Full Circle

img_2266Well, the sun has set on another season.

It was especially tough to see this summer end. Not because we enjoyed better-than- average weather, or took two wonderful family trips, using passports for both (a first!) or because we spent a lot of time with our family and friends who continually make our lives richer. No. This year marks my older son’s last year of high school. The last year he’ll wake up in his bed, eat breakfast at my table, say goodbye in the morning where I’ll wish him a good day and wait for him to come home. Or see his hockey games or watch him perform during the half time shows on football fields, or attend his concerts. His last year before leaving for college, altering our family dynamic forever.

I am not the only parent of a high school senior. I know that. My sentiments aren’t my own. They’re shared by parents of seniors everywhere. But he is my son. My pride. My heart, who walks out the door every single day, and makes me smile when he walks back in.

This year will be a year of lasts, full of bittersweet endings, emotional moments (for me) and exciting plans (for him).

Thirty years ago, 1986, I graduated high school. I forged ahead full speed, shrugging out of my gown, tossing my tassled cap, seeing only my future, my friends, my summer job. I ran to college, not giving any thought whatsoever to how fast I’d grown and how my own mother must have been feeling what I’m feeling this week.

This month, I will be attending my high school reunion. While my child embarks on his final year, I will be rekindling my own memories. He’ll be doing his Social Studies homework while I will be catching up with classmates who sat next to me in my Social Studies classes.

I will enjoy one night with the people who spent every day with me during my formative years, who were in my life before it became laden with responsibility and stress and commitment. When the future was so bright, we had to wear shades. I will embrace lost friends who got away simply because life got too busy, the people who knew me before I knew myself, who knew me when I was young, inexperienced, a dreamer.

Then, I will put down my empty glass, dry my laughing tears. and bid so long to these old friends. I’ll return to my 48-year-old life (I cannot be 48), to stand by my son as he gets ready to embark on his future, to make his own way in the world. I’ll try like hell to remember who I was at seventeen, how I felt, and let him go.

Barbra, Can You Hear Me?

Hello Friends,

I hope you’re all doing well and are enjoying your summer. The sun is out, the sky is blue, the soft grass is green. Life is good.

Life is especially good since I found out my favorite singer in the world is coming to Barclays Center this week. That’s right. Babs is coming to us!

I love Barbra Streisand. I love her voice. I love her movies (The Way We Were, Funny Girl, The Prince of Tides, and my favorite A Star is Born, to name just a few). I’m a huge fan. So when my husband mentioned she was performing at Barclay’s Center, my head almost exploded. Until I checked out ticket prices and availability. There are so few tickets left and the (almost) affordable seats are way up high in the rafters. Floor seats are in the neighborhood of $1k ea., not a neighborhood I can get to.

So, to have a little fun, I drafted my version of Barbra’s amazing song from Yentl. A plea, if you will, for her help.

If you know it, feel free to sing along. If we sing it loud enough, who knows?

Barbra can you hear me? 

(I really would love to see you in concert.)

Barbra can you see me?

(I can really see myself in the audience but I can’t see paying $600. for one ticket. In the rafters.)

Barbra, can you find me a spare seat? Or two?

Barbra, are you near me?

(I’d love to sit near the stage, preferably within the first ten rows?)

Barbra can you hear me?

(TWO TICKETS PLEASE!)

Barbra can you help me not miss this concert?

(You’re my favorite singer. You sang my wedding song. You were pregnant the same time as my mother -she-likes-to remind-me-every-time-I-mention-you-as-if-you-two-are-great-friends-and-the-only-two-women-pregnant-in-1968, but I digress)

Looking at the sales, I seem to see a million (or close to it) tickets sold. Which ones are mine?

Where are you that I can listen to you sing? Before you wave goodbye and close your doors?

The night is so much darker

The wind so much colder

The world I see is so much bigger

(From the upper deck in Barclays Center.)

Barbra please forgive me.

Try to understand me.

Barbra don’t you know I have no choice?

(My son is a HS senior and college shopping. If I buy 2 tickets I’ll have to feed my children lentils.)

Can you hear me praying?

Anything I’m saying?

Even though the night is filled with voices (of people who all have a ticket to see your show?)

Barbra? Can you hear me?

 

If anyone goes, please tell me how she was. No don’t. Okay, yes. Please do.

 

A Trip to Paradise.

Hello friends! Happy August: the last warm month of the year where we try to cram in everything we thought we’d do over the summer but haven’t yet accomplished.

