Thursday, October 27, 2011

Book Group & Jody Hedlund

I hosted book group tonight with a beautiful bunch of women from church! This past month, we all read THE PREACHER'S BRIDE by Jody Hedlund.

It's such a beautiful book. The main character, Elizabeth, is such a wonderful example of service and self sacrifice. I finished the book with the feeling of wanting to do better, to be better.

I have to admit, I first read this book a year ago when it first came out. I remember loving it! This month though, I wanted to read it again so I'd be fresh for the discussion, but it didn't happen. Last night I picked up the book and was going to quickly skim to freshen up my memory. I had one problem though, I kept getting sucked in. I found myself reading a page here, a scene there, and it angered me that I has such little time to get finished. I just love this book and the second time around was just as good as the first.

During our discussion tonight we also Skyped with Jody. It was wonderful to learn more about her life and writing journey. There were some very insightful questions asked and I learned more about the story behind the book.

If you enjoy historical fiction, I highly recommend this book.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Skeleton Lake is out TODAY!

Want to read a chilling book, perfect for Halloween? This would be the book. It's my dear friend and critique partner, Angela Kulig's first book and it's out TODAY!!

You can grab it at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Smashwords for $2.99

Also, head on over to another dear friend's blog: Ali Cross. You can read Angela's guest post there.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Hello! Remember me? Yeah, I'm the writer who hasn't blogged in AGES!

First and foremost, my critique partner, Angela Kulig, has her very first book coming out this week!! I am so incredibly excited and proud of her!! Want to check out her book? Yes? YAY! Click on the cover and it'll direct you to where you can read the first chapter! :)

So what have I been up to? EVERYTHING! But I wanted to share what currently has my interest. Since it's somewhat difficult to take a writing class at the moment with a house full of kids and a hubby that's gone at work 12+ hours a day, I decided to do a writing class of my own. I bought a whole bunch of books and have been studying and taking notes--the only thing missing is a lecture. One day, I will take a course, and I will relish the moment!!

I just LOVE this series! There are several books, each breaking down a basic unit of the craft. The first one I'm focusing on is this book by James Scott Bell:

I have learned so much, and I'm only half done. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Since learning is an ongoing thing, why not tighten up your plot writing muscles??

Lately, when I'm done taking notes, I've been reading the following book by debut novelist, Leigh Fallon. It sort of sucked me in, you know the rest!

I hope to be blogging more, I honestly do. ;)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Short Story Challenge

Earlier this week, I saw a few friends on Twitter talk about a short story challenge on Rach Writes. I'm always up for a fun challenge, so I decided to do it.

Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open." If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (all included in the word count)

For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!

If I'm going to take a challenge, I'm doing it, 200 exact words and all.

The door swung open, a halo of blue and red surrounded the small group as they rushed into the crowded room. Mom and dad trailed behind, worried.

“It hurts so bad!” the teen yelled into my face when I approached. She dripped with sweat, hands clutching her stomach.

One look and I knew.

“This way!” As in flight, the paramedics and I went down the hall.

From the waiting area, the mother’s voice rang down the hall, “Something’s wrong!”

We worked on her for an hour, the pain subsided. She smiled and said, “Thanks.” But things like this shouldn’t happen. She’s young with an entire life ahead, but the choice she made has consequences and now the entire family will have to support each other.

I walked into the waiting room; her parents had an identical look in their eyes, anticipation. I didn’t know where to begin.

“She ingested too many pills. We pumped her stomach, she seemed fine, but too much time had passed with the drugs in her system. Her heart failed and we couldn’t revive her. I’m so sorry.”

The silence turned into hysteric wails. I left the waiting room behind me, and the door swung shut.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Well, it's been a bit longer than I would have liked since my last post, but nothing of worth of a post has happened in my life to share. What have I been up to you may ask? Well, if you follow me on Twitter you have a pretty good idea of the things that are going on in my daily life. If not, I'll fill you in.

After hitting my head against the wall after a bazillion rewrites of my first chapter *cough* paragraph, I thought I would walk away and do some reading and researching. For me, the next best thing to writing is learning about writing. I really know nothing about the craft. Actually, I need to give myself a bit more credit than that. I've learned SO much in the last year, it makes my head spin, but there is still, still so much for me to learn and even more to apply.

