Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Love Is...

Love is not...

What is dating abuse?? Dating abuse is when one partner uses a pattern of abusive behaviors to exert
power and control
over another.

Abuse is not only physical...but can also be in the form of:
peer pressure
or sexual

Abuse can happen in person, though letters, notes, and picture, online or digital.

A dating partner is
any person
any gender
any sexual orientation
who is involved with another person romantically or intimately.

Love is not abuse.

Love is...

caring enough to ask

How do you define love??



(This is the first of a series of blogs over the next month on raising awareness and prevention of dating violence. My debut young adult novel Break From You is about the devastating effects of dating abuse. Release date will be announce soon! )

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

We Will Remember

I am deeply saddened by last Friday's devastating events at the movie theater in my neighboring town, Aurora. My heart goes out to all of those affected by this senseless act.  Words will never come close to expressing the pain and fear everyone is experiencing.

I am having trouble wrapping my mind around something so horrible. And I ask myself how something like this could happen.

It was supposed to be a fun night at the movies. People enjoying the opening show of a long anticipated film. But that fun, relaxing night quickly turned into a horrible nightmare when a mad gunman entered the theater and opened fire.

Lives were changed. Lives were lost.

I have attended many midnight showings of long anticipated films. I can't tell you how much fun it is to meet up with a couple of friends, wait in long lines so that you get halfway decent seats, fight back sleep, and be one of the first to see the film. My friends and I have had a lot fun at these midnight showings. We will share our stories about those nights for a long time.

Again, I ask myself how something so horrible could happen.

But it's not just the theater.

Not all that long ago, not all that far from Aurora,  Coloradans endured another senseless tragedy at a local high school. The events that unfolded that day back in April of 1999, like those that happened last week, have forever changed our trust, our beliefs, our lives.

I want to believe that we are safe when we head off to the theater at night. I want to believe that our children are safe when we send them off to school in the morning. I want to believe that we are safe when we head off to work.

I want to believe that we are safe.

I have so many questions...how could this happen? Why did this happen? Who could do something like this? How can we stop it from happening again? But even as I start to learn about the events that night and the man behind the horrible shootings, I realize that the biggest question I will always have is...

How do I keep myself, my friends, my family safe from such horrible acts in everyday life?

And can I?

Please hug those around you and tell them you love them!

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the Aurora theater shootings. We will always remember.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What's Going On?

On my bookshelf (current reads)- Lord of the Flies by William Golding (I haven't had much reading time this summer...but I've been trying to re-read a few classics. Up next is Catcher in the Rye.)

In the DVD player- Lord of the Flies directed by Peter Brook (I love reading a book and then watching the movie version to see how the writers and directors depicted the book. It's been a while since I've seen the movie. Maybe I'll give a review after I finish both...)

On the TV- Bachelorette ( I hate to admit it, but I got sucked in...who will Emily choose????) and the Glee Project

On my MP3- The Script, some Train, Gavin DeGraw, and a little Brad Paisley and Luke Bryan

On my ringtone- Firework by Katy Perry (Always need a little inspiration!)

On my computer- My manuscript for Break From You (almost done with edits) and samples of the cover art for Break From You (I'm oh so close...) I am preparing for the upcoming release (to be announced soon) for my debut novel on teen dating abuse. Also on my computer are drafts for upcoming blog posts on dating abuse "in the news" and statistics that I will be posting before the release of my novel.

On my calendar- Play time! (Just rolled off summer season swim team where I was involved 100% as president. I felt like I had little time for anything else. I am excited to really focus on myself, my family, and my writing! I have some fun outings planned in the near future- camping, rafting, canoeing, swim parks...all kinds of fun stuff during some vacation time in the next month.)

What's going on with you???

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Cliche- an expression, idea, or element that has been overused to a point of losing meaning.

We all know that using cliches are bad. They're boring. They're...here goes...wait for it...overused.

Cut all cliches. Edit them out. Get rid of them.

Here are some cliches:
- sands of time
- selling like hotcakes
- in the same boat
- paying the piper
- jump-start
- lap of luxury
- over the top
- cut to the chase
- chomping at the bit
- work in progress
- only one thing is certain
- whirlwind tour
- fell on deaf ears

Once a month I meet up with a bunch of published and aspiring authors for a writer's circle at our local library. We come together to share ideas, read each others writing samples, express thoughts, and sometimes we even do a writing prompt or two.

Tonight was our monthly meeting. It was a much needed break from all the crazy summer swim team stuff I've been involved with this last month. It was great to spend a few hours with fellow writers and be creative.

After gathering and catching up, we did an activity where we picked a couple of pieces of paper out of a bowl. Written on the paper were cliches. We were instructed to write them into a short story/flash fiction piece. After writing for about ten minutes, we shared our stories...and a lot of laughs!

I chose three from the bowl at random. Here is my short story/flash fiction:

It was a whirlwind tour. The tickets were selling like hotcakes, and I couldn't pass them up. I bought two, one for me and one for him. We left early, and I loved every moment of it. We saw everything in all the cities we visited. I wanted to do it all: the museums, the art galleries, the parks. The trip was everything I needed to jump-start my new life. -RGG

Bet you can't find the cliches I used...??  Haha!

Here is what one of my critique partners, Patrick Dawson, wrote after drawing three cliches at random:

One thing is certain in today's economy, the sands of time will never place us in the lap of luxury. -Patrick Dawson

Everyone's story brought smiles and lots of laughs. We had a great time. If you get a chance, pick a few of the cliches from above and write your own. Add your story piece to the comments. I can't wait to hear what you come up with!

Patrick Dawson is the author of Lessons in the Journey. You can find him at his website http://www.patrickkdawson.com/ or on goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4805249.Patrick_K_Dawson

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays! I love hanging with friends, family, and neighbors, BBQing, talking, and watching fireworks. Sometimes we take a trip to the mountains to camp, sometimes we head to the local firework show, other times we sweat it out at the pool.

Regardless of what we do, I always have fun. It's one of those special days that is always low key. You get the day off from work, but you don't have to stress that the meal is just right, or the gifts are wrapped under the tree, or that everyone arrives safely.

This year, sadly, we will miss the firework show...and camping isn't a huge appeal...Fires are raging across the state of Colorado. It is documented as one of the worst fire seasons on record. There are five major fires still not contained at the time of this writing causing major evacuations and threatening homes. They are the Lightener Fire west of Durango, the Little Sand Fire northwest of Pagosa Springs, the Pine Ridge fire outside of Grand Junction, and the Waldo Canyon fire outside of Manitou Springs in El Paso Co. There are also ten inactive/fully contained fires (Button Rock Fire, Eby Creek Fire, Flagstaff Fire, Hewlett Gulch Fire, High Park Fire, Lower North Fork Fire, Springer Fire, Sunrise Mine Fire, Treasure Fire, Woodland Heights Fire)

The ground is dry, grass is beyond dead, trees are brown and brittle...all of this is great fuel. And when lightening strikes, a camp fire is left unattended, or fireworks get out of control the dry, dead, brittle fuel goes up in flames.

The signs of the fire are everywhere. We have a beautiful view of the mountains and the city...that is when smoke isn't so thick in the air we can barely see for yards...let alone miles...

I worry about my parents and all my friends who have homes near areas that are burning or could possibly burn. I am grateful for the forecast of rain...but hope that the lightening stays to a minimum. They are calling for lots of rain this weekend and we need it!

But for now- it is still dry and I hope everyone stays safe this holiday by enjoying other activities besides fireworks and camp fires, such as pool parties, block parties, and parades. My friends are putting on a block Olympic theme party with face painting, "Minute to Win It" activities, temporary tattoo station, hair spray paint station, etc. I know I will have fun even without the fireworks...but whatever you do, have a great time and make sure you...

Stay safe...!

Happy 4th of July!