Monthly Archives: January 2015

Caught In Transition: Scattered and Splattered

I’m usually a mess. Scattered and splattered and easily brought down. I used to blame it on my creative nature. After all, I’m an artist. I wholeheartedly embrace the insanity gene I inherited from some long-dead ancestor. I mean, how else can I account for those voices whispering in my head?

But I’m in transition now, working to separate THOSE voices from MY voices.

If I allow it, MY voices loudly berate me because the dust bunnies are on the rampage and the fridge is empty…again. And listen, the roads will be icy tomorrow and I might have to leave my house and navigate ice covered streets better made for skates. And gosh, wouldn’t it be fun to head somewhere warm—sans computer—and lie on a beach and listen to the waves crash against the shoreline? Maybe spend the winter chilling with a bottle of sunblock in my hand instead of a snow shovel?

Scattered + Splattered

However, with a deadline fast approaching, my life and my thoughts must revolve around the keyboard, and the voices that whisper their story in my ear. So when MY loud voice intrudes, and I get caught up in thoughts of tasks undone, past regrets, and unlikely-to-ever-occur fears, I take a deep breath, release it, and remember…all that exists is this moment, this day…and then I unsplatter and get back to the business of completing this book.

It doesn’t matter our age, whether we work inside or outside the home, whether we have children or not, whether those children are at the diaper stage, or full grown and on their own.

Life is too short to focus on past regrets or future fears. There’s only enough time today for…well, the moments that make up today.

Scattered + Splattered

So tell me…do you celebrate each moment as it happens? Or do the voices in your head demand you spend time on past regrets and future fears and everything in-between? Please tell me in the comments below what you plan to do in the moments after you leave this page. And then tell me whether or not you’ll intentionally and deliberately block out the disruptive voices so you can immerse yourself in the joy of each moment.

Where Did the Years Go?

It seems as though every day I’m reminded my kids are growing up and away from their youth. Recently, for example, my son announced he’s decided not to play football his senior year of high school. My husband took it like a champ–better than most dads would–as my oldest explained his reasons for walking away from a sport he loves. I’m okay with his decision and I support him one hundred percent, but it was another door closing on his childhood and I couldn’t help but feel sad.charlie flag football 2

We enrolled our now almost eighteen year old in organized sports when he was three, and we’ve enthusiastically spent every weekend at one field or another for the past fifteen years. Although he’s still playing baseball, I’m not sure how I’ll handle not seeing him on the sidelines come fall at the Friday night football games. I wonder how he’ll handle it, too. I do know he’ll learn as much from walking away from the sport as he would have by sticking it out for another year. He’s growing up and making decisions on his own and that’s a very good thing.

Besides baseball, we still have the youngest and the wonderfully entertaining sport of lacrosse, but I’ll miss the pigskin and seeing my little man in shoulder pads. What I’ll miss more than anything are the years that went by way too fast. Oh, Father Time, slow down a little, would you please?

This and That

Happy-new-year-2015-wallpaper_lighting_diyasCrazy week.  Versions of the flu have taken my family by storm.  I’m sure I’m jinxing myself here, but Harper and I have avoided it thus far.  Of course, the fact that I had a book come out on Tuesday has given me an added boost of energy. 🙂  Today, I’m starting a self-imposed stay-cation.  I’m going to clean out closets–one blue bin to charity each day and then I can read!  That probably doesn’t sound like too much fun, but one of my resolutions this year is to get organized before the chaos of writing a new book begins.

Speaking of resolutions, did you make one?  Or more?  I’m not big into making promises to myself each year.  Author Lori Wilde posted something that resonated with me.  She said that instead of resolutions, she and her friends each choose a word that they hope to define the upcoming months, a word they plan to live by.  I love that idea!  My word for 2015 is Grace.  Grace for others-whether I know them or not.  And grace for me.  I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself and this business can beat you down if you let it.  My goal is to look for grace in everything I do.  Now that I’ve written it down, you all can hold me accountable!

