Tuesday, November 30, 2010


The winners have been notified, and are listed on my author blog.  
I have shared some of the replies from the entries.
Thank you!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010



Win a signed copy of New Beginnings: 

Sunday, October 24, 2010


"Mom, what are cooties?" Giggles asked while we were sitting in Mass today.  I don't know why she asks these questions while we are sitting in church, but it always happens.  It's like someone always turns on the talk switch.  She just can't help herself.

We went to the bakery, and as she and my son, Song and Dance Man, were trying to decide what to pick out, the talk switch was turned on for both of them.  Yapping about everything under the sun to the guy behind the counter.

While they were fishing, Giggles asked me "Do Sharks have lips?".  I was like "What?"  Whatever possessed her to ask that question?  Sometimes I just have to laugh.  Of course, I gave her my patented answer, "I don't know."  I would have said, "Ask your Dad", but he wasn't there at the time.  At the same time, my son was talking some guy's ear off about Survivor.  Poor guy, sitting there, trying to fish in peace, and the talk switch was turned on again.  I felt bad for the guy, but I was also glad that it wasn't me.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


READ CHAPTERS 1 thru 7 of  the updated version of my novel, 
NEW BEGINNINGS, is at Good Reads: 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


This was a few years ago, but it's fun.  Don't remember why they are sticking out their tongues.

Birthday Season

This cake was made by my cousin Kim in California

June is the beginning of what I call "Birthday Season".  It starts with my son's birthday on June 1st, and ends with my mother's birthday on September 17th.  It is a long and grueling season, and I've lost many a dollar in those three months every year.  Although I have many family members, including many in Texas that I can't even count, the birthdays that I count in birthday season are of family members that I see often.

In June, there is my first son's birthday.  We have a week of nothing afterwards, then birthdays come rapid fire:  the 16th is my close cousin's birthday, the 19th, a nephew who is turning one, and then the 24th is my nearly 10 year old's birthday.

July 6th is my MIL's birthday, followed by my daughter on the 11th.  Nothing else happens in July except for hoarding money.

August 12th is hubby's birthday, August 25th is my sister, and August 27th would have been my father's 71st birthday, so I'll raise a glass for him on that day.

September 1st will be my grandmother's 91st birthday.  September 9th, my other sister, and finally September 17th is my mother's birthday.

And then birthday season is mercifully over, but then so is summer :(

Friday, May 07, 2010

May 9th - Mother's Day and Memories of Dad

that's me with the curl

May 9th.

I always think of my Dad on May 9th.  Twelve years ago at the young age of 58,  he passed from this world after a terrible illness.  He was surrounded by his wife and three girls in the comfort of his own home. I will never forget it.   It was also the day before Mother's Day.  

This year, the anniversary of his death comes on Mother's Day.  This year, I am not spending it with my three children.  I am taking my mother to the Jersey Shore for the weekend.  We're going to stay at at a bed and breakfast that is owned by one of her best friends.  When I made the plans, I didn't not realize that Mother's Day fell on the 9th this year, but I'm glad that it does.  She does get a little melancholic when that date rolls around.  Some time away, even if it's for a weekend, will do her some good.

I will also be thinking about my aunt this year.  Her birthday was on May 9th, but she died two months ago.  I'll be thinking of my uncle, and my cousins who lost their mother.  It will be a hard day for them, and I hope that God comforts them.

So, I'm dedicating my playlist below to my Dad.  It's in his favorite color blue, that matches his eyes.  He was a country music fan (I could not relate to that).  He was a rabid NY Giants fan (I remember us celebrating their win in 1987 like it was yesterday).  He was extremely patriotic.  His favorite movies were The Quiet Man  and Young Frankenstein.  He was not a Mr.  Fix it (We have stories of him throwing a hammer once in a while).  He liked his beer and loved St. Patrick's Day.   He had a great sense of humor.  He loved his wife and his three girls.  He was a great father and I miss him.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Memories of Mother

Email going around for Mothers Day

 WHAT I OWE MY MOTHER - In honor and memory of Mothers.

 1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE .

"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.

"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.

"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.

" Because I said so, that's why."

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC .

"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.

"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

7. My mother taught me IRONY.

"Keep crying and I'll give you something to cry about.."

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS .

"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.

"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA ..

"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.

"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.

"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.

"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.."

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION

"Stop acting like your father!"

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.

"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.

"Just wait until we get home."

