Crossed Out

Crossed Out

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Five

1. This week has been not as crazy though you can tell the school year is winding down.  Why?  Well, I had to bang on son's door not once but twice this week as he wouldn't get up.  This meant he almost missed his classes and I wasn't in the best mood.

Plus, I'm over the whole homeschooling thing:


Kuddos to those who can homeschool high schoolers.  I can't.  I used to think this made me a failure considering I am a credentialed teacher(K-8) but teaching your own kid is so much harder than other kids.

This will be me the last day of school:


2. Have jury duty the end of June.  Hoping it won't be a conflict with RWA16 as I paid for the conference and really need to get away for a few days.  Need to call and see if I can push it off till the end of July.

3.




Got this the other day from Penguin Teen.  So far it's really good!  

4. This book is amazing.  My heart goes out to transgender teens/preteens and the ignorance/prejudice/hate they have to deal with on a daily basis.

My YA Books Central review: 

http://www.yabookscentral.com/kidsfiction/19924-lily-and-dunkin

Teaser: The other huge plus of this book has to be Lily. It's basically her journey. I feel this story is important to tell especially with all the stereotypes and misinformation that continue to be out there. Information is power. 

Heart-wrenching, inspiring tale of two friends who overcome social prejudices with a dash of hope. Highly recommended. Also a great book club selection!

5. Got switched on educational project.  So need to review some materials before starting.  Trying not to get too stressed over it.



**Guilty pleasure:
Hope to grab a yoga session plus, later getting much needed hair cut/color job.



Thursday, May 19, 2016

Friday Five

1. Crazy, busy week.  **What else is new, right?

I think this calls for a cuteness alert.

Here's some Damon for you all:



2. Only 2 more weeks of school left!

This will be me when it's all over:

Hopefully son will rock public high school.  Crossing fingers that I'll get at least a year off from teaching him.  **Confession: I've taught up to 34 bilingual students with little if no help.  I've had classes with challenging students but I'd take those any day over teaching my own son.  It's hard.  Really hard as you have to put on two hats: teacher and parent.  Plus, it'll be so nice to concentrate on my writing again.

3. Just found a really recent 4 star rating of NO MORE GODDESSES up at Good Reads.


**Plus, publisher let me know that there is a NEW cover in the works!


I got some feedback from teen girls on the current cover, and looks like publisher is listening!

Yay!!!

Even though I have to work online 20 hours for an educational firm, I still need time to read!

4. Finished reading this amazing Sci-Fi novel:

YA Books Central review: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yafiction/18534-beyond-the-red

Teaser: Intriguing world building which includes the end result of humans trying to occupy an alien world. Here humans are the hated ones. There's lots of vivid images of this red sand world that reminded me a lot of Dune. Beyond The Red also has the court intrigues and power plays.

Court intrigue, forbidden love, rebel attacks, and vivid world building. This story has something for everyone. I can't wait for the next book!


5.  Right now reading this:

Loving the voice of sixteen-year-old Tal who lives the life of a grifter of conning those around her.  

YA Books Central review coming soon!

**Guilty pleasure:

Plan to take an hour or so and go to local mall to pick up some vanilla scented hand cream from Origins.  Plus, grabbing an iced drink from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.


Friday, May 13, 2016

FRIDAY FIVE

1. Almost at the end of this revision!


Tightening up some loose plot points.  Hoping to get this baby ready to query out next month! Have a list of 'dream' agents.  I feel I'm ready to move on from my previous not too great experiences.  Plus, since son is going back to public school this August?  I hope this opens up more time to not only peruse the more traditional publishing route but to finish up my more edgy YA and to dabble in a romantic novel.

2. Going to see my gynecologist today.  Send positive vibes my way!  Going to ask about using a more natural estrogen.  Plus, still worried about blood results and the whole more at risk for a heart attack/stoke.

But good news?  Cigna FINALLY approved me going to see a dermatologist.

I had a very strong impression not to get a chemical peel and see a specialist over a questionable spot on my nose.  Hopefully it's nada but I'm just happy that I can see a specialist and get another opinion.

3. Went and visited with elderly mother-in-law who announced she's thinking of moving back to Utah!

It's been really hard, stressful, and draining these past five years with her down here.  It'll be good for her to go back to Utah and be around her nurse daughter that can help her more than we can.

