Faith, Perspective, and Gratitude

I have mentioned occasionally on facebook that this past year has been the worst of my life… purposely cryptic in the details. It’s not that I enjoy being vague… it’s simply because not all stories are mine alone to tell.

But I’m nearing the one year mark and I’m breathing (a little) easier. Despite all the bad happenings, we moved forward.

I mentioned in a previous post that last year my son was hospitalized. What I omitted was how serious the situation was. Our situation was dire. It was bad, excruciatingly bad.

The day he was admitted was the single worst day of my life. You know those movies where everything around the main character is going at a million miles an hour, yet the main character is in slow motion, watching the world zigzag around them… that’s what that day felt like. Frenzied. Overwhelming.

I slept on a cot in his hospital room for ten long nights, while my husband contorted his body to fit on a small couch. I never left the hospital. Never. Every single night when the lights were out and my son slept, I’d watch his heart beating on the monitor to remind myself that he was still with us.

We were living a nightmare. Awake, asleep (what little sleep we got). Didn’t matter. Our nightmare was always present.

Once he was discharged, we weren’t out of the woods. Very far. Yet, I was so grateful that we were able to leave. Many parents don’t have the fortune of walking out of that building with their child. I knew we were still in a serious situation, but we were the lucky ones who got to leave…together.

I took months off from writing. My heart wasn’t in it. My thoughts were a billion miles away, consumed with a fear that I had no idea existed.

In general, I’m not a crier. But over of the last 365 days… I’ve probably cried 200 of them. Morning, afternoon, night…didn’t matter. Most were filled with tears. Sometimes it was hard to wake up and face another day of uncertainty and fear, but I did… because I had to. Because moving forward was the only option. Because curling into the fetal position and cursing the world for our pain got us nowhere.

Forward was the only direction to go.

All during our nightmare year, we had other hardships thrown our way. My father-in-law passed away. My ninety-one year old mother-in-law had her own very serious health crisis. My husband was hospitalized, twice. All while dealing with our son’s heath issue.

So, what’s the point to this? From the series of unimaginable events, what did I gain from this?

Faith, Perspective, and Gratitude.


Life was hard. Waking up to face another day was hard. The continuous numbness that invaded my body and mind with worry was hard to live with. Everything was hard. But I had faith, faith that our situation would turn around. Faith that my son would have the future he so richly deserves.

Faith that my father who passed away years ago would watch over my son and protect him. I called on him during the ride to the hospital to look over us. To this day, my father has never let me down… while he was here on earth or watching over us.


You know that ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ saying? It’s true. I wish it didn’t take my world to get rocked to its core to learn this lesson. Things roll off of me so easily now. Most of the complaints I hear and read on facebook are white noise. Nonsense. Infinitesimal.

I’m not saying we aren’t entitled to gripe. We should gripe, complain, vent, whine on occasion (and wine on a few more). Hell, you want a list of gripes… I’ve got one a mile long. But now I see them for what they are. Blips. Speed Bumps.

Once you live through hell on earth… complaining about traffic or how long it’s taking a waitress to bring your dinner order seems so insignificant.

Inconvenient- definitely.
Annoying- without a doubt.
Inconsiderate- maybe.
Significant- not really.



Nurses: Holy fuck, nurses. Unbelievably wonderful, kind-hearted nurses. You spend a lot of time with the nursing staff when you’re holed up in a hospital for so long. I can’t begin to express my gratitude… everything from their kind words of encouragement to their amazing work ethic. I could never be a nurse. It’s a damn hard job. They deal with people at their worst everyday… and they still show up for work the next day. They’re either saints or crazy… maybe both.

Doctors: Most of us have a love/hate relationship with doctors. I’m guilty of it. But the doctors who helped us were beyond wonderful— their reassuring words, their expertise, and their patience when answering a question for the hundredth time because terrified parents can barely retain a sentence. Today I thank God for them as I watch my son leave for school every morning.

Humor: I am so grateful for my sense of humor. Without it, I would have disappeared deep into the parts of your brain that are dark, cold, and unforgiving. If I were to move forward, I needed an ally. And I found it, the one thing inside me that truly kept me afloat. Humor.

