Musings on Middle School, Empty Nests, Change, and Cryptozoologists

I used to write horror… I mean posts about Middle School. That seems like a long time ago. The mornings with angry mom’s before their coffee kicked in trying to get their kids out of the mini van door without death or dismemberment. There were those with hormonal rages and anger issues – and that was just the parents. The kids were going through puberty too.

After that we all blew through high school with little or no angst. Yes, parents of wee ones, don’t listen to the people who say in their best witches voices, “Just you wait until that child is in high school. You’ll hate them. They’ll hate you. They’ll be sexed up druggies and there is nothing you can do about it.” Seriously, I kid you not, people say things like that to pregnant women and women with babies. Ignore that shit storm of negativity. Ignore it. Don’t eat that poison apple. Don’t be around people like that.

Last week we were in Orange County taking yet another college tour I believe the child have found a home at UCI  (Zot! Zot! Zot!) aka University of California Irvine.

So in a year I will be living in a home without children. They will always been near. We will text. We will talk. We will send funny things over social media. They will call me and come home for holidays and just because. And I will visit them. You’ve read the blog. You know we’re close.

Aside from a childless house, I’m sure you already know, I’m going through other transitions. Major career changes have turned things in a different direction for me and it is perfect timing. So I’m kind of like an octopus with all of my arms going in different directions.

Oh, I have a joke. I made this one up. What do you call a cat who lives underwater? A quadrapuss. 

Now that I’m doing a do over I’ve made a list of ten things I need to do.

Empty Nest Transition List

  1. Change my job title on LinkedIn to Cryptozoologist.
  2. Paint with wild abandon. Note: I didn’t say whether this is my walls or art. This is a burning question and the answer is BOTH.
  3. Start a Vampire blog. Continue blogging about parenting and Vampires and everything else. I really should start a Werewolf blog or maybe help Nigel start his own blog. Yes, Nigel the Ghost. Or maybe not. 
  4. Learn advanced plumbing.
  5. Landscape my back yard.
  6. Make Vlad’s Vampire Diary into a Major Motion Picture.
  7. Win an Oscar.
  8. Write.
  9. Seek out strange new worlds.
  10. Finish. Anything. Just finish. FINISH.

What is on your list? Oh come on, we can be cryptozoologists together. It will be fun, especially if you become a Vampire too (or if you’re already one.)

My brain is empty. I’ll see you next time for Burning Question #23.


~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


Vlad and Gillian Make a Movie

And while we’re here… Can you believe the guys in Journey really dressed like this. Cryptozoology.









Roll Call (and a cast of thousands!)

I write about a lot of things including my friends, family and others I run across from time to time. If they make a good story I’ll write about it.

Who are all of those people/vampires/werewolves/ghosts I write about?

Let me ramble a bit and I’ll tell you. I’m making a list. I’ll put it on a page and update it from time to time.

So I’ve got an hour to get this down because the rest of this month will be spent writing about school stuff and holiday cheer and fangs for the memories etc etc etc. Yes, Friday afternoons I sit in a dark roller skating rink and write down my Friday afternoon posts. They play old fashioned organ music in the background. Fun stuff. My daughter and her partner practice team dance (yes, skate dance like in the Olympics except on 8 wheels – which is quite impressive and lovely to watch.)

It is hard to keep track. If you’re new and can’t figure out this blog at all click here for more information.

This is going to be a dirty post – not as in behind-closed-doors-adult-content-dirty, but as in written quickly without much thought to style.

If you can figure it out here we go (each name has a link to one of the many articles on the person. Click on it for more information.):

Vampires (includes parents, kids and other normal Vampires just like you)

Juliette: That would be me. I write the blog.

Teddy: My husband. He is also my brother Max’s best friend.

Garrett: My 18 year old son.

Clara: My 15 year old daughter.

Max (Maxwell): My eldest brother. Max is the kind of hot and sexy brooding Vampire one finds on the covers of Paranormal Romance Novels. That isn’t how I see him, but it is how others see him. Maxwell hunts Vampire Hunters, Rogue Vampires and other unwanted creatures and keeps us all safe.

