Remembering Kidd Kraddick

By Kyledean84 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Kyledean84 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

A week ago tonight around 10 p.m., I saw the following tweet.

RIP Kidd Kraddick. You were an amazing man and a friend. You are already missed.

— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) July 28, 2013

My heart stopped for a second. I read it several times praying that I'd misread it. I hadn't. I went searching for more info. It became evident that this wasn't a sick joke. Local news outlets had been holding back reporting the deejay's death until they were 100% sure it was true, but one by one they began reporting it, especially after KISS-FM released a statement.

I was heartbroken. Still am, if I want to be truly honest.

I remember the first time I listened to Kidd Kraddick in the Morning. It was late July/early August 1998. I'd grown up listening to Tom Joyner and Skip Murphy, the morning deejays for K104 here in Dallas.

But one summer morning, I got up a lot earlier than I needed to in order to listen to KKITM. Why? Because they were going to announce the headliner for KISS-FM's first End of Summer Bash, and I needed to know immediately who that act was.

You see, during that summer, I'd become a huge *NSYNC fan. I certainly hadn't planned it. But KISS had held a concert at the beginning of the summer and Mariah Carey was the featured guest. She was my favorite singer, so I had to see her.

I went and saw her. *NSYNC was also there, and they blew me away. They were so good. And when I like something whether it's an author or a movie or TV show or a music group, I tend to go ALL OUT.

Anyway, that day I became an *NSYNC fan. A month later, so did a ton of other people because of their Disney Concert Special, which Disney only ran a million kajillion times (and can be found on Youtube in its entirety - lol).

In late July/early August, KISS started running a commercial promoting the End of Summer Bash and the mystery headliner ending the commercial with "And you won't believe who it is!"

In my gut, I knew it was *NSYNC. I didn't have any secret intel. I just knew. Finally, one Friday, the spots said Kidd Kraddick would announce the act Monday morning.

So Monday morning, I dragged myself out of bed and went downstairs to listen because my mom listened (loudly) to K104 while she got ready for work.

What I remember is that within 30 seconds of listening to KKITM, I was rolling with laughter. I'd never listened before, didn't know who the cast members were, but they were cracking me up.

They got around to announcing the concert headliner and sure enough it was *NSYNC. They promised to give away tickets throughout the show, so I had to keep listening.

I've listened for the last 15 years.

I was so happy when KISS started streaming live on the Internet (remember those dark days when this was unusual?), because I was away at college and could listen to the show.

Why was I so devoted to the show, to Kidd? Because he and the other cast members invited me into their lives and made me laugh (and sometimes cry) while doing it.

When I saw that Kidd had died, my first immediate thought was for his daughter, Caroline. He loved and doted on her so much.

Although I didn't know Kidd, I felt like I did.

I knew that his favorite movie was Somewhere in Time.

I knew that his mom, Rosie, was a terrible cook.

I knew that he was Catholic, but hadn't been born into the faith. He'd chosen it because he felt most at home there.

I even knew that his first name was David, although that was a closely guarded secret (for privacy reasons, I believe). I suppose anyone who did a little rudimentary Internet research knew, but he never mentioned it on the show. I only knew because there had been 1 or 2 slipups on the air over the years.

What I admired most about Kidd as a professional was his storytelling prowess. I'm a terrible verbal storyteller, but Kidd was so good at it. He'd keep me enthralled, knowing when to amp up the tension, how to set up the punchline, when to hold back. Even for stories I'd heard before, I'd listen like it was the first time.

I also admired how quick and brilliant he truly was. I don't know how many times the cast would be talking/joking about something and kind of paint Kidd into a corner. He'd sigh and say "We'll be back with the story of how Kellie and Al became lost in the amusement park." (Yes, that's a really bad example, but you get the point).

After the commercial break, he'd come back with a full script that was both coherent and funny.