When I sat down at the keyboard again and read over what had already been written, I smiled. That’s when I committed to a direction for my book. If it made me smile, I knew I was going in the right direction. I needed it… and I figured other people needed it too.

Julia Conti, a fictional character, my fictional character shook me out of a three-month long daze. Her snarky thoughts made me laugh. Her friendships warmed me. Her strength was empowering. She was no doormat. Writing Julia became liberating, a chance to escape for a little while.

Humor saved my sanity.

The book took months longer than I intended, but I saw it through. I had to. I no longer quit anything. I didn’t quit on my son’s health and I didn’t quit on this book.

Moving forward was our only option.

This brings me to the point of all this introspective babbling…

Have Faith. Never give up. Fight… fight your doubts, fight your fears.

Keep it all in Perspective. Someone out there is having a worse day than you.

Be Grateful. For what you have, for the good in your life. Don’t wallow in the bitterness, grow in spite of it.

Most importantly…

Be kind. You may not see pain others hide. Some of us are very good at concealing it.

I won’t get my next book out in record speed. I may not update a ff chapter for a long while. I’d love to kick the words out faster. I wish you could see the stories rolling around in my head, but time and circumstances don’t always play nice. And I do what I can do.

I may not return phone calls, emails, or PM’s quickly. I’m unable to keep (or make) appointments far in advance. My life has been on hold for a year— full of things out of my control.

Yet I have no regrets. I have my reasons for the things I do—or don’t do. They’re important reasons—more important than a chapter update, or a book. I take life as it comes. I roll with it. I try not to be bitter. I try not to stay sad or afraid.

I move forward.

How do you grow a vegetable garden?

Beets me! < —  See what I did there.

I thought I’d bring you up to speed on this year’s vegetable garden. Like every backyard farmer, I start off with grand plans. My family will live off the land. The initial investment of vegetables, soil, etc. will be offset by the bounty my garden will produce.

You get the picture. Anyone who has tried backyard farming feels the exact same way… in the beginning.

Buckets filled with fresh-picked green beans. A bounty of tomatoes. So many tomatoes… I’d have to learn how to can them for all the sauce (by the way, it’s sauce… not gravy… I’m not budging on that topic) I’ll make and eventually freeze. Oh, and the zucchini. The plant that produces so much, you’ll only need two to provide enough to feed not only your family, but your entire neighborhood. Mmm, I can smell the zucchini bread. I can just taste the zucchini sautéed in garlic and oil over a plate of linguine. And the cucumbers… cool and refreshing. I had the perfect plan.

My facebook page is always littered with photos of my friend’s vegetable harvests. I was looking forward to doing the same… participate in a little farmer bragging.

So, I prepped the garden. And I worked my ass off, weeding, tilling… the whole she-bang. The sun was hot, the work was hard and tedious… but the end result… the glorious bounty my garden would produce would more than make up for it.

Most home farmers know there’s always one crop that dominates. One plant that produces more than you can possibly handle… but happily accept. Your pride and joy crop.

Here’s mine:


We were hit with a ton of rain over a five-day period in June. A ton. Although I missed some beach/writing time, I found my silver lining… no watering the garden and fighting the mosquitoes that always seem to latch on to the scent of my Sicilian blood.

When the rain finally stopped, I went outside to survey my farm. And this is what I found. Like someone dropped a giant bag of weed seed directly on my vegetable beds. I couldn’t determine what were bean plants and what were plain ol’ weeds. Ends up the bean seeds drowned… not one plant sprouted. Not a single one.
I tried to pull them, but I’m not exaggerating when I say it was a carpet of weeds. I have never seen anything grow so incredibly fast. I can’t get the grass on my front lawn to grow as lush as these weeds had. I couldn’t keep up. I’d pull one and three new weeds would spring up. It proved to be an impossible obstacle to overcome.
beans cukes

Here are my green bean and cucumbers. Awesome, aren’t they?

