Things That Make You Go “Hmmm”

Like everyone else in the world, hubby and I are wanting to buy a home in Austin. It’s time to downsize, and I love the idea of breaking out of our rut and starting new projects. The last time we bought a home, I don’t even think HGTV existed. Now I know how to tear down walls and build a fireplace. This makeover beast is ready to roar.

But after our first weekend of hunting, we learned that long gone are the days of looking at a house, thinking about it, going back for another tour, then coming in with a lower offer. Now you get one look (usually fifteen minutes, because there are four other buyers with their realtors waiting on the driveway). You get in, decide if you can live your life in this building (most half the size of what we’re accustomed to), smell for anything close to black mold (not really sure what it smells like), scope the neighbors to see if they have a saw mill or shooting range in the backyard, then submit your ridiculous offer, which is still probably too low. 

So needless to say, when touring, I keep my focus sharp. Recently, one house held great appeal. It was tiny, but it faced a park. Charming! But being the wise shoppers we are, my husband suggested we make sure it was in fact a park and not a chemical plant run off zone. There was a sign next to a quaint little bridge over a creek so I figured it would identify the property. As we approached, I envisioned myself starting each morning with a walk through nature’s glory, becoming one with Mother Earth and all her beauty. But then we saw this:

As I jumped on my husband’s back, my mind started twirling. This wasn’t a neighbor’s handwritten note, warning others that she saw something scary while walking her dog. This wasn’t a sturdy, but temporary sign the park management put out to warn of recent sightings. This. Was. Metal. Posted in the ground. With concrete. The existence of venomous snakes had been going on for some time, and they didn’t expect the situation to change.

So as the clock was ticking on our offer window, I weighed the situation. The house was small, yes, but in great condition. The neighborhood looked to be well preserved. But when I walked out to commune with Mother Nature, would there be a rattler on my sidewalk? Did I really want to pay 30% more than market value so that I could go out to my garage and find a copperhead resting under my car. Hmmmmmmmm. 


It’s Here!

Then He Came Back Final CompressedTHEN HE CAME BACK (Love From Austin Book 2) is live today. I can’t wait for you to read the story of Sue and Trey as they reunite after seventeen years. It doesn’t start off pretty:

“Let’s get one thing straight. If it were up to me, you wouldn’t be here. The only reason you are is because Wes asked for this. I know my son. He goes after what he wants, whether it’s good for him or not. I’m here to make sure you don’t screw things up.”

            He stared at her, speechless, probably shocked that the Suz he’d known could talk to him with such an attitude. Good. She’d regained her power.

            “Here you go.” The waiter arrived with their drinks, and she moved back to let him set them on the table. After he left, she pushed hers aside and leaned back in.

            “You’re going to meet him, answer his questions, and then leave town. That’s all you get, understand? And you will not mention what happened ten years ago. That would only complicate things.” She sat back in her chair, then took a sip of her Scotch without wincing. Well played, sister.

I’m Free!

Free today facebook.jpg

Today and tomorrow (4/25/17 and 4/26/17), THEN HE SHOWED UP is available for FREE! Now is the perfect time to discover the characters in this first book from my series, Love From Austin. Here’s a taste from when Kate Livingston meets Jack Graham:

She had to look up to see his face. His thick, brown hair was tousled. Sunglasses blocked his eyes, but she was drawn to his easy smile—confident and friendly. Whiskers, along with a faded polo and worn khaki shorts, proved he could relax on a Saturday. But he didn’t look shabby. More like he’d just flown in from Martha’s Vineyard.

Interesting. Her faded get-up spoke of the YMCA community pool. Maybe it was the pink bird.

This two-day special is to celebrate the release of THEN HE CAME BACK (Love From Austin Book 2) THIS THURSDAY (4/27/17). Then He Came Back Final Compressed

Once You’ve Flashed Your Podiatrist … You Can’t Help but Become a Writer

My dear friend, Diana Belchase, invited me for a guest “appearance” last month on Book Smart TV (the website). Thought I’d share here. Sorry, but sale prices are no longer in effect.

Book Smart TV

51qkmx8l3xl-_ac_us320_ql65_ A five star read now only 99 cents!