Liz MorganHere’s some fun news:  Last year when FOOLISH GAMES was released, Sara at Harlequin Junkie asked me to name my dream cast if the book were to be made into a movie.  I hate that question for many reasons, but I did it anyway, because Sara is awesome!  Anyway, I listed a relatively unknown actress to play the quirky teenager, Sophie Osbourne.  Well, she’s known to me because she’s my neighbor. Her name is Liz Morgan and, at the time, she was about to make her motion picture debut in a low budget film about the rapture called The Remaining.  The film was a bit campy, but it lasted a lot longer at the box office than Nicholas Cage’s rapture pic.

Fast forward a year. After getting that movie role, Liz went on over 150 auditions with no success.  Oh, how we writers can relate, right?  She applied to Julliard and was rewarded with an audition.  Not everyone who applies gets one.  Of course, right after she got that great news, she was cast for a three episode guest starring role in Chicago Fire!  Yep, as I write this from my warm kitchen, Liz is currently jumping out of a burning building in snowy, freezing Chicago.  Isn’t that cool?  I’ll keep you posted with the dates when her episodes will air.

That’s all I’ve got today. Happy New Year and stay warm and healthy! And if you need a beach fix, I’ve got a book for you!

cover-for-BTB

A Journey Starts with the First Step

Darts hitting a target

Photo by kraphix

Like many people, I’ve been thinking lately about new year’s resolutions. Although I’m not crazy about that term, I do think it’s a good idea to sit down with yourself every so often, consider what you want to accomplish, and set realistic goals for getting there.

The article 11 Resolutions For a Better You—Proven by Science provides a great list to use as a starting point (one resolution is reading fiction, so I’m definitely on board with that!). But too often, we set ourselves up for failure by setting the wrong goals. For instance, “lose 20 pounds” isn’t an action you can take. “Reduce my calorie intake by 100 calories a day” is. It’s the small, incremental goals that lead us to achieve the big ones.

I tend to phrase my goals as “publish a novella every month” or something insane like that. I’m learning that I need to set more meaningful goals like “write 10,000 words per week.” That’s something I can work toward day by day. And if I have an unproductive day for whatever reason, I can make it up tomorrow.

My main goal in 2015 is to get organized, because that’s a first step toward achieving everything else. Given that we’re a week into the new year, and I haven’t started yet, I’m already behind. But I have crossed a few things off my to-do list, and that makes me happy. It’s a start on what I hope will be my greatest year yet!

What are your goals for 2015? How do you plan to achieve them?

Shopping in January?

You won’t find me in the clearance racks this month. No way. I’m relaxing on my sofa, perusing the pages of a plethora of seed catalogs arriving in my mail box. Yep, it’s time to buy your seeds. If you haven’t been seed saving, that is. Gardening might be a new adventure for you. A resolution of sorts, that coincides nicely with your resolution to lose weight, get healthy and stay active.

seed shopping

However, my resolution this year runs more along the lines of increased productivity. Looking back, I realized I only produced two novels in 2014. Two–after a gangbuster year in 2013 when I turned out five. But writing a series can do that to you. It’s sort of like writing one really long saga which makes it much easier on the thought process.

But this year I’m getting back to the keyboard with an ambitious plan. Not only will I publish three novels — a continuation of my new series, Sliver Creek — but I also intend to introduce a children’s garden book. Part fiction, part how-to, it’s a project I’ve been working on for quite a while but am finally ready to release. Woohoo — chalk up another tally in that productivity column!

IMG_8382

Hm. This resolution thing is working out already! And I get to ogle the ruby red tomatoes and luscious green leaves of basil. Definitely an uplifting experience for any bleak January day. Even in Central Florida we get those cloudy skies…today, case in point.

Gotta love a fresh start. How about you? Is your agenda moving green this year?

%d bloggers like this: