Sunday, July 22, 2012


As much as I hate snow, doesn't that look refreshing! That was taken in my backyard a couple of winters ago. I thought with this horrible heat wave most of us are suffering through, it might be nice to realize it's temporary. Much like other things in life. Including life itself. Did you ever read the book "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff"? It's full of good reminders and lessons in patience for all of us.

Speaking of lessons, I'll be using my own pictures from now on for your enjoyment. I found out a blogger friend got sued for using a Google Image, which is what I used to do. So, since I don't want to be sued, you'll only see my horrible attempts at photography from now on. Sorry about that, but they might be good for a laugh.

I hope the people in Aurora Colorado can learn to laugh again. Such a tragedy. I was perusing Facebook today and there are so many opinions from my acquaintances about gun control. The only thing I'm going to say is nobody should be able to purchase a semi automatic gun. What - Bambi might get away if you have to reload? That's all.

Try to stay cool and stay calm wherever you may be.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


To be honest, one of the reasons I really started to pursue my writing with passion is because in America today, there is no security. Certainly not when it comes to our jobs. Don't get me wrong. I love creating stories and the whole writing process. But, let's face it - it would be nice to make some money doing what I love.

When my mother and father were in the work force, the older they got, the more valuable they became to their employer. Experience, wisdom, reliability was worth something. No more.
Especially in a right to work state like Missouri. You can get canned for no reason.

Yesterday, I worried.  To those who don't know me, I'm not a worrier. My motto has always been - worrying is wasted energy. But yesterday, I had this dread build up in me. "What would I do if I lost my job?" I'm old, I'm a bit crippled. I'm fat. I have no savings to speak of. What would I do?

Then today, a dear friend of mine who is about 20 years younger than me, lost his job. Were my feelings yesterday connected to him? I don't know. What I do know is, it made me madder than hell.
The people that fired him, picked his brain for his knowledge for 6 months and then wham, slam, bam, thank you man, you're gone. Just like that. No discussion as to what they could do to fit together. No compromise, no 'let's see what kind of future we can mold'. Just, get your things, you're done.

I believe he'll bounce back. He's too good at what he does not to. But it underlined what is wrong with America today. No respect, no values, no compromise.

I hope I can get my writing career going before I get canned because I'm expendable. If not, watch out Zach (my son), I'm moving in.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


What a ride the last few days have been. I've went from so sad I couldn't function, to mad, to determined in three days time. What started this roller coaster? Rejection - every writer's nightmare. I've heard it said that if you can't stand rejection you shouldn't be a writer. And for about a day, I thought about just quitting - giving up on my dream. Thank goodness that passed. Let me fill you in on the details:

One of the writing groups I'm in had their annual conference this past Saturday. At last years conference, I pitched my book to an editor with Avalon books. First time I've done anything like that. She asked for the first three chapters and synopsis. After I sent it, she asked for the whole manuscript. To say I was on cloud nine would be an understatement. And of course, I had to tell everyone I knew. Then the bottom fell out. After waiting for about seven months for an answer, the editor quit and Avalon was acquired by Amazon and my manuscript came back to me with a form rejection letter on top. Okay, okay, not the end of the world, right? It was good enough this time, it will be good enough the next time. Oh how naive I am.

I pitched to an agent this time. First words out of her mouth were that my word count was too small. My head started swirling - she's going to reject it - oh no! But, she said it sounded interesting - go ahead and send it. Okay, I thought, but what good is that when you've already said the word count is wrong?

Next came a critique session with four other wannabes and a very successful published author. I'd worked all morning the day before polishing my piece. It was ten pages. First thing she said was we could only read five pages. Okay . . . I frantically picked what section I wanted to have critiqued and waited my turn. The only feedback - I can't use derogatory words. Or if you do, you have to qualify them. That was it. No encouragement at all. Excuse me, Miss Famous Author, those words are totally in context with what the characters would say.

The final blow was later in the afternoon. Some of us submitted query letters for a query letter gong show. The agents lined up at their table and our letters were read. They were supposed to gong when they lost interest. I'd followed all the sage advice of experts when I composed my letter and I had imagined them saying something like "This is great. Who wrote this. Please send me the manuscript." Naive again. Instead I got the worst review of them all.

I left the conference before it ended and cried most of the night away. The next day, I was still wallowing in self pity. But something changed Monday. I started to get mad. How dare they try to dash my dream (granted they probably had no intention of doing that) but, I had to blame somebody. Because, obviously, it's not me or my writing that's at fault. Right? Right?

Today, I have moved from mad to determined. What am I going to do? I'm still weighing my options. I know for sure I'm not quitting. Stay tuned for Part 2.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I want to tell you about a couple of women who have inspired me this week. The first one is a co-worker Dana Johnston. You can read a little bit of her story here|topnews|text|News

As good as that article is - it only tells part of the story. I watched it unfold over the past two years. I've seen her ups and downs, her highs and her lows. I'd met her husband and her kids. I listened when she needed an ear and I stayed out of her way when she didn't. I even helped her edit a few of her college papers. Words can't describe how much I admire her. The way she handled this hard chapter of her life made me realize I don't have it so bad. So what if I didn't get a book deal. So what if I've lost my MoJo. (see previous post)

The second woman is Cecily White. I haven't know her as long as I've known Dana, but the short time I have, she has also inspired me. Here's a little something about her.

She's probably half my age (I'm guessing, I haven't asked her). She's a college professor, a wife and a mother of two young children. She is the conference coordinator for one of the writing groups I'm in   and secretary for another. And during all that, she managed to write a fabulous YA book, get a wonderful agent and sign a three book deal. Not bad!

I've used every excuse in the book lately to not write, not submit and basically not care about my dream anymore. But, these two women have made me feel a bit ashamed of myself. No more pity party. It's time for action instead of reaction. WE ARE WOMEN - HEAR US ROAR!

Monday, April 30, 2012


I seem to have lost my mojo.
The original meaning of mojo was along the lines of magic spells and charms. But, the following definition is closer to what I'm feeling.

According to The Urban Dictionary:
1. Self-confidence, Self-assuredness. As in basis for belief in ones self in a situation. Esp. In context of contest or display of skill.
2. Good luck fetish / charm to bolster confidence.
3. ability to bounce back from a debilitating trauma and negative attitude
Yep, that pretty much sums it up.
How did I lose my mojo? I'm going to attribute it to a couple of things.
1. Old age.
and . . .
Oh, lets just go with that.

Old age encompasses most everything I'm feeling lately. I tire easily, my brain refuses to function sometimes, my joints tell me when the weather is changing. The thing is, I'm not really that old. I should have another good 20 years in me, but several incidents these last few months have made me feel like an aging prize fighter down for the count. The details aren't important. The bottom line is I don't want to do anything productive. And that includes writing. :-(

I'm hoping it's just a phase and I'll snap out of it. 'Cause this is no fun. I want to write and I want to pitch to an agent at OraCon.


Have you ever lost your "mojo"? And if so, how did you get it back?

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Baseball season has finally started! I love baseball. I’ve heard people say it’s a boring game. Not if you understand the intricacies of the game and the correlation between baseball and life. I can hear some of you right now. “What in the heck are you talking about?” Well, let me explain.
In a baseball game, you have several chances to get a home run. If you don’t hit it out of the park your first time at bat, you are given another try in a later inning. And then (if you learned anything that first time) you make adjustments in your swing. In life, we do much the same. If we don’t get what we want the first time, we make adjustments and most of us give it another go. And if we hit a home run, we might wonder if it’s a fluke or can we do it again?
Sometimes a player gets a hit and makes it to first base. Then, some decisions have to be made. How much of a lead do they take? Do they wait for the next batter to get a hit, or try and steal second base? Again, in life, sometimes we make it to first and it feels safe and we stay put. Other times we yearn for more. What’s it like on second base? Do I have what it takes to get there or will I fall short?
            As most of you know, I made it to first base with Avalon publishing when Editor Lia Brown asked for my manuscript. I sent it and patiently waited on first. Then Lia left Avalon and a few weeks ago I got my manuscript back with a rejection letter on top. I never made it to second base and while I waited on first, precious time was wasted. I should have tried to steal second by contacting other houses or agents.
           That was my first at bat. I’ll make adjustments and my next time at the plate, I’m sure I’ll have better results. After all, it's a long season and anything can happen. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Yep, I'm writing about weddings.
"Why?" you ask. "Are you getting married?"
"Hell, no," I reply. "But, my son is."
"Ahhh," you say and nod your head in understanding.
Even though this is his second, it is his fiance's first, so it's a big deal. Those of you who follow me on Facebook know my trials and tribulations in the pursuit of an appropriate outfit. I've finally pieced one together. Nothing fancy. Pants, shirt, jacket, flats. I pride myself for my stand on being a low maintenance kind of gal. But, people still try and gussy me up.
"Are you going to get your nails done?"
"But you have such pretty hands. You need to show them off."
"They're fine."
"I've got some jewelry you could borrow."
"No thanks."
"But . . ."
I shake my head. "I'm wearing a piece out of my mom's jewelry box."
"You need more than one piece."
"No, I don't."
Don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't want to look nice for my son's wedding. But, it's not about me and how I look. It's about two people who have found somebody to love and love them back. And in this day and age, I think we can all agree, this is a feat that is becoming rare.
So, I'll watch my son and his bride exchange vows and I'll dance at the reception and I'll smile for the pictures. And on my way home, I'll pray my son will be happy.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


So, I started a new job a couple of weeks ago. Same company, different position. I'd been doing the same job for 11 years. You could say my brain was numb. I didn't have to think, I just did it. But, the last two weeks, I've had to buckle down and re-start my brain cells. And, believe me, it hasn't been easy. My old brain rebelled at first. "What do you mean, I have to think?"
My writing has been pretty much non existant lately. I failed NaNo this year. I failed JaNo, also. I want to finish my work in progress but, something has been holding me back. Dead or asleep brain cells maybe? But, walla! Suddenly, I am wanting to write again. My brain is swimming with ideas. I've often heard that to get out of writer's block, you need to change your scenery. Although, I'm in the same office building, I am at a different desk and different job. Has that made the difference? I don't know. I'm just glad my muse is back. What do you do when you hit a writing block?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

3 AM

In a previous post I mentioned I've been waking up around 3 am with worry on my brain. So, here it is 3 am again and I've decided instead of trying to go to sleep I would do something productive. What am I worrying about this time? I've been banned from Facebook! Yes, little old me. One of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet. (you can stop laughing now) But, really I don't know what has happened. Something about my IP address or my ISP server or my abusive behavior or my spam or . . . . fill in the blank. I've tried to contact them. They are not a very social group. Weird huh? They state in the form I had to fill out, they don't answer all e-mails. Great. Because I can't log on, I can't get to their help page, which I'm sure is very helpful - wink, wink. I looked up their phone number and about fell out of my chair when the recorded voice said "We are an Internet based company, therefore we don't answer the phone." Well then why do you have a phone number?

This has been one of the most frustrating weeks of my life. You may be asking yourself, so what? You lived without Facebook before. While that is true, I've come to love Facebook. I've discovered old friends and made new ones. I've used it to keep up with news and current events. I use it a lot to stay in contact with my writer friends and I am an administrator for one of my writing group's Facebook page. Lord knows what is happening with that. And I've become a farmer. My crops are withering on the vine as we speak. I ought to charge Facebook for my lost crops when and if I'm ever deemed worthy of joining them again. I'm actually going through a grieving process. I've been angry, sad, depressed and angry again. And apparently now, I'm losing sleep over it.
So what is your favorite social media? Or do you save yourself all the grief and stick to e-mail or even snail mail? Oh, and any suggestions about what I should do to clear this whole thing up, would be greatly appreciated. Good-bye until my next sleepless night (which may be tonight).

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


It's already February and we've had a really mild winter (in this part of the country anyway). There's still time for Mother Nature to slap us silly, but Spring is just around the corner. Last October I was really dreading winter. I was worrying about it so much it was harboring on anxiety.
As I get older, I dread winter more and more. The driving, the walking, clearing a path, the threat of power outages, etc. I have pictures flash in my mind of falling down and not being able to get up or of waking up to a freezing house. I'm sure the later is a flashback to the ice storm of 2007 when most of us were out of power up to two or three weeks.
I've never been a worrier but, I find myself more and more waking up at 3 am with worry on my brain. I worry about my health, my finances, my family. Is it just a part of getting old? I remember my mom worried more as she got older. She would say things like "Have fun. Hope you don't have a flat".
I don't like to worry. It's wasted energy that could better be used for positive change. One of my favorite sayings is: Worrying must work because what I worry about never happens. So true!
Do you worry? If not, how do you escape it?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Because of some wonderfully generous friends and my son, I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas. I was on the fence about e-readers. Probably mostly because I'm still hoping to hold a copy of my book in my hands one day.
But, I must admit, I am enjoying my Kindle. I'm now playing Words With Friends and downloading books and other apps. I can show people videos and pictures. Okay, a little explanation here. I don't have a smart phone, so this is all new to me. I read my first book on it last week. It was smooth and easy. The only complaint I have is it's harder to look ahead for the sex scenes. Don't judge me, you know you do it too.
I heard there were a lot of e-readers sold this holiday season. What does that mean for the traditional publishing industry? It's anybody's guess. Hopefully there is room for both. I for one will still read books both ways. But, my Kindle is pretty cool.
What do you think? Do you have an e-reader or are you fighting the trend?

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I'm in the middle of a three day weekend and I find, as usual, that I'm not getting as much done as I'd planned. Especially in the novel writing department. What happens to my free time? Let's break it down. There are 24 hours in a day. I try to sleep at least 8 of those. I know there are people out there who can survive on less sleep but, I'm not one of them. If I get a minute less than 8 hrs, I guarantee you don't want to be around me.
So that leaves 16 hours. I need about an hour to get ready for the day. You know, shower, brush my teeth, dry my hair, get dressed, eat something. So that leaves 15 hours. That should be plenty of time to get things done unless it's a work day, which eats up 9 of my precious hours. But, I'm talking about my days off here. I spent two hours today reading, answering and writing e-mails. So now I have 14 hours. Take away an hour for this post and that's still 13 hours. Even though both of those activities involve writing, it's not progress on my novel.
I will admit I spent 2 hours this morning watching a couple of my favorite TV shows. So I now have 11 hours. I still need to check facebook, tweet something and eat lunch. That will use up another hour. But that's still 10 hours that I could use productively. Will I? Probably not. I'm seriously thinking about heading to my local hangout and get some face time with some friends. When I get home, there's dishes and laundry to wash and a Netflix movie just begging to be watched. Then time for bed.
So what's the answer? I've heard all the usual - "If it's important enough, you'll make time." My writing is important to me. Or "Quit watching TV and unplug the Internet." Really? Not gonna happen.
So, good people, how do you find the time to do what you love? Or are you like me and struggle with the same issue?