May is Williams Syndrome Awareness Month

Originally posted on A Broken Laptop:

Williams Syndrome Awareness Month

Most of you are familiar with the fact that my 11 year old son has Williams Syndrome. It’s an exceptionally intricate genetic syndrome that affects so many things about him. His heart. His mental capabilities. He’s going to middle school next year and he doesn’t have the dexterity to manipulate a button. But he loves. Oh, how he loves!

I posted about WS here and here and here.

If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with Williams Syndrome, or you’re just interested in our story from the beginning,  you can read my WS blog, A Peeko At Niko.

And, as always, there is wonderful, wonderful information at The Williams Syndrome Association.

Have a wonderful May, everybody!

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This Mother’s Day Thing Is A Mixed Bag

Mercedes M. Yardley:

I wrote this last year but it feels like I could have written it today. I love you, mothers/nonmothers/friends. I’m proud of you and support you.

Originally posted on A Broken Laptop:

We love our mothers. Of course we love our mothers. But they drive us crazy. They raised us wonderfully/strangely/amazingly/poorly or they didn’t raise us at all. They fill us with love or hate or guilt or horror or remorse. We take care of them or they take care of us. Perhaps we have never met them. Perhaps we like it that way. Perhaps we spend our entire lives searching for them. What if we lost them to death and the thought is still to much to bear? Mothers fill us with emotion. But they make us So. Very. Tired.

No matter how you feel about your mother, somebody will tell you you’re wrong. She’s sweet but overbearing. She was abusive but at least you had a mother. She was missing or dead but at least she wasn’t abusive. Be grateful for what you have. Think of all of the other…

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An Amazing Acceptance!

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You guys! I received some astronomical news this week. My story “The Dead Collection” was accepted to Michael Bailey’s Chiral Mad 3. I can’t tell you how wild my happy dance was. I love Bailey’s work and his Chiral Mad anthologies are top of the line in every way. I’m also floored by the lineup! I’ll be sharing a TOC with people like Ramsey Campbell, Gardner Goldsmith (who wrote the foreword to my collection Beautiful Sorrows. What a dear!), Bruce Boston, and an author you may have heard of, Stephen King.

Stephen. Frickin’. King.

Glenn Chadbourne is doing art for all of the stories, and for some of the poetry as well. In fact, he’s already created a piece for my story! You can see it and the rest of the lineup here.

This is wonderful news to me. I’ve been in a bit of a literary slump, which I’ll address a bit on Wednesday. So this is a dream come true and also a kick in the pants/high-five from the universe. :)

Thank you for sharing in my joy with me.

Dehydrating Pineapple! An Easy Tutorial.

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Okay, so maybe I went a little crazy when I bought 32 pounds of pineapple .

I’m not sorry.

Fresh pineapple. Frozen pineapple. Pineapple on homemade pizza. Finally, though, I knew I had to dehydrate it or lose it. Woman cannot live on pineapple alone, although she may try.

Cutting and dehydrating it was incredibly easy! You can do it yourself quickly.

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First lop off the top and bottom of the pineapple.

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Cut off the rind and then quarter it, as my handsome husband demonstrates.

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Cut out the core and then slice.

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Load up your dehydrator and set it to the “fruit” setting. That’s it. You don’t need to put anything on the pineapple. It will be crisp and delicious when it’s finished. I ran mine for about 18 hours or so.

image(116)A delicious, natural snack that tastes better than any candy on the planet. If you’re looking for a healthy snack that still tastes sweet, this is the way to go. I hope you enjoy!

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An Interview with BOOM TOWN Author Glenn Rolfe

I adore Glenn Rolfe. I adore him so much that he had a cameo in my novella Little Dead Red. I received emails saying that Glenn was their favorite character, and that doesn’t surprise me at all. Not at all.

Glenn just came out with his new novella, Boom Town.

boom townGlenn was kind enough to sit for an interview, and he starts off by giving us a quick description of his book!

Glenn, gimme your pitch! Tell us about Boom Town.