Aaron: The second of my four older brothers. He is an attorney and most conservative of my siblings.

Verity: Aaron’s wife. She is also one of my best buddies.

Laurel: Aaron’s college age daughter.

Andy (Andrew): The third of my brothers. Andy is the most romantic and most sensitive of the brood. He is a singer, mainly opera. He keeps a baby unicorn as a pet.

Val (Valentine): Sometimes Val is almost like my twin. He is calm and happy and always there for me.

Tellias and Eleora: The Elders. They’re ancient Vampires, over 2,000 years old. They look like they’re 19 or 20 years old, but they’re more like senior citizens.

Lola: My great great great great grandmama. She put the Vamp in Vampire.

Samantha and Jeremy: Our parents.

Nathaniel Chase: A friend of our parents and along with our parents, leaders in the Modern Vampire movement.

Thomas Kent: A mysterious and somewhat famous Vampire. He is well known under a different name which I won’t disclose.

Cody: A fairly “new” Vampire from the Silicon Valley. He and Lola are involved off and on. Strange but true.

Pierce: A friend from our childhood who works with Max. A tall cool drink of Vampire water.

Jayne: A friend and coworker of Max.

Elizabeth: Works with Max

Elizabeth: An attorney like Aaron. She is quiet and serious and has found herself more involved with a local Vampire Hunter than she wants to be.

Mehitabel: A woman who works with Max. He says she is a friend with benefits but she is more. She is also of an ancient band of Vampires who see the world slightly different than we do, but are still part of the Modern Vampire Culture.

Innocenzio D’Antonio: An opera singer and friend of the family

Matthew: Former Shadow Creeper. An old fashioned Vampire who is trying to navigate the modern world for his teenage son Josh.

Foxy Mendoza: An old friend who dresses sharp and talks fast.

Randy: My son Garrett’s best friend and now college roommate. He is that tall blonde California kid that never comes across as a Vampire. He likes plaid pants and funky vintage clothes.

Chloe, Zoe, Ione: Friends of Garrett and Randy.

Willow: Recently became a Vampire. A bit shy but coming out of her shell.

Jackie Rafferty: Owns a garage that stays open all night. Has a sweet spot for Willow.



Adam: A Werewolf and one of the best professional photographers I’ve ever met. He is the best I’ve ever worked with.

Brandy: Adam’s girlfriend.



Michael and Melissa: Young professionals who had the misfortune of becoming Zombies.



Nigel: The Ghost. He drives me crazy. He is rude and obnoxious and never stops talking. Nigel died at the age of 27 in 1986. He’d be 55 if he were alive now. He is also my friend, sort of.

Mary: Nigel’s girlfriend. She is exceptionally sweet. She was murdered around 1600.


Regular People:

Kelly: My friend and neighbor.

Austin: A Vampire Hunter. He also restores old buildings and sometimes works with my brother Aaron. He is also in love with Elizabeth (a Vampire)

Shawna: A college professor my brother Andy is in love with.

John: John owns the farm next to the farm owned by the Elders Tellias and Eleora. Tellias always thought John was in love with Eleora. I told Tellias that everyone who meets sweet Eleora falls in love with her. John’s family has been friends with mine since the California Gold Rush.

Jack: My special friend and regular lunch date.

LeRoy and Jasmine: Hipster Vegans

Lilly: A woman Val sees every once in a while.

 Johnson and Booth: Men in Black Suits

Captain Sandy: An airship captain.

WPaD –  Writers, Poets and Deviants: A group of amazing writers I’m honored to work with. I’m not sure if any of them are Vampires or not. They are exceptional.

Teachers: This is a parenting blog so I must mention teachers. Great and not so great. Mostly great.

 Marla Todd: A writer and artist and editor when she feels like it, which is rarely.


There are also assorted dogs and cats. Do a search on dogs or cats. I have a lot of posts about them.

Selkies: They take both human and seal form. We run into them from time to time.

Warlocks and Witches: I’m not overly fond of them but some of my kin are friends with them. 

