Friday, July 1, 2016

Eighteen Facts Women Under Thirty Desperately Need to Learn

Karfelt website, S.R. Karfelt author, Karfelt writer
S.R. Karfelt/The Glitter Globe

  1. Getting older is not the worst thing that will happen to you.
  2. You will probably be far more comfortable with your body at forty than at twenty-two.
  3. Sex is way more fun at forty than at twenty-two. Go figure.
  4. You don’t get to be in your twenties for even a nanosecond longer than any of the women older than you were. Age is fluid, so don't build your lifestyle entirely on quicksand.
  5. Time isn’t your friend or enemy. Roll with it or fight it, it is yours to use or waste as you wish.
  6. When you’re around Senior Citizens, and they’re watching you too intently (maybe you’re dancing, maybe you’ve just walked into the room), the great bulk of them aren’t admiring you—they’re looking into their own past and seeing what was—so keep your hair on. It’s not always about you.
  7. When you get embarrassed in public—maybe your kid is acting up, or you fall off your heels—know that the bulk of those older women looking in your direction are probably shooting you looks of solidarity. We’ve all been there and we’re not too proud to admit it.
  8. Life will knock the pride out of you—or make you miserable. Your call.
  9. Every time you think you have everything figured out, your life will undergo major plot twists. Learn to go with the flow.
  10. You are more than your looks.
  11. You are more than your age.
  12. Any time you spend envying another woman’s looks, life, or money is your youth wasted.
  13. You don’t need the most or the best to be wildly happy.
  14. Would you give credence to what someone ten or twenty years younger than you would think about your choice of clothing? Me neither.
  15. If you knew how rarely other people talk about/think about you, you’d be disappointed. So don’t worry about it. Live YOUR life for YOU.
  16. Desperate bids for attention—from men or the internet—might mean you’re unhappy. Neither men nor the internet can fix that. But you can.
  17. Nobody judges you as harshly as you do. Stop it.
  18. Be more than your looks. Be more than your age. Life is heartbreakingly fleeting. Take time to find out who you really are and BE her.
Recently a blog went around with tips on what women over thirty should or shouldn't do. It made the rounds online, causing annoyance and inspiring blogs in rebuttal. Although I thought it was silly, and obviously meant as click bait and to inflame—it did inspire me to write this one. I'm not into putting women into pigeonholes as young or old, or pitting us against each other. We're all part of the sisterhood.

The above are eighteen facts I think young women need to learn, but you don't have to believe me. You can learn them the hard way if you prefer. Your call. 

Ladies, and gentlemen, did I leave anything out?

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Feeling Lucky B*tches?

Bitch Witch, S.R. Karfelt,
S.R. Karfelt/The Glitter Globe

Enter to win one of FIVE signed paperbacks!

With matching BOOKMARKS

We're celebrating the summer of the Bitch Witch.


    Goodreads Book Giveaway

        Bitch Witch by S.R. Karfelt


          Bitch Witch

          by S.R. Karfelt

            Giveaway ends June 30, 2016.
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.



Thursday, May 26, 2016

Ancient Pompeii and God Bless the 21st Century

Rome, Greece, Pompeii, Travel, S.R. Karfelt
S.R. Karfelt/The Glitter Globe

Have you ever looked at the past and thought it'd have been to cool to live then? First glance makes it seem like a simpler time, quieter, and cleaner. You could lounge around eating grapes in your long flowing gown. Reality says, oh, hail no.

Just before going to Rome and Pompeii, I'd spent time in Greece, a country where cats roam freely. They roam the city, climb walls, sit on balconies, cars, and scooters. They get in your hotel room if you don't shut the window. There were cats sleeping, fighting, eating, and making love—gangs of them at that, often on my balcony at night. By the time I left Greece I decided if that was a sampling of cats in the wild, I didn't like cats after all.

Later it occurred to me that Greek cats weren't a sampling of cats in nature. It was a sampling of cats struggling to survive at all costs. THAT is what life was like in Ancient Pompeii. Some people were pampered and loved with their grapes and flowing clothing, but a whole lot of them were struggling to survive and downright feral.

It wasn't pretty.

I'm definitely all about the 21st Century. I'm right where I want to be, and nothing made that clearer than a day spent in the ruins of Ancient Pompeii. And my take has nothing at all to do with the volcanic ending.
  • Streets doubled as sewers
  • Pottery doubled as toiletry
  • People doubled as slaves
  • Slaves doubled as livestock and commodities
  • Livestock doubled as a hookup in a pinch
As I said, it wasn't always pretty.

It was off season when I got to Pompeii, but still crowded. I hired a guide because I wanted to know what I was looking at. In some ways that slowed me down. When I go back, I'll just use a guidebook. The problem with a guided tour was trying to maneuver with fifty other people and a guide through narrow streets and buildings crowded with thousands of souls. We wore headsets to hear the guide via wireless communication, but so was everyone else and no matter what channel our guide used there were other guides using the same one. Our guide's commentary faded in and out mixing with a veritable United Nations of languages. 