4. Having a hard time squeezing in some personal reading this week due to my commitment to scoring tests.  But you all know me.  I HAVE to read!

Le sigh.  I really, really wanted to love this.  It's set in Italy but the voice just didn't do it for me.  The whole mother-dies-and-leaves-a-journal-of-her-past is almost way overdone.  This one I even read over 100 pages, hoping I'd connect but sadly I didn't.  This is just my humble opinion though.

5. A sci-fi YA that is totally HOOKING me is BEYOND THE RED:

This one grabbed me right on the first page and didn't let go!  There's court intrigue, suspense, and a whole Dune like atmosphere.  LOVING SO FAR!

**Guilty pleasure:

Hope to read some more and go to a yoga class.  Yoga helps not only with the whole stress thing(having a demanding MIL and an almost 15 year old can up anyone's stress level), but with flexibility, and with combating osteoporosis.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Friday Five

1. Well, went to doctor on Monday.

First good news: The nodules on my remaining thyroid haven't grown.

Now the not too good news:

My cholesterol is 290.  The 'good' cholesterol is 43.  And my triglycerides are over 200 too.

Le sigh.

Doctor recommends Crestor to help but one side effect is elevating blood sugar.  Mom is a diabetic. Most family members on my Mexican side are diabetic.

This is hard.  She also highly recommended going on an Atkins' like diet which is low carb.  So going back to that.

Getting older does suck but the good news is I don't have to have surgery.  So I'll celebrate that.

2. Scoring right now.  This project goes until the end of June.  This money will help pay for RWA16 in July.

3. So because of the scoring gig, I've been behind on my writing.  The good news is the ending is in sight.

Last week didn't get any writing in as it was California state testing and son's student center was closed.  This week though?  Back at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and tackling this ending.

4. Did squeeze in a couple books to read and review:

My YA Books Central review :http://www.yabookscentral.com/yafiction/19778-nightstruck

Teaser: Fast-paced paranormal where creatures of nightmares come to life. Horror mixed with magic after a teen opens a portal to another world hungry for humans.

5. Also read this: 


My YA Books Central review: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yafiction/19785-the-safest-lies

Teaser: This is one nail biting suspenseful tale with a dash of Hitchcock-like psychological terror. 

** Right now reading this one:
 Really enjoying this YA set in Tuscany, Italy.  My younger sister found that the Baccelli's (the Italian name) are from a small village in Tuscany.  Lucca.

**Guilty pleasure:

Hope to celebrate Mother's Day at local Ruby's and have a cherry/vanilla Coke.  **Yes, doctor told me to watch the carbs and sugars but I can surge on this day, right?


Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Five

1. This week started off with a trip to Labcorp to have blood drawn:

As you can tell, it didn't go well.  It took the techs 7 times before they were able to get blood.  This is just one of my arms.  The other one looked the same way.  Kuddos to tech Oliver for FINALLY being able to get blood!

*Not the only one having to visit doctor.  Damon went to see Dr. Coward at the Animal and Bird Clinic for his newborn baby checkup:


He's doing well!

2. Been scoring for a big testing firm.  Yes, I finally think I'm feeling more comfortable with grammar!

3. Finished reading:

YA Books Central review: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yafiction/19763-defender-2

Teaser: Diverse multi-layered characters along with plot twists and reveals is guaranteed to keep readers guessing on the whys behind not only the dead girl but the reasons for the secrecy. 

4. Reading: 


This is a creeptastic YA novel where a teen accidently opens a portal to a world that takes over inanimate things(like trash cans) and then preys on humans during the evening.

5. Also reading:


I can already tell this one is going to be filled with feels.  Want to read before the movie adaptation comes out the first weekend in June!


**Guilty pleasure:

Going to mall to get some earrings and more tea.  Love Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's green teas.  My favorite has to be strawberry cream with NSA chocolate.  Also cherry blossom with half NSA chocolate and vanilla.

Nom!



Thursday, April 21, 2016

Friday Five

1. Omg, on Prince death.  I danced to his songs at the discos in the later 70s/early 80s.  My all-time favorite had to be When Doves Cry.

RIP.


