Writer Chick Predicts 2018

I’m back again to make my predictions for the coming year. I figure if I keep at it, I’ll get something right eventually. And now for the predictions…

  1. Donald Trump will remain president, despite talk of impeachment, congressional hearings, or a secret love affair with Putin.
  2. Mike Pence will stay awake during the entire State of the Union address.
  3. The new tax bill will help everyone – even those who don’t pay taxes and the Democrats will somehow get the credit for this.
  4. Psychiatry will ‘discover’ a new mental illness for those addicted to Game of Thrones. The affliction will be called, Throne Watchers Syndrome or TWS, or even just GOTcha for short. The pharma industry will happily devise a new drug for the affliction.
  5. Weather will continue despite laws to the contrary – including, rain, wind, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, shifts in tides, and autumn leaves.
  6. OJ Simpson will get a new reality TV show geared toward solving cold cases. His first case will be finding out who really killed his ex wife.
  7. Siri and Alexa will increase their skill sets to include ‘smart babysitting services’ for work at home moms and dads.
  8. Unlike GMO vegetables, cloned meat will become all the rage among non-meat eaters and vegans who still crave cheeseburgers
  9. A ‘smart home’ will take its first hostage and carry on a 20-day siege with law enforcement until authorities locate a heretofore unknown super hero computer nerd who can disarm it. Years later the incident will become known as, “The House that Jack Unbuilt.”
  10. Cardigan sweaters will finally come forward and level sexual harassment charges against Mr. Rogers.
  11. Current California governor Gerry (moonbeam) Brown will find yet another loophole that allows him to run for a 4th term. When he wins, the remaining 20 Republicans who still reside in the state will move to Texas.
  12. Smartphones will continue to be smarter than their owners and get ever closer to world domination and becoming the overlords of all.
  13.  Tobacco will be compeltely outlawed in California and weed will be legalized – ensuring that the Democrats will maintain their super majority in the state for decades to come.
  14. Firebrand politician Ted Cruz will start his own line of soups called Ted’s Dinner and the line will become wildly popular in Texas.
  15. Nancy Pelosi will get yet another facelift and finally completely erase her face.
  16. Barnes and Nobels will become an organic grocery store that also sells books and umbrellas.
  17. Mark Coker will finally rewrite the style guide for Smashwords so that even a human being can understand it.
  18. Hugh Howey will author a new reality TV show called Wool Suit. It won’t involve silos but might involve sheep herders.
  19. Chuck Wendig will resolve to stop swearing. This resolution will last until some f*cktard pisses him off on his blog.
  20. In several states around the nation, it will snow on New Year’s Day.

Well, that’s all I’ve got. What do you think will happen in 2018? Regale us with your prediction prowess in the comments. In the meantime, thanks for reading, and have a very Happy New Year.






When I try to reflect, why do I think this?

2017 is coming to a close and can I just say, thank gawd!? Speaking for myself the year was a real dumpster fire. But as I reflect on the coming year and the things I’d like to accomplish, weird, random thoughts just keep popping into my head, like flies at a picnic. Like…

  1. When did emoticons become emojis? Who changed it? What’s the difference?
  2. Why don’t they have an ‘awwwwww’ button on Facebook?
  3. Shouldn’t Twitter have birdie like sound effects? I mean, their logo is a bird, right?
  4. Why isn’t there an app that makes your keyboard sound like a typewriter?
  5. Why do Siri and Alexa both scare the bageebers out of me – a box that speaks and acts as if alive?
  6. How come people do so many stupid things with smart phones?
  7. My dog sleeps 20 hours a day, why does she still yawn?
  8. Why are GIFs so addictive?
  9. Can you get hung over by too much exposure to political posts on Facebook?
  10. Why is my not-so-smart phone drunk dialing people in the middle of the night while I’m asleep?
  11. Is scrapple technically a food?
  12. Will I ever actually be able to figure out how to get a print version of my books before I die?
  13. Why do I laugh whenever I hear someone say, President Trump?

