5 Things to Know About Fanconi Anemia

There is more to my new book, Killer Shine, than meets the eye. About two years ago, I was still in the early plot planning stages for the book when I first heard the story of Ethan Fisher. At six years old, Ethan was diagnosed with an extremely rare genetic disorder called Fanconi anemia. 1. Fanconi anemia is a fatal disorder. My path crossed with Ethan's briefly, back in 2008 when his dad, Jimbo, was hired as the offensive coordinator at FSU. I was working for the Seminoles' sports information office at the time and remember seeing the Fisher family at Jimbo's introductory press … [Read more...]

Guess what arrived in the mail today?

Time to celebrate with some fried pickles & sunset lemonade! … [Read more...]

Then the walls of my town,
they come crumbling down

Like the city that nurtured my greed and my pride, I stretched my arms into the sky I cry Babel! Babel! Look at me now Then the walls of my town, they come crumbling down - Mumford & Sons "Babel" What happened in my tiny, humble little hometown last weekend verges on the indescribable. The Gentlemen of the Road music festival (with ticket sales over 25,000) descended on downtown St. Augustine for two days of great music, great food, and a little chaos. Saturday night, I stood in the midst of a packed crowd in an open field, the ground beneath my feet pulsating with every beat of … [Read more...]

Kids DIY Pirate Treasure Chest

As we discussed around this time last year, I am on a very important, lifelong quest. The goal? To become my niece's favorite aunt. Competition is stiff -- my brother-in-law has two lovely sisters -- but I'm hanging in the game, especially since Addison's last visit when I introduced her to my enormous collection of Happy Meal toys (my secret weapon). But as her third birthday approaches, I find myself facing a major bump in the road to success. I can't go to her birthday party. You have no idea how bad I feel about this. But unfortunately, her party wound up coinciding with the #2 … [Read more...]

‘Tis the Season

Get out the decorations -- lighted, lawn and heirloom. Grab the ingredients for your favorite traditional dish (Mini Corn Dog Muffins). Dig out your seasonal music choices. FOOTBALL. IS. HERE. As the saying goes, in the South there are four seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and College Football. From January through August I muddle through life, trying to get excited about NFL playoffs (ho-hum once fantasy football wraps up because the Jaguars' season is over by mid-September) and baseball (easier this year since the Braves are on a roll) but really I'm just biding my time … [Read more...]

Get your shine on! (August Update)

I hope you've got your bags packed... In about a month you're going to be taking a trek down south to a little slice of paradise called Crab Island. But be prepared, this trip is not all fun and games. Someone has built a moonshine ring down there and I can't caution you enough here -- do NOT drink the moonshine. It's poisoned. Instead, I recommend you spend your time relaxing by the pool at The Pink Mermaid Motel with the colorfully hilarious Dawson family: Meet Bear: Family matriarch, multimedia artist, and savior of the once dilapidated old motel. Meet Coach: Leader of the … [Read more...]

*Exhale*

The surgery was a success! I'm so exhausted I can't form much in the way of coherent thoughts, but here's my semi-poetic recap of the last few days: Long drive Valet parking Cold air Waiting room Cousin Owen (Smiles) Paper curtains Nervous goodbyes Long hours Cafeteria lines (Bad food) More waiting Family support Number called Crowded recovery Scary machines Chatty nurse Tearful relief Long drive Finally sleep   … [Read more...]

Tallahassee Love.

The last two weeks have been... What's a word that adequately expresses the maximum amount of stress, fatigue and fear a person can feel all at once? I can't even put together enough brain power to search for the answer, but I think you get my drift. Following my dad's diagnosis, seven days of sleepless nights passed until we received the good prognosis and first step toward action -- scheduling his nephrectomy (See? I am learning new words -- that's what the surgery to remove a kidney is called, cue the NBC "More You Know" music). Though the surgery is still a looming cloud, I was … [Read more...]

Killer Shine (July Update)

Did you think I forgot about my next book? No way! Believe me, just because I typed my last letter a month ago doesn't mean the colorful characters of Crab Island have left my brainspace. In fact, I'm starting to wonder if Happy, Bear, Jac, Tucker and Milo are going to be with me forever! Progress has stalled, however, partly due to my new job, but mostly due to a recent family health scare. Oddly, I feel a little closer to Jac because now I know what it's really like to stand in a doctor's office and get a bad diagnosis you weren't expecting for someone you love. A few days … [Read more...]

The Birthday Clown

I have to wish the happiest of birthdays to my Daddy-O, who turns 73 today. For reasons I don't care to explain just yet, this is a tough birthday. But for today I just want my Dad to enjoy the family around him as we try our best to go on with the celebration as usual. Next year, all of this will behind us and we'll have a real party for his 74th birthday! Anyway, Happy Birthday to the guy who taught me to always enjoy life to the fullest. :-) Love you always.       … [Read more...]