A Modern Vampire Mom

After 10 years and almost 2,700 posts later I’m still blogging. Below is my very first Vampire Maman post.

I haven’t become a viral parenting blog influencer. I don’t even think the term “influencer” was out there in 2012. Not being your typical “mommy blogger” I don’t wax and wane on the perks of self care, finding the right yoga pants, or how my children are the cutest.

My youngest was in Middle School when this all started. Looking back I see that Middle School and High School are when parenting gets real. If you look hard enough you’ll find the kids are still precious and cute. If you talk to them you find that they’re a joy. They still need you to help them navigate school, friendships, and fear of the future. Impending adulthood terrifies both parents and teens.

Over the years I hope I’ve been able to get my main message TALK TO YOUR KIDS out there. My second would be to prepare your children for adulthood. One day we all grow up and we all have to fly away out of the nest. Overprotecting a child from the harsh realities of the world is only going to put them in harms way.

So how did I do? My son has now has a Masters degree in Environmental Science and has started a business with friends. We’ll see how it does. I’m super proud of them. My daughter was just excepted into graduate school at USC. They both have good relationships with friends and family. They’re both funny. They talk to their parents. They’re a joy.

I wasn’t just taking care of children. Like many parents these days I was also taking care of the elders of my family. I started writing about Eleora and Tellias, the two ancient Vampires who look as if they are college students, but act like they’re in their late 80’s. They have memory issues, and judgement issues. They need extra help. It is both rewarding and heart breaking.

Other features have come up over the years. Short Story Sunday (Tangled Tales) now features over 200 stories – both mine and guest stories. Burning Questions was a popular series I might have to bring back.

One of the most popular features has been Vlad’s Vampire Diary. Oh my goodness the amount of mail I get about Vlad’s “hotness.” It warms my heart. I also get the same amount about my brother Max.

I’ve brought in all four of my brothers, my friend Austin Durant the Vampire Hunter, and of course Nigel, everyone’s favorite ghost. Werewolves, Zombies, Demons, and other unusual folk have also graced these blog posts.

We’ve talked about love, music, being different, things that happen in the news, school shootings, death, grief, humor, cats, dogs, long hikes, rock concerts, and everything else under the moon.

Many of my favorite posts have been my December/Christmas posts. Christmas and the paranormal go hand in hand. Believe it or not Vampires love holidays, Christmas trees, and the wonders of the bright stars in the night sky.

Most of all I want to talk about parenting. By that I mean deliberate parenting. Talk to your kids. Listen to them. Listen listen listen. Don’t judge. Don’t expect them to be like you. Want them to be better than you. They can and will be better than you if you let them. I’m not a Tiger Mom. I’m a mom who hugs, love, listens, and is aware of what is going on in my child’s life.

I’m not perfect but my kids awesome. But hey, you don’t want perfect kids. Perfection is over rated and boring as hell. What you want is kids who are confident, aware, learn from their mistakes, ask questions, and see the big world around them.

Thank you to all of you who’ve been hanging out with me for the past ten years. I love you all from the deep dark depth of my Vampire heart. To all of you who are new I am glad you’re here.

As I go into the next decade I will adjust to my empty nest life, just as Vlad continues to adjust to the modern world.

I’m glad that I have been able to inspire those with and without children navigate the weirdness and not so weird times in the world in which we live.

Wear a mask. Stay safe. Be kind. Check in on those who be alone or need extra help. Don’t be a dick. Talk to your kids. Kiss a Vampire (you’ll thank me for it later.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

What isn’t going to happen in 2021 and what else we’re talking about

After what happened yesterday at the Capitol in Washington DC… well, I don’t know what to say. I spewed my thoughts on Twitter already.

What I was thinking about are all of the “What We’re Talking About Today” posts that I wrote when my kids were in Middle School and High School. We covered everything including school shootings. I thought school shootings were the worst that could happen. I still think that. But now I can’t hardly think at all.

I haven’t been blogging much due to a numb brain and construction at my house.

