Monday, August 31, 2015

Now available for pre-order!

From back cover: Quirky, trepidation-riddled, red-in-the-face Betty Brown sees herself as the soil that lies unnoticed beneath the beauty of flowers. Her life is humdrum until she moves to the rural mountains of North Idaho, where her Uncle Frank disappeared. Her search for Frank leads her to an impossible choice between her most revered ideals and death.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Where you write

My biggest problem with writing is that I don't have as much time for it as I'd like. I often hear other writers complaining that they are stuck or "blocked" and can't write a single word. I think this must stem from fear of failure, whether it be failure of rejection or just the inability to make a story or character turn out as imagined. Whatever the case, I think one solution is to put yourself in a setting where you don't normally write. It might spark new inspiration, even if you aren't blocked!

Here are some photo ideas of places to write. Who knows, maybe the pictures will be enough to inspire you. Just imagine what it would sound like, smell and feel like to be there. What sort of story might take place there? If you go somewhere in person, pay attention to these same sensory details. If you go somewhere populated, don't forget to study the people. People watching is one of the best tools of the trade.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Oak Meadow curriculum giveaway

I'm deviating from the topic of writing today to post about a great giveaway. As many of you know, I'm homeschooling my son. Last year for kindergarten we used Oak Meadow syllabus as a curriculum base and it worked pretty well for us. It uses Waldorf philosophy and includes a lot of nature based activities.

This year, I'm using Oak Meadow's first grade syllabus as part of a tailored curriculum that fits my son's learning style, which is very visual. I love that about teaching him myself at home. His lessons are made specifically for him. And I get to be part of the whole process, which is amazing. 

Now for the giveaway part. Oak Meadow is giving away one complete homeschooling curriculum. The lucky winner will be able to choose the grade. Read more about it HERE. By posting about it on my blog, I'm increasing my chances of winning. Wish me luck.

Read more about Oak Meadow curriculum HERE

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Letter Z

"Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment." ~Thomas Carlyle

Letter Z is the least used letter of the English alphabet, at 0.07%. That's not to say that Z is inferior to other letters. On the contrary, this little lightening bolt symbolizes accomplishment. It is the last letter of our alphabet and if you've made it to Z, you've made it all the way. 

I'd like to congratulate all those in the A to Z challenge who made it to Z. Bravo! 

This was my first year participating in the challenge and I've had a wonderful experience. I've met many kind, amazing, funny, brave and intelligent people along the way. I've learned things, smiled a lot and had fun. I've also grown as a blogger. In the past, I had difficulty figuring out what to blog about. On the rare occasions I blogged, I would spend a lot of time agonizing over my posts and wondering if they were worth anything. Not that anyone ever read them anyway. The whole affair seems easier now. Thank you to all my new followers and friends.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Sometimes Y

"Knowledge is indivisible. When people grow wise in one direction, they are sure to make it easier for themselves to grow wise in other directions as well. On the other hand, when they split up knowledge, concentrate on their own field, and scorn and ignore other fields, they grow less wise--even in their own field." ~Isaac Asimov

I'm currently in the process of preparing my sons first grade home school curriculum. He taught himself how to read when he was four and can read almost anything now (he'll be six in June), but he's never had any phonics training, so I decided I'll review phonetics with him to boost his confidence and skill as a reader. This brought me to the letter Y, this mysterious letter that is sometimes a vowel and sometimes a consonant.  I didn't know what made it which, so, in order to teach my son, I looked it up.

Y is a vowel when it takes the place of a regular vowel, as in system, syllable or mystery. It is also a vowel when it creates a diphthong, as in boy (oi).

Y is a consonant when it appears at the start of a syllable where there is anther vowel, as in yam, yes or player. 

Pretty simple.

Tomorrow's post - Letter Z

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Letter X

"A letter does not blush." ~Marcus Tullius Cicero

Not many common words begin with the 24th letter of the English alphabet. For fun, I've added a link from Scrabble Finder that identifies words that start with X.

Fun facts about letter X

  1.  When typing in correct format, you use your ring finger to strike letter X. 
  2. Xanthan is found in many foods today, especially gluten-free foods. It is a bacteria-produced gum typically derived from corn. 
  3. In Elizabethan times, the word Xanthippe meant to yearn.  

 X marks the spot!   

Monday's post -  Sometimes Y

Friday, April 26, 2013


"You fail only if you stop writing." ~Ray Bradbury

Here is the prologue to my manuscript, Turning Red. 


One in the morning. The ticking magnetic clock on the fridge matched the throb in Betty's head. From windowsills framing darkened glass, and from nearly every inch of counter space, a variety of plants seemed to stare at her, awaiting an explanation.

"I know, I'm not usually out this late. Anti-death penalty sit-in and then coffee with the activists. I'm really livin' it up now." She dusted a spider plant's leaf with her finger. "I promise you'll all have a drink in the morning."

Yawning, she filled a glass with water, guzzled it and then reached into her purse for her phone. Rebecca should have called.

The phone wouldn't turn on. "Battery's dead again?"

She plugged it in and checked her inbox. Rebecca had left a message: yes, she could meet Betty for lunch tomorrow.

Another call had come at quarter to ten, from her Uncle Frank. She smiled as the automated voice recited his number, something she knew by heart. She needed some of his humor after the long night of serious discussion. The moment she heard his voice, however, her chest tightened. He sounded rushed and too quiet, like he was trying to whisper. "Betty," and then a pause that lasted too long, "I think… I'm in big trouble. She's coming—oh God."

Adrenaline shaking her fingers, Betty punched in his number. She bit her lip while the phone rang.

Please, Frank, pick up.

No answer.

Probably just asleep. She's coming? Who did he mean?

She punched in his number again, chewing her fingernail while she waited.

Still no answer.

Her heart raced and a terrified sense of urgency coursed through her. If only she knew someone in Idaho who she could call to check on him. If only she lived closer. She had no one in the world if anything happened to Frank. He was more than just an uncle; he'd been her legal guardian and remained one of her best friends.

She tried his number a third time.

No answer.

Surely his ancient landline would have awakened him after three calls. Frank hated missing the phone. He always picked up. Always.

Again, she listened to his quavering voice: "Betty… I think… I'm in big trouble. She's coming—oh God." Who, Frank. Who's coming? 

Tomorrow's post - Letter X