Saturday, January 30, 2016

Thursday, January 28, 2016

What God Wants Me To Be...

This, in general, will not be new to people who know me. There may be new details but not much else. What was new to me was the bone-deep realization.

I hate it when I wake up at 1 a.m. with a massive realization, a hit the wall, epic fail, stop you in your tracks realization.

This all started because Holley Gerth in You're Already Amazing and Evan Sanders of The Better Man Project both challenged me to discover what I'm drawn to and in the end who I'm supposed to be. I've been pondering what God wants me to be. I thought I knew. I've felt like I've fallen short or missed the mark or something. I feel like I've been wandering in the dark with only flashes of enlightenment. I hit the wall. I was wrong for all my life.

Last week, I woke up on Wednesday morning, at 1 a.m. and it hit me:

I believed God wanted me to be a wife and mother. I believed with all my heart.

It's something I believed my whole life. I geared everything toward that end. I didn't give in to my boyfriends pushing to go further. With each one, we were already going further than I wanted, but I didn't know how to say 'no' without risking losing him. Except I managed to say 'no' to giving him the one thing I believed deeply only my husband should have. A couple of my boyfriends even proposed. I said, 'yes' to one. No one knew. We kept it secret. I still wouldn't give him what only a husband should have. He got cold feet temporarily, recovered, and I got cold feet permanently. I couldn't give to anyone else what I thought belonged only to the man I married because God wanted me to be a wife and mother, in that order, not the other way around.

My parents wanted me to go into engineering because that's where the money is. It set me up to fail on an epic scale. I don't just turn numbers around. I turn 6 and 9 upside down. I will say the number out loud while I write it and still write a completely different number. It's bad enough when only a single digit is involved. Do that when writing out a four or five digit number. I don't simply switch the digits; I write completely different numbers. I have to remind myself that 3 and cursive E go in opposite directions, while 5 and s really do turn the same way and the same with 2 and z. I have to remind myself that the cursive Z and 2 look similar but 2 really doesn't have a tail on it. And this is the child who wasn't given any choice but to enroll in college as an engineering major.

I found my backbone, a little bit, and changed it to home economics, but was met with opposition, so I changed it to computer engineering. I proceeded to take classes from every department at the college except automotive and art, only because it didn't occur to me to take an automotive class, and I didn't want to sketch naked people and that was a part of Art 101. I did learn to change oil, filters, windshield wipers, and tires. I also took a calligraphy class from Parks and Rec. I considered cooking and sewing to be my art. I wanted to be well rounded because I was going to be a wife and mother. I wanted to be able to encourage my children in whatever they wanted to pursue.

Over the years, I took classes in finances, accounting, psychology, sociology, English, French, Spanish, chemistry, college algebra, typing, gourmet cooking, sewing, real estate, ice skating, yoga, communication, and a variety of others. During that time, I also worked in Yellowstone for a summer, served a mission in Thailand, lived in Europe for a summer, worked at a variety of jobs, including for the airlines. By the time I graduated with my two-year degree, I was in my 30s, and I'd acquired several certificates of completion in other programs like travel agency and sign language interpreter. If I could have graduated on credit hours, I would have had a Bachelors. However, they weren't all in one program, so it was only a two-year degree.

All of it, every last thing was done with the thought in mind that I wanted to be a well-rounded wife and mother. I wanted to give to my husband and children someone who was willing to learn almost anything to become a better person, to bring as much as I could to the table to make life richer, fuller, happier.

I'm over 50 now. There is no husband. No children. All I ever wanted or dreamed about. And I wonder what God intended me to be, and how did I miss hearing the message because it wasn't what I wanted, to be a wife and mother.

I don't have enough skills in any one area to support myself in a gainful profession. It's my own fault because I focused my attention on the dream of being a good wife and mother someday instead of figuring out a way to support myself.

I'm also ashamed to say that to me they were mutually exclusive. I wanted to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. I also feared I'd miss the opportunity if I became involved in a career. I'm single-minded as a way of battling OCD and other problems with being easily distracted. I know this about myself. I understood choosing one would exclude the other in my mind. I pursued what I wanted most.

Only in the last few years have I discovered I'm also a storyteller. I have been all my life. It's really all I know.

So, if you wonder why I write romance, it's what I know.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Don't miss Chocolat Cake Day!

Tomorrow is Chocolate Cake Day. I wrote a novella celebrating it.

Chocolate Cake for Two

Ready for the second novella in the series?

Welcome back to Holiday, USA, small town America, where nothing happens, except holidays... and maybe a little romance, if the hero and heroine trust God.

Freed, after being wrongly imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, Henry Weaver needs a fresh start. The "Help Wanted" sign in the cupcake shop window couldn't possibly be the answer to his prayer.

Holiday Sweets, a specialty cupcake shop, is Annie Sweet's heritage. Everything would be perfect if only she could find competent help. An ultimatum demands Annie make a painful decision.

Choosing God is rarely the easy way, and sometimes the way to Happily Ever After appears impossible...

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sharing Links Saturday...

Writers In The Storm shared ideas on time management for writers:

K. Ross posted over at A Writer's Path about What Words to Avoid in Your Writing:

Ryan Lanz, over at A Writer's Path shared the top 10 writing tips posts for 2015 (more links):

Donna Hatch shares a post on Regency coaches, carriages, etc:

God bless.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

DBP released new books...

New books released, today, by Desert Breeze Publishing...

Wherever books are sold in eformat, though some are slower at posting than others. Paperbacks are available soon after at Amazon.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Christmas Present

Book 8:

The eighth novella in the series is here...

Welcome back to Holiday, USA, small town America, where nothing happens, except holidays... and a little romance, if the hero and heroine trust God.

Terra Connor is looking forward to her first two-week vacation, even if it means working part of the time to ease her daughter's mind. Her daughter's wedding on Christmas Eve is her only priority, and she definitely doesn't have time for romance.

Carson McDonald is in Holiday for his younger brother's wedding. The friendly town is as good a place as any to rest and recover from the upheaval of losing his job due to an accident. He has enough on his plate for the foreseeable future.

God's ways are not man's ways...

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Saturday Links to Share...

I found a wonderful link sharing all things Regency. Last month, Rachel Knowles shared the history of Wedding Over the Anvil in Gretna Green. As a side note, I visited the blacksmith shop when I took a tour of Scotland, back in 1986. Little did I know then what it would come to mean to me.

Jo Beverley created "English Titles in the 18th and 19th Century." I wish I'd found this long ago.

Stephanie Burkhart shared a fun bit on Grumpy Cat:

This memory of Alan Rickman was shared on FB, however, I didn't see it there. My sister shared it on her blog, so I'm sharing the link here:

God bless.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Mirror

One of my gifts to myself this year is to “Ignore the Mirror.” Sounded like a good idea at the time.

Actually, for me, it’s a really good idea. I don’t like seeing the acne scars. I don’t like seeing the excess weight. I’m not a particularly stylish dresser, though I used to tease my friend Flo (too long gone from this world) about being a clothes horse. She dressed well. I blessedly ended up with her coat, which still keeps me warm in the winter, and some other clothes. I can’t wear them because I’m too heavy.

And we’re back to despising the mirror. I need to stop. It isn’t worth the energy.

What do I want?

I want less awareness of my appearance, in particularly my flaws. I’m not blind, but I give it far too much attention.

The purpose of a mirror is to make sure everything is in order, nothing showing that shouldn’t be showing, everything hanging right, stuff goes together in a flattering manner, hopefully. The makeup and hair are neat. End of purpose.

What a mirror is not for: Noting flaws. The only flaws that are truly worth noting are the ones on the inside that need to change. Judging beauty. If you’re ugly on the inside, it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside. Determining worth. The mirror only reflects what it sees.

The mirror feels nothing, knows nothing, intuits nothing. It’s a reflecting surface.

It is the person standing in front of the mirror that assigns value or the lack of it.

What do I want to see?

I want to see a beloved daughter of God.

I want to see a body God gave me to help me accomplish everything He wants me to accomplish. A body worth caring for.

I want to see my beautiful eyes and not hear the words said to me to explain why I was abused as a child: “You have bedroom eyes.”

I want to see the light inside me, the one God expects me to share with the world.

How am I going to go about this?

First, it’s going to take practice with my self talk.

Second, losing weight will allow me to wear clothes I like that I already own.

Third, I will remember that the mirror is not my enemy. Neither is it my friend. It’s neither right nor wrong. The mirror doesn’t care.

Fourth, the mirror is a tool for fine-tuning, not a source of punishment.

Fifth, I decide how I feel about myself, and it has nothing to do with a mirror.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Saturday Link Sharing...

Chris McMullen gave a great review on book reviews:

Donna Hatch shared why she reads and writes Regency:

Sarah from Paper, Words, and Coffee was a guest at A Writer's Path with a post about writing a fight scene:

God bless.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

What's Your Word for the Year?

In the past, I've chosen Create, Happy, and Hope.

The idea is to make the word the theme for the year. The year I chose Create I created a number of stories. It felt like a success. The years I chose Happy was a bit of a struggle. I am choosing to be Happy more often, so it was successful. Last year, was the year of Hope. It was a rough year. I did, however, make it through. Success.

This year, I debated between several words. Things I want to improve in my life. Things like Trust. However, one thing kept floating to the surface, over and over.


I want to be more Consistent. More consistent in my routines. More consistent in my writing. More consistent in cultivating healthy habits.

It's going to be a busy year.

Christmas Present is in the editing process.

Errant Knight is facing my new writing style.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Four Days and 21,000 words later...

Christmas Present is done. Now, it's off to the editor.

One of the goals of this novella was to see if I could turn the story over to God. The last day was the toughest as I've battled a cold. Fortunately, this is what editing is for.

Next on the list is Errant Knight, Fitzgerald's story. It's currently written in bits and pieces. I'm going to see if the same technique works on a longer novel. I'm praying it does.

The stories are so thick in my head, I have trouble concentrating on much of anything else. I believe they're God given, and it is my responsibility to share them. I can't if I keep doubting myself.

This year, my word is Consistent because this is what I want to be in writing. The interesting thing about this one is that everyone will be able to see whether I succeed or fail.

Giving the battle to God. He's the only One who can win it anyway.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Saturday Sharing Links...

A Writer's Path shared a post by Jacqui Murray about "How Not to Write a Book Review" I thought interesting as I realized I do not know how to write a book review:

Donna Hatch shared a recipe for fudge and the blurb to her latest book:

June Stevens Westerfield shared a blog on Writers In The storm about Branding:

God bless.