Bernard.

When Matt and I lived in Grenada during med school, we had a cab driver who used to drive us anywhere we needed to go because we didn’t have a car. We didn’t leave campus much because Matt was always studying, but when we did, we always called Bernard. And we got to know him pretty well over the course of those years. Recently I’ve been thinking about him a lot. We haven’t spoken to him since we left the island, and it’s been years since he’s crossed my mind, but for some reason he’s been popping into my head a lot lately. I heard a song the other day on the radio that he used to play every time we rode with him. Angel by Shaggy. Ha! I heard it and I swear I was transported back to that place and time. Then, last night I lay awake and there he was again, invading my thoughts and squashed between my grocery list and my obsessive worrying about the dreaded return to school plan.

“God willing” is what I heard. Bernard used to end any statement that gave even the teensiest hint at anticipation or expectation of the future with it. Sometimes I’d ask what he was eating for dinner later because local food was something we often talked about on our rides. He’d tell me whatever he’d be having and then add “God willing.” I’d think, what do you mean God willing?? Of course you’re gonna go home and have dinner with your family. You just told me a minute ago what your wife was cooking today when you left this afternoon for work. Why wouldn’t you? What’s going to stop you? It wasn’t the the phrase that confused me but the strict use of it when it came to anything at all taking place in the future.

It’s not that I’d never heard anyone say it before. I’m a Christian, so it’s something I’m accustomed to hearing. I’ve used it many times myself, but always in more off in the distant future type musings or wedged between some of my sarcastic humor.

By the way, if you’re still reading, I have to be honest, I don’t know why I’m talking about any of this. Maybe it’s just to say that I’ve lived many places and I feel like I’ve lived equally as many lives. I’ve lived in Detroit, NYC, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Grenada, Cleveland, now Florida, and that’s not counting the two years spent during my childhood traveling the entire United States. I’ve been a student, hair stylist, child actress, apprentice, writer, wife, and mother. I see now that everyone I’ve met along the way has been woven in the intricate pattern of my life and has served to teach me something. In 2011-2012 when I knew Bernard, I never could’ve predicted what 2020 would bring, or that it would include a global pandemic, but I can see myself being prepared for it now as I look back. Almost winking at me, like, “Heyyyyy, don’t take for granted those mundane things like your physical health, mental health, or even what you’re going to eat for dinner.”

Nothing is guaranteed the way it used to be or maybe ever was or maybe, more correctly, how I thought it was. I envy my 27 year old mindset of not thinking anything can go wrong, but my 37 year old brain knows every single scenario that can. Ughh.

During the last five months, the pandemic has made me more reflective over my life as a whole. Maybe it’s the time forced to stay still and stay home. The time spent not immersed in whatever book I’m working on, which tends to take up all my energy and brain power, always occupying my thoughts even when I’m not in front of the computer screen. Nope, I haven’t written one page since this thing started. The time not spent rushing the kids out the door to school or rushing to get groceries while they’re at school or rushing to make it to the car line to pick them up from school. Just staying still has been uncomfortable, boring, frustrating, enraging, reflective, comical, ludicrous, and maybe exactly what I needed. Maybe it’s what all of us needed?

What I hope is that many years down the road this will also feel like another one of the lives I’ve lived. That I can reflect on it and talk about that time we all lived through a pandemic. I hope tell my grand children about it when they roll their eyes and look at me like I’m crazy for hoarding Lysol wipes, toilet paper, and paper towel in my garage. Because I’ll for sure still be doing that. I’m in too deep with this stockpiling mode.

I hope. God willing.

It’s My Book Debut And I’ll Cry If I Want To!!!!!

It’s here! My book is out in the world and I’m a literal mess!! I’m excited but nervous but happy but emotional but floored but humbled but scared but glad but freaking out but mostly just really, really thankful.

Here’s a link to it on Amazon, as well as a universal link to all retailers. This is the Kindle version for now. Paperback will be available in a few days.

Oh. And my book happens to be an Editor’s Pick, so I’ll just be over here 😭😭😭

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TBGNVY7/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_wwrdDbKTYHZCV

https://books2read.com/u/b57NBw

✨Giveaway!!✨

Pssst! I’m giving away 3 advanced reading e-copies of my book, The Wanderers, to the first three people to comment on this post!

My book debuts this Friday, so I’ll be sharing links to all retailers in a few days, but if you want in on this freebie, please comment below with your email address!

Ummm…My Book Release Is Happening June 21st!!!!

I got the news yesterday from my publisher that my book baby will be released into the great, wide open on June 21st! Whoa. Up until now I’ve been really excited, but I’d be lying if I said the reality of having people read my words didn’t leave me a little like…😳😳😳😳…ruh-ro.

Every writer dreams of the day their writing will finally be out there for the world to read, I mean, it takes most of us years upon years. For me, it took seven years and two full books before I got a break. Even so, nothing prepares you for the moment it’s on, like, actually ON. It’s like you wait and wait and wait and wait forever and you’re soooo impatient as you wait some more to get noticed, and then when it’s finally your time, you think you’ll be more than ready to show out. But somehow you’re all…eeeep.

However, when I remember the blood, sweat, and tears that went into writing this thing, I’m more than ready to get it out there. I only have to remind myself of the labor of love it was to get here and I’m excited all over again.

I really hope you all will take a chance on this book and tell me what you think afterwards. That would mean everything to me.

I’ll leave you with a little check-list I made to give you an idea of what The Wanderers is about and if it might be up your alley.

OMG…✨COVER REVEAL✨

Hooray!! I can finally share the book cover for my upcoming debut novel THE WANDERERS!! Seeing my novel captured in a perfect snapshot makes this whole thing that much more real! Like, it’s really happening, you guys. I’m FINALLY going to be a published author! This has been a long time coming, so seeing my name in print is a very surreal moment for me.

Ah. Wow. Sorry, just letting it all sink in for a sec. I do plan on sharing more about my road to publication soon, but today I’m just celebrating this awesome moment, and the truly awesome way the cover artist captured the essence of my book!

Here’s a peak into what THE WANDERERS is about:

When eighteen-year-old Sosie Friedman’s mother dies in a horrific car crash, rumors around her small beach town swirl that the accident was really a suicide-plot gone awry. Desperate to prove the gossipers wrong, she digs into her mother’s past and uncovers clues that suggest her mother wasn’t who she pretended to be.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, she connects with a school acquaintance, a quiet but thoughtful loner, who introduces her to his small group of friends. Swept into their curious world, she embarks on a road trip with them to escape Sandy’s destruction—and to discover a man who may hold clues to her mother’s death. But like the shoreline under the lashing winds and rain, her reality starts disintegrating before her eyes the more she learns. When she wakes up in the aftermath of a car crash eerily reminiscent of her mother’s, her new friends are nowhere to be found.

Sosie must now piece together evidence to explain her mother’s death, or risk suffering a similar fate.

THE WANDERERS will be available this summer, so stay tuned! I’ll share the links for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers as soon as it becomes available.

More teasers, too, soon!

Yay!

I can’t wait to hear what you all think of my book cover!!

Forever Young-ish…

Anyone catch a glimpse of their reflection in the self-checkout video at Target? Let me tell you, that sucker doesn’t lie. I did yesterday and WTH, like, I’m old now?? Is it just bad lighting?? Tell me it’s bad lighting. Why do I look ill? What’s happening???? I had a full face on, and yet, I looked old af. Someone talk me off a cliff here. Please.

I guess it’s all hitting me because I’ve been on a long-ass trip to Denial City for at least a few years now. Even when I’ve recently been finding gray hairs sprouting up, it’s like my brain turns off from the concept that I’m aging, and goes to a safe place where I assume everyone who sees me out with my two kids probably thinks I’m the nanny. Who do I think I am??! Benjamin Button?

I need to get a grip or at least some Botox… I’ve heavily started my obsessive-level research on all things injections and lasers, thank you very much.

I guess you could say Target was my age defining moment.

But please tell me I’m not alone in this? Was anyone else living in a delusional fantasy until they were thrust into the real world with a firm push in the way of sneaky surveillance cameras revealing their true form? I’m not spiraling or anything. Or rambling. I don’t know why you’d be thinking that.

Tell me your stories of accepting age, please. Or at least tell me how young I look.

Once upon a prom time in the year 2001…

Who remembers their prom? 👑

Someone started the hashtag #YAGoestoProm and it got me thinking about my own prom many moons ago.

I put so much thought into my prom dress and hair/makeup. I grew my nails out for weeks so I’d have the perfect french manicure. When the day of prom came, I must’ve spent seven hours getting ready. Seven!! The me of today wouldn’t even know what do to with this much time to myself. But there’s a good bet I’d take a long nap. Two kids will do that to you.

I was sure I’d always look back and love how I looked, but the truth is, I still like my dress—it’s whimsical while not being too precious—but oooooof I’d be lying if I said that hair didn’t make me cringe a little. I was looking a little June Carter-y before I knew what that reference meant.

What do you remember about your prom?

Tell me everything.

Soooooo…can I call myself an author now??

Back when I was in the querying trenches for my recent novel, (for those of you who aren’t aspiring writers, that’s code for basically hell (HA!) but also just means a writer who’s seeking an agent/publisher for their current project) I used to pour over the success stories of fellow writers who had recently gotten an offer of representation or publication. Sometimes these stories would uplift me but other times I’d feel really dejected and like it was never going to happen for me.

To have done a success interview recently was kind of surreal, to be honest. Still doesn’t seem like it actually happened. But it did happen. And it’s out there with my name on it so it must be real, right?! And while we’re on the subject, can I call myself an author now or is that official once my book is released????? I have a lot of questions!

Anyway, if you want to read my interview, click the link below ✨

https://write-mentor.com/2019/03/25/sarah-barkoff-palma-writementor-success-stories/

Also, did anyone notice the new look of my blog?! 😬

It’s been a long, long time…but I have news!

Hello out there, friends!

It’s certainly been a very long time and I hope you all haven’t forgotten about me. I haven’t forgotten about you, I promise! You see, although I’ve been away, I’ve had a very good reason–I was writing a book. And I have some really exciting news to share with you–I’m getting published! My young adult novel, THE WANDERERS, is being published June 2019 with Evernight Teen. I couldn’t be more thrilled and I’d love to take you all on my journey to publication if you’d like to come along for the ride. I’ll be regular blogging, too (much like I used to way back when) but I’ll also be sharing anecdotes and teasers from my upcoming book. Most importantly–and can I get a drum roll for this one, please–I’ll soon be revealing the book cover for THE WANDERERS! You all will be the very first to see it.

Wow, I’ve missed you all! It just hit me! How have you guys been? Be sure to drop me a line and say hi! I can’t wait to get reconnected and start sharing stories with you again! Also, want to let you know, soon the look of my blog will be slightly different, too, but that doesn’t mean all that much is going to change around here. Can you tell me, what do you all want to hear about? My two crazy kids? The story of how I came to be published (spoiler alert: that one ends awesome but there are many tears along the way.) You tell me!

Until then, know that you all were never far from my mind. I was just busy having kids, writing a book while they napped, and moving nine thousand times. Just kidding…well, kind of.

It’s good to be back!

xo