Mama Diaries

Monday, September 30, 2013

Breakfast of Champions

I came downstairs yesterday and found my daughter holding a can of Reddiwip whipped cream.  She had just pulled out a cereal bowl and was getting ready to spray the whipped cream in it.

"Excuse me," I said.  "What do you think you're doing?"

"Making breakfast."

I looked at the clock.  It was noon.  "Breakfast?  Girlfriend, it's lunch time, and Reddiwip is absolutely unacceptable.  You need a well-balanced meal!"

"But Mom, it is well-balanced.  It has milk which means it covers the dairy and protein food groups."

Oy!  Don't you just love teenager mentality?    

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Slender Man Papers

I'm back from the Follow Fest.  I wanted to make sure I visited everyone who participated, so I spent what little time I have doing that.  First of all, a huge thanks to everyone who followed me on all of my other sites.  I appreciate it!  And welcome new followers!

Now back to business.

My son has been obsessed with a new video game character:  Slender Man.  He's this creepy, tall, skinny dude with a white, faceless head.  If you look at him, he kidnaps you. Not cool.  In the game, you're supposed to find eight papers.  If you do, then you defeat Slender Man and don't get kidnapped.

Yesterday, my son came home from school with four sheets of notebook paper in his grimy hands.  "Look, Mama.  I found these papers taped to trees in the woods at school!"

I looked at the kid funny.  "First of all, what were you doing in the woods?  Second of all, why were papers taped to the trees?"

"It was recess, and we were allowed to go back by the woods.  And I don't know why papers were taped to the trees."

Hmmm.  "Let me see those papers," I said.

I examined them carefully.  There were drawings of stick figures and squiggly lines all over them.  "Do you think they're Slender Man papers?"

His eyes got big.  "Yeah, mom.  I think so.  We got four now.  All we need are four more!"

Great.  So he's going to go back to school next week and see if he can find more papers taped to the trees.

Maybe you should start looking for papers in your woods, too.  You never know when Slender Man might try to pop out and kidnap you! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Follow Fest


When I heard that Melissa Maygrove was organizing a "cyber meet-and-greet with social media links for business cards," I knew I had to join the fun.  Be sure to visit the other participants and enter to win cool prizes by clicking the Follow Fest badge.

Now: Who am I?

Name: Sherry Ellis,  AKA The Mama

What genres do you write? Children's Books (picture books, chapter books, middle grade books)

Are you published? Yes.  Two of my picture books are published:  That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN, and That Mama is a Grouch.  I have an agent for my chapter book series.  Hopefully a publisher will be found soon! 

Do you do anything in addition to writing? I am a professional musician who teaches and plays violin, viola, and piano.  And I'm obviously a mom. (Does that count?)

How can people connect with you?

Facebook author page

Facebook personal page






Barnes and Noble






Okay.  I think that about covers it!  If you want to connect with me at any of these places, feel free to do so!  Also, I am a member of SCBWI. And I am quite willing to help with getting the word out about fellow authors' cover reveals and new releases, so if you have something new you'd like me to promote, let me know!


Monday, September 23, 2013

The Fall Bucket List

It's autumn once again - my favorite time of the year.  It's my daughter's favorite season, too.  "Mom," she said. "I have a bucket list of things I'd like to do for fall."

"Okay," I said.  "What's on it?"

"Carve a pumpkin, make apple pie, get a fall-scented candle, make a fall drink, make Halloween cupcakes and cookies, pick apples, make caramel apples, go on a hayride, have a Halloween party, and visit a haunted house."

"Hmmm," I said.  "That's quite a list."

"Yeah, mom.  So you'd better get started.  Here's a list of ingredients and things you need to buy." She handed me a sheet of paper.

I looked at it and shook my head.  Why do I have this suspicion that her bucket list is really a Mom To-Do list?


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tic Tac Toe - Bubba Style

Last night, my family and I went out to eat.  On my son's place mat, was a tic tac toe game.  "Does anybody want to play with me?" he asked.

"Sure, Bubba.  I'll play," I said.

We played a game.  I won.