Okay, let’s move on to my zucchini plants. The one crop I was sure would be my pride and joy and the envy of the neighborhood.


Yep, there it is in all its glory. I have another one. This is a picture of the healthier plant.

Here’s my cucumber… No, your eyes are not deceiving you; there is an actual cucumber on that plant.


It’s smaller than a marshmallow. But it’s something. I’m not counting that as a total failure. We’ll say it’s failure-ish… with a tiny sliver of victory.

And lastly, my tomatoes. You know the giant harvest I planned on transforming into gallons of the best homemade sauce (once again… not gravy) ever made.


You may have to squint but they are there, in the midst of the weed jungle. And I managed to produce a few tomatoes. A few the damn chipmunks got to them… bastard vegetable stealing critters… but I picked a good four tiny tomatoes. I guessing it’s a safe bet that I can return the case of canning jars I purchased.
So there you have it… my crop of weeds. Such a proud moment. < — Sarcastic Bitch Comment.

Some of you may remember my husband’s “Glamour Crop” from last year. The watermelon the size of a quarter. Well, he’s at it again… tackling yet another watermelon glamour crop this year.

Here’s a picture of it today:


Yes, that is climbing up a very light weight screen from a screen house wall.

Yup, this is going to end well.

I’ll keep you up to date in whether that plant actually produces anything or tears down my screehouse in the coming weeks.

Now on to Business:


The Casual Rule:

If you haven’t downloaded a copy of my book The Casual Rule… what are you waiting for? If you don’t own a Kindle, you can download the free Kindle App from Amazon and start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer – no Kindle device required.
Amazon US link:
Amazon UK link:
Amazon AU link:
Amazon CA link:
And many other countries…check out your Amazon links.

Here’s the three newest Blurbs:

Julia Ben 1

Julia Ben 3

Julia Ben 2

As many of you know, I’ve been writing book two to The Casual Rule. (Allie and Marcello… they do make me laugh). I’ll keep you updated on it as I go.


My intention was to have A Different Way chapter up weeks ago. What I forgot is how insane the summer can be. My and my husband’s birthdays were in July. Both BIG ONES. That meant family over the course of a few days. Then there’s college visits for my kid. That meant travel and time. BBQs, Birthday parties, Engagement parties… you get the picture, the summer turned into a long unscheduled time-sucker.

That said, I have about half of a new “A Different Way” chapter written… and if all goes according to plan, it should be up within the week. I had to enlist the help of a fanfiction reader for this chapter and she very kindly agreed.


End Notes:

If you have read my book and have the opportunity to post a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads… it would be very much appreciated. Reviews are what help Indie Authors get seen.

One more thing… feel free to say “Hi” to my mother in the comments on this blog. She claims she doesn’t read this blog.

Uh-huh… I believe that. < — Sarcastic Daughter Comment.

Hi Mom!


One Last thing and I promise I’m done babbling:

It’s been a very sad week with the passing of Robin Williams. Please seek help if you or someone you know is depressed.

Sometimes we need a reminder…


Coming Out of the Author Closet

Publishing a book has been an interesting experience for me. It wasn’t something I saw on my radar…it just happened. I kept my secret author life under wraps from people in my “real-life.”
This was something I did for me…something I didn’t have to share, explain or defend.

The first person I “came out” to was my husband. He would watch me furiously typing on my laptop while we were watching TV together. Whenever he’d ask who I was writing to, I’d answer “No one” and continue on. He’d tease me about my secret internet life, occasionally asking me if I had a virtual boyfriend. He was kidding…at least I hope he was kidding.

Finally, after about two months, I came clean and confessed. I think he figured it out at that point. He knew I was reading fanfiction. I’d bitch and moan about all the awful things my beloved characters were doing. He knew when I read a cheating story by the side-eye he’d get from me after I read it. And he certainly knew when I read a lemon…. You can fill in the blank there.

One day I get the bright idea to write a book. This was an interesting change from fanfiction writing. My characters weren’t based on someone else’s ideas. I wasn’t bound by the personalities already written. These were my characters and mine alone. And I grew to really like them… occasionally wishing they were real so I could hang-out with them. That’s the nice thing about writing your own characters; you can make them anyone you want.

