Life as Amber knows it

"An adventure in the making…"

Monthly Archives: January 2013

It’s a new book release for the Kick-Ass Scott Morgan

This week I have the good fortune of interviewing my editor (and good friend) Scott Morgan about his upcoming release of How to be a Whiny Beeyotch, 71 excuses meet the back of my hand. Scott has (thankfully) been applying his boot to my backside for a year now in helping me publish work that’s worthy of my readers, and I’m thrilled he has a new release on the way. I’ve read it, and it is hilarious, down to earth and in his trademark style of being relateable and honest.

beeyotchcoverWhat was your inspiration for How to be a Whiny Beeyotch?  Briefly, let me thank you for the interview. I very much appreciate your support for my work in general and this book in particular. So thank you.  My inspiration for this book was that I got tired of hearing the excuses. I’m amazed how many authors there really are out there, now that writers can publish and distribute their own work. So many people finish novellas and novels that take them months, even years to write.  But so many more people keep finding creative reasons to not write, and it struck me that individuals always seem to think their excuses are unique and bulletproof. They’ll say “I’m too busy to write” as if we’re all not up to our chins in daily life. I got tired of hearing it. And the title is a reflection of my lack of sympathy for people who claim they want to write but complain how they can’t.

You’ve shown time and time again the incredible ability to be very honest in your non-fiction work. Who or what do you consider to be the biggest influence on your style of writing?  My great-grandmother had a saying: “Everything eventually comes out in the wash.” And she’s right. Eventually, all lies and secrets are exposed. So from a practical side, there’s no point to lying. But I also find dishonesty to be disrespectful and unhelpful. Not to mention labor-intensive. People work so hard on keep up bullshit facades, when just being straightforward usually save so much trouble.  So my approach to honesty is just ingrained in me, in large measure. But as for the way I write or speak or however I communicate ‒‒ the actually style ‒‒ I’m not sure there is any one major influence. I’ve always responded to artists, performers, and writers who go for broke. The ones who speak from their hearts and dare to keep trying new things, and be themselves whether they succeed or bomb. I think all communicators owe it to their audiences to be as truthful as possible and to push their audiences to do better.

You’re releasing How to be a Whiny Beeyotch in not only ebook format, but Print-On-Demand (POD) format as well. How have you found the process of formatting for POD compared to ebook formatting?  I haven’t actually done the formatting for a POD book yet, so I’m a little nervous. Ebook formatting is grueling enough, since there’s no single way to do it. You have to tailor the text to the individual seller site’s format. So I’m not much looking forward to formatting this in any capacity.

How to be a Whiny Beeyotch will be your first release as an audio book. What has been the best part of the process, and which Audio cover small 3x3 400dpihas been the most frustrating? What suggestions can you give to new authors to make the process easier?  Seven or eight hundred years ago I went to film school to be a director (like everyone does when they go to film school) and fell in rapturous love instead with sound design ‒‒ the actual building of the sound environment you hear in a movie. So my audio tooth was already in place. The most fun thing for me is just playing with the soundscape, so I’ve really enjoyed recording and, when the software isn’t being a prima donna, editing the sound clips.  I’ve also really hated the recording and, when the software is being a prima donna, editing. I live near an airport so it’s hard to record a full page of text without long pauses while the planes roar over. And cutting the pops and lip smacks out of an audio track is tedious work. You have no idea how many wet-sounding noises you make when you talk until you’re charged with getting rid of those sounds.  For anyone interested in making an audio book, my biggest tip (other than the obvious, get quality equipment) is to write text to be spoken. This works better in nonfiction, of course. Fiction has a different vibe to it. But if you’re writing a nonfiction book, say a how-to, write text that reads as if you’re talking, not reading.  It also helps to have a clear voice. I don’t like my own voice, but some people say I sound like a radio guy, so I hope the sound of me narrating a book is not too hard to listen to.

