Thursday, May 31, 2012

10 Things You May Not Know About Me

1. I love the water

2. I was a raft guide in the summer and worked on a ski hill in the winter for a couple of years after college

3. I snowboard instead of ski, and I didn't learn to snowboard until after college even though I grew up in Colorado (and I've only been once in the last 10 years-and I still live in Colorado)

4. I love to line dance. I go to a class a few times a week for exercise

5. I am always volunteering

6. I wear flowers in my hair (or butterflies, or ribbons, and it is almost always up because I hate it falling in my face)

7. I love frozen yogurt but I don't really like ice cream

8. I am gluten free because I have celiac disease and dysautonomia

9. I don't like to travel but have been lots of places

10. I am not shy

Monday, May 28, 2012


Raising Awareness on Dating Abuse

If Only...
A short story/ flash fiction

He stood there, staring at her. One hand held the fabric of her shirt, the other stung from contact with her face. Her eyes were wide, terror filling every inch of her. 

What had he done? Why had he done it?

"Oh my God," he says, anger and jealousy draining from him. "I didn't mean just make me so mad. If you wouldn't make me so mad, I wouldn't..." his voice trails off.

She stares at him, almost through him, her expression blank.Why wasn't she listening to him? He couldn't for the life of him figure it out. Behind him someone approaches. He lets her go, and she almost falls. Grabbing her arm, he steadies her and then puts an arm around her waist to pull her close.

"What is going on here?" the teacher says. 

"Nothing, nothing at all," he responds without a breath.

"Then let's get to class." the teacher walks away, and they are left alone once again. No one else notices them.

He can tell that tears are on the verge of streaming down her face. "Don't cry," he says in a soft voice. "Please. I'm so sorry. You know I have a temper, and I don't mean it. If only...if only you wouldn't make me so angry. It won't happen again. I would never hurt you, not intentionally."


Excuses, excuses, excuses...

To excuse, to make an apology for, to remove blame, to grant exemption

Regardless of how it's defined, excusing something means to let go of what was done and not accept it, nor take responsibility for it. Excuses and excusing are huge parts to the cycle of abuse.

Some common excuses:

"I was just joking..."
"You made me angry..."
"It won't happen again..."
"It's not violence..."
"It was just a shove, I would never hurt you..."
"Trust me; I wouldn't hurt you. I love you..."
"Aren't I more important, them, your friends, your activities, your parents, etc..."
"You make me so mad..."
"If you wouldn't have done such and such..."
"You hit me first..."
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean it..."
"I was drunk..."

Most abusers are sorry. Remorse is a pattern of abuse. The abuse happens, apologies are given, excuses accepted, and then the cycle happens all over again. The abuser will do many things to make up for what they know is wrong. Gifts like flowers, jewelry, cards, anything to help take away the remorse. The gifts are accepted, the cycle continued.

Remember: it is important to recognize and understand the warning signs of abuse and learn the excuses that may be given so a healthy relationship can develop and abuse can be stopped.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lucky 7 Meme Challenge

I was tagged by Amanda Fanger for the Lucky 7 Meme Challenge. (How exciting! Thanks Amanda!)

Here are the rules: (although I have noticed they vary- as long as it has to do with 7's-it looks like anything is game.)

1. Go to page 77 of your current WIP MS
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written. No cheating!
4. Tag 7 authors
5. Let each and every one of them know

Right now I am working on final edits, cover art, and formatting for Break From You, a young adult novel on dating abuse. 

Break From You- After being rescued from a burning restaurant the night of homecoming, seventeen year old Brooke Myers' falls for the boy who saves her life and is forced to re-evaluate her relationship with her abusive boyfriend and face the things she once thought were perfect.

So here goes...7 lines from pg 77 in the manuscript of Break From You

“What?” he said with actual shock in his tone. “You think I’m going to hit you?”

“No,” I lied. 

He leaned down and kissed my neck close to my ear. “I love you,” he whispered. His face softened as he brushed a strand of hair out of my face.

I stared at him, stunned. I had to quickly close my mouth as I was sure it was gaping open. He had just said he loved me. I couldn’t believe it. He said the three most amazing words ever. All else was easily forgotten.

With his hand at the base of my neck, he pulled me close and kissed me on the forehead. Moving his hand to my jaw line, he raised my chin. I met his eyes.

“I love you,” he repeated. “I would never hurt you.”He stepped back and smiled.

When he walked away, I was left standing there, wondering why I believed him when my arm was throbbing in pain.

Look out for my tweet for the next lucky 7!


Monday, May 21, 2012

My Road to Publishing Continues

In the fall of 2010, I pitched one of my completed novels. The first 30 pages were requested and I panicked. I wasn't sure why at the time, but nothing about the process felt right for me. Hoping it would be rejected, I placed the manuscript in the drawer and opened a new document instead, starting my next story.

 A year later, (and with another finished manuscript,) I found myself at a presentation done by The Writing School. ( During this presentation I was introduced to talk of the increase in independent publishing and e-books.  I walked away thinking maybe this was for me.

That's when my research began.(And my excitement rose!)

And it hasn't stopped. Choosing which route to publish isn't an easy one. There are many reasons to publish either traditionally or independently. And those reasons may continue to change as the publishing industry changes. Ultimately which route to choose is a personal one.

I am excited to head down the road of independent publishing. For me, right now, it is the best route. (In continuing with the cliche metaphors...)When I come to a fork in the road, I may have to re-evaluate, and when I do, my path may change...but until then...

I am continuing to learn about the exciting world of e-Publishing. This evening, I had the opportunity to listen to a presentation given by The Writing School and Elle Lothlorien, the best selling e-book author of  The Frog Prince and Sleeping Beauty.

Elle shared her e-Publishing story with a crowd of approximately 25 to 30 inspiring and/or newly published authors. Upbeat and with energetic humor, she explained her not-so-planned out path to success.

By maintaining her rights and creative control, Elle has been able to effectively market her books and herself. (Some of her marketing decisions were done in less than 24 hours from idea to implementation. Such as the time she decided to release her books for free for Valentine's Day the night before during dinner.) She discussed her approach to the continually changing market. She also told humorous tales of her journey through the process.

Her stories on e-publishing continued for over two hours and past closing time. In the end, the library staff had to kick everyone out. I don't think anyone in the room felt we had enough time.

It was a pleasure to meet Elle Lothlorien. I look forward to hearing more from her and to see what she does next. Listening to her talk helped validate my decision to independently publish my books.

I know that taking on self-publishing means that I have to do everything...either by myself or hire someone...from the writing- to editing- to formatting- to cover art- to distribution- to marketing- to gaining reader- to....the list goes on and on. Sounds exhausting...and although I'm nervous about it all, I am ready...!

You can find Elle Lothlorien on:!/ElleLothlorien 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Not-So-Easy Art of Cover Art

When I made the decision to independently publish my books, I knew that I would have to do everything. And that excited me!

I am thrilled to learn the business of publishing, navigate the world of marketing, build a much needed platform, learn to format my books, find a good editor, do the cover art, and the list goes on...

My journey  has been fun, interesting, and at times hard, but always an adventure!

These last few weeks, my journey through the world of self-pub has taken me into the depths of cover art.

And what fun!

I love being creative. I love to take pictures and work with photo layering programs. I love to cut, paste, enhance, fade, feather, invert images, use layers, blend, (And when I don't know how to do something- I love to learn and figure it out.) I also enjoy drawing, painting, crafting, oh I could go on and on...

The thing is? I have to sum up my entire story in one picture. Sounds easy, doesn't it?

Well, it feels a lot like writing the hook. One chance to say it all, and the first thing a reader will see.

So I have found myself re-working, re-drafting, re-layering cover sample after cover sample. I have done more photo shoots than I can count. (My last photo shoot consisted of over 250 photos and only 10 of them are usable...maybe...I guess that's what happens when you shoot action.) I have file after file of photos, sample covers, converted jpegs. My computer desktop looks like it exploded.

Regardless, I am still moving forward. I am excited to created this piece of my book and add to my story. It has allowed me to step away from the obvious and look at what will really represent the story. Do I have it yet? No, but I'm close and I will soon share them with you. (I'll share all the mistakes along with the choices for the Break From You cover.)

Here's to an exciting time in the not-so-easy art of cover art!

Keep an eye out for upcoming cover samples!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Thanks to My Mom on Mother's Day

Clearly, I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for my mother. But beyond the obvious- I know I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for my mom. She's my biggest fan and always will be.

She accepts every dandelion ever picked, even though they always make her sneeze.

She helps me up when I fall down, make me smile when I feel sad. She has never ridiculed me for my mistakes, nor has she ever judged me for the decisions I've made.
I know most people can not say this- but I have never yelled at my mom and we have never fought. I know it is far fetched, but it is true. It is just the way we are.

We talk every day, more than just once. I share everything with her.

My  mom encourages me to write. She always has.

She is who I bounce my story ideas off of- knowing most of them will never make it to paper. She reads all my drafts and many of them multiple times without complaining. She provides critiques, which are always helpful (and never sugar-coated.) If my stories are not making sense, she will be honest and tell me so. For that, I am grateful.

She believes in me. I believe in her.

I am me because of her.

Thank you Mom, for all you do for me!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hard to Say Goodbye

An excerpt from Break From You, my contemporary YA novel about dating abuse:

I questioned why I had even come, why I let him convince me of his innocence once again. What he did to me was wrong, this I knew. I had to let go. But why it was so hard to say goodbye was beyond me. I had a hard time finding the strength, even though I knew I needed to.  Maybe it was because we had been together for over a year now, maybe it was because I knew relationships weren’t always easy, or maybe it was because I knew I loved him. 

(-Brooke Myers in Break From You)

There are many reasons victims stay in abusive relationships. And like Brooke, they may not even be able to pinpoint why they stay. Brooke 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. Besides, she loves him- isn't that enough? She thinks it is. But is it truly love when you've lost yourself in it?

There is a cycle to an abusive relationship. Most victims know it is wrong, but they can't seem to escape. They easily forgive and make excuses. It could be due to fear- fear of rejection, fear of isolation, fear of loss, fear of being seriously hurt, or fear of the partner that keeps them from walking away. Or it's because of love, embarrassment, thinking the abuse is normal, or having low self-esteem. Some stay due to the pressures of peers, culture, or religion. Maybe they are pregnant or they distrust adults and/or authority. Feeling shameful about the abuse also stops victims from seeking or wanting to get help. Being dependent on the partner for money, food, or shelter will also keep many from leaving.

It doesn't matter what the reason is...breaking free from abuse is hard and takes a lot of strength. If you know someone in an abusive relationship the most important thing to do is be there for them and listen. Do not judge them. Let them know they have options and there are others who can help. 

If you are in an abusive relationship, know that there is help! 

Sometimes there feels like there is no...

Ask for help!

For more information please go to or


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Knowing Your Fears...Living Your Dreams

I believe I can use my fears to reach my dreams. Without my fears, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I wouldn't have the strive to succeed, the desire to work harder, the want to push farther. I use my fears to drive myself forward.

My fears are not me; they do not define me, but they do shape me.  They increase my passions: they build my dreams.

Fear is universal. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to the threat of danger. Fear becomes disabling however, when it occurs without any certain or immediate threat.

Fear: letting fear destroy my dreams
Dream: overcoming fear

Fear: A life of worry
Dream: A life without worry

Fear: Rejection
Dream: To be accepted

Fear: Being Stuck
Dream: Staying Free

Fear: Illness
Dream: Heath

What are your fears?
What are your dreams?

Inspired by

Thursday, May 3, 2012

In the News...Depression, Suicide, and Seau

by RGG

She was there
And what a place to be
The world so great
So perfect, no flaws

Except her

She feels like a crazed freak
Her parents hate her
She has lost all her friends
And her boyfriend just said goodbye

She doesn’t belong there anymore
The world is too good for her

Things are spinning around her
Her mind is so cluttered
She doesn’t know what to do anymore
She’s not sure she feels anything

She feels like there’s nothing


No one cares
She’s not even sure why she cares anymore
She doesn’t think she wants to die
She just isn’t sure she wants to live anymore


A person dies from suicide every 15 minutes in the U.S., and an attempt is estimated to be made every 40 seconds. (That’s almost 100 deaths a day due to suicide.) Over 90% of those who have died from suicide had at least one psychiatric illness that was diagnosable and treatable at the time. The most common is depression. Sadly, the rate of suicide is increasing. (American Foundation on Suicide Prevention

We are reminded today of how prevalent suicide is in our community by the news of former NFL player Junior Seau’s recent death. Reports state that he was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. He is the third NFL player to have committed suicide in the last year. Reports are saying he more than likely suffered from depression due to an imbalance of brain chemicals.

Suicide is a desperate attempt to get rid of all the pain and suffering. Isolation, despair, and helplessness are over consuming. Death feels like the only way out. They don’t want to die- they just want all the pain to end…

Suicide is hard to talk about. Even as I write this, I find myself struggling for the correct words to say, how to explain the feelings, what to even bring up. Fearful to talk about such a tough topic is normal- but talking about it may stop someone from taking their own life. Just because a suicidal person doesn’t ask for help doesn’t mean that they don’t want it. Please learn and understand the signs and symptoms, and if someone you know is showing signs of depression and suicide, please help them get help. Remember over 90% of those who committed suicide suffered from a diagnosable psychiatric disorder.

Depression is treatable.

For more information-