In my imagination they felt real…if they did something funny, I laughed with them. If they felt pain, I felt it. If they did something stupid, I wanted to smack them up side the head. But they were locked inside my head…just for me.

It wasn’t that I was afraid that anyone I let in on my secret wouldn’t support me. My family is awesome. My friends are awesome. They may make fun of me for writing a story that had some snark and smut… but they will always have my back.

My fear was “the blur”. I knew if I told anyone who knows me in “real-life” about publishing my book …and they took the time to read it…most would not distinguish between my own reality and my character’s reality. My characters are fictional… relatable, cool and a lot of fun…but still … fictional. (Not gonna lie…I’m relatable, cool and fun too, but still… real. Every time I step on the scale, I’m reminded how very ‘real’ I am).

My husband encouraged me to share my “Big News”… After all, publishing a novel is a big friggin’ deal (there should be a special candy or wine for such occasions). I was proud of my book. Sure, I had my moments of insecurities …okay, many moments… but I believe I accomplished the end result I was hoping for… a story that makes you smile…mostly.

The first people I confessed to were my mother and sisters. And it pretty much went as expected.

Mom: I love it. It’s so funny. The sex is good too. That husband of yours must be a lucky man.
Me: Please don’t say anymore.

My mother now uses the term “hot-sex” when speaking of my book, frequently. It makes me feel so dirty. Don’t get me wrong, my mother is no “little old lady” but still…she’s my mom…and the term “hot-sex” uttered from my virginal mother of seven’s mouth…Umm…no thank you.


Let’s move on to my sister… here’s the email I got from her:

So…… how do I keep you & your husband out of my head while reading?

Yup, that’s about what I was expecting.


Next…some of my friend’s reactions. I love my friends. They can tease you and it’s okay. … because you know karma is a bitch and one day you’ll get them back.

These are my childhood friends. I’ve know these wonderful ladies since I was seven-years-old. They know too much about me… and I know too much about them. It’s nice having enough dirt on each other to secure lifetime friendships. Oh, the stories we could tell. I’ll save that for another book.

Here’s their reaction when I “Came out of the Author Closet”

Friend 1: What an awesome accomplishment!! I always knew you were a writer, way back in high school, you could always dazzle the teachers with your work, even if you didn’t even start the assignment until an hour before it was due! I have started your book and gotten to chapter 6, I am enjoying your smuttiness!!

Friend 2: Wow. Always knew you had it in you. I’m expecting to lol when I read this – I still remember those great stories from Rivlins class

(Rivlin was our 10th grade English teacher… I don’t think he appreciated my smart-aleck mouth, but he begrudgingly liked my writing. My friends in his other classes would beg him to read my work to their class. I liked to write funny then…I remember a character I wrote named Venetian, a blind prophet (we were reading Greek tragedies at the time)… I created him all because I wanted to write the line “Venetian’s blind.” I thought that line was hysterical.

I tended to write all of our assignments in the hallway on the way to class on the day it was due. And still pulled off A’s. Pissed off my friends. What can I say? I worked better under pressure. If I was still in high school, I’d probably do the same.)

Friend 3: started yesterday afternoon and just finished……..loved it!!!! Who knew you were such a dirty girl!!! LOLOLOL when’s the next one coming out???

Okay, that went better than expected. Although I see them in person in a week. After a few glasses of wine…I’m sure the conversations will be much raunchier.


Everyone naturally assumes that the sex I wrote about was my own. I cannot confirm or deny this assumption.

However, my husband has no issue if my readers choose to believe that the Ben character is based on him.

So, it’s been an interesting experience all around. First publishing a book. Waiting for feedback (which thankfully has been very positive). Then unveiling my secret author-life to a few of my nearest and dearest.

All in all, I’m glad I came-out to my selective few. I cringed and blushed while confessing to the smut portion of my writing… but didn’t hurt a bit.