You’ve recently added cover design services to your massive list of things you can provide through WriteHook. What other services do you offer?  Ah yes, cover design. That’s often the most fun part of the post-writing process for me, and it struck me that doing cover design complements and completes my other services. I’ve edited books and been asked to design covers afterwards, so I thought it was time to put that on the list of services.  First and foremost I consider myself an editor. I edit short stories, fiction, nonfiction, novels, doctoral theses, manuals, whatever. Just not poetry. My editing is also a form of consulting for writers. I don’t just edit and critique, I try to offer direction and guidance via the editing process.  As a writer, I freelance for print and online publications. I do business writing too, though it’s not really promoted on my website. I’m considering telling writers that I could write press releases and other promotional materials on their behalf. I was a longtime print journalist, so I know how media outlets think, and I know that writers like to think they can write every kind of writing, even though that’s not necessarily true. Writing for promotion and to get into the newspapers takes a different approach, and given that most indies have the most trouble with marketing and promotion, it might be good to offer that service.  I also do proofreading and spot critiques. Proofreading is exactly what it sounds like ‒‒ going over the text for punctuation, grammar, etc., but not offering any story edits or critique. Spot critiques, which I originally called my “Fast, Dirty & Cheap” service, is when I read through a work and give an overall of what’s working (say, good characters and a neat plot device) and what’s not (say, stilted dialogue) without getting into specifics. Like the original name suggests, spot critiques are quick, inexpensive feedback to help writers see where they might be missing something.

What can we expect from you in 2013?  I have a notebook full of project ideas for this year. Books-wise, there will be more nonfiction titles aimed at motivating and helping writers get to work and believe in themselves. If the planes and equipment cooperate, those should be available in audio as well a print and ebook.  I will be recording Character Development from the Inside Out for audio as well. And I’m re-releasing my short fiction in February. Haven’t come up with a title yet, but it will combine most of my previously (and currently out of print) work from Short Stack, Tryptic, and Love/Sex/Soul.  More videos and webinars are on the way, and I’m developing video/audio courses based on my classes and workshops that will be available (I hope) through mobile and online platforms as well as on CD/DVD. I have helped a lot of people by actually teaching and doing live workshops, so I want to put them together in a way people can get them and use them whenever they like.  I’ll also be doing some live workshops.

And finally, tell the good people how to not be a whiny beeyotch:  The simplest way to not be a whiny beeyotch is to shut up, get over yourself, and get to work. As I say in the book, there’s nothing wrong with not being a writer. If you’re not a writer and don’t want to be, fine. Just stop with the “oh, woe is me” crap if you do want to be a writer. The only way to be a writer is to write.  People also need to stop buying into bullshit myths that being a “real” writer means writing brooding, gritty pieces, or means that you have to get published by Random House or something. Certainly, I’d love it if Random House picked up something of mine, but if they never do, I’m still publishing. I find that what most excuses come down to are time and motivation. People say they have no time, but mostly they don’t have time management. Writers also have a tough time staying motivated because writing is an isolated pursuit, generally. I’m trying to make them feel less lonely and more able to take charge of their own work.

snapshot cutHow to be a Whiny Beeyotch, 71 Writing Excuses Meet the Back of my Hand will be available in print and ebook format on Friday, February 8, and available in audio book on Monday, February 25.

Scott Morgan is the bestselling author of Character Development from the Inside Out and How I Make A Living In Writing, and is also the author of two short fiction collections, Short Stack and Tryptic. His latest book is How To Be A Whiny Beeyotch: 71 Writing Excuses Meet the Back of My Hand. Scott is also one of the contributing authors of Four Paws, The Quillective Project’s 2013 release to benefit a non-profit organization. Scott is the president of WriteHook (Write for the Jugular), an editing and writing services company for fiction and creative nonfiction. He also is a teacher, presenter, and speaker.

Want to know more about Scott? Need an editor? Connect with him:


Twitter: @write_hook

Amazon Author Page:

Now what do I do with myself?

I can remember in the lead up to my wedding, wondering briefly what we’d talk about after the wedding took place. For months, that was all we talked about, and everything else got shunted off and back burnered.  And after the wedding, it almost felt off to not be talking about it. But then two months later, I found out I was pregnant with my first child, and then next thing I knew, it was nine years later, I had three kids, and was writing this blog.

I finished the second draft of Searching for Ellen last night. And then sent my editor an email with the words, “Are you ready?” written in them. When he responded with, “Are you?” (he’s nothing if not awesome for just taking my odd quirks as part of the fun that is me), I sent him the word .doc and then cried for about an hour.

I’m relieved to be finished with this part of the process. And while the length of the book qualifies it as a novella, still, my experience with writing and publishing my work has been in poetry, autobiographical essay, erotica short stories, and fiction short stories. For me, its a bit of a strange twist to actually have written something that’s the same story throughout.

And I’m thrown a bit by the idea that I won’t be getting it back any time soon. Certainly, I’m very welcoming to the idea of a break from a book I started thirteen years ago, not to mention a book that was emotionally draining. But the benefit of writing short story collections is that you can complete one, send it off to your editor, and you get it back within a day or two. You go onto the next one, whenever you get to it, and the cycle is repeated until you have enough stories to compile and then publish. Poetry is different as in you’re not being edited due to the fact there aren’t that many rules in poetry. And since my poetry doesn’t follow any set pattern and is just what’s written across my soul transferred to a word .doc, if I did send the work to an editor, it was for a proof reading purpose.

So now, thirteen years and two days post starting the book, I wonder what to do with myself. Who am I if I’m not writing Searching, rewriting it, annoying my Indie Author friends with can you please read this, or talking about writing it.

Well, for starters, I’m exhausted. And I also have four other WIP’s that I’ve neglected in an effort to finish off the most important book I will ever write. I think I’ll take the day to hang out with a dear friend, and then tomorrow? I think I’ll have a cup of coffee and work on another book.

Or maybe I”ll just breathe.


~Amber Jerome~Norrgard

Blog Hop~~~The Next Big Thing

I was recently asked by Helle Gade, a talented photographer, poet, blogger and writer to take part in this Blog Hop!

For this Blog Hop I am to answer 10 questions about my work in progress then tag other authors to do the same.

Here we go:

1: What is the working title of your book?  Searching for Ellen

2: Where did the idea come from for the book? Back in 2000, I made the decision to actively start searching for my biological mother, and since writing has always been a necessary part of my life, naturally, I kept journals during the search. Towards the end of the search, a friend told me I needed to write my story. Thirteen years later? I’m almost ready to send the 2nd draft to my editor.

3: What genre does your book fall under? Autobiographical/Memoir

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Good question. They’d have to look great with purple and pink hair though!

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  Imagine not knowing your heritage; Imagine not knowing who you received your hair and eye color from; Imagine not knowing what medical problems you are likely to do battle with, simply because you do not know your biological family’s medical history. Now imagine searching and finally finding the answers.

6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Self-published, baby! I love the support within the Indie Author community!

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Thirteen years.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I have no idea. I don’t think it’s really that easy to compare memoirs or autobiographies, because they’re personal. My experience is no more, and no less important than anyone else’s.

9: Who or What inspired you to write this book? My biological mother, Ellen. The strength she has is just inspiring. I want to honor her for how selfless, generous, giving, and amazing she is. She is truly one of my heroes in this world.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? At it’s core, Searching for Ellen is a different kind of love story.

Here are the authors I’m tagging:

Justin Bog, Ben Ditmars, Dionne Lister, Barry Crowther, and Tracy James Jones.

I would like to thank Helle for tagging me for this wonderful Blog Hop.  Please take a moment to stop by and say “hello” to her and follow her on Twitter!

Forget the deadline~~~Just WRITE!

In February 2010, I received a Kindle as an anniversary gift. A long-time book junkie, the Kindle was the most perfect gift anyone could give me. A suggestion from led me to reading a book by John Locke that was so entertaining, I was compelled to write the author and tell him how much I enjoyed it. And he answered the email, and suggested I follow him on Twitter. Which I did, a bit reluctantly. I mean, what in the world was I going to do with Twitter? Not long after, I tweeted a congratulations to Locke for hitting a milestone with his work, and a few Indie Authors followed me. Which led me to wonder, “Who are these people?” Checking out their Twitter profiles showed me they were in fact Indie Authors. And checking out their product pages on Amazon led me to read, review and befriend Claude Bouchard, Barry Crowther and Russell Blake, all three of which began applying their boots to my backside when I mentioned I had been writing a book for several years about being adopted. Claude Bouchard has always very kindle read my work when I’ve asked him for his opinion, and has gained super-star status in my house as being the “Get-It Man!” for his cover of U2’s Desire, a video that when set on repeat, is the only thing on this planet that can get my youngest two children to sit still and be completely quiet. Barry Crowther became the first person to showcase my work by guest blogging me on his website twice, and became the person who opened the door to my becoming published the first time by helping me assemble, format and market my first book. Russell Blake has inspired the hell out of me with how prolific he is, and led me to meet one of the most impacting people in my life as an Indie Author, Dionne Lister, my podcast partner in crime on TweepNation, a woman who I’m certain I was separated from at birth what with our choice in children’s names and our gigantic aversion to toes.

Over the past year, I have stated, no less than ten times on-air (both on my podcast and on others), that I’d be finished writing “Searching for Ellen” within a week. And every time, I have missed the deadline. Which has led me to realize one important fact as an Indie Author.

Unless you have a deadline imposed upon you by your boss or a publishing house: Fuck the deadline, just write, dammit.

Hanging out with a friend recently, I made the comment to him that I needed to head on home so I could work on “Searching”. To which he responded, “What, you have a deadline or something?” If there is any deadline imposed on this book I’ve been writing for over twelve years, it’s the deadline I myself have slammed down on it. And while some people thrive with writing creatively when they have a deadline looming, I’m the exact opposite. Telling myself, “It has to be done by X date” only leads me to writer’s block.

Back in October, I told myself to give it until January 2 to start the beginning of the end of “Searching”. And that was the plan. Writing this book has been very emotionally draining for me, and I’ve had to learn the art of looking closely without getting sucked into the depths of the past, a lesson I will most likely be learning until my final breath. But somewhere in early December, I felt compelled to open that word doc back up, and I found myself tapping away at my keys with no way of stopping myself. The book itself took me over, and it was all I could do to just get swept away and go with the words as they came from my soul onto the blank page. And while I finished the first draft before the deadline I had set for myself to simply write the first draft, I began the task of writing the second draft on January 2.

Every word has been a struggle for me.

Hard enough to have hurts flying up in my face as I write it, it’s even harder to write with that self-imposed deadline looming.

And maybe, I put the deadline on myself for the reason that I need an end to this. Because there was a small measure of healing that took place when I finished the first draft. There will be a larger amount of healing that takes place when I finish the second and email it to my editor.  And it’s my hope that publishing my story, putting those words out there into the universe for all to read if they so choose will heal me even more.

At the very least, I need to remember what my distant cousin Sir Winston Churchill said when it gets almost too much to bear: When you’re going through hell, keep going.


Love and light,


Amber Jerome~Norrgard

At The Window Again

At The Window Again

 I want to wait for you at the window again

Wait to see your headlights turn

And flicker against

The path to our front door

I want to spring out

And have you pretend

To be surprised I was kneeling

At the window again

I want to see your joy

At the very fact of my life

Want to see your pride

That I’m there to draw breath

I want to wait for you at the window again

When tomorrow was thirty years away

And I only bore a single name


~Amber Jerome~Norrgard

An Interview with Tracy James Jones

TJJ Headshot Thumbnail (2)One of my favorite unexpected bonuses of becoming an Indie Author is the friendships I’ve made. And one friendship I’m thrilled about is the one I’ve developed with Tracy James Jones over the past several months. And you can imagine the wooting I did when I discovered that Tracy is also a resident of Dallas, Texas, just like your’s truly. Recently, Tracy asked me if I’d mind giving an interview for her website. Which I happily agreed to do, and then surprised Tracy by sending back interview questions of my own. Yes, I am that evil!

Who would your guest list include for your fantasy dinner? Wendy Williams – Talk Show Hostess – because I just love her personality. Marilyn Monroe – Super Actress – so I could sing with her. Martin Luther King Jr. – Civil Rights Activist – for a whole lot of reasons I dare not explain. Theo James – Actor/Director – just so I could look at him all night before I asked him to direct and take the role (Sexy Executive) in the movie made about my book.

What year would you visit in a time machine and why?  Somewhere in the future.  Never the past.  No explanation needed.

Who would you love to have a few beers with and just bullshit? You and all the other amazing Indie Authors I’ve met in this past year.  Hey!  We get to do that this year, right?  Yay! (note, I love it when my interviewees list me as a drinking buddy!)

What is your go to movie or television show? Waiting on “Being Human” on Syfy.  I simply love that show, both UK & US versions.  Right now it’s “American Horror Story.”  Long story.

When did you start writing? I started my first diary at 13 but really got into writing in high school.  Light poetry that was all about love and everything rhymed.  In college is where the novel writing began, so needless to say, I have been writing some of everything since I was 13.  Plus, something with a teacher having the class to write the directions, with specific details, on “How To Make A Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich,” really peeked my interest.  I learned a lot about descriptive writing from that.

What book exceeded your expectations? I have never read any of the classics except for those we had to read for English class. I know – boo on me, and I really don’t like big thick books.  Just before I started “Twilight”, I picked up Stephenie Meyer’s “The Host” – 600 plus pages – and I loved every word of it.  Can hardly wait to see how they will cut it up for the movie.

Toilet paper/ paper towels: what’s the correct way to put them on the dispenser? Top sheet goes on the outside.

If you’re going on a long road trip, what drinks and snacks are you going to pack? Water, chips, and light sandwiches.

Which of your books took you the longest from starting the book to going live with the book?  “Secrets & Lies” Book 1 in the series took me close to 5 months to write.  My big brother talked me into it. Another 2 months for all the beta reviews to come in.  And nearly a year before it was finally edited correctly.  It was my first book ever to publish on Amazon and I did it wrong, but it’s all good now.

Do your characters ever show up in your dreams? “Secrets & Lies” would not let me sleep.  My characters and their stories were always on my mind to the point that I hardly slept.  (Hence my need of a good Editor). Not long after that one, all the characters started up on me again with another story to tell in book 2.  Book 3 hasn’t done that yet, so I’m waiting on the characters to share.

What made you start writing?  After singing, I think I was born to be a writer. My thoughts & dreams are full of drama.

What character have you previously written that you would love to write another book about? Bren Searcy from my “Secrets & Lies” Series.  She is the woman I have always thought of myself to be.  In a way, she is me, just in a more complete form.

 What is your morning ritual?  Coffee and quiet. My day starts shortly thereafter.

Do you have any writing quirks? I have so many things to do that I don’t have time for quirks, unless growling at people for interrupting during my writing time is considered one.

What do you think of books turned into movies? Love them.  Even if they don’t tell the whole story from the book, I usually enjoy seeing the characters acted out in film.  Just seems to clarify things for me.

If you were going to a deserted island, what three items would you take with you?  I can’t go anywhere without my laptop and cell phone.  All else I would need is food and water.

