New York City and the Allaires

This weekend we celebrated the eldest’ birthday in New York City!

We went to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two.

The kids and I had read the screenplay, each responsible for a bunch of parts. I have to say; my son did an impersonation of Draco Malfoy that was unforgettable! Of all the parts I played, I feel that I really resonated with Professor Mcgonagall. It’s good to see that she’s still super sassy and not about to put up with nobody’s hot mess… even if you are the Minister for Magic.

Suffice to say, the shows were amazing, certainly well worth the mortgage payment price.

On the second part, we splurged on the lounge option where we got to have dinner, desert, and drinks before and during intermission.

I’m disappointed that some people were too celebratory during Voldemort Day, but what can you expect from a Slytherin?

My kids also went to Central Park for the first time. I don’t think they were as impressed about it as I was. I love how energized the park is. There are musicians and artists all around. You can catch a bride walking along a bride to her groom on the other side. It’s a beautiful place to be in spring.

We also checked out the American Museum of Natural History. I was brazen, I wanted to DO ALL THE THINGS, so our day was spent doing all the special features of the museum, but not really getting to see any of the key elements. <~ which to me means another museum trip in the future!

 We got to play with butterflies.

We learned about the ocean:

We got pretty intimate with notorious T-Rex:

We watched this epic IMAX movie about backyard creatures. My youngest was really fascinated, so we may end up installing a critter cam in our wooded area to see what calls that area home.

Finally, we visited their planetarium to see Dark Universe. And all of this was fruitful because I made a cosmicoceanological connection that has revolutionized the way my the science of my Children of the Planes novel pans out.

After the museum, we visited Laughing Man Coffee. This was the only thing on my husband’s list, being a fan of Hugh Jackman.

I had it in my head that this was a coffee shoppe, but I’d call it more like a coffee stop, which was a tad bit disappointing given that we paid over $27 to take a cab from the museum to this location to make sure that we got there on time. Turns out there are two locations and we went to the Duane Street option. The other one looks more of what I envisioned in my head. We sat outside, which to me was the perk of the place. People with their pups were sitting, and there was cute dog that I swear looked like the Lorax.

Finally, I don’t think it’s that surprising that I monopolized on our journey to Pokehunt. Living in a rural area, I was in Pokestop overload. And all our walking, despite the constant groaning of the kids, was worth it:

We are headed back to New York City again in two weeks. Any places that you have to visit when you’re in the city?

Celebrating National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. I haven’t always been a fan of poetry, and I really wasn’t thrilled with having to take poetry for my degree program. Structurally, it didn’t make sense to my brain. Why do you cut a sentence apart into lines or have no sentences at all?! I never realized that I cared so much about grammar as I did when trying to understand poetry.

Poetry was exactly what I needed in life, however. It’s become a way for me to express a lot of ideas that I can’t really do in other outlets. It’s also been a blessing in teaching myself to slow down, to examine things with time stopped. As such, it’s been very therapeutic to work things out in this format, and I find myself drawn to it quite often.

I’ve been going to poetry readings as well. One of my favorite professors is a poet; he did a spoken word event to bring awareness to HIV and AIDs in my first year, and I was floored by how much energy he can draw when he’s on a stage. He was recently recognized as Hartford’s first poet laureate, and so I’ve had further access to hear him read his poems aloud. He’s also introduced me to other local poets in the area. I can’t speak about National Poetry Month without also speaking about how awesome Professor Frederick Douglass Knowles II is!

So how can you celebrate this month?

Read poetry! is a great resource for discovering what makes poems transcend time. They feature bios of poets and snippets of what inspired the poems. My favorite is their poem-a-day feature. I get an email every morning!

Today’s featured poet is Nikky Finney, a poet who I had never heard of until today. Check out her poem  O’ Noblesse O.’

Poetry is best served orally.

Here are some of my favorites:

And our Allaire family Poet Laurette:
Broken Pieces by Lisa Shirley-Allaire

Another way to enjoy National Poetry month is to WRITE poetry.

Writer’s Digest is having a daily challenge on their site. They set out a prompt and you draft up a poem and share it within that day, if you find yourself unsure how to start the writing process. It’s also great because you can see how other poets tackled that challenge and learn from their perspectives.

