Monday, February 25, 2013

Locks of Love Pass It Around



I know some of you are familiar with Locks of Love and there are some of you that aren’t. And the majority of you are scratching your head: how has this got anything to do with your latest book Devil’s Concubine?

Well, it has some bearing on the book. We are dealing with people who are getting scalped remember? When I did my research for a place to send hair to be made into wigs the one place that popped up on the computer screen was Locks of Love. I had heard about Locks of Love through various organizations but wasn't thoroughly up to speed on the how and what they did. Just brief information which I knew was wigs for disadvantage children. Anything more than that I was unaware of.

So with my trusty computer I went on the search to find out more about the organization. Really to see how it worked so I could base a scene in Devil’s Concubine. Moments later I was reading everything about this non profit organization and was not only learning how it operated but how it helped thousands of children. I read about their interesting organization which I informed a few of my long-haired friends, especially the ones who were thinking of cutting their hair short and they kindly donated to the cause after my research. I’m very proud of those friends.

Even though I used a fictitious name for my Locks of Love in Devil’s Concubine, it was the same basis as Locks of Love. It was a brief moment in the book that this was used, but still I wanted to share Locks of Love with you because it’s a worth-while mission.

Let me explain about Locks of Love. Locks of Love, is a public non-profit organization that provides hair pieces to financially disadvantaged children under the age of 21. This group is trying to restore a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children who are suffering from hair loss. I know it’s hard enough for adults to swallow when they lose their hair, but for a child who is growing up around other kids it’s extremely hard.

The names these children endure can be brutal. If Locks of Love can bring this to some child that is financially disadvantaged it lifts the burdens not only on the parents who can’t afford such and can only stand by and watch the ignorance of others, but lifts the emotional burden these children have to endure.

These children are not just cancer patients, they are also children with alopecia and burn victims. As a burn victim I understand the horrors and name-calling and the low self-esteem some of these children endure and any way we can help is important.

Now I know some of you reading this are genuinely interested so I thought it would be nice for my fans to get the opportunity to learn about this organization and perhaps interest you into a donation of some sort whether it be hair or financial.

To donate your hair they do have a few guidelines and they are simple and easy to follow.

Donated hair must be ten inches or longer. Curly hair may be pulled straight to meet the requirement.

Hair may not be bleached, chemically damaged or over processed; perm or colored hair is accepted.

Hair must be in the form of a clean, dry ponytail or braid. Sorry, but I was informed dreadlocks are not accepted.

Hair that is less than ten inches or grey is separated from the donation and sold to off set manufacturing costs.

Now that you know the guidelines to donating your hair here is the website to contact them about your donation

Now if you can’t donate hair, and still would like to help, they will take financial donations and that is tax deductible.

In my research I discovered many notable donors such as Gabe Carmi (Chicago Bears first-round draft pick), George Parros (National Hockey League player) and Lamb of God drummer Chris. The list goes on.

I’m sure you have heard criticism for their practice in selling donated hair. Well as mentioned above they have guide lines and some of the unusable hair like bleached, highlighted, gray and hair shorter than ten inches are sold to offset the cost of custom wigs.

Now I know some of you are scratching your head and saying, “Well, Carla, this is all nice that you are talking about Locks of Love but what about your book? How does Devil’s Concubine come into play?”

This is my answer, sometimes our detective in this case Detective Gavin Reece is thrown down the wrong road to confuse him about who is killing people. We call this in the writing world a red herring. But sometimes a worthy organization puts things back into perspective and can point us in the right direction to catch a murderer.

So the next time you have decided to cut that long hair that goes down your back, think about donating it to Locks of Love and make a child’s day.

Want to purchase the latest book? Here's a link.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Indians Weren't the Only Ones


As part of my series to tease you about my latest book Devil’s Concubine, I thought one of the things we should discuss is scalping. Yes, the victims in my novel are scalped by a murderer. But since scalping is not heard of these days and if so, a rarity I thought we should take a look at why it was done and how it has some bearing on my latest novel Devil’s Concubine.

I wish I could say the American Indians were the ones that were the only ones to practice such horrific acts of scalping people, but evidence shows this is not true. Well, there went my history lesson from childhood.

