Loving Life, Embracing Changes

When I went on sabbatical over two years ago, my life fell into a rut. It was nothing that I recognized and went unnoticed as most gradual occurrences do until my husband pointed out my dilemma. Once I was able to stand back and look at my life, I realized how easy it was to get sucked into life’s false drudgery. There were blessings and miracles around me every day but I had been focusing on the things I didn’t like. So I decided 2015 is going to be an amazing year, went back to writing and even decided to build my own recording studio so that I can create audio books for myself and fellow authors. I also decided to ride my horses more and my lovely husband bought me an amazing horse trailer so that I can join my friends for trail rides. Does that mean that the bad stuff went away? Oh, hell no. And I got sucked back in again, until yesterday.

I won’t go into details of what has happened because that’s putting the spotlight on the things that shouldn’t be important but I will tell you that just with changing my thought process on how I was going to deal with the issues has already made things easier. And the changes will be positive. We have decided to public home school our daughters this fall. I’m very excited about how far home education has come. When I was home schooled, it was books placed in front of me and I had to figure it out. Sink or swim. My girls will actually be Skyping their teacher every day, going over lessons, tests and what goals need to be met. I’m there to help with the easier questions but if there is something too hard, they call their teacher back! They will also be able to advance at their own level, which will be a blessing in itself. My youngest daughter is a science whiz and I half-jokingly fear she will graduate high school by the time she is twelve. And they will be learning actual life lessons. My eleven year-old already knows how to change brake pads on a car and they both know how to change the oil. They are learning how to garden and horticulture and this fall, they will be actively participating with canning our food for the winter. And because writing is my passion, they will be publishing their own books. They will learn how to format their book for the different publishing platforms, interacting with illustrators, editors and learn how to market. They will have their own checking accounts so that when their royalties are paid, they can balance their checkbooks.

On my own journey, I’m branching out. I went to my first writer’s convention and met some amazing people. I’ve said that I’ve always wanted to be a Harlequin author if I ever signed on with a traditional publisher and no one else. At this convention I listened to Chief Executive Officer and Publisher, Liz Pelletier, give a seminar on editing, how the publishing market has changed and the key ingredients of a best seller. This woman is amazing and inspiring and I swear she could sell sand in the Moab Desert. Honestly, if I were offered a contract with Harlequin and Entangled Publishing at the same time, there would be no hesitation, I would be signing with Entangled. She really has her finger on the pulse of today’s market. I’m also striving to finish sequels to books that my fans have been literally begging for. Shadows and With Love sagas will be continuing on, along with some new, stand-alone novels that I have been working on. Twisted Eidolon will be released this year but is currently being reviewed by an incredible editor, Lydia Sharp, who works for Entangled Publishing (yes, I’m SQUEEEEEING inside!!) and hoping that they find it worthy of their name.

While troublesome things are still popping their ugly little heads up in my life, I’m choosing to ignore them and embrace and recognize even the smallest miracles that happen. It keeps me from falling into that rut and keeps the excitement flowing. I’m sure I’ll fall back into a rut at some point, I’m far from perfecting this life, but when I do I hope I have the ability to recognize it and change it, or have another wonderful soul in my life to point it out to me. A 2×4 across the head is okay too.

Life is meant to be fun; Enjoy the journey!

This entry was posted on May 17, 2015. 1 Comment

Happy May Day

I used to make fun of “older” people, like my mom or dad, who used to say that as you get older the time starts slipping away. Being ADHD and slightly, ahem, immature for my age, time felt like it took forever and certain days, activities and accomplishments were always just beyond. Now I’m part of that “older” group as my eleven year-old and eight year-old daughters like to point out and I have to admit, my mom and dad were right. Time slips by faster and faster each year.

I know we can’t bring back time, recover lost years or create more hours in a day but I’ve decided to start weeding out the things that I thought were important and giving that time to the things that really are important. Happiness, health, family and friends. A little over two years ago, as you may remember, my then nine year-old daughter became ill. After biopsies and a very scary endoscopy, we found she had a large stress ulcer. It was during this time that I stopped writing; no blogs, no novels, no journals, nada. I stressed, I fretted and I worried as any mother would. I lost myself and became the “worried” mom. This past Christmas, my lovely husband pulled me aside and informed me that I was sad, I was not the happy-go-lucky person I used to be and he suggested that I get back into my writing. I was happy when I wrote and he wanted to see me happy again. “Happy wife; happy life” he joked. So I picked up a novel that I had almost finished a few years back, tweaked and changed and completed it a couple months ago. I sent it off to one of my editors who informed me that she saw huge growth in my writing and believed that this was possibly my best novel yet. Words every writer loves to hear, no matter how long you’ve been writing.

