Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Giving

"On the first day of Christmas" begins a refrain many are familiar with. Recently, I realized that this song actually goes against the very Spirit of Christmas. It's all about what the lover gave to the singer. What about the singer? What about me? Christmas is a time of year when we can practice looking "outward." In that spirit, here are some revised twelve days of Christmas that my children (ages 6, 4, 2) are doing to remember that it is better to give than to receive.

The Twelve Days of Christmas, service style!
1. Leave a positive note in a library book.
2. Deliver a plate of goodies.
3. Make Christmas cards.
4. Go caroling.
5. Make pictures for a nursing home or adopt a grandparent.
6. At home service (clean a room, help a sibling-something for a family member)
7. Donate old/gently used toys.
8. Participate in a Christmas program.
9. Deliver a present to a friend.
10. Pick up trash at a park.
11. Visit someone who is sick.
12. At home service.

If you've counted, you'll know that there are only ten days left until Christmas. Yes, we've already started at my house and I can tell you that my four year old has enjoyed doing the service the most. Her service extends far beyond the one task we plan out--she helps at home and on her own initiative. My six year old is in school, so he has not been able to participate in everything (and I started while he was at school). But he has enjoyed the "fruits" (treats we make for others) of our labors. And my two year old just loves being with us and doing what the "big kids" are doing. He is so proud of his efforts and it's fun to watch him have fun with us.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

E-mail Lists

I'm trying out a new system with It will let me send mass e-mails to a bunch of people with the click of a button! The trick is finding that button...Hmm...

There should be a page devoted to subscribing to the e-mails at the top of my blog. If you can't see it, please let me know! It's a new system for me and I'm working on the bugs. The e-mails will contain special offers, book updates, and reading recommendations. I won't e-mail you more than twice a month, so fear not that you'll get a bunch of spam e-mail from me!

You'll also notice that I'm working on redesigning my page. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

True Story

I thought about titling this: Confessions from an Overactive Author's Mind, but I was a bit long, don'tcha think?

My story, and this is a true story, happened way back in the stone age, when I was either a Senior in high school or a Freshman in College.

At that time, I was working as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician, aka, the ambulance people). I was on call the night of this story. Because of where I worked, I stayed at my parents house whenever I had the radio (we live less than one minute from the ambulance bay). I've always had really vivid dreams--including nightmares. This was a nightmare night. I woke up in the dead of night and turned on my bedroom light. That wasn't enough. So I searched the house to make sure all was quiet on that front and returned to my room.

I tried distracting myself by reading, but as soon as I put the book down, my mind started making my ears hear things again. There was no way I was going back to bed--in the dark! If they light was on, I felt much better. So I grabbed a cordless phone and my EMT radio (hey, what if I needed the cops or something because someone really WAS in the house?), locked my bedroom door, left the light on, and went back to bed, secure in the knowledge that nothing could get me if the light was on.

I was just drifting to sleep when it happened. My eyes flew open, heart pounding. The doorknob jiggled again. My overactive imagination was right! Someone WAS in the house!

Nervously, and because I've heard somewhere that if you confront the intruder they're more likely to leave rather than get caught, I called out, "Hello?"

I was not expecting an answer. The other person in the house? It was my dad. He was trying to get in my room to turn off my light. I know I giggled a little when that happened. And, strangely enough, it also made me feel better knowing my dad was roaming the house. Daddy's still make everything better, don't they?

Friday, September 5, 2014

New Book

This is something that should have been said sooner, but...It's done! The Guardians: Revenge is live on amazon! You can get it here:

Enjoy this continuation of the story of Eddy and April. Remember, Jason is still out there, trying to kill them. And he's found an ally.

Enjoy the story!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Getting Organized

Check this out. Seriously. (Buy here:

Each month, I try reading something a little different. Something that will challenge the mind and get things going. As a writer, mother, and wife, it sometimes feels like I've got a million balls in the air all at once.

Let's run with that juggling analogy a bit, shall we?

When you learn something new, you start basic. With juggling, you would start with a single ball, gradually adding more as you became more comfortable with the current level. Life is like that. At least, in an ideal world.

Ideally, we add one responsibility at a time, layering and scheduling out our time as we feel uncomfortable. In the real world (as with the occasional juggling performance), there's some fella standing off to the side, throwing balls into your circle before you're ready. Sometimes, you can handle it. And sometimes, it all falls apart and you have to start over (after skidding on the mess, landing on your backside, and convincing yourself that you can get back up again and it's okay).

