Category Archives: Family

Sentimental Saturday AND Thorns of Decision Cover Reveal

Ah, weekends. Time to spend time with my kiddo and catch up on the whole writing thing. And, of course, tackle the havoc that is my home after a long week. All I really want for my birthday (on the 23rd of this month, if you’re keeping track) is someone to just do one thorough clean-up of my house and fold my laundry for me. Is that too much to ask? 🙂

How do other single mommies with two-plus full-time jobs do it?

I did get a little bit of time to relax and celebrate last night, when I attended a special wedding. The beautiful, smiling and blushing bride was the little sister of one of my best friends from way back when.

My friend Beth and I were in eighth grade when her sister, Little Miss Jessi came into the world, and I remember clearly the night she was born. She was probably the closest thing I ever had to my own little sister, and I have these wonderful memories — when she first learned to talk, and would point to things that were interesting to her, calling out “Bo!” (we never knew what that meant.) The way she used to suck, not on her thumb, but on her first two fingers, until she drifted off to sleep and they fell out. The time we took her to the mall when she was a little over a year old, and all she wanted to do was crawl UP the slanty floor. Resorting to trickery, we called out “Bye, Jessi” and the little stink turned around, waved “bye” at us, and proceeded on her merry way.

Beth and I were co-leaders of her Girl Scout troop when she was a little older, and we had some fun times with those girls.

And now … last night she married the love of her life, and will soon be off to Germany with him, on his first deployment in the Air Force.

I know it shouldn’t be such a surprise to me. I’m all “growed up” now, and I have a little girl of my own, who grows much too quickly and will be five next month. The first two classes of fourth grade students I taught are adults now themselves, graduated and in college. Married, some of them. Even some babies. And I don’t know where it all went, but it reminds me of how precious the time is, how quickly it all goes.

And it’s wonderful at the same time — seeing Jessi so happy, hugging her in her wedding gown, seeing what a fine young woman she’s grown to be, and — even though I don’t know him well — seeing what a sweet, loving young man she’s picked out. Knowing that it’s true, that REAL teenagers and young men and women still exist in the world. That it’s not all as crazy and horrible as the media — and the rest of us, sometimes, would like to make it out to be. Sometimes, it’s magic.


And speaking of magic … thanks to my awesome cover designer, Mallory Rock at Novel Publicity, I can share the big reveal … the new cover for Thorns of Decision, which releases in just under seven weeks! June 1, 2012.


It’s Not All Just Because I’m Getting Old …

It is probably mostly because I’m so often distracted, as so many of us are, between working and writing and marketing, and doing the single-mommy thing. There are so many little things that slip my mind sometimes, or the day just gets away from me.

But sometimes it’s nice to have a little reminder that lots of these things are just part of being human.

And the laugh is nice, too. 🙂

Tonight, my sweet Little Goose was getting herself set up to play in the living room and watch some shows, so she came and got her little bowl of broccoli from me, and I saw her, with the remote to the Roku tucked under her arm. A few minutes later there’s the whine — the kind only a four-year-old can properly muster. “Mom! What did you do with the remote?”


“You had it! What did you do with it?” It was the kind of pout you can see from the other room.

“Little Goose — I just saw you with it.”

No … you put it up somewhere earlier so the babies couldn’t get it!”

“And after that, sweetheart, you had it. You were just carrying it. I saw you.”

“Well then where did I put it?” Stomp. Stomp. Stomp. Back to the kitchen.

I started giggling. Immediately.

What? Oh. It was in my hand the whole time.

Fortunately, she has a great sense of humor.

And her mom’s skills at multi-tasking.



So, um … Santa?


Just sayin’ …

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving …

All month, the kids and I have been studying and thinking about holiday traditions. We’ve read the Thanksgiving story from Core Knowledge, we’ve colored turkeys, and pilgrims, and Native Americans, and we’ve thought about the things that we are thankful for. In the meantime, I’m trying to forge my way through the process of creating holiday traditions. If you are a single mom, like I am, or have small/limited/far-away family, again like I do, you might understand what I mean. 🙂

Three years ago today, my mom passed away, after a 13-month battle with lung cancer. She was 50. Little Goose was eighteen months old. That’s her in the picture above … with a 2-month-old Little Goose, and 5-year-old Amazing K, my cousin’s fantastic daughter. The awesome guy in the picture is my dad, now known as The World’s Best Papa.