Did I admire everything about Kidd? No. Many times, he would quickly get bored with discussions and make everyone move on even if the audience (i.e. me) and the other cast members were enjoying it. He was also easily distracted. He'd promise that they would talk about the newest celebrity scandal next, but come back from commercial break talking about buying a new iPad. And he was so impatient. I told him to chill more than once through the radio.

But his flaws and strengths made him real. He didn't try to hide who he was. He wanted his listeners to know him. He let me into his life and I'll be forever thankful.

RIP, Kidd. Your legacy will live on.

Jam of the Week

I'd heard Radioactive by Imagine Dragons before, but it really became imbedded in my head during the NBA playoffs when the below LeBron James/Beats commercial ran approximately every ten seconds.

It's a testament to how much I like the song that I never got tired of it. I'm going to link to the video against my better judgment because I like the song that much. The video is, um, interesting. If you ever wondered what happened to Lou Diamond Phillips, now you know. o_0

As for the song, I love the slow build to the chorus and its thumping beat. The "Whoa, oh, oh" part gets me every time! lol. Enjoy!

What a Difference a Year Makes!

Yeah, I'm a Golden Heart® finalist. Yeah, seriously. I'm thrilled and still having trouble wrapping my head around it. After I got the call, I remembered a blog post on the old blog I wrote in January 2011 about starting the GH manuscript. So I went and found it. Reading it brought a huge smile to my face. Who knew what would happen with this story 14 months later?

I thought I'd repost it because it's so cute.

By the way, for the most part, my initial vision for the story remained intact. I did figure out what Noelle said to tick Tate off, and hilarity most definitely ensued. :)

January 4, 2011

Today is a banner day for me. I’m starting a new manuscript – my third. First drafts are my favorite part of the writing process. It’s when I’m at my most creative and let the ideas flow freely. I have an idea of where I want the story to go, but I love getting that zing when an idea pops into my head that makes the story funnier or connects to another, previously unrelated plot point. I’m more of a pantser than a plotter, so it’s all great fun.

However, this new manuscript is different from my first two. The first two had been rolling around in my head for years. I think 2002 for the first one, Seducing Ms. Right, and 2003 for the second one, Second to None. They were stories straight from my heart. I got to write about football in the first and a The Bachelor-type show in the second. These are two things I know waaaayyy too much about. I knew for years what the central conflict in the stories would be (in part anyway).

This new manuscript idea only came to me in late 2010. I was trying to finish up Second to None, but this story kept poking at me. The title, Tell Me Something Good, came to me first. I think I heard the song on the radio and thought that would make a great book title. The “Tell” part stuck out to me and the first thing to pop into my head were radio personalities. Both my heroine and hero are talk show hosts, working for the same radio station. I know they don’t like each other. They each have not-so-nice (but funny) nicknames they’ve given each other that play off the other’s name. Tate and Noelle are going to be fun to write.

However…I don’t know much else. I’m pretty sure she says something that hacks him off and then hilarity will ensue. I kind of have glimpses of their personalities – she’s a little uptight, he’s the fun-loving flirt. I think anyway. I have an inkling of how the story ends – that idea popped into my head as I drove to work this morning – but other than that, I’m not sure.

Basically I’m entering unchartered waters. I know I want to figure out their motivations and goals before I dive too deep into the story. If I don’t, I’ll have problems. Been there, done that. With Second to None, I managed to write a complete first draft without fully understanding what drove Jeremiah, the hero. Not good. I don’t want to make that mistake with Tell Me.


I have a craft book on characters that I’m going to peruse and use to help shape their personalities and figure out how they complement each other. I’m also going to do basic background sketches, so I know their backstories and, by extension, their motivations.

I hope this helps me avoid some of the pitfalls from the first two books, even though I know there are others waiting for me if only because I’m still learning how to be a writer. I always will be.

But anyway…wish me luck in this endeavor.

What do you do to prepare to write a book? Detailed character studies and plot outlines? Or do you sit at your computer and let your fingers take over? Something in between?

xoxo, Jamie

Quick Thoughts on Whitney

It's been over a week since Whitney Houston passed away. I was sad then. I'm  sad more. I've been listening to her music and dancing and singing along. It makes me sad, nostalgic, and happy.Man, what a voice!

