Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday Sharing links...

Kathryn Craft shares a powerful post over at Writers In The Storm:

An inspirational post by Jennifer Slattery:

Thomas Brett's blog is focused on music. I was fascinated by his recent post relating music and nature, especially as I've been endeavoring to find music that nurtures my creative side:

Hope for the Broken Hearted shares a lovely prayer almost every day, along with a beautiful picture. In this particular post, she also included one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite groups in a version I've never seen before.

May you be blessed.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Remembering Arizona Dreamin' 2014...

This year, the location changed. The new venue is also very nice.

I presented a workshop at the Buildin' the Dream portion of the event. What an amazing experience.

A little bit about the Man of Our Dreams contest. The guys volunteer to participate. They spend the conference flirting with everyone. It's all in good fun. James, the blond standing behind me, won last year and is now in charge of the event. He's a cover model and guides the men in their pursuit of the title, including things like being respectful of boundaries. Yes, this is important to me, which is why I'm sharing it here.

And here is the Man of Our Dreams picture, from this past year:

I'm always one of the first people to have a picture taken. "Get it over with." Yes, this is me stepping way outside of my comfort zone, but I refuse to miss out on the fun. So, I have my picture taken, and then stand back and watch everyone else. This is where you see that the men are new to this, too. As the pictures progress, the men relax and have more fun with the woman.

Good fun.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pre-Sale Tickets to Arizona Dreamin'...

Have you heard of Arizona Dreamin'? It's the most unique reader event around, and I am thrilled to be a Featured Author for 2015! The best part is, I have a pair of tickets for you - my fans and friends - for only $89 each! Leave a comment if you want them, first come first served. All the info about the event can be found at Tickets will go on general sale on September 1st, so let me know ASAP!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sharing links...

This is one of the most fun posts I've ever read on the basics of creating a story, exploring the possible angles from innocent to not. I wondered who the clever author was and wasn't surprised to learn it was one of my favorite workshop teacher, Laurie Schnebly Campbell, over at Writers In The Storm:

Melissa Finnegan shares part 3 of her series on Mackinac Island, over at Genesis 5020. She posts this every Friday, and I'm enjoying the adventure she's sharing:

May your day be blessed.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


It's been two years since the release of my first book A Promise of Possibilities.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A bit about essential oils...

As I look for healthy routines to help me focus in my writing, I'm exploring all the senses.

I'm experimenting with essential oils and carrier oils. My skin is sensitive, to put it mildly. I can't even use some of the so-called hypo-allergenic products. Scents often elicit strong reactions, not only physical but also emotional.

I've always loved roses, but the oil doesn't elicit the same reaction as the actual flowers, so I'm guessing it's a combination of scent and visual. Roses also have varying levels of scent, depending on their genetics. Lavender has been my go-to oil for years, as well as tea tree oil. A few years ago, I discovered cocoa butter for my skin.

For years, I've dabbled in scents. Candles were an easy, pretty inexpensive way to explore. Over the years, I've looked at essential oils, but they can be expensive. This year, I decided it was worth investing, a little at a time. Expanding my world is long overdue.

My most recent discoveries include jojoba and avocado oil, as carrier oils, and my own spray bottles. Vanilla oil is different from vanilla for cooking. The latter is made with alcohol so dissipates quickly. The former lasts much longer. Jasmine oil gives me a boost of energy simply by breathing it in, along with a smile I can't stop. Frankincense and myrrh help me relax and sleep at night.

There are scents that are considered popular, but they trigger negative responses in me. Some of them, I simply don't like the scent. Others actually trigger annoyance and even anger.

The dollar spices available at the store are great for putting in my garbage cans. My favorites are cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saturday Sharing links...

Writers In The Storm blog shared writing tips from one of my favorite authors, J.R.R. Tolkien:

A problem Christian fiction writers face is that there are those who accuse us of creating lies and wasting our gift. Rebeca Seitz shared an inspiring post on stories:

Holley Gerth is an inspirational writer. I discovered her through DaySpring, a card company. I also follow her on FB.

Over at The Writer's Refuge, an interesting question is asked:

Second part of Genesis 5020's series:

God bless.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Remembering Arizona Dreamin' 2013...

The second AZ Dreamin' Conference I attended, I also participated in the Buildin' the Dream Conference as an attendee. Buildin' the Dream is authors helping authors. It was the perfect addition.

I also wisely booked an extra night at the hotel. It gave me an opportunity to unwind, write, and absorb the weekend. It also gave me a chance to see everyone off and help clean up. Working together builds camaraderie. For an introvert, it's a great structured opportunity to interact with people, to feel helpful without feeling compelled to talk. I can listen and contribute to the conversation or listen and work without saying anything. People don't expect you to talk if you're working.

This is the picture with my choice for Man of My Dreams, Lance Ramsey:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Never forgotten...

