Tuesday, July 27, 2010

When laundry rooms (and life) smells like dung

The mere idea of how complicated I am is exhausting. I mean, I have certain rituals that occupy my time like "the tuck," constant hand-washing, wearing a robe in 100 degree weather...but then, on the flip side, I can't explain things like this:
Shhhhyyeeaahh, so...awkward. Don't even get me started on the closets. Inspired by Tawna's post, and BR80's words, I thought I'd get my freakin' act together and be the change in my own house. So I organzied, and scrubbed, and shifted things around. And in the end, this:
Funny enough, the first set of pictures is how I write a rough draft-messy, random, unorganized-in-an-organized kind of way, and the second set is what I end up with. It's still not perfect, but it's a cleaner start...kind of like life.

Speaking of a cleaner start, sometimes, people come into your life for a reason. Maybe it's to make you laugh. Maybe (unfortunately) it's to make you cry. And maybe it's to show you you're not alone. Last week, as some of you may know, was hard. Really hard. I haven't felt so low since I lost the baby. But thanks to emails, Tweets, msgs, time with friends, and lots of good cries, I feel so much better. And then, in yesterday's mail, this:
Thank you, my dear Lenny, for bringing the good kind of tears to my eyes. Sandwiched between two bills (and in front of a screaming toddler), I pulled out this little card of love. To each and every one of you who reads this blog, and has befriended me, I honestly love you. Thank you for standing beside me through all of my random facts, my spilled guts and everything in between.

How about you, friends, is your life currently a messy laundry room or a cleaner (but still needs work) version?
Oh, and, if you missed yesterday's CONTEST update with words from Matt Brady, please read HERE.
Candyland. Out.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Six years ago today

Six years ago today, my father died. In a hospice, without the face I remembered from my times, few and far between, with the man I didn't know was my father.

Six years ago today, I met my husband. At an open mic, in another state that would eventually become my home.

Six years ago today, I had no idea my father was dying. No idea he might have cried out for me or reached for me or whispered my name to a passing nurse.

Six years ago today, I had no idea the drummer with the Ohio accent would become my husband, or my friend or the father of my child.

Six years ago today, I had it all and felt free for the first time ever and I loved every second of it.

Six years ago today, despite the freedom, I was lost, looking for myself and who I wanted to be.

Six years ago today, despite my efforts, my father was lost, looking for me.

Six years ago today, the stars aligned and fates crossed and my father, my husband and myself became forever intertwined. Whether I was ready, or not. And I wasn't ready. To be in love again. To lose the father I'd only started searching for, to find...me. But I did.
To my father,

Today Lilliana's eyes sparkled the way yours used to. The times I saw you. It took me back, caught me off guard, to see you in there rattling around in her glare. I felt like you saw me through her eyes, or she saw me through yours. I couldn't tell. But in that instant, I felt you around us, thickening the air, filling my lungs with your presence. It only lasted a second, but I tried to hold on to it. I tried not to let go. And then she looked away and the air was thin again and my lungs struggled for breaths, the way they always will without you around.

If you could do that again, so I know you see me, so I know you hear me, the cracks in my heart could start to heal. Until the day I die, I'll hurt for you. I'll miss you. And most of all, I'll love you.

Your only daughter

Candyland. Out.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Feel me up Friday Awards: Contest Updates & Oh no...the cup

First, some sucky news: After today, all t-shirt prices will increase to $25 per shirt, regardless of size or color. This is due to the site's "special" ending. Yes, this is a GIANT #epic #candylandfail for not noticing how long the special ran, but I'm new at this whole fundraising biz and alas, there's good news too. All t-shirt orders will now get 20 entries and all others have been raised to more entries, per activity, as well.

Yeah, it sucks. I suck. The t-shirt peeps suck. Suck suck suck. Moving on...

Just remember, you don't HAVE to enter this way. There's other ways to rock the contest. If you want a shirt at the original price, order TODAY before 4pm, and yours will be included in the 1st and last shipment of the affordable tees. After that, twenty-five buckaroos, but still, for a good cause.

Operation Stats since Tuesday's announcement: 
Total donations: $85
Total shirts sold: 4
Total graphics made: 1
Total downloads: 1
WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS, FRIENDS!!! With all the amazing prizes, donate, give, create, buy, listen-whatever. Just do it! You can't go wrong here.

Also, I've decided to group the prizes, so if you win, you can pick! Liiikkkkeee, if you want to enter but have no manuscript, you can still win gift cards or books. It sounds more complicated than it is, but the new format is now visible on the contest post. You'll see what I mean.