Anyway, I usually write something about resolutions (I don’t make them) or predictions (I no longer make them). This afternoon after the workers left after putting in new hardwood floors (yippee) I was thinking it would be fun to write a post about what won’t happen in 2021, but then my mind went back to photos of someone running through the Capitol building with a Confederate flag. Who could have imagined something so fucked up and horrible could have happened this year? 2020 was supposed to be the bad year.

So what won’t happen in 2021?

Aliens from another planet won’t contact us or visit. Or maybe they will.

I won’t become a MacArthur Fellow. They are not going to ask me. I would be honored and do my best to live up to that honor by helping other authors and artists, but it ain’t going to happen. But you never know. Maybe they’ll see all of my witty and thoughtful posts and brilliantly entertaining short stories and… no I doubt it. Seriously, if they see this post they’ll run. MacArthur folks please don’t run. Read the other stuff. Read about Vlad.

Dinosaurs will not roam the Earth again! Or maybe there will be a new bunch of dinosaurs.

I’ll won’t get everything done that I want to do. Or maybe I will.

I won’t star in a movie. It has been a long time since I’ve done any acting. I think I’m pretty good but HA HA HA HA wouldn’t that be fun.

Pigs will not fly. With genetic engineering you never know.

Sasquatch will not show up at my back door. On the other hand I’ll make sure I keep cold beer on hand in case one does.

My dog will not talk in clear understandable English. On the other hand she is a German Shepard Dog and extremely smart. It is a good think I know a little German because if she starts to talk in German or English I’ll be ready.

People will not stop their obsession with celebrity. OMG would it be nice if they did.

My cat will not stop crapping on the bathroom floor right next to the litter box. She is old and does what she wants so you figure it out.

I will not be giving a Ted Talk about writing about Vampires and blogging. But you never know. Come June or July I might be doing just about anything. You never know.

OK, that is enough for now. I only have a few more words then I’m done for today.

  1. Happy New Year, no matter how crazy 2021 seems now.
  2. Wear a mask
  3. Stay safe
  4. Be kind
  5. Don’t be a dick
  6. Hug your kids
  7. Talk to and with your kids
  8. Check in on those who might be alone or need extra help right now.
  9. If you adopt a pet remember that it is FOREVER.
  10. Kiss a Vampire. You’ll thank me for it later.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Black Holes, Blogging, and More Alternate Universe Theories

Dearest Juliette ~
I attempted to post a comment on the blog post about alternate universes but alas, I fear, my computer may have eaten it. Here it is, in case it doesn’t come through on your end.

David, our mutual scientific friend who studies physics just for the fun of it, believes firmly that it is chaos theory and not the principals of string theory which has allowed alternate universes to suck up his keys, the occasional single sock and the important paper he knew he had just set down on the table, whilst in return depositing someone else kitchen crumbs and dog fur on the floor. What else, he opines, explains the fact that he JUST swept the floor, removing all traces of everything and yet here not just 30 seconds later, there are crumbs and dog fur floating about? He doesn’t even own a dog! And mysteriously, oh so mysteriously, the missing paper reappears, exactly where he knew he had left it but swears he had looked multiple times. As odd as it sounds, I’m beginning to think he may be right. My theory that those darned imps have been swiping the socks and papers and dropping off the crumbs is now shot to hell because I studiously set out fresh imp traps and have even employed the services of professional imp exterminators.  With a deep sigh, I suspect, no matter how long we live, we will never know the truth.

Happy Christmas! Wish I was there!


~ Amelia

A Special Kind of Magic – Parenting in the Pandemic – Empty Nest Version

When I started writing this blog in 2012 one of my kids was in high school, and the other was in middle school. This was more or less a middle school parenting blog. Then the rest of my family crept into it. The old folks, my brothers, and even my parents. Then friends started to slip in through the cracks. No matter what parenting was always at the core of it all.

On of my kids finished up graduate school at the beginning of the pandemic. Now in the middle of the pandemic my daughter sent in her graduate school applications today. I read some of the letters of recommendation from several esteemed professors and people in her field. I was blown over.

This is the child I took to Black Veil Brides concerts. This is the girl who shocked the horrible middle school PE Bitch teacher with her stylish outfits that DID NOT break the dress code rules. This is the kid who struggled with algebra and ended up taking a series of upper division statistics and economics classes at a top university and getting almost all A’s. Yes, this is the kid who never got below a B in college. This is the kid who inspired me to write about glitter, glue slugs, and Emo music, and growing pains.

