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Happy Birthday Ma’

You never stomped on any of my ideas, goals or dreams. You never started any conversation with the words “No” or “Can’t”. Creativity and hard work were always the cards played to help me achieve my newest project. From Tap and Ballet lessons… art sets so that I could sketch out my imagination… my drum set days for band during my elementary and Jr. High years… finding a love for cooking which now means we’ve upgraded from colored pencils and drumsticks to sharp knives and fire… my fascination with the sharpness and beauty of words resulting in my dream of one day becoming an author.

Thank you for never giving up on me, even when I gave up on myself. Thank you for always believing in the person that I’ve become and showing me the power that unconditional love has. Thank you for being my Ma’ 💛

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Adrian

You may not realize, but you have been one of the biggest impacts in my life. You never judged me, you never felt pity towards me and you never treated me differently because of my EB. You taught me what true friendship meant and what it means to have ones back. To never judge based on the outside cover and most importantly… The only approval you need in life is your own. I could confide anything with you and know that it wasn’t going to be next day’s gossip. You and I are different yet the same in a variety of aspects. And I want you to know that you’re not just a friend, you’re family. I love you man! 😉 No matter where life may take us, no matter the distance driven between us, I am always here for you…No matter what. Just light up that Bat signal in the night sky…I’ll be there.

Happy Birthday Shadow…🖤

What’s my age again… -Blink 182

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From Me to You 🖤

Hey guys, hope you’re having an awesome day, afternoon or night. I thought I’d share an excerpt from my book with you. Below is part of the opening letter that I have written to you, the reader. I hope you enjoy it and feel free to share your thoughts. 🖤

**How y’all doin’? Perfectly imperfect I hope. Well, I come to you today because I have a favor to ask of you. I need you to do me a kindness. Don’t worry, it won’t take up much of your time and it doesn’t cost a single shiny Lincoln, however, it does require a few ounces of brain power and an open space in your heart. I have a story for you… Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “Oh great, another book about a nobody’s life. A tale of how a nobody had a great childhood then hit a pot hole or two while growing up, but in the end found herself and had a happily ever after.” Well congrats, you are 50% correct. This is indeed a tale of a nobody’s life, however, the bits about finding herself and having a happily ever are slightly off. My tale is about a young girl born with an unwanted label cemented onto her forehead, a label that cast a beautiful curse upon her heart. Do you know what it feels like to be a happy kid and then to have that rug pulled from under your feet? To go from feeling broken to damaged to completely worthless in one swift motion? How about wanting so much to fit in that it starts to break you down into a reflection that your 20/20 vision can no longer make out? To be marked as “different”?

I have a story to tell you, a story filled with happiness drowned out by brokenness, sprinkled with darkness and topped with a delicious suicide attempt. Served alongside is a refreshing shot of completely losing one’s self, ending in rebuilding an underdog to become an invincible version of a beautifully imperfect human.

So here we are; just you and I sitting in a cozy place getting ready for the story that I have to tell. Now whether you listen or not is your decision…

I’m just a problem that doesn’t wanna be solved… -Fall Out Boy

So here I am sharing a few shining pieces of these letters about the people that protect my stitched scars. Embrace its honesty and pass on its contagiousness.**

CLICK THIS BLUE SENTENCE TO ORDER YOUR COPY OF DEAR YOU

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Batman = Dad

Yes, as you can guess from the title, my hero is my Dad. He isn’t just my Dad, he’s also one of my best friends. We have been on so many adventures over the years and we’ve shared a few deep moments that I wouldn’t have gotten through without him.

When my Mom met my Dad, not only did he fall in love with her, but he also fell for her little girl (me, just in case you were thrown off lol). I was a little over a year old and not your typical kiddo. I was born with a rare disorder, EB, and the fact that my Dad chose my Mom, and in a way me, has always been one of the things I’ve admired about him. He didn’t have to stay, he could have easily had decided to leave after my Mom introduced me to him.

My biological father left a few months after I was born, for whatever his reasons were.

My Dad, he has always been there…

From school plays, graduations, birthdays and starting water gun wars on the weekends my Mom was away for a work convention.

From the first time my heart was broken, to the time when I lost my eye sight, to surgeries and saving me from an ex who stalked me after we broke up.

My Dad was there when I told him that I was having suicidal thoughts, I was 13 and he wasn’t ready to hear that his daughter thought those thoughts, but he always listened and numbed my pain. I know that I can go to him about anything and not be judged. He always has an open ear and a shoulder you can lean on.

He has taught all of us Sabo kids the following…

– Work hard for what you want in life.

– Don’t allow the petty things to get to you.

– Never throw the first punch, but you better damn well finish it.

– You can be fans of whatever team you’d like, but the only hockey team we Sabos root for are the Kings.

He has always worked hard, providing for his family. Us Sabo monsters have always had what we needed and what we wanted and even though my Dad worked his ass off, he made time for family. He hates the beach, but always goes for us. Every Christmas we watch Home Alone and It’s a Wonderful Life. A trip to the mountains always means a snowball fight will breakout. Anytime he sees a homeless person he tries to help by buying them a meal, giving them a bottle of water or a few dollars. He is known for taking care of a random person’s bill when we go out to eat and lends a helping hand whenever he can. He has always led by example.

Keith Sabo aka Batman

If you get in between someone I love and me, you’re gonna feel the heat of my calvary… -Twenty Øne Pilots

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Betty and Herm

Current time…12:04 am. Sitting in bed as the cool breeze sneaks through the window’s screen, I find myself scrolling through the many photos that were snapped during this last holiday season. Frozen memories with friends and family safely tucked away in the cloud of my phone. Two pictures catch my attention in a “mind blown” kind of way causing a curious smirk to announce itself. One photo is of me with my Great Uncle Herm and the other with my Great Aunt Betty. These are two amazingly kind and wise souls, true salt of the earth humans. They are both getting up there in age, rockin’ the 90’s.

Anytime I talk to my Aunt Betty she tells me that getting old is for the birds.
My Uncle Herm, that man doesn’t age..I swear he looks the same as he did when he was in his 60’s. He’ll tell you that it’s due to coffee, the man loves a good cup of coffee (guess the coffee bean doesn’t fall to far from the tree).

This past New Year’s Eve I was able to visit my Great Aunt and Uncle, which was the best part of my holiday. My family and I spent the week of Christmas in VA and after I spent New Year’s week with my cousins in Maryland. My cuzzbuzz Julie, her oldest son Berk and I hit D.C. for a day of museums and art galleries. On New Year’s eve, we all went to PA to visit my Aunt and Uncle. They are both pretty sick, so visiting them while I was on the east coast was extremely important to me. Food and great conversation, it was the best day. As my cousins and I gathered our coats, as hugs, kisses and goodbyes were exchanged my Aunt looks at me and nearly made me cry with what she said. “With everything you’ve been through, you have become quite a lovely young woman.”Out of every compliment I’ve been given and any future compliment, that one tops them all because she is one of very few people who knows everything that I’ve been through, she is one of the very few that actually knows the unguarded me.

What my Aunt Betty said to me means everything, I am truly honored to be one of her Hunnybunches. My Uncle Herm also gave his wise advice…”Keep causing trouble and stay away from guys, they’re no good.”

life goals

Oh yeah, back to that mind blowing thought, those two amazing humans have been married for 71 years! Holy shit! Talk about an actual life goal. For 71 years those two have created an untouchable life goal filled with family, love and endless memories. You don’t hear of any couple being married for that long these days, heck, these days you’re lucky if your marriage lasts past the first year and why? Honestly, I think that no one wants to ride out storms anymore. You love each other during the golden sunsets, but anytime a storm enters your relationship y’all are way too eager to bail. Part of being in a real, solid relationship is not only holding onto one another during the good times, it’s also about holding onto one another when fighting the storms. With every after calmness of any storm is where you two become stronger.

Falling in love with your partner means falling in love with all of who they are, from the spark in their eyes to the scars hidden underneath the mud. Exchanging those infamous vows, aka promises, means that you’ll always be by their side, within the light…during the darkness and every shade in between.

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned from Betty and Herm Gundrum, it’s that true love means that you never give up on each other. They never gave up and here they are 71 years strong.

I know that we joke about life goals…a concealer that makes you look like you got 8 hours of sleep and had four cups of coffee.. #lifefoal. But, the real life goal is that mind blown kinda love people…71 frickin years, that’s a #lifegoal. I strive to have that kinda love. That’s my life goal.

Both my Great Aunt Betty and Great Uncle Herm have recently passed away. Herm passed April 27th and Betty passed May 6th. As broken as my heart is, the knowledge knowing that they are no longer in pain and are together once again is extremely comforting.

“That ultra kinda love you never walk away from, you’re just the last of the real ones…”

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Dear You | Storyteller Alley

http://www.storytelleralley.com/content/dear-you

Dear You is a collection of letters written to the people and events that have made the most impactful influences in my life. This book started out as a personal series of letters to the people I love. Letters filled with memories and life lessons. I began writing these letters after finding out that I was very sick. As each letter was written, certain events and memories began popping into my mind which inspired more letters. Dear You is my way of sharing an underdog story about a girl who was never meant to live, but did. I’ve survived surgeries, bullies, depression and being suicidal. I’ve seen this world at its brightest and at its darkest. Living with a rare disorder has allowed me to see this crazy thing we call life in a whole different perspective. The main message embedded within Dear You is my message to those out there who feel like giving up, who feel alone or forgotten, those who feel lost…you are worth everything this life has to offer, never ever give up. The book opens and closes with a letter i have addressed to the reader…hence, Dear You.

Author Bio

My name is Derra Sabo, I am a Cali native who stumbled into writing as a way to escape the daily life as the freak born with a rare disorder. That disorder being Epidermolysis Bullosa, or EB for a non tongue twisted pronunciation. I was the kid who was never meant to live past the age of 14 and here I am 33 years young. The best way to describe my life is nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. My family and friends are my everything. My scars and past demons are my inspiration to never give up. While most of my insomnia nights are filled with writing and tunes vibrating through my beats headphones, my days are my time to spend with my squad, cooking, movies, reading, blogging and spending as much time as possible at the beach. I’m the extroverted introvert who loves a good sunset and a caramel macchiato.

Connect with Derra on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon

  • Critic Score:92/100

    Our Review Ranking:

    A Great Read

Our Review

Our Review

Cover:

This cover design does not do this great story the justice it deserves.

Cover design problems:

The background is blurry and is actually a problem for the eye to view easily.

The objects super-imposed in the foreground: a laptop, a tablet and pen, a vase with feathers in it, and a cup of coffee, all look like they were drag and dropped onto the cover from a collection of emojis or computer icons. The size ratio and distance between any and all of them in relation to each other is badly out of proportion. The computer itself actually looks like it’s floating instead of sitting on the desk, that’s made worse by the shadows on the edges of all the items not matching one another.

None of the cover elements reflect any part of the story or the struggle within the pages of this book.

Cover typography is not bad. Size of font for the book title as well as name of author are fine.

Book Blurb:

The blurb for this book is a good introduction to the story inside. It draws interest by speaking of particular events included in the book as well as the promise of helpful advice gained through the experiences of the author.

There is a typo in the last sentence of the book blurb. The “I” should be capitalized.

Formatting :

There are some problems with formatting.

Most of the front matter is in correct order , but the introduction is the first thing the reader sees in the book and it’s not labeled as an ‘Introduction‘.

The “Dear Beach” letter is written as though it is one of the Chapters or “letters” and it is placed before the title page of the book.

There is no Table of Contents included . Since the Chapters or “letters” are each very distinctly labeled sections of the book, it would be good to list them in a table of contents.

Pages are numbered well, beginning with page 11 where chapter one(the first letter entitled “Dear You”) begins.

Some paragraphs are indented, some are not.

Paragraphs and sentences all run together in block form, making the book difficult to read.

There are paragraphs with double space between them when they should be touching.

Grammar & Spelling:

Grammar and spelling in this book runs just passably fair. I found a several errors for grammar and spelling as well as quite a few problems regarding sentence structure, missing words, and missing and/or incorrect puntuation.

Character Development:

To say that character development is a big part of this book would be an understatement! In fact, I would say that this book is predominantly aboutcharacter development.
All of the ‘letters’ in this book from the author to each individual list in great detail the ups and downs of the things they’ve gone through together which have developed their characters in one way or another over time.
It outlines this development of each character including that of the author in a very clear, and detailed way. As the story develops so do it’s characters.

The underlying theme that threads it’s way through this book is one of the main characters’ caring and unswerving devotion to others as well as to herself. It demonstrates a continued growth and change of inner self.

Plot & Structure:

The structure of the book is decent. Throughout most of the book the author is narrating each letter to family members and friends and you read them as an outsider looking in. Further into the book the letters change and actually feel as though they’re written in the presence of the reader, as though this was the final point of the work as a whole.

The plot of the book ,one of struggle and recovery , moves well all the way through without becoming monotonous or repetitive.

Pacing:

Story is paced well all the way through . Each letter shows a new aspect of the family and friends that surround the author. The more you read ,the better understanding you have of where the author is coming from with different comments and outlooks over time. The reasons why certain things are said or done become clear as it progresses.

Use of Language:

The use of language is fair. The book uses the language of the day and is easy to understand . Even the brief and infrequent use of the word “ain’t” is acceptable given the conceptual layout of this book. It speaks the lanugauge of the common man in today’s times.

Originality:

I find no problems with the originality of this book. It reads as a story unique to it’s author while reaching out to those in similar circumstances.
This book provides an interesting look into the mind of a children growing up in the digital age. Conversations between siblings via digital means such as I-pods and music shared via digital devices etc, all reveal an inside look of how kids see the world in the time they’ve been born into.
It also provides a look at someone dealing with many troubles at a very young age and overcoming them to live a good life.

Overall Readability:

Overall , I can say I enjoyed reading this book. In spite of the writing problems it had, my interest in the storyline kept me turning pages to see what was next.

A Note From the Critic:

I enjoyed reading this book and I wasn’t sure I would when I started it. It turned out to be a well written story related in a very personable way that is friendly to the reader. I believe it will do what the author intended and be a help to others that are going through similar difficulties in life and I can recommend it as good in that regard.
Toward the end of the book, in the letter entitled “Dear World” the authors remembrance of Nine-Eleven is a touching tribute to the strength of our nation and it’s people on a very dark day that forever changed the way we see the world.
There are quite a few problems inside as far as errors in grammar and formatting, as well as the occasional typo,bad sentence structure or spelling mistake . This surprises me as I see on the title page that it has been published with a traditional publishing house and I expected they would have a round of proofreading for each book they put out. It could use just a little polishing, but it is overall a great read and I am happy to have read it!

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Mystery Award

Well it’s happened humans…I’ve been tagged. 😅 Thank you to http://benkofficial.com/ also known as The Perks of Being Different blog for the tag. These are always fun to do and it’s a great way of helping to promote your favorite bloggers. Ok humans, grab a refreshing beverage, a tasty snack and let’s do this.

1. What is the most recent song you discovered by watching a movie / series?

Trouble by Cage the Elephant. I first heard the hook to this song being played near the ending of an episode of Bull. I instantly fell in love with the lyrics I heard, so I grabbed my phone and downloaded it to my Spotify.

2. On what did you spend your first earned salary on?

The first item I bought was a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I love to bake and that bad boy made mixing batters and doughs so much easier. I love that machine. 😂

3. If your old school would organize a reunion, would you go? How would you behave?

Yeah, that’s going to be a solid No. Long story short I was bullied in High School, so going back to attend a reunion isn’t something I would do.

4. Who is your “famous person” crush?

Music Artist: Joshua Dun… can we just take a moment to appreciate that man’s gorgeousness. Seriously, who gave him the right to be that sexy.

Actor: Channing Tatum…do I even need to explain why? Nope, didn’t think so.

5. Does the culture of the country you’re currently live in suits you?

Honestly, no. A majority of the people here in the US have gotten so self absorbed, judgmental and greedy. It’s as though human beings forgot how to be human beings. Don’t twist this up though, there are still kind humans sprinkled within these lands. Those kind souls keep my faith in our species lit.

6. Favorite childhood memory?

Wow, ummm, hang on. There’s too many to choose from. A lot of my favorite childhood memories were days spent at the beach. Family, friends, plenty of food, sand and ocean, bonfires and s’mores. The love and laughter embodied in every sunset.

7. Explain the tagline of your blog.

In a world where being genuine is lacking, I want anyone who stumbles upon my blog to know that these thoughts of mine are in fact mine. Their honesty, rawness, craziness, beautifulness and chaotic madness are genuine.