Random Fact: Remember that effing plastic cup? While washing dishes, it stared at me with its stupid orange stripes and I kind of lost it and...well...
Random Fact: I don't feel bad about throwing the cup away. Sorry hubs.

Thanks to everyone who's spreading the good word to help make this fundraiser/contest a success. If you're an agent/author/editor etc. who wants to donate, I'll be accepting them until the last day, July 31st.

To everyone else, keep Tweeting, FBooking, Blogging until your fingers hurt. This is about something bigger than us, and together we CAN make a difference. In fact, if you look at the new/original contest page, you'll see if you put this banner up on your page, linking to the contest page, there's the fifth way to enter the contest. If you need a better resolution of the image, just shoot me an email.

Give. Buy. Create. Listen. Promote. Total number of entries for posting: 5

Happy weekend friends. Spread the love.
Team. Candyland. OUT.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Operation "I Heart Joy Like BR80" Contest

Hello friends. I've had problems with Blogger, so this is a new "contest" post, only condensed. I hope by now, you know who New Medicine and Matt Brady are, but if you don't, they're the reason for this monumental giveaway. Matt Brady is New Medicine's bassist, and an avid supporter of the non-profit, Joy 2 the World, which generates micro-credit loans for the women of Ghana to encourage independence and empowerment (all pics via Matt Brady + J2W)
They're an amazing organization who helps build wells for clean water (as opposed to river water), create pre-k schools with hot meals, give loans to women for small business start-up and awards scholarships to those attending school.
To read Matt Brady's amazing journey in Ghana, click HERE.
To read more about Joy 2 the World, click HERE or HERE

To enter Operation I Heart Joy Like BR80:
1) G is for GIVE: Donate directly to J2TW. The more you give, the more entries you'll receive.
To donate, please click HERE or HERE or HERE or HERE
Total number of entries per dollar: 2 5
2) C is for CREATE: No cash? It's cool. Create your own graphic supporting this cause.
Total number of entries per graphic: 3
3) L is for LISTEN: To support my boys, download one or both of New Medicine's singles "Laid" or "The Takeover" on iTunes. To download, please click HERE.
Total number of entries per download: 10
4) B is for BUY: Buy a limited edition "Team Candyland" or "Team BR80" shirt for $25. Use the "BUY NOW" button to the right of the page.
Total number of entries per shirt ordered: 20

5P is for PROMOTE: Paste the banner on your web page or blog with a link to this page and spread to the good word!
Total number of entries for blogging/pasting/linking: 5

6) W is for WIN: It wouldn't be a contest without prizes! There's two groups, one for writers and one for readers so no one is left out. Also, entering at all is a win/win for you, and the women of Ghana!
For Writers:
-(5) winners will be invited to a private webinar + query, synopsis + 5 page critique with superagent Natalie Fischer
-30 minute phone consultation with superagent Michelle Wolfson
-3 chapter tandem critique by authors Tawna Fenske and Cynthia Reese
-Copy edit of 3 chapters by supereditor/superawesome (formerly of Baker's Mark) Gretchen Stelter
-50 page critique by author Sean Ferrell
-Query letter + 3 chapter critique by author Beth Revis
-Skype session and copy of ebook "From the Query to the Call" by Elana Johnson
-Query, synopsis + 5 page critique by author Carrie Harris
-Critique of manuscript by author Dianne Salerni
-Line edit of first 30 pages (YA) by author Valerie Kemp
-(2) Query critiques by author Rose Cooper
-Ten page critique by author T.H. Mafi
-Query critique + winner interview on blog by author Matthew Rush

For Everyone:
 -Autographed copy of "The Body Finder" + swag bag donated by author Kimberly Derting
-Autographed set of "Lost Dog," "Chasing Smoke," and "Day One" donated by author Bill Cameron
-A copy of highly anticipated "Numb" donated by author Sean Ferrell
-Special pre-order of highly anticipated "Across the Universe" donated by author Beth Revis
-Autographed New Medicine CD, autographed poster donated by Candyland & Photo Finish Records
-ARC of Yvonne Woon's "Dead Beautiful" donated by Candyland
-Pre-order of Kiersten White's highly anticipated "Paranormalcy" donated by Candyland
-"We Hear the Dead" tee donated by author Dianne Salerni
-One of (4) Signed prints + (1) signed original piece of artwork by author Rose Cooper
-One of (3) Amazon gift cards donated by author T.H. Mafi
-Copies of "24 Hours London" + "24 Hours Paris" donated by author Talli Roland

Something extra for those who donate $$$:
The chance to win a special "Candyland says Thank You" prize pack:
-Free Team Candyland or BR80 Tee
-$15 Gift Card to online store of your choice
-16 oz handmade candle in the scent of Buttercream Icing

How entries are counted: Email all proofs of donation, downloads, banner links and graphics to candaceganger@yahoo.com. T-shirt orders will be sent automatically to my inbox. Also, forward any questions, concerns or donation offers to the same email! Enter as many times as you'd like, in as many ways as you'd like. The contest will run through July 31st and winners will be announced Monday, August 2nd.