The good news I suppose is that I still have thoughts of any kind. Here’s hoping 2018 will inspire better thoughts.


Oh (Ugly) Christmas Tree

So I was talking to my BFF Jenny the other day and we got on the subject of ugly Christmas trees. When I was a kid, my mother loved those horrible fake aluminum trees that came in a myriad of colors.

So for fun, we started googling ugly Christmas trees. There are millions of them – and we were laughing so hard that we were both gasping for air. So, I though, why not share. We can all use a laugh right? And maybe, just maybe they’ll bring back some funny Christmas memories for you as they did for me:


And while perusing the trees I couldn’t help but notice the ugly Christmas clothing, which also got me laughing my merry little butt off:

And if you haven’t had enough, perhaps it’s time to up your game to a full on Christmas suit.

Merry Christmas everybody.



Tips, Tricks, and Little Known Halloween Facts…

Hey kids, it’s been quite a while since I did a whole big resource post but Halloween is always a fun  holiday,  so let the tips and tricks begin.

The facts

  • Halloween has its origins in Celtic, Wiccan and even Catholic traditions and celebrations. Most of which were meant to celebrate the end of the growing season, the coming of winters and the thin line between the living and the dead.
  • The celebration was a blend of All Saints Day, the Celtic celebration of Samhain, and the Roman festival Feralia.
  • The custom of putting lights in carved vegetables came from the pre-Christian Druids in northern Celtic lands. Before and during Druidic ceremonies practitioners hung a carved and lighted turnip around their necks as a “spirit guide” to get them safely through the dangerous procedures, which sometimes included human sacrifice.
  • By the 19th century, most of the religious aspects of the Halloween celebration were gone and became mostly a secular holiday that was more about dressing up in costume for fun and entertainment than confusing the dead and warding off spirits.
  • The tradition of ‘trick or treating’ in America is believed to have originated with Irish immigrants who brought with them the Halloween tradition of going door to door looking for sweets and other treats.
  • Many believed (perhaps still do) that Halloween is a pagan celebration of witchcraft. Among the traditions that seemed ‘witch like’ are –
    • Young women could determine her future spouse by staring into a mirror in a darkened room or by peeling an apple in one long strip and then casting the peel over her shoulder.
    • Baking small coins, trinkets, and a single, plain ring into a type of fruit cake that would be shared among the neighbors. If you got a trinket in your piece – that was your fate for the coming year, with the person who got the ring destined to wed.
  • Some Christian faiths still maintain that Halloween encourages witchcraft and hold “Hell Houses” meant to scare children and young adults away from the traditions and to lead them back to the church. Some even go so far as to hand out pamphlets on Halloween night to be found when kids go through their candy.

Halloween Safety Tips


Dressing up in costume is one of the more fun aspects of the holidays but some costumes can be problematic. The following tips might help prevent costume malfunction:

  1. With kids’ costumes you want to avoid choking hazards. Look over the outfit and accessories for anything that can be pried off or favored as a teething toy for a baby. Details such as buttons, beads, sequins, or other baubles meant to be decorations may need to be removed or given a couple extra stitches to ensure they remain intact.
  2. Make sure costumes don’t obstruct your view, including peripheral vision.
  3. Dragging hemlines can cause tripping and be caught in machinery, fences, gates and car doors. Hem costumes so your child won’t trip herself or others.
  4. Also check tags to see what kind of fabric is used. You or your child may have an allergic reaction to synthetic fabrics, or they may cause chafing if fabric is rough and your child does a significant amount of walking in it.
  5. Always ensure that the fabric of your costume is proofed against catching fire.
  1. Make sure youngsters have flashlights and/or some sort of reflective tape adhered to their costume when going door to door.
  2. Make sure they are wearing appropriate footwear for walking and weather conditions.
  3. Organize it so that children travel in groups, and have a buddy system in place. Do not move from one house to the next until all kids are accounted for.
  4. Be extra careful crossing the streets, though drivers may be trying to be careful the streets will have more than usual foot traffic and accidents still happen.
  5. If you are driving on Halloween during trick or treating hours, be extra vigilant and keep your eyes on the road. If you need to break up an argument between your kids over whose candy is whose, pull over and work it out rather than looking away from the road.
  6. Never let the kids consume any of the candy from their bags until an inspection has been done. Check to ensure that wrappers and packaging is still sealed properly, wash and cut fruit such as apples before consumption, and check baked good as well. If you are in doubt about any item it is better to throw it away than take a chance.

