Crossed Out

Crossed Out

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:

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.


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.


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:

Friday, April 15, 2016

Friday Five

1. Damon is now 12 weeks old!

Went and visited with him on Wednesday but he might still have to stay as he's not all the way weaned off baby formula.  So here's crossing fingers I can bring him home next week!

2.  Been working on revision.  Yesterday at favorite Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf with an iced mocha blended drink with NSA chocolate.

3. And omg on this week's episode of EMPIRE:

Lucious's new spin on his music video BOOM BOOM is haunting as it reveals his painful childhood and his bipolar mother.  I love Cookie but I admit I was kind of shaking my head:


Of course seeing the 'truth' about his Grandma who kills herself would trigger Andre's bipolar disorder.

Speaking of bipolar disorder...

4. This week I've been reading books that address bipolar disorder to help with my guest blog post.  I found that the DMS has changed the diagnosis since I had abnormal psychology back at BYU.  Now there's Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2.  I also been concerned that by sharing my own painful experience with my bipolar father, some would think I'm only reinforcing a painful stigma that bipolar = violence.  That's all I saw though.  So I needed to read more.  Now I found that certain things can trigger episodes--kind of like that music video with Andre.  Also you can have both the high(mania) and lows at same time.  But the biggest reveal had to be that if someone witnessed violence?  That chances are they'd also do the same thing.  Kind of like what I grew up with.

One book that I highly recommend:

This is a first-hand account of one teen's experience of being bipolar.  It also goes over the terms, meds, and his time in a psych ward.  It also pushes aside misconceptions of this mental illness.

I also really enjoyed this:

The author nails the emotions a teen feels living with a bipolar family member.  I totally got the embarrassment, shame one feels.  I felt this way about my bipolar father.  At times I even felt I set off his anger.  Now I know differently.  Talking about Dad's condition was met with silence and hush voices.  You just didn't talk about it.  I feel that in order to lessen the stigma, we need to talk about it.

Another recent book:

What worked had to be the accurate portrayal of a teen's mania after she tosses her meds.  The descriptions of being hypersensitive to the surroundings were very similar to my older brother Ricky's.  I could see my brother in Vivi.  Also there is a parent dealing with severe depression after the death of her husband.  We see how the children deal with this.  The emotions reactions are right on.

5. Been kind of bummed this week after hearing yet another friend is living our area.  Yes, it's really nice living in South Orange county but it's also crazy expensive.  I know that when we retire?  We plan on moving out of state.

**Guilty pleasure:

Plan on volunteering with family at Harvest Pack.  This is an organization that helps pack food for families in need and also refugees overseas.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Friday Five

1. Well, I think Damon might in fact be a female.  But then went online and it says you won't know until the first molting which is around 4-5 months.

Found this which I found was interesting:

Photo courtesy of:

Here's the latest photo of Damon at 11 weeks:

But then I found this too which is interesting:
Photo courtesy of
So now I'm more confused than ever!  I didn't want to do the blood DNA test as it would be so hard to say, "Nah, I don't want the bird based on it's sex."  **I kind of know how that feels.  So he's still mine! Damon is very vocal at the shop and kind of laid back.  So I figured I'd 'change' name but Damon is also listed as a girl name!

So Damon it'll be!

2.  Have less than a 100 pages left in this revision!

Based on reader feedback the ending goes by way too fast and is confusing.  So I've been going back and fleshing out scenes more.

**Yes, my new baby cockatiel is named after THAT Damon!

3. There's a Parisian theme with the books I've read this week:

This one is available in the April Scholastic Teen Reading Club book order!  Had to get!

Verdict: Fun tale with parallel universe realities. YA meets SLIDING DOORS only in this case two different scenarios happen right when a phone goes off in an airport. One scenario has Summer going to France to meet up with her father and the other has her staying home. Both have similar possibilities.


This is a fun memoir of a guy who loves Paris and decides to start his own American Breakfast diner there.  Love the voice and all this author had to do in order to reach his dream!


This is another book available in the Tab Scholastic reading club book order.  Only this one comes with a fun necklace with the Eiffel Tower.  **Gave the necklace to a girl who loves anything Parisian.

Haven't read yet but it's being mentioned as the MG version of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS.  Since I totally loved that book, I'm worried this one might fall short.  Oh, well, I'll read and let you all find out!

**Guilty pleasure:

Toying on seeing MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN.  I really was touched by another movie that was Christian based.  Not GOD'S NOT DEAD which I felt was way over the top and only reinforced negative stereotypes.  HEAVEN IS FOR REAL really touched me with it's message.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Friday Five

1. It's Spring break!  Or more like we have three days off as son's charter school doesn't align with the public school out here.



2. Been hitting this revision big time.  Going over feedback from critique buddy and also from another YA author.

Trying to fill in some plot holes and not have story line confusing.

3. Saw Damon.  He's now 10 weeks old!

4. Finished reading the latest Alyson Noel novel!

YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Dark, gritty, and highly addictive, this series is sure to wrap it's tale around readers. Pretty Little Liar meets The Apprentice set in the dark underside of Hollywood. How far would you go to get a piece of fame? 

5. Almost done reading DOREEN.

This is a YA retelling of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Think Mean Girls meet a photographer that magically Photoshops a person in real life but the inner beauty or lack of slowly shows up in that photo.  Twisted, chilling take on Photoshopping going too far.

YA Books Central review coming soon!

**Guilty Pleasure:

Saw ZOOTOPIA which is cute and adorable:

So much better than ALLEGIANCE that I saw last weekend.  **I want to know how Four was able to dodge all that gunfire without even a scratch?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Five

1. So just broke down and went to another optometrist to check vision as I've been having issues.  I can't see the computer screen with my present progressive glasses which means I take them off.  Not good.  So just found out the vision is changing in my right eye which is throwing everything off.  Optometrist told me that my progressives 'don't work' for the times I work on the computer.  Since I'm an author?  That means I work in front of the computer ALL THE TIME.

Le sigh.

Getting older sucks.

At least I was able to choose a really cute pair of glasses that totally look great!  I wasn't liking my current ones.  When I told them this?  And said I couldn't figure out why?  "Because they make you look washed out."  Nailed it.

2. Damon is now 9 weeks old!

I swear he's photogenic!

3. Finished reading:

My YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Powerful, bittersweet tale of a teen who deals with the aftermath of being raped. Raw, unflinching, and though painful, a honest story that shows a girl learning to dig deep within for the courage to be a survivor.

**Check out author interview!

4. Totally loved the second book in the CAGE series:

YA Books Central review:

Teaser: There's suspense, horror, action, and romance in this Twilight Zone meets The Maze Runner. Be prepared for some wicked twists and reveals. Guaranteed to keep readers reading and wanting more!

5. Right now reading:

This YA deals with the whole Prom scene and how courageous the protagonist needs to be to stand up for what is right after the social pariah kills herself.  Lots of themes going on here: Mean Girls, suicide, popularity, and staying true to yourself.

YA Books Central review coming soon!

**Guilty Pleasure:

Plan on attending church's Messiah sing-along.  Want to get in the true spirit of Easter!  Yes, Mormons do believe in Christ.  This should be an interesting experience!