Sunday, May 30, 2010

Honoring Veterans

"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers." -Narosky

Early Saturday morning, my sons joined other scouts on the rolling green hills of our local cemetery. Scores of kids respectfully placed flags at the head of each veteran's grave.

Our sons did this last year also, and it was truly an amazing experience. It's a good opportunity to remind my children what previous generations have done for us.

My dad was in the Navy during World War II. When he was alive, Dad used to say he was "just a cook." That may be true, but each soldier contributes something valuable when they serve. Dad did his part, even if his role was small.

On this Memorial Day weekend, I'm thankful for those who serve. Their sacrifice is courageous and honorable. Their families will always have my respect and admiration.

Do you have a veteran in your family? A friend who's currently serving in the military? Please share their story...I'd love to hear it.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Celebrating 100 with Goodies & Cyber-Margaritas!

Thanks to this awesome community of writers and bloggers, I'm celebrating the 100th follower mark! In honor of this milestone, I’d like to forward some blogger awards I’ve received. After all, what's a party without goodies? And margaritas?

A special shout out to Ronnie Kerrigan, who was lucky #100! Drop by his fun blog when you can.


This Sunshine Award was given to me by Helen Ginger. I'm passing it along to the following bloggers who brighten my day:

India Drummond

Ashley Atkins

Vicki Rocho

Isabella Morgan


This Blogger Momma award was given to me by Nicole Ducleroir. I'm passing it on to these amazing moms who juggle writing with band-aids, runny noses, and drama:

Kimberly Job



Jaydee Morgan


This Sweet Blog award was given to me by Angie Paxton. I'm passing it along to the following sweeties:

Carolina Valdez Miller

Amy Holder

Lisa Gurney

And especially Angela Ackerman at The Bookshelf Muse for her sweet tweet that gave me the extra push!

Now that the awards ceremony is over, what do you say we share some cyber-margaritas?

What is your favorite flavor? On the rocks? Blended with salt? Strawberry with sugar on the rim?

Monday, May 24, 2010

So Many Flavors!

While chillin’ by the pool in Palm Springs with my sisters, I couldn’t help but notice all the noses in books. I imagined the excitement each author had felt the first time they’d learned they’d be published. Something else I noticed? All the different ‘flavors’ of books. I spotted thrillers, self-help, romance, and YA.

For me, a stroll through a library or book store is like a trip to Baskin Robbins. Well, let's not go crazy. But I do love all the choices. The perfect book choice for me might make others cringe. Like when my husband orders strawberry cheesecake ice cream, and I don't even ask for a bite ( that why he orders it?)

I'm thankful that authors write diverse material, and that publishers put it out there on the market. Just like I'm thankful there are rows and rows of flavors to choose from in the ice cream section of the grocery store.

Karen G wrote an amazing post on Why You May Not be Published. If we avoid these mistakes, maybe someday our work will be gobbled up by sunbathers chillin’ by the pool.

For the record, my favorite books are contemporary and historical fiction. My favorite ice cream? Peanut butter and chocolate. How about you?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Focus on the Awesome

Focusing on the awesome can be more challenging than focusing on the bad. It might have something to do with human nature, our point of view on life, or the people surrounding us.

In any event, I've noticed that focusing on the awesome gives me a sense of calm. It reminds me there's always something to be thankful for, even on the crumbiest of days. A supportive family, healthy children, a roof over my head.

There's a fun blog out there, called It points out the simpler awesome things we might take for granted, such as making it halfway, picking the fastest moving line at the grocery store checkout, and fully justifying whatever terrible thing you're eating. It's positive and fun!

It's awesome that I've finished my nonfiction outline. How about you? What awesome thing are you focusing on today?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Five Fingers, Free Books, Agent Updates & Grammar

While dining with family and friends this weekend, I learned an entertaining game called "Five Fingers." Ever heard of it? I was told it's a drinking game, which explains why it was foreign to me. I'm kinda sorta square.

After playing a hilarious (and very informative) round of Five Fingers, I not only gained fun memories, but I also imagined a new scene for my next novel. I scribbled notes on hotel stationery and slipped them into my file for future use.