These are the kids had tough conversations with about school shootings, and death, and losing, and caring, and unconditional love, and failure, and reputation, and about being an asshole.

My daughter hasn’t been in a classroom since last March. She’ll graduate and never meet most of her upper division professors or classmates in person. She has asked for and received letters of recommendation from professors, and a boss she has never met in person. She has impressed others with her presentations and discussion points but never in person.

Both of my young adults would love to live life in person. Wouldn’t we all. Sure we go to the post office, and the grocery store, but not to schools, or museums, or coffee houses with friends. I guess we could sit outside the coffee houses, sometimes, if there is seating and not too many people are there.

My dog misses the days we’d spend outside at the local coffee house. At our usual table I’d write or read. My giant do would stretch out over the walk way and thump her tail at anyone walking by. I’d have water and treats for her. I’d pretend she was as smart and well behaved as she looks.

Now Garrett, who is 24 is living in the Hollywood Hills, housesitting until the middle of next year, working from home, and working on starting his own business with his best buddy Randy. Neither one of them has a girlfriend right now which is weird but a nice break for Randy’s mom and me. We’ve seen a lot of broken hearts with our sons. I’ve found a lot of love letters in the laundry.

Clara and her boyfriend (both 21) will be getting their own place in January. They’re both seniors in college, but will never set foot in an undergraduate classroom as students again. Their roommates are getting weird. Everyone is getting weird. They’ll save money and time. It just makes sense. Yes, if you’d told me this would be what we’re talking about today in 2012 I would have said NO WAY.

I’m serious about parenting but I’m pretty chill too. It isn’t just a Vampire thing. It is a parenting thing. Seriously, you have to be chill. You have to listen. You have to change with the times as a parent. As parents we are leading the way and we can’t do it blindly using rules from the 1970’s.

My kids are stressed. I’m chill on the outside but going nuts inside.

Clara, her boyfriend of four years, and his orange kitten all came up this week. It was a surprise. It was a 450 mile drive. They’ll go back on Thursday and return before Christmas. They just needed a quiet safe place to finish their finals and graduate school applications. Their homes didn’t provide that right now. Maybe two years ago it wouldn’t have been a problem but right now it is. I just want them to be able to finish school without any additional stress.

Yesterday Clara and I went out. I had on a red jacket and a red mask with a cat print on it. She wore a black sweater with a black mask with a cat print on it. That wasn’t planned. We just do that – always dressing almost the same or in the same colors. It has been going on since before middle school. It just happens. It is a special kind of mother/daughter magic.

So yes, I write about Vampires, but it is really all about my kids and everyone else I love.

Stay safe. Wear a mask. Social distance. Be kind. Hug your dogs and cats. Talk to your kids. Check in on those who might need extra help or those who are alone. And of course, if you get a chance, kiss a Vampire.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Reading and Writing: A Good Story

Let’s talk about reading and writing.

My sister-in-law Verity recently threw a stack of books into the recycle bin. That is a habit she got from me. If a book is too stupid/bad/boring/offensive to finish then why risk someone else wasting their time on it? Just throw it out.

Her reason for the latest toss out was, “I hate it when favorite male authors get old and decide to write sexist drivel about older men with hot young things, or two guys in competition over the same hot young thing. What is up with these authors? They used to write the best books.”

We talked some more and decided that this is not the rule. Most male of our favorite authors we read are on their mark. They still write witty characters, and if anything else their female characters have become more realistic, believable, and entertaining.

Another thing we decided gets a book into the recycle bin is when authors (usually female) start writing about either weak female characters who are always victims, or characters who are so snarky towards the poor smitten male characters that we’re shaking our heads and thinking what the hell is wrong with these people?

Books, like real life, should be populated with a variety of characters. With so many variations and personalities why depend on cliches?

I see that a lot, cliches, in online writing groups. Those who want to be writers ask questions about such things. They often don’t realize that they just need to write in their own voice, or the voice of their characters. They struggle with trying to describe something on paper, when all they really need to do is open their mouths, say the words out loud as if telling a friend, then write THAT down.