Diana Belchase here: Today I’m super excited to welcome guest blogger Chris Campillo to BookSmart! Chris is the kind of person everyone loves — she’s the girl next door, a gal who always has your back, a phenomenal writer with a great sense of humor, and a stand up comic. When this Texas mom isn’t taking care of her kids, her home, and working (with her hubby) to make ends meets, she’s using the honesty of her daily life to imbue humor into her books. Her comedy will have you keeling over howling with laughter.

This is the thing about Chris: She says the things we’re all thinking — the average day-to-day horrors we’ll never talk about. There is something so cathartic about reading her stuff. It’s like therapy between the covers of great fiction. I promise you’ll come out entertained and…

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You Deserve A Break Today

Whether you were the chef extraordinaire, the elf that located all the impossible-to-find gifts, or the host that made sure everyone felt included, you have earned a day of rest. What better way to relax than to enjoy a fun, sexy read that guarantees a happily ever after. To make it even better, I’ve lowered the price today. Enjoy!99-cents-ad-for-facebook-800-x-600

“To Dream The Impossible Dream”

From time to time (weekly), I get overwhelmed with everything I need and want to accomplish. After a day of depression and a bag of Doritos, I usually pull myself up and create a plan that will fix EVERYTHING. A plan that will right all wrongs in my life, my family’s, maybe even the world.

 This week’s plan is my best ever. I’ll accomplish the following every day:

  • Three hours writing my manuscript
  • One hour working on other aspects of writing (I guess you’re expected to blog more than once per month)
  • One hour studying the craft of writing (I’ll read every book on the subject)
  • One hour exercising
  • Two hours taking care of the house

 If I get up at 7:30 and ignore my children, I can get all of this done by 3:30, and then put on my “World’s Best Wife and Mother” hat and make Carol Brady look like a crack whore.

It’s important to set goals, but I have a problem with the perfectionist that lives deep in my psyche. (Of course, if you saw my kitchen floor, you could argue she’s dead.) God bless her. She’s full of good intentions, but inevitably she leads me down the path of failure. It’s the all or nothing concept that gets me every time.

Exhibit A: My Weight Watchers experience. Wanted to lose five pounds. Should’ve just started walking daily, but no, I was going to do it the right way. First day, no problem, stuck to my 20-some points. Next day by 10 am, I’d consumed half my points for the day, and I was still starving. Did I give myself a break and say, “Hey, let’s ease into this. Give yourself some extra points today.” No. I pulled out my son’s birthday cake and went to town. After all, if you can’t do it right, why even bother? Two-hundred and fifty-seven points later, I accepted the Weight Watchers thing wasn’t for me.

So how’s it going with this week’s plan? I slept until 8:30. The whole day’s ruined.

Accepting Your God-Given Talents

Or Lack Thereof

Welcome to my blog. Do you like it? I hope so, because it cost A LOT. No, not in currency, but in the aging process. In thirty-six hours, this baby took about four years off my life.

A few days ago, I started what was supposed to be the easy process of developing a blog/website. WordPress has a user-friendly guide. Fellow writers were generous with answers to my questions. A nice man in the Philippines even gave me permission to use his photos. (Not the pinecone.) Yet it still turned out to be one of the most agonizing experiences of recent months. I’m not even sure I can explain why, but maybe the following will shed some light on my emotional state during the process:

  • I consumed ¾ of a rum cake in under two hours.
  • I channeled a vicious beast that knew every foul word ever created by man.
  • I progressed from cursing to whining, then crying, then retching.
  • I considered taking the codeine that’s been in my medicine cabinet since my C-section eleven years ago.
  • My husband called my mother for advice.

What could cause this? Maybe it’s the fact that it took me four attempts to set up a standard “Contact Me” page or that I ended up with seven “Bio” pages when I thought I’d only created one. Perhaps it’s not knowing what CSS is, and not really wanting to find out. Whatever the reason, the nightmare taught me a great truth:

Web design is not my God-given talent.

Now don’t say, “Oh, she just doesn’t want to work at it.” I’m not afraid of work. All talents must be honed, and that’s not accomplished overnight. I’m a writer. It’s a continual learning process. There are days when the magic flows through my fingers, and then there are the times when I struggle with one paragraph. But when I step away from my efforts, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. I’m fired up. I don’t feel like I’ve just escaped a Turkish prison (see web design).

We’ve all been blessed with talents. Embrace yours. Use every one of them. Then hire someone to handle the rest. And don’t feel guilty about it. Look at it this way – you’re encouraging their growth and helping the economy.


Copyright © 2011 Chris Campillo. All Rights Reserved.