We played another.  I won again.

"Mama, you're an expert at this!" my son exclaimed.

"Yeah, Bubba," I said.  "I've had years of practice."

We played one more time.  It looked like I was going to win again.  But Bubba pulled a fast one.  He added an extra square and marked it with an "o."

"I win!" he said as he crossed off three in a row.

"Bubba, that's not fair," I said.

"Yes, it is Mama!  I'm an expert at tic tac toe - Bubba style!"  

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Birthday Present

My daughter's birthday is in a few weeks.  She has a special request for a birthday present. "Mom," she said.  "Can you get me a broom for my birthday?"

I looked at the girl, completely shocked.  "A broom?  What for?  Are you planning on flying away on one?"

"No, Mom.  Don't be silly.  I really need one.  The broom we have is full of Schultz hair. (Schultz is our German Shepherd, in case you're new here.)  I can't sweep the floors with it."

My daughter's job is to clean our floors, so I saw her point.  "Fine. I'll get you a new broom.  But it doesn't have to be a birthday present."

"But I want it for my birthday."

Okay.  Whatever. That's the oddest birthday request I've ever heard from a twelve-year-old.  Maybe I should get her a mop and a bucket, too!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Mexican Shepherd

It's time for another post about our German Shepherd, Schultz.  The dog is a little bit nuts. Now he has an identity problem. Let me tell you about it.

Last night, I made tacos for my family.  (Yes, once again, I've deviated from the chicken trend.) Schultz parked himself right next to my son, who is notorious for dropping food scraps on the floor.  As expected, the boy lost some of his taco on the first bite.  Schultz was right there to lick it up.  Afterwards, the dog stuck his huge head on the table, sniffing for more - something he's definitely not supposed to do!

"Schultz,"  my son said, pushing him out of the way.  "You're a German Shepherd, not a Mexican Shepherd! You're supposed to eat sausage and sauerkraut.  Not tacos!"

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Rocking Out in Science Class

"Mom," my daughter asked.  "Can I use the computer to do my homework?"

"Sure," I said.  "Go ahead."

Five minutes later, I heard rap music coming out of the room.  I went in to investigate.  My daughter was sitting at the computer moving to the funky groove. "Um, what are you doing?" I asked.

"Learning about the layers of the earth," she said.


"Yeah.  We did this in class today, and everybody started dancing."

"And the teacher was okay with that?"

"She's the one who made us listen."

I took that as a "yes."

So ladies and gentlemen, this must be the new way of teaching.  Forget about long lists of words and facts to memorize.  Rapping your way through school is way more fun! (Do you think it works?)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Stinky Backpack

My son came home from school yesterday and threw his backpack over the kitchen chair.  "Mama, this thing smells like a garbage dump!"

I tried not to laugh.  "What's in it, Bubba?  Dirty socks?"

"I don't know.  But my books are getting all wet.  I think it's raining in there."

This sounded serious.

I opened the backpack and was assaulted by a putrid odor.  It definitely smelled like a garbage dump!

I pulled out one of his notebooks.  The bottom was all soggy.  And it smelled horrible!  I pulled out his binder.  Fortunately, that wasn't soggy.  I took out an assortment of pencils, crayons, markers, and toys.  Then I got to the bottom.  What do you think I found?  A brown paper bag.  And it was suspiciously wet.  I knew exactly what it was.  A rotten banana!

"Eww, Bubba!  Do you know how long has this been in here?"

He shrugged.  "I don't know, Mama.  When did you put it there?"

When did I put it there?  "Bubba, this was part of your lunch two weeks ago!"


Note to self:  Completely empty the boy's backpack on a daily basis to prevent such a nauseating situation from occurring again!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Coke Overload

I took my kids to the World of Coke Museum in downtown Atlanta.  The best part of the whole thing was the area where you could sample Coke products from around the world.  Sixty-one flavors!  My kids grabbed cups and started sampling.

My son tried one from Italy and wrinkled his nose.  "Ewww!  It tastes like licorice!"

"Really?" I asked.  I had to try it.  And yes, it tasted like licorice.  Terrible!

