Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Welcome to My Website!

Latest Book Updates: 

The Plus One is a companion novel to Keeping Christmas and is now available in ebook and print. For those of you who wanted Rachel to find love, this is her story! Click on the link up above to my books for adults to find out more.

People ask me what kinds of books I write, and I never answer with one genre because I love to write a little of everything! My middle grade books are not currently available *sad face* but my contemporary sweet romances are. You'll always find book updates at the top of this post so you know the latest!

What's coming next? How about the first in a zombie romantic comedy? Yup. Zombies. Not gross ones, though.

So pull up a chair and have a look around. You know where to find me if you need me.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Zooming Along

This fall has been zooming along super fast!

My last five weeks have included presenting at the fabulous ANWA conference for the first time, (I have to go back again. LOVED), chaperoning a high school Shakespeare competition trip, and attending the ANWA Northwest Writing Retreat at a gorgeous beach in Washington. And I just got back from the Kanab conference, where I had fun teaching a class and an intensive. I. Had. A. Blast.

Back to the retreat, because writing by the sea was a bucket list item for me. I took so many pictures. Soooo many. How could I not?

Here's one of the sun coming out through the clouds as I was about to write the climactic scene in my latest work in progress. Guess where the book is set?

THE OCEAN. I know, right? Well, my book takes place off the coast of Australia near rocky beaches. This rocky beach was totally inspiring.

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My friend Tammy took me to the tide pools where I first ever saw a live jellyfish in the wild . . .

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. . . until I realized that it was actually dead. "Yeah, it's missing its head," Tammy proclaimed. You can see it at the top of the photo below, as well as the sea urchin thingys she made me poke. I squealed when one closed itself on my finger.

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And look at this sunset. I want to go back now.

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It's been a waaay busy five weeks. But I loved every single bit.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Watch Me KonMari! Goodbye, Zumba Clothes

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by [Kondo, Marie]  A few weeks ago, gearing up for a major cleanout of my home, I finally read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I'd heard of her book on organization before, and thought reading reviews had taught me all I'd needed to learn as far as her KonMari Method went. Oh, how wrong I was.

Even though parts of the book seem a little odd, like making sure your clothes are comfortable and happy, I admit that a lot of that talk resonated with my inner child and felt good. And the entire focus of the book was positive--on keeping what "sparks joy," which was a huge paradigm shift for me when it came to giving things away. 

Basically, the book prompts a mind shift, and one that my brain really responds to.

So I began with my bedroom. Last week, as I went through my things during spring break, I found all of the Zumba clothes I put away when I stopped instructing. Because of my slipped vertebrae, just doing Zumba hurts a lot--hip motion like that causes a bone-on-bone movement that puts me in bed for a while, so even though dance is something I have always loved, it no longer loves me back.

As I looked through the bag and plastic storage bin, buried emotions rose to the surface, and they hurt. I was surprised at just how many feelings had been stored along with cute jackets and mesh overshirts. 

I pulled out a cute fedora here, a brightly colored pair of pants there--all of it physical reminders of what I used to be able to do. Of a dream I had felt prompted to chase after--one I did chase after until I reached the end of that road, and then it was time to give up.

So I put all those clothes into bags to give away to a local church Zumba group. As I piled the bags near the door, I had to grieve. To let go of a dream that fizzled out and ultimately ended. But I realized that in order to move on, I couldn't let the clothes stare at me from the top of my closet anymore. All they were doing was causing emotional pain.

So I let them go. And I received a message this morning from the group's instructor that her class loved them, and that going through the clothes felt like Christmas. And now I can think of those clothes having new life, and the memories that were mostly painful have their edges softened by sweetness. My path turned and changed to a new one, and it's one that fits me well, unlike those too-small and unused Zumba clothes. Now I'll settle for my favorite soft, gray lounge capris that I love writing in.

By letting my Zumba clothes move on, I'm a lot more ready to move on, too.

I'll be posting more adventures on my journey to organizing my home over the summer! Marie says it should take six months, but I'm hoping to get the main areas done before school starts in the fall. And I'll post pictures--no before pics of my bedroom since it was that embarrassing, but I'll post some after pics when it's finished.