Rumor has it and even evidence proves other races and nations were doing this practice way before some of my ancesters. What groups you ask? As far back as B.C, the Scythians were scalping their enemies. Some Anglo-Saxons, French, Persians and Visigoths, just to name a few were also doing this horrendous act. So since this practice wasn’t something new it made me wonder, why is it the American Indians always get the bad wrap on such?

I guess one of the first things we need to do is look how the procedure was done. It certainly wasn’t like one of those cheesy westerns we watched as a child. All I can say is thank goodness for film regulations at the time or the invasion of the frogs wouldn’t have been the only thing I feared as a child.

The method to this grisly practice was taking a tomahawk and striking the victim on the head, which usually killed them, if not you can imagine what the scene would have been. The Indian would then take his crude knife and make incision at the front of the forehead to around the back of the head. Then with a foot on the victim’s shoulder or back, pull off the scalp from back to front.

That was just the scalping. Once this step was done the Indian would attach this scalp he had obtained to his scalper’s belt. As he left he would give a death cry. Once back at his camp as they say or where ever he could go without being pursued, he would finish scrapping the skin from the scalp. He would make a hoop out of wood and stretch the skin over the hoop and put it in the sun.

He would comb the hair and paint the skin red before he attached this scalp to a stick. He would carry this stick home and you guessed it, the more scalps the better.

Now that was pretty gruesome, but imagine doing something like that now days? I could get more graphic but I believe you reading my book would be the benefit at this point. The question now if you did a modern day scalping, is why?

Once again I must look back at why this was done and this is what I discovered.

There were three reasons for scalping, one profit. You guessed it money, even then money played a part in this act. You sell a scalp back in 1703 for 12 pounds by the time we hit 1723 scalps going price was 100 pounds. The French did this mostly, but still there was a profit in these scalps. However, Indians still made money as well selling these items.

Second reason Power. Again you guessed it: somebody who had the most power had the most scalps. He must have been a good warrior to be able to come home with 8-10 scalps. The women must have swarmed around him.

The third had to do with war. These scalps were prizes and sometimes the most brutal Indians took body parts along with hair to show what they took from the enemy. Sometimes bounties were placed on such body parts. Of course give credit where it’s due on this. The practice of paying a bounty for a body part was a European idea.

Now that I have you engrossed, I should tell you a little about a modern scalping. Let’s see, our murderer decides to subdue you, by any means. He doesn’t kill you, holds you hostage, tortures you for some reason unknown, before he skins your head, not using a tomahawk but surgical tools that a skilled surgeon would use and leaves you to suffer. But don’t worry, you won’t suffer long before he decides to cut your throat.

Oh my, I have your attention now.

As I sketched out my story from all angles, one thing I had to focus on was my murderer. Yes, he is scalping victims and yes, I used the format I just explained earlier, except in Devil’s Concubine, our murderer isn’t an American Indian back in the old days, but a modern man with a way to hide his trophies from the world. And the way he hides things makes you think twice about your own hair.

My character is very careful in his acts of murder, but sometimes a murderer even has a heart. As does this one when he shows mercy by dumping his victims where they can be found. The question you will be asking yourself over and over throughout the whole book is why?

Could this murderer being doing this for profit? Is it for power he wants and gains over his victims? Or is it for a private war that has tormented him for years? Devil’s Concubine is a very sick and twisted tale of murder and one you will surely enjoy.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Cost of Looking Good


Today I thought we should examine the cost of looking good since my latest book Devil’s Concubine is using the back drop of people’s grooming habits. I felt it fitting that we discuss the cost of looking good, the pros and cons and how sometimes the cost is way too much.

I noticed when I was researching for my book, that people’s grooming habits nearly run the economy and play a major factor in our everyday life. Believe it or not our looks can determine from who we marry down to getting that dream job. Looks means everything in our world and it has a nice price attached to it.

Shampoo, conditioners, mousse, gels, hair spray, stuff to make your hair straight, curly, shiny-- the list is endless. Just imagine: that’s just the hair care. Other stuff such as body wash, face creams, perfumes, lotions, deodorant, it seems endless. Every day it seems something new is coming out and something more improved. That stuff comes at a price even though it may cost eight dollars. Eight dollars adds up fast, when you become obsessed.