My daughter tried one from Africa. "Mom, this is weird!"

We hopped over to the Asian samples.  My son nearly spit his out.  "They call this Coke?"

Latin America was the next stop.  Those were tolerable, but not quite what we're used to. 

Finally, we arrive at the North American varieties.  And do you know what they did?  They mixed them.  Coke with root beer.  Ginger ale with Mountain Dew.

I looked at them and shook my head.  "You're going to be sick after drinking all of that!"

My son grinned. "But this is real Coke!  We have to wash out all those other flavors."

Of course.

After he finished his final drink, Bubba let out a giant belch.  I'd say he had a definite Coke overload!    


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Taking the World by a Storm

Hey everybody!  Ninja Captain, Alex Cavanaugh, is releasing his new book! It launches on Tuesday. I'm helping to spread the word.  So here it is.  You have to check it out!   
By Alex J Cavanaugh
From the Amazon Best Selling Series!
A storm gathers across the galaxy…
Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.
After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.
Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…
“I thought the revelation was going to be one thing and I was completely wrong … CassaStorm pushes the limits…”
- Tyson Mauermann, Speculative Reviews

“…mesmerizing story of survival, personal sacrifice, tolerance, and compassion. It’s a rare jewel that successfully utilizes both character and plot to tell a story of such immense scope and intimate passion…” - Nancy S. Thompson, author of The Mistaken

"An exciting, nail-biting read which sweeps the reader off on adventures in another galaxy."
- Nicua Shamira, Terraverum
$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats
Find CassaStorm:
Amazon -
Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Cover Reveal and Playing Soccer with the Boys

First order of business today is the big cover reveal for my blog friend, Christine Rains. Doesn't it look great?  It's the complete collection of her 13th Floor Series.  I've read several of these, and they're awesome!  Here's a blurb about all the stories that are in it:


Six supernatural tenants

Living in a haunted apartment building

On a floor that doesn't exist.

Six novellas telling their tales.

A retired demon acquires a price on his head.

A werewolf is hunted by her pack.

A modern day dragonslayer misses his target.

A harpy challenges Zeus for the soul of the man she loves.

A vampire is obsessed with a young woman he can't find.

A banshee falls in love with someone who's death she has seen in a vision.

And a sweet ghost must battle a primal monster to save them all.

All the stories take place at the same time intertwining their lives together on the 13th Floor.

Release date: October 13th, 2013

Now for my story:

Last night, my son and I went outside to play a little soccer.  That was all fine and dandy.  But then our giant German Shepherd came out.

He charged at the ball and grabbed it in his huge mouth.

"Schultz, drop it!" I yelled.  I could just imagine what his sharp teeth would do!

He ran off and plopped down under a tree.  He dropped the ball and watched us.  Drool dripped out of his mouth, down his big pink tongue, on to the ball.

"Schultz, that's disgusting!" yelled Bubba.  

I went over and grabbed the ball.  I kicked it to the other side of the yard.

The cat decided it would be a good time to get involved.  He emerged from his hiding spot and took off after the ball.  (I really didn't know that cat could move so fast!)

Schultz got excited when he saw the cat, so he got up and chased him.

My son got excited when he saw the dog and cat, and chased both of them.

I got excited when I saw nobody had the ball. So I chased the ball and scored a goal. 

And that's how we play soccer at my pad.

The End.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Kissing Language

Okay. I wasn't going to participate in this Kissy Blog Fest, because kissing isn't something I normally talk about here. That's for all the romance writers - not a children's writer like me!  But as it turned out,  my son did something funny that is totally related to this.   So, I'm going to share it here and tell you about the blog fest, in case you haven't heard about it and want to participate.

The rules are simple:

1. Sign up on the linky list and post the badge on your blog.

2. On one of the days of the week of September 9th, post a kissing scene on your blog. It can be either fiction or non-fiction.

3. Please do not exceed 250 words.

4. This is a blogfest, so visit the other participants and have fun!

But wait.  There's More.
There will be prizes!