A bit of business:

Here’s a few links to my book, The Casual Rule. If you haven’t already bought it… what are you waiting for? One-click it! It’s the perfect beach read… and if it’s your winter…it’s the perfect sit by the fireplace read. Covers all the bases.

If you have read it and feel so inclined to leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, it would be greatly appreciated. (It helps us Indie writers get seen). I’ve taken my magical multicolored gel pens and blank notebooks to the summertime home-office (the beach) and started writing book 2.

Amazon US link:
Amazon UK link:
Amazon AU link:
Amazon CA link:
And many other countries…check out your Amazon links.


FSOG Fanfiction:

I updated Fifty Shades- A Different Way last week. Already working on the next chapter. I have to say, I have changed direction on the original intended storyline and I’m enjoying writing this new direction. It’s been a lot of fun (CG’s thought process has made me laugh out loud a few times while writing it) and I know many of you will never look at Jeopardy the same way.



How to Find Me:

1- Subscribe to this blog

2- Facebook: I have two accounts:

    A)Friend’ me at AC Netzel (I talk fanfiction snippets among other random thoughts. I’m probably most active here)

    B)Like’ my facebook Author page: Author- AC Netzel

3- Twitter: ACNetzel@ACNetzel

4-Follow’ my stories on the fanfiction site for updates on chapters. ( Netzel- Author) Late Night Thoughts is complete, but Fifty Shades – A Different Way is still updating…and Nighttime Thoughts (the tongue-on-cheek story) will eventually get one more addendum (because I refuse to call it a chapter)




Searching for Netzel, Flat Fun, and Other Random Thoughts.

Unless you own a blog, you probably aren’t aware that Search Engine Terms are tracked. It’s a curious thing to see what word or phrases bring people to my blog. There are phrases I expected to see: all relating to Fifty Shades of Grey Fanfiction, Christian Grey, Ana Steele, and my fanfiction stories, specifically.

There are even searches for little ol’ me: AC Netzel, Netzel fanfiction. Etc. And some specific to my book, The Casual Rule.

What I didn’t expect were search terms that apparently scream “Netzel” on the World Wide Web. Here’s a few of my favorite search engine terms that sent readers to my blog:


best fifty shades fanfiction ever written <–Why, thankyouverymuch. Who am I to argue with the World Wide Web?


i cant win <– I’m sure this was from a picture I posted, but for the person who feels this way, Chin up, you’re in good company.


sex with my husband fan fiction <– Hmmm… are there authors with a sex life so bad with their husbands that they have to write fanfiction about it? I’m willing to bet the fanfiction husband has a massive dick, takes out the trash, and gives out orgasms like a street walker gives out STDs.


modesty sock for actors <– These four search terms are likely from my Insomnia post.   I know why I searched this term, why did you?
voodoo words                      <– I wrote about cock socks and voodoo dolls. That was for a blog entry. So now I’m forever tied to  voodoo and well-dressed dicks.
actors sex woman             <– Is that actor caveman speak?
cocksocks                              <– Why are people in real life looking for cock socks? There must be a lot of chilly cocks due to various voodoo curses out there.


perfect perky tits <– Nothing screams “Netzel” like perfect, perky tits
perfect young tits <– Trust me, my tits are neither young or perky.


sleeping pills in hand…ugly hand of a small girl <– What the fuck? Seriously…What the fuck?


my husband is a selfish bastard <–I know, honey, men are pigs.


ugly cock <– as opposed to all the pretty cocks out there.


how to in cocked health for fuck girls tablet  Reasonable question, don’t you think?. I’d love to hear the answer to that hot mess.


So keep the searches coming, at the very least, they’re entertaining the hell out of me.


Now on to Other Random Thoughts:

Fanfiction Stuff:

Fifty Shades- A Different Way :A new chapter to was posted on June 14th.

Re: NightTime Thoughts :I plan writing another addendum (I refuse to call it a chapter) … mainly because I really like messing with our beloved CG and this story is so out-there, it’s fun to write.

Re: Late Night Thoughts: I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I decided to slowly, rewrite (add on, fix grammar, etc) all of the chapters. Not much will change, other than a slight amendment making Christian Grey a serial cheater (I kid, I kid… just making sure you’re still paying attention). Seriously, I’ve been meaning to tweak it for some time. I’ll announce when it’s done. I was going to pull the story while I was working on it, but decided to keep it up while it’s under construction. — My Blog

Some of you may know Flat Stanley. He’s the literary project thousands of school children have where they mail a “Flat Stanley” to someone and that “someone” takes him on adventures and logs it. It’s very cute. Both my kids had the privilege of enjoying this assignment.

stanley2Flat Stanley with Jon Stewart


stanley Flat Stanley with Barack Obama


Well, we’re grown-ups here. Over the course of the summer, I will be taking my own “Flat” personality on adventures and documenting it.

Meet “Flat Fabio”


Here’s Flat Fabio sitting at my desk, ordering my new book The Casual Rule.

We shall witness the wondrous adventures of Flat Fabio over a summer at the Jersey Shore together. Now, that’s a cardboard Cut-out looking for adventure.

The Casual Rule by AC Netzel

Last, but certainly not least, my debut novel, The Casual Rule. It’s been one month since The Casual Rule was published. Wow, that went fast! Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout the writing of the book and then some.


If you’ve read it and have a chance to put in a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, I’d appreciate it. Reviews are one of the best ways you can help an author out. It takes only minutes, but your review means the world to me.

If you haven’t ordered it yet…what are you waiting for? All it takes is one click!

It’s a Great Beach Read! (If I don’t say so myself)
Check out the 5 star reviews on Amazon & Goodreads:

Funny…witty…hot steamy sex. The story left me feeling happy. I laughed,..cried…mostly laughed.

Amazon US link:
Amazon UK link:
Amazon CA link:

New blurbs for the blog:

Julia Ben copyMore Julia BenSmart SlutCamille


Be sure to “Like” My Author Page on Facebook

And friend me on my Fanfiction Facebook Page…(I’m more active there)
AC Netzel


And subscribe to this blog on the right side of this page. You’ll get an email when I update. 


That’s all for today folks. Be safe this summer.

The Casual Rule is LIVE!!

The Casual Rule is now  LIVE and Available on Amazon for Kindle.

I no longer have any excuses to avoid housework or writing more fanfiction and blog entries.  Thank you to everyone who has supported me…my fanfiction friends, facebook friends, my Twitter friends, and blog followers.  In a million years, I never thought I’d write a book.  Thank you!!


Here’s the link



Cover Reveal and Blurb…

Julia Conti is living the dream in New York City. She has a job she loves in publishing and shares an apartment in the Village with her lifelong best friend, Allie. Following a bad break-up, Julia swears off of men and relationships, until she meets Ben Martin, an up and coming author who is smart, sexy and very easy on the eyes. Fueled by their mutual attraction, close working relationship and fear of relationships, Julia and Ben embark on a purely physical affair, following the Casual Rule. As they bring each other further into their lives, their casual status blurs. Can she keep sex and love separate or will feelings take hold and Julia get her heart broken again?

Final Cover 5-10


*I’m sure a few of you were hoping for Fabio on the cover, but the daisies won out.  I’m on Goodreads now if you want to find me there …. AC Netzel The Casual Rule, coming May 15, 2014.  Mark it “To-Read” on Goodreads:

Snippet # 3

Meet Ben:

“Do you want me Julia?” His voice is low, alluring.


“Do you want me to touch you here?” He lightly presses his fingers on my panties, applying pressure against my throbbing sex.

My muscles clench. “Yes,” I gasp.

“Do you want me inside you?” He brushes his lips down my neck, lightly nibbling by my collarbone.

“Yes,” I whisper. My body is on fire. I need him right now like I need air to breathe.

“Good… After dinner.” He straightens himself out and releases his hold on me.

My mouth falls open. I’m completely confounded. What the fuck just happened? I thought we were about to have sex.

“Something wrong?” he asks with a devilish smirk and raised brow. Holy shit, I know his game. He’s teasing me back. The bastard.


Coming May 15, 2014