2. Went to high school orientation last night.  Son is going to attend public high school after being homeschooled since the third grade.








3. Was really excited to be included on the SLJ's blog for Mental Awareness Month.  Here's my link to my post in case you missed it.


Teaser: Intriguing YA paranormal with a Wuthering Heights feel going for it. There’s a mystery behind the ghostly forbidden lovers; Native American lore; romance; and suspense. All this set behind a paranormal world that is complete with ghosts and a curse. A fast-read for fans of the paranormal and romance.

5.  Very excited to get another box of books from the fab YA Books Central.  XoXo 


Right now reading MY MAD FAT DIARY by Rae Earl:

Omg, this book is frickin' hilarious!  

YA Books Central review coming soon!

**Need to go and get sonogram to check on the progress of a nodule that has been growing.  Le sigh.  Send me positive, healthy vibes, will you?  

***Guilty pleasure:

Visiting Damon after seeing doctor.  Get to bring him home TOMORROW.

Here he is at thirteen weeks:

He's a little smaller than the other cockatiels.  I was kind of bugged by one of the helpers at Omars who told me my bird didn't really like socializing with the other birds.  I know, I worry a lot but can't wait to get him home.  I think he's a real cutie.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

#MHYALit: Shattered Illusions: Growing up with a Bipolar Father

#MHYALit: Shattered Illusions: Growing up with a Bipolar Father, a guest post by Kim Baccellia

MHYALitlogoofficfial“What’s wrong with Dad?”
No one spoke out loud about my father’s strange behavior, but I knew something wasn’t quite right with him.  My question would be answered with either silence or in a lowered voice, “We don’t discuss that.”

There were days he’d be like a helium balloon, filled with so much air and energy that I swear he’d be floating.  When Dad drank?  He was that funny drunk.  He’d tell these hilarious stories that would have me and my sisters laughing.  Dad could be very charming.  He was very impulsive. He loved animals and Grandma Baccellia once shared how he brought home an injured bird, asking her to help it.

Then there was the other side.  The nights he’d scream for the demons to leave him alone while he’d slam his fist into the drywall.  Our walls resembled Swiss cheese.  He’d stay in his darkened room for days.  My older half-sister told me that she remembered him taking his rifle and shooting out the windows of their house.  Police were called but nothing much came out of it.  When he was down?  He’d put his .57 Magnum to his head and threatened to kill himself.  Even now I can hear that click of his gun.

Other times he’d sleep forever.  There were more than a few times, he wouldn’t pick Mom and us up at the supermarket.  We’d walk home with the grocery cart loaded with groceries.  When we got home?  Dad would be asleep on the couch.

I was embarrassed and didn’t invite anyone over to visit.  You never knew when he’d go off on someone.  Even going to church came with conditions.  Dad didn’t like us going to the local Mormon church. Since Mom refused to drive, we walked everywhere and that included to church.  I still remember him following us in his truck, threatening to shoot and kill the bishop if we continued to the church.  Mom rounded us up and we went back home.

Fear ruled our lives.  It became a way of life and became my master.  I was on hyper alert 24/7 as I never knew what would set Dad off on one of those moods.  It was best to stay out of his way.

I also remember how isolated I felt.  Who could I talk to about what was going on in our home?  I was told that if we said anything?  Social services would come and take us away.  Or we’d end up on the street.  To this day homelessness is still my biggest fear.

What makes this all so tragic is Dad refused help.  I remember him saying, “I’m not crazy.”  The times that he did self-medicate with alcohol did help but even that was frowned on.  Yes, as a teen I purchased his favorite Yukon Jack whiskey.  That was until a bishop told me, “Good Mormon girls don’t buy alcohol.”

When I confided in a close friend?  The next day at the middle school I attended, she informed me that her father said, “No good Mormon girl said such terrible things about her own father.”  She wasn’t to hang with me anymore.  To make matters worse?  She introduced me to her new best friend. Yes, I was that girl who ate in the bathroom stall.

Once again I was the ‘bad’ one for trying to help make an unbearable situation lighter.