So this spring, I will release my latest novel, the first in over two years. I will also be getting back to writing on my blog and while I won’t promise you every day, I will be more dependable than I have been in the past. But be prepared. It’s not going to be just about my writing, or my children’s health. It’s going to be more about life, the time we have here and what we choose to do with it. I’m getting back to my basics, baking my bread, growing my vegetables, raising my chickens and loving the blessings I have in my life. I’ll also introduce you to some pretty interesting people who have agreed to be a part of my crazy journey. Again, I’m very blessed that I am surrounded by those who embrace my wacky thoughts and “younger” ideas on what time really means.

Life is supposed to be fun; Enjoy the journey

Happy Easter 2014

At least it hasn’t been 24 months! Though I’m being pulled in a bazillion directions, writing is always on my mind. It’s not something that I can get away from nor do I want to but in my desperate attempts to make my family’s lives better, I’ve missed out on major signs and lessons.

There is hope though. I’ve learned so much this past year, about myself, my husband, my children, my friends. I’ve learned that I can’t make everyone happy, nor is it my job to. Friends are going to move, people are going to come in and out of my life and I can’t change that. Nor can I change jobs/work opportunities that come flitting in and out of my life. What I can change and focus on is what makes me happy and how I can keep that joy in my life.

I have a very blessed life. A husband who, after 11 years of marriage, is still my best friend and I his. Two beautiful children who are growing up to be compassionate and kind souls. Friends, family and fans who support my seemingly numerous career paths I have tried the past 2 years. I thank everyone for that because it really allowed me to find myself and figure out who I enjoy being and what I love to do.

Within the past twenty-four months I have developed a business plan, opened a business, was a substitute teacher, sold a business, fell onto another business and finished a novel. What I learned from all of this? I really enjoy leather work and I LOVE writing/editing/anything to do with the printed word! I love my imagination, my creativity and the freedom that it allows me. I also enjoy getting to know other author’s, editors, illustrators, agents and fans. It’s a very enriching field if you allow the positives to flow into your life and block out most of the negatives.

The moral of my story is that I’ve finally figured out my career love, the people who allow my light to shine and I can bring light to theirs. A place where I feel like I fit in and don’t have to explain myself. A love that is reciprocated and never ending. I hope that you have found your unconditional love, that “thing” that drives you every day and makes you wake up with a smile and a song in your heart. And as always, Life is meant to be fun, enjoy the journey!

What do you mean it’s been over 24 months???

It’s an amazing thing how fast time flies and even with you’re most pure and sincerest intentions you can accidentally let people down or be unable to keep promises. That is so true with my writing.

Right after my novel, With Love; Now & Forever, hit #1 on Amazon, I had quite a few not-so-nice people take advantage of me and it really hurt my feelings. I know, no one can hurt your feelings unless you allow them to but I was very trusting and riding high on becoming a best selling author. I decided to take a sabbatical for a year and now, twenty-six months later, am just now getting back into the swing of things. But let me tell you what a ride the past 26 months has been! I’ve learned more about myself, done more changes and have had more thrust upon me than I ever imagined.

When I took my sabbatical I spent the time playing on my property, planting a garden and playing house. I enjoyed the time with my daughters and my husband and really took a look at the man whom I had chosen as the father of my children. He had become an underground coal miner when the building recession hit and in the 16 months he’d been working there, I saw how much he had aged. His joints were hurting, he was graying and he was tired all of the time. I am a self proclaimed savior. I try and save everyone and work even harder when it’s someone whom I love so much. I created an amazing business plan to open a tack store and submitted it to my bank. My logic? If we built up a business then Steve could quit being an underground miner, we would have our own family store and all would be perfect. The problem? No one ever told us how much time that business would take and how precious that time would be if your child became ill. And that’s exactly what happened. Our 9 year-old daughter started having severe stomach pains. None of the doctors could figure it out and when she stopped eating and quickly dropped weight, they told us this was serious and to get to Children’s Hospital in Denver (over 200 miles away) immediately.

By this time we had been having to close the store several times to get to doctor’s appointments or the hospital for tests and the grumbling from customer’s did not fall on deaf ears. Steve wanted to shut the store down and I panicked and sold the store for pennies on the dollar. My main goal was that our hard work would not just disappear, it would continue on without us. And so it has. The great news in all of this is after performing 8 biopsies and a scope, the hospital found a bleeding ulcer in our daughter’s stomach. It was caused by stress and not disease. Yes, this was great news because they figured out what it was, what had caused it and we could treat it. It was no longer a mystery and we could move forward on healing her. What a blessing!

In the midst of all this chaos, I found out, with the help of an amazing medium down in Fort Collins, that I am an empath. This is VERY hard for me to talk about and I don’t take having this conversation lightly because during the time that I realized something was different about me, to finding out WHAT was different about me, I struggled with the fear, anger and resentment of having this gift, to where I am now, which is, grateful. This is me, this is who I am. If you don’t like it, there is the door because I’m still RaeAnne. I’m just able to make more sense of things that have and do happen to me. I’m still learning, and believe me, it is a serious learning process! I’m learning how to protect my own thoughts and my own emotions and figuring out how to keep them separate, not take on someone else’s feelings. And it’s hard because when I’m the only one in a room and “someone” wants to be heard and subjects their feelings/thoughts onto me, I have to stop and take a moment to protect myself before I can acknowledge them. It’s harder than anything I’ve studied in my life.

And that’s where I’m going to stop the conversation about that. I’ve learned that not everyone is as open minded as I am and the subject can make many people very uncomfortable. It’s something that I am still learning about and dealing with, not you, so I won’t impose this upon anyone. I have a select few that are comfortable with me talking with them, my support group you could say, so when I’m overwhelmed, not understanding or feeling frustrated with my gift, I feel safe enough to seek them out.

My biggest lesson over the past 2 years? Change is going to happen whether you like it or not, whether you are prepared for it or not. It’s how gracefully you embrace the change or if you are drug in, kicking and screaming, accomplishing nothing but exhausting yourself. I’ve left my tracks and I’m too tired to fight anymore so here I come, gracefully embracing the change. I’m excited that I will be able to reconnect with my fans, to hear what THEY think about my new books and have my writing therapy back in my life. I’ve also learned that I have some amazing friends, who have stuck with me the past 2 years, and even though I can’t “see” them every day, they let me know that they are there for me. That is one of the greatest gifts of all!

Life is meant to be fun! Enjoy the journey!

Juggling ADHD Balls

Wow, it’s been a while folks and for that I am sorry but as I look back on my posts I can see the defining path of self destruction that I was laying before me. Here I am, at a cross-road that can either ruin me or make my life more fulfilling and more successful. It’s this reason that I am taking a moment, taking a breath and looking around.

As you know, 2012 was all about my writing. I won the Master Koda Extreme Author Makeover Contest in January. In April, my metaphysical romance, With Love; Now & Forever, hit #1 on Amazon and I released another novel, Love’s Everlasting Song. Things were going great, I was writing and things were smooth for a few months. Then my youngest daughter got sick and I had some run in with people who took advantage of me professionally. The combination was too much and I decided to take a sabbatical from work. No writing, no publishing, no reviewing. I was done. Or so I thought.

I should know, being ADHD, that my mind is in constant motion. It’s one of the reasons there are many nights I get very little sleep and my ideas appear endless. It was during one of these restless nights that I realized we didn’t have a tack store in our town. For non-horsey people, it’s a place to buy saddles, bridles, items for you and your horse. Our community is still very old west; in fact the day we moved here, there was a gentleman who rode his horse into City Market, tied it to the lamp post and went grocery shopping, I am not lying. So to not have a place to buy these necessities was just crazy so I decided to approach the hubby about opening a store. To my extreme surprise, he agreed! I quickly threw together a business plan and with the help of a wonderful local banker, found the perfect company and applied for a small business loan. Within a couple of weeks, we were approved, secured our store location, came up with a name, secured the proper license and was in the process of remodeling the store for our May 1st opening.

Now as if that wasn’t enough chaos in such a short period of time, we started having people walk into our store with bags of boots asking if we were going to do boot repair. No, we replied, we didn’t know how and hadn’t even thought of it. After the 46th person walked through our yet-to-be-open doors requesting boot repair, we realized we had better start looking into it. By chance, (man does God/the Universe really look out for you if you let Him) a gentleman called about my gelding for sale. He came out and began talking about our store. He asked if we were going to do boot repair and I explained we were considering it but had never gone to school for it. He laughed, told me he was a retired cobbler and though he had taken some courses in cobbler schooling in Oklahoma, it’s basically a self taught art, and a dying one at that. He told me that if we were serious, he would teach us how to do boot and leather repair!

Needless to say, we were thrilled and after inquiry, found out this man has an amazing reputation as a boot repairman. We were learning under one of the best. After pricing the equipment, we decided that we would make a six month plan. We would open the tack store May 1st, and then if it did well enough, we would buy the boot repair equipment, remodel the store and start doing boot repair in November. Well let me tell you, I should know better than to make plans. Today is July 25th. We bought our boot repair equipment last week and this past Sunday and Monday remodeled our store. We have already been learning the boot repair process, (I did a pretty good job on some heels if I do say so myself) and will be “officially” be taking work August 1st. Though that hasn’t stopped the numerous people who have already dropped things off at our store stating they are fine with waiting.

My point to my ramblings is that you never know where life is going to take you and the saying “Be careful what you wish for” is oh-so-very true. I will never give up on my writing; it’s in my blood and in my soul. But I now have a new business, a growing new career and a new respect for business owners. I’m also happy to report; I have a healthy daughter again!

Life is meant to be fun; enjoy the journey my friends

In sickness and health, in survivorness and wealth

Boy has it been a crazy few months. Few months? Try almost a year! I can’t believe how long since I’ve last posted in my blog but as I’m finding out, there are MILLIONS of bloggers out there so I know you’ve had plenty of reading material and haven’t missed mine. But in the absence of my posting thoughts, I have been busy so with knowing that I might bore you, I’m going to share what I’ve been doing.

As many may or may not know, my youngest daughter has been sick. We have been in and out of the hospital for blood tests, regular tests, anything to Winter 20012.2013 005 Winter 20012.2013 038 Winter 20012.2013 041 Winter 20012.2013 047 Winter 20012.2013 056 Winter 20012.2013 060 Winter 20012.2013 063 Winter 20012.2013 064 Winter 20012.2013 065 Winter 20012.2013 067 Winter 20012.2013 068try to find out what’s wrong. My children are so very precious to me so every tear she shed I also shed. During this time I attempted to keep writing, marketing and promoting my books, along with many other talented writers and keep up on my chores of our little ranch. In the midst of this I ended up having to have a hysterectomy (I know, let’s just add a little more stress, eh?) but trying to keep up with everything I ended up ripping my incision twice, delaying my healing. Two deadlines were missed getting my latest 2 novels out, I was struggling to keep up with marketing and finally, after a mini-meltdown, I went on an author’s sabbatical to get a handle on things. Deep breath.

It’s a good thing that I did. We had one of the coldest winters in history and I struggled to keep my animals safe and fresh water to them. My husband was driving 52 miles one-way to work in blizzard conditions, alternating between 13 hour day and graveyard shifts. The medication the doctor’s had put my daughter on was not working and my oldest daughter was not understanding why Mommy was spending so much time with little sister. Of course during this chaos, we had a presidential election and our country has been split and building into a crisis mode. Unease is flourishing throughout the country. It’s time for a change, literally.

I have always been aware of hormones, processed foods and the health of our beings. I’ve bought organic for my family and have been learning how to make my own anything. When the price of beef skyrocketed in our small town, I began to eye our deer differently. What if our society collapsed as we know it? How would we feed our family? I need to take care of my own. So begins the Hadley Ranch. We are fixing up the small barn for pigs and goats and because our property isn’t large enough to grow our own beef, Steve has applied for the tags to get the deer and elk that wander on and around our property. I’ve started my non-GMO seeds so the plants will be ready for our greenhouse and will be taking my hunter’s safety course so that if need be, I can help provide and defend my family. Do I think we are headed for a collapse? I don’t know but I’d rather hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.

As far as how my writing is going? Well, you can put an author on sabbatical but their brain never goes on vacation. I’ve started writing the story about my father who suffered and ultimately died of a stroke. I want to write a help book for those families affected by stroke to hopefully help them understand the emotions and side-effects of it. I’ve also started doing research on our home, which appears to be haunted. With the help of some amazing people, I have uncovered some really interesting history in the place we now call home. I think it should be interesting and I know will turn into an amazing story.

So there it is in a nutshell. I’ve gone from best-selling author of metaphysical romance to a survivalist, pioneer woman, natural healer, detective. My ADHD is loving this though my calm nature is screaming out for a time out. We shall see…we shall see….

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop with Wendy Siefken

I would like to thank Master Koda/Kim Emerson for including me in this blog hop that helps readers and authors come together. This gives us a chance to share our fellow authors to our beloved fans and maybe introduce you to another favorite author to follow!

My blog today is with Wendy Siefken, an honestly sweet and kind author who has supported not only myself but so many other authors out there, including her son, Charles Siefken, whom she co-writes with! Sit back, sip on that latte and enjoy the interview!

What is the working title of your book?
Kai’s Journey
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Basically it’s a mix of games, stories and books I have read.
What genre does your book fall under?
Young Adult, but anyone who likes to read fantasy might like it too.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I think I would like to give some unknowns a shot at it. I think that would be the best way to 1. Find new talent and 2. the unknowns seem to make the best movies!
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
It’s an apocalyptic world where one man dares to find hope and one group of people offer it.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
We self-published the book but we are now under the publishing company of MKSP.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About four months.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I don’t know that our book is like others. Most of this type seems to search out the darkness in the light where ours searches for the light in the darkness.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Christopher Paolini has always been a great influence in my desire to become a writer. I admire his writing style and I admire him as well.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Our book gives a new twist to how werewolves are portrayed and how dragons came to be on earth.
Wendy, thank you so much for taking the time to share with us today! Here is their website, please jump on over and check it out!

Here are also a few more links to authors I have tremendous respect and love for!
K.R. Hughes and T.L. Burns at www.krhughestlburns.wordpress.com