  1. A famous UFO sighting in Wisconsin. A couple witness a flying saucer blast a blue beam into the earth. The ground rumbles for miles. Thirty years later, a series of nightly mini-earthquakes, or “booms” as the locals refer to them, begin to happen in different parts if the Wisconsin town. Rumors fly as to what the actual cause may be. Two pre-teens (you can call them Brady and Kim, I like to think of them as Kevin and Winnie) stumble upon a busted pipe sticking up from the ground out back of Packard’s Flea Market. Blue ooze is coming from the pipe. Mr. Packard approaches the young kids in his yard. Mr. Packard doesn’t look well. He hears the voices. Take them. Bring them. Ascend.

What happens next? You’ll have to read Boom Town and find out.

Novellas are a fun and tricky form to work in. Tell us why you chose a novella format for this book.

Usually, I don’t go in with a planned length. I start with a scene and let that dictate where the story goes. Boom Town was slightly different. I was trying to beat a submission deadline for a publisher that was open for novels and novellas. With three weeks to go, I knew I didn’t have time to craft a whole book, so I aimed for a novella.

I re-wrote the novella for Samhain. Right after I finished the edits with them, I got an idea for more adventures in my little Wisconsin town. There will be more to come from Boom Town, but don’t hold your breath. I’m looking at a follow-up novel a couple years from now.

What is your favorite scene and why?

There are a bunch of gross and creepy parts to this story, but my favorite scene is an emotional moment with Brady and Kim on Kim’s back porch. They’re going through a lot before all of this shit starts going down. In this particular scene, it spills over and they’re there for each other. Call me a sap, but I love a moment of tenderness in my horror.

Were any of the characters inspired by real people?

There’s always bit here and there, right? Kim has a paralyzing fear of dogs. That’s mine. I got bit in the face when I was five. I was pretty scared of dogs all through my childhood and well into my teens.

The flea market is totally based off from the flea market my dad used to bring me to a couple times a month. The front of the place always looked like it could fall down on you at any moment.

What’s the hardest relationship to write about in the book?

Writing the two pre-teens and keeping them young was a test. They are more mature than your average 12 year olds, but I attribute that to the things they’ve been through in their relatively short lives up to that point. I have a niece that was 12 going on 16. Life sometimes deals you a shitty hand. It can make you grow up pretty fast. That played into these two, for sure.

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Can you give us a couple of non spoiler quotes?

Here’s a snippet for ya:

“It’s Gus. I need him.”

Nat leaned back, eyes wide. “Alan, what’d ya do? What’d ya do to Gus?”

“The same thing I’m going to do to you.”

“Fuck you are.”

Alan hit the brakes. Nat cried out. Nat’s forehead slammed into the windshield. Alan cut the wheel and took a left down the promising darkness of Gilson Road.

 

What are you working on next? And how is your music coming along?

My next novel is finished. It’s a werewolf book called, Blood and Rain. That will be out this October from Samhain. My finished novella, Things We Fear, will be out from Samhain in March of 2016. I’ll have something else out from them that month, but I can’t officially talk about that yet.

I also have two separate novels that are nearly complete. When and where they wind up is still to be determined.

The Never Nudes called it a day. Too many things to juggle. We may revisit it someday, but we all have multiple things going on.

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It was a pleasure having Glenn stop by on his Boom Town blog tour! The book is out on April 7th. I wish Glenn luck. :)

A Typical Day Living with Williams Syndrome

0424150809This photo breaks my heart and makes me smile at the same time. It stirs up emotion.

This is my beautiful, guileless son, who has Williams Syndrome. He’s crying in the bathtub after I told him his behavior wasn’t up to par and he wouldn’t earn a trip to McDonalds unless he improved.

His emotions are always so close to the surface. He wants to do what’s right, and he tries to please. He spent the rest of the morning giving me kisses and proving how good he could be.

We have challenges every single day. I drop into bed utterly exhausted at night, every night, and have for the past twelve years. But I wouldn’t change this sweetheart for the world.