Last week we returned from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, our first time there. We stayed at the lovely Paradisus Palma Real Golf Resort & Spa and it was wonderful. The weather was perfect. And the people were warm and friendly. Our hostess upon arrival, Reyna, gave us a tour of the hotel grounds on the way to our room. She called my husband Papa and I was affectionately referred to as Mama.

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This is the view from the reception desk. Paradise, right?

 

This resort is an all-inclusive resort, meaning food and drinks are prepaid. I have two teenage boys over six feet tall. This was the only way to go. Here is one of the plates of my 17 yo’s breakfast. It rivaled Buddy’s from Elf.

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Yes, that is crumbled chocolate cake over french toast and chocolate crepes covered in syrup. With sausage links. This was his first plate.

We found seats on the beach every day under thatched cabanas, where we watched the pale green water lap onto the shore beneath a deep blue sky. Parasails flew in the gentle wind above hobycats and kayaks. My toes sunk into the silky white sand and I spent hours each day soaking up the atmosphere. I don’t spend enough time outside when I’m home. I made up for that here.

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Best seats outside of the house

Each time Reyna passed by the pool or outside deck, giving another tour to new arrivals, I heard “Mama!” over the music and swimmers’  laughter. Each time I waved to my new friend and she continued on.

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Next time

In the early evenings, we drank pina coladas on the large deck and got teary over weddings on the sand. (Okay, I got teary, the rest of us, not so much).  After dinner, we walked among the arches of the hotel buildings and watched salsa dancing under the stars. The Dominican people love to dance. Look at this place. If you were here every day, wouldn’t you?

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Michael Jackson is alive and well in Punta Cana

 

There were shows every night, spin and yoga classes in the pool during the day. Our last dinner was served on the beach, authentic food of the Dominican people, while bands played and entertainers performed.

 

Sure there were some small issues. Being in a foreign country, we had to remember to brush our teeth with bottled water. Our 15 yo was struck down for a full day with stomach issues but fortunately he quickly bounced back, returning to his gluttonous behavior at the buffets. We lost power a few times- usually while I was mid-shower, possibly due to the quick rainstorms that passed over almost every day, but they came back on within minutes. This is to be expected everywhere. Little kinks to work out.

Overall, we couldn’t ask for more. It was a lovely break from the reality of work and responsibility. We’ve been back a week and I long for one more day of music, white sand, a drink with an umbrella and a sweet voice calling Mama.

Where have you been this year?

Author Interviews @kimberlywenzler #author #writers

Author Interviews @kimberlywenzler #author #writers

This week I was honored to be interviewed by one of my favorite bloggers. If you want a daily chuckle, visit http://www.blondewritemore.com. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

BlondeWriteMore

Author Interviews

Welcome to my weekly slot – Author Interviews. 

These slots are where I find out about the writer behind the book and and gain some valuable insight on the writing process.

I have interviewed some fabulous authors and so far not one has put me off writing and publishing book! In fact whilst I have been doing these slots I have been writing more than ever.

Today I feel blessed because one of my favourite authors has agreed to sit in my chair. I read her book Both Sides of Love’  last year and loved it. She has this wonderful writing style and her book took me on an emotional rollercoaster.

I also follow Kimberly on Facebook and I would love to go to one of her Book Club evenings as they look fab! I just know that we would have a giggle if I showed up.

So…

View original post 1,367 more words

J.K. Rowling and Me

Like many, I have dreams and goals.

Twelve years ago I told my husband in a movie theater that I wanted to write a book. By verbalizing my intent, I’d set myself in motion. A year later, I typed ‘The End’. Then I thought, Kim, you’re crazy and I put it in a drawer.

But I kept writing. I finished another manuscript the following year and shoved that one on top of my first. And so on, until finally I wrote my fourth story and decided I would share it and see what happened. That was in May, 2014.

Currently, I have two published novels and I’m writing another one when I’m not working at my part-time job or screaming my head off at a hockey or lacrosse game. I was feeling pretty good about myself.

Until I read an article about how J.K. Rowling’s writing chair sold for – wait for it –  $394,ooo.

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Through a thick haze of humility, I compared myself to Rowling. I know I shouldn’t compare myself to anyone, least of all one of the most popular writers in this century. But how can I not? We both write books and we both sold furniture. I had been trying to sell my son’s bedroom furniture for months: armoir, dresser and a bed  -all for $600. For four months, we got nary a nibble. We lowered the price while I wondered if the prospective buyer could sense the aura of the temper tantrums still surrounding this furniture. I told my husband J.K. Rowling sold her writing chair at an auction. He said, Maybe you should tell people this is the furniture that inspired the bedroom you described in Letting Go? My answer: Let’s put it by the curb.