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING .

"You are going to get it when you get home!"

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.

"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way."

19. My mother taught me ESP.

"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

20. My mother taught me HUMOR.

 "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT .

 "If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.

"You're just like your father."

23.. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.

 "Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.

"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

And my favorite:

25. My mother taught me about JUSTICE.

"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Small Talk Six - The first 6 things you do after you open your eyes in the morning


I've joined a weekly discussion called Small Talk Six. 
Every Saturday, there is a new topic. 

Find them HERE if you want to join in.
 I'm still working on the button 

Today’s topic is 
The first 6 things you do after you
 open your eyes in the morning”.
 You can answer this with a list of 6 words, 
6 phrases, 6 sentences, 6 paragraphs, 
6 photos, 6 videos, etc . . .

These are my six on a school day:

1) Turn off the alarm clock

2) Go into the bathroom. Take shower, etc.

3) Wake up kids for school.

4) Make Breakfast for kids.

5) Get kids ready for school.  

6) Eat my own breakfast

Sounds kind of boring, but it is what it is. :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Small Talk Six: Tearjerker Films


I've joined a weekly discussion called Small Talk Six. Every Saturday, there is a new topic. 

Find them HERE if you want to join in. I'm still working on the button 

"Today’s topic is “6 movies that make you cry.” You can answer this with a list of 6 words, 6 phrases, 6 sentences, 6 paragraphs, 6 photos, 6 videos, etc . . ."

These are my six tearjerkers:

1) An Affair to Remember (Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr). 

I always fall apart when he sees the painting. The music doesn't help either. Builds up until you are in a puddle of tears.

2) Dumbo (Disney). 

I usually fall to pieces when Dumbo visits his chained mother, and he swings on her trunk. The song, "Baby Mine" plays in the background and everyone cries (including the men...you know who you are).

3) The Sound of Music (Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer). 

Weeping usually starts when "Climb Every Mountain" is sung by the Reverent Mother. There are a couple of scenes after that as well, including the ending...more like a happy cry.

4) Ghost (Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore)

The crying happens at the end when she sees him.

5) It's a Wonderful Life (Jimmy Stewart).

Crying usually commences when he comes home, kisses the family and everyone sings "Auld lang Syne"

6) Steel Magnolias (Sally Field, etc.)

The funeral scene gets me every time.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


See that ear?  Looks like a little scratch right now, but on Thursday, it was a disaster.  Still trying to figure out how it happened.  He said that he cut his ear on the corner of a bedroom dresser.  Didn't see it happen, just saw the results.  He came out screaming, and the earlobe was split in half.  His sister was screaming and crying.  Mom had to be calm, but wanted to scream herself.

So off to the ER we went.  Four in a half hours later, we were home, after a plastic surgeon did an outstanding job patching it together.  I'm telling you that I never thought it would look the same.  It's truly amazing.  Once we got home, it was ice cream for everyone (aka dinner).

Now, he's singing along to Beatles Rock Band as if nothing happened.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


In New Beginnings, there is a character named Maureen Burke, also known as Grandma Mo. Grandma Mo is the well-loved matriarch of the Burke family, and she feels that it is her mission to be the family matchmaker. She also has this habit of saying things that embarrass members of her family.  Although it is always well intentioned, not everyone appreciates it.

Grandma Mo's best work is in Chapter Seventeen - The Christening. In it, her instinct tells her that two people should be together. The result is embarrassment for everyone involved. I have posted an excerpt of this chapter on my New Beginnings website under sneak peeks. It is listed as Sneak Peek #3.

Do you have a relative like Grandma Mo? Is there someone is your family or a friend who has tried to set you up or has said something about you that was mortifying, although it was well intentioned?

Share your experience on my New Beginnings blog: http://ping.fm/Dm3cX

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I have put a non-smoker button on my blog, in support of a fellow blogger who has committed herself to quitting. I'm always willing to encourage people to quit. I lost my Dad to lung cancer in May of 1998. He smoked nearly all of his life.

He was 58. The closer I get to that age, the more I realize how young he was (my husband is 50 now). My Dad had 4 grandchildren that he never met (two of them are my kids), and one who was just an infant when he died. It is such a waste. But he was addicted.

I'm not here to judge. Smoking is such a tough addiction. I used to smoke when I was younger, just to be cool. Luckily, I quit. This is what made me quit: I saw my friend smoking in the parking lot and she blew out some smoke (mind you, she had done it thousands of times before that). It suddenly hit me that she looked like a smokestack from a train. It looked so stupid. From then on, I looked at myself and wondered why I wanted to look stupid too. From then on, I quit. Funny, isn't it? I didn't want to look like choo choo train.

So, for all you smokers out there. Take a pledge. Kick the habit. Just say to yourself, "I don't want to look like a choo choo train"

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Sneak peeks into updated version of "New Beginnings"

Hey Everyone,

I've included three seperate sneak peeks into my book "New Beginnings" (updated version).  They can be found at the New Beginnings website.

Sneak peek #1:    Chapter Three - A New Face
Sneak peek #2:   Chapter Twenty Two - The Plan
Sneak peek #3:   Chapter Seventeen - The Christening

The website can be found here:  http://sites.google.com/site/anname210/newbeginnings 

Saturday, April 03, 2010

TRIBUTE: My Grandfather would have been 90 today

Hey all,

I'm dedicating my playlist to my grandfather, Julius Kellar.  It's at the bottom of the blog and it has a few of his favorite songs that I know of.  He used to like Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Jo Stafford and Dean Martin (to name a few).  He was a World War 2 veteran, and was in the D-Day invasion. He would have been 90 today.

This is the way I remember him.  Listening to music.

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I have a confession to make.  I am a bad blogger.  I know, I know.  It's hard to believe.  But, it's true.

It's not because I'm horribly busy.  Well I was this past week, but I'm not saying that it stopped me from blogging.  It's not because I'm not creative, because I am.  I have a lot of thoughts flying around in my head, and things that I want to blog about.  I just don't.  It's not because I'm lazy about it...well maybe I am.

The reason that I came to this conclusion is because I know I haven't even checked the blog for replies.  Not even my author blog.  Of course, since I did not check, there were some replies, and a few of them were of the type that I should have deleted long ago.  But, because I don't blog often, I don't check my blog.  God knows how long the comments were there.  I deleted them today, and kept the ones that were actually ABOUT THE SUBJECT.

But that's okay.  I knew from the start that I was not going to have a world changing blog, and I am not trying to compete with all of the absolutely fabulous blogs out there.  And there are so many.  I'm not going to even try.  This blog is for random thoughts like this one.

My name is Anne Marie, and I am a bad blogger, and that's okay :)

Are you a bad blogger too?

Monday, March 01, 2010

THAW by Fiona Robyn


Ruth's diary is the new novel by Fiona Robyn, called Thaw. She has decided to blog the novel in its entirety over the next few months, so you can read it for free.

Ruth's first entry is below, and you can continue reading tomorrow at http://read-thaw.blogspot.com. 

These hands are ninety-three years old. They belong to Charlotte Marie Bradley Miller. She was so frail that her grand-daughter had to carry her onto the set to take this photo. It's a close-up. Her emaciated arms emerge from the top corners of the photo and the background is black, maybe velvet, as if we're being protected from seeing the strings. One wrist rests on the other, and her fingers hang loose, close together, a pair of folded wings. And you can see her insides.

The bones of her knuckles bulge out of the skin, which sags like plastic that has melted in the sun and is dripping off her, wrinkling and folding. Her veins look as though they're stuck to the outside of her hands. They're a colour that's difficult to describe: blue, but also silver, green; her blood runs through them, close to the surface. The book says she died shortly after they took this picture. Did she even get to see it? Maybe it was the last beautiful thing she left in the world.

I'm trying to decide whether or not I want to carry on living. I'm giving myself three months of this journal to decide. You might think that sounds melodramatic, but I don't think I'm alone in wondering whether it's all worth it. I've seen the look in people's eyes. Stiff suits travelling to work, morning after morning, on the cramped and humid tube. Tarted-up girls and gangs of boys reeking of aftershave, reeling on the pavements on a Friday night, trying to mop up the dreariness of their week with one desperate, fake-happy night. I've heard the weary grief in my dad's voice.

So where do I start with all this? What do you want to know about me? I'm Ruth White, thirty-two years old, going on a hundred. I live alone with no boyfriend and no cat in a tiny flat in central London. In fact, I had a non-relationship with a man at work, Dan, for seven years. I'm sitting in my bedroom-cum-living room right now, looking up every so often at the thin rain slanting across a flat grey sky. I work in a city hospital lab as a microbiologist. My dad is an accountant and lives with his sensible second wife Julie, in a sensible second home. Mother finished dying when I was fourteen, three years after her first diagnosis. What else? What else is there?