Team Candyland. OUT.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Feel me up Friday Awards: I posed with her and our clothes were...

If it's possible for skin to peel away from the heat, I'm well on my way. It's been effing ridiculous here all week. It's like, steamy and suffocating and disgusting and I hate it. #whinewhinewhinelittlecandyland

Aside from that, I got super sweet We Hear the Dead postcards and bookmarks in the mail from Ms. Dianne (Salerni). Anyone who wants one, just say so in the comments and I'll get them to you on a first come first serve until they're gone! Yay give away!

Another plus was, I finished the last lesson in my soon to be public YA Novel Writing for Beginners course for KSURF online. Woo-freakin-Hoo!!! Time for celebration drinkys<--scratch that after dropping my phone in the toilet 2 weeks back...

Okay, so time for celebration chocolate and oh...did I mention this band I'm going to see tonight called...uhh.....freakin' New Medicine? I might have mentioned them once...or twice....hmm...

Oh, and did I say...Candyland made the guest list? Yuh-huh. Thank you Matt Brady. I'm sure Monday I'll have all kinds of gushing to do.

Random Fact: Candyland saw the most random band last night (kind of). That's right. The Gin Blossoms? What? It was free, what can I say...This fact goes no further than this post. I mean it! I'd rather you tell people about dropping my glasses in the toilet than seeing the Gin Blossoms. Yeah, welcome to my world, new followers (and we only stayed for the opening band because it rained like a mofo before the GB so, yeah...).

Random Fact: In high school, my former best friend and I had her senior pictures taken. Together. Clothes on. Sorry to ruin the fantasy (but we were kids so yuck). Seriously un-cool? Yeah. But we didn't care. I still have the picture but I'd rather see the Gin Blossoms again than post. (Next time Candyland has a drinky without puking, maybe it'll find its way on here, I'm sure...)

OH WOW! It's been such a long week. That was exactly what I needed to end this week with. Has anyone ever told you how sensitive your touch is? Oh. Well they should. Magnificent! I want to again thank Bru from Pitch Slapped for honoring me with an amazing award yesterday. I'm beyond grateful. If you don't know this woman, check her out. She's beautiful.

And OMG I can't believe another week has gotten away from me without passing on some awards but dear friends, I must prepare for tonight's inevitable embarrassment (meeting Matt Brady)...

Hellzzz yeah.

Until next Friday my lovelies, tell me...
Have you ever been to a concert you didn't want to announce to the world (as I just did)?

Candyland. OUUUTTTT.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Be a freakin' hero

Do something good today.

Not like, put the toilet seat down kind of good. Or even wear deodorant for everyone else's sake. Actually, do those things anyway but that's not what I'm getting at. If you've read my blog long enough, you've heard some outrageous facts on Feel Me Up Fridays. I'm not afraid to expose my insides. In fact, I recommend it. It's THE BEST form of therapy. For realz.

One thing you might have noticed is the banner on the top of my page. If you haven't heard of To Write Love on Her Arms, you MUST check them out. They're an amazing organization who offers hope to those suffering from depression, suicide, self-injury, drug and alcohol addiction. They advocate healing through love, compassion and understanding.

Here's a random fact for you to swallow: This organization saved my life. Over the weekend, I had an email exchange with a new blog friend who reminded me how important it is to talk. We, as a people, don't talk enough. Through open communication and a "no fear" approach, it's 100% possible to overcome issues such as TWLOHA.
But I don't want this to be a post about me. I want it to be about my new hottie. That's right. Bert's on the verge of replacement and I have proof it's not all one-sided. This dude "likes" my status updates...
 He actually messages me back...
(though in my head it says "I love you, Candyland")
 And his name is really in my inbox. Seriously. I'm sure we'll be together forever. As long as the hubs doesn't mind.
The reason this guy #seriouslyrocks isn't just because he's in a kick-ass band and delicious to my eyes, but because he's deeper than that. There's another superfab organization I've only recently discovered through this New Medicine yummy, Matt Brady. Talk about a rocker with heart...This guy is a huge advocate of the organization, Joy 2 the World, which helps empower the women (and girls) of Ghana, Africa by generating microloans. I can't say enough good things about this band, this hottie or this org.
In a mini email interview, he had this to say:
 "I think J2W is an incredibly unique tool to inspire impowerment, not encourage dependency.  The program is really important to me and i'll be returning to Ghana in January to help oversee its progress."
What he forgot to add was this:
"I'm falling head over heels for you Candyland. If only I could see your face, I'm sure I''d be lost in your invisible eyes forever."

In honor of New Medicine's visit this Friday, I encourage you to do some good today for the women of Ghana, or my lovlies at TWLOHA. More on Matt Brady's mission next week, and why YOU should be a part of it (hubba hubba; he's seriously too hot).

Until then, spread the word. Pay it forward. I've already made my donations, now it's your turn. And if you stalk Matt Brady or New Medicine, tell them Candyland sent you...

If you could create a charity, what would your cause be?
Be beautiful today my friends.
Candyland Out.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Feel me up Friday Awards: Gettin' crap done since 2010

Oh my gosh. This is awkward.

Well, that's what the offspring says, anyway. Fitting since, uhhhhhhhh, Friday came so fast I wasn't prepared for this post. #candylandfail

On the bright side, no long, drawn out foreplay this week. Wait. Is that a good thing or not? What's our relationship coming to if you only stop by to Feel Me Up once a week? Do we need counseling?Maybe we can just write about it. Hmmm......Anyway.....straight to the good stuff. Wash your hands, please. I saw what you did with them earlier.

Random Fact: If I miss Y&R, my whole day is shot. I feel less productive, less Candylandy, less everything. Some days I don't even pay attention to it, but it HAS to be on in the background or I feel crazy. *Wonders if I am crazy....* It's on right now but I have no idea what's happening.*Is definitely crazy*

Random Fact: It's official. One of three big doors has opened and Candyland is writing a YA Novel Writing for Beginners course for KSURF online. My first lesson passed the test and now...to write 9 more lessons before it's live. I'll be teaching the online class as well, sooooo.....yeaahhhhhhhh learning!

WHOA. That was amazing. Friday quickies are nice. Soooo nice. Next time can we have dinner first? Yeah. So this week has been a weird one. Life and all it's circleness completely sucked me in from caterpillar larvae to a funeral and back around again. If there's one thing I want to leave you with this Friday, it's this:

Please don't put crap off today because you think you'll get to it tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come. Yeah it's a famous quote or proverb or something but I said it my way.
Write today. Love today. Live today.

And with the spirit of us all spreading our wings and flying towards our paths to publication (or whatever your dream may be), the winner of a beautiful stained glass butterfly book mark (whattamouthfullll) is.......

Comment#5---------------->Kelly Breakey!

Email your address to [candace ganger at yahoo dot com] pretty please:)

SSS<---Sorry so short, but with the holiday weekend, and blah blah blah, Candyland has some work to do. See ya on zee flip side.

Until then, what one show do you HAVE to see? huh huh huh?

Candyland. OUT.

P.S. Have a safe holiday weekend and watch out for sparklers. They're not as cute as they appear. And bottlerockets can go to hell. Oh and those little snap thingys rock. Do those! Yeah...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rip through your cocoon and fly away

I went to a funeral yesterday.

Everyone wore black. Black hose. Black dress. Black suit. Black heart. I wore pink, the offspring wore a sun dress. It wasn't black. We laughed and sang the whole ride there. It was definitely right but almost felt wrong.

I hate funeral homes. The smell. The casket. The tears. I cried, but for different reasons. I wasn't close to the woman, and didn't know her well. I was merely a support system. But my heart felt different. My heart cracked a little, and it hurt to swallow.

Before we left, the sun shined like a light saber and the air, crisp. I had to explain to a puppy-dog-eyed three-year-old what Heaven is. What death is. Why the woman was in a box, in plain sight, but in Heaven too.


Much like everything else, it made me think of my father and the service he never had. The respect he never had. Or the flowers I have yet to place at the foot of the silver marker. The one that's all wrong, covering the ashes I never knew about.


It made me think of writing. Sometimes it's black. Sometimes it makes me cry, but for different reasons. Sometimes my heart cracks and it hurts to swallow because the story is wrong or right or whatever. Sometimes I have to explain why I let it die or reason why it's better off.

This may not make sense to you, but it's 
a whole lot clearer 
on my end. 

It's time to become a butterfly...

I hope you enjoyed the hubs's guest post yesterday about our pretend pool boy. If you missed it, shameshame.

Tell me, in light of this entire post, and in response to yesterday's, who's your literary crush?

Candyland. Out.

P.S. Leave a comment and you're entered to win a stained glass butterfly bookmark.
Winner announced tomorrow.