Monday, April 30, 2012

Never Give Up!

Anything is possible!

At least that's what I want to believe.  But as I continue to muddle through all the information on the internet, I find myself even more lost.

I love to write. I have a book that I'd love to publish. And most of all, I want to raise awareness.

But right now? I need to build that ever-needed platform. I've been told it's one the most important tools for any writer in today's online media world.

I missed the challenge that Robert Brewer ( had throughout the month of April- so I'm starting to do it on my own...(which is very challenging in itself by the way!) He started it on April 1st and posted a task for writer's to accomplish each day of the month. By the end of April, writers following his challenge should now have a stronger platform. (Did it work? Since I didn't find out about it until the last week of April, I have no idea, but my guess is it helped and thus why I am trying on my own by reading his back logs.)

I've set up all those needed social networking accounts- but then what? Who to follow? How to get followers? What to comment on? What to even say? And why in the world would anyone want to follow me?

So, that brings me to this moment- lost...confused...ready to just give up...

I know at one point or another we have all been here. It doesn't matter who we are or what we're trying to achieve, we've all been to a place where we're ready to just give up. But when we are in that moment, it feels like we are the only ones, that we are all I right? "No one has ever been here before- I am surely the only one who has ever gone through this before!"

I know I need to step back and take a break- things aren't always as bad as they seem...really! I need to continue to do my research and consult an expert on the things I'm struggling with...who are the experts though? Once I figure out what needs to happen, I need to re-evaluate and change my course of action, or just keep pushing forward with the things I'm doing correctly...what those things are, now that's a good question. Finally, I must push through the toughness...and we all know that's the tough part.

I don't have the answers- when I figure them out, I'll let you know!!!  I will blog about it! (Maybe even write a book! :) ) Until then, I will keep pushing forward...and forward...and take a few steps back before I push forward again!

Believe in dreams, inspire others, and never, never, never give up!

I know- sometimes that's easier said than done!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm Taking a Walk

The worst part about writing is staring at an empty page with the cursor blinking back at you. The words swimming around in your head, making little sense at all. Nothing stringing together to make even one coherent sentence. 

Nothing but blankness...empty...void of words.

So, what to do?


I say- go for a walk!

A walk- not a run, not a bike ride- a walk! 

Walking is known to increase circulation and provide more oxygen and glucose to our brains. Running, biking, and other aerobic exercise tends to take all that oxygen and glucose to the other muscles.  

A long walk and increased circulation to the cerebral hemisphere can improve concentration, creativity, the list goes on…

Walking is also known to decrease depression and anxiety. According to the Mayo Clinic, walking releases “feel-good” chemicals, reduces the immune system chemicals that worsen how one feels, and increases temperature. 

Walking gives you a sense of self-worth, power, and control and promotes feeling of happiness.

Overall- walking is just plain good for everything! 

A walk typically helps me solve my latest plot hole, increases ideas for the story and all my characters. I think if I just keep on walking, I might be able to finish the whole novel- problem is? I can’t walk and type at the same time. At some point, I have to return home and write all the thoughts that are filling up my brain.

So if you’re stuck, feeling down, angry, confused- whatever- get up and go for a walk! I'll join you!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Helping a Local Charity

Break from the silence, break from the pain...

The other day, while I was working hard  on editing my book Break From You, I received an email from a close friend. It was a call for help for a charity she has been working closely with over the past year. She informed me that they were in desperate need of food for their shelter.

The charity- The Father Ed Judy House

The Father Ed Judy House is a semi-transitional housing program designed to help homeless women with children , the majority of which are also survivors of domestic violence, find stable housing.

Due to the tightening of state budgets, the hospital that provided meals for the Father Ed Judy House had to triple their prices. The Father Ed Judy House can no longer afford these meals and is reaching out to the community for help.

For more information on the Father Ed Judy House please visit their website at

Deep in edits, I received this email, and I knew I had to help.

It takes a lot of strength to leave an abusive relationship, especially if you have no where to go. I couldn't image standing at the front door- a roof, food, warmth, clothing- all behind me, and nothing but the unknown in front of me. The Father Ed Judy House provides a place for women of domestic violence to go, so that they are not forced to go back to a unsafe relationship to be fed, clothed, and housed.

This Thursday, a group of us are providing soup and salad for the women of the Father Ed Judy House. I am bringing the bread and butter. (The bread, however, will be store bought instead of home made, since I don't like to bake and I'm allergic to gluten. Besides, store bought bread is a lot better than anything I could ever attempt to make.) And I am excited to help!

As I continue to press forward with the edits Break From You, a young adult novel about dating abuse, I think about Brooke's struggles. I also think about the struggles and heartaches the women of the Father Ed Judy House have endured. Please spread the word, and help your local charity!

If you would like to help, please contact the Father Ed Judy House or a local charity in your area.  Let's join together and help those who are victims of domestic violence. Let's help them break from their pain and stop the cycle of abuse.

Break From You is almost ready for everyone to read. (a short synopsis below)

Break From You

Is love enough? Should it hurt this much? 

Brooke Myers wants to believe she has it all: the perfect guy, the perfect relationship, the perfect life. She wants to believe it so much, she’s willing to overlook all the pain her boyfriend, Drew, has caused her and forgive him for it. She always forgives. And she loves him. Her love for him has caused her to push away her friends, and she has stopped doing the things she once enjoyed so that she can be with him. She knows it isn’t right, but she keeps telling herself that love isn’t always easy. Then she finds herself lost in the middle of a burning restaurant  during homecoming dinner, and it isn’t Drew that saves her but the new boy, Cooper West. She forms an instant bond with Cooper, one Drew wouldn’t like. With the pain of a concussion reminding her of how bad things can get, she is forced to re-evaluate the abusive relationship she has with Drew and face the ghosts that haunt her. She once believed love was all it took…but is it enough? Is it truly love when you've lost yourself in it?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Have You Seen 'Bully' Yet?

The documentary 'Bully' opened on April 13, 2012 in 72 theaters in over 25 cities, and that wasn't enough. This powerful and influential film is a definite must see for all ages, everywhere. Parents, students, educators...everyone should be lining up to view it.

My fear? With a topic so incredibly tough and heart wrenching, people will want to pass it by or not take their kids because it's too hard to talk about.

'Bully' is tear-jerking, painful, and shocking. The film is hard to watch. No one wants to think that this is going on around them.

But sadly, it is.

Bullying is happening every day, in every city, in every school. And it doesn't stop there, not with the internet and cell phones.

According to The Bully Project website, over 13 million kids will be bullied this year in the U.S. (

That's a problem!

The documentary 'Bully' follows three amazing young teens through the course of their 2009-10 school year, and two resilient families fight for awareness after the loss of their sons to suicide. The intense bullying that these young people endured each and every day is not only painful but harsh and disturbing. Many superiors stood by, refusing to acknowledge that there was a problem with bullying in their schools. Principals failed to intervene time and time again. In fact, the bullying becomes so bad during the filming that filmmakers fear for one of the boy’s safety and end up showing the footage to his parents and administrators.

The documentary was beautifully done. It dug deep and showed the horrifying results of bullying. I cried through the entire film and sadly forgot my box of tissues. The film ends in with a positive note, bringing everyone together to fight and take a stand. The message- Stand for the Silent.

Some critics argue that the film presented the problem but fails to go into the root causes of bullying or offer any true solutions. My response- we have to admit there is a problem before we can find a solution. That is what the film does; It shows us that there is clearly a huge problem with bullying.

Bullying is hurtful. It isn't conflict between two individuals on equal ground; It's harassment. It's one person taking advantage of their power to destroy and control someone who is weaker. Bullying causes damage. No one deserves to be treated with such extreme. No one should have to go to school and face intense pain every day. Our schools should be a safe place.

Please take the first step and see the film. Admit that we have a problem with bullying.

Check out- "There mission is simple- End bullying. Saves lives." "Make a difference, join the movement."

Monday, April 9, 2012

PG13 Rating for "Bully"

Last week the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) lowered the R rating for the documentary "Bully" to PG13 just in time for the April 13th expansion release to markets nation wide. According to the documentary's website, the intense scene that has been the forefront of the battle with the MPAA was left fully in tact. The emotional scene where a young teen is harassed on the bus apparently contains explicit language. The director felt editing was not an option and refused to do so since it is important to the validity of the film. Three uses of explicit language was cut from else where in the film, allowing the MPAA to lower the rating.

A PG13 rating is important because it will allow educators, parents, organizations, and cities across the nation to show the film to teens for educational purposes. The intended audience of teens will be able to view the film without restrictions.

Millions of children are bullied every year, but many adults don't think it's a problem, stating that "kids will be kids." This stops children/teens from coming forward and talking about bullying. They may feel embarrassed, confused, uncomfortable, and unheard.

Today, we can't escape bullying. It's happening in our schools, at our activities, in our homes, and on line. It is hard to find a safe place away from the giggles, the means words, and the hurtful posts. It doesn't matter what age you are either. Bullying happens to anyone, anywhere, any age.

The controversy behind the rating on the documentary "Bully" has brought the problem of bullying to the forefront, causing everyone to start talking. Now, we need to keep talking!

The documentary "Bully" is in theatres nationwide on April 13, 2012. For more information on the film go to

Make sure you take time to see the film.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Colorado Teen Literature Conference

This weekend was the Colorado Teen Literature Conference.

The conference was held in the historic Tivoli building in downtown Denver. What a setting! The Tivoli was built in 1866 as a brewery. It changed many hands over the years, brewing its last beer in 1966- one hundred years after it first opened. In 1994 it was renovated and made into one of the most premier student unions in the nation. The old brick walls and peeling paint, the second story balconies and large white pillars, the beautiful architecture, all set the mood for an amazing time.

The conference was great! Over four hundred authors, writers, educators, librarians, and teens attended the event. I was thrilled at how teens and adults were able to interact, sharing a common interest of reading. Keynote speakers included Maggie Stiefvater, author of the "Shiver" series, and Todd Mitchell, author of "The Secret to Lying". They reminded us to follow our dreams, be our crazy normal selves, and put ourselves out there. The conference was inspirational as well as motivational.

The author panel was made up of local young adult fiction authors, Amy Kathleen Ryan, Brenna Yovanoff, Denis Vaga, Dom Testa, and Terri Clark. They sat down during an author panel and let teen fans ask questions and give comments.

I had the chance to meet and talk to authors, writers, up and coming new voices in literature, publishing houses, educators, librarians, blog writers, and many energetic and inspiring teens.One of the exhibitors was the teen girls behind When you have the time, check out their webpage. It's a great site on everything YA (young adult). They did a wonderful job capturing their energy, and their site is well written.

I went to different sessions that focused on things like: online book clubs, debut novels, the latest and greatest in teen literature. Some other sessions that were offered included: getting boys to read, beating the block, fan fiction, poetry slams and workshops.

I had a wonderful time, and I look forward to attending again next year. Next years authors include: Lauren Oliver, author of "Before I Fall" and the "Delirium" series, and Jay Asher, author of "13 Reasons Why", and co-author of "Future of Us".