The scenes will be judged by these amazing romance authors: Cecilia Robert, Laurelin Paige, Kyra Lennon, and Christine Rains. They will choose three posts to win these awesome prizes.
Prize 1 - A critique of a kissing/intimate scene from your WIP (not exceeding ten pages). Critiques will be done by Cecilia Robert, Kyra Lennon, and Christine Rains.

Prize 2 - A critique of a kissing/intimate scene from your WIP (not exceeding five pages). This critique will be done by Laurelin Paige and Christine.

Prize 3 - A critique of a kissing/intimate scene from your WIP (not exceeding one page). This critique will be done by Cecilia and Christine.

Cecilia, Kyra, Laurelin, and Christine will each choose one of our favorites to give out some fantastic ebooks.
Laurelin - FIXED ON YOU
Christine – All six volumes of the 13th Floor series.

Now for my story:
As part of my son's nightly homework, he is supposed to read for twenty minutes.  Sometimes I let him do it by himself.  But once in a while, I make him read out loud so that I know he's actually doing it.  (My boy has a tendency to daydream!)
Yesterday was one of those days that I made him read to me.  I sat next to him as he began.  It started off okay, but then it regressed into smooch sounds:
"Bubba, what the heck are you doing?" I asked.
"Reading in kissing language."
I looked at him funny. "Kissing language?"
"Yeah," he said. Then he explained it. " 'I was about to ask why,' is 'SMOOCH SMOOCH....SMOOCH SMOOCH....SMOOCH....SMOOCH....SMOOCH.'  Can't you understand that?"
I shook my head. "No, Bubba. I can't.  And there's no way I'm going to listen to twenty minutes of Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters in kissing language!"
"But I bet you understand this!" He leaned over and planted a wet kiss on my cheek.
I laughed.  "Yes, Bubba.  I understand that.  I love you, too!  Now finish reading - the right way!" 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Burglar Alarm

My son has been taking an after-school class on forensic science.  I figured that would interest him, since he likes anything having to do with science and making things.

When he came home from school yesterday, he announced that he was going to make a burglar alarm for our house.  "We made one in school, and I know just how to do it."

"Okay," I said.  "Do we have the materials?"

"Yeah.  We need wires, sheet metal, a sensor, and toothpicks."

"Toothpicks?" I asked.  "What are you going to do with those?"

"When the sensor goes off, indicating a burglar, toothpicks will shoot out, right into the intruder's eyeballs!"

Oh.  So, ladies and gentlemen.  You've been warned.  Do not try to burglarize my house, or you will end up with toothpicks in your eyeballs!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Foot Phone

I walked into the room and saw something very strange.  My daughter had my son's foot pressed against the side of her face.

"Excuse me," I said.  "What exactly are you doing?"

"Using the foot phone," my daughter replied, as if that was the most natural thing in the world to do.

I gave her a quizzical look.  "Does it work?"

She nodded and tickled my son's foot. 

He giggled.

"See?" she said.  "It works just fine!"

(Apparently not all phones are for talking on!)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fall Fashionista

"Mom, fall is the best time of year," my daughter announced.

"I like fall, too," I said.  "The leaves look so pretty on the trees, and the air has a different smell."

"Yeah, but do you know why I really like fall?"

"Why?" I asked.

"Because of fall fashion! There are new clothes, new shoes, new makeup, and new nail polish colors!"

I looked at the girl.  "Do you really need more nail polish?"

She grinned.

I walked to her room to find out exactly how much nail polish she had.  Do you know how many bottles were lying around?  Twenty-six!

"Girl," I said.  "This is ridiculous!  You absolutely do not need more nail polish!"

"But Mom," she objected.  "Those are spring and summer colors.  I need fall colors!" 

Of course.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Haunted School

"Mama," my nine-year-old son said as he got off the bus.  "Our school is haunted!"

I looked at the kid.  "Right.  Why do you think that?"

"The lights flickered on and off all day."

"That doesn't mean anything," I said.  "There could've been a power malfunction."

"But the mirror in the restroom shook, too!"

"That could've been caused by a vibration from the air conditioner."