Two Whitney memories stand out for me.

1. When I was in high school, more than once we broke out singing "The Greatest Love of All" on the bus. Mind you, that song was 10 years old at that point.

2. When The Bodyguard came out, I went to see it with my mom and other family members. Up until that point, I hadn't liked "I Will Always Love You." It hadn't spoken to me or maybe I needed my ears cleared. Who knows what I was thinking? But I'll tell you as the movie ended and the credits started rolling and the song started playing, there I was belting the song out in the middle of the theater. Yeah, I've been a fan of the song ever since.

Whitney, I'll miss you. May you find the peace in heaven that seemed to allude you here on Earth.

Jam of the Week: My Birthday Edition

Today is my birthday. Woot, woot! Anyway, last night as a birthday present to myself I saw Kelly Clarkson in concert. She was amazing! Say what you want about her, but the girl can sing her butt off.

But it almost didn't happen.

When the tickets went on sale, I had no clue. I'm usually pretty good about keeping track of that stuff. All I know is a few days after they went on sale, a DJ mentioned it on the radio. I was like, "Say what, now?"

I immediately hightailed it to my computer and went to, but of course all the good seats were long gone. Here's something you should know about me. I'm hella spoiled when it comes to concert seating. I don't do nosebleeds. I like to be as close as possible.

I decided to wait to buy tickets. I've played this game more than once. It's not uncommon for (good) seats to be released the closer the concert date approaches. So I checked Ticketmaster every few days. Nothing.

Yesterday morning, I woke up early just to check Ticketmaster. Nothing but nosebleeds. At some point during the day, a lone seat close to the floor popped up, but someone was faster than me and snatched it up. Boo!

For the rest of the day, I went back and forth about just getting a nosebleed seat, but I couldn't pull the trigger. Spoiled, remember?

But I really wanted to see Kelly. But I didn't want to watch a speck on stage. Oh, the quandary.

So yeah, at 3:30, the concert was taken off Ticketmaster's page. No!! I called Ticketmaster and got a recording that tickets could now only be be bought at the venue. I hunted down the venue's box office number on their website. I called and asked if they had any tickets. Nope. Sold out. This was around 4:00.

I decided to wait until 5:00 to try again. I called and got a recording. The box office opens 2 hours before the show. The concert started at 7:30. Fine. I finished up some actual  job-related work, programmed the box office number in my phone, gathered all my stuff and headed to my car. By the time I got to my car, it was about 5:25.

I called. Got the recording. Waited 5 minutes. Called. Someone answered! Do you have 1 ticket? "We have one ticket available, but we don't sell tickets over the phone."

I told her it wouldn't be a problem. I'd be there shortly. It just so happens that I work close to the venue, my one saving grace. I gunned it, arrived, ran up to the box office and asked if they had a ticket. They still had it. I bought it and the rest is history.

Yeah, kinda ridiculous. But worth it.

I haven't done a Jam of the Week in a while (ya know because I haven't been blogging, but whatever). Still I couldn't let my birthday pass without putting one up.

So yeah, this song was written and recorded before I was born, but we can't let facts stand in the way of a good story, can we? They're obviously singing about me, right? :)

So I present to you... Jamie by the Jackson 5.

Thursday Links

1. I love celebrity news and celebrity couples. (Keep the duhs to yourself, peanut gallery). But it's always funny to watch TV shows or movies with stars who used to date each other. I love Gossip Girl (stop judging me) and Serena and Dan dated for a few years. And there they are on the show giving each other longing glances (sometimes). It makes me giggle. Anywho, here are some celeb couples who worked together after splitting.

2. I love Twitter. (Remember, keep the duhs to yourself). It's fascinating watching it grow in importance. TV, especially, has latched on to it and now both are helping each other grow.