 Halloween Recipes

Meringue bones and skulls

Easy roasted pumkin seed recipe

Watch this vid to see how to make “dirt pudding”

Halloween Laughs

If you’re in the mood for something punny – check this site for some groan worthy jokes

Halloween Games

Need some games for your Halloween party?

And if you happen to be staying home tonight with no particular plans, check out this movie trailer. Who knew Helen Mirren could be so scary? LOL!

Have a ghoulish good Halloween and don’t forget to save me some candy. Caramels and Hershey’s Chocolate, please. 😉


It could be worse – I could have writer’s block…


In the interest of full disclosure, I have quit smoking many times before. However, this time seems different. Mostly because I want this time to stick. I don’t want to start smoking again.

Ostensibly, I quit because the cost of cigarettes in CA has gotten so high that it’s an insult to pay the price of a meal for a pack of cigarettes. And don’t get me started about all those do-gooders who vote for raising the taxes on cigarettes and similar items – thinking they are so right and we who indulge are so wrong. Because one day, they’ll have to leverage taxes on something they really love like, I don’t know, weed? Frappucino’s? Vapes? Anyway….

And because I really am committed about quitting I have had an interesting 33 days. Going through withdrawal (and let’s be honest nicotine is a drug and quitting is withdrawal) has produced some weird effects, like:

My right foot and ankle swell up over the course of the day. So badly sometimes it appears I don’t have an ankle, just a block of wood at the end of my leg. Oddly, it all goes away over night.

I feel a little drunk – not quite focused, a bit dizzy and a little loopy

I’m muttering more than usual

Food doesn’t taste amazing (like so many claim upon quitting), in fact, it hardly tastes at all.

It takes me five times longer to do anything. Walk to the corner. Make a sandwich. Edit a paragraph. Things that typically I can do quickly without effort, are now Herculean tasks.

Life seems empty. Like totally. Like completely black.

Blank moments. Not sure what I’m doing during them, probably because I go blank?

I fear substitute smoking products. Vaping equipment, eCigs, patches, gums, lozenges – anything that contains nicotine or mimics smoking gives me the shudders. (Lest I start smoking again).

Junk food is my new cigarette. In order to fight the cravings I’ve given myself permission to eat whatever I want in any quantity of my choosing. Consequently, I have stocked up on chips, chocolate, pastries, and candy. Oh and ice cream. Yes, so being super obese is more healthy than smoking, right?

I’m not sure that writing about my trials and tribulations of getting the nicotine monkey off my back is really helping – me or anyone else. However, maybe it is.

And I want to thank both online and offline friends who have supported me in this goal – your encouragement has made a huge difference. ❤

How about you? Have you quit smoking? Did it stick or did you have to try several times before you succeeded? What’s the weirdest thing that happened to you during cigarette withdrawal? Tell me all your smoking stories in the comments.

Annie (who is not smoking but would like to be)







15 Weird Things About Me

When I was a kid I was horrified at the idea of being weird. The weird kid was the one who was bullied and lost their lunch money all the time. Nope, I wanted to fit in. Not so easy, since I am weird. These days, I’m letting my weirdness hang out.   It takes off the pressure and helluva lot more fun.

  1. I don’t remember learning how to read, but I do remember I was reading before I started kindergarten.

2. In my alternate reality I am a homicide detective and I solve crimes constantly.

3. I wrote my first novel, The Addict, when I was 10. It was 30 pages long and it sucked. But my dad read every word. Bless his heart.

4. I talk to myself. In public. In private. I always have, since I was a kid. Nobody knows why.

5. I love to garden and though I’m not very good at it, my biggest tomato weighed almost 3 pounds. Oh and I talk to my plants – is that weird?

6. My favorite family pet was Rusty, a gorgeous collie who showed up on our porch one summer night and scratched on the screen door. He looked exactly like Lassie and I believed he was my soul mate.

7. My guilty pleasure is binge watching mystery shows (usually British) online. If I watch too many I start talking in a British accent.

8. Motown music will always inspire me to  get my freak on.

9. I had two nicknames when I was a kid; Neener and Rodg. I preferred Rodg

10. I’ve had many jobs in my life but the weirdest one was bus buffing. Hard on the back but definitely builds the pecs.

11. My first car was a VW Bug and it had temperamental brakes – meaning, I never knew when or if they would work. Usually, the back wall of the garage stopped the car before the brakes. My nickname for it was  “Death Trap.” I nearly gave my dad a stroke when I took him for a spin and ended up in somebody’s front yard. After that, I refused to drive a stick shift ever again.

12. When I was a kid I wanted to be a fireman or a ballerina but was forced to become a writer because I couldn’t stop making stuff up

13. I love dollar stores. It’s an addiction. I will buy anything if it costs a dollar. I’m their ideal customer.

14. If you want to make me cry show me a Hallmark commercial.

15. I really do work in my pajamas. In fact, I pretty much do everything in my pajamas. But you know, I live in California, so it’s allowed.

How about it, are you a weirdie too? Have you given in to your inner weirdness and let it shine in the light of day? Tell me all about your weirdiness in the comments, so we can revel in it together.

Ten things the 2016 election cycle has ruined for me


I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a political junkie but I try to keep my inner junkie inside most of the time. However, come election time she scratches her way out to join in all the fun. This year was especially something to look forward to because well, it wasn’t going to be the same old same old. Right? And just when I thought I might really enjoy this election cycle, not only did things go off the rails, there are no freaking rails.

And instead of all the fun I looked forward to, the cycle has simply ruined things for me. Following is my list:

The color orange. It’s not that orange was my favorite color but now I can’t look at it without seeing Trump’s orangey pink skin. You’d think that “one of the richest men in the world” could afford a better tanning bed, spray tan and make up artist. He probably should stop purchasing his products in CHYNAH.

Cheetos. And other favorite orange food—dreamsicles, tangerines, papaya, mangoes, orange lifesavers, orange Jell-O – and I can’t even look at raw chicken.


The word great. Likewise the words: terrific, fantastic, really, winning, best, hell even the word, word has lost all charm and appeal. And liar, loser and lying have virtually no meaning anymore either.

Election years. I have always enjoyed presidential election years because of the drama, surprises and unpredictable situations you never see coming. This year however, it is nothing but a flat out slug fest between candidates, supporters and media outlets. It’s ugly and keeps getting uglier. Even when you think you’ve hit rock bottom, somebody unearths a new bottom. And it’s about as much fun as root canal without anesthesia.  Although we got a little comic relief when the Libertarians added live stripping to their convention. What’s next? Lap dances by candidates?

The myth that most people have common sense. Seriously, can anybody believe that common sense is a live and well in America when the presumptive candidates are the two most reviled people in the country?


Taco salads. This picture: taco salad
Is he going to eat that thing or molest it? Either way, feeling pretty sorry for the salad, no matter its fate.

