Showing posts from December, 2013

A New Year—2014

So here we go again. Did you accomplish everything you wanted in 2013? Did it sneak up and flip you on your back? It did me a little bit. I'd say the first half was horrible in some ways, the midsection got better, then great, then okay, then bad, then back to being just okay. Summer was beautiful. I loved every second of it. I wrote a lot, read a lot, hung out with the kids and just lived and breathed a wonderful, happy existence. In the fall I felt the anxiety comeback, but found a way to deal with it through meditation, yoga, positive thinking and lots and lots of walks with Henry.

~the best friend a person could ever have. faithful to the core. a gentle spirit and a heart of gold~
The ball will drop tonight--er, haha. That always sound so sick. Well, if it's gonna drop, it's gonna drop.  So, anyway, we move into a year with an even number, which is always a good thing in my book.  I think after a year of lessons, we all need a year of joy and happiness. Bring it on!!! 

Monday Morning Sky

Looks like  The Soul Seekersis free for Kindle download over at  Amazonfor the next few days, so if you don't have it yet, here's your chance to snag yourselves up a copy. I'm nervously awaiting edits for the sequel but have to admit it was nice not having to worry about writing during the holidays. Though I'm getting to that point where I miss my characters—always a good sign. There's nothing worse than hating your book, every single part of it, but having to push through anyway. We've all been there, but yeah, it's nice to be on the good side of things when it comes to work, and not the bad.

So, Kansas has turned cold again with a nasty wind to go along with it. Little miss Julia and I both had the flu over Christmas and there hasn't been much of going outside lately. Just a lot of movie watching and hanging around the house. I took this picture from my kitchen window this morning, inside, where it's warm.

My camera failed to pick up the deep red …

Shots of Snaps

Having written so much these last few years, I've finally found something else to take my mind off the act, whereas writing used to be what I'd do to take my mind off everything else. I'm not great at taking pics, just okay enough to enjoy it as a lark. Always kind of loved the idea of capturing things in weird angles and shadows and such. I've been thinking that when things gets a little warmer I might go around town, or to nearby towns, to capture this crazy world of ours. Just a thought though. May not happen. 

Here I visited a local man who decorates his entire yard—front and back—with Christmas inflatables. There's no way to capture the entire thing in one shot, but I hope you get a good enough idea from the  picture. He's even got an inflatable tv screen above his garage—something that seems excessive at first but really clever the more you think about it. A great way to find the house if you get lost!

This here's the secret entrance to the backyard.…

The Importance of Being Permanent

With the recent shooting at a Colorado high school I'm left wondering what is happening in our society that has led to such destructive and violent tendencies. Why are people turning to permanent answers to what otherwise seems like innocent problems? This last shooter—a young man—was angry at his speech coach for kicking him off the team. Everyone raise your hand if you think shooting other people and then killing yourself is a good answer to that kind of problem? Right. It's like one of those greater than, less than problems in math class. Which one is greater? Draw the arrow. Yep. Death and murder is a greater problem than not getting what you want at school. Duh.

So why?

Because people have begun to think all problems end in violence. They can't see a greater solution, and they can't say they're wrong. People are so overcome with the here and now that they are resorting to 'all or nothing' solutions. First is a lack of confidence, then a lack of self-c…

The Christmas Heart

I had just opened a letter from my bank: overdraft. Only by a few dollars, but it was Christmas money and any presents I'd intended to buy were now stalled. It depressed me. I sat in my decade old maroon Chevy Cavalier and tried not to cry.

At least I had gas in the car. I drove to my friend's house in our old town, a town so small that you'd miss it if you blinked, and pulled into her drive. She lived with her parents but would leave for college in the fall—a feat I admired and coveted. College was about as likely for me as finding a five dollar bill in my coat pocket. Believe me, I'd already checked. I crushed a cigarette out in my car's overfilled ashtray, slapped on some lipgloss and looked in the rearview mirror. Pale, irish, red hair, nose too big. Me.

She was there to greet me at the door. Renee was a gentle person, very giving and welcoming. She possessed a booming laugh and seemed to love the way I entertained her with my endless string of sarcastic comme…

Simple flame

A year ago we all became broken. Something unthinkable happened at a little school in a town called Sandy Hook. Innocent children were killed and their parents' lives changed forever. I, a person miles and miles away, remember crying and feeling as if a weight had been laid upon my chest. As our president spoke to us, breaking down into his own tears because he too couldn't believe what had happened, a sorrow entered my heart—a kind that I've never experienced. For almost a year I felt that same sorrow follow me around. It dampened my daily activities and swallowed my happiness. It became a being of darkness: for things irreplaceable, actions undoable, pain unremovable. It wasn't until this fall that I began to work through the darkness to find some kind of light in what had happened. It isn't fair. I'm sure none of us want to find a positive in tragedies like this. But we have to. It is the human spirit to rise above and to forge through the darkest valleys i…

High on Health and High on Life: an interview with Fran Kerr

While most of us are caught up in the various stresses of our daily lives, there is a young woman in a Peru who has found a way to escape all that. Where she lives problems are few, the only inconveniences are if her internet connection will last long enough to upload a video that day, or if rain is going to ruin her walk to town. She wears her hair long and is pretty in the kind of way that you would call a natural beauty. There’s just something about her—an elegance and a wisdom; she speaks with a confidence and knowledge far beyond her years. Would you believe the person I’m describing is a skin care advocate who makes video blogs on a regular basis about things like cystic acne and natural healing? Her name is Fran Kerr, she’s thirty-something, and to her Australia is a far off place she once called home.

Fran, like many people I found your website while seeking out help for cystic acne. Unfortunately I’m someone who suffers from the occasional skin condition, quite depressing as …

"Hello, my name is . . ."

Way back a long time ago I used to work in a catalog call center at a place that rhymes with H. P. Henney. It was a fun job, for the most part. For the lesser part, it sucked. Hour after hour I was forced to sit in a chair listening to call after call of products and descriptions from people who didn't know what an item number was, much less what state they lived in. "Hello, this is H. P. Henney, how may I help you?" I'd like to place an order. "What is your name and address?" Uhhhhhh . . . 

We'd been trained to verify all information in a very thorough and robotic manner, and to repeat the letters that preceded each item number with examples such as: "Is that B like Bob, or V like Victory?" Sometimes I rebelled and skipped all that crap, but then I'd get a call scan and find myself in some manager's office where I was reminded of procedure. Then they'd get out a list of how many times I'd been late to work. Which was many.


Gifts that give back!

My friend Tom Williams over at Writing About Writinghas come up with a great gift idea for the holidays. Like Oprah and her favorite things he's compiled a list of novels he feels would make great gifts for you, or maybe that friend of yours who loves to read. He graciously added The Soul Seekers, which I can't thank him enough for.

Of course, I'm going to reciprocate the favor. This guy is such an amazing writer. His first bookThe White Rajahis a thrilling love story set in 19th century Singapore. It covers a short and controversial time in the life of adventurer James Brooke, as told by lover John Williamson. The sequelCawnporecarries on with the life of Williamson—set during a time of conflict with the British Raj in India. Not only is Tom an excellent writer, and friend, but he loves Tango and takes classes frequently. His books are an exciting dive into history with such fine detail and vivid storytelling. Another thing about Tom, he is so kind. He takes his time out …