This book has been AWESOME! I love it. Written by a psychologist and a life coach, you get explanations about WHY and HOW the brain works and the WHY and HOW to get and keep things going. There's nothing mystical or earthshattering to this book. It's based on science and experience. They don't give you the same formula for becoming organized (which I loved, because those formulas never work for me). They give you a way to understand yourself, discover your own blocks, and to create your own organization.

I found my copy at the local library, but am seriously contemplating buying this book for my personal library. It is that good.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

Okay, BELATED Mother's Day!

First off, a big THANK YOU to everyone who has read or downloaded The Guardians: Revenge.

Second, a big PLEA to review the story after you read it. It is very helpful to know what you think of the book. I love and appreciate your thoughts and comments.

Third, Guardians: Hope/Life is about a third of the way through rough draft stage. Yeah! Also, the second book to Totems is started. If I am able to finish the rough draft of that, I think we will be releasing two books next year.

And, a bit randomly, I have started research on another book. I'll give you more details on that one as I get closer to rough draft stage (wink). But I will tell you this. It will be titled Esther.

Have a great day!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Overcoming Trials

I don't know if this happens to any of you, but last night I had all these thoughts running through my head. I thought they were good and knew two things: I needed to write them down so I wouldn't forget them AND I wouldn't fall asleep until I did. Funny how our brain works that way...

Hebrews 12:6 (KJV)-"For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth..." Now, this scripture stuck with me for a long time when I was younger. And not for the reasons you may be thinking. You see, I had great parents. I did well in school (and didn't struggle for it). My family had what we needed and quite a bit of what we wanted (books...lots and lots of books...). I really didn't seem to struggle in any aspect of my life (except popularity which I didn't really want at the time). I was so blessed, I didn't seem to have any trials. So the question plagued me: Does God love me?

My logic was this: If Heavenly Father loves someone, He gives them trials to make them stronger and to prepare them to enter His presence. My life was pretty awesome. I couldn't think of any "real" trials that I had, not like a lot of people I knew or heard about. So in my mind, God was not chastening me. He must not have loved me. It was tough to understand. Years later, I learned I was wrong. but for several years, I struggled knowing if I was loved of Heavenly Father or not.

Last night, something clicked. Something big. 1 Samuel 16:7 (KJV)-"...for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." All those people with trials had outwardly visible trials. That's what I thought was the true measure of pain and suffering: broken legs, broken hearts, life-threatening disease, bankruptcy, etc., etc., etc. Sometimes we create our own trials (that's what I was doing) and sometimes trials are given to us. But you see, the Lord isn't looking at the severity of the trial as a measure of His love or even as a measure of our faith. Because He doesn't look at those things.

About a year ago, we tried to get my then five year old son to ride his bike without training wheels. Oddly enough, he was riding the NEIGHBOR's bike all over without training wheels. But when we took the ones off his bike, he flat out refused to ride it. Fast forward to this year. We got them Razor scooters and my kids were riding all over. I commented to my son that if he could ride and balance on the scooter, he could do it on the bike. The next day, he had us take the training wheels off (again) and was riding all over within minutes. My point in this is that something that seems obvious and simple to us may not seem simple and obvious to someone else.

Another illustration: My husband is ridiculously strong. I am not. At all. He can lift and move over 200 lbs on his own (as in pick it up and carry it, not drag it around). Me? I feel like I'm going to break in half when I work on 100 lbs.

But that's the way it is with trials. We're each tried according to our capacity to endure, not beyond it. (Unless we're creating our own trials, but that's a whole nother story!) Heavenly Father knows what stresses us out and what will be heavy for us. He knows what would be too easy for us, which would impede our growth. That's why we aren't each asked to endure the same things.

But, and here's the MOST important part, we aren't asked to do it alone. Never alone. Psalms 55:22 (KJV)-"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Jesus Christ is our Savior. What does a Savior do? Saves. And in the case of Christ, He saves us from all things: sin, heartache, disappointment, depression, trials, death. The list goes on. We do not have to suffer alone.

Now, here's an exercise for you. And it may seem silly, but I want you to do it anyway. Find somewhere quiet (or just sit in the noise, because sometimes you don't have a choice). Pray. Tell Heavenly Father all the details about whatever trial is hurting the most. Tell Him HOW it's hurting. And then follow the scriptures advice: cast the burden on the Lord. Turn it over to Him and promise to follow whatever promptings come, no matter how painful or scary. It will be worth it. Trust me. You'll be filled with love. You'll feel clean again. You'll feel strong enough to endure. You won't feel alone.

Just do it.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


I admit, I took a break. An "I'm going to read fun books just for fun" break. And I did. And it was fun. And then, of course, my kids got sick. So I took an "I'm going to take care of my sick kids" break. And then it became an "I need to clean my house" break...which really isn't much of a break at all, is it? Well, I'm back! And I have continued second edits. Because of the breaks, release for Guardians: Revenge maybe pushed back about a month. It depends on how focused I can be and if the sickness decides to make one more round.

Oh, and Happy First Day of Spring! :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Which Photo?

It's about time I took care of the cover for Guardians: Revenge. And that's where you come in. I have four photos that I feel could represent the story...but which one would you choose? April and Eddy spend about half the time in the Amazon, the rest of the time in the mountains with snow. Which one do you like best? You can respond in the comments or on my facebook page:




Monday, February 17, 2014

Self Sabotage

I like to read. That probably doesn't surprise most of you. Hearing someone ask for a reading suggestion literally gives me a buzz. At least, what I imagine a buzz would feel like. I love sharing my favorite books. Be warned, though, I'll want to talk your ear off about the book I recommend if you decide to read it.

One of the books I'm reading now is titled Get Rich, Lucky Bitch by Dennise Duffield Thomas (no, I am not being paid to promote her book). I bought it on a whim and am now reading it. It's been interesting, to say the least. Her audience targets women who want to get rich. She talks about the money blocks most women have and how to overcome them. The money block that has jumped out at me recently is self-sabotage.

Self-sabotage. Why would we do things that would intentionally harm our self? It sounds crazy and illogical. The first time I read the self-sabotage section, I could not think of a single one that I had. Honestly. I am that perfect. (I hope those of you who know me are rolling on the ground laughing right now.) But this struck a chord yesterday. My method of self-sabotage? I do something once. I may even do it twice. And then I stop. I get lazy. "I can do it later," I say to myself. But later never seems to happen. It always falls to the wayside.

Surprisingly, this runs congruent to my last post, about schedules. One of my methods (unbeknownst to me) was to switch things up. That helped me defeat my "I've been there, done this" attitude. But I've been slacking. Guardians: Revenge is out to beta readers right now. And what have I been doing with me time? Nothing constructive. I even missed writing a post last week because "I didn't feel like it."

Now I'm going to an analogy. I enjoy running. Sometimes. If I do run, I do distance. Back in high school, I actually ran with a track team. Something funny happened, usually on the second or third to last lap. I would be done. My body would tell me to stop running, it was tired, we'd gone far enough. And you know what I would do? I would keep running. In my circle of running friends, we called that "pushing through the wall." Pushing through the wall is hard. However, once you are past that wall, the attitude of your body changes. It submits to your will.

It's the same with whatever goal you set, be it money, exercise, writing, or whatever. You'll start out very excited. The people around you will be cheering. But then you'll get to the middle/middle-end of your project. No one will be cheering anymore because it's boring watching you run in circles. You'll be bored of running in circles and tired of the circus. But you have to keep going. And do you know what happens at the end? Your body submits. People start cheering for you again. You get a surge of satisfaction for doing something hard.

So, what's your self-sabotage? Where do you give up your dream because you can? Once  you figure out what that is, you can figure out how to fix it. If you need help, I love dispensing advice. It's free and you don't have to take it. Have a great day! I'm going to get something done now. :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


If you have been following my updates, you have probably noticed that I don't post on the exact same day every month. I have discovered that I can maintain a schedule for so long (about a month) and then I have to switch it up. If I do not switch it up, I stop doing the activity. I have no idea why that is. It's just a part of me that I've discovered and learned to deal with. What about YOU? What's something random about yourself that you've noticed and how have you dealt with it?

The Guardians: Gateways is receiving a bit of a face-lift. I'm re-editing the story. It needed it. If you bought through Amazon, you will have the option to "upgrade" your book for free. Don't worry too much, though. I'm mostly fixing typos. There are a few sentences I've added for better description, but nothing story-altering. I did add a "sneak peak" chapter for The Guardians: Revenge. I'm 96% done.

The Guardians: Revenge is now in beta-reading. Yeah! One beta reader has already returned the manuscript. I'm so excited to publish this story! The April and Eddy relationship develops a bit more. April develops a lot more, discovering her independence in spite of her circumstances.

