Friday, June 29, 2012

Editing, Editing, Editing...

I have been deep in final edits and finishing up the cover art for my novel Break From You.  I am getting closer and closer...and hopefully I will have a release date soon!

But...until then I'd thought I'd give you a little teaser...

"I love you, too," I parroted, and as I said the words, my heart sank. I wanted to mean them. At one time I had, or at least I thought I had, but something was wrong, something didn't feel right. I could sense an ache deep inside me. Maybe it was anger, maybe frustration, maybe the need to forgive, but it felt more like loss. More like a sadness, as though something was missing, and I couldn't figure out what was causing it.

Brooke, from Break From You, a YA contemporary novel on dating abuse.

Coming soon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Star Struck

Inspiration, motivation, and the will to win!

The kid's swim team came together Monday morning for a pancake breakfast to send one of their teammates off to the Olympic trials in style.

A crowd donned with American flags, a bus taped up with a handmade banner, swimmers wearing patriotic and team spirit clothing, smiles and cheers filling the swimming pool as everyone wishes good luck.

It was an amazing scene!

I was inspired by not only the teen's accomplishments, but by his humble attitude. He was grateful for all the well wishes and wore a smile that reach from ear to ear. I was also touched by how proud the swim team was of him. It was refreshing, and reminded me of how great people can be.

It brought tears to my eyes.

People like this are my true inspiration in life. Those who work hard for what they want, always try their best to become better, never blame others for their failures, continue forward even when others tell them they can't, work harder, do more, strive to be their best.

It reminds me that if I work hard enough, set some goals, learn from my failures, never blame others, never let other people bring me down and tell me I can't do it, and truly be the best that I can be, then I can succeed in anything. The sky's the limit and there is no stopping me. 

And there should not be anything stopping you! Don't let anyone keep you from your dreams, your goals, your life. Set your goals and plan on reaching them!

A goal was set almost four years ago. By staying positive, working harder, and swimming faster, a young man was able to reach his goal and is now on his way to the Olympic trials.

I wish him all the luck!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

How Do I Make Tiime to Write?

I ask myself that question everyday. There are never enough hours in the day...not to get everything done that needs to be done and still have time to write.

I fill up my day as a mom, a wife, a volunteer, a leader, a teacher, and of course a writer. But finding time to write can be a challenge, especially when you are pulled in what seems like other more urgent directions. But somehow I always find the time...and I tend to find it in the most unexpected places.

Here are my top 5 times and places to write:

1. Poolside at swim practices. It is a perfect place to open up my computer and tap away. (or edit my book, or work on cover art, or plot my next story, etc.)

2. Driving from place to place. (Don't worry, I don't actually write while driving, but I plot and brainstorm ideas. I have solved many story problems behind the wheel.)

3. Carpool lanes.

4. During breakfast. Most days, I set an hour aside in the morning while I eat breakfast to network and write.

5. Between 10PM and Midnight when everyone else is asleep. The house, phone, email, and neighborhood is quiet and still. I also use this time to wash dishes and catch up on my favorite TV programs.

Time never stops (or even slows) to give us a break, so how do you keep up with everything and still find time the other stuff?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Opening Lines Photo Prompt

Write an opening sentence(s) (50 words or fewer) to a story, novel, play, etc. based on the photo below...

Here's mine:

There were many stories about what happened that foggy night in the old house by the railroad tracks but only one person knows the truth and he isn't talking. Some say he did it, others...they just think he's crazy.

Join in! Please add your sentences in the comments below- I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Dad

In honor of father's day

My dad has always been a very powerful person. Growing up, my friends were weary of him, my boyfriends downright scared. But for my sister and me, he is our hero.  

We are daddy's little girls.

My dad is and has always been dedicated to his family. One, of many things that he has taught me in life, is how important family is. No matter how crazy things get, he makes sure to leave time for us. He supports us in all we do. He is there for us when we need him.

He does it simple because we mean that much to him, and he makes sure we know that.

He makes sure we know that no matter what, he will be there for us.

I can call him for advice. (I even listen to it.) He let me turn to him when I need help, lean on him when I need support. He's there for a hug, a smile, the tears.

My dad is an amazing person. I am proud that he is my dad. And I highly respect him. He has taught me many things over the years, and I know I will never stop learning from him.

I thank him for being my dad and for all the things he has done and continues to do for me and my family. My words cannot express how much he means to me.

I love you, Dad. Thank you for being you!

Monday, June 11, 2012

7 Reasons Why I Write

I write...

#7. ...because I love to share my thoughts and ideas with others.

#6. ...because I enjoy being creative with words.

#5. that I can express my feelings.

#4. ...because I love to paint a picture with words.

#3. that I can put on paper all the stories and characters that are floating around in my head.

#2. ...because my imagination gets the best of me.

#1. ...because I can't talk all the time! 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Are You Okay?

Are You Okay?
Flash fiction/short story

She hangs her head low, avoiding all eye contact as she passes by staring faces. She is ashamed, angry, embarrassed, but most of all she is hurt.

The pain runs deeper than the bruises on her face, deeper than the broken ribs and swollen wrists. She hurts in places she's not sure will heal.

"Hey," someone calls from behind her.

She lets her guard down and turns, her face, her bruises, plain for all to see.

"What happened?" The person asks her.

She looks down. Her answer is simple. "I tripped and fell," she says almost too automatically. She swallows. No one will believe that lie. She should have said she got hit in the eye with a softball instead. It would have taken the other person a lot longer to figure out she wasn't athletic enough to even play ball. But no, she had to answer with a line explaining she was a klutz. If this person knew anything about her, they'd know she was far from clumsy.

Regardless, her answer is quick, and she is able to explain away the bruise.

She answered what happened, nothing more, nothing less.

The other person nods, easily accepting the lie.

She takes a breath and turns to go. She doesn't want to walk away. Not really. She wants someone to care.  But no one ever wants to know how she feels. No one ever asks if she's okay. She never had to answer that question. And maybe that's okay. Maybe that's what keeps her safe- at least for now.

She shuffles off, not sure if she will make it to class or walk right out of the building. She hopes others won't see the bruise. And if they do, they don't say a word.

When she finally walks into class, the students go silent and look away. Even the teacher avoids the obvious. She buries herself in her book. She barely hears the lecture.

She won't say anything, not without being asked. She is afraid. Afraid of what others will think of her, afraid of being weak, afraid of the system. And most of all, she is afraid that if she says anything, he will hit her again.

She needs to seek help...

A parent, counselor, teacher...someone.

Someone needs to ask..."Are you okay?"


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lemonade for Charity

I was at my good friends house the other day when our kids came up to us and said they wanted to do a lemonade stand for charity. The charity they picked was the Father Ed Judy House.

I have blogged about the Father Ed Judy House before. Helping a Local Charity

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

I couldn't believe how excited the kids were. Donned with neon signs, half a gallon of lemonade, and cupcakes already melting in the Colorado sun, they headed for the curb. Within an hour, they raised nearly 10 dollars, enough money to buy a couple of gift cards that are on the Father Ed Judy House's wish list.

Like many charities, the Father Ed Judy House has been affected by the tightening of state budgets, and 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 many other items that they provide to help the women, therefore they are reaching out to the community for help.

For the past couple of month, my friend has been organizing dinners for the shelter. With the help of neighbors and friends, she has been able to provide special meals for the women and their children.

I am inspired by those around me who have stepped forward to do something for someone in need. I love to see people come together to support others especially when it is in the form of neon signs and lemonade!

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