Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Well, it's nearly 9pm so Valerie's guest post will be a Thursday giveaway, because I figured most of you were busy Halloweening!  We had a great time here, but nothing as exciting as Halloween in Japan on the Navy base.  We had hundreds of little Japanese munchkins--all wide-eyed with excitement over their first trick or treat experience!

Daisy the pug pumpkin was the star of many, many families' Halloween photos!

This year Daisy was a pumpkin again, but we have added Rescue Dog Riley to the mix:

Happy Halloween from my family to yours! 

hugs, Alyssa

Friday, October 19, 2012

Stop the Bullies!

Everywhere I turn, I see that October is National Bullying Prevention Month, which, I think, misses the point.

EVERY month should be National Bullying Prevention Month.  The bullies don't go away in November, or hide out and stop their torment in the spring.  This is a horrible problem, and it targets a population which we should be the most vigilant about protecting: our children.

I was the "brain" in school--smart & nerdy, but we moved too often (Dad was in the Air Force; I went to 13 different schools by the time I graduated high school) to even register much on the bullies' radar.  My son, however, is a different story.  He's smart, short, skinny, and he wore glasses when he was younger.  Almost textbook bullying material.  In school, "different" makes you a target, and he went through a tough period for a while.

Here's what he had to say about it:

"The worst part?  Nobody cared.  None of the other kids helped, or went to find a teacher, or did anything but watch, or walk away, or even laugh.  Everybody saw it and nobody cared.

The bullies had more sense than to attack kids in front of teachers, so it was hard to get the teachers or guidance counselor to believe me.  Most of the bullies were super-sweet in front of teachers--they were often the jocks or popular kids--so nobody wanted to believe me.

It made me really, really angry and really, really tired.  I felt hopeless, waking up knowing that it was going to happen again.

My advice: no matter how embarrassed you might feel, tell your parents about it. My parents kicked serious butt.  Make sure you have somebody on your side, and never, ever give up.  It can get better.  It WILL get better.  It doesn't matter how bad it seems, there's always a way to make it better.  Hang in there!" - Connor

Thanks for supporting our Authors Against Bullying blog tour.  There's a list of all the participating authors below; please check them out.  I'm offering a copy of Queen Bees and Wannabes to one of my commenters who is going through the tough teen years with a girl now, as I am.

To anybody who is facing bullying now, please never give up.  Get help, get advice, or get away. NEVER give up. My family sends you all of our love and hopes for a better tomorrow.
PS A huge & enormous thanks to Mandy Roth for her brilliant work coordinating and doing the tech magic for this event, and to Yasmine Galenorn for her idea and coordination.

Sites that can help: (thanks to Mandy Roth for compiling)

Teens Against Bullying: Created by teens, for teens.(middle school and high school)
Kids Against Bullying: Site is interactive and set up to help kids understand if they are being bullied, if they are the bully they should stop, etc. Younger kids will appreciate this.
National Bullying Prevention Center: Founded in 2006 the site is full of useful information for getting kids involved in anti-bullying, helping kids who are being bullied and bringing awareness to the cause.
Stop Informative and has a “kids corner”.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Join Authors Against Bullying Friday -- and my car accident

On Friday, I'll be part of a massive effort, spearheaded by Mandy Roth and Yasmine Galenorn, for authors to speak out against bullying.  I'll by interviewing my kids, who have both experienced bullying, for a first-hand look at what it feels like to be the victim of such horrible attacks.  Here is a list of participants, courtesy of Mandy Roth.

In other somber news, I was in a terrifying car accident Saturday, in which a MORON driving in front of me on a high-traffic, high-wind, freeway bridge high above a river, hit a bump and his UNSECURED king-sized box springs went flying through the air and straight at my face.  Yes, it smashed into my windshield at 50 mph, and just the sight of it blocking out the sun as it shot toward me, and the instant thought that I was going to be decapitated or plunge into the river, was enough to scare the crap out of me. 

Not to mention the shattered pieces of glass all over my car.  I didn't realize until a couple of hours later that several of them were in my hair and clothes.  So I spent Saturday afternoon and all morning today dealing with insurance and glass repair people and I have to take car to shop for body damage.  BUT NOBODY WAS HURT, THANK GOODNESS--and I'm especially proud that I did not jump up and down on the moron's head.  The state trooper said that the ticket carried a mandatory court appearance for the guy, so I can only hope the fine is huge.

But my kids were not in the car, and as I said, nobody was hurt, so I'm putting this one in the "lucky it wasn't worse" category, although I'm not sure when I'll be wanting to drive over that bridge again . . .

My wish for today is that you all drive safely, surrounded by cautious drivers who do not fling bed parts at your head.

PS Shiloh Walker will be my guest on Friends' Books Wednesday this week.