Choosing to put down my horse was easier than my dog. When I accept the responsibility of adopting both of them it included the understanding and the promise that there would be no leaving them behind if I moved, no giving them away to someone else when they were inconvenient, no shirking the responsibility of the final decision. I promised I would love and care for them to the last breath.

My horse struggled his whole life with back problems and colic. I owned him for the last five years of his life. He was 23 when I made the decision, 12 years ago. He'd suffered another severe colic in the spring, and the vet told me he only had three viable teeth left. He needed to be put on a soft mash/liquid diet. My child who loved to eat couldn't. I talked to him, asked him if he was ready to go Home, and a resounding 'yes' reverberated in my soul. It was difficult putting him down, but I knew the timing was right. I stood at his head and shared his last breath, felt the sense of freedom and relief and joy in the next moment. Even knowing I'd made the right decision, it was four years later before I was finally fully at peace.

My dog was 17 and her health failing, but I never felt like the time was right. My horse asked to go Home. My dog never did. My sister believes my dog never would. It’s been 8 years. I still miss her. I still cry. I’m not sorry. The lovely part is that my good friends understand and don’t mind at all. There was no way I could ever be prepared for her loss. In some of my prayers, I still ask God to throw a ball for her and tell her how much I love her and miss her. And yes, I’m crying as I write this, but I don’t regret it, not any of it, not the laughter or the tears.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Of dragons...

Beth Trissel shared a delightful post full of quotes about dragons:

Sometimes, I'm sorry there will be no dragons in my stories. There's a special place in my heart for the magical scaly fire-breathing creatures.

I grew up with Custard the Dragon, my earliest recollection of a dragon in a delightful book by Ogden Nash.

Puff the Magic Dragon, the song (a poem first), written by Lenny Lipton, was actually based on the above story. Really. The belief it was related to drugs was attached after it was written. In fact, the relationship was implied by a magazine article.

This reminded me of another song with supposed "hidden" meanings. "Horse with No Name" was also supposed to be filled with hidden symbolism. However, when the writer was interviewed (something I watched), he was baffled by the claim. He stated the reason he wrote it the way he did was because "the words went well together." Yep, as simple as that.

I also remember the uproar about the music group AC/DC, another interview I watched. One of the group members admitted he'd seen it on the back of his sister's sewing machine. Yes, the power symbol.

This reminds me how important it is to go to the source as often as possible. Scriptures and prayer are great ways to check in with the Creator.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Preparing for Arizona Dreamin' 2015...

I'm one of those who needs to plan ahead, way ahead. Thursdays are for the Dreamin' event. For the next few weeks, I'll share the pictures take of me with a few of the male models. They're fun.

I attended my first Arizona Dreamin' Event in 2012. It wasn't my first conference. I've attended several Lord of the Rings events. I enjoyed every single one. I met wonderful people in person I'd known online, sometimes for years.

In 2012, I met several women I still interact with online and some of them I look forward to seeing every year at the Arizona Dreamin' Event. Simply thinking about them makes me smile. I can't remember ever laughing so much in my life.


I met Jimmy Thomas, businessman and cover model, for the second time. He hosts a romance novel conference in Las Vegas every summer. Unfortunately, I can't afford both, and I prefer the smaller group at Arizona Dreamin'. Several of my friends attend both.

The official photos:

 My favorite, at the pre-conferance party:
Deena Remiel (author), Shannon, Jimmy, Sonya, April London (author), and me:
RhondaPlumhoff (author), Kristina (Kristina's Books and More book reviewer), Sonya, Jimmy, Shannon, Jamallah Bergman (author), me, and April.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Attempting something different...

I'm not married, have no children, and no pets. I've held to a strict schedule and berated myself when I failed to meet eating, sleeping, exercising, and writing goals.

Over the years, I've learned that a routine is helpful in handling C-PTSD (Complex though the psychological experts are changing it to Developmental PTSD). Changing names doesn't change what I deal with every day.

I decided to try something new. I sleep when I'm tired. Interestingly enough, this keeps me from eating when I'm tired. My schedule isn't what I expected. I sleep for a few hours and then I'm awake for several hours. My favorite writing time is actually in the middle of the night. Now, I don't feel guilty about not sleeping when I "should." I sleep for a couple of hours in the late morning, a time I always had trouble using effectively anyway. Waking up and not being able to go back to sleep is no longer something to be lamented but used to accomplish my goals.

I'm working on two novels and one novella. I've accomplished more in the last week than I have in the last month. This has only been going on for a little over a week. We'll see what happens this month.

Sometimes, a little change is able to make a huge difference, but you have to be willing to make the change.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Saturday sharing links...

Speaking of research, this week, Beth Trissel shares what she does, too:

I've often wondered about Ruth's romance, as in Ruth and Naomi. Genesis 5020 has a review and giveaway. If you want to enter you only have until the 3rd. Tomorrow.

Another review of a book that intrigued me and added to my Wish List:

Over at Forward Walking, Daniel Adam Freeman shared an interesting post on Spring Cleaning, but not your typical Spring Cleaning:

God bless.