Name 3 books on your to-be-read list. “Identity” by Ted Dekker (Fantastic Traditional Publishing Author), “Sanctum Retribution” by Edenmary Black (Amazing Indie Author),  and “A Splash of Hope” by Charity Parkerson (Super-talented and Amazing Indie Author).

Best thing about where you live? I’m grumpy about living in Dallas right now because I miss my hometown, Waxahachie, Texas.

What book could you read over and over? Not sure.  I have a lot of books and I love them all.

Who is your favorite band or musician? I’m really into the band “Fun” right now for some reason. Adele & Katy Perry too.

What book do you think is a necessary read? Personally – The book of Psalms.  For me, there is a lot of peace and comfort in those verses. Our country, our world, really needs to find some of that right about now.

All about Tracy and her bad-ass self:

I am a blogger, reviewer, writer, former actor & artist, with much love for books, film, music, and open-minded, friendly people. :o) I write true-to-life like stories, novels & screenplays with real characters set in realistic human situations. In terms of genre, I write interracial multicultural romantic drama with a GLBT twist.

Born and raised in Waxahachie & Dallas, Texas, I have had a lifetime love affair with the entertainment industry.  Starting with singing in my church choir, I later ventured into stage productions with my local community theater and eventually feature films. 

I started writing in high school, with the help of an amazing Journalism teacher, which I continued as my major in college, with a minor in mass communications.  Switching from journalism to creative writing came into play after I was offered the opportunity to write the life story of a local boxer, which later became a documentary film.  Writing his story opened the door for me to begin writing my own novels and short stories.

My writing includes two screenplay adaptations of my original fiction novels, “The Inhabitants of Magnolia Park” & “Searching For Eden.” My next project, “Secrets & Lies,” is also being formatted for film.

About My Writing:

   Growing up shy, as far back as I can remember I have always been observant of the people around me.  I’ve always had a fascination regarding how people reacted to one another in all sorts of situations.  I love human emotions.  It’s like if someone smiled, I always felt compelled to smile back, or if someone were sad, I felt sad with them.    This compassion I have for others is often reflected in my work.  I Like that about myself. It’s an important factor of who I believe I am.

 Author Note: No matter which of my novels or short stories are reviewed, someone will always say that my work is very thought-provoking as it opens your eyes to social issues that are often over looked. And you know what? I like that. It is my honor to give a voice to those who are barely seen, often misunderstood, and hardly ever heard. I know how that is because I was one of them. To know that my work is challenging to that condition makes it all worthwhile. :o)


  • 1st Local Book Signing Event – “No tears For A Hero”  – 1995
  • 1st National Book Signing Tour – “Searching For Eden” – 2003
  • Local Author Appreciation Event -2003
  • Guest Speaker – Italy High School Creative Writing Class – 2004 
  • Writer’s League of Texas Member – Since 2007
  • “Secret & Lies” – Novel – 2011
  • “Secret & Lies 2 – A Family Affair” – Novel – 2012
  • “Torn: Sixty Days of Cal-A-Boose” – Novel – 2012
  • “The Inhabitants of Magnolia Park” – Novel/Screenplay – 2012

Where to find Tracy:


Amazon’s Author Page   

Smashword’s Author Page





Lots O’ loves!

~Amber Jerome~Norrgard



You’ll slip and you’ll slide…
You’ll move onward from me…
All the love I have given…
All the love I will give, could give…
What I gave…
Can we talk…
All I know is you’re gone…


~Amber Jerome~Norrgard

Celebrate a true friend with me!!!!

If you listen to TweepNation, the podcast I do every week with the awesome Dionne Lister, you already know how I feel about Days of the Week.  *AHEM* I mean, MOTHER FUCKING Days of the Week…. I hate them. I hate going to the website to pull them up and write them down in my handy dandy pimptastic TweepNation with Amber and Dionne show liner notebook. But I do them because our listeners love them. And because it brings Dionne so much joy to give me hell and push my tantrum button.