There are also posts about goblins, demons, aliens, time travelers and other assorted nasty creatures I really don’t like spending much time with except to complain about them.

I know I left somebody out but…we all have a lot of people in our lives. I use the term “people” rather loosely.

So have fun. That’s all folks.


~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


More answers (about Modern Vampires)

I’m nice to all of my donors. Yes, donors are people I get blood from.

You have to be practical. Given the choice would you rather scare the crap out of someone and hide in their closet OR would you rather have a glass of wine and seduce them with friendship and kindness? And don’t tell me you’d rather hide in the closet. When you scare people is when accidents happen. That is when injuries happen, blood stains, ugly stuff all around. It is just so uncool.

Yes, sometimes it is all about the seduction. Come on, we’re Vampires. What did you expect?

It isn’t like that.

No, I won’t tell you.

Dead flowers are more of a Zombie thing. Or just a ghoulish thing. We (Vampires) like all things wonderful and comfortable.

I love the color red. Red is the main color in my decorating schemes.

No, I don’t have one of those bordello looking bedrooms. Give me a break. I said I like red, not tacky.

Modern mixed with some choice older items.

OK I know, you want to talk about Vampire stuff, but we like our homes.

And for the 150th time we don’t live in crypts. Seriously? Do you think any trendy teen would want to live in a crypt? Do you think I’d want to live in a crypt? Where would I put my shoes?

My fangs are extremely sharp.

Healthy Vampires do not leave marks. Don’t worry, it isn’t like a hickey either – so nobody will know.

Baby Vampires are extremely cute.

No, we don’t turn regular human children into Vampires. Not only is it wrong, but it won’t work. They have to at least hit puberty and it always works better when they’re grown. We don’t take this sort of thing lightly.

Yes, if I wanted your blood I could, and would take it. Period. End of story. You can’t resist. You can’t run. You can’t hide. But why would you want to? Vampires are so completely and totally charming for the most part – at least when we’re hungry. The rest of the time we’re just like you (busy and wondering why you didn’t get more sleep and looking for coffee.)

Yes, again, all Vampires have A Positive blood. I don’t know how it all works.

My cats are not Vampires. They would be if they could, but they aren’t. Honestly, I don’t think they care as long as I keep their food bowl full and open and close the door for them at least 45 times a day.

We’re extremely sensitive to sun.

We do wear dark glasses.

We DO like to dress up. It’s a Vampire thing.

For the 100th time…WE DO NOT HAVE BIG RUMBLES WITH WEREWOLVES. We just don’t. Why in the world would we want to get together in the woods or wherever and fight it out with a bunch of dogs. Really now, get serious. We’re not always the best of friends with Werewolves as a lot, but we live together.  They think we’re weird and we think they’re weirder. Sure there have been scuffles. I still have a scar on my neck where I was attacked by one a while back, but it was a slight misunderstanding. All in all Werewolves can be, well, dogs, but most are pretty smart and far more conservative in their habits than most Vampires. That is why I don’t mind if my kids hang with Werewolves. And if you’ve misplaced anything, a Werewolf will be able to find it for you.

And yes, Werewolf blood tastes like bourbon.

Yes, most Werewolves are either total Geeks or artistically inclined. There are a lot of musicians in the lot too. They do the blues like, well, howling wolves with broken wolf hearts.

Yes, Vampires will hold a grudge. For a long long long time.

And no, I will not answer questions about how to kill Vampires.

Yes, we’ll post more Vampire cocktail recipes.

We do have our own Vampire governing bodies, but they aren’t a bunch of nasty looking folks who haven’t changed their hair or clothes in 400 years. It is all rather diplomatic and unexciting, and it works. We’re Modern Vampires.

Have a good week, and keep your feet off of my red couch.

Vampire Maman

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

No Fooling! Truths straight from the mouth of a Modern Vampire Mom.

