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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The magic of reading (& winning!) books

Books were the magic of my youth. No matter how rocky the waters outside their pages, I could always find the solace of hope within them.

Books whispered to me, "What's to come needn't be a continuation of what is."

I grew up. I built a life so full of inspiration I didn't need it from stories anymore.

I read less and less.

[ read more & enter to win a copy of my first novel;
for still another chance to win, click here ]

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Contracts by day, crime-fighting by night

I’m going to be a superhero.

I learned quickly that many adults didn’t consider this a valid answer to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

That didn’t mean I stopped dreaming about it, or planning the glory days to come with my just-younger sister. It only meant I stopped telling adults about it, and learned to throw them off the scent with an ever-changing sequence of what I thought might be good day jobs.

[ read more ]

This Christmas, Silver Star struck again!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Savor them as they come

Not his tricycle, but he tries riding it anyway

As a lover of words, I’m fascinated by my son’s growing ability to manipulate them.

Most of the time, new words and ideas trickle out of him. Sometimes, though, they come in a flood that bowls me right over.

This morning started out ordinary enough. Li’l D offered up one of his books and asked me to read it. He snuggled against me and messed with the book’s hidden text flaps while I read.

Afterward, he left his room and met “Daddy” in the hallway. “Whewhenade, Daddy!” he said, before taking a step toward the kitchen.

He’d barely finished speaking when he froze and whirled. “Stay here, Daddy!” he commanded.

Daddy stayed put, but that wasn’t good enough. Li’l D pushed him back toward the bedrooms and commanded even more loudly, “Stay here, Daddy!

I made Li’l D a small breakfast, following which he emerged into the living room and gaped at the mess of toys strewn on its opposite side.

“Mommy, who took the toys out?!” he asked.

Daddy, now permitted in his proximity, answered, “You did, last night!” I echoed the sentiment, which Li’l D rejected.

“Who took the toys out?” he repeated.

[ read more ]

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ba.D. on Survivor & me on new Hanukkah traditions

Maoz Tzur: The musical rock of my Hanukkah celebration

This Hanukkah will be my third as a mother and my second as a Jew.

Before I converted, I strove to observe Shabbat and the High Holy Days but pretty much ignored Hanukkah. It was just a minor folk holiday, after all!

Last year, my son, Li’l D, was barely a year old as Hanukkah approached. He was too young to appreciate it fully, but I found myself thinking about its celebration more and more as it approached.

I realized that “minor folk holiday” would be one he’d enjoy celebrating in his young years. By laying a joyous and loving foundation of Judaism for him throughout the year and including Hanukkah, I’d be helping instill in him the same passion that inspired me to embrace the faith.

[ read more ]


Your Survivor questions for Ba.D.: answered!


What is something that you did on Survivor that you thought you would never have the courage to do?

Get on the boat and do it. Seriously, I was aching to do it, but I didn’t know how scared out of my mind I’d be until I got on the boat in the middle of the Pacific and start paddling. And yes, it is something frightening in the back of your mind to think that you’re out in the middle of the ocean, no life vest, sharks and about 3 miles between you and land—and only a flimsy catamaran between you and the cold water. Yeah.

Oh, and what is the ONE item that you wish you had brought with you that you didn’t?

Oh, I brought it, I just didn’t get to use it: A journal and notebook. It was my luxury item, but my tribe didn’t win that challenge, so no go. It was too bad. I would have probably been a little more even keel if I’d had it. Or a camera. Yeah.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas then, Hanukkah now, love always

Looking for the menorah, it was the Christmas tree I found first.

My breath caught when I saw that Christmas tree again. My first year lighting my own menorah was my last year opening presents beside a Christmas tree in my mom’s house.

How could I have forgotten that convergence? Even for a second?

I stared at that Christmas tree and remembered the first time I saw it. One of my sisters had sent me a picture of it, newly decorated and standing alone in front of a window through which I’d spent countless hours gazing. Watching for Mom. Watching our garage sale. Watching the rain and wondering if I dared hope for sunnier days.

Our last tree there.

I cried. As I cried, the voice my brother refers to as my inner Spock whispered, “Your response is illogical. Because of your mom’s mental illness, it’s been years since you’ve sat beside a Christmas tree there. You’re Jewish now, besides. So what does this tree have to do with anything?”

It has to do with history.

[ read more ]

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A book giveaway & a lot o’ reviewer love

Yesterday was an incredible day for reviews of my first novel, The Monster’s Daughter.

In one review, a reader wrote:
If The Monster’s Daughter is read as simply a coming of age story for a heroic young woman (and you will have to read the book to see just how heroic she acts for I refuse to spoil it for you), you will love it. If, however, you read it as an allegory for the life of an abused child and young woman, then you will find great satisfaction and perhaps even catharsis as you read this amazing first novel by author Deborah Bryan.

In the book’s first iTunes review, another reader wrote:
This is the coolest vampire book I have read yet! I truly loved it! I never expected this book would tug at my heartstrings like it did.

In the final review of the day, one reader wrote:
If you’re thinking that vampire stories are not for you, that’s okay. This book is much more than that. It is the story of a girl who overcomes many obstacles to find herself stronger and more capable than ever.

Other reviews are available here, but you should only check those out after entering the book giveaway here!

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Blogger fail

D'oh! I haven't been to Blogger in a week! Here's what I've missed posting:
  • Seven years ago -- "On November 3, 2004, I began an autobiography that I wrapped up at 70,005 words* a few weeks later."
  • FTIAT: Life is Like an Empty Box of Chocolates (Because I Ate Them All) -- It wasn’t until 21, when I started dating my now-husband, that I realized how much time I was wasting on trying. Trying to be someone I wasn’t, to impress people who probably weren’t fooled to begin with or didn’t care much either way.
  • Just love. -- You take with you all the love you’ve ever received, or given. And, really, how awesome is that? How amazing is this gift of love, which actually grows in our own hearts when given away?