When Michael Jackson Died

I still remember exactly where I was when I found out, sitting in my rocking chair with the TV on mute, trying to make sense of something that made absolutely no sense. In a coma. No chance of coming out of it. Dead. Brain dead. Officially dead. Those words scrolled across the bottom of the screen, interspersed with “The King of Pop,” “Series of dates,” “Los Angeles,” and “coroner’s office.” And I sat there as mute as the television set, with tears brimming in my eyes that just wouldn’t come. Not then. It was too fresh, too unreal to be real.

Michael Jackson was dead. And the world would never be the same again. MY world would never be the same. Continue reading “When Michael Jackson Died”

Down With It: Modifying Life For My Daughter

There are so many things you prepare for as an expectant parent. In fact, these days you can sign up for something called a baby registry that you yourself design and that people spend money on to make these necessities (and wants) a reality for you and yours. There are diaper genies, Dr. Brown’s bottles, nursery mobiles, and everything else under the sun to make a baby welcome in this world, or to make your life as a parent that much easier. But nobody, and no registry, prepares you for having a child with Down syndrome.

I talked about my daughter Madeline in Breaking it Down: My Special Daughter, and how shocked we were as parents even when we initially suspected shortly after her birth that she had Down syndrome. She has continued to surprise us as she has grown from a little ball of joy into a big girl at 4 1/2 years old now. Some days I honestly don’t know where the time went, and on others I wonder why it hasn’t gone fast enough. Continue reading “Down With It: Modifying Life For My Daughter”

Book Review of Detours

The following is a review of my debut novel, Detours…

I’ve recently finished reading Detours by Sam McManus.  I will begin this review by saying that I was somewhat wary to step out of the comfort zone of my usual reading genre.  I will say next that I’m so very glad I took that step.

Detours is the tale of a normal man’s life, but it’s not a normal story by any means.  Imagine one man living three different lifetimes – any of them as possible and feasible as the next.  It’s the story about how different – or similar – your life could be, if you’d only just made a different turn along the way.

The manner in which it’s written – almost as snippets of journal entries (or pieces of time) from each of those different lives – is absolutely captivating.  I found myself wanting to get through the entire thing, hoping for clarity and a resolution. 

There were many times as I was reading that I wished so badly to sit down and have a conversation with the characters of the story – at times to give them an unpleasant piece of my mind, others to scream at them.  Then there were the moments where I wanted to say, “I’m sorry.”  In that sense, those characters could’ve been a member of my family, or one of my friends.  The author ensures some connection to the characters, which is so very important.  And those characters are realistic with their many – and varied – flaws. 

If you’re looking for an engaging read, try it out, but don’t expect a book full of sunshine.  Personally, I’m looking forward to any future novels by Mr. McManus.

{Review by C.N. Miller}

You can purchase Detours here at Amazon.com in eBook and paperback formats!

Jack & Jill

Jack and Jill went up the hill

To fetch a pail of water

Jack fell down and broke his crown

And Jill came tumbling after

So up Jack got and off did trot

To meet his girlfriend Janet

Who was too hip to make the trip

In her stockings made of fishnet

Jill got real mad ’cause Jack was bad

And went after his girlfriend

They fought ’til dawn, ’til one was gone

Which started the catfight trend.

– We have heard the old fairy tales, and we’ve heard the children’s rhymes.  The one above is a particular favorite of mine, but obviously it’s different from how you heard it when you were younger.  So my question is, what is your favorite fairy tale/children’s rhyme?  Why do you like it so much?  How would you change it/add to it if you could?

Sam

The Learning Curve

Somebody once said that he learns something new every day. Then someone else said that there’s nothing new under the sun. So, which is it? I honestly think it’s both. We are constantly learning, even us old dogs, and even those new tricks. But what we’re learning are things that have been known by others before. They’re just new to us because we hadn’t experienced them previously. Lately I’ve been thinking about the new things I’ve learned lately.

1. Some people are genuinely kind with no ulterior motives, even if they don’t know you from Adam.

2. You really can get to know someone through Facebook messages in a way you can’t in person.

3. Cats can take “people medicine” to help them recover from illness.

4. The best blog entries can be random ones (I read three amazing blog posts after clicking on “Random”).

5. I have a completely different “television” voice than either my regular voice or my phone voice.

But there’s a learning curve built in to all this new knowledge. Our brains can only hold so much information, so I’m a firm believer that some things we’ve previously known shift around or even out of our brains when the new stuff comes in. Which is a shame if it’s true because we couldn’t possibly decide which things drop out and which things stay. So, I say write everything down that you think you might need in the future, even if at the moment it is ingrained in your brain. Everything isn’t like riding a bike. You might not recall it at some point, and then you’ll be kicking yourself that it became the one that got away (Yes, shamelessly plugging Katy Perry).

I have also learned recently that I tend to monopolize conversations, so I’m going to let you talk now. What have you learned lately?

Sam

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