  • Love your kids.
  • Talk with your kids.
  • Have fun with your kids.
  • Make sure they wear sunscreen every single day and have good sunglasses (especially important for Vampire kids)
  • Teens are FUN. Don’t just assume when they turn 13 they’ll turn into Werewolves (no offense to my Werewolf friends but you KNOW how you are.)
  • Eat your kale.
  • Don’t bring home your food (the Vampires know what I’m talking about.)
  • When it all becomes too much to just take a deep breath – you’re not alone. There is always someone who cares. Reach out and someone will be there – even if it is an uncomfortable reach…someone will be there.
  • Laugh every single day.
  • Avoid Ghosts.
  • Take night walks and listen to the sounds, breathe in the cold air, watch the shadows and enjoy the beauty of it.
  • Don’t even say NO to haters. Just ignore them. Indifference is stronger than any form of hate – because it shows the haters that they can’t hurt you and that they have no place in your life.
  • Be a Vampire for Halloween this year – even if you’re already a Vampire. You have a good half a year to plan! Wheeee!
  • Writing genre fiction or anything YOU enjoy writing is NEVER a sell out and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

More this week to come on what we’re talking about, Vampire stories, opera singers, and more silly stuff.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Deliciously Random Bites

Deliciously Random Bites

Most Vampires have A+ (positive) blood. Don’t ask me why. It is what it is.

Vampires like red things like blood, pomegranates, red shoes, apples, red wine and tomatoes.

Vampires don’t tolerate baked goods (cakes, bread, muffins, whatever) especially things with sugar, but my friend Rebecca is trying to find the perfect recipe for RED VELVET CAKE. As soon as I get the recipe I’ll post it for my regular human and Werewolf friends.

That is why you might find a Vampire who is a butcher or candle stick maker but never a baker.

Vampires like all sorts of music. Especially if it is different and creative and full of spirit.

Our hearts beat slower and our body temperature is cooler. Cold hands warm heart.

Our souls are dark and romantic.

There is a lot of life in the dark. Go into the woods on any night with a flash light. THAT is when the animals come out.

Contrary to popular opinions Vampires like a good joke (but I’m not going to tell you any).

Most Vampires have great voices. We could all be on the radio or voice actors.

I hope to finish one of my novels soon but enough of that.

Wishing you all a lovely Valentine’s Day Week. Especially my brother Valentine who was not born on the 14th. His birthday is April 1st.


Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Everyone needs to get along!


End of the Year Top Lists…Short List from your favorite parenting and tall tale blog: Vampire Maman

The end of the year is here and I don’t have any lists. OK I’m making this quick so we can all get back to what we were doing.

OK Best new movie I saw in 2012…I saw a lot of movies I like but YOU MUST SEE Moonrise Kingdom. You must see Loopers. If you have a daughter, especially if you’re a mom watch Brave with her.

Best Book: I read a gazillion books this year. Most were good (a few were horrible). The best was the Orphan Master by Jean Zimmerman. A murder mystery in 1600’s New Amsterdam (that’s right folks, the new world and there are horrible scary things, great characters and wonderful writing).

The best cocktail: Ice, 3 large olives, juice from half a lemon, vodka (to cover ice). Let sit for about 5 minutes and drink. Make sure it is decent vodka. I like the kind in the blue bottle.

Best Person to Get Blood From: My friend and every other Friday lunch date Jack. He is always on time, always up for good conversation, always happy to see me, and always yummy.  And I always bring him cookies!

My top blog posts of 2012 (from my blog):

Note: I posted over 300 posts this year and there were so many more I’d like to list as favorites…so check out as many as you can just for kicks and grins. This was an adventure and I hope to bring you more adventures, sound parenting advice, tall tales, stories of mystery and romance, poetry, guest bloggers and more in the coming year.

Happy New Year. I’m always open to suggestions for blog subjects (on parenting/books/poetry etc). I’m always open for new movies (and old), new books (and old). I’m open to a lot of things.

But right now I’m mainly open for all of you to have a wonderful 2013 – may the tides turn in the right direction. May all your nights be quiet and calm. May all your moons be full. And may all your night hunts be a delight!

friday stars


Juliette aka Vampire Maman