Clothing comes next in the obsession of looking good. I mean the latest fashion is every season not once a year. Four times a year, with the changing of the seasons a new clothing line comes out. By the time you start to wear one season another season comes along. People’s closets are so packed we are constantly cleaning it out to make room for the next season, very rarely keeping some key pieces that will go through the years.

Shoes and accessories are in a category by themselves however, with jewelry you can make it work with anything unlike the other that changes with the wind. Grandma’s necklace will go with any outfit any season unlike the shoes you bought last year that now doesn’t match the new spring collection you bought the other day.

Hair salons make quite a bit of business off of us also. Women especially, we go to get hair cuts, the latest style, waxing, manicures, pedicures, nails polished, tanning--again the list goes on with those high end salons. It hasn’t been until recently the market has started to include men who we have called metro sexual with the same services.

We all do this. Repeat; we all do! So that’s why I find it ironic how much time and money we spend on looking good. However sometimes this becomes an obsessive behavior which can lead to serious problems. In fact they have television shows on it and it’s sad.

I remember as a child watching my grandmother doing her hair every morning in her bedroom. She would sit at her antique vanity dresser with a giant mirror. Each side of the mirror had drawers which were full of hairspray, makeup, combs, brushes, curlers, perfume and tons of Avon products. She was a fan of Avon and collected many of the bottles. She would work on her hair at least a good ten to fifteen minutes, sometimes longer depending on the occasion.

She didn’t wear a whole lot of makeup but she did put on a little. Once she had her hair the way she wanted, she would pull out the Aqua Net hair spray, which was popular at the time and spray her hair like a crop duster. That room was so overpowering with Aqua Net it was almost unbearable. In fact she believed in her hairspray so much she should have had stock in it as much as she had stock-piled.

I remember when the stuff went on sale, my grandma loved sales, perhaps that’s where I get my frugal shopping. But once again my grandma should have had stock in Aqua Net. Even when she died and they cleaned out her house she still had tons of that stuff. Cabinets full of Aqua Net, a staple in her life.

Now I have a sister who will buy eye shadow no matter what. She has so much of the stuff I bet she doesn’t even use half of it, but she loves the stuff. Every time she shops she always finds herself buying compacts of eye shadow.

My own daughter loves lipstick and lip gloss. She has so much of the stuff there are times I have to say no, I’m not getting it. Now that she’s a young adult she buys her own and some times when you have to dig in her purse for something you pick up several tubes of lip balm before you find what you are looking for.

I’m sure when it comes to your grooming habits we all have certain products we love to use; I love L’Oreal for makeup, Cover Girl for eye shadow, and Clinque for mascara. Mind you I love these products, but I don’t stock-pile them.

My cousin has a fetish for lotions. She buys lotions constantly and sometimes it’s unbearable.

I say when we start buying it as if we are buying stock we may have a problem.

So how much do you think it costs to have all the beauty in the world? Plenty and some people will go without essentials such as not paying an entire electric bill or skip payment on the card to buy that extra stuff or to try out the latest makeup that was advertised in Cosmo. If you can look in you cabinet, closets and under the bathroom sink and see you have products you have started to use then decided something else came along better then you may have a problem.

Sometimes we aren’t aware of this problem. But sometimes we are aware of such or at least the people around us are. Sometimes such as women who have had children like one of my characters in my story, find it difficult to feel pretty and become obsessed with their looks. People who have been through a horrific accident find themselves becoming worried with looks.

But what can be upsetting for us is when people prey upon those who are weak like in my book. People who worry about their looks, who may seem confident in who they are but behind closed doors, go into a frenzy searching for what to wear to the next gala are the ones who fall victim.

In my novel Devil’s Concubine we see what drives the murderer to target his victims and the price of looking good comes at the highest price around--death.

Paper back


Monday, January 7, 2013

We All Have Hair Fetish


They call people who have a hair fetish trichophilia. But after researching my latest book, Devil’s Concubine, I discovered this little fetish is more than just liking hair-- it’s a strange addiction.

