What to Expect When You’re Expecting

No, this isn’t a pregnancy announcement. I just finished watching What to Expect When You’re Expecting, the movie with Cameron Diaz based on the book by the same name. Probably everyone has seen that book, whether at a relative’s house or in a store. I can remember it sitting in my Aunt Wendy’s bathroom when she was pregnant. I was like seven or eight and wanted to read it, because I always wanted to read everything. I put the movie on last night because I needed something to relax to.

What to Expect When You're ExpectingThough I liked most of the couples, I had a hard time relating to them because they were older than me and my husband. What I really wanted was a whole movie about Rosie and Marco. They were really cute; their chemistry was evident from the second they were on screen together. Sometimes their scenes were a little awkward, but I think it made them even more relatable and irresistible.


The movie takes a sad turn when Rosie has a miscarriage. I was rooting for them so hard, so I really felt their heartache when they got the news. It was kind of a bummer that the movie had so many other couples to focus on, because I really wanted to know how Rosie and Marco rebuild their relationship and grow into being together.

A quick Google search of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting Rosie and Marco” leads to fan fiction. While I won’t be writing any because my production schedule is full through the end of the year, the itch is there. I want to explore that process for them. I liked how the movie handled such an awful situation. They didn’t try to gloss over it. It’s something tragic that does happen, despite how far medicine has advanced.

It’s those realistic emotions and life events that I like to explore in my own writing. I really admire how the writers of this movie weren’t afraid to go there. I don’t remember whether this movie stirred up any controversy, but I still applaud them.

This approach made me evaluate my own storytelling abilities. Am I tacking tough topics without being afraid of backlash? Am I handling sensitive subject matter with care and compassion? Can I dig a little deeper, push a little harder, with my own characters and storylines?

Writer brain aside, I really liked What to Expect When You’re Expecting. It was cute and fun, and even though Rosie and Marco were by far my favorites, I thought all of the characters were realistic in some way.

Did you see What to Expect When You’re ExpectingWhat did you think?

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Sandpaper Fidelity: Chapter 2

Sandpaper Fidelity: Chapter 2, by Elizabeth Barone

Recap: Suspecting that she might be pregnant, Josalee took a pregnancy test. It came out positive. Judging by her one and only one-night stand, the baby has to be David’s—her very gay best friend…

Chapter 2

David pulled a white envelope out of his back pocket the second he heard Josalee close the door behind her. He leaned against the counter in the kitchen and, with shaking hands, began ripping it open. Its glue was tight, though, so he set it down and opened the drawer where they kept the scissors. He didn’t really expect to find them there, though; Jo had a habit of not putting things away. He yanked open the silverware drawer. Naturally, all of the butter knives were dirty. He snatched up a steak knife and picked up the envelope again.

His hands shook like a baby rabbit as he began slicing it open. The knife zigged and zagged through the paper, then caught. He slammed it down. “I told her we needed new knives,” he said to the empty kitchen. He ran a hand through his short, curly blond hair, took a deep breath, and returned to the envelope. He jiggled the knife through the paper and it poked up through the top of the envelope. A second later, a little drop of red blood painted the stark white paper. David gasped and dropped the envelope and knife onto the counter. He rushed to the sink and turned the water on. If JoJo were here, he thought, she’d laugh at me for being such a baby. He sighed and wrapped a paper towel around his finger, pressed it tight, and went back to the counter.

His heart thudded in his chest like the drum in an industrial song. He gripped the edge of the counter and stared at the half open envelope. He sighed, picked it up again, and awkwardly tore it the rest of the way open.

He scanned the letter quickly, then stared at the second page listing his new state insurance benefits. The doctor at the clinic warned him that with his new “pre-existing condition,” it wouldn’t be much. He felt bile rising in his throat, but couldn’t make it to the bathroom. He turned and vomited into the sink. He grasped the edge of the counter while he emptied his already empty stomach, shaking and sweating. It felt like forever before he could raise his head from the stainless steel. He turned on the water and rinsed it down, then slowly sank to the floor. He shivered and twitched. He felt the nausea rising again, and pulled himself up to the sink.

* * * * *

He wiped down the counters and sink with bleach, a latex glove on the hand of the finger he’d cut. Tears stung his eyes as he dried off the counter with paper towels. He leaned against the counter and did the math on his fingers for the hundredth time in the last few weeks. His mind flashed to the night a month ago when he and Jo had come home from the bar and went shot for shot with a bottle of tequila—what Jo called “to kill ya”—in their living room.

“I think the reason guys don’t wanna date me is ’cause I’m a shitty kisser,” she had said, and took a shot from the bottle.

David shook his head. “That’s not true.” He reached for the bottle, but she held it away from him.

“How would you know?” she laughed. “You’re gay.”

He snatched the bottle from her. “So?”

So, you can’t kiss me. So, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” She laughed and leaned back into the couch.

He took a shot and held out the bottle to her. She shook her head and slid down, resting her head in his lap. He looked down at her. “I’d go straight for you in a heartbeat, JoJo.”

She snorted. “Can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

“Bullshit,” he said, and put the bottle on the coffee table. He tilted her chin up and leaned down. She slowly pulled her face away, laughing. “Stop. Stay still.” He scooted down on the couch and shifted until he lay next to her, his stubble grazing her cheek. He kissed the tip of her nose.

She giggled. “That’s so not the same thing.”

He rolled his eyes, then gazed straight into her eyes. “Do you want me to?” When she said nothing, only gazed back at him, he kissed her full on the lips. Her lips moved against his, parted, and he gently pushed his tongue into her mouth. She shifted and moved so that she lay on top of him, and caressed his face as her lips moved against his. He knotted his hands in her silky black hair. It felt like hours passed before they came up for air. He gazed up at her. “You’re not a shitty kisser,” he panted.

“No?” She reached for his face and brought his lips back to hers. When she felt him press hard against her leg, she broke the kiss. “What’re we doing?” She giggled, and rested her forehead against his.

“Want me to stop?” he asked. A heat she had never seen filled his eyes. She shook her head, and he pulled her face back to his.

* * * * *

David splashed more cold water onto his face, then dried off with a paper towel. He still wore the latex glove on his hand. He glanced at the clock. Grey’s Anatomy would be on soon. He made himself a sandwich, even though his stomach continued to clench and cramp, and went into the living room.

He sat in the dark, the TV flashing its blue light against his face, his sandwich untouched on the coffee table his grandmother gave him. When the episode finished, he blinked himself out of his trance and glanced up at the clock again. He carried the stale sandwich into the kitchen, dumped it in the garbage, and went to his room.

He lay awake in bed long after he heard Josalee’s key in the front door, nauseous from more than the virus inside of him.

To Be Continued…

Thank you for reading! This chapter is part of Sandpaper Fidelity, a novel. Get the full ebook; sign up for my free email list! CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED.

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What’s Up Wednesday: A Quick Recap of What I’ve Been Up To

While eating dinner, it occurred to me that I’m doing so many things, I can hardly keep track of all of them—which means that you probably can’t, either. I decided to start a new feature on my blog, recapping the last week so that all of us are on the same page. For all the ins and outs, though, you’ll want to sign up for my newsletter.

  • I’m putting together a launch team for the re-release of Sade on the Wall. If you would like a free copy of Sade on the Wall before it comes out, read this post for details.
  • You can now read the first three chapters of Diving Into Him, the first book in the South of Forever series. Start here! You can also add it to your shelves on Goodreads.
  • Every week, for the rest of the year, I’ll post a new chapter from Sandpaper Fidelity here on my blog. You can read Chapter 1 hereSandpaper Fidelity was originally serialized in 2012, so I’m super excited to bring it back.
  • My friend and critique partner J.C. Hannigan re-released her debut novel Collide this week. Go here to check it out and enter to win a copy!
  • On Monday, I interviewed NA author Faye McCray. Enter to win a copy of her novel, Boyfriend!
  • I’m in my third week of physical therapy for the bone spurs on my hip. It’s super painful and the additional appointments have way screwed up my schedule. I’m hoping that my orthopedist decides to just do surgery, since it seems like the PT isn’t working.
  • I’m working on something really special for you. I’ve dropped hints on Instagram over the last few weeks.

Coming soon…

A photo posted by Elizabeth Barone (@elizabethbarone) on

I’ll be able to unveil it all pretty soon! (If you’re one of my Barone’s Belles, you already know what I’m talking about.)

How is your week going? Leave a comment and let me know what you’ve been up to!

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