The parallelism of our lives does not go unnoticed by me. Rowling wrote an incredible 7-book series that swept the universe and as a result, sold a plain chair with writing on it, for almost $400k. I’m still working my day job. I couldn’t give away a whole set for $400. No writing on it. Not a scratch. (Well, okay, one tiny pen mark, but I’m sure if someone Googles how to get penmark off of wood, this will not be an issue.)

My dreams and goals are malleable and realistic. They grow and change as I do. I don’t want my writing chair (den couch) to one day draw in a crazy amount of bids. My goal right now is to sit on it longer and write more.

I have nothing but good wishes for Ms. Rowling. And I’ll try not to compare myself with her or anyone else for that matter. I am me. This is it. Rock on, me.

For those of you curious, the pieces did finally sell this past week. All for $300. And a book.

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I Got A Facelift!

Well, not me personally (not yet). I’m referring to my website.

I know I’ve been MIA for the past month or so, but it’s because I’ve been working diligently with my amazing graphic designer/publisher, Suzanne Fyhrie Parrott, on changing my website to make it more user-friendly.  I am so pleased to show you my new “face.” It’s so pretty and shiny.

The minor downfall to this change is you have to re-sign up to follow my blog. The “follow-me” element on my original blog doesn’t cross over.

I know. What a P-in-the-A. I get it. But I would love to continue to send you blog posts by email, so it would make me so happy if you would please take a moment if you could cozy on over to the new KimberlyWenzler.com and sign up for my “Email to Blog” List – they’re opt-in via MailChimp – that means you’ll get and email to confirm it was really you who signed up — no spam here.

And if you like my books, feel free to sign up for my “Early Notice” list — You’ll get pre-release notices about upcoming books and events. How cool is that?

Thank you for your patience and I apologize for the inconvenience.

Hope to see you there!

Love,

Kim

Teens. Wth?

When my sons were small, they never left my side, couldn’t give or receive enough kisses and hugs and loved to talk to me. Every thought was verbalized and questions were fired at rapid speed. They wanted to learn about their world, my world, me. I knew everything. They laughed loudly and smiled often.

Now, they’re 14 and 17.  The house, once filled with high-pitched voices and Nickelodeon, is quiet. As they continue to plow through the years at warp speed, I’ve had to adjust my expectations and reactions.

This is what I’ve learned about teenage boys:

  • They use their own language: words like Swag, Brah, Chance and Yas. They abbreviate words because they no longer possess the energy to say them fully.

          Where’s your brother?

          Idk.

  • In keeping with the above point, they offer one word answers to describe multiple hours they were not in your company. Six-hour experiences will be described in one of the following words: Fine, Good, Okay or, if you’re really lucky, you may receive the overly-descriptive Fun. Count your blessings.
  • When a teen boy decides to talk to you, drop everything and listen. It could be days before he opens his mouth again to speak.
  • This just in: Chance is no longer used. Keep up with the times.
  • Everything you say is annoying. If it’s not annoying, then it’s wrong.
  • They love videos. They do not like to read.
  • They will spend three hours outside, building snow ramps and a mini terrain park, where they’ll spend an additional four hours snowboarding and sledding up and down the hill. However, taking out the garbage is an incredibly exhausting task. Omg!
  • Their friends know everything. You’ve been through every experience they’ll face, yet you know absolutely nothing.
  • For some reason, shorts are worn throughout the year. They don’t get cold. Sweatshirts have replaced warm, winter coats. And they have no problem when you say you’ll deny being their parent in public.
  • If you don’t hear what they say the first time and ask What?, you blew your chance. Theirs is not to repeat.
  • You grew up in the exciting ’70’s and ’80’s, went to college, went backpacking through Europe, held eight jobs, know two languages, wrote a couple of books, have been on the radio twice, but you’re boring. Their friends, who play videos all day, are not boring.
  • Car rides are crucial. Keep your radio low and your ears open. A lot is divulged in traffic. Embrace the captive audience. Unless, of course, they’re hidden under their headphones. This is your chance to blast Abba and sing at the top of your lungs as if you’re alone. It’s a win-win.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, try to speak to a teenage boy in the morning. Use gestures if you must or let the thought go. Just throw a waffle on the table and slowly back away. Trust me. It’s a much more peaceful existence and sets the tone for the entire day.

I’ve heard they come back. Idk. I’ll keep you posted.

Stay strong.