Ancient Pompeii is enormous. The entire city was buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, and it's beautifully preserved and is still being excavated. It's also huge. You walk narrow streets cobbled in lava rock, passing wall to wall buildings built with lava stone, while learning some history of the people who had no idea they were living next to a volcano. Before its cataclysmic eruption there had been many warning earthquakes, but earthquakes were simply a fact of life to the town. Few if any within the city knew what a volcano was.

Ancient Pompeii with Mt. Vesuvius in the background
Even after Mount Vesuvius blew, most residents continued to go about their day. The mountain was far off and of no real worry to the unsuspecting residents. It's a heart wrenching tale and made me appreciate the world we live in just that much more. Here in the 21st Century we panic far easier. In fact we freak out over what might happen or what could happen. You know it's true.

When the guide asked if we wanted to see the brothels of Pompeii, we all did. Why is it that travelers always want to see the dirty parts? Many of the most objectionable items—depicting sexual predilections that would horrify today—have been moved and are housed in the Secret Museum at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples. Personally I wanted to see everything in Pompeii. I've read about it for years and didn't want to miss the phallic road signs suggestively point the way to the brothels. Even some lava cobblestones are shaped to point you in that direction. And I'll admit there are a couple amusingly shaped gutters (appropriate, yes?).

There was more than I'd bargained for. There's graffiti in an alley offering popular services for a coin, and leaving behind names of the most inexpensive prostitutes. The entryway of brothels have intact murals that were used as menus for travelers who didn't speak the language. One could simply point. Lupanar is Latin for wolf den. Prostitutes were known as a lupa, which brings me back to the feral cats of Greece trying to survive without food or shelter. The Tom cats roam in gangs and the stray females receive a public—uh—trouncing. Ancient Pompeii also seems feral. I imagine prostitutes there earned their reputation as being wolves because they had learned to survive in that world and it made them fierce and base. People do what they have to to survive. Some were like the roving gangs of Tom cats taking and using, some people were beaten into the shadows, and some were lupa—survivors. I'm just glad I wasn't there. No amount of flowing togas or organic grapes could sway me otherwise.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday the Thirteenth and Luck

TheGlitterGlobe/S.R. Karfelt

A four-leaf clover is good luck. Walking under a ladder is bad luck. A penny heads-up is good luck, but heads-down is bad. A horseshoe is good luck if it's nailed open end up, but your luck runs out if you have it down. If you break a mirror it’s bad luck for seven years—WHO MAKES UP THIS STUFF? You know what I think is bad luck? Looking in a mirror while trying on bathing suits. I guess I should say sad luck. I suppose I'm more concerned about sad luck than superstitions about bad luck.

Why do we believe any of these things? My grandmother was the oracle of good-luck/bad-luck. Things that actually came out of her mouth:
  • It’s bad luck to have owls in the house—this when someone had an owl shaped whistle. Peacock feathers and Siamese cats were also on the bad luck list. It was a very long list and seemed to include a lot of the treasure I’d try to drag into the house.
  • Don’t put your shoes on the table. They’ll burn your feet.
  • Don’t open an umbrella in the house. It’s bad luck.
  • Don’t eat lettuce without washing it first. Those lettuce pickers pee on it.

That last one isn’t about luck, but I was getting into sharing Gram-quotes. After growing up with the ever-expanding good-luck/bad-luck list, maybe that’s why I don’t put much stock in it. Who can keep track of all that stuff?

Plus, who believes any of it? Recently I wrote a book about a witch, and in my witch research I found an interesting comment by a practicing witch. She said people will often tell her that they don’t believe in that stuff, but if they think she’s going to cast a spell on them—suddenly they’re not so certain. I kind of get that. We’re covering all of our bases. Who's to say why fate rolls good fortune for some and bad for others? Who can blame us for trying to control it? Remember that scene from the movie The Mummy when Benny was trying to find the religious icon that would stop the mummy?

As a kid I was into stories not numbers, but during an Easter egg hunt I found a green egg with the number thirteen on it. The older kids told me it was bad luck, but they were never so wrong. I scored a live rabbit with it. Life doesn’t get any better than that in kid world. I don’t know that I particularly paid attention to that number after that, but when I did notice it—it seemed to always be something good. One of my favorite houses had thirteen as the address. When my kids played sports, if I could pick the number on their jersey, it was always thirteen to match our home.

When we moved to a new house with a different address, the kids objected to living at the wrong address. I had to math it out in order to reassure my kids that thirteen was hidden within our new address and we were still in the happy zone numerically. But do I believe it’s my lucky number? No, but neither do I believe thirteen is unlucky, and as far as I'm concerned ALL Fridays are lucky. You might be able to make case with me about Monday the Thirteenth.

Author S.R. Karfelt, Bitch Witch, Kahtar
Bitch Witch Amazon
Bitch Witch Barnes and Noble

Despite my beliefs, when I wrote Bitch Witch I specifically requested that the release date be on a Friday the 13th.  It's an excellent witchy date and I've grown attached to the number.  Somehow it all worked out too, which is a bit miraculous in book prep and release time, especially considering this year only has one measly Friday the 13th. Enjoy it while you can, and enjoy Bitch Witch. The book's not about luck. It’s about making your way in life no matter where you come from, even if that happens to be somewhere dark and evil.

My name is S.R. Karfelt and I’m a wife, mother, writer, and occasionally a bitch witch. While I object to slapping a negative label on numbers or days, I’ll admit that I do pick four-leaf clovers (I’m quite good at finding them), and in my purse I usually have an old Roman coin and one perfect stone from a beach in Greece. It’s not for luck. It’s for memories. What about you? Are you a believer in good-luck/bad-luck sayings and objects?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

When I Was in Rome, a Creepy Italian Bit Me On The…

Rome, Italy, S.R. Karfelt, Author, Spider
S.R. Karfelt/TheGlitterGlobe


A creepy Italian SPIDER bit me.

On the breast.

Oddly, I've had the exact same problem with CANADIAN flies. You cannot judge the wickedness of even the smallest creature by their nationality or their leg count.

If you're a spider lover, please drive on by. There is nothing here for you but pain. I detest the suckers and they started it.

Maybe the Roman spider bite might not have been such a big deal if years ago, I hadn't foolishly crawled into bed with a Texan. 

Technically he crawled into bed with me. 

Obviously I mean a brown recluse spider in the great state of Texas, but my inner fiction writer keeps trying to punch this story up a notch. Plus I had to throw that in here to see if my husband is still reading my blog.

The morning after I'd been with the brown recluse, I woke up with my back ON FIRE. It was nasty and I went straight to the doctor. That experience wasn't too bad. I did a course of steroids and antibiotics. The inflammation went down. Life carried on. 

Until another spider would bite me.

Bite me they did. Until that night in Texas if I'd ever been bitten, I never noticed. Everything changed after One Night with a Stranger in the Lone Star State. That sounds like a book title. You can use it. If I did, it'd be about a spider.

Most spiders seem happy with a quickie leg-hump and chomp. (The Italian one was the first who went straight to second base.) But no matter where they bite, things get ugly. Think zombie apocalyptic wound. Think ooze and spooze for  a few months. Eventually my immune system notices and gets it in gear. Usually.

If you don't think you've ever been bitten by a spider, I say you're lucky. Obviously you're not allergic to them. Go right back to pretending in winter mosquitoes.

The morning after the Roman spider bite I didn't go straight to the doctor. I was on vacation. There were no bones sticking out. You know the vacation doctor rules. If death is not obviously imminent YOU'RE ON VACATION! *insert miracle cure* *even if it is just wishful thinking* Plus this bite wasn't a bad zombie apocalyptic one. Even zombies have degrees of grossitude. Amiright?

The breasticle bite was just enough to warrant a WHOA! WHERE HAS THAT BEEN?! From Dear Hubby. Then we were off to snap epic and memorable cell phone photos of Roman sites, like the Hard Rock.

After a couple weeks of not making direct eye contact with the wound, I returned home and dragged myself in for a mammogram, just to be safe.

Imagine my surprise when come to find out, spider induced mammography isn't all that unusual. The technician and I exchanged spider horror stories. She won. Let's not go there. 

Life Tip: Never play Grosser Than Gross with a medical professional (or a plumber).

It's slightly less fun to get a mammogram when you have a spider bite, but it wasn't that bad. I'm pretty sure I have wimpy princess genes, so when I tell you something isn't so bad you can trust me.

Whenever I have a mammogram I try to score a sticker after. They are there for people's kids, but HEY, I'm the one who just went through the monster mash. I'd like two please. One for each, right? I don't understand WHY they don't give stickers to adults anyway. And eclairs. Maybe a shot of Fireball Whiskey. Dude, something, okay? I went straight from the breast press to the eclair stand. Then I came home and took a nap to get over my trauma and sleep off the sugar coma. This was followed by getting online and purchasing a Himalayan Salt Lamp.

There is no correlation, but this is how I deal with trauma. A  splurge. A me day. You should try it. If I'd found a spider in my house, I'd have juiced him in retaliation and been perfectly satisfied. Fortunately I've discovered an organic way to keep spiders out of my house. It took me years to figure this out.

Get a ton of Swiffer dusters, and get one with the really long extending handle. Dust every single inch of your house. You have to get the ceilings, the walls, the baseboards. Don't forget behind the furniture too. I just crank up my heavy metal DEATH TO ALL SPIDERS music and dust the abusive bastards out of my space. If you get the cobwebs, the spiders tend to disappear. I do it about every two weeks now. I also went so far as to replace a couple old doors that couldn't be spider proofed.

Facebook, Rome, Spider
S.R. Karfelt
I live in the woods so I have to be vigilant in my defense. Spiders are forever trying to get to me. I think, to the mind of a spider, short mountain-climbing legs are freaking hot stuff. Now I'm going to have to worry about them getting all up in my cleavage too. As far as I'm concerned this is war, and one more reason to take my writer-self to Iceland and live. Please share any good spider battle plans in the comments. I'd also love to know how you feel about spiders, unless of course you're a fan. If you are a fan, I know a guy in Texas who'd love to meet you.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Stolen Kiss

S.R. Karfelt, The Glitter Globe, Books, Writing,
S.R. Karfelt/The GlitterGlobe

A stolen kiss. An unstable curse. One big mess in the making.

Today I'm celebrating the book release of a fellow author and the original effing swan herself, Kelsey Keating. This one's got swanitude. If you don't know what that is, you're going to want to check it out over on!

It's not often that I promote other books here, especially other genres, but this is one book you do not want to miss. It's Young Adult AND about a fairy tale gone awry. Gotta tell you, I enjoyed every detail of this story. It's original. In a world full of books that alone sets it apart, but trust me on this one. If you enjoy fantasy, you'll devour A Stolen Kiss and want more.

Effing Swan, Swanitude, A Stolen Kiss
A Stolen Kiss by Kelsey Keating

Derric Harver never expected to amount to anything more than the palace stableboy, but when Princess Maria's curse keeps her from accepting a prince's proposal, she turns to him for help, and he doesn't dare refuse.

With the help of a lady's maid and a prince, Derric and Maria embark on a dangerous adventure to find the sorceress who cast the curse. Along the way they battle deadly creatures and make new friends--all the while struggling with the undeniable chemistry between them. Reaching their destination won't be easy,
but the true peril lies in the truths they've fought for years to keep hidden.

A Stolen Kiss is the first in the Stolen Royals Series--an adventure with magical creatures, dangerous lies, and being true to the power within.

Author Kelsey Keating

Kelsey Keating doesn't know the meaning of the word "bored." A student of media, Kelsey considers acting a hobby, critiquing movies a calling, and riding unicorns through rainbows a daily expectation. Driven by her love of Fantasy, Kelsey's novels reflect the wonderment imagination can dream up. A Stolen Kiss is her first novel.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Redefining Myself as a Bitch Witch

S.R. Karfelt/The Glitter Globe

Last summer I made a late night run to Target. Just before the store closes is my favorite shopping time. Is that an introvert thing? As I tossed bags into the back of my little Jeep I glanced up at a spectacular blue moon rising over the parking lot. My first thought was that that moment would make a spectacular opening scene for a book.

Within minutes I had the story for Bitch Witch

I raced home to get online and see if it was already out in the world. It wasn’t. I contacted my agent/publisher that night and asked, “Can I use Bitch Witch as a book title?” Since I wrote the book and it’s now available for pre-sale, I’m guessing that you can tell what their answer was.

Contemporary, Women's Fiction, Bitch Witch, S.R. Karfelt, books
S.R. Karfelt/The Glitter Globe

This book was a delight to write. It’s about Sarah Elizabeth Archer. She comes from a long line of dark witches. Only Sarah doesn’t want to be evil. She doesn’t want to lose her soul to dark matter like all the women in her family. So she tries not to cast. The only problem is when Sarah gets mad, all bets are off.

Thus the title. Sorry, mom.

Writing is my bag. Story slips with me into my dreams at night and scenes wake me in the morning. I stand at my desk in my office and write into the wee hours. With this book I laughed out loud as I wrote. It wrote itself. I love stories of redemption. I adore taking an unlikeable person and falling in love with them. If Bitch Witch has a moral—beyond never piss off a witch—it’s that anyone can choose the life they want. It’s never too late, and it doesn’t matter where you come from.

You just have to be willing to accept the consequences. That’s the hard part. Sometimes that’s the impossible part.

So here we go. I’ve written a story about a witch. She’s not nice. She swears. She does what she wants, says what she wants, and eats what she wants. And she pays the price, because as Sarah says in the book, absolutely nothing in life is free, and that includes favors from the dark side.

One of the oddest side effects of being a fiction writer is when people dissect my writing to define me. Am I a bitch witch? Am I an ancient immortal warrior? Am I a female assassin with voices in her head? Am I a woman who can create tesseracts and bring stories to life? The answer is yes, I am all of them, and so many more. How about you? What defines you?