Tell me, what is your process for jotting down ideas when they sky-dive into your brain? Notes on business cards, store receipts, or your child's homework? Note pad in your purse? Paper and pencil on your nightstand? I'd love to know your secret.

From Anita Nolan and my sister (Hi Robyn!) I learned that Borders is giving out a free book to kids under 12 who read 10 books this summer. You can check out the details here.'s blog lists new and updated agents here.

Grammar Girl helps those of us who are grammar-challenged here.

I wish you all a happy Tuesday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sharing, Spock, and Puke

The miracle is this: the more we share the more we have.
-Leonard Nemoy

One thing I've noticed about writers: they share. Information, advice, encouragement, you name it.

There are far too many helpful blogs to mention, but here are a few where I've received amazing information:

(Elana's post on cleaning up the puke can NOT be missed)

Many thanks to each blogger out there in cyberspace who takes the time to post great stuff. I appreciate each of you!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Secret to Having it All is...

...believing that you do.

This statement hangs on a wall in my home, and I love it.

To me, it's all about perspective. Some rich people are miserable. Some poor people are happy and content. The difference lies in their viewpoint.

Do we appreciate material things and successes more if they've been a long time coming? In my opinion, not that anyone's asking, is that yes, we appreciate hard-won successes more. Kind of like driving clunkers for many years, then affording a Mercedes. If a 16-year-0ld receives a Mercedes on the day their new license is printed, do they appreciate it as much?

As a writer, I'd love to have a book published NOW. If it doesn't happen right away, I'm cool with that. I'm just happy I have the skills, the desire, and the determination to write.

Rejection after rejection is a bummer. But dear author friends, we are in good company. Anita Nolan blogged about famous author rejections. Gone with the Wind rejected 38 times? Margaret Mitchell would have loved acceptance right away, to be sure. But imagine her excitement after 38 rejections. If she had given up...I shudder at the thought.

Those of you with published books, did it happen right away? Or did it take years, and you savored the victory even more? I'd love to hear your stories!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Blogger Mommas

Slushpile Slut (hilarious name) was kind enough to give me a Blogger Momma Recognition Award. Thank you!

In honor of Mother's Day, I'd like to pay it forward. I'm passing the award along to the following moms:

To all of you amazing moms out there, I wish you a Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shakespeare, Doubt, and The Hangover

Our doubts are like traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win,
By fearing to attempt.
-William Shakespeare, "Measure for Measure"

Doubt. If you have none, I'm seriously jealous. I'm guessing that most writers have a healthy dose of the "D" word.

I sometimes wonder when the writer police will pound on my door and arrest me for fraud. I hope he'll at least look like Bradley Cooper. All hunky and tousled, with a split lip and aviator sunglasses. Like in "The Hangover"... *sigh*

Now, where was I?

Oh yes, doubt. The fear of failure shouldn't keep us from doing what we love. And our love of writing shouldn't disappear when we experience bumps along the way. We learn from our mistakes, and we grow.

Let's toss our doubts in the slammer, my writer friends. Let's throw away the key and write on!

P.S. A big thanks to the gals at "Adventures in Children's Publishing" for announcing Ann Marie Wraight and I as co-winners of their book prizes. Marissa and Martina, there's no doubt that you two contribute mightily to the writing community.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I've been thinking about balance lately. Author Cynthia Reese must have read my mind, since she just blogged about this herself!

I do my best to balance family life (school, meals, laundry) with my writing life. My husband and sons are crazy supportive, which is awesome. Thankfully my boys have learned to make grilled cheese sandwiches, Top Ramen, and quesadillas. In a pinch, they can make themselves a hot meal.

My kitchen island has several neat stacks of papers that need my attention. I have a few writing projects that demand my time. It'll all get done, eventually.

I spent today with 53 4th graders, visiting the San Fernando Mission. Words written today? Zero. As I bounced along in the school bus, I realized that I'm one of the lucky moms who CAN be a part of these field trips. I witnessed which boys like which girls. I saw which students give their teacher the most trouble. I was there, and that's what mattered.

I won't get these days with my boys back. Ever. I plan on milking them for all they're worth.