Hair. Whether it’s the old man comb-over, the grandma shellacked bullet head, or the Muppet style shag, all hairstyles are dead to me now.

candidate hair

Facebook. Social media always has political stuff but generally is easy to scroll right past. And I’ll get in there sometimes and bat things around myself. But this year it is wall to wall and there’s no scrolling past it. That’s all that is in my feed. From erroneous, crazy, gross, vile memes, to trolls swarming, name calling, to non-stop propaganda on every topic under the sun – it’s a jungle out there.

The Internet. I used to love the Internet. Each day when you logged on you never knew what you were gonna get. These days though you can’t swing a dead politician without hitting a story or meme on trump, trumpers, trumperism, trump tweets, trump train, anti-trump, nevertrump, alwaystrump, “what’s trump done this time?,” neverhillary, onlyhillary, who’s hillary?, indict hillary, feeling berns…. Where are those cute cat videos that used to be so popular?

Reality TV. It’s not that I’m a big fan of reality TV but I once found it somewhat amusing. But since reality TV is running for president, the spoofy goofy nature of the medium isn’t quite as funny. And definitely amusing. And I find myself constantly muttering, “Is this a joke?”

What about you? Are you sick of this already? Has this election business ruined stuff for you? Are you looking for good cat videos? Feel free to add to the list or voice your gripes in the comments. The election cycle isn’t even close to over yet folks, and we’ve got a long five months ahead of us – give us strength.

Is Elizabeth Keen Really Dead?

lizzie keen

I don’t know about you, but I am addicted (there I said it!) to the NBC show, The Blacklist. For four seasons I have watched while the ever story telling Red Reddington has dazzled and dazed me, causing me to ask countless questions, like:

  • Are you Lizzie’s father?
  • Who is Lizzie’s mother and was she really a Russian spy?
  • Can you answer a question without telling a story to illustrate your point?
  • Why do so many women find you irresistible?

Is this another fake out?

Over the four seasons of the show we have been faked out. We originally thought that Tom, Lizzie’s husband was just a cute, somewhat nerdy elementary school teacher. Only to discover he was a Russian spy or is that agent, then to find out that Red hired him, to now discovering he is Liz’s true soulmate. A once heartless killing machine who has found his soul thanks to true love. And then sadly to lose the love of his life and the reason for his salvation on the day their daughter is born.

But has he? Is Lizzie Keen really dead? I have my doubts. Just like I did when she was a blonde for a whole season. Or when all clues pointed to her becoming a sort of surrogate daughter in crime with Red.

Her funeral is in the next episode, how might they bring her back after that?

The next episode is to center around Liz’s funeral and then the requisite pursuit of her killer. Which personally I found a little confusing because I thought she died because of complications from the car accident and delivery. But you know, it’s episodic television, so okay.

Anyway, here is my theory:

Liz isn’t really dead but in order to protect her from the shadow agents/group pursuing her presumably because of her Russian spy mother’s sins, the whole world must believe she is dead for the time being.

Once Red and the whole special FBI task force has located the real threat to her, it will be revealed that she has been living in a FBI safe house in Oklahoma, donning a red wig and Birkenstoks.

She only seemed dead and looked dead because the doctor, who we already know was friends with Liz injected some super magical drug that made her look that way. The body used in the funeral will turn out to be a double or even made of wax. I mean who’s going to check to be sure?

Naturally, Tom will feel a bit miffed for having had to raise Agnes on  his own for a year or so, but he’ll be so happy that he doesn’t have to be a single dad, that he’ll soon forgive her.

Though of course they won’t be able to jump into Tom’s boat and set sail for the happily ever after. Somehow Agnes will become the center of some plan or Tom will be tempted to return to his own life. Or Liz will mount her own investigation into who her mother and father really is.  Heck, maybe that’s what she’s doing now, while everybody, including Red thinks she’s dead.

What are your theories?

So there you have it, my theory. Do you have one? Do you like me, think that Lizzie is still alive only to reappear at some later date, or is the Blacklist just becoming its own spinoff and morphing into a whole new show? Feel free to float any theories you like in the comments.