The Guardians: Life is still in outline phase (okay, I'm also thinking about calling this one Hope or Past or something). I believe I am finished with chapter one, which I have included at the end of The Guardians: Revenge. This will be the final book in my Guardians trilogy. Then we'll see what happens. :)

Happy reading!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Stay at Home Mom's

Man, how to write this post? I am frustrated. And I understand all at the same time. Most stay-at-home-moms (SAHM) feel like they are not validated, appreciated, understood. They feel overused, overworked, stretched thin, alone, overstimulated, understimulated, and like they have no one to talk to. I get it. I really do. I have three kids, (5, 3, 1). I was a working mom for the first four years of number 1's life. I have been 100% SAHM for number 3's life. I have seen both sides and I get it.

What I do not get is why we perpetuate the problem. I have seen a lot of posts about SAHMs for SAHMs. Posts about what a break really means and how to communicate with a SAHM and what SAHMs would like or need. And I am guilty of reading them and thinking, "Yes! Finally, someone who gets it! Someone who understand how I feel and is vocalizing it for the world to know!" It is nice to be understood. But I realized something after the last one I read. I do not feel any better after I read those posts. I feel worse.

Unless you have been a stay-at-home parent, you really have no idea what goes on or the unique stress that one deals with. Believe me. I thought I got it as a working mom...and I fully realize now that I am SAHM that I did not get it. It is one of those things you cannot understand until you have been there. I'm sorry. It does not make you less of a person, though. It just makes you a person.

Back to feeling better. I realized after reading the last post "validating" or "explaining" SAHM that I did not feel better. And the reason was simple. Someone who has not been in my shoes will never get it. And that list of things that I want to have or happen probably won't happen. Because I'm a SAHM. And that's okay. It's okay because of one, HUGE fact. I CHOSE to be a SAHM.

That's right. I looked at our family. I looked at our religion. I looked at families around us. I looked at what was happening when someone else was raising my child. And I made a choice. I decided it would be better for my family and me to stay home. And that's what I have done. It has been hard. I have felt underappreciated and overused and understimulated and overstimulated (often at the same time). I have felt like I do not exist as a real person. I have felt alone. But it is what I chose to do. And I do not always feel that way.

There are wonderful things that happen for SAHMs that often get lost in the jumble of negativity. I get to snuggle with my kids. I get to teach them right from wrong. I get to see them take their first steps and say their first words (my youngest just figured out "boom, baby!"). I get to cook and eat healthy meals for my family. I get to be home when they come home and see their faces light up when I cheer for them coming through the door. They come to me with their fears and joys. I get to play video games and board games and read stories. I get to be there for my husband.

And maybe I should stop here. You see, being a SAHM isn't all about me. It's about family. It's a choice to do what you believe is best for those around you. It's a CHOICE.

I guess my plea to SAHMs is this: You chose this path and so did I. There are rough days and rough moments. There are good days and good moments, too, though. But it's all a choice. No one forced you (us) to do this. And that's okay.

Here are some survival tips that I have found helpful recently:

1. Breathe. I mean this seriously. Take a breath and say to yourself: It will be okay. It's not as big a deal as I think it is. Breathe!
2. Tell your husband the truth about how you're feeling...and not right as he's walking in the door (unless he asks right then). How do you feel when you finally get a moment to sit down and someone (usually a kid) asks you to do something for them? (Really? I was just in the kitchen 10 seconds ago with you!) Give them a moment (just like you would like one) and then tell them the truth.
3. Take care of yourself. I'm not even talking about going to a salon and having a girls night or whatever. We don't have the money. But you can afford to go to bed on time. You can afford to eat healthy with your kids. And there are countless resources on the internet for finding some kind of exercise that works for you. (Lately, I've been doing a morning yoga routine (10 minutes or less) while my kids are across the hall playing (yes, they often wander into my room and join me). Then I take another 10 minutes to meditate on scriptures, hymns, Jesus, gratitude (yes, my kids often wander in during meditation to sit on my lap or have a dress buttoned or toy fixed or something. I cannot express how good I have been feeling since starting this.)

Honestly, it's okay to read the blog posts that remind you someone else understands. But do not wallow in them. Do not ponder on them beyond "Someone else gets it. I am so grateful." If you are going to wallow, wallow in the choice you have made to be a SAHM. Wallow and be grateful that your family is in a situation for that. Wallow in the good moments and remember that the bad ones don't last. Wallow in the affection of your spouse. And if you don't feel like you're getting that affection, take a page from your kids and just cuddle up to him. He'll either catch on and cuddle back or open the door to a conversation of what you need in that moment.