3. This made me giggle. Who wore it best? Mariah Carey's baby Monroe or Kim Kardashian?

4. Hip hop is an ingrained part of American culture now, but the music genre is only around 30 years old. I liked this look back at one of the early stars, Big Daddy Kane.

So yeah, all of my links today were on the entertainment side and none on the sports side. I looked for some interesting ones, but honestly, the sports side of my brain has been consumed with the Penn State debacle. It sickens me, it hurts me, it pisses me off that football was deemed more important than protecting kids. I can only hope that the kids have found help or will now seek it out and they find or have found a way to live a happy, peaceful life.

Only Me: How I Almost Killed Myself Trying to Win $10,000

A local radio station, KISS-FM, does "No Commercial Mondays." From 10 am to midnight, it's straight music except for the occasional deejay lead-in.

A few weeks ago, the station started advertising a contest. Mondays would still be commercial-free, but if they played a commercial, the first person to call in wins $10,000.

I listen to KISS, usually in the morning while getting ready for work and it's in radio station rotation when I'm in the car. At work, most of the time, I listen to Pandora and ESPN. I thought the contest was cool, but I wasn't really motivated to change my listening habits for it.

So last Monday, I get off work and was driving home. The radio was on KISS. A song went off and on came a commercial. I wasn't really paying attention, when all of it sudden it hit me that the commercial was kinda long.

And then my brain kicked into gear.

"Commercial?! Wait. Is it Monday? It's Monday! They're not supposed to be playing commercials. Where's my phone?!"

I started digging into my junky purse with my right hand for my phone while steering with my left hand.

I found the phone with little trouble, but that's where the real trouble started.

Have I mentioned that I hate driving? I'm not good at it and it stresses me out. I don't like talking on the phone and driving at the same time because my attention gets split and it stresses me out trying to concentrate on both things at once. Remember that.

So I got the phone and I'm trying to concentrate on the road, and at the same time, trying to find the icon on the phone screen that would lead to me making a call. I find the icon, press it and get to the phone page.

But there's a phone number already typed in!

Ugh. I guess it was the last number I dialed.

And it wouldn't go away!

I was trying to delete it and drive at the same time and stressing out because I knew time was wasting away and because the stupid, wrong number wouldn't go away.

Then the freaking screen just went black and the phone wouldn't do anything. Argh!

Did I forget to mention that, in the middle of all this, I got honked at because I accidentally drifted into the next lane?

Fun times.

So yeah, I didn't win $10,000. This other lady did. She sounded very excited. Hmmph.

Only me.

Jam of the Week

The Jam of the Week is not the one playing on Pandora as I type. I heard it and thought, hey, that could be the JotW, but I decided to choose another song by this group (although I do love the song playing on Pandora). The song playing is No Scrubs by TLC.

But the Jam of the Week is Creep by TLC.

I love TLC. I have all their albums and listened to them nonstop, especially CrazySexyCool, whose lead single was Creep. I'm pretty sure I got the CD for Christmas and spent the entire winter break listening to it and memorizing ALL the lyrics to ALL of the songs. Good times.

Creep was the song that turned TLC into full-fledged pop stars, which was cool for them, but not really what I was concerned with. I just remember loving the CD. It still jams today.

I wish I had more to say, but when I really love something, it's hard for me to articulate why. The love is just a part of me that I can't dissect. And that's how I feel about Creep, CrazySexyCool, and TLC.

So enjoy.

Jam of the Week

Since I blogged this week (even if they were teeny tiny posts), I'm giving myself permission to do a Jam of the Week. I've had this song lined up for a few months weeks now. I like it because it's supersweet. And I'm a big sucker for sweet. The sentiment behind the song can't be beat.


The lyrics themselves, especially in the first verse, crack me up. Maybe it's because I fancy myself to be a writer that I don't find the lyrics to be, umm, very sophisticated. I don't think the writer can expect to win any songwriting contests with:

If you be the cash I'll be the rubberband You be the match Imma be your fuse Boom! Painter baby you Could be the muse I'm the reporter baby You could be the news Cause your the cigarette And I'm the smoker We raise a bet... Cause you're tha joker Truth tho... You are the chalk And I could be the blackboard And you can be the talk And I could be the walk

See what I mean? Or am I being too harsh?

