Saturday, October 25, 2014

One Lovely Blogger Award

Thanks to the extremely talented Tom Williams, author of The White Rajah series, I have been nominated to carry on the:

One Lovely Blogger Award
Thank you, Tom!

Rules:
1.       Share 7 Lovely Facts about myself

3.      Nominate the authors of those blogs to participate and do the same, linking back to the original Lovely blog. (That would be this page)
       
1.     I eat hummus almost every day and hardly ever get bored doing so. Sometimes I switch it up with pita chips or pita bread, or throw in a few cucumber slices (or a carrot?), but that’s pretty much it. Hummus. On an off day I go out and buy a sub sandwich. Then I feel bad and go back to the hummus. Obsessive maybe? Nah . . .

2.     If things had gone differently (if I hadn’t been such a clutz) I would have been a ballerina. Still have dreams of that one. Always wanted to own a pair of pointe shoes. But I had a mean-ass dance teacher who picked on me because I couldn’t do a proper plie. During a private phone conversation with my mother,  she explained that I would never be a dancer because I was too tall, too this, too that. Pick, pick, pick. It hurt my feelings so bad that I didn’t go back to lessons the next year. In my heart, though, I still longed to attend. 

3.     I almost made it to Pikes Peak a few years back, but the roads were closed halfway due to a recent snowstorm. However, I did get the chance to peer out over a cliff looking across a long vista of lower hills and high prairie, including the town of Colorado Springs. It’s the same landscape to inspire the song, America the Beautiful. And it was beautiful. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to go back one day, and to the top this time! 

4.     Every morning I wake up around 6:30a.m. Sometimes I wish I could sleep in like I did back when I was a loser slob, but something won’t let me do that. No alarm or anything. Just my brain. 

5.     I’m this close to ghost hunting. It’s always fascinated me as I tend to find the ephemeral more interesting that the living. Plus, there’s so much history in the old buildings these paranormal investigators get access too. Would it be scary? Heck yeah, but I’d still do it. For now, I just watch it on TV. Every Wednesday night I collect an array of snacks and then sit down to watch Ghost Hunters on SyFy. It is, literally, my favorite show in the world. If I ever get the chance to do an investigation, I’ll be so happy. And you guys will be the first to hear about the adventure!

6.     My first real dog as an adult was a red dapple dachshund named Jasmine. She was adorable and fun, but man, we did not get along. The entire winter after bringing her home she bit my feet, my hands, pooped in the house, barked at me, ripped things up. It was like, everything I did to train her, she’d defiantly do the opposite, just to spite me. One morning I put my coffee mug down on the kitchen table and then got up to take a shower. I pulled all the chairs away so she wouldn’t jump up to find scraps and crumbs. It was me being a jerk, kind of, but mostly I didn’t want her on the table. “You can’t get up there, Jazz. I pulled all the chairs out.” I went and took my shower. Half an hour later I walk into the kitchen and Jasmine is sitting right in the middle of the table next to an empty cup of coffee. My eyes strayed to the chairs—pulled out so far, much too far for a little dachshund to fly across the room from. She must have done it over and over, and I could picture her doing it too, until she’d reached her goal. And why? Just for some coffee? But that was Jasmine. Determined. Strong willed. A few years later I had my first child, and I always credited her for teaching me the art of patience. You think you know, but you don’t. We bickered every day, but when Jasmine became sick and I knew she was going to die, I gently picked her up and carried her outside to the backyard so she could lie in the sunlight and watch the kids play. It was springtime and the air was cool and the grass was sweet. I could tell it meant a lot to her. After she died I went to retrieve her ashes from the veterinarian’s office, and upon coming home the little stone statue of a dachshund I’d bought when Jasmine was a puppy had flipped over to its side. It had never done that previously and hasn’t done it since. I truly believe she was telling me that: she was okay, and all past arguments had been forgiven. She was also saying that she loved me. I love you too, Jazz.

7.     Some of you already know about this, because you were here on the blog when it happened! I once had the chance to play Blondie and Joni Mitchell in an all-female musical revue. Truly, I was shocked to be picked for those roles, my musical idols. But I didn’t think I had the ability to pull it off. I wasn’t a good enough singer, I couldn’t dance (there’s that dance thing again), I was too tall, too daft. Pick, pick, pick. But the director told me that, eh, sure I could do it. And . . . I did. After a month-long rehearsal in some old church, sans air conditioning, it was time to prove to the world, and myself, that I had the goods. It was magic standing inside the curtains each night waiting for “Janis” to finish her ode to Booby McGee.  I’d quietly step across the stage, guitar in hand, wearing a white lace dress and flowers in my hair, and I’d transform into Joni Mitchell. Then later, Deborah Harry—which involved a lot of makeup! That summer will forever be in my mind and my heart. It does somewhat erase my former dance teacher’s merciless taunts and insults. Yeah, it does completely, actually.

And those are my 7 lovely facts. I’d like to nominate my friends: Mollie, Cro, Starting Over, and The Broad, and Shelly Sly. It's late, so I might think of others! You are all great. Of course, I'd nominate Tom, but he's already done this thing. Thanks again, Tom!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dreams and Reality

Last year I hit a nice stride after making the decision to stop my negative thought processes. You may or may not have noticed a difference in the way I blogged at that time. Basically, I switched negative thoughts for more positive ones, the point being that if what I was afraid of hadn't killed me yet, it wasn't worth my time and why not expect a happier outcome instead of all the doom and gloom? The change worked. I was happier and even though life wasn't perfect, I no longer anticipated the worst, meaning I wasn't stuck in fear-based thinking. Life felt easier, and my day-to-day existence became more secure and confident. Remember, I grew up in a cult, my father both mentally and physically abused our family, so I've never been able to trust anyone or feel completely secure. It's why I gave up singing and performing, it's why I don't go into big crowds or concerts or do anything that might put me in a less than secure position.The fear is ingrained in me, and though I fight it on a daily basis, it still causes me much stress and worry.

I know, totally f-ed up.

Now this year my new thing is to battle all those creepy old demons with even more positive manifestation. It's hard. I'm feeling the crunch of having no finances and of being in a really, really messed up situation that has me depressed and just feeling at the end of my rope. From what I've heard with the eclipses and full moon going on this month, it's the perfect time for making the unseen (your dreams) come into reality, and so with that in mind, this really is the perfect time to manifest—if you believe in that stuff. The truth is, all this weird, hocus-pocus, mediation and praying stuff I've been doing has brought me so much relief. I definitely believe in it.

So, manifestation.

If I had money I would do/have/enjoy the following:



I'd buy a charming house with a good amount of acreage and turn it into a farm for myself and the kids. I love alpacas (like, crazy, deep deep love). They are adorable! It's been a dream of mine to have an alpaca farm for quite a while now. Is that weird? I don't care. Bring on the alpacas. They're gentle, sweet, funny and they make the softest yarn. I'd also have chickens, a dairy cow, and . . . I don't know . . . maybe some goats. OH! I'd also have a pot belly pig. Me and those animals on Amy's Acres.



I'd go on tour. I'd paint. I'd travel. I'd see all those small towns I've been stalking on Google. It's been years since this girl has been on a road trip! There's nothing better than pulling into a small town and finding out its history, its customs, its people. I love that. And there's always a diner with a waitress named Vicky. You can bet on it. And pie. There's always kick ass pie in those places.



Another dream I have is to homeschool my children for a year so we can just be together, taking care of the animals, cooking, hiking. And I'd take a million pictures and blog about it and maybe even self-pub a book about our 'nature' experience and what it means to them. That would be so much fun.

There's a few other things I want, but I'll keep all that secret. What dreams do you have that you'd like to manifest?

Thanks for stopping by! And don't forget, The Time Seekers is currently free for e-download on Amazon.

Happy Trails . . .

Free book . . .






Hey, you lovely bloggers, if you haven't had a chance to read The Time Seekers yet, then today's the day. It's currently free for e-download, so get out yer Kindles, or whatever gadget you're required to own in order to do this sort of thing, and download your little heart out. And many thanks if you do!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Interview from the heart

Today I answered questions with the lovely Colleen Story and it was a lot of fun! Stop by and take a look if you can.

And here's my harvest of the year. Not much, but the kids and I already the rest. By the way, those peppers make some really hot salsa. They're much tamer than they look!


Did your garden yield massive amounts of natural goods, or was it a total bust? Take care, and Peace.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Que Sera Sera



In these last few weeks the leaves have gone from green to burgeoning amber. The air's been hot, then cold, then hot again. As for me, I'm up, down and waaaaay, way down. A total rollercoaster. It's not about the writing so much, or the failure I'm feeling, but life in general. Why can't I do anything right? Why do I give up so easy? And why can't anything ever be good enough--enough to sit back and say that I'm happy and fulfilled? Last year was great because I made positive thinking a habit and that made a huge difference in my life. This must be a temporary slump. My book isn't selling and it hurts. That's life. Give me a few weeks and I'll be a flippin' Doris Day again.

Julia keeps me from delving too deeply into the dark. She's always looking ahead, figuring out the mysteries of life, how things work, how love works, how our minds work. She's a walking, talking Google. If someone mentions a medical condition on TV, she researches the crap out of it until she can spout every fact for hours--whether you've asked to or not. I must admit, sometimes that girl needs a time-out. Please, I can't take another explanation of how the circulatory system works or how the universe was made. Just. Let. Me. Sleep. Personally, I think it's turning her into a hypochondriac.

"Mom, my gut feels kind of weird."

"Julia? It's, like, midnight. Are you gonna barf? If you're gonna barf, don't talk about it, just go to the bathroom right now. I hate cleaning barf."

"No, I don't think I'm going to barf. I just feel weird. Maybe I ate too much soup. My intestines are digesting it. Did you know your intestines do all the work? Not your stomach. People think it's their stomach."

"No, I didn't. Listen, it's midnight. Go to sleep."

Five minutes pass. "Mom?"

"What?"

"Now I have to pee."

"Well, then, go pee."

Later—"Mom, I peed."

"Good. Go . . . to . . . sleep."

"Okay."

Five minutes later. "I shouldn't have watched that video about ghosts in Atlanta. Now I'm scared."

"There are no ghosts in our house, and we're in Kansas, so you're cool. Okay?"

"Okay."

Julia read all sorts of stuff on how to be a vegan the other week and went on to tell everyone how awesome vegans were. She explained all the dos and don'ts, and how it's wrong to eat meat, and how being vegan is healthier anyway. She even wanted tofu in her lunchbox. That afternoon she came home with a sad look on her face. I asked what was wrong. "Oh, nothing. It's just . . . being a vegan made me depressed." I told her she was young and her body needed certain nutrients and that's why she was sad. I explained that it was okay to eat a little meat every once in a while and when she grows up she can go vegan all the way. She seemed okay with that.

I hope I said the right thing. Maybe I'm just too lazy to learn vegan cooking. Am I cop out, or what? 

So anyway, what will be Julia's topic of the week this week? Hmm . . . I'll keep you updated.

Have a lovely Monday!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My playlist for The Time Seekers

Ready to find out what I listened to while writing my wildly successful novel, The Time Seekers? Well, it started off with this:



And then it turned into this:



And of course, this:



Then this:



And finally, this:


And much, much more, but mostly the above. Have a great one!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A review for The Time Seekers

Whitney Boyd, a writer I admire very much, has written a great review for the new book. If you haven't read any of Whitney's well-written and engaging novels about modern relationships (In the Stars, Iced Romance) then do yourself a favor and pick one up for a fun read. Thank you, Whitney, for the wonderful review!


THE TIME SEEKERS by Amy Saia is a fast-paced and thrilling novel, where time is twisted and shifted and people are not who they seem to be. Emma and William Bennett, newly married college students have some secrets. Recently they escaped a soul seeking cult led by a ruthless leader, Marcus, and are trying to get back to normal life. However, normal life isn't all that easy. William, a former ghost, can't shake his past life in the 1950s, and Emma can't forget a boy she loved, Jesse, who gave his life so she could live. Torn between time and lovers, William and Emma have to return to Springvale in the 1950s in order to stop the cult before it does too much damage. Once in the past though, William forgets who he was in the future and Emma is left on her own to try and figure out how to save them all.

Emma is an interesting character. A typical teenage girl in many ways, she is at the start somewhat selfish and stubborn, jealous of her husband's professors and other students, and yet unable to see that she is doing the same thing he is. She can't forget Jesse and won't give herself completely to William, despite desperately loving him as well. She likes the idea of marriage without any desire to sacrifice or change in order for the union to work.  But, when she finds out she is pregnant, she puts the needs of her baby in front of her own, a very selfless act despite her desires for a career and life outside of marriage. She is a coward at times, and incredibly courageous at other times, and is a very real person. Her struggles with her mother and grandmother when she goes back to the past, and how she has to put emotion aside to deal with them, is fascinating. She has to interact with them as they were once, even though she knows how they would be in the future and the pain and joy they each would give her.  I enjoyed seeing her tackle new challenges and manage to get through them despite her insecurities and weaknesses. Most of us will find a bit of ourselves somewhere within Emma.

THE TIME SEEKERS is fantasy mixed with every day life. It challenges boundaries and explores relationships and is a must-read book. I recommend reading Saia's first novel, THE SOUL SEEKERS, before delving into this sequel, in order to truly understand the dynamic world and cast of characters Saia has created.