But the number one reason I do them? And the reason I will continue doing them week after week (well, not this week, because I get a break since its my birthday… Raise the roof ya’ll!), is for one person. And this person is so fucking incredible, and my life was truly blessed the day she tweeted her way into my heart and soul forever.

Roses for the wonderful Staury!

Roses for the wonderful Staury!

Staury Papadopoulou,  I’m talkin’ about you, you bright, beautiful, wonderful, supportive, amazing blessing in my, and countless other Indie Author’s lives. Not a day, and I mean not ONE SINGLE DAY goes by without Stuary taking the time to not only retweet my  links, but with her taking the time to write tweets to promote me, my work, and my podcast. And to drop me a few kind words to tell me that I and my life matters to her. And I’m not the only one she does it for.

The only thing I’d change about this wonderful, kind and beautiful soul? Well, there’s two: the first is she’d live closer. The second? That she would have let me send her autographed copies of my books instead of purchasing them. Yes, I’m tsking and shaking my index finger at you Staury.

So back to the point of this blog post. I loathe Days of the Week. But since I’m doing them, I’m going to take a negative and turn it into a positive. I’m going to use the power of my blog, my mouth, and the power of my voice on the TweepNation Podcast, and I’m creating my own frickin’ day of the week.

Say Helllllllooooooo to Staury Day! January 17, every year from now on, is officially Staury Day. Why? Did you not read the start of this blog? Okay fine, you skipped ahead. Brats. Staury is awesome, that’s why. And such extreme awesomeness needs to be celebrated as much as possible.

So join me in celebrating such a wonderful and amazing person. My life would be significantly less sparkly and shiny and warm without Staury in it.

Let’s rock our biggest supporter’s world like she’s rocked ours!

I love you, Staury. Thank you so much for all you do in being my friend, my reader, and my biggest supporter. I truly was blessed the day you tweeted your way into my life.

High fives, huggles, and ass smacks, ya’ll!

Amber Jerome~Norrgard

Sneak Peek

Here’s a sneak peak of one of the short stories in a to-be-named collection I’ll be releasing in the near future….

“Don’t go. Just… Can’t we just say ‘fuck it’? Can’t we just learn to heal together?” His eyes are double pools of cerulean blue about to overspill the tears that are forming, his hands are gripping hers in his.

“No. I just can’t.”

If she’d of been anyone else, she would have only taken her hands from him to better be able to encircle him in her arms.

Instead, she takes her hands from him and walks away.

36 Things I’ve learned in 36 years of living

With my thirty-sixth (#FacePalm!!!!) birthday coming up fast, it’s time for my yearly post on what I’ve learned.

1.) There is absolutely no way I can take a person who dresses their pets in a far better wardrobe than I myself wear seriously. Is it the fluffy pink angora sweaters? Is it the designer boots? The trendy handbags for the pooches that makes me want to stab myself in the eye? Who knows. All I know is if I find out a person dresses their dog up all poo-poo-shee-shee, I’m going to lose any respect I might have had for them

2.) I loath people who cannot be kind to wait staff. Guess what? That waiter or waitress that you disdain so cruely? They’re busting their ass so YOUR lazy ass doesn’t have to make your own dinner or coffee.

3.) NEVER trust a person who doesn’t enjoy reading.

4.) The only difference between a person with a tattoo and a person without one is the person with the tattoo doesn’t care that you don’t have one.

5.) Temper your words to those you love and who love you. You have no idea how much of an impact they might have on a person.

6.) Sometimes, all that’s needed is someone to say to us, “It’s okay to hurt,” to make us feel better.

7.) There are going to be times in life where it seems like everything is going in the crapper. All you can do is hold on, grit your teeth, and fight through it and remember that even though it doesn’t seem like it, there’s a reason for everything.

8.) The best experiences of my life have often taken place in an uncomfortable chair with a mug of coffee present.

9.) I don’t mind getting older. I wouldn’t ever want to go back to my life at age 25. I’d love to go back to my body at age 25 though.

