Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year 2014!

Happy New Year, everyone! All the best to you and yours, and may your 2014 be full of love and passionate romance.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Let's Talk Hobbies!

I love my hobbies, and I love learning about other people’s hobbies. The things we do for the sheer love and joy of them make us who we are. So many times, people get stuck in their jobs or their daily routines, those ruts created out of necessity rather than love. Ruts are tedious and trying. They lower our energy level, our natural curiosity, our spontaneity, our joie de vivre. But our hobbies stem from our passions. Engaging in them helps us transcend our daily lives, climb out of those ruts, and celebrate life in our own special ways.

I consider myself one of the really lucky ones, because one of my favorite hobbies is also my day job: writing. I get to make stuff up for money. How cool is that? But because it is my job now, sometimes it starts to feel more like work. When the words don’t flow the way I want them to, when my characters misbehave, when the plot doesn’t work… then writing feels like a serious drag, and I’d rather do almost anything else than make myself sit back at that computer and pound out more torturous words, one by one by one. That’s when my other hobbies can save the day.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 Wrap Up

Christmas and New Year’s are rapidly approaching, and at this time last year I would have predicted a very different end to 2013. This year has had its ups-and-downs as far as my personal publishing goes. I had one new book out in February, my Valentine’s Day romance, Cupid’s Mistake, which followed quickly on the heels of the previous release, Unwrapped, a Christmas-themed romance that came out at the end of December, 2012. But since then…
Having two releases fairly close together was a whirlwind for the promo machine—my least favorite thing, I admit—and once that initial push was over, I needed a break. I’d been promising myself a re-read of my favorite series of all time (can you guess? I’m betting yes…), Harry Potter, as a carrot to get things done.

Monday, December 16, 2013

My Everyday Heroes

As 2013 comes to a close, I’m focusing on all the amazing family and friends in my life. With that in mind, here are just a few of the wonderful people I’m grateful for, and who inspire me every day:
My parents ~ They’ve stuck it out through some really challenging times. Health crises, financial hardships, familial upheavals. But next June they will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. If that’s not inspiring, and uplifting, I don’t know what is. They gave me the greatest gifts parents can give their children, a stable upbringing and a launching pad for my dreams. I’m thankful for their steadfastness.
My husband ~ He puts up with me, which is enough to get him to the top of the list, but he also gets up early every day to go to a job he hates in order to support our family and make it so that I can stay home to write. He’s an amazing father to our children. He’s a hero. I’m thankful for his perseverance and love.
My children ~ I can’t say enough about my three kids. They are A-MA-ZING. I’m so freaking proud of them and of the people they have become. They are loving, fun, helpful, considerate, polite. They’re smart and accomplished and talented. I love spending time with them, talking with them, seeing the world through their eyes. I am the luckiest mom in the world. They inspire me every single day. I’m beyond thankful for the love and joy with which they overflow my heart.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Pinterest Boards and Organization Optimization

I used to be super organized. Super. I was a little psycho about it, actually. Then something happened a few years ago, I’m not sure what, and I started losing my edge. Part of it was that my kids had gotten older and no longer needed me to ride herd on them quite so diligently. Maybe I had gotten a little older, too (perish the thought), and had mellowed a tad.
Whatever the reason, I stopped making my famous lists, and things began to pile up around the house. Things, those unnamed, amorphous things, even started slipping through the cracks. Bills went out on the verge of being late. Appointments were almost missed. Grocery shopping only happened when the cupboards were literally bare. Correspondence stopped altogether if it required pen-and-paper and a trip to the mailbox rather than a quick text or email. And, for the first time in my entire life, my Christmas cards went out AFTER Christmas.
That was my wake-up call.

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Day Trip to the NW Carriage Museum

Laura in front of Belle Watling's Gone With the Wind carriage
This is just a little head’s up for Northwest dwellers, or for anyone traveling to the area. It turns out we have an adorable carriage museum up here. Who knew? My friend Laura, for one, but I sure didn’t.

We took a trip out to Raymond, Washington, a few days ago to check it out, and were extremely impressed by our NW Carriage Museum. They have quite a selection of carriages, including the one Laura is standing in front of, which Belle Watling used in Gone With the Wind! They also had a full-sized stagecoach, some wagons, and a super-friendly docent named Emily.

If you have the chance to get out to Raymond, I highly recommend it. It’s worth the drive!

For a few more photos, be sure to click to the rest of the post: