Author Archives: alicamckennajohnson

About alicamckennajohnson

Alica McKenna Johnson writes about snarky girls, kind boys, and the adults trying to keep them alive. After day dreaming for the first thirty years of life, Alica finally began writing her stories down, much to the delight of her readers. As Alica sits in her armchair at home dreaming of traveling the world, her diverse characters explore for her listening to music, seeing the sights, and eating exotic foods.

Ten to Twenty Years

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Alica Mckenna Johnson

Photo from Tar Sands Blockade


No I have not FINALLY been caught and sentenced to prison. Rude!

I have recently turned forty and been a bit introspective, thinking about the rest of my life.

And now I’m worried that I might only have ten to twenty years left, if I take after my parents. My mom died sixteen days before her fiftieth birthday and my dad died just before Christmas at sixty- one.

After a moment of panic and realizing exactly how little time that is, I kind of calmed down and thought about what I would really like to do if I really only have that little time left.

I only have three big things on my bucket list, having my books published and sell well (yes I have an image of what that looks like specifically), traveling, and spending time with my family.

Alica Mckenna-Johnson, tropical beach, vacation dreams

From wikicommons I want to be here with my family someday.


Of course I am hoping I have a lot longer than ten to twenty years, but I feel more determined to live and fight for what I want now that this ‘time limit’ is looming over me.

What about you, do you have a bucket list? Have you done any of things on your list already?

Foreign Film Friday- Philomena

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Philomena

Philomena


Philomena stars Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, so yes, you should just go watch it right now :). This movie is based on the true story of a woman, Philomena, who was forced to give up her baby fifty years ago and kept it a secret. But now she wants to find him. Martin, a journalist, helps her as a ‘human interest story’ and to try and save his career, but what he finds is so much more. I don’t want to give anything away, but do have some tissues ready 

Killer Potatoes

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Alica Mckenna-Johnson, potatoes

They’re innocent until my children get a hold of them.


This is the kind of thing I have to put up with:

Daughter brings me dinner. “Here mom, I have dinner for you.”

“Thanks, honey. It looks good.”

“I’m not so sure about the potatoes. I ate a bite and then threw-up but maybe you’ll have better luck.” Laughing, she walks away.

Really? My daughter serves me killer potatoes. And this is why I never encourage people to have children. Do you encourage people to have kids, or do you tell them stories of your daily life to scare them?

Is Man Whore the New Prince Charming?

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Alica Mckenna Johnson

Art by Nemo from Pixabay


I have noticed a new trend that I’m not sure I like, the ‘hero’ of the story being a man whore. Now before we go further I’ll explain that to me the difference between someone sexually active, aggressive, and casual and a ‘man whore or slut’ is respect. Respect for themselves and respect for their partners.

So a while back I was reading the beginnings of several books, which I didn’t bother to finish, and each of them the hero was slutty. I don’t care about abs, tats, and broad shoulders when I’m worried about STIs, seriously yuck! And the heroine is either a virgin or has only had sex with one other person and that was a long-term relationship. This isn’t horrid, but I also noticed these similarities:

1. The hero does whatever he does with a girl draped all over him and groping him. Usually as this is described, the focus is on the girl, and the hero almost disappears from the text. “She sucked on his ear and ground herself into him.” Notice that he doesn’t move or respond at all? Weird.

2. The heroine refers to the busty blond (jealous much fellow authors) wrapped around the hero as a slut, whore, cheap, easy, skank. Ummm, now I don’t like your heroine. I feel bad for people with such low self-esteem that they treat themselves with such little respect, but calling them a dirty skank, just no.

3. There is a TON of drinking, like eight shots in a night. This might be personal to me, but I can’t relate or connect to this kind of behavior.

Alica Mckenna-Johnson, shots

Photo by Darinka Maji on Flicker


4. The goody-goody heroine is ‘forced’ by her wild best friend into drinking, wearing a tight sexy outfit she feels uncomfortable in but that the ‘skank’ from earlier would have worn, and going into the bar in the first place.

5. The hero is willing to give up his bacchanalian life for her, to be with her, because no other woman has made him feel like this. Really? You’ve shagged hundreds of ‘bar bunnies,’ and this one woman will change all of that with the touch of her hand?

6. CONDOMS!!! Hello, not only should you be mentioning and having your characters use condoms BUT I’m not touching someone like that until he’s had a Silkwood shower and been tested by a doctor!

Alica Mckenna-Johnson, condoms

Photo by lookcatalog

Now so we are clear, I’m not a prude, I’ve had my fun and wild days. But slamming other woman because you’re jealous and want to be draped all over the guy they’re wrapped around, total lack of respect for self and partners, not talking about safe sex, and the heroine being ‘forced’ into things by her best friend, just makes me want to hurl. I can’t connect with the characters, I don’t like them, I don’t find them interesting, and I wouldn’t want to be them.

So what do you think? Have you run into the man whore as the prince charming yet? Is it just me? I mean, I can’t like all tropes, but do you love the man whore in place of prince charming?

Foreign Film Friday- The Fairy

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The Fairy, Alica Mckenna-Johnson
This was a weird, strange, quirky little movie. If you don’t mind that things just happen and don’t make sense, and if you don’t mind strange sudden dance routines and can let go of reality for a while, then I say check out The Fairy. It’s a French film about a fairy (what else?) who stays at a hotel and offers the night clerk three wishes.

Injurtainment

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Alica Mckenna-Johnson

Can you feel the evil?


So the other day I am sitting on the couch with my son minding my own business, when my daughter comes up and says, “Hey mom do you want to see something cool?”

“No.” This is the standard answer, it is always the answer, and always shall be the answer because in fourteen years of life, anything my daughter has shown me after that question has always freaked me out.

She grins, and I wonder for a moment if Satan is her father, then she drops into the splits. Well almost the splits. Her hands smacked the floor and I feared she would break her wrist as she stopped herself from tearing muscles in her legs, you see she can’t yet do the full splits.

I scream and cover my eyes. I don’t want to see my child break anything.

Boy child laughs and says. “It’s injurtainment!”

And that is how we made a new word.

You Sleep in Your What???

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bras, Alica Mckenna Johnson

Photo by This Particular Greg

It wasn’t until I was in my mid-thirties and working with teens at the group home that I found out some girls/women sleep in their bras.

Uuuumm, why they hell would you do that?

The girls told me it was so they’re breasts wouldn’t sag when they were older.

But bras are uncomfortable. I always assumed that as soon as a woman got home they all changed into comfy clothes and took off their bras. It’s what my mom always did.

But to sleep in a bra to try and keep my boobs from sagging, I don’t think it’s worth it, or honestly would work.
It makes me think of the pictures of women who would wrap their chins and necks in bandages while they slept to prevent the skin from sagging. I doubt that worked either.

These don’t look comfy for sleeping in.


Then I began to wonder (yes, you should be scared) do men wear jock straps to bed to keep their balls from sagging? And how much sag does a man gain over the years of gravity constantly tugging on his delicate bits?

So what about you. Do you wear a bra, or jock strap, or bandages to bed in hopes of defying gravity?

Vengeance is MINE!!!!!

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Alica Mckenna-Johnson, honey, sweet vengance

photo by alsjhc

I have waited fourteen long, trying years but finally the sweet honey taste of vengeance is mine to savor.
My daughter has fallen in love with a book, The Fault In Our Stars, and she was sitting on the couch reading—totally lost to the world. Smiling, I sat down next to her and started to talk to her.

I asked her random questions.

I hugged her.

I lay on her arm.

I moved her book so I could see what she was reading.

She screeched at me to leave her alone.

She complained how annoying I am.

She pushed me away.

Finally she stormed off into her room.

And I laughed, and hubby laughed, and after fourteen years of her interrupting us when we sat down to read, finally it was my turn to drive her crazy.

I can still taste the honey sweetness of revenge on my tongue.

Foreign Film Friday- The Ramen Girl

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The Ramen Girl, Alica McKenna-Johnson, Forgein Films, Food porn
The Ramen Girl
If you want a see a fun, odd, noodle-ful movie, then The Ramen Girl just might be the flick for you. After losing her boyfriend and being stranded in Japan, Abby loses her sanity and becomes fixated on learning to make ramen, much to the displeasure of the local ramen chef she has decided will be the one to teach her.

I did have two issues with this movie. First, after a year of living in Japan, Abby still can’t speak or understand any Japanese, which I just didn’t believe and second, there wasn’t as much Japanese culture as I like in my foreign films, Abby really isolates herself and therefore us.

But I enjoyed it, and for those of you who have watched Tampopo, the first and best Noodle Western/food porn ever, keep your eyes open for a treat in The Ramen Girl.

Now We Are Forty

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birthday, forty, Alica Mckenna Johnson

Photo by PublicDomainPictures


So as I turned forty last week, there was a real chance that I was going to spend the day eating ice cream while hiding under the covers. However, my daughter had other plans. It turned out that I had a good day and didn’t fall into a massive depression. YAY! Go me.

I’m not where I was hoping to be, or the size I was hoping to be, or as self-actualized as I was hoping to be by forty.

I have a good job, three novels in various stages of editing, a hubby who puts up with me, two great happy kids, and friends who let me talk about characters as if they’re real people. So all in all everything thing is really good

Phoenix Child, Alica McKenna-Johnson

My New Book Cover!!!! See I have things happening :)

But I also feel that this is a turning point, not that my life is going downhill or winding down. I’ve been told by older friends that life begins at forty, so yay!!! But the things I have been unhappy about in my life haven’t changed in five years. Somehow I feel different about these situations, able to see things in a new way and I feel a bit stronger and more capable My bullshit tolerance level has dropped, and I’m less likely to put up with anything.

But I’m also feeling the pressure of should weighing upon me.

Should I wear more conservative ‘grown-up’ clothes now that I’m forty?

Should I only think nasty dirty thoughts about guys who are over thirty, now that I’m forty?

Should I magically have more will power and self-control, now that I’m forty?

Should I stop buying pop-culture tee shirts, now that I’m forty?

I did this same kind of thing when I got pregnant. I gave away my purple Doc Martins, black leather motorcycle jacket, and all my heavy metal CDs because ‘good moms shouldn’t have those things’. I was nineteen and stupid, but as you can see at forty those same limiting thoughts are creeping into my head. At least this time they aren’t winning.

I’m excited to see what the next third of my life holds. Yes, I plan to live until one hundred and twenty. I’m excited to see where my low tolerance for bullshit, self-confidence, and strength take me.
Was forty a difficult birthday for you? Does life really begin after forty?