Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday to You

Proof of Love

Where is He Who walked
these roads among us?
“He walks now to the judgment seat.”
Where is He Who knelt in the garden to pray?
“He kneels now at the flogger to bleed.”

Where is He Who wept
for Lazarus His friend?
“He weeps now for each stripe of your sin.”
Where is He Who claimed to be a king?
“He claims now a thorny ring.”

Where is He Who embraced
a crowd of sinners?
“He embraces now a cross of splinters.”
Where is He Who led His disciples His way?
“He leads now the masses to Calvary.”

Where is He Who stretched
His arms to calm the sea?
“He stretches now His arms for you and me.”
Where is He who claimed to be God?
“He forgives now as He hangs above.”

Will He do the things He taught us to do?
Will He prove He is Who He says He is?
When will—
“He just did. It is finished.”

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mark Your Calendar

In case you live in or near Santa Maria and are looking for something to do on a Tuesday afternoon...

Tuesday, April 2 at 4:00pm at the Orcutt Library (next to Doc Bernstein's and the new Pasion restaurant by Rooney's Irish Pub)


I am doing an author event. I'll talk to kids about Sherlock Academy and my writing process. The kids can participate in a scavenger hunt through the library. I will also be selling and signing books.

Come out and say hi!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Annual Author Dinner

My husband Michael has been a member of the San Luis Obispo Children's Reading Association for many years now. (It's a group that works to promote literacy in the community) Every year he puts on a dinner featuring 6 children's authors. Anyone can come and enjoy a good dinner and interact with the authors. This year was great!

Me and my talented hubby

We sold out this year!

The 6 authors this year were (from left to right) Adam Sidwell, Robin Mellom, Carol Heyer, Mary Hershey, Mary Ann Fraser, and Thalia Chaltas.

I'm already looking forward to next year! If you are interested in this author dinner and other events, find SLOCRA on Facebook!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fun with Cousin Mina

We had such a fun time with Auntie Mallory and cousin Mina

We enjoyed lots of treats

And played together at the Kids Museum

Explored the park together

And learned together

We miss them already!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pictures if the Week

My sister in law and little niece came home with us and spent s few days with us. Good times!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Almost-True Adventures of Toby Turnkettle

I’m one of the writers submitting work to our writer’s group this month. I’ve submitted the first few raw pages of a brand-new story I’m birthing in my imagination. I think I’ve mentioned it before. It’s about a little boy named Toby Turnkettle. Here’s a little snippet:

Toby Turnkettle was an orphan.
But not an orphan in the usual sense. You see, his parents had not died, they had unexpectantly stopped living life. For the past three years, Mr. and Mrs. Turnkettle had been sleeping in a coma. A sugar coma, to be more precise. And in case you’re thinking you know what a sugar coma is in the usual sense—a state of lethargy from eating too much sugar, usually after common rituals like Halloween and Easter—then you are greatly mistaken.
In case you’re thinking this is a biography-type story about a little boy who successfully lived at home alone, you’re wrong. And neither is this is a story about an orphan being reunited with his living parents.
No, this is a story about a young boy who had no idea who he really was and the adventures that were owed to him. And they are all mostly true.
Our story starts with someone’s death. Not his parents, in case you were concerned. For even though you don’t know Toby well, anyone whose parents have died draws sympathy. No, it was the death of someone Toby did not know.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Playing Favorites

Time to share my favorite things! (maybe I do have a bit of an Oprah complex)

BBC Sherlock show: those Brits did it again! Brilliant show about a modern-day Holmes and Watson. I’m addicted.

Time Change: now we can go for walks after dinner!

Starbucks Hazelnut macchiato: a new flavor of heaven.

Mallory and Mina: my sister-in-law and niece staying a few days with us for a fun visit.

Any List App on my iPod: I’ve gone paperless with my grocery lists and it’s way fun.

Toby Turnkettle: a new character I’m creating for a new children’s story.

Skirts: we’ve been having lovely spring weather so my legs are seeing daylight again.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pasting Life Together

Copy and paste.

Cut and paste.

Best two features on Word ever!

I have been using these two tasks quite a lot lately. That’s because my book is undergoing major revisions. I wrote a whole new chapter with a new plot line. But once I read it aloud to Michael, we both agreed it didn’t work.

So I cut and pasted the chapter and saved it in my ‘Planning’ folder.

This meant I had to cut and paste back the original chapter I had moved out to make room for the new chapter.


Another task I’ve been employing. I had to delete a lot of superfluous dialogue that was weighing down a scene. One tap of a button and it vanished.

Too bad I can’t use these tasks for my life. Oo, I wish I had not used that tone with Westly when he was whining. DELETE.

I’m ready for a nap because West didn’t sleep well and it’s only eleven in the morning. CUT and PASTE and it’s two in the afternoon! Nap time!

If only.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

See Attachment

Attachment. That’s the word of the week around here. And I’m not just referring to a type of parenting. I’m referring to a theme in my life at the moment.

Westly is going through another attachment phase. It seems every 6 months or so he gets super clingy and is a little sad to be separated from me. Right now he tears up when I leave him for two hours on Monday to teach art, and when I drop him off at church (which he does love). Now that he’s older I’m able to reason with him. It’s actually really cute, because he gets teary and nods his head yes that he understands Mama will be back and he will be fine. He’s trying to be brave, but he doesn’t like the idea of my leaving him. I know it will pass soon.

Then there’s my attachment to my story I’m writing. More specifically my characters. I was texting with one of my best friends the other day as I was writing Book 5. She told me, “Someone needs to die in this last book.” And I knew she was right. But it was very hard for me to do it, because I tend to get attached to my characters. After all, they’ve been in my life for 5 years now. They’re personal to me. I was a little teary as I wrote in a revision that ended a character’s life. I’m trying to be brave, for I know it’s the right move for the story.

I guess I can’t blame Westly now.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Five Books of Stamps, Please

I have a goal this year for my writing (besides finishing my last book in the Sherlock Academy series). My goal for 2013: pursue a literary agent. I finally have a clear idea of the role of an agent for a writer, and I think it’s someone I need to help me pursue my career as an author.

What does that entail?

I need to put together a resume of all my writing. I need to draft a good query letter. I need to start fleshing out the new story hatching in my imagination. And I need to buy stamps.

Lots of stamps. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lots to Write About

The other night in our writer’s group we did a fun writing prompt. You had to choose one of the following Biblical jokes to write about:

Lot’s wife at a school board meeting, or Adam being tempted by a convertible instead of an apple, or Job as a bus driver. I chose to write about Lot’s wife and here’s what I came up with. We had five minutes.

The annual school board Christmas party was in full swing. Mrs. Lot always enjoyed the evening that began with a turkey dinner and ended with a fun parlor game. She sat at the long table between Mr. Sodom and Professor Gomorra. The two men talked over her about the rising cost of technology in the classroom.

“Pass the salt, please,” she interrupted with a mouthful of bland potatoes.

She felt a tap on her shoulder and turned to see her friend Sue Pillar grinning down at her.

“I’m late.”

Mrs. Lot smiled back. “How come?”

“I spilled guacamole on my dress in the car,” Sue said sheepishly. “I’m going to clean up in the bathroom. Do 
me a favor and don’t stare at my stains.”

Mrs. Lot laughed. “Of course, dearie.”

Sue turned away and warned, “Don’t turn around.”

But Mrs. Lot turned around.

Monday, March 4, 2013

What Counts

I’ve got two counts going on right now in my life: word counting and calorie counting.

As I’m editing my Book 5, I’m keeping a rough estimate of word count. I’m not restricted by a certain word count, but it’s always good to be aware of it as I’m writing for middle-readers. This audience usually reads books between 36,000—54,000 words in length.

As I’m trying to shed a few pesky pounds, I’m keeping track of my calorie intake per day (thanks to a great app). It’s really been helping me make healthier choices, refrain from snacking, and curb my appetite. I hope to lose 5 pounds in the next month or so.

And the count continues…

Friday, March 1, 2013

Going Solo

Michael is gone this weekend at a Children’s Literature conference down in Redlands, my home town. West and I have stayed home. I think this may be the first time ever Michael is going away and I’m staying in town. He never has anywhere or any reason to leave town. Usually it’s the other way around: West and I are always taking trips to visit my family. But now Michael’s the one gone and we’re at home.

And I’m not sure what to do with myself! I’ve got dinner plans for us, and I’ll try to stay busy. I’m thinking this might be a good opportunity to catch up on some chick-flicks.

Of course I should do some writing, which I might. But honestly, I’ll probably be too tired being a single mom for the weekend. It’s amazing how much more tiring mealtime, bath-time, clean-up time, playtime, bedtime, and all the in between-times are as a single parent. I can get through a day by myself, but only because I know Michael will be coming home to help and offer some adult company. Props to any single parents out there!

I may be an author and a mom, but I’m not a single-mom author. I’m no JK Rowling!