Another kid came up behind us and put his two cents in.  "Mrs. Ellis, the school really is haunted!"

"How do you know?"  I asked.

"The pressure changed in the fifth grade hall and we all heard demonic voices."


So, what do you think?  Is the school haunted? (I think the demonic voices were the janitors cussing out the utility companies!)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Croaky's Great Escape

Croaky is our pet African clawed frog.  Yesterday, he had a big adventure. 

Usually he sits nicely in his swamp and does nothing but eat bloodworms, surface for  air, and give and occasional croak. It would've been another boring day for the frog had I not decided to clean his swamp.

I removed his swamp decorations and proceeded to dump out his smelly water.  Croaky decided that he wasn't going to sit still and let me do that.  He took a flying leap -  right out of his tank.  Where did he land?  In the kitchen sink. 

"Croaky, what did you do that for?" I asked. 

He didn't answer.  He just slid around on his belly as he frantically tried to get out of there and find his swamp. 

I attempted to grab him.  Do you know what it's like to try to hold on to a slimy, slippery frog?  It isn't easy!  I caught him, but he wriggled right out of my hands - into the garbage disposal.  I had placed a colander over the opening, but Croaky somehow managed to slip under it and fall down into the disposal.

Terrific!  Now I had to reach down into the garbage disposal, avoid the dangerous blades, and grab a slimy, slippery frog.  It took several tries, but I got him.  Almost.

I pulled him out. But then he slipped out of my hands - right back into the garbage disposal.

"You stupid frog!" I said to him.  "Don't you know that's the worse place in the world to be?"

Apparently he didn't, because this happened three more times.

Finally I got a hold of that dumb creature and plopped him back into his stinky swamp.

I think he wondered why his swamp was still filthy. He swam around in the muck looking completely befuddled.

I gave him one of my ferocious mommy glares.  "That's what you get for giving the Mama a hard time!"

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Boy Mop

We have a stellar sprinkler system for our yard in Georgia. (I guess with this heat, you need a good one!) My nine-year-old son loves playing in the water jets when they turn on.  Yesterday, when the sprinklers came on, he bolted out the front door, wearing his tee shirt and shorts.

"Bubba," I called after him, "Why don't you change into your bathing suit?"

Too late.  He was already soaked.

He ran around, squealing with delight, getting completely drenched.

When he was finished, he came back inside.  He stood on the floor as the water dripped off of him.  In five seconds, there was a huge puddle of water.

"Bubba, what am I going to do with you?"  I said, looking at him.

"Use me as a mop.  These floors need to be cleaned anyway!"  He sat down on his rear end and scooted along the floor.

Perfect.  And I don't even have to push!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Epic Fail

"Mama," my nine-year-old son said.  "Do you want to hear about my epic fail?"

I looked at the kid.  "Sure."  I figured this would be interesting.

"I built a plane on Minecraft and it lost its wings."

"That's not good," I said.

"Yeah," he continued.  "It flew two minutes through my lovely world, and then it crashed.  Its wings just popped off.  It was an epic fail!"

For sure!  So ladies and gentlemen, before you step on an airplane, you might want to inquire if Bubba built it.  If he did, I think it would be a good idea to turn around and seek another mode of transportation! 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Directioner Experience

I took my daughter to see the new One Direction movie, This is Us.  In case you don't know who One Direction is, they are a boy band from the UK.  A very popular one!

As we walked in the theater, there were giddy tween and teen girls everywhere.  I knew this was going to be quite an experience.  We found a seat and waited for the show to begin.  When it did, the theater erupted in high-pitched shrieks.

I covered my ears and looked at my daughter.  "It's just a movie," I said. "What's the big deal, here?"

"But it's One Direction!" she answered.


The movie pretty much covered their entire world tour and gave snippets of their shows.  After each song, the teen girls in the theater went nuts.  It was like they were actually at a live concert.

Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the crazy atmosphere in the theater.  But somebody should've warned me that I should've brought earplugs!  A hundred screaming girls in a theater is definitely not good for one's ears!

    Doesn't she look thrilled?  Too bad the boys aren't real!