Friday, May 31, 2013

My Little Helper

Westly is proving to be a good little helper. I used to think that for sure my child would not possibly be tidy, clean, organized, etc. I could not be so lucky. Apparently I am. Westly loves to help me clean and organize. I know this is mainly because he loves to hang out with me and do what I'm doing. But part of it is his personality. He picks up after himself without being told. He puts things right back where they belong. He remembers where everything goes, even in the kitchen. He will be a great big brother someday!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I am currently obsessed with the BBC show Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.
If you are looking for a clever, witty, intelligent, suspenseful, high-quality show, please watch Sherlock. Both season 1 and 2 are on DVD and Season 3 is due out this winter. You don't have to be a Sherlockian to appreciate it either.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sneak Peek!

Sneak Peek at Sherlock Academy Book 5!

Tick, tick, tick
That familiar rhythmic sound from the grandfather clock nearby warmed Rollie. As did the aged smell of wood paneling, old carpet, and antique gas lamps in the hall. It seemed he had been away forever, but here he was once again sneaking through Sherlock Academy in the small hours. But this time he was not going solo.
Herr Zilch was with him.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Number One Fan

It’s always nice to have fans of your work. I love when kids tell me Sherlock Academy is their favorite books series. Or when a mother tells me how Sherlock Academy sparked an interest for reading in her reluctant son. Or when a teenager tells me my writing inspired them to write their own story. It’s humbling, inspiring, and challenging to me.

But I think my biggest fan (outside of my doting husband, of course) is my sister Noelle. She has been a fan of my writing since we were little and I would read my stories aloud to her. Back then, they were silly, imaginative stories that involved adventures through time, talking dachshund detectives, submarine warfare epics, and badly constructed murder mysteries—all of which shall forever remain buried in the bottom of my hope chest. They remind me of my roots as an author, but they will never see the light of day while I’m alive to be embarrassed by them!

Noelle loved hearing my stories, and always gave me that boost of confidence as a budding author. She continues to be my number one fan with Sherlock Academy. I couldn’t ask for a better sister, or fan!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fan Fair

I received a special gift from two Academy readers/fans. They made me a hollow Shakespeare book filled with all the items in Rollie's class schedule from Book 1! It was very detailed, delightful, and touching.

Monday, May 20, 2013


Life if full of surprises. I’ve had a couple recently.

First: I tried on some pre-pre-pre-pregnancy dresses, ready to stuff them into a bag for the thrift store, thinking there was no way I would ever fit into them again. Low and behold, they fit!

Second: I gave my book to my father-in-law to read and edit. I didn’t hear back from him for almost a week. I thought for sure he didn’t like it and it wasn’t as good as my previous four books. My spirit soared with relief and joy when he told me it was my best book yet!

Third: I was perusing the clearance rack at Target today and found some great comfy Ts for $5. Score!

Fourth: Westly’s memory is so sharp. The other day I told Westly the names of a few instruments: violin, bell, and drum. Then we didn’t talk about them. The next day he pointed to each instrument and said their names. Proud Mama here!

Fifth: Have you looked at the calendar lately? May is almost over! Crazy! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Picture of the Week

Cuddles in the morning
Cuddles after nap
Head on my shoulder
My darling on my lap
Two beating hearts
Four brown eyes
You'll be mine forever
Though time flies

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What To Do?

Here’s my current To Do List:
1.       Scan in all my chapter art for my book, which takes a while cuz I do it on our ancient Mac
2.       Clip Westly’s fingernails, one finger a day because he hates it so much
3.       Rewrite second-to-the-last chapter, adding a new scene in the climax and hope to God it’s good
4.       Mail pictures of Westly to grandparents
5.       Announce release date for Sherlock Academy Book 5 on my website—stay tuned!
6.       Go to chiropractor and make small talk while hearing my vertebrae crack
7.       Try once again to finish a movie—any movie, without falling asleep!
8.       Download the new Michael Buble CD before I mail it to my mom for late Mother’s Day
9.       Work off those extra calories from Starbucks Frappy Hour last week
10.   Start the countdown until my sister comes to visit from Belize!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Upside Down Frown

Today is a sad day for a few reasons: Mother’s Day is over, Starbucks Frappy Hour is over, the weekend is over. And while it’s the start of a new week which should be exciting, it’s the start of a low-key week.

 I should take advantage of a low-key week by working on my book. I need to do some final edits, add a new scene, and get started on the chapter art.

I should also spend some quality time with Westly. We should do some more finger paint, go to the children’s museum, and bake together.

Hmm…I guess this week won’t be so low-key!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Getting Lost

I need a good story right now. Not to write, but to enjoy. My story is pretty solid and underway. But I need a good story to get lost in. I’m not emerged in a TV saga, or finding any movie particularly engrossing. I’m trudging through a book that is interesting, but not very epic. I need to be inspired by a great story as much as I need to write one.

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Last Word

Last lines. They’re as important as opening lines in a book. A few weeks ago I made a list of beginning lines of some of my favorite books. Here are some famous last words of some great books:

Of the four valiant men whose history we have related, there now no longer remains but one single body; God had resumed the souls. –The Man In the Iron Mask

I shall ever regard as the best and the wisest man whom I have ever known.—The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

“How do you know so much about this workshop?” Stuart grinned, for the answer was simple and wonderful and true. “Because it’s mine,” he said. –Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms

NEVERLAND. Peter looked at it…”That’s exactly where I am,” he said.—Peter and the Starcatchers

“Stories are light,” Gregory the jailer told Despereaux. Reader, I hope you have found some light here. –The Tale of Despereaux

The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well. –Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows

Monday, May 6, 2013

Worst Visitor Ever

At our last writer’s group, we did a writing exercise with the following prompt: write about the worst visitor to ever darken your door. Here’s what I wrote:

I opened the door. A tall, lean figure of a man stood on my porch. He wore a shabby tweed suit. His keen eyes appraised me in one quick sweep, and an arrogant smirk played on his thin lips. He brushed past me and into my house without a word. He began crawling on all fours, analyzing the carpet. Then with a spring he was up and zipping around the living room, sniffing my lamp shade, tasting my mantel, tapping the window seat.

I felt so violated.

Then he launched into a rapid monologue about myself. He knew things about me he shouldn’t have since I had no idea who he was. It was creepy.

Finally when I could get a word in, I demanded, “Who are you?!”

He looked slightly taken aback, as if I should  know.

Curtly he answered, “Sherlock Holmes.”

Friday, May 3, 2013

Nearing the Finish Line

Picture of the week: a last draft of my last Sherlock Academy for final edits! Whew!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Language Burst

It’s happening: Westly is having a language burst! Many people assured me that once he hit two, the words would come spilling out. I’m very excited. He is saying at least one new word a day, he’s putting words together to express a thought, he’s becoming more socially confident because of his verbal development, he’s having fewer tantrums of frustration, and he’s even trying to sing!

I love it. I can’t wait till he can talk even more and tell me what he’s thinking. Some of my fave things he’s saying are the following:

“One more” when he wants to prolong anything he’s enjoying.
“Kay!” in response to a suggestion I make
“Row! Row!” for the song “Row Row Row Your Boat”
“Me pee-pee” or “poo-poo” when he goes potty in his diaper

I guess we’re both having a language burst of sorts. I finished a final draft of my last Sherlock Academy book this past week. It’s undergoing final edits. West and I are on a role!