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  1. Meet Leandra Tuggle

    March 16, 2015 by C.

    Children playing

    Children playing


    Last week at my Writers Guild meeting, one young lady shared some of her poetry with us and I was just blown away by her talent. She had been coming to the meetings for several months and had never shared anything before. Her poem about her future children gave me goosebumps. I have never been a big fan of poetry but I like this work a bunch.


    Leandra agreed to let me share some of her work here on my page and what an honor that is for me. So please enjoy some real writing for once on this blog…Ladies and Gentlemen, a few works by Leandra Tuggle.


    “My Children”

    I wait for them.  My children
    for whom I dream and have dreamt.
    I soothe their sorrows with batches of
    imagined kisses and uneaten cookies.
    I talk to them – about their day, their teachers and friends;
    unanswered questions whispered into a metal whisk.
    I imagine chaotic mornings searching for lost
    socks and mittens and scurrying out the door in a flash.
    When I close my eyes as I close my door,
    I can almost hear them calling for me.

    And their names – oh their names – I have spent years
    searching for the perfect name.  I fall in love with
    characters and crayons and strangers and streets whose
    names resonate life and color. I draw them out on pieces of paper
    in hopes to find the perfect shade for
    the shades of myself.

    Eleanor ask me where I found her name and I tell
    her I never found it, it found me. Like the hidden book in
    a neglected library whose dusty jacket stands out amongst the rest;
    a name possessed by tradition and honor.

    Little Liam tells me that his name is too girly, but I tell
    him that his name reminded me of green meadows and deep
    forests – where only an adventurer could live.

    And my precious Evangeline, or Evie as I whisper to her as I carry
    her to bed; her dark hair and light eyes needed a name as
    beautiful – my heavenly angel, my shooting star.

    I remember all the other contenders: Avery and Holden and
    Lydia and Lincoln.  They’re still in the back of my mind playing with
    blocks or crudely coloring in the shapes of bears and dinosaurs.

    As I fall asleep, I hold my breath so I can hear their reassuring
    snores and imagine what they are dreaming: juice boxes and
    squeaky swings and faraway castles and talking dragons.
    And in the morning, I imagine waking to their peering eyes rather
    than those of the  inconsiderate sun, who fails to give me even just a
    few more minutes to play and talk and laugh and hold them
    in my dreams.




    I lay here;

    the cottage cheese bed folding in around me

    like the shameful palms pursed around a pleading prayer.

    I stare at the bedside table.

    It rests like a forgotten child used only for the neglected flowers that

    I claim that you gave me.


    The woman with the flower cart had a lazy eye

    and she sang the saddest song.

    Of the hills of Czechoslovakia (or

    another country I only pretend to know exists)

    and as she sang this song

    Your face was everywhere.

    In the driver of the parked taxicab.

    In the reflection of a window.

    In the murky puddle beneath my feet.

    And I felt sorry for myself

    But sorrier for the

    lazy-eyed lady

    and all her

    lazy-eyed children, so I bought the



    Now when I stare at them, your

    eyes look up from every petal,

    and I feel sick.

    So I rest my cheek upon the cool nakedness of the pillow

    while a bouquet of tears collect beneath my chin.



    There was me and you and the moonlight.  We existed

    in threes.  Our wholes divided and melded into one.

    Your hands were my hands.  My heart yours too.  Even

    the moon took the same shape as your eyes, they staring

    at me staring at you.


    I wish we could’ve stayed there forever.  The world stopping

    for one goddamn moment so that I could breathe you into me

    I want to create a hole in the world the shape of us and

    never escape.  The world can keep turning, keep bleeding, but

    you and me will rise above it               below it            between it.


    That night will always bring me joy.  In my old age, my

    abandoned mind will return to that moment.  The nurses will feed me

    pills and pears and pillows and I’ll go on babbling about how soft the

    blades of your shoulders felt poured into my palms and the tickle of

    your stubble on my knee.


    And that fucking moonlight – that blinds me from everything that

    I once thought was important, real.


    For more information on Leandra Tuggle please seek her out here:

  2. From One Chanin to Another

    July 13, 2014 by C.

    Chanin Hale on cover of TV Guide.

    Chanin Hale on cover of TV Guide.




    My mother and father were looking for baby names for the future me. One evening my mom was looking through a TV Guide (not the one pictured) and in a listing for a show that night she noticed the name “Chanin Hale”. She wasn’t sure how it was pronounced but to her it was “Chan” as in Jackie Chan and then “in”. She ran it past my father and rest is history.


    I have been collecting celebrity and athlete autographs through the mail for years now. One day I just thought it would be cool to have her sign something for me. So I Googled her and saw that she was still alive (she will turn 76 in September) and I wrote her a letter explaining how I had gotten my name from hers. I apologized for not having seen any shows she had been in…but that I would be thrilled to have her autograph. I also asked her how she pronounced it…I am very curious about that.

    I came home on Friday and in the mail was a thank you card from Chanin Hale.

    The card

    The card


    In it she thanks me for my letter. Tells me she has been busy taking care of her older husband (he is 97) and that she will get her things together and send my photo back autographed and answer all the questions I had for her. She even thanked me for being patient!

    I cannot wait to receive the autograph along with all the answers I have been wanting for a very long time now. It just thrills me to know that she seems like a very nice and cool lady…makes me happy that we share the same name.

  3. Men Are Babies

    May 26, 2013 by C.

    I will admit I have never had a child but I feel that is because I am super smart. I do what I want, the college fund I am saving for is called “Kick ass vacations and stupid crap I want to buy” and the best part…I will never ever have to go through labor pains. I thought these poor fellows might soil their britches. Enjoy!


  4. Gnats and Gatling Guns

    October 3, 2012 by C.

    The Gatling Gun




    Mom called me at work today.

    “Something is going on out back.”

    As I have shared on many occasions she thinks we are living in the wilderness or something.

    “What is it Mom?”

    “The entire backyard is full of giant black birds and squirrels. I think the end is near or I am in a  re-make of “The Birds” only this time a few squirrels are involved.”


    I laughed and suggested she load up her BB gun and go out there.

    “Oh, no. I need a Gatling gun to deal with all the animals in our yard right now.”

    I had never heard of a Gatling gun before  so I Googled it after getting off the phone with her. Holy crap! I can just see this thing parked out on her deck next to the BBQ grill.

    When I walked in this evening I called to make sure she lived through the re-make of “The Birds + Squirrels”.

    “Have you noticed a large amount of gnats in your house?,” she asked.

    “Yes, I am trying a trick I saw on Pinterest to get rid of them,” I replied.

    “We have never had gnats this bad. I think it is because of all the animal crap in the backyard. Booger probably takes some big dumps considering his size.”

    ***She has nicknamed the baby grizzly bear (aka groundhog) living in the backyard and she picks Booger of all names.***

    “Hmmm, well Mom I don’t even know what to say to that. I am going to go now and see if I still have an appetite for dinner. Glad to know you survived your exciting day.”

    “Listen, before you go…I am going to need just a few more BBs.”

    Why can’t she take up knitting like a normal 60-something year old woman???


  5. I am on

    September 1, 2012 by C.

    Good morning,

    A couple of months ago I sent in a story to (Zooey Deschanel’s website) and today it has made it to their front page. I am so excited I just had to share. Here is the link if you want to take a look…


  6. Guy Branum Talks Zombies

    August 23, 2012 by C.

    I love Guy Branum. He is one of my favorites on Chelsea Handler’s round table. However, I think I might love Guy more when he is explaining how to survive the Zombie Apocalypse. Thanks for sending it over Stephanie!



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  7. Be Patient…This is My First Attempt

    August 22, 2012 by C.

  8. More Random Acts

    August 14, 2012 by C.

    Very nice




    I have been slacking…I need to get with it or I will be 50 before I get this finished.

    Look what I received this week from the nice mail carrier. She enjoyed the card and the tip and left me a note.

    Ok, so this week the main random act of kindness I did was to make a donation to rebuild a mosque that was burnt here in Joplin. The ignorance and hatred of some people really saddens me and I just wanted to do something to take a stand against their act and to help out with the need to rebuild. If you are interested in learning more about this you can check out their donation site here:

    On Saturday I went to buy Powerball tickets (I don’t do it too often…just when the jackpot is mega huge). The lady behind the counter handed me my tickets and I gave her the one I had printed on a separate ticket. She got the biggest smile on her face and thanked me several times before I got out of the store.

    This has been fun so far. I highly recommend it. It is wonderful to see people react to even the smallest of acts. Back to work tomorrow…33 more to go.





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  9. Happy Pills=Winning!

    June 16, 2012 by C.

    Awwww, Charlie loves me!

  10. Famous On My Terms

    May 25, 2012 by C.

    Put some comfortable shoes with this outfit and I would rock it!


    I have long been fascinated with becoming a celebrity. It wasn’t quite the same when I was a child as it is now, but I wanted to be a member of the rock band Kiss. I would put on concerts in my bedroom singing all their songs using my hairbrush as a microphone.

    Apparently my mother thought this was sort of cute so one Christmas she bought me a Kiss outfit. Basically, a black and white striped polo shirt with the Kiss logo on the chest, jeans with a Kiss patch sewn onto the back pockets and a matching belt. Yes, I was a bad ass.

    This obsession with rock bands continued as I grew older, but everything changed when my grandfather sent me a set of drums when I turned eight. My poor parents then had to pay $.25 to come to my drum show in the playroom. My favorite song to play along with was James Taylor’s “Handy Man”. Yea, I was killing it with the mellow crowd (this was truly a step up from the Barry Manilow that was playing constantly in our house).

    Music was my obsession. My goal was to play on a stage someday with a band. I still love music very much, but my celebrity goal changes more and more as I get older.

    Leaving my house is just something I don’t like to do anymore. My middle name is  “Hermit”. The thought of spending hours on a tour bus with a bunch of wild men just doesn’t do it for me anymore. The parties, drugs and drinking would probably kill me at my age. My drug of choice these days is “Aleve”.

    The only way adventuring out on a tour bus would be acceptable would be if I had a bus of my own and I could go to the Grand Canyon or something. Screw performing on a stage under all those hot lights. I freaking hate to sweat now. Gross.

    So I am moving in the direction of being a famous writer. No bus, I can work from home in my pajamas and the most leaving my house I will ever have to do would be for a book tour, which is right up my alley. Hundreds of people lined up for me to autograph their books and pose for a photo sounds pretty cool, as long as they put me up in a swanky hotel.

    The Holiday Inn Express is not going to cut it, people. I am talking a baby grand piano in my room (no, I don’t play piano but maybe I will hire someone to play for me all night long), ocean view (for the places I have to go that will not have an ocean (God forbid) there better be a river, stream, lake or a damn drainage ditch under my window) and someone to fetch me milk and cookies, then tuck me in. A kiss on the forehead would be okay as long as the person is majorly attractive.

    The one worry I really have about this whole writer thing is when one of my books is actually made into a movie and I must attend a red carpet event. I do not wear dresses. Ever. So if they really wanted me to attend, then I would have to go ultra casual and comfy. I would leave my pajamas at home, but I might be able to get away with wearing those pajama jeans. Put a nice shirt with those things and no one would ever know the difference.

    I hope to see you all real soon out in the book signing lines. I suppose that means there will be a book published, but that isn’t a problem. I am positive I can whip out a bestseller in 2-3 days tops. I mean if Tila Tequila, Paris Hilton and Snooki can write a book, then this will be a breeze.



  11. Hello world!

    April 23, 2012 by C.

    Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

  12. Followers Needed

    April 13, 2012 by C.

    I have been reading quite a bit on getting more followers of blogs and one suggestion is to just ask. Really??? This works? 
    Well here we go…I need followers. The arrow above points to the area you go to sign up to be a follower. It is pretty simple and will be less painful than a root canal…I promise. 
    Each new follower will receive one haircut from me (no I do not have a license but it is a free haircut so stop your bitching). Your hair might not look so pretty, but the good news is it should grow back.  

  13. My Blog Has a Theme Song

    March 17, 2012 by C.

    How cool is this??? Thank you Ms. Norah Jones!

  14. Book Review and More: "The Hunger Games"

    February 29, 2012 by C.

    A friend recommended the “The Hunger Games” book to me. When I did a little research and found it was a book for teens I lost interest immediately.  The “Twilight” series nearly did me in. It took me forever to get through those books, but I did because everyone else was reading them. For whatever reason, I did not find them too appealing (Team Edward and Team Jacob members, please do not send me hate mail). But seriously, isn’t it just a bit gross that Jacob is into Edward and Bella’s kid?
    Here is a brief summary of “The Hunger Games” from
    “Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used to be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games.” The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat’s sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.”
    I could not put this book down. At the end of just about every chapter, something would happen and I would have to continue reading. If I hadn’t had to go to work, I would have finished in one day, but I have to work in order to support my Oreo habit. 
    The book might have appealed to me because of the whole survival/Doomsday thing. Her district is poor and many people starve to death, so she has to go out and hunt for food. This skill is what really prepared her to be a competitor in the games. The minute I put the book down, I went to and ordered up an archery bow and some arrows to practice up for when Doomsday hits. Being able to kill my own squirrels and rabbits when the day comes will be totally worth the $879.13 I charged for my new archery equipment. Carbon bows aren’t cheap people.
    The book also made me realize I needed to practice surviving in extreme temperatures. So a couple of nights ago I took a tarp and a couple of blankets out in the back yard to see just how difficult this would be. Using my smart phone as a flashlight did not last long at all. Stupid smart phone died. So that left just the moon and the bright floodlights on the house. After two hours I went banging on the neighbors back door asking for some hot chocolate. Mr. Grumpy Butt said he didn’t have any. So I asked could I please come in and use his restroom because the thought of going outside did not appeal to me at all. He slammed the door in my face. The next morning I called the cops and reported I suspected he has a meth lab in his storage shed. That should teach him.
    I lasted about another hour before going inside to my warm house. Roughing it is highly overrated. Next test trial I will need some Depends and a very long extension cord to power up my phone and have a hot plate to heat up some cocoa. I think that would make things a little more tolerable.
    Whether you are into surviving Doomsday or not, I think you would greatly enjoy reading “The Hunger Games”. Read it quickly…the movie comes out on March 23rd

  15. Dude, I Miss You

    February 22, 2012 by C.

    Me and Dude

    February 21st, 2005 is the day my grandfather died. I don’t like February 21st very much. Staying in bed all day seems like a great option at times.

    It was a Monday night and I was watching my favorite show, “24”. I was living in Colorado at the time. I knew getting a phone call after 8pm from my Mom was not a good sign but I truthfully never dreamed I would hear the words, “He’s gone, Chanin. There was nothing they could do. It was a massive heart attack.”

    I hung up the phone and vomited in the kitchen sink. My best friend was gone and I didn’t even get to say good-bye.

    We all called him “Papa.” For some reason, I started calling him Dude. I walked into work one day after my college classes and he said, “Hey Dude, what are you up to?” It made me smile. We called each other Dude ever since.

    My parents had divorced when I was 9, my dad was in Tennessee and we lived in Oklahoma. Papa was essentially my dad. He taught me how to drive, how to work and be responsible, how to gamble (one of our favorite things to do together was to bet on football games), how to cook a mean steak and how to play golf. The impact this man had on my life is really hard to put into words.

    I think about and miss him every single day. This day is just a little more difficult than the others. But I know one of these days I will see him again and he will say, “Dude, what have you been up to?” And I will smile.