Tag Archive | novel

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

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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!

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….

Love beyond skin deep

I recently watched the movie, The Help, and though I had read the book before I will admit that I cried during the movie. To visually see the abuse and mistreatment that people do to one another because of skin color is abhorrent and makes me so sad. I cannot understand why, under any circumstances, would anyone think it’s alright to abuse another human being, regardless of race, color, religious beliefs, anything.

I feel very blessed for having been raised by the compassionate and empathetic mother that I have. She taught me to look at a person’s soul, their inner spirit, to see the beautiful person there. Color was never a big deal. Flowers come in all different colors yet each as beautiful as the other. I was taught to see people for their actions and behaviors, not their skin color and I can honestly say that I don’t see color on people, I see their souls.

We grew up with foster kids and I’ll admit it was difficult at times. These children had come from horrific circumstances that no child should ever have to experience. The idea that adults had hurt these children is too painful for me to talk about and as a mother I will not bring up those memories. We did have two children, a brother and sister, who were African-American that came to stay with us. The sister was only with us for about a year when her biological father came and took her but because her brother had a different father, he stayed with us for another four years. He became a part of the family, the brother I had always wanted, the son my dad had always dreamed of. He stopped being my foster brother. My mother went through the necessary steps and applied for guardianship and I remember being shocked and hurt when they denied us guardianship because we were white. This was my first experience with society and its decisions based on color. To this day I still think it’s wrong.

As I grow older and my fan base and friendships grow larger I find my heart expanding and I’m filled with love for so many people. I honestly believe people are beautiful, regardless of their race, color, religious beliefs. I am still shocked by things people are doing to one another. As I’m writing this today, the headlines are the shooting in Aurora, just a few hours from where we live, at a movie theatre. It seems that there are those out there bound and determined to hurt, kill and maim for no apparent reason. I guess I feel compelled to write this today because I have so much love in my life, so much compassion for others that I have a difficult time reading and watching those in the human race hurt one another. So please do me and those poor families affected by the shootings a favor today, hug one another. Fill someone’s bucket today. I promise that the next time I see you I will give you a hug! Life is meant to be fun; enjoy the journey.

When book reviewers go too far…

As published writers we all put our work out to stranger’s eyes to be read, critiqued, loved or rejected. It’s the gamble that we take and we understand and accept that. It used to be that you’re work was reviewed by a professional and was posted for the world to see, good or bad. You read where you could improve, how your next piece of work could be better or you celebrated that the reviewer enjoyed your work. In this modern and advancing world, we have Indie authors, such as myself, and now have self-proclaimed Indie reviewers. As authors we have to learn, grow, improve or we will not survive in the eBooks world but what about the reviewers? Don’t they have a responsibility to other readers and other writers to learn how to critique, how to review?

Mechanics of Murder was my very first book, written over 8 years ago when I was filled with a passion yet very little knowledge. Most of my fans know the background of Mechanics and the emotions behind my story to finish it for my ailing father. It is not a grammatically perfect book, filled with errors of a novice writer who wanted her father to get better. I will never be ashamed of my book, will never regret putting it out there and have prepared myself for the negative reviews on my punctuation and my grammar. I’m really okay with that. After all, it’s how we grow and learn and my work has done the same. With Love; Now & Forever became a best-selling book this year and I’m SO very proud of this book but it wouldn’t be half the book it is if I hadn’t learned how to write properly. Thank you, Mechanics. But in a recent 1 star review, my evaluator tore apart my characters and how they acted/reacted in a story stating that it was unbelievable. They claimed that because my character was 30 years old, she wouldn’t get butterflies or tongue-tied when her love interest came into a room. This is the first time I have truly found a review deeply insulting and I walked away for a day but couldn’t let it go. So here is my question of the responsibility reviews should have.

All of my work stems from my own life experiences, as I’m finding is true with other fictional writers. It makes sense; this is the only life I’ve lived as far as I can remember so I have to draw on my own emotions and reactions to explain through my characters. My story Mechanics is loosely based on my life and the relationship part is the base of my relationship with my husband. I blushed when I saw him looking at me, I got butterflies in my stomach when he came near and my tongue was often tied when we talked. I was 32 years old. We will now be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary this year (yes, I’m 42 now) and I still get butterflies when I see him, I can’t keep my eyes off of him when we are in a room, he can still make me blush and often still literally sweeps me off of my feet. We are each others’ best friend and lovers. So when someone tells me that my characters wouldn’t act that way, it insults me because Steve and I do act that way and that is what I have to draw on for my characters. A part of me feels some pity for that person, that they either never had or no longer have that kind of relationship with a partner. But then my frustration kicks back in.