After Dad’s death, I asked my mother if he was bipolar.  I took an abnormal psychology class in college that nailed what I’d witnessed in my father’s behavior growing up.  She told me that yes, he was.  With that information, I went to my doctor and read up on this mental illness.  Knowledge is power.  I even attended a mental illness symposium that was held during BYU’s Education Week.  They ended up having to turn people away. Listening to the speaker, I was propelled to share my own story.  Afterwards, more than a few people came up to me and said, “I was your father.  That was me.”

Now I believe it’s important to speak out and not to be afraid.  That’s the only way the stigma against mental illness will lessen.  It’ll also help others to go get help and not end up like my father.

I need to make a disclaimer that not all of those who have bipolar disorder have similar situations.  Each experience is different.  One thing I do want to stress is that bipolar people aren’t all violent.  In my family case though, Dad experienced violence growing up.  Uncle Bud, who also was bipolar, was very violent.  One family member shared that my uncle would throw hammers whenever he was angry. So chances are good that others who witnessed similar violence in their lives might also respond the same way.  An example is my older half-brother who shot out the windows of his mother’s house which was very similar to what Dad did.

I wished that Dad had gotten help or that someone had stepped up and admitted him to the hospital. At that time though, the prevalent thinking was it was best to stay out of other’s lives as that was their ‘business.’ We did try to get him help but I learned that you can’t help someone unless they admit they need that help.

At the end of his life, Dad probably suffered another psychotic break.  He refused to bathe as he felt the government poisoned the water.  Mom told me he said that he was so angry at everything.  They found him dead in front of a restaurant in his Blazer truck with his Boxer dog.

How I wished that there had books for teens that addressed this mental issue.  Maybe then I wouldn’t have felt so alone and to blame.

I’ve been researching more on bipolar disorder and looking for YA books that handle this subject.  Here’s a list of ten books that I felt were authentic and resonated with me.

When we collidedWhen We Collided by Emory Lord
I could totally relate with the descriptions of Vivi’s mania as my older half-brother Ricky used similar descriptions. Lord nails the ups and downs of manic depression.


crazyCrazy by Amy Reed
A very realistic portrayal of a teen with bipolar disorder and a relationship that is at times loving and destructive.


impulseImpulse by Ellen Hopkins
Ellen Hopkins isn’t afraid to tackle sensitive subjects.  One reason why I love her writing so much.  In Impulse, readers visit a psych ward where one of the teens battles her bipolar disorder.


This is howThis is How I Find Her by Sara Polsky
What I love about this novel is how Polsky nails the emotional struggles of a teen with her bipolar mother.  A lot of these emotions I could totally relate with.


Mind gamesMind Race by Patrick E. Jamieson
This is more of a memoir of a teen’s experience dealing with bipolar disorder.  A must read for those who want to educate themselves on this mental issue.


The UnquietThe Unquiet by Jeannie Garsee
A must read for paranormal fans that shows bipolar disorder in a realistic light.


PerksThe Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Loved this coming of age story where bipolar disorder isn’t shown in the usual stereotypical matter.


bleeding violetBleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Love how Reeves shows a strong bipolar protagonist in this paranormal thriller.


The rules of survivalThe Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
This one really stuck a nerve as my father was also that violent, abusive bipolar. You never knew what to expect in our house. But once again, I have to stress that my experience might not be someone else’s.


the impossible knifeThe Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
This book isn’t about bipolar disorder but shows a very realistic view of a teen that struggles with her father that suffers from PTSD.  Many times I wondered if Dad also had this going on too especially after I found he’d been abused as a child. Haunting and powerful, it resonated with me.

Meet Kim Baccellia

KIMI’m a YA author, Staff reviewer for YA Books Central, and a homeschooling mom.  I’ve been a part of the Cybils-Children’s and Young Adult Blogger’s Literary Awards and I’m very passionate about diversity in YA/children literature.  I graduated from BYU with a degree in elementary education and also attended CSU Fullerton grad program in bilingual/bicultural education.  I love parrots, yoga, poetry, Jaime from the Outlander series, and anything Parisian.  I’m a total bookaholic. A good place to find me is either at the local Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf with a nommy iced tea latte or a Barnes & Noble where I’ll be perusing the YA section.
Originally posted at:
http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2016/04/mhyalit-shattered-illusions-growing-up-with-a-bipolar-father-a-guest-post-by-kim-baccellia/