 

Don’t Starve Together with GoJoBot

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So I had one of the most entertaining interviews ever! GoJoBot and Driftwood Kid invited me to play the super cute, kinda creepy Don’t Starve Together game with them. While we were busy skinning beefalo and eating mushrooms (don’t eat raw red ones!), they asked me a bit about books and other things. Each interview runs for about ten minutes and you get to watch our gameplay. It was a blast! I hope they invite me back.

The first interview is here!

And the second is here. Let the ghost dance party begin!

It was a hoot. And if you like what you see, be sure to subscribe to GoJoBot’s Youtube Channel. That guy is just hilarious. Thanks, my friends!

Nameless: The Darkness Comes

namelessNameless: The Darkness Comes by Mercedes M. Yardley

LUNA MASTERSON SEES DEMONS. She has been dealing with the demonic all her life, so when her brother gets tangled up with a demon named Sparkles, ‘Luna the Lunatic’ rolls in on her motorcycle to save the day.

Armed with the ability to harm demons, her scathing sarcasm, and a hefty chip on her shoulder, Luna gathers the most unusual of allies, teaming up with a green-eyed heroin addict and a snarky demon ‘of some import.’

After all, outcasts of a feather should stick together…even until the end.

This is the volume one in The Bone Angel Trilogy by Mercedes M. Yardley, author of the award-winning novella, Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love.

You may purchase Nameless: The Darkness Comes here.

Vulnerability and Accountability

So this isn’t easy for me to say publicly. It isn’t a life-shattering thing in any way, but admitting it makes it true.

I’m diabetic.

I’m diabetic and have been for years. Gestational diabetes with Middlest, and it simply never went away. That was almost eight years ago.

Not only am I diabetic, but I’m wildly uncontrolled.

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This is because I like baking too much. I’m too busy looking after the children. The medicine makes me sick. I forget to take the shots. What have you.

I don’t want to admit I’m ill. I don’t want to admit that I have this chronic sickness that makes me dizzy, that makes me forget things.

image(43)Today I felt awful. Tired and irritated and jumping out of my skin. My entire body ached. I was exhausted. I couldn’t concentrate, and I was cranky.

I went to my room for a bit, hoping that I could get away from the pain and irritation. I just wanted to be left alone. But then I thought, “You know what? I bet my sugars are high. Let’s check.” This was a huge step for me.

I don’t check my sugars for a reason. They’re always high, and also hello denial! I don’t want to have a chronic illness. I don’t want to be broken.

But I also can’t continue to live like this. Suck it up, Buttercup! Face reality. Grab the bull by the horns. GET BETTER.

My glucose level was 354. Which is frightening. I discussed this with a dear friend last night and he said that’s how high his glucose was when he had a heart attack. I said, “This scares me.”  He said, “Perhaps I said it to scare you.”

That’s what true friends do, so you know. They scare you when you need it.

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My daughter painted my nails. Aren’t they lovely?

I do have an insulin pen that I seldom use. I have medication. I know I need to eat regularly. That’s my biggest problem. I just kind of forget until it’s nearly too late.

Anyway, here we go! I said it publicly. I’m a diabetic and I hate it with everything I have. I hate the vulnerability of it. I hate the changes that are taking place. I’m giving up the Coke Zero, which is insanely hard for me. We’re tossing out my emotional crutches. I cried today as I poured my sugar out into the trash, but my husband and I have committed to a real food, diabetic-friendly program that will, hopefully, stop me from poisoning myself and calling it “comfort and caring.”

I’m already going through withdrawals, although I’m tapering the Coke down instead of going cold turkey. But it’s more than that. It’s knowing that I can’t just bake a cake when I’m stressed. It’s figuring out that I need to take care of myself, when that’s such a hard thing to do. Quite honestly, I don’t know how. I haven’t the slightest idea. This is shaking my foundation a bit.

Hi, I’m Mercedes, and I’m realizing I’m very sick.

There. Vulnerable, and now accountable.

Wish me luck, my darling friends.

Thanks for your help, my friends. :)