When I discovered this daily challenge, it was already on day 6. So I gave that one a go. The prompt was to start with the word “After.” I wasn’t sure if I was going to post this, because it ends on a hot debate item in our family, but isn’t that what poetry is about, finding a way to navigate life, even the uncomfortable bits?

Tea Time

When I was growing up, my mom used to take me to a British tea shoppe forty minutes away from our home. I’m guessing it was her way of trying to raise me with some sense of her culture, but I was not cultured by any means, which meant I was in constant opposition of the woman who ran the shop. She was an “elbows off the table, child!” type of person, so you can imagine we got along smashingly…

As such, I’ve always had a bitter taste for tea. Now that I’m an independent woman, in control of where I can put my elbows, I’ve been relaxing my opposition of tea.

Especially when I think of Lewis Carroll.

I loved Carrol’s interpretation of the world through Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, because it reminds me a lot of how children initially observe their surroundings and try to put everything into a larger context. They are paraded by adults through constant stimuli, all of which often seems new and disconnected!

As an adult, the book allows you to go back to the excitement of throwing all logic going out the window and appreciating the randomness that is left.

In his tale, there’s an iconic moment where Alice runs into the Mad Hatter, who is having tea with the March Hare and the Dormouse. I loved it because ALL THE RULES of tea time are flamboyantly and willfully ignored. Take that, mean tea shoppe lady!

If tea must be endured, that’s the kind of tea time that my kids will be growing up around.

In the Mystic Village, there is a tiny tea shoppe that brings Carroll’s vison to life. It was the perfect blend of my mother’s insistence of “proper tea,” (although since the loose leaf tea leaves had already been removed before it got to her, she’ll probably argue that it wasn’t proper after all) and my need for not being pressured to pour things a certain way.

We took Granny to celebrate her birthday!

Naturally, I was the Mad Hatter.

And my merry tea time team:

Please note that elbows on the table is the preferred position when eating at my table.
Also note, Granny broke the tea pouring rules!

I’m Going to Camp!!!

Camp NaNoWriMo is only a few short days away, and I’m excited!

For those not in the know, Camp NanoWrimo is the love child of NanoWriMo, a time away from the vigorous expectation of the elder namesake and it’s 50,000 words within a single month of craziness.

My story idea is a new one that I’ve been developing: a child not too school savvy who has fallen in love with only one book of his life, and it ends with a cliffhanger. The need to find the sequel to the book is strong, but it seems the author never got around to making it! What’s a kid to do? Give up?! Obviously, the answer is no!

One of my favorite features of the Camp experience is that YOU, the amazing writer with a million other responsibilities, get to make your own manageable goal. Forget the NaNoWriMo box; create your own!

This month I will try to write 30,000, which is about 30,000 more than I wrote for the month of February.

Ok I lied, I spent some time writing poetry.

But drafting stories is a mixture of feeling almost godlike to being reduced to a mere mortal within the same breath.

It’s not good for the blood pressure some days.

Which is why the second unique feature of CampNanoWrimo is so valuable: bunkmates! In a forum-based discussion group, you are paired with various people (or create your own cabin) to have a support group.

So far my bunkmates are ready for action!

Anyone else participating in CampNaNoWriMo this year?

My Support Crew

Friday is almost here, which means that Children of the Planes will be released into the world!

To celebrate, I would like to spotlight those who supported me during the composing stages of this piece:

My husband who is my biggest creative cheerleader and proudly serves his country. Without him making the choices that he has made, there wouldn’t have been any need to write a book about coping with deployment.

My kids deserve the biggest shout out. They pushed me to create this story, brainstormed ideas with me, and were my beta readers. I may have been a bit crazy at times trying to form ideas or asking a million questions, but they took it like champs. Seriously, this book should have their names on it too.

My mother for her motherly intuition to know that I’d be a published author someday.

Aunt Mo for being the first Allaire family writing trailblazer. Check out her own published series at

The Shenanigans Crew for always being there, reading my work when I needed a set of grown up eyes, and for celebrating my successes like they were your own.

Joan and Kelli, the other lady leaders of our little crew. You are my village. Their kids are like my very own, hence why they appear within this book.

The Gabriele family for letting me burrow in the corner to write while the children took karate classes. Sometimes that was the only time in the day I was able to write.

Miss Julie for taking the time to help revise this story. I can be a hot mess of a writer. If you don’t see the hot mess, it’s because Julie caught it.

Last, but not least, there were many more who have supported my journey, friends and family who were excited when I shared news about my progress or have promised to purchase the book. I can’t thank you all enough for being part of my original fan base!

On loan from the Scriptorium

Legend tells of a heavenly chain of bookstores in the far off shores of Niantic where there are thousands of books available for a low fee. They have cats, they have playgrounds, they even offer snacks and coffee. It sounds too good to be true.

Seriously though, I knew the Book Barn in Niantic was not a legend; it exists. Part of self-control; however, is knowing that you shouldn’t go into these kinds of establishments, or you’ll walk out penniless. Staying away is a matter of fiscal responsibility.

On my birthday; however, the family and I decided to make an epic day of going to the Book Barn’s all four locations. FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER.

I’m pretty sure my family thinks it is hilarious when I drop my very rigid purchasing stamina and splurge. What’s one more dollar book, mom? Get all seventeen books in a science fiction series from the 1960’s!

All those books, and we barely broke over $100.

It’s been almost a year since the great book splurge of 2018, and I’m still working through my selection.

Up on the list right now is Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.

I noticed that there was a little insert. Robin asked her dearest friends and family to take care of her book and to ensure it returned to library.

I found it in a used book store, guys. Either Robin no longer has a library (Dang, did she watch Marie Kondo too?), or a loved one violated her request to return it to her personal library.

I’m pretty conflicted about this. I’m sorry Robin. Not only do I have no ability to return it to you, but I wrote in it… a lot.

The note had me thinking:

I loan books out all the time. In fact, I’m a self-proclaimed book pusher. If there is a book that I think you’d like, I will hound you to read it, and if I have a copy of that book in my possession, it’s easier to push it onto you.

There have been a fair number of books that I have purchased, and I won’t ask for them back. I figure there’s gotta be a good reason that someone didn’t return it: the most likely being they never finished (or started?) reading it, but plan to.

I loved the idea of showing the connection that these books have to my own personal library. Even if they never return, they had a spot within my illustrious Scriptorium, if but only for a small moment in time.  

And maybe it’s the conditioning of my college days to keep a mental log of commentary while reading so I can write a fifteen page paper later on it, but even to this day I still love annotating the books that I read. Even if it’s, “OMG what are you doing?!”

So, I made my own little inserts for the Scriptorium books. I put my web address in case anyone comes upon the book, in say a used book store, and wants to reunite it with the Scriptorium. I’m one step ahead of Robin!

I also made a blank one, in case anyone else on the internet would like to bedazzle their own personal library books. If you’d like the PSD copy to alter it to put your own ideas, email me at and I will gladly email it you.

Children of the Planes

The Kindle Edition is Now Available for Pre-Order

Maybe it is his video game withdrawal or the fact that he is not used to being outside for such lengthy periods of time, but Zane finds himself under constant surveillance of an alien named Jax. Jax never stops talking, trying to convince Zane that it is able to travel to an Inner Plane of the universe where an Aged is King is destroying civilization to find his lost jewel. Jax has plenty of stories to share about how the children of the Inner Plane are fighting back:

An orphan forced work in the textile factories within the Walled Cities who learns to read.

A warrior girl of the Arikara Tribes that reunites her people with the Great Herd.

An elemental boy who rescues a baby bear from wolves and learns they share a special connection.

The youngest sea captain who crashes on an island that reveals memories that had been purposely taken from him.

Are these children real, or is Zane going crazy?

Book One of the Children of the Planes series.

The Writer’s Blessing and Happy New Years!

2018 was an incredible year for me.

I became a champion of both CampNaNoWrimo and NaNoWrimo.

I started this website to promote my work.
I created a Twitter platform and have 880 followers.

I graduated with a B.A.  in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.

I earned the Lavender Award for my championship of LGBTQ inclusivity on the college campus I work for.

And I completed my Women’s Study certificate.

I finished the Children of the Planes novel and completed the rough draft of its sequel.

Finally, I became a published author.

All humble bragging aside, what great feats did you all accomplish this year? What goes have you set for yourself for 2019?