About Ali

Personal posts about Ali Cross, including personal insights, stories, family, etc.

“You’re So Skinny” is NOT a Compliment!

| About Ali

No, no, I don’t think I’ve ever heard these words said to ME. Even when I was young, super short and sporty, I was always curvy, or athletic. No, these words are said to my sons, all the time. By friends, kids at school, even teachers and leaders.

It seems harmless, right?

But I’m on my soapbox to tell you, IT IS NOT HARMLESS.

Would you walk up to someone and say, “You’re so fat”? Of course not. We learned a long time ago that wasn’t okay.

But skinniness. That’s totally different, right? Doesn’t everyone want to be skinny?

Actually, no. Especially not teenage boys. Or men. No man wants to be skinny. He wants to be strong, which often means “big”—which is definitely not seen as skinny.

I want to get on my pedestal today and say,

Just quit commenting on BODY, already.

Find something else, something more meaningful to say about a person if you feel the need to say something. I’ll give you some ideas:

 

“You always put me at ease.”

“You have the best smile.”

If you HAVE to say something more superficial, try…

“Dude, your hair looks awesome today!”

“Lookin’ sharp, man!”

Thing is, boys have body images, too. And skinny just hurts a young man’s heart when all he wants is to appear strong and healthy and virile.

Please watch your words next time you’re talking to a young man. Remember there’s a growing, impressionable, and so, so eager to be a man, person in there.

And young men?

If you want to read more thoughts on this subject, particularly as it pertains to women and girls, check out this awesome article.

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Just Your Regular Ol’ Run o’ the Mill Update

| About Ali

So. Much. Going. On. Where in the world do I start?

  • Enrolled our boys in a private school for the next two years.
  • Became a Permanent Cosmetics technician, joined a salon (find me on FB!)
  • Started to sell our house/buy a new house, then changed our minds.
  • Found out David’s not out of the woods with his cancer and has to have more PET scans and more. Next week is FULL of appointments.
  • Found out Xander has Post Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS).
  • Found out Xander has an immune deficiency.
  • Found out Charlie is allergic to barley.
  • Started a publishing company where we will adapt traditional books for the special needs teens and adults. (find us on FB!)
  • Hired writers, an editor, art director, lawyer and more for Ash Books.
  • Started work on a new book!
  • Have been seriously procrastinating working on the new book.
  • Xander started gamma globulin infusions today, which he’ll get every three weeks, possibly for the rest of his life.
  • David presented an amazing bit of technology he created for hackers and Alexa at Black Hat.
  • I’ve gained weight.
  • And I want MORE chocolate. And marshmallows.

What about you? What’s new with YOU?

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Celebrate My Birthday Today!

| About Ali

It’s time for presents, ya’ll!

Comment to win a signed copy of any one of my books! Sorry, far-away friends, I can only ship to the US this time. Mama’s livin’ on a dime these days!

Good luck and Happy Birthday to Me!

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I’m Takin’ a Chance, Folks!

| About Ali

I’ve been waiting for this week to come for a few months now. I’m scared out of my mind. I’m trying something new. Something that might blow up in my face. Or, I might discover something I truly enjoy and a way to bless other people, too. Sorry for being vague, but … what if it doesn’t work out? What if I hate it, or I’m no good at it? I really want to be good at it.

So. I’m taking a chance, folks. Taking a risk. And if you’re thinking about trying something new, too? Take my advice…

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Let’s Be in a Club Together!

| About Ali, About Ali's Books

Back in the day it was all about CLUBS. When I was a kid, my friends and I were constantly coming up with new clubs we could make and then be “members” of. I’m sure it was all a ploy to help us feel popular. But don’t we all want that? No matter how old we are?

I write books and throw them out into the world, and sometimes the silence is deafening. Sometimes, being an author can be tremendously lonely.

So I decided to do what I did as a kid and make my own club! And anyone can join! And I’ll do my best to make everyone feel welcome and like they belong!

There’s only one catch – it’s all about me!

Haha, no it’s not really, but it s a FAN club, built around my books. Members of my club will be the first to learn of new releases, have the chance to win early copies and lots of other ali-awesomeness. We ALSO have weekly giveaways! Sometimes the prize is one of my eBooks, sometimes an eBook I particularly enjoyed.

This week, the prize is your choice of one of these books (some of which are autographed!).

So click the button below to become a member of my exclusive awesome fan club! Hope to see you there!

P.S. I apologize to those of you who subscribe to my blog AND to my newsletter, as this is a direct duplicate. I just really wanted to invite EVERYONE to my little club and I like how I wrote it for the newsletter so … there you go! 😛

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No Shame in My Stories

| About Ali, About Ali's Books, About Writing

Become (Desolation #1)I published my first book, Become, in 2011. I loved it, believed in it, but I was also ashamed of it.

There are some swears in there. Some sexual situations. Drug use, alcoholism, threat of suicide. The devil and demons play big roles and God is nowhere to be seen.

What would people think of it? What would people think of ME?

One time I was at a book fair and when someone asked me about my book, I actually said, “Well, it’s not for everyone.” Of course it’s not for everyone—no book is! But here I was, apologizing for my book to a potential reader. Of course she didn’t buy it. I don’t think anyone bought it that day. Why would they?

That was almost six years ago and believe it or not, I only just allowed myself to release that shame, freeing me to truly love the story I told in the Desolation series.

So here’s what happened. I went to an excellent local writers’ conference where I took a class from the Queen of Dark herself, Mercedes M. Yardley. She writes dark stories. She has embraced the kind of stories she needs to tell and she owns them. She feels no shame. As I listened to her and understood her message, I felt the burden of my own shame lift and lift and just … fly away, like dust in the wind.

I know why I wrote Become. I wrote it for those who have fallen so low they don’t recognize themselves anymore. For them—there’s hope. It’s never too late to choose who you will become. I wrote it for those who feel trapped by a life designed by someone else. For them—no one controls you. No one decides your destiny but you. I wrote it for all of us who have ever been ashamed of who we were and thought no one could accept us. For us—there’s love and forgiveness. It’s never too late.

It’s long past time for me to embrace the theme of the Desolation series. To own the dark in me, as we all have it. To own the light and the hope that I put into all my stories, no matter how dark they might seem at times.

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My Pint-Sized Rock of Happiness & Health

| About Ali

Hang out on my Instagram (or, really…everywhere I am) for any length of time and you’ll see that I’m madly in love with my little dog, Rocky. My sons joke that in the case of a fire, I’d save him instead of them–to which I reply they are nearly seventeen years old and can save themselves, while Rocky is a helpless little buddy with itty bitty legs. He needs me.

But the truth is, I need him.

He hasn’t been officially trained to be a service dog, but he provides me service every single day. He knows when my ME/CFS/FM is flaring, when my pain is high or my energy low. He lies with his warm, soft body pressed against mine and just breathes. His steady, deep breathing eases my own, calms my mind, and helps me to get the kind of restorative rest I need.

I love him with all my heart. Okay, there’s some room in there for my sons, and hubby, too. Room for everyone! Somehow, Rocky helps with that, too. He’s a miracle is what he is.

I love this infographic on all the benefits of owning a dog. Because, find the right furry friend and you’ll not only be happier, but healthier, too. I am a believer! Are you? Tell me about your doggies–bonus for pictures! And if you haven’t found your “one” yet, check out PuppySpot.com.

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What is a Super Mom?

| About Ali

There’s lots of talk about “super moms”. Women tell each other, “Wow, you’re a real super mom” when they hear someone else speak of all they do for their children. It’s not a put-down…necessarily. But it’s not always a compliment, either. Or rather, it’s one of those two-faced compliments.

One face is saying, “you’re doing a great job!” while the other face is saying, “I don’t do all that stuff for my kids and I get angry–I bet she never gets angry–and I screw up all the time and look how nice she looks when I’m just wearing yoga pants and haven’t put on any makeup. Man. I suck! I’m the worst mom ever!”

Few women would ever dare say, “I’m a super mom!” Who would have the guts? Who would even think that? Especially right after Mother’s Day when every mom everywhere is recovering from a day of guilt and shame and doubt.

Yet, I have the nerve to declare in my bio that I, Ali Cross, am a Super Mom.

Because I get tons done in a day? Because I am raising perfect children who are always showered, teeth brushed, dressed impeccably? Because my children get straight A’s, are never late for school, never miss school, are never sick in a day? Because I cook healthy dinners, pack delicious lunches and feed my children healthy breakfasts every day?

NO!

I am a Super Mom because I care. Because I am doing all I can, every day, to love and serve and help. Because I worry. Because I am grateful for the two beings I am entrusted with.

I am not perfect. Oh, there are so many, many ways in which I am not perfect. But …

I AM a Super Mom … and so, my friend, are you.

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How to Be Authentic (the simple version)

| About Ali

A couple weeks ago, I was sitting in the ladies’ church meeting. I love them, but they’re usually a pretty sedate affair. We sing a hymn, have a lesson, share insights and spiritual experiences, stuff like that. One day, my favorite teacher surprised us with a little something outside the box.

Still, I felt reserved and careful, like I was holding myself back. Which, honestly, is typical of how I often feel in life, not only in church.

Instead of a hymn, we sang the 80’s song “I’m Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves (who I’ve actually seen in concert! Woot!).

 

At first, we sang the song as church women. It was nice. It was fine. But as we sang this free and liberating song, something inside me kind of snapped. But in a good way. I decided to have fun. I decided not to think about where I was or who I was with, but rather who I am.

I let all my inhibitions go, and sang.

Now, I don’t know if everyone around me made the same decision at the same time, or if my example had something to do with it, but suddenly this whole classroom filled with benign church ladies was a-hoppin’!

And that’s when I had an epiphany.

In order to be yourself,
you have to let go of your inhibitions.

It sounds easy, but most of the time we’ve been holding onto those inhibitions like they’re our shield against the outside world. Heaven forbid someone think we’re weird, dumb, or … gasp! … fun.

I’ve been trying to let go of mine. So far, I’ve only been about 80% successful, but it feels good to be trying. Hey, that means that 20% of the time I’m feeling more like my true, authentic self. I’m free. I’m alive.

I am weird. I am a goof and a dummy. I am all kinds of awkward and while I might not be fun, I’m having fun. And man, that feels good!

So play along with me, my friends. Try lightening up a bit, and let your bad self shine.

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The Return of Ninja Mode!

| About Ali, About Writing

If you’ve been with me long enough to remember me as the Story Ninja (capable of kicking outlines into line, sneaking up on bad guys and writing a story with stealth and awesomeness), then you remember Ninja Mode!

On January 3rd, my sweetheart David was diagnosed with choroidal melanoma – a type of cancer that sits on his retina. The past two weeks have been a whirlwind! We learned that the cancer was bad, and had probably spread to his body. So the hunt for the cancer began in earnest and we tried to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.

We were blessed and the BEST IT IS! The cancer appears to be limited to his eye–we are so relieved!

I’d been considering blogging less in order to WRITE MORE BOOKS, but I love blogging, so I’ve had a hard time deciding. But David’s diagnosis has forced me to truly evaluate how I use my time and with so many more doctor appointments added to the mix, it seemed the best decision was obvious.

For the time being, I’ll only be posting author-ish stuff like book news and appearances, etc. I hope you’re okay with that. I realize I may lose some of you who like to read about my dealings with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue, but I hope you’ll understand. One of the things we must do to minimize our symptoms is minimize our stress. You know how difficult that can be! But when something can be removed from your plate–well, you should do it.

So I’m going into Ninja Mode, my friends. It’s time for me to focus on my family and WRITE A LOT OF WORDS! I plan to bring you not one, but SIX books this year!

Visit me on my Facebook Page if you want to stay in touch! Much love to all of you! <3

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