When my mom went Home, any semblance of holiday traditions we might have been holding on to went with her.  There is a large, extended family on my mom’s side, including Amazing K … but they all live far away, and we can’t celebrate the holidays together in the way we all would like to most of the time.

And I … am not so good at coming up with some of this stuff. I want Little Goose to grow up with traditions, and fun, and a sense of belonging and family. Tomorrow, we will celebrate with dear friends, and I love that. I love that sometimes the people we choose to have in our lives become another definition of family.  It’s a theme I strive for in my storytelling, as well.

But … I also want some traditions that are ours, in the tiny, little family that we have. And I need some help. 🙂 What are some of your favorite/unique things you do to celebrate Thanksgiving and the holiday season that we could do — one busy, distracted Mama, and one precious preschool girl?

Book Release Party

Today was the “official” Book Release Party for Seeds of Discovery: Dusk Gate Chronicles Book One, and I have to say, I have the best family, friends, and readers in the world, and I feel truly blessed.  Thank you so, so much to the wonderful people who came to celebrate with me over the book (and my housewarming and Little Goose’s (excessively belated) Fourth Birthday). Words cannot express how much I love and appreciate you.

So, it’s 9:43 P.M., and needless to say, I haven’t gotten any writing done today. I do hope to snag a few more words between now and when Little Goose either gets tired of playing with her new fairy costume, puzzle, and Color Wonder Markers, or when she starts throwing up from the 1,000 grams of sugar she ingested today.

Writing Progress – Week Two: Saturday

How many words did I write yesterday? 576 – Yeah, so a little distracted with party preparations, and then we spent the evening building a Playmobil school with my sweet nephew, Monty, and my dad, who makes an awesome “Papa.”

How many words have I written this week? 5,617 – Eh. 😉

Book Two progress so far: 19,350 – Yup, still have not hit the 20k mark.

How are you doing with your goals this week?


So last night, as Little Goose and I were going to bed, she asked me, “Mom, how does everyone in the whole town know the word mean?”

A little startled by how profound she seems sometimes, and looking for clarity, I asked, “What do you mean, sweetheart?”

“I mean, how does everyone in the whole universe know what mean is?”

These are the questions that, as a parent, leave me gasping for breath. I don’t know the answer to that question. It’s one of the fundamental questions of being human, and what it means to make choices about what we do, and how we do it, and how we treat people.  Of course, she’s four. She wasn’t looking for an existential discussion. (I dunno, maybe she was. She is my kid.) She may have just been stalling bedtime.

It is a big question, though. I know it’s one she’s been learning about, as she learns to deal with other kids and other people. She’s struggled with doing mean things herself lately, so I can see where the topic might have been on her mind. It was certainly a question I couldn’t just give her an answer to, not even one of the long-winded ones she sets herself up for sometimes. It’s a question/theme I could take an entire series of books to explore (and certainly one that just may make it into my current project).

Anyway, these are the thoughts on my mind this beautiful fall, Friday morning.

How many words did I write yesterday? 1,031 – Not as much as I would have liked, but at least I did break the thousand mark! 🙂

How many words have I written this week? 5,041 Halfway to my goal, anyway. Too bad the week is nearly over. 🙂

Book Two currently sits at 18,774 words. Today’s goal is to at least break 20k!

My First Blog Review

This journey to sharing a story with the world is filled with new adventures and experiences. The biggest, and definitely best, part of this journey has been the people. I’ve met so many completely wonderful people throughout this process of learning to write (and share! sharing is the bigger learning curve) this story, that it really is giving me renewed hope that there is a good future for us crazy humans.  Even better has been the re-discovery, and in some cases re-connection with the people who have been there all along.

To all of you – thank you. From the bottom of my heart, whether you are new in my life at this point, have always been, or are yet to come, you will never know how much I truly appreciate you.

And, a really special tribute to those of you who have read my story and enjoyed it, and have lived for just a few short moments with me in Eirentheos … wow.  I know everyone has different tastes, and I still love you even if you think my story is terrible, or boring, or whatever, really. 🙂  But finding those people who really do like it, who have connected with me in that deepest of places inside my mind … that is a feeling that cannot be matched by anything else. It’s amazing, and you are my kindred spirits, and the story is as much yours as it is mine. Thank you.

And now … check out this FANTASTIC blog review, by the amazing and talented Tonya Christensen on her blog, What All the Kids Are Reading.



Forward Motion

I have to keep telling myself that “forward motion” is going forward, even on the days when it’s slow going. 🙂  I got almost nothing writing-wise accomplished today because my router died, or at least I’m pretty sure it did. My laptop’s ability to connect with the internet has been spotty at best for the last couple of days, and the Roku has been having problems as well.  I was finally able to make it out of the house to by a new router this evening, once I was down to only the three kiddos who are here for the night (one who lives here, two who needed to be here so early tomorrow morning that tonight counts).  There was zero chance of stepping out for a new one earlier today with those three plus a two-year-old and a baby.

And yes, I know I could have gotten some writing done without the internet connection… but there were those five kids here all day, and I spent way too much of the very limited internet access I was able to manage with the needs-to-be-put-out-of-its-misery desktop researching where I could find an incredibly inexpensive replacement if the internet issue haunting the laptop happened to be worse than just the router.

Thank you, God, that things seem to be working fine with the new router (and thank you double, triple, maybe even quadruple that Dan stopped by with Kacie to say good-night to the girls just as I was having a crazy difficult time getting the new network up and running!) Maybe tomorrow will be a little bit more productive.

On the awesome note of the day, my brother got back to me with a few text messages’ worth of feedback on Dusk Gate, and aside from some good constructiveness on where he would have liked more (the ending, everyone wants more on the ending)… he called it “thought-provoking, entertaining, and detailed” and then called my details “captivating, like Ayn Rand’s style.”  Which I will take as a compliment. 🙂  Especially because, even though he’s my brother (maybe because he’s my brother), if he thought the story was crap or un-enjoyable, or even just not his style, he would have told me that.

Happy Saturday

Saturdays are almost always happy, aren’t they? Even in the winter, I like Saturdays. A summer Saturday is just icing on the cake. And there was cake today, and much rejoicing. Today we celebrated the 18th birthday and the high school graduation of a dear family friend, Casey. Such an exciting time to see him happy and launching into the “adult world” (if you ever figure out what that means, Case, let me know!).

It makes me feel terribly old, though, because I distinctly remember being in the car on the way to the hospital to see and hold him on the day he was born. My mom was driving, which was an odd sensation at the time, because I’d had my driver’s license for almost exactly two months at that point and I had been doing most of the piloting. (And now, I’ve just told every math-literate person in the world EXACTLY how old I am).
Of course, I also remember holding him and cooing over him and being so, so grateful for his arrival to parents (and family and friends) who so desperately wanted him. It has been an honor and a privilege to watch you grow up, Casey. Congratulations!
Not so productive on the writing front today, unfortunately, but I suppose that not every day can be.  I do actually have followers on Twitter now — I guess I need to figure out what to do with them!
I did get to share a little bit of Dusk Gate at the party with one of my favorite, very enthusiastic, almost-eighth-graders, GD!  She said she loves it, which is encouraging me to finish with the prepublication stuff and get it out. 🙂

I Think I’m Having Too Much Fun With This

It’s been a busy couple of days, but busy in that truly awesome way that will get no complaints from me.

I’m starting to figure out SOME of this web page stuff… I think I’ve solved the blog thing by moving it to my index page instead of on a page all its own.  I guess I’ll see how that works out. 🙂
I was actually so absorbed in getting things done and enjoying the house and one of my daycare kiddos this morning, that I *forgot* I had a kid coming at 8:00! (I knew about it when I woke up — I just lost track of that thought!)
 I’ve never been so surprised to hear the doorbell ring. (Well, maybe surprised was not the word, since the thing rings incessantly while the Fantastic K is staying here), but it was one of those disorienting kinds of moments. Not that it was a problem. Kids showing up here at random for me to feed and entertain is a pretty regular occurrence whether I’m being paid or not.
So, we had a great day. Whole-wheat pancakes and cherries for breakfast, and then Papa came over at lunchtime bearing Taco Bell and my fun nephews, Amazing A and Marvelous M.
We picnicked outside before taking all six kiddos on a fun field trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. We love that place, and make fantastic use of our annual membership. I was going to post pictures, but it turns out this is yet ANOTHER area I need to figure out. 🙂  Need to have a *link* to the pictures. Ah well, project for tomorrow (or later — have to get back to writing sometime!)
After all of that, the kids spent HOURS playing summertime games outside. Amazing A is spending the night with us, so it was nice to have the two older ones to help keep an eye on Little Goose outside while I got to work on the website and writing stuff.
Fantastic K is reading a copy of Dusk Gate right now — she says she likes it. The book is appropriate for all ages, because that’s how I roll. 🙂