SAHMs, you're doing a good job. You're doing an important work. Remember that.

Monday, January 20, 2014

"The Guardians"

The Guardians: Revenge is 100% complete with the first draft! It is sitting for a week before I read through one final time and then send to beta readers. I am happy with this product so far and hope you are, too.

The Guardians: Life is just started. I have written a rough first chapter and am planning the other chapters. This is the final book to The Guardian series...and it makes me a little sad to be so close to parting with Eddy and April so soon.

Totems: A King's Treasure has sat long enough. It's time I read through it one more time. And then I plan on going to in order to find someone to make a cover. I am very excited for this story as all of my betas have informed me that it's better than The Guardian story.

Totems: The Sword and the Shield is under construction. I know what is going to happen, I just have to map it out now. Actually, I'm not sure how that one will end, just how it will lead into book 3 which will be called Totems: Clouds of War.

If you have enjoyed my stories and think this is the end, don't! I have a series of eight or nine books in the works (The Planetary series? Planetarians? Hmmm, I need a title still...) and a stand alone novel that just came to me last night: Hope Springs, Idaho.

Yes, when I don't write, I go crazy. Ever since putting The Guardians: Revenge on the back burner, I have deep cleaned the majority of my house, baked cookies, and planned out several more books. Silly me.

For you future writers, take this as a cue: Writing takes energy! You will be exhausted after a good round of writing, whether you write 50 words in one sitting or 5,000 words. The work required to generate ideas and then communicate them is demanding. But it is so worth it! There is a "high" when you complete a particularly exciting scene and you just want to share it with the world. Do share it. Don't be ashamed or embarrassed by what you've written. It is a huge accomplishment and you should be proud of it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Progress Report

The Guardians: Revenge is almost done with the first draft! I have a few more chapters to finish tweaking and then the book will sit for a bit before I begin another round of editing.

Does it ever seem strange that you would let something sit? I used to. Until I actually let it sit. Then I realized how important the sitting is. When you set something aside for a brief time (at least sleep on it!), you are able to look at it with fresh eyes. Often this allows you to spot errors that your tired eyes may not catch. Or delete sections that you were emotionally attached to, but did nothing to help your story.

It's the same with a lot of aspects in life. "Let me sleep on it." "Count to ten." "Take deep breaths." All of these have the same idea behind them. "Let it sit." That purchase you want to make? Not worth it. Or so totally worth it that you're even more excited the next day. The guy who cut you off in traffic? Breath. Count. Whatever you need to do. Road rage will only blind you and make you more susceptible to an accident.

In the moment, however, we often don't realize how important (or unimportant) something is. Some might say, "But what about that once in a lifetime opportunity?" Hey, if it's too good to be probably is too good to be true. There are strings attached. And if it's meant to be, it will come back to you. Be patient. Good things come to those who wait. Trust in time.

And get excited. Guardians: Revenge will be out before you know it!

Monday, January 6, 2014

And We're Back!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope we've all had a good time with the holidays. I hope you even took time off of work to enjoy the holidays. I know I did. :)

Status Updates on books: Totems: The Sword and the Shield is sitting still. I believe it's complete, although I will read through one more time just to check. Bernie's character needs a little tweeking, I think. Also, I'm considering changing the title to Totems: The King's Treasure. I believe The Sword and the Shield will work better for book 2.

Guardians: Revenge is about 8,000 words shy of being complete. Then it will sit for about a week before I begin serious editing. After the rough draft, I tend to edit as I go so editing should be relatively quick. Then it's to Beta Readers. I hope to have it published by the end of March. Also, Guardians: Gateways may receive a slight revision. There are a few typos that I would like to fix.

Publish Guardians: Revenge by the end of March happens to be one of my New Year's goals. I would say resolutions, but that does not fit. As one author has stated, a resolution is something you do to better yourself. A goal is how you might reach your resolution. For example: I want to be healthier in 2014 is a resolution. The goals might be based on eating habits or exercise or weight loss.

My second goal is to submit my work to a writing contest. I've found a local one and I think I'm going with the short story category. They have not updated rules for 2014, but last year submission was from April through June.

All in all, I'm very excited for this year. There's a lot of promise for things to be done. A lot of excitement. It's going to be great!

Do you have any writing goals (or other goals) that you want to share? Comment below!