I welcome the reviews and critiques for my grammar, my formatting, and my layout. Without them I couldn’t continue to grow as an author, I wouldn’t be driven to learn to perfect my work which I know will never happen because I’m a human being, I’m not designed to be perfect. I welcome those who wish my plot was stronger or took a different direction, it drives me to come up with something that hasn’t been done (tough order for sure) but if you’re going to judge my work for all of the world to see, don’t tell me how I (or my character) would or would not react in a situation. We are all very different, individualistic people who make this world so interesting and exciting and we handle things distinctively. Keep your comments professional and limited to your knowledge of the written language and not something as unique as a person’s nature. Oh, one other little thing, if you want to be a reviewer and commentate on another’s work, make sure your own spelling is correct.

Life is meant to be fun, enjoy the journey!

Just a Mom. Yeah, right!

Mid-life crisis, financial changes, moving, career change, death. These are all things that have a huge impact on our lives including how we interact with other people. We all react differently, handle things differently and others looking in may not like or understand how you handle your situation. The most important thing that you need to remember is you need to deal with it. What makes you feel the most comfortable, most secure, what makes the most sense is more important than someone else’s opinion. Having said that, you also need to remember that if there are children in our lives, they are sensitive to what you are going through and their feelings/thoughts are important too.

For the past two weeks I have been dealing with all of the above. I’m not one (anymore) who blurts out everything of what I am going through or the struggle that I am dealing with. Instead I’ve learned that if I sit back and watch what is unfolding, to gather as much information as possible, to find a peace no matter how awful a situation may be, nine times out of ten the decision I make will tend to be the best outcome. So I have retreated into the comforting arms of my house, privacy, animals and family. I put aside my writing, my blogs, my marketing and promoting my books even though I was right in the middle of promoting my paranormal romance, Shadows. I needed to make time and breathe. I’m coming out of this struggle, (I wish I could say unscathed but then what would be the point of going through the struggle in the first place?) and I’m finding a new balance in my life. I’ve allowed myself to be just a woman, just a mom, just a wife, as if there is such a thing as “just” for us. Allowing myself this time, I’ve seen how much I have missed and that I need to once again adjust my life. My daughters, who are the most important people in my life, are struggling and needing their mother. My 5 year-old had the most horrific nightmare the other night that her entire body was shaking and she was physically nauseous. It took 2 hours to calm her down and even then, she was wrapped around my arm in a death grip before she allowed herself to fall asleep again. Tonight she was so scared that even tucked into my bed with the light on and the dogs in the room, she would not fall asleep unless she was touching me. I know that she is picking up on my struggle, my emotions and my inner disease which brings me back to my struggle on how to deal with things.

We ALL go through struggles, successes, failures, changes, life lessons. We all wonder if we are on the right path or sometimes ask, ‘how the heck did I get on this road?’ We all deal with them differently, see them in a varied light but in the end the decision needs to be our own. The thought that I present is that perhaps, if you see a friend, family member, co-worker struggling with a life issue, maybe hold your tongue, your opinion and simply ask what you can do for them. Maybe it’s watching the kids for a couple hours so they can take a breather, a casserole that just needs popped into the oven, a gift certificate for a mani/pedi or massage. The more we are able to fill their bucket, the easier it may be for them to fill their child’s bucket and with a drought going on in this world right now, we all need to lean on each other. Life is meant to be fun, even with the ruts, enjoy the journey.

Spring-a time of change

It’s been a crazy, wonderful, insightful week. My book sales have taken off, (thank you very much), we are almost completely moved and to celebrate my daughter’s eighth birthday we presented her her first horse. It was absolutely wonderful to see her expression, to see the tears in her eyes and watch her joy as she brushed and lead her new horse around.

The side effects of all of the above? I’m feeling the desire, the drive to produce another best-selling book, my new house is a mess and it’s hard to find things and my youngest daughter has now decided that she needs a pony so that she can enjoy the fruits of horse ownership. Usually with all of these changes and new pressures I would tend to start stressing which is what caused my poor health a few months ago. I will admit, I was up at 2 am, starting to fret but then remembered the blessings that had occurred the past couple of months and I took a deep breath and relaxed. Everything will work out the way it should be. If I relax and enjoy the blessings now it will be easier for other blessings to flow into my life.

Once we become adults and realize the world doesn’t revolve around us we begin to worry. As we become parents and spouses, that worry and stress grows larger. Now our world revolves around our children, our partners. I’m vowing to relax and not worry so much because honestly, even if what I worry about comes true, will the worry have prevented it? We know the answer to that. But nine times out of ten, the circumstances I worry about don’t come to fruition and the stress and worry were for naught and I missed out on enjoying the little things I should have been paying attention to.

As spring rolls into summer and things are starting to change, are you able to adapt and adjust as easily or are you stressing about how things are going to be taken care of, if things will be done the right way? During this time of change for all of us I hope that you remember that life is meant to be fun and you should enjoy the journey!