This is in memorial of my sister, Amy. Today was not a goodbye, it was just one more memory placed in my heart.
I haven't written a post in a long while, but after reading this article I feel compelled to speak up. This is a post from my personal Facebook page that I'm sharing here.
This is NOT a headline I want to read when I log on to see my son's weekly sports package: http://www.nonpareilonline.com/…/article_e225b278-79a3-11e5…
I know many of you will stop reading this about now, but I would like to point out that this happened in a school where MY SON is, not some distant place. It's becoming more and more common every day and it will begin to affect us all more and more.
Many of my family and friends support the right to carry firearms and are vocal about it. Personally I have a much different view on it and I try to avoid those topics and not get into arguments over it because I know that I'm not going to change their minds, but really what is it going to take to make you see there is a problem and it needs to be addressed?
Many of you have never had to read an article like this or get a text from the school district saying there was a shooting like we did with Harrisburg recently and worry about where your children are and if they are safe. You don't know the fear that goes though a parent when they read a text or an article about a shooting or a gun being pulled where their child is. How the cold seizes you when you realize that your child isn't in as safe an environment as you thought. I know that my children's safety at all times is not guaranteed, but as a parent I shouldn't have to worry that a gun could be pulled on my child while they are in a supposedly safe place.
I know the security in the dorms at IWCC. They are well guarded and there are many safeguards in place to ensure that things like this shouldn't happen. Yet it did. There has to be a way to change this.
Now I realize I live in a state with a huge hunting industry and I'm not suggesting that all guns need to be taken away, just that policies need to be enacted to make it harder to get guns, and to make sure that the guns that are out there are in responsible hands and used only when absolutely needed. There is much talk of stricter background checks and mental health evaluations, but there are so many other ways that guns are sold that get through these loopholes. Those are the areas we need to concentrate on. Plus a strict background check isn't going to teach responsibility when using a firearm. It takes more time and training to get a license to drive a car than it does to buy and carry a gun in many places, not to mention the insurance we are expected to have when we own a car. I believe gun owners should have to be insured too. The babysitting class I want to sign my daughter up for is longer and more involved than a voluntary gun safety class I looked up in Sioux Falls. When babysitting classes are more rigorous than gun safety classes that should tell you something. (That is if they choose to enroll in a gun safety class which is not required in all states.)
I know that this post won't change the minds of you who are staunch gun rights supporters. But to those of us who have stayed silent in the past, we need to speak up and use our right to vote for candidates that will help bring about those changes. When enough of us speak up and stand together, changes will happen. Until we do, things like this are going to continue to happen. As we've seen in the past, not all turn out like this with no one injured and it may not scare you, but it terrifies me that next time it maybe my child on the wrong end of a gun. For those of you who disagree, I hope you never have to read an article like this and worry about your children.
This isn't entirely true. The last band I saw play live was my son's middle school band, but no one wants to listen to a middle school band performance.
This is the only song I ever remember hearing my dad sing. He sang it to me and a few times I heard him singing it to my daughter. The video I have linked is a very special video. This is my daughter singing it a couple years ago. She dedicated to my dad, her "Papa" after he had passed away.
Day 33 in 365 days of music challenge
Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy is light and happy and makes me think of Christmas. I don't have any deep thoughts on what I think about when I hear it. I just like it for what it is.
Day 32 of 365 days of music challenge
This is a tough one, mostly because it hurts to listen to. A friend of mine sang it for our Christmas program when I was in high school. He is no longer with us and every time I hear this song I think of him and that he will never be home for Christmas again. I miss him.
Day 29 in 365 days of music challenge
I would choose this song because it's simple, soulful, and it's one of the few songs I can somewhat sing in tune. When I finish, I'm pretty sure the judges would tell me I should never be allowed to sing again.
(Finally I'm caught up with the days I missed.)
Day 23 in 365 days of music challenge
We took a little last hurrah before school starts vacation this weekend so I don't have a normal music post. Instead I will leave you with the Golden Kitty winner of the Internet Cat Video Fest at the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis this week. It was an awesome experience that our family now plans to make into a yearly pilgamage. Because...cats!
Bonus video - my new favorite animated cat video. Cat Song pretty much sums up our cats.
I love the lyrics written by Robert Smith of The Cure, but they are more meaningful sung in the slow melodic style of Katie Melua. Her voice adds a whimsical dreaminess to the song that is lacking in the original, yet the ending leaves an ache of lost love. Katie's version is just perfection no matter how many times I listen to it.
day 15 of 365 days of music challenge
day 13 in 365 days of music challenge
Day 8 in 365 days of music challenge
day 5 in 365 days of music challenge
This is not by choice. It doesn't matter where we travel, there is always some town or city with a street or avenue named Broadway and my husband can't help but burst into song every time we come upon it. I'm pretty sure this is why headphones are top priority when my kids pack.
The other song my husband tends to spontaneously sing when we travel is Jackson by Johhny Cash and June Carter. Do you know how many states have a Jackson? Not as many with Broadway Streets but enough to give us a brief reprieve from Broadway.
What do you listen to on road trips?
Day 5 in 365 Days of Music Challenge
Yesterday I had a discussion with my husband and tweener son about why I don't blog or tweet more than I do. I told them I didn't know what to write about. Later that night I was scrolling though Pinterest, which is my go to procrastination/happy place. I saw a pin with a 365 day music challenge. My husband is a music buff so I shared it with him. We decided this was something we could do together, I would write a daily post on the topic and he started a Tumblr for his.
Here it is end of December and I haven’t updated this blog in months. I’m sorry to all of you who stop by here and wonder where I’ve went or what I’m up to. I’ll share a little year in review 2013 edition.
Cure For Pain came out in December of last year and it’s been slowly gathering followers. There have been some great blogs and reviews for it that have been amazing boosts. Just a quick little list of some of them (if I’ve missed your’s I’m sorry, add the link in the comments and I’ll make sure to give you a shout out on it.)
Creedence Mathews lived a sheltered life. Growing up in a strong Biblical patriarchal home, she had little contact with the world outside of her family and church community. After seeing her older sister shunned for choosing a life different from the family's expectations of women, Creedence vowed never to second guess the decisions her father made on her behalf. Pure in thought and action, she believed she was on God’s path until Tommy Murphy stepped in her way.
In the small town of Quarry Springs, the Murphy name was synonymous with trouble. Living with their grandmother in an old farmhouse on the edge of town, the Murphy brothers and sister were always in one scrape or another. With his dark, devilish good looks and piercing, blue eyes, Tommy Murphy was the walking definition of sin. When he finds Creedence crying on the bank of his favorite fishing hole, Tommy decides that this proverbial good girl needs a little fun in her life---and just maybe a little temptation will, in fact, deliver her from evil.
My progress on Definition of Sin has been slower than I had planned. Not because of writer’s block or external factors, but because I’ve grown so attached to the Murphy family that one book has now turned into six books. One for each of the five Murphy siblings and their grandmother’s story as well. I keep going back and fleshing out more of the family as I not only introduce them in Definition of Sin, but also set up their upcoming stories. It’s been an exciting process bringing to life all the possibilities for them and I can’t wait until I can share them all with you. I wish I had a connection from my brain to my laptop so my thoughts would immediately transfer to it. Writing would go so much faster.
I’ve also been doing the occasional post for That's Normal too. It’s a wonderful site where you can indulge in all your quirky obsessions and feel totally normal about them. So far I’ve only done a few recaps of Once Upon A Time In Wonderland and co-blog the Guys We Google posts with my great friend Pix. I hope to contribute more to the site in 2014.
My personal life took a new turn this year as I started working part time in the box office at a local movie theater. I love a job where I can both read and write during my downtime, plus I get to meet many interesting people daily, often providing some new inspiration or idea to tuck away for future use.
This year also brought the chaos of having three kids in three different schools. Our oldest is a junior in high school. We’ve started the college search and scholarship essays. Fortunately he’s a driven student and has known that he’s wanted to be a sports broadcaster since he was four. It helps narrow down the search. On the other side of it, each day is a reminder that he is one day closer to leaving home and I’m cherishing all the time I have with him here.
Our middle son started middle school. We’re finding that with all advanced classes there is always some big project due. I marvel at how easily he balances his schedule and handles the deadlines with a focus and dedication that I only wish I had at his age. Both him and his sister share a love a music and our house is often filled with the sounds of him on viola, percussion, or piano with his sister joining in on violin or piano. Both have the musical talent from my husband’s side. I can’t carry a tune or keep a beat but I can appreciate the effort they put in and talent they have.
Our daughter turned double digits this year. She is opinionated, brilliant, beautiful, and wonderfully geeky. Normally a quiet student, this year she found her voice and was elected as her class representative for student government. We spent summer break together sewing Barbie dresses as we watched the entire series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with breaks for My Little Pony and Batman (both movies and cartoons). She’s also the best DM (Dungeon Master) because she thinks every great Dungeon and Dragons campaign needs a dance party.
All in all it’s been another wonderful year with many things to be thankful for including all of you who support me in my writing efforts; my family giving me my time and space to work, my friends who are my sounding board, Michelle Halket, my publisher extraordinaire, and you, my readers. Thank you all for the reviews and recommendations and sticking with me. I promise you more to come in 2014. Happy Holidays to all and I wish you all the best in the new year to come.
Today I was at my children's elementary school. There was a small assembly to cap off Natinal Poetry Month. After hearing a few poems from some talented college students, the libraran challenged the students to write a poem about the first thing they saw when they walked in the door at home. I told my son that both my husband and I would write one too. I even managed to get my 16 year old son to rattle off something that could be considered a poem. I'm sharing these poems with you.
A pile of shoes on the floor
once again blocking the door.
I kick them aside
then speak my mind:
"Come pick up your shoes."
It should come as no surprise
I get four different replies.
"I'm busy. Can't now, gotta go.
When I'm done. At commercial."
I shake my head, this is not a battle I choose.
Later that night I spot them again.
In the same spot they've always been.
I mumble and sigh
A metal Santa used to grace our door
It sat upon a nail, greeting guests
We set it down when spring came in again
And winter didn’t fit with the decor
But Santa couldn’t put himself away
He sat, and stared straight up into the room
He might have wondered, “why does no one come
and put me on basement shelf some day?”
We do know how to clean, and really are
aware of just how strange this Santa looks
We know that people stopping by might say,
“Santa on their steps in May? Bizarre.”
We’re proud of how our family works, and yearn
to keep our house clean, putting things in place
But when we get behind and can’t keep up
Then Santa will just have to wait his turn.
When I came in
I saw the stairs
I walked up the stairs
I have a kitten named winter
he loves to eat
when he is done eating
all he does is sleep
sometimes he wakes up though
and wants to go outside
all he does when he goes out
is attack all things that fly
occasionally he will play with his friends
but they're only friends to him
he jumps and strikes and pounces
until I put him out instead of in
Winter is an amazing cat
I love him so so much
even though he eats a lot
Empty bags hold anything
from little dolls to balls of string.
from bottles of glue
to things that are blue.
Like ponytails to put in your hair,
but it could never fit a chair.
It could fit lots of things you see,
but it couldn't fit me.
I've been absent lately due to life and really the lack of anything that struck a chord with me enough to blog about. Today though I read an article about Jada Pinkett Smith's defense of her daughter, Willow's, hair cuts and styles. I'm sure many of you are saying the same thing I normally would: "who cares." What caught my attention orginally to the article was Willow's name. My daughter has her on her girl power playlist and likes her music. I do too becuse it generally sends postivie self esteem messages. From reading the article I can now see where Willow gets the inspiration for those messages, from her mom.
This is what Jada Pinkett Smith had to say:
This subject is old but I have never answered it in its entirety. And even with this post it will remain incomplete.
The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women,girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be. More to come. Another day.
WOW! This is an excellent response. I too hope to instill this in my daughter. How many girls and women grow up with the belief that they have to fit some image others would thrust upon them? I tell my daughter that her true beauty and power come from her beinging true to herself. When a woman is confidant in her self others will see it too. I hope that being given this advice and power over her own self help her in the future when major life choices can be affected by how she sees herself.
Reread the quote from above and take some time to truely think about it. If you are a parent or even have influence in a child's life, think about what messages you are sending them. As hard as it can be remember Mrs. Pinkett Smith's advice, "... little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires."
I am the youngest of a large family. When I went away to college, it was the first time in almost thirty some years of marriage that my parents finally had an empty house. Before I left my parents were often busy on weekends with visiting family or playing cards with friends; when my brothers were still at home there were always sporting events to go to. I was always busy and my parents seemed to be too. It wasn't until the second year of my abscence that I began to notice my parents picked up a new Saturday night hobby. Instead of going out or visiting with family after the Saturday night mass they would come home put their pajammas on and watch British Comedies on PBS.
My parents, while not the biggest tv fanatics, did watch their share of shows. I don't really recall any particular show that they 'had' to watch. We had a VCR and it was used to tape Days of Our Lives for my mom, but other than that it was used more to record tv mini-series when they wouldn't be home to watch all three or four nights of it. So it struck me as odd that they suddenly picked up the habit of having to be home to watch "their shows."
When any of us kids or grandkids came for a weekend visit we were invited to join them. Pajammas were put on and popcorn was popped and more often than not there was ice cream at some point because my dad loved ice cream. Then for the next couple hours old people with a British accent carried on with plots and jokes that I didn't understand and frankly just bored me. My parents, on the other hand, were throughly entertained by the antics on Keeping Up Appearences, Faulty Towers, and Are You Being Served. They would laugh and repeat the jokes to each other and laugh again. It was just strange and I wondered if that was the first signs of my parents aging. I would roll my eyes and think it was sightly pathetic and in time make jokes with my husband about it. There was no way I would ever end up like that.
Tonight after watching Downton Abbey on PBS my husband and I flipped to our DVR que to pull up the Dr. Who special that had been recording the same time as Downton. It was then that it hit me, I too have succombed to the powers of British television. Like my parents, I too look forward to the quiet weekend night when there is no other place I'd rather be than sitting with my sweetie watching the goings on in Downton or how the Doctor will save Earth this week.
It's not just limited to those two shows either. My parents only had whatever PBS decided to share but we now have a whole slew of channels and ways to watch British shows and belive me, we watch them all. Unlike my reaction to my first exposure to the BBC, my kids have embraced it with open arms. The BBC has something for all of us, from the family shows of Robin Hood, Merlin, and of course Dr. Who, to the more adult fare of QI, Torchwood, Downton, and the newer series of Copper, and Ripper Street, there is always something for us to look forward to at the end of the weekend. Our kids are still young and Saturday night is still busy for us but on Sunday nights you can find us in our pjs, snacks on hand, watching "our shows." I guess my mom and dad were on to something.
I've had several questions about Ty's tattoos. I'm sharing the images with all of you.
The legends of King Arthur have long been some of my very favorite stories. The stories change from time to time and teller to teller. I love all the different ways the story can be told. I don't remember my first introduction to the stories but whatever it was hooked me. I read or watch just about whatever comes out with the tales: from comic books to historic literature, movies to tv series. I love how each new version puts its spin on the legends.
Every generation is exposed to new tales of the king. I think what keeps people coming back to the stories is the fact that they incorporate all the elements of fiction in one nicely bundled series of tales. It reflects the tales of our own human nature and the mystical which leave us with a sense of wonder. There are elements of love, betrayal, comrade, war, family relationships, adventure, magic, and above all hope.
My son and I finished the BBC tv series of Merlin today. We started it a few years ago and it's been building a bond between us. I don't understand his interest in Minecraft or video games and he doesn't get my love of horrible reality tv. Both of us love to daydream and write and watching Merlin has brought out many discussions about the different elements in the stories and what we like or don't like about them. We talk about the similarities of things in the stories with the things we do like. I point out the more human emotions of the tale and he gravitates to the mystical. Together we combine how the mystical affects the human and vice versa. It's been a wonderful time and now that the series is over I'm sad. I'm going to miss our afternoons where we watch an episode or two and then talk about it over the course of the next few days. I'm sure we will find another thing to bond over but until then I'll be waiting, just like the people of Camelot are waiting the return of their king.
Do you have any suggestions for either tv or book series that are in the realm or spirit of Camelot?
The other night my daughter picked out a new book at the library. She was going to read to me for her manditory nightly reading time. When she sat down to read it she opened it to the middle of the book and read a paragraph then stopped. She looked up at me and said "When I start a new book I like to open to a random page and read the last paragraph on the page. It's even better if it ends in the middle of a sentance. It makes me wonder what's going on and what's happened to get to that part. It makes me want to read it all the more."
I thought that was interesting and remembered a friend once telling me that she always reads the last page of a book first for similar reasons. I've heard of others who read the last page first so if something happens and they don't finish the book they know how it ends.
To me that's part of the mystry or the journy of the book. I don't want to know how it ends. If I lose my page I don't read more than I have to to figure out where I left off. I'm just not a spoiler person. I like to try to guess how events will unfold or how it will end.
I do have a reading quirk though. I don't like to see pictures of the characters on the cover of a book. I like to picture them in my own mind from the descriptions given by the author.
So what are some other reading quirks do either you or someone you know have?
Thursday morning I was in my son's 5th grade class, which is a normal Thursday morning pasttime for me. Normally most of the mornings are spent on math but this past Thursday they were learning to blog. As far as I can remember in 5th grade we wrote to pen pals and now kids write to the world. It made me think about my blog and wonder if I should be doing more with it. So far my postings have been few and far between, but I decided for this year I'm going to try to post more. Also I'm going to bug my husband til he fixes the coments so they work, so if you have any ideas for blog posts let me know. Happy 2013 to all of you.
Check out the review and interview with A Tale of One Housewife. Enter to win a signed printed copy of Cure For Pain.
My publisher posted an interview with me for the release of Cure For Pain. You can find the interview here.
Cure For Pain ebook is now available for purchase on Amazon.
This is a special one in the story. I wont give anymore spoilers than that. Enjoy.
Edits took awhile with my missing key I had a bunch of run on sentances. Cure For Pain now has a release date of Decemeber 1st.
As the title of the post says I have some bad news, or I guess more dissappointing news, and some good news.
Unfortunately Cure For Pain will not be out Nov. 5. It will be out later in Nov. We are making some changes to the story and the edits will push the release date back.
The good news is with the changes the story is even better and I'm excited to share the new and improved Cure For Pain with you all.
With the realease of Cure For Pain I will be doing a Q&A on Goodreads and will also be doing a blog tour. Anyone interested to hosting and reviewing Cure For Pain for a blog please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just want to remind everyone that the chance to win a copy of Cure For Pain is still open on Goodreads. Enter here http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16008097-cure-for-pain
I'm excited to let you all know that Across the Hall will be available in print in July. For now I know it will be available through all online bookstores. I will update when I know more about local book stores.
My mom is the one who came up with the brilliant plot for Cure For Pain.
We were driving home from the theater after having seen Erin Brockovich and talking books. Yes, I remember the whole conversation from 2000. That's how important it was. She told me she had this idea for a great story. She then gave me the basic idea. I played with it in my head for a few months, did a little tweaking, started researching, and putting an outline together. I even went so far as to write a first chapter.
Alas it was put on the back burner once I was pregnant with my second son. I had to go back to work to be able to afford two kids at home. Not long after, a third one surprised us. A full time working mother of three really doesn't have the time to focus and write and I wanted to do this story justice, for my mom.
The story stayed with me though. Ty's voice would pop into my head, or I would dream up ideas for new scenes. Once I started Across the Hall, I gained confidence. After a time I began to share my plot idea with a few of my always helpful advisors. They encouraged it. It's been almost two years now that I've been working on it, but it's all pulling together wonderfully. With my mom's constant prodding I hope to finish it soon. So thank you Mom for not only the idea but for the constant encouragement, love, and support.
While writing Across the Hall, I fell in love with all my other characters beyond Sylvia and Quinn, but none more than Sloane. My thoughts kept going back to him. He was this strong silent man to whom the entire group looked for counsel. The relationship between him and Kai was one of mystical orgins. I look back now and wished I had saved them for their own story. Unfortunately, I've revealed their entire story in Across the Hall. The only detail that I left to them was Sloane's proposal.
I've written Love Unspoken to give us all a better glimpse at the very special relationship he has with Kai. The only fitting way to see Sloane is through Kai's eyes. I truely believe that this little tale shows a love so deep and passionate that there really are no words for it.
Read it here - Love Unspoken
Music is a big part of my life and my writing. My stories reflect the music I listen to while I write them. Here a playlist that goes along with Across the Hall. The playlist can be found on my MOG page listed as Across the Hall. I've linked the songs on the list here to lyrics pages.
Everloving by Moby instrumental
Hello all! I'm excited to get this site up and running. In the upcoming days I will be posting some extras to Across the Hall and a preview of my upcoming story Cure For Pain. Please feel free to email me any comments or questions, I love to hear from you all.