For those of you who are unaware of this fetish, I should explain what is a Trichophilia? Trichophilia comes from the Greek “trica” meaning hair and “philia” meaning love. It is when a person sees hair, mostly the head hair, but other hair as well, such as chest, pubic, leg, under arm, stomach, as erotic, becoming sexually aroused, by either feeling, cutting, seeing or being groomed. Hair color and hair styles also play a factor in trichophilia. This certainly applied to my murderer in Devil’s Concubine.

Hair doesn’t have any intrinsic sexual value; however, hair is recognized for its erotic significance, especially in women. Hair plays a major role in art and literature as a sign of beauty, vanity, eroticism and even fashion. Hair can determine how healthy we are and effect our religious beliefs. Hair can sometimes give off subconscious flirting signals or tell when we are nervous, such as when we play with it. Hair can even attract us a mate since head hair is regarded as a person’s secondary sexual characteristic.

But does this determine if we are trichophilia? My research was astounding.

I live in a small town where beauty salons and churches are in competition and it was no wonder I found many ladies going to the salons on a weekly basis.

My aunt has gone to the beauty salon every since I was a child. Rain, sleet, snow or shine, that woman goes to the beauty salon every Thursday at four o’clock. Unless it falls on a holiday then she would have her hair done the day before. Every Thursday she will get into her car and drive miles from her rural home into town just to get her hair done. She will be there for at least an hour before she pulls a scarf over her hair, which by the way her hair is so stiff from the cans of hairspray they sprayed on it she really doesn’t need the scarf but she insists, to make her way back home in time to cook supper for my uncle. She’s been doing this since she was in her thirties and probably before then. So for about an hour and a few bucks she’s done until next week. Is she a trichophilia? The answer will surprise you; yes.

Now I know my aunt isn’t getting sexually aroused by this little trip that she takes every Thursday. In fact I doubt if any of the old ladies that go each week to get their hair done is there for the immense sexual pleasure. But they are getting a dose of production of endorphins every time they go into the salon; studies show this and that is what is so surprising.

Imagine laying back, wonderful smelling soaps being massaged into your hair, there is laughter from the people around you along with gossip. This is an endorphin high for them.

But it’s not just old ladies filling up the shops that are feeling this endorphin high as they say. The younger ones are getting a big charge off of it as well, probably more so than the older ladies.

Women have stated on more than one occasion, I always flip my hair to make sure they notice I have been to the salon or I did up my hair especially for my date. These women are sexually charged from their hair. I might add these women get in groups and have to quickly point out their latest do when they are congregated together, which leads to an endorphin high when they receive those compliments from one another.

It’s not just women who are reaching this endorphin high from their hair. Men also have a fetish with well groomed hair. Perhaps not to the extreme as a woman but they do have this thing when it comes to their heads as well.

Hair care products have become a million dollar business and with advertisements announcing they have the most new innovative product that will make your hair thicker, vibrant, fuller, curlier, straighter, softer, younger looking and so forth, who can not help become a little obsessed with their hair? Do we become the next victim of trichophilia? The answer is no, but we are teetering towards it.

Hair fetish isn’t anything new. In fact as a baby I bet you didn’t realize you were fascinated with hair. You touched your own head feeling the uniqueness of this feeling and let’s not forget the many times you played with a parents’ or an adult’s hair fascinated by the strands presented to you. By the time you are able to hold a brush we are brushing, touching and styling our hair. This will carry us to the day we die.

My question I put before you is would someone kill because of this fetish? And if so, why? As I did my research for Devil’s Concubine I figured my murderer was on an endorphin high when he scalped his victims. The character has many factors that play a role in his decision to hunt down a victim, trap them and then take their hair in such a horrendous way.

So we must determine when do you cross the line to be considered a trichophilia or someone who just wants their hair done on a weekly basis? There is no clear-cut answer. We all have some form of this, if you care anything about your hair. But when we become so obsessed with our hair, when we will kill for hair is when it becomes trichophilia like in Devil’s Concubine.



Monday, December 10, 2012

Carla Landreth Shares Her Latest Book




Sometimes as you go along the path of life you get kicked in the gut, hoping you don’t get back up, but not for me, not this writer. I have always worked hard and persevere in anything I do. Whether it be my role as mom, wife, or writer I have always thrown myself into my work.

It’s my passion for telling tales, and that would never disappear no matter how bad my life could get. It’s been a long five years for this author, but she has prevailed. I have pushed myself beyond limits others would not do.

Six years ago my last book, Silk Stocking Road, was a factually inspired story about racism and murder in the 1920’s. Set in the small backdrop of my home town of De Leon, Texas. That was my last book.

So much has happened since that little book came out, my husband’s death, my role as parent would be tested, decisions in my life would change dramatically and my writing would be set aside for a time being.

But who knew this year would be an interesting year. Not only did Silk Stocking Road get pitched to film producers, I got to meet people along the way, who would be not only sparking me back into life, but in my writing as well, and oh yeah, I got a new publisher--BookLocker.

Today, I have a new book coming out and my awaiting fans who have asked over and over again over the last five years, “When is the next book?” will finally have to wait no more.

I should explain how I got the idea for such a book. One day while watching a cheesy western on television, I got an idea when one of the women was scalped. As you know I can have an imagination. What if someone scalped a person now days? Why would they do such act? Before I knew it, I had my trusty legal pad and pencil and was sketching out the latest novel.

In one afternoon I had outlined a novel with characters. In four months I had completed the manuscript and now in one week that book will be out in markets across the globe.

As you know, it wouldn’t be a Carla Landreth novel without the most surprising ending and, yes, it’s a complete page turner. I was thrilled when my editor read the novel and reported back, “You certainly went outside the box and this time your mystery readers are in for a real treat.” I take that as a very good compliment, considering he has worked with greats such as Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oats in the past. Today, I thought it’s time to share what the buzz is all about and gear you all up for it’s release.

What is the story called? Devil’s Concubine.

What is it about? A fictional mystery set in small town Texas, a homicide detective is about to encounter the strangest and most bizarre case of his career.

Detective Gavin Reece is called to the scene of a gruesome murder. The victim is female and has been scalped. He believes this case to be cult related. However Detective Reece soon learns, with the help of his retiring partner and his new partner-to-be, nothing seems as it appears in this case. Reece will uncover a murderer’s seven year methodical killing spree.

In two weeks Detective Reece’s professional and personal life will interfere with this case. But when the killer has targeted one of their own, Detective Reece will do the most unthinkable act in his career, use riddles from an innocent man to catch a monstrous killer.

There you have it.

Over the next few weeks or at least the next few months, my blog, for those of you who follow my blog, I really appreciate it by the way, will see that each article I write will reflect some aspect of Devil’s Concubine. So I believe my readers will be in for a treat with that.

I am also asking my readers to not be shy and give a review of the latest book when you read it. You’d be surprised how many writers like me depend on your reviews.

As I said things are starting to get back into the groove around here and my fans, who I want to thank for being patient, will be seeing a lot more books in the future. Life may have kicked this writer, but she’s not going down without a fight!

This book will be available through Amazon or BookLocker But for those of you who want to learn more about me or any of my books, you can visit my website at .

Monday, November 12, 2012

Everything Has an Age Limit

Everything Has an Age Limit



There comes a time in every body's life we have to accept the fact we are older. With age comes letting go of the past. Like going past it's expiration's date, you need to throw away or at least put it up in a box to bring out later to share memories with your grand kids.

So what is it that needs to go to the attic as they say? Well, Carla is sounding off on this and hopefully some of you will catch my drift.

The first thing that needs to go is halter tops. Sorry, they are only good if you are pencil thin and have Heidi Klum's body or not past the age of twenty one, possibly twenty three, depending on how you are doing body wise. It irritates me to see these over weight, middle aged women putting on these halter tops thinking they are still young. It's nice to think you are young, but wearing your daughter's or grand daughter's halter top? Also tube tops are a no, no. Don't forget what comes with age. Whatever wasn't sagging before is now rushing to go south. We don't want to see it.

Makeup is great to hide the flaws that age has given us, but do you really think you need that eighties blue eye shadow, bright red lipstick or that bright blush? The answer is no. You have no idea how much you look like a clown coming down the street with all that bright stuff on, it's scary. Add the big teased hair and you definitely look like a clown.

