Adventures with Pepper. What A Bitch!

So yesterday, I’m trying super hard to get into writer mode. I’m sucking bad. Like, really bad. Like reading the same Facebook posts over and over, bad. Sure, I could blame Facebook, or lack of sleep due to the amazing book that kept me up all night. Truth is, our puppy, Pepper, is the number one contributor to my lack of concentration. The little bitch is very demanding, and cute, and impossible to ignore.


When I’m trying to get in a full writing day, I don’t bother to get dressed. Yesterday was no exception. I pulled on my worn out leggings, my ugly but comfy t-shirt, and my long wool sweater to cover my dimply mom butt (you’re welcome, world). Notice I didn’t mention undergarments, because really, who wants to wear a bra if you’re just sitting around in your comfy clothes? Besides, my brain works better when my over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder isn’t cutting off my circulation.

So it comes time to pick up my daughter from school. It’s only a few blocks away and I didn’t have to run any errands, so I thought, why bother to put my bra on? Heck, I didn’t even bother with shoes, just flip-flops, which really, in my opinion, are fine foot attire for any time of year. Then the Sexy Boyfriend says, “Hey! Why don’t you take Pepper with you?” So I do, because she loves riding in the car. I was lazy and didn’t grab her leash, knowing deep in my soul that she’d be a good little girl, follow me to the car, and hop in.

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We get to the car and Pepper stops to give me her, YOU JUST MADE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE look. I think to myself, Oh, shit. And just like that, she’s gone! Gone! Like a streak of white lightening. Down my long, muddy driveway, down the street, and straight into a neighbor’s back yard. I’m still standing by the car! Bra-less, shoe-less — and I have to run after her, through thick, muddy puddles, because I love the little bitch and I don’t want her to die. I have to sprint through the neighborhood, half naked, with my bosoms doing things no person should ever have to see.

I get to my neighbors yard and I can’t see her. So before trespassing into the back of their property, I knock on the door knowing they don’t speak English and I don’t have any idea how I’m going to explain what I’m doing on their front stoop, bra-less and out of breath. They aren’t home, thank God! I run to the back and Pepper is rolling in their flower bed with a look of pure ecstasy on her cute little puppy face. I get closer, and she’s covered, head to tail, in mud, bark, and chunks of some unknown, goopy substance.

I snatch her just before she dashes off again and get splashed with her new mud-bath concoction. Needless to say, I’m fuming. Pepper’s pissed because I ruined her beauty treatment. Her ears are back, she looks like a drowned rat, smells like a dead fish. I’m late to pick up my daughter, I stink, and I’m covered in mystery mud.

Now, Pepper is mad at me. At ME! – because she had to have a real bath and we put her collar back on. She hates her collar. She pouts for days when we make her wear it. So to punish me, she decides that my pillow is now her pillow. Every time I’m not looking, she sneaks into my room and uses my sleeping space to try and rub her collar off.


I don’t have proof, but I’m pretty sure she attacked me in my sleep last night. I remember being woken by a jab to my side and the sharp rake of claws down my leg.

Of course, that could’ve been Sexy Boyfriend’s toenails.

What I Learned at ECWC or, Why I Don’t Want to be in a Fancy-Schmancy Hotel During the Zombie Apocalypse

I spent the weekend hanging out with a gaggle of awesome ladies! I made new friends, reunited with old friends and met some amazing author’s I wish I could take home and hide in my closet. The conference inspired me, fried my brain and opened my eyes to the nature of women and the lack of proper planning by hotel developers.

I learned that no matter where you go, what you do for a living, or what social circle you belong to, women talk. When I say talk, I mean gossip. Holy cow. I loved it!

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I also learned that writers, especially romance writers, are the greatest group of people to hang with. Didn’t matter what stage in their writing career, these ladies were so, so gracious and more than willing to share their knowledge.

I learned something about myself, too. Tolerance? Yeah, I don’t have much. Don’t do crowds very well. Attention span? Um, I thought I had one. Turns out, I can focus for about half an hour before drifting off to la-la-land.

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I blame it on the zombies — and my children for asking me this question on a daily, sometimes hourly basis…Mom, if the zombies attacked, where would you rather be. Costco, or the mall? Or if we’re in a store…Mom, if the zombies attack, where will you hide?

So you can understand why, instead of absorbing wisdom from the amazing speakers, I planned escape routes. A fancy-schmancy hotel is not the place to be during the zombie apocalypse. Not one door in any of the many conference rooms had handles that you could wedge an axe through to keep the zombie horde out. There weren’t even axes hanging by the doors. What? And the chairs were metal. How are hotel guests supposed to defend themselves with chairs that can’t be broken down into clubs or spikes?


I considered how long it would take to stack the chairs high enough that I could climb into the ceiling panels. Conclusion? In a crowded room, I didn’t stand a chance. If I could stop the chit-chat and clanking of coffee cups long enough to pull a team together, I figured half of us might survive.

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Zombies can’t climb, right? I thought about climbing to a chandelier and hanging out up there but then I remembered, I can’t do one pull-up. How in the hell could I pull myself onto a chandelier? Were there enough bolts holding the thing up to bear my weight?


Could I break a window and climb on the ledge until help arrived? No. The uppity hotel didn’t have the foresight to plan escape routes let alone ledges for us to dangle off if need be. Inconsiderate much?

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Despite the hotel’s lack of concern over their patron’s safety during a zombie outbreak, I had a hoot at ECWC. And I made it home with all of my body parts. I’m at peace because my house, according to my offspring, is properly equipped for the imminent War of the Undead.

Now I can write.