The same goes for writing dialogue. Be natural. Be real. Listen to how people talk to each other in real life. An author should be like an actor and get into the character, and even become the character they are writing about.

I had to admit to Verity that I am not the best at editing, but sometimes I can tell a good story. I’ve also read thousands of books over the years. I love a good story. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate my favorite authors (both indie and mainstream) who can write a good story.

What I love about bloggers is that they tell good stories. Bloggers write like they talk, and boy do they talk. Blogs are usually so spontaneous. It makes me happy, even when the subject matter is deep and depressing. I’m happy because it is fluid, entertaining, and as if I’m right there with the blogger. It is that intimate voice that I love so much. There is also the interaction with the readers that is so rewarding as well.

My advice to people who’d like to dip their big toes into writing and see how it feels is to blog first. Why? It is good practice. You can write whatever you want. It is totally yours. You can try things out. You don’t have to worry about rejection. Blogging has a built in community – believe me, you’ll find it, or it will find you.

Verity went through a bag of books I brought her and found something new to read. I gave her recommendations for books to download too. She’ll find something she likes. There are so many good books. As much as we all complain about everything it is nice to know that we live in a world with so many wonderful story tellers.

And speaking of wonderful story tellers… I can’t go without saying something about the new anthology from WPaD (Writers, Poets, and Deviants) Goin’ Extinct Too! Apocalypse A-Go-Go. Nineteen authors share their stories, essays, poetry, and visions of a sometimes grim, and sometimes hopeful future. You decide, and if you like it leave a nice review.

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What are your pet peeves about books, story lines, and characters?

What do you like the best about your favorite books or types of books?

What makes you dump a book into the recycle bin?

What makes you keep a book and want to read it again?

Any other thoughts on the subject?

Did your cat do anything cute today?

Let me know. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Social Distance. Read a book. Stay safe.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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As We Shelter In Place

Why is it that those of us who’ve written apocalyptic fiction are the ones who take apocalyptic fact the most seriously? It seems that way doesn’t it?

I told that to a writer friend of mine tonight. She was frustrated by all the stupid people who won’t stay in place and insist on doing stupid risky things. I’m frustrated by it all as well as baffled.

Like most of my friends and family we have been keeping to ourselves. That means keeping a limit on the news.

Never the less we keep hearing of people flaunting warnings. We see people on the beach and out at large social gatherings. We see politicians thinking that nobody should stay home. We hear preachers aka conmen saying they can protect their flocks. We hear of them believing conspiracy theories and other insanely stupid shit they hear from their usual stupid and insane sources. What the fuck is going on in Florida?

Tell those who think they are safe “It is not about you.” It is about all of us. It is about those who are at risk – which is ALL OF US.

This isn’t the flu. This is more like the plague. But it isn’t the plague. It is something that is it’s own pandemic.

Look up the word exponentially. That is what the the coronavirus COVID-19 does – it grows exponentially.

Whenever you have exponential growth, whatever it is that’s growing will double its presence/population in a given amount of time. Let’s say you start with a population that has just one infected person on January 1st, and the number of infected people doubles every three days. 

Here is a link to an article that will explain this more. Please have any nonbelievers you know read it. https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2020/03/17/why-exponential-growth-is-so-scary-for-the-covid-19-coronavirus/#7725ac144e9b OR just CLICK HERE.

To all of my friends who are still working in the medical field, in grocery, drug, and hardware stories, to first responders, police, and all of are keeping the rest of us going: THANK YOU.

For everyone who has had to close their business or stop working and is now sheltering in place THANK YOU.

You know what you need to do. Do it. I want to be seeing you hear in the future. I want to keep reading your blogs. I want to know you are alright.

Keep writing / blogging both fact, fiction, and that wonderful something in-between. Just keep the facts when writing about COVID-19.

Keep entertaining us with your work because god knows we all need a good laugh now. Share your art, music, and cat pictures. Share, share, share.

As a final thought PLEASE keep in touch with your friends and family, especially those who are fragile or might need extra help. We don’t want to lose anyone.

Sending out love and common sense to all,

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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