for whatever happened the night before. After all that, that’s when I do whatever blog work, reviewing, and/or reading that I have to do. And I do all that until I’m done or get distracted. It could last all day or it could last 10 minutes, haha.

Do you have any writing quirks? I think the only quirk I can think of is that when I write poetry it has to be on paper, then after revising at least a draft or two that’s when I type it up. With prose I tend to type it. My mind works almost as fast as I can type, so prose works great that way. When I do poetry I need to get the more organic feel of pen/pencil on paper and keep it slowed down a bit more. And there’s something about being able to physically erase or cross out things that makes writing it down on paper much more appealing. It also helps to be able to see the mistakes or changes, where as with a computer it’s just gone after deleting.

What do you think of books turned into movies? I could do without most books turned movies….I could do without most movies in general. I feel that a majority of movies lack a depth and connection that books can have. This seems to be exaggerated, in my opinion, when there’s a movie based on a book. More often than not, in translation from page to screen, the focus of a book’s main theme is changed. The love interest seems to become more important than the overall conflict; characters role changes or a character gets deleted; a major scene to the development of one thing or another becomes non-existent.  These are just a few ways a movie from a book can disappoint me. There are exceptions and sometimes a movie from book can be great, especially if I don’ think about the book while watching the movie (tough to accomplish).

If you were going to a deserted island, what three items would you take with you? A piece of flint, a hatchet, and a machete. I think those explain themselves.

Name 3 books on your to-be-read list.  How the hell can I pick 3? I have, literally, thousands of books to read…I’m not making that up. Fuck! I’ll try, but only for you Amber.

1)      Dionne Lister’s Shadows of the Realm

2)      Gideon’s Corpse by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

3)      ….some other random book off my list.

Best thing about where you live? I rarely have to deal with people!!!!!! And snow

What book could you read over and over?  I can’t really read a book over and over. I only say this because I’ve only reread like one book ever and I don’t think I can do that too often with any of them.

Who is your favorite band or musician?  I try not to pick favorites. Two bands that are my go-to when someone asks this question are Staind and Incubus. Also the solo album from Incubus’ lead singer, Brandon Boyd, is on that same list. As is Aaron Lewis’ (Staind’s lead singer) solo work.

What book do you think is a necessary read? A book in general is a necessary read for anyone. I can’t say one book is a must over another. Every reader has a different taste and as long as I’m able to get someone to read a book in general I’ll be happy that they are doing so.

 

About Robert

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   Robert has been writing poetry since the eleventh grade. His writing started as impulsive rambling, but soon became a passion. A few years later he attended SUNY Potsdam where he received a B.A. in Creative Writing.

            His main focus is poetry, but at times you can find him dabbling in short fiction. Robert has also created the blog A Life Among The Pages, where he posts his writing as well as book reviews.

            When he’s not reading or writing, Robert enjoys spending time with his dog, Deuc. Deuc ran out of the woods in August 2011 and they have been inseparable ever since.

Where to find Robert:

Blog – http://alifeamongthepages.wordpress.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/miztrebor

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Robert.Zimmermann.Writer

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6435657-rob-zimmermann

From Where I Stand CoverWhere to buy the book:

Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/From-Where-I-Stand-ebook/dp/B00A5AVLO4

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/From-Where-I-Stand-ebook/dp/B00A5AVLO4

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/253778

Robert will be giving away 5 ebook copies (.mobi, .epub, or PDF) of From Where I Stand at the end of the tour. To enter, please leave a thoughtful comment on this post and be sure to leave an email to be contacted with if you’re a winner.

One comment per person per post, feel free to comment on multiple posts for an extra entry for each. Winners will be gathered together from all the blog tour stops and then chosen randomly.

Giveaway ends December 9th at 12:01AM. Winners to be announced soon after they are selected.

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