10.) You never know absolutely everything that is going on in a person’s life. Their long time relationship might be ending, they could have recently lost someone they love, they might be facing health issues.

11.) When planning your evil revenge, be certain to have a few Indie Author friends at your back. We’ve got some very twisted ways to torture people. (Yes, this one is a shout out to the lovely Charity Parkerson, who I am VERY happy to say has my back)

12.) A good friend will talk you through your ups and downs. A great friend will say, “Sure, I’ll delete your internet history if you die,” without asking any questions. These friends are also known as other erotica writers.

13.) If someone tells you to be ready at a certain time and don’t ask questions, just assume you’re about to have one hell of a memorable day.

14.) No body knows what the hell they’re doing. We’re all just winging it. But we’re all excellent at making it seem like we know what the hell we’re doing.

15.) Shorts that are wider than they are long are shorts that need to be re-thought.

16.) God Bless Twitter, Facebook, and Skype. You have brought me the most incredible friendships of my life.

17.) People misinterpret the word “love”. I can state that my gay male friend is a great love of my life, and everyone says, “awwww!” If I say that about my straight male friend, everyone asks me when we’re getting married.

18.) The quickest way to lose me is to try to change me. I am who I am due to nature, and due to the experiences in my life. Accept me as is, or live without me in your life.

19.) I don’t care how bad ass you are: There’s nothing that can bring you to your knees or make you beam with joy faster than a two-year-old looking you deep in your eyes and saying, “I love you.”

20.) Consequently, there’s nothing that can break your heart more than when the same two year old says, “I hate you!”

21.) I didn’t choose to become a Stay-At-Home-Mom because my mother did it or because that’s what all my friends were doing (which they weren’t, actaully). I chose to stay at home because I wanted to. And my job is way cooler than yours because I get to wear my pj’s to work, color, and play with play-doh all day. Not to mention the never ending supply of juice boxes.

22.) Children are filled with joy because they allow themselves to throw temper tantrums. Something to think about folks.

23.) Some people never grow out of the need to bring other people down to make themselves feel better.

24.) A person who bails on you at the last minute for no real reason isn’t a person you can trust.

25.) Some hurts never completely heal. But with enough time and enough of the right kind of love, they can ease.

26.) I absolutely cannot tolerate lying of any kind. When I find out someone has lied to me, or as given me a half-truth rather than the whole, I find it impossible to trust them ever again.

27.) Fertility treatments suck. Surgery to treat infertility issues sucks, as does the recovery period and the scars I have on my abdomen. Nine months of morning sickness and insomnia sucks. Giving birth to my son after my epidural wore off REALLY sucked. Postpartum depression and anxiety sucked. And yet, I’d of gone through much worse to have been blessed with my three children.

28.) Do not EVER assume a woman is pregnant until she says to you, “Hey, I’m pregnant!”

29.) I sometimes wonder if my TweepNation Podcast partner Dionne Lister and I are in a one-up competition to see who can gross the other one out more on-air. Then I realize I’m having too much fun to give a shit if we are.

30.) There is nothing and I mean NOTHING more hilarious than a story about a Gigantic Metal Chicken.

31.) Breakfast for dinner tastes better than at any other time during the day.

32.) Kids, pay attention to this one: your mom didn’t make you pancakes for dinner because she loves you, she made you pancakes for dinner because she wanted to eat them.

33.) It is very much a reality that you can love some one very much and hate them very much simultaneously.

34.) Always say goodbye to someone as if it is the last time you’ll say those words. Because for all you know, it might actually be the last time you get to say those words.

35.) If you love someone, tell them. Don’t be a wuss. There’s nothing to be gained by hiding your feelings, other than the possibility someone you care about deeply thinking they do not matter a bit to you.

36.) And naturally, of course, I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.


Lots of love, and if anyone has padding for all the spankings I’ll be getting this year, please, send it my way!


~Amber Jerome~Norrgard

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