Charlotte Marie Bradley Miller. I looked at her hands for twelve minutes. It was odd describing what I was seeing in words. Usually the picture just sits inside my head and I swish it around like tasting wine. I have huge books all over my flat - books you have to take in both hands to lift. I've had the photo habit for years. Mother bought me my first book, black and white landscapes by Ansel Adams. When she got really ill, I used to take it to bed with me and look at it for hours, concentrating on the huge trees, the still water, the never-ending skies. I suppose it helped me think about something other than what was happening. I learned to focus on one photo at a time rather than flicking from scene to scene in search of something to hold me. If I concentrate, then everything stands still. Although I use them to escape the world, I also think they bring me closer to it. I've still got that book. When I take it out, I handle the pages as though they might flake into dust.

Mother used to write a journal. When I was small, I sat by her bed in the early mornings on a hard chair and looked at her face as her pen spat out sentences in short bursts. I imagined what she might have been writing about - princesses dressed in star-patterned silk, talking horses, adventures with pirates. More likely she was writing about what she was going to cook for dinner and how irritating Dad's snoring was.

I've always wanted to write my own journal, and this is my chance. Maybe my last chance. The idea is that every night for three months, I'll take one of these heavy sheets of pure white paper, rough under my fingertips, and fill it up on both sides. If my suicide note is nearly a hundred pages long, then no-one can accuse me of not thinking it through. No-one can say, 'It makes no sense; she was a polite, cheerful girl, had everything to live for,' before adding that I did keep myself to myself. It'll all be here. I'm using a silver fountain pen with purple ink. A bit flamboyant for me, I know. I need these idiosyncratic rituals; they hold things in place. Like the way I make tea, squeezing the tea-bag three times, the exact amount of milk, seven stirs. My writing is small and neat; I'm striping the paper. I'm near the bottom of the page now. Only ninety-one more days to go before I'm allowed to make my decision. That's it for today. It's begun.

Continue reading at http://read-thaw.blogspot.com

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Are you in the mood for spring romance? New Beginnings has a humorous and sexy St. Patrick's Day scene.
"New Beginnings" is a romance novel that has two love stories in one. Experience a romance with love at first sight between two people who are starting over. Also, read about a second romance where friendship turns into love. Both love stories will find you wanting more.


Sunday, February 21, 2010


From the email file:

If you are 30 or older you will think this is hilarious!!!!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears
with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. 

When they were growing up; what with walking 
Twenty-five miles to school every morning
Uphill... barefoot...
BOTH ways

Yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up,
there was no way in hell I was going to lay
a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it
and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty-five, 

I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. 
You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, 

you live in a damn Utopia! 
And I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when 
was a kid we didn't have The Internet .  

If we wanted to know something,
We had to go to the damn 
library and
look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue!!
There was no email !!  

We had to actually write somebody a letter, with a pen! 
Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox 

and it would take like a week to get there!  Stamps were 10 cents!
Child Protective Services didn't care if 
our parents beat us .  

As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass!   
No where was safe!

There were no 
MP3 ' s or Napsters ! You wanted to 
steal music , 

you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to 
tape it off the radio

 and the DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and screw it all up! 
There were no CD players !  We had tape decks in our car.  

We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished 
and the tape would come undone ....cause that's how we rolled dog!

We didn't have fancy crap like 
Call Waiting ! 

If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal that's it!

And we didn't have fancy 
Caller ID either!
When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school,
your mom, your boss, your Bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent,

 you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister! 

We didn't have any fancy 
Sony Playstation video
games with high-resolution 
3-D graphics ! 

We had the Atari 2600 ! With games like ' Space Invaders ' and 'asteroids '. 
Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination !! 
And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever! 
And you could never win . The game just kept getting 
harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a 
TV Guide to find out what was
on! You were screwed when it came to 
channel surfing ! 

You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel! 
There was no Cartoon Network either! 
You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning . 
Do you hear what I'm saying!?!  
We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bastards!

And we didn't have 
microwaves , if we wanted to heat
something up we had to 
use the stove ... Imagine that!
That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. 
You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or before!
The over 30 Crowd
(Send this to someone you'd like to make smile,
Whether they are under 30 or not.)

Brian Stella and the Company Town Band


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