I wrote a novel in 5 weeks, described what I saw as the movie in my head ran, and didn't know what I was doing. Fixing a mess is not fun, or easy. I've often thought about tossing the first draft so I can rewrite the whole thing from scratch, but I can't. I've also tried to write about something different, but it's hard when the first story gets jealous and conflict takes place in your head as the two stories duke it out.

As I sit here typing my thoughts, I wonder if I've already said this in another post. Please forgive me if I have, nothing has really changed in the last few months. What has been keeping me the most busy is getting my house and life in order. As any writer knows, everything around you tends to go to the back burner when you are deeply immersed in a story. It happens and is understandable. But when I came home from a few days in Utah for my mother-in-law's funeral, the shambles we left the house in made me snap. I've been cleaning it ever since. I need my surroundings to be orderly if I am going to think straight. I have a very difficult time writing if my mind is cluttered. I feel so much better already and I only have one more room to go: the boys' room. If you don't hear from me for awhile, check my Twitter, I may need a rescue party.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Idea From An Old Journal.

In the video, I never had the chance to share how this journal gave me an idea for a historical fiction manuscript. While travelling through Europe during the 1920's, my great, great aunt wrote down her thoughts and feelings of a historical event she witnessed. I have only picked through the journal and hope I will find more information on this and more as I continue on in my reading. I'm super excited!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Small Favor...

In a previous post I mentioned an author by the name of Kaleb Nation. He's a huge inspiration in my life when it comes to writing and if there is an opportunity to return the favor, or to at least help him some way, I'm going to do what I can. :)

For the next seven days he's in the YouTube NextUp contest. (He's also a YouTuber when he's not busy writing books) 25 YouTubers will win $35,000 to help them in their YouTube careers. I can't think of anyone more deserving than Kaleb and I ask only a minute of your time to help him out.

For me, he helped me in the life changing moment when I realized I loved to write and wanted to pursue it more seriously. Now I'm trying to help out so he can have a life changing moment in his.

Watch the video--it explains more about the contest.
Simply go and vote by clicking HERE. (You can vote every day through the 8th)

Thank you SO MUCH!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A fellow writer's blog got me thinking...

Today, I woke up and pondered the question, "Why do I keep my pursuit of writing?" It takes so much time and thought and effort and frankly, it's exhausting! So why continue with a craft that takes so much and gives so little with no guarantee that you'll end up with any sort of reward?

Ironically, when I hopped onto Twitter today, I saw the tweet by LM Preston that directed me to her blog which got me thinking even more. Her post matched my thoughts, so I won't repeat them. (Go and read her blog)

So why do I keep writing? The answer is simple, it's something for me. I'm a stay-at-home mom and I homeschool my four children. Over the years I have given up crafts, gym workouts and other activities so I could better balance my time and focus on my family. After a decade of self-sacrifice, and as rewarding as this blessing is, I've learned that I really need to do something just for me. I need an activity that I can do that will better me in the process.

As challenging as writing is, it's a challenge between me and only me. The more I learn and push myself, the better my writing will be, the better chance I will have to share it with others. I love this sort of challenge and it's exactly the sort of activity I needed this time in my life. Especially since I can work on it when the kids are asleep or if I leave it out, the toddler can't poke, mess, lose or do anything that would harm him or the long as I leave the laptop locked or off when unattended.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Year in Vlogs

I'm a late bloomer. It wasn't until a few years ago that I discovered my love for reading, and only last year did I realize this love transcended to writing. If I could go back in time, I would change this little fact about me.

For a couple of years, I had a story idea bouncing around in my head. Of course, not being a writer, I dismissed the thought. But the thought had a mind of it's own and it frequently began to visit me. Ironically, during this haunting time, I had been following an author, Kaleb Nation, on Twitter and YouTube. Watching his journey was inspiring.

My journey started one evening last spring, I found myself at the computer and I began typing the first chapter of my first novel. I didn't know what I was doing, I didn't know the rules, I was just capturing the movie that played in my head. Five weeks later, the novel was completed. Little did I know what work lie ahead as I immersed myself into the wonderful world of writing.

Online chats with other writers, following agent chats on Twitter, WriteOnCon, critique partners, conferences, books on writing... anything I could watch, participate in or get my hands on, I was there. I have learned so much this past year, and I can safely say my writing has improved. I'm far from the writer I was when I started this journey and I have so much more to learn.

I thought I would include in my first post a compilation of vlogs I did over the past year. They capture a bit about my writing journey since the beginning and give a little insight to who I am.