Speaking of hair, big teased hair is out, unless you are trying to hide the balding spot on the top of your head. A good hairdresser knows a few tricks without making you look like you belong to the Happy Beehive Club. Color is an issue. Believe it or not the older we get, our hair color is not suppose to be the same as it was in your twenties. Hair color needs to be chosen carefully, not what looks good on the box, which means stay away from the coal black hair or the bright red you are fancying right about now.

That perfume you wore in high school is no longer in style and please don't go for that stuff that smells like baby powder with flowers, what we call old lady perfume. It may turn grandpa on, but guess what? The rest of us are suffering two isles over.

The casual dress you wore when you were a teen and got you the Most Best Dress award at high school, doesn't mean you should carry that style up into your older age. I'm referring to those ladies and men stuck with seventies polyester suits, sixties micro minis and the Madonna look. Don't you just hate it when someone who is dressed like this says, "Everything comes back into style." Obviously we haven't been reading the complete article in Cosmo when it said it has been reinvented.

I remember an old woman in our little community, Mrs. Green, she was about seventy at the time and she was a huge embarrassment. But in her little mind she was still Mrs. Robinson. Wearing the big hair, bright makeup and yes, those halter tops. I won't mention the Daisy Duke shorts that only showed her wrinkled legs, saggy ass and high heels to boot. Everybody in town used her in a joke and when Tammy Faye came on we weren't shocked as rest of America. In fact we thought Tammy was a little tame compared to Mrs. Green.

I remember how many times she went for the men in our little community. The women found it amusing as this little old lady flirted her way with their spouses, boyfriends, dads, brothers, and uncles. There was no age limit as well, ask some of the young boys who worked at our local grocery store (sorry Steve) who was honored to carry her groceries out to her old Buick. The woman, herself thought she was a cougar while the town saw her as a joke and harmless.

Recently however in my little town I am seeing more and more of these little ladies on the move. At first I thought it was just my little town, I was wrong. It's hitting all of the little towns of America. It's an epidemic! I'm here to tell you please, please control yourselves. Everything has an age limit and I wish you all would see it.

If you still want to dress this way after I have said you look embarrassing not only to yourself but to your family and friends, then I suggest you get with your significant other and play games in the bedroom. Everybody likes to play fantasies in the bedroom. Like, what character am I? Like I said there comes a time when age limit plays a part in our decision making as we get older and I think its high tide you think before you put on those things for everyday use.

Books by Carla Landreth

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Picture this; my cousin, Becky and I have taken to an afternoon of fun at the local strip mall. Window shopping, which has become some what of a lost art. For those of you who don't know what that means, it means, you go into a store and don't buy a damn thing. You look, you touch, you put down and you walk out.

My daughter, George, needs something from Rue 21, a favorite among the teens and some adults as well. So we go in, while she searches for what she wants, we adults will browse around the store. I must make a quick note here, browsing for us is really playing around with the merchandise.

The store is unusually packed on this nice warm Saturday afternoon, but that doesn't stop Becky and me from doing our usual fun. We head over toward the jewelry, but not before we get caught by the panty bin. As we pick up some of the ridiculous panties, it is agreed, that only low class hookers would be wearing them and only if they were dead. We giggle, cracking jokes at the many things we see in this bin before finally making our way over to the jewelry.

The latest style however hasn't exactly hit a high note with us. The new style is owls and we cringe at the sight as everybody oohs and aahs over the latest fad.

That 70's craze that swept America and my Aunt Carolyn, has someway made its way back. My aunt was so obsessed with this craze she decorated her entire house with owls. The sad part, you go into her house to this day and owls still dominate the decor, talk about freaky.

So every time Becky and I see these owls, a blast from the past, we giggle and think of our aunt and her obsessive love for the fine feathered friends.

Today our jokes would be no different as we skimmed over the stuff. We are laughing, making little comments, some are clean, some are not so clean, but it's all in good fun. We keep them low and to ourselves but the laughter we have to share.

Now before I go any further with this story, let me say when Becky and I are hanging out together we have a blast. Don't get me wrong we know when to have fun and when to be on our best behavior. But overall expect fun when you hang out with us.

So Becky and I are having a blast. George normally keeps her distance from us, except today. This may have been a day she should have stayed away from us.

As we are laughing, having the time of our life, not caring what the world around us thinks, we are quickly approached by a serious woman, who asks us, have we been drinking?

Besides being stunned, we can't help but laugh, not only at the woman, but the entire situation. When we finally told her we haven't had a drop and that we were just having fun. We, however, got the impression she thought we were lying even though she said, "I wish I had that much energy." As the lady walked away we decided to go back to our fun despite being accused of public intoxication.

Later that night it occurred to me, that people now days have lost their spunk for fun. We were having so much fun and were so happy doing so, that nobody, not even a room full of people, could tell the difference between being drunk and being happy.

Now mind you we weren't being disruptive with our fun. In fact the oodles of teens and their nasty gossip were louder than us. We kept the jokes to ourselves except the laughing and you can't exactly muffle that when it's a good joke.

I have noticed that true fun, has disappeared in the population of America. If you don't believe me, next time you go to the mall, do some people watching, the conversations are tragic and scary. Not to mention the pouty people who had to drive to the mall and complain about the whole situation. Still not convinced, try Facebook and Twitter, more complaints than from a hooker having a slow day. Now don't get me wrong we all have fun to an extent, but the kind of fun I'm talking about is the kind of fun that is so exhilarating that when the day is over you don't forget it. Twenty years from now I'll remember the famous day of my false public intoxication.

So I got to wondering, who's the culprit here? What has caused us to lose our fun mechanism? With a little research I think I found what is interfering with this little gene we call fun.

Schedules--we all live by them, in fact that's how the world runs; on schedules. But have you ever thought that sometimes you need to throw the schedule out the window. Sure every Saturday morning you get up, clean your house, do the weekly shopping, come home, plop your butt in front of the TV and call it a day. Sounds fun but when you factor in you clean house for two hours, get ready to go shopping in ten minutes, then shop for three get my point here. We demand schedules which, is interfering with fun.

Pair Down--In our society today we are in so many activities that it's a wonder we can even think. I call this category stress burners. Every hour of our spare time is spent doing sport events, school events, church events, work events, no wonder nobody has time to let lose. Sure those things can be fun but once again I'm talking about absolute fun. I feel if you are being pulled in so many directions, perhaps it's time to cut back on those activities. Clutter free life is not only for the house but your social life as well.

Spontaneity--We certainly lack this in our life. When was the last time at the last minute you decided to change something? Like instead of going to the movies, go outside and visit with your neighbor instead. Pop over and get an ice cream cone just plain cone not some fancy stuff in a cup you always get at the local Dairy Queen. While remodeling the house, you suddenly abandon work and go off with your spouse and have wild sex. How about calling your boss and tell him your taking a personal day. Then do something total out of character. Spontaneity hardly exists these days we live by timed schedules.

Smile and laugh--People don't do this enough, hence forth why we are discussing this. I have discovered people who smile more have a better life in general and those who laugh more are happier. I know what you are saying, what is there to laugh about in this day and age? Well, if you got rid of the schedules every once in a while and pair down social obligations just a little and throw caution to the wind when it comes to your spontaneity, you would be smiling and laughing more.

Sure the co-worker in the next cubical may think you have cracked when you start laughing out loud when you think back of the unadulterated fun you had over the weekend, but who cares, you found fun. That poor schmuck had to endure his rigorous schedule, which includes, two hours of cleaning house, three hours of shopping, two school functions which ran two hours each, a baseball game that went into over time that made him late for the boring company picnic, a short conversation with the preacher that turned into thirty minutes, and listen to his in-laws complain how he cooked the hamburgers wrong because he was trying to beat the sun going down.

My brother, Jason once posted on his Facebook, "If life's a journey, then where are the rest stops?" My answer is quite simple. You make them with fun. You find this little gem and the rest of the world isn't so bad and the rest stops are more exciting.

So what does all it all mean? It means, in order to have this absolute fun I talk about, you have to toss the freaking schedule sometimes, disappoint a few obligations, do things on a whim every once and a while and smile and laugh you're way through it. That's pure fun.

Hey Becky, they are getting a shipment of drag queen shoes, should we go look at them?


   Books by Carla Landreth