I do love the song though. That's why Miguel's Sure Thing is the Jam of the Week.

Jam of the Week: In Memoriam Again

This is the third Jam of the Week in a row that I've picked a song by an artist that either recently died or the anniversary of their just occurred. And how appropriate is that Aaliyah's "At Your Best You Are Love" just started playing on Pandora as I typed this. Fifteen years ago this week, Tupac died. I think I've mentioned that I'm not the biggest hip hop aficionado out there, but I do like it. I grew up listening to it on the radio and watching the videos on BET, so it does hold a special place in my heart. Tupac holds a special place in my heart.

I love that he rapped about his life and how he hoped that things would and could get better. There are so many songs I could have chosen, songs that I still love, but the song I chose is extra special to me. I'm pretty sure it was his first single. It definitely came out while I was still in elementary school. I remember being struck by the lyrics and the story he told even though I was so young. I memorized all the words. I'm pretty sure I still remember most of them.

Although the song is at least twenty years old, the story still resonates. He was right then and he's right now.

This week's Jam of the Week is Brenda's Got a Baby.

RIP, Tupac.

Tuesday Links

1. Should student-athletes be paid? That question has been asked forever it seems like. My initial reaction has always been "no" because I have a hard time seeing how that process would work and because many student-athletes get free educations. But I understand why some think they should or at least the student-athletes who  bring big bucks to their schools and the NCAA. This study puts their worth at six figures! That's something to think about.

2. I'm not a Trekkie or a sci-fi person period, but it's kind of cool to look at the Star Trek gadgets that are no longer fiction.

3. After the first weekend of college football, I kept seeing references to how awful Maryland's uniforms were. I did a little Internet search and found this. Oh my!

4. I'm a nerd. I love trivia, especially the pop culture kind, so it makes my heart happy that VH1's Pop Up Video is returning. Here's the first video.

5. I hate beauty pageants, but the commentary during the swimsuit portion of the Miss Universe Pageant was hilarious, you have to admit.

Old Links

Remember how I whined about being busy? Yeah, still true. However, I did save a some links a few weeks ago, but didn't post them. But they're still cool/interesting even if the info's a bit old.

1. Anne Hathaway raps! I love her.

2. A Cleveland Indian's player was going to miss the birth of his child. Until his teammates stepped in to help.

3. The University of Miami is in deep trouble with the NCAA because a felon alum confessed all the illegal stuff he did for the school to the NCAA. Fascinating reading!

Jam of the Week 1: Remembering Aaliyah

Last week, I was reminded that Aaliyah died in August 10 years ago, so I decided that this week's Jam of the Week would be one of her songs. Then Nick Ashford died. So this week will have two. Mr. Ashford will have his day tomorrow. Back in the 90s, I was a teenager. There were four singers that were hot then and I loved them all. Brandy, Monica, Aaliyah, and Mya. They were all around my age and singing songs that I could relate to, but special in their own right.

My junior year I got Aaliyah's One in a Million CD. I wore that bad boy out. Played it over and over. My high school made an annual trip to Big Bend National Park. I'm pretty sure I listened to that CD the ENTIRE way. Hours upon hours in that van. I still laugh about how I tortured one of my friends by randomly singing one of the songs at any given time to him on that trip. Good times.

I can't believe it's been 10 years. I remember hearing the news on the radio and praying it wasn't true, that the DJ was making a sick joke. But it was and he wasn't.

I admit I wonder about the what ifs of her career and life. My heart twinges in sadness every time I hear one of her songs. But I am happy that I still have memories and her CDs to listen to whenever the mood strikes.

RIP, Aaliyah.

This is my Jam of the Week. If Your Girl Only Knew, my favorite song from One in a Million.