Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Hello my Lovelies,

I hope you had a wonderful holiday. I got to spend a lovely, lazy day with my parents getting pleasantly plump off turkey and other great foods.

I have to admit though, despite my blessings, I'm feeling very disappointed in the strife and disharmony going on around me.
When stores have to close up because they fear for the safety of their customers and workers, something is not right.
When a crowd of people is so riotous they're infringing upon a public ceremony,  and the police must use "crowd dispersal" measures in order to maintain safety, something is not right.

What happened in Ferguson is a tragedy;  whoever was at fault, whatever the reasoning, a man was killed.
The dead man's family has to live on without him now.
The officer and his family have to live with the knowledge that he pulled the trigger and ended someone's life.
Both these statements are facts, and they are horribly painful.

But to go out crying justice while causing more pain does NOTHING to honor the dead, it does NOTHING to uphold justice.
At this point it's not about the one man who shot the other, this is about the fifty or hundred who are now furthering strife and hateful acts.

My brother is working public services in Seattle, and I now have to worry for his welfare because of this. He is someone's son, husband, father.
What about your sons, brothers, daughters, sisters? Do you want them out in this?
You cannot stand up shouting peace, justice and equality while behaving violently against innocent people.

As we continue into this season, I pray for peace to those who have lost, wisdom to the crusaders who go out each day to uphold their truths, and compassion and mercy to those who insist on waging war on each other.

I choose wage war on the true enemies: hatred and division.
I choose to uphold compassion.
And I choose to offer mercy and peace.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Official Release Statement!

Hello Lovelies!
I hope life has been treating you kindly. I’ve had a fairly busy couple months, but I wanted to take a moment and tell you… I have a new book out!
“Masonry: Tales And Lore Of The Old Kingdom” is a small collection of folklore that I put together to give you a taste of what I’ve been working on in the last year.
  It is currently available for Nook. (Kindle readers, I haven’t forgotten you, stay tuned for your release date!)

Tales of Masonry
For Nook:
For Kindle: 

This collection is a prequel to my novel, “The Return Of Masonry,” a story about a girl, a boy, and the personal scars they must overcome to grow into who they want to be.
  I’ve been working hard to get Masonry on paper for you, and I must say, it’s taken me longer to understand how to tell this story than my last one. Masonry is a story I feel quite strongly about, I think it’s a journey that many people can understand. And for that reason, it is a story worth telling.
In the meantime, be sure you pick up the Masonry tales from Barnes & Noble or Amazon. And if you haven’t already, check out my first book, “The Rooftops Of London.”
Thank you so much for your support and your feedback on my various accomplishments! You are the most wonderful readers I could ever have asked for!
Cheers Lovelies!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Defining Brush Strokes

Health and Wellness; let’s take a moment to study this.

I strongly support taking care of yourself. Our bodies serve us well- or should- and we’re stuck with them for an awfully long time, so it seems like common sense to look after the thing and treat it well. But let’s be candid: people abuse exercise and dieting.

We abuse ourselves with these two wellness regimes. pushing our bodies far beyond their limits and then denying them the nutrients they so desperately need- it’s insanity. I’ve seen it happen often, we get in a mindset. “If I could just lose the pounds, just lift the big weight, If I could just lose that one more inch…" Well then what?
Will it make you more happy? Less hungry? Will it magically change you into a new person?

The answer is “No, it won’t.”

You may lose the inches or pounds. You may finally get into the dress size you think you deserve. And Kudos to you. God knows it isn’t easy. But more often than not the result is a new standard. “Well this is great, but it’s not quite good enough. If only…”

The problem here isn’t what size you are, or what your weight record is. The problem is denying yourself a happiness in pursuit of an unattainable goal. At what point will you accept yourself just the way you are? No more ifs. Just look at yourself and say, “Yeah, this is good. This is great.” Sure, maybe you could stand to lose a few pounds. But who cares?

Watching my cousin paint, I noticed that she doesn’t just go straight into the picture. First she lays down some background color, layering and smoothing and roughing it into something with character, something that defines whatever object and scenery she’s creating. The object itself is cool, and the scenery is nice. But the underlying tones and shapes are what really drive the piece.
The same goes for you and your body.

At the end of the day, it’s still you in that body. Work on accepting You first. Define what that is, and that will tell you what you need to know about your body.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Everyday Beauty Queens

Let me just hit the nail on the head: Health has NOTHING to do with your clothing size.

Nothing. Period.

Don’t turn me off yet, listen to my words.
Clothing is made to fit your physical dimensions, not your physical fitness level. It is not a definition of your health status. If you are broad in shoulder and/or hip, you’re going to wear a bigger size than the willowy girl next to you. Not because she’s healthier, but because you are built on entirely different frames. There’s no comparison.

I have a wide, very sturdy very German bone frame. (think of Brunhilde the Valkyrie, and you’ve pretty much got it. Minus the horns… and armor made out of dinner plates) It’s genetic, it’s how my body grew.
I will never be able to trade clothes with my beautiful petite Filipino friends. I’m about half a foot wider, not to mention taller. It’s just not gonna work.
But, that doesn’t make either of us unhealthy.

At my healthiest, when my hips and legs were all toned and my tummy and back held each other in line, I was still a size 16. But I felt great! I don’t expect to ever get below that, because my hip bones themselves are just that wide.

So, when you look in the mirror and start critiquing your body (as we all do) this is what you should look for:

1. Does your body meet your daily requirements?
Can you chase your kids/animals, do your chores and make it from point A to B without dying?

2. Does your body need rest? Nourishment?
Having fixed those, are you still worn down?

And 3. For those of you that really need to be challenged somehow:
If the zombie ninjas attacked tonight, Could you escape before being caught and eaten??

If you answered “no” to any of the above, you may need to l change some things. And that’s okay too.

But if you answered yes; Honey, give yourself a break! You’re fine!
Strut your stuff in your size 22 Curveliscious jeans and find something else to worry about!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Everyday Dragons

The biggest frustration in life is realizing that nothing goes according to plan- made all the more frustrating in how often we have to learn it.

It’s been impressed upon me (a lot recently) how transitory my current life balance is.
I’m an in-home nanny to four amazing nieces and nephews. My wages are of the “Room and Board” variety (and the regular supply of coffee), as well as dedicated time to work on my writing and further my actual career.
It’s the perfect gig for me, I love it! Unfortunately for me, our kids are growing up (as they tend to do) and with that shift I am needed less and less, and in the next year or so I won’t be needed at all.

So here I’m looking at my next couple years, looking at my work output and revenue from my writing and thinking, “Shit, how am I gonna make this work?”

Research suggests I need at least five books (and a dedicated audience) to actually make a livable profit of writing; It took me a year to publish my first book, and I’m pushing two years to get my second on paper, let alone published. 
I can forward my poetry and short stories a little, but honestly: Solvent in two years? On top of keeping up on my day job in the process and not keeling over from everything? I’m a bit daunted.

I’ve tried having a “real” day job and writing before and it’s… doable. But even as draining as the kids are most days, I’ve gotten so much more done in the last two years than I did working 9-5. The harsh reality is: it still might not be enough.

Hence, my family pushing me to make a plan. Be realistic. Not take a sweet(short term) deal for granted.

It’s not like I planned to be living this way. Honestly, I never dreamed of living in my brother’s garage at 25, making two bucks a month. That wasn’t in my plan.
I expected to be profitable by now: a rock star writer with my own family, my own horde of kids to torture and enjoy. I was gonna have a big kitschy, shabby chic house full of noise and food and art, music pouring out all day long.

What I have is a funky little garage, with cool mismatched furniture. I’ve got my dog, and the kids I borrow. I have art: Funky silly murals and drawings I and my family have done. And I have a stereo speaker in my window so I can blare tunes to the back yard. It’s a pretty kickass substitute, really. And I treasure every little moment. But it’s not exactly the dream, is it?

So here I sit; stressing myself out, trying to line up a two year plan to not give up on the dream, trying not to burn out on the little things I’ve always loved but haven’t owned myself.

God save me from Best Laid Plans, right?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Teenage Vampire Zombie Ninjas

Trying to write with four kiddos climbing over me, throwing things and yelling at- well, the universe- is very difficult (go figure).

I try and work around their schedule and in between dousing fires (figuratively thank god!), but being non-schedule oriented I end up having a complete meltdown and sending myself to my room. *wahahaha!*
I lack the capability to work while doing other things; somehow playing "Princess Ninja Skylander Lego World" while writing an emotionally heart wrenching scene doesn't work.
I'd love to get out of the house and write but let's face it: I'm the Nanny of four kids. When am I actually going to have time and energy to get out of the house?

So problem solving!

The last few times I've sat down to work I've set myself a literal timer, and it's amazing how much difference it's made!

Just 1-1.5 hours that I tell myself not to look at Facebook, talk to the kids or fall asleep, and I get really great quality work done!
Just today I finished one whole scene and started another!
I reach the end of the day without gnashing my terrible teeth at anyone, while still doing enough work to not feel like a failure! So I count this as a win.

Anyways a bit scrambled today, but wanted to share this little victory.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Because You’re Pretty

I have a personal mission, a holy passion!

I wish to see women accept and enjoy themselves as BEAUTIFUL!

So many women disregard their own beauty;

I’m too fat,
I’m too thin,
I have this big, mushy belly from having my kids,
I just don’t think of myself and pretty.
Why cover up? Guys are just gonna stare anyways.
Oh, I’m not pretty. I just have fun and take care of [fill in your blank], so it’s ok. But I’m not pretty.
Oh god, NO one wants to see me without my make up!

And why do ANY of these points make you less beautiful?? I call shenanigans. I call BULLSHIT.

But what does that mean to you? I can tell you how beautiful you are every day for eternity, but it won’t mean anything.
So instead, I offer you a challenge. I Double Dog DARE you:

Every day before you hide behind the makeup, before you layer under T-shirts and sweaters or pad your bra, before you step on any scale; find three things you like about yourself. PHYSICAL things. Little things, big things, I don’t care.
I want you to find things about yourself that YOU like. I don’t care what your significant other likes, what your friends compliment you on.

What parts of you do YOU appreciate?

1. ?
2. ??
3. ???

I dare you to do this for a whole week. SEVEN WHOLE DAYS. Give yourself permission to feel good about yourself. Give yourself permission to be pretty, just as you are.

It’s only a week. What have you got to lose? What do you have to be afraid of?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Little Moments

Life doesn't stand still.  It's always changing, always moving on. Every moment is a different place, and nothing you do prolongs it.
To cling to the past is like trying to force a puzzle piece where it doesn't belong; it doesn't work.

So you do your best where you are. You love the people you're with, and you remember as best you can how good and perfect that moment was.
And then you move on.
You open yourself to the new moment,  the new experience, and work from that instance to create the best space in time possible.

This doesn't mean you love less, you give less. Your thoughts and feelings are as strong and real as they ever were.
It just means you let them grow beyond what they were, beyond the moment. It means you don't let that moment define you, cheapen you.

You are more than a moment.
And letting yourself realize that is a rare form of bravery

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Me And Gorgeous George

I've been feeling a bit like George Pickett at the end of Gettysburg; straggling back from a lost charge,  shell-shocked and hurting. Staring up at a leader who's demanding I gather my wits and troops and get back in the fray.

"But General, I have no division."

This had been my state of being for so long, I'd forgotten what joy and true fire felt like. I have it back now, truly back for the first time in years, and I'm quite frightened to lose it again.

The road of grief is a never-ending struggle, and I don't know if the waves of anger, doubt and self pity ever really go away. But I've found my fire in the middle of the storm,  and I'm holding on as best I know how.
With careful steps my General is gathering me up and setting me back at the head of my regiment. And I'm guarding my flame jealously,  praying it never again goes out.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

No Well, No Well…?

The problem with working in a creative career; How the hell do you work when your entire being hurts?

I’ve been going through some personal grief recently and I gotta tell you, I really don’t feel like creating anything. The thought of working through a story makes me close to tears. Writing a poem is too personal as well. I try journaling, and I just don’t want to talk about it. It all just hurts too much.

At least in a 9-5 job you can go through the motions asnd reach the end of day with just enough effort to pay the bills. But here? Here, the entirety of my career is based upon my ability to create and produce. and creating right now is just… too much.

So that’s my pity party for the day. I hurt to much to write.
It’ll get better. I know it’ll get better some day, but… Damn, it really sucks right now.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Word To the Chef

I read an article the other day about bad reasons to leave your church (sited below).

It was written by a pastor who- given the tone of the piece- was sick of the excuses people had given for leaving his church, and he makes some very good points about how people ‘cop out’ and don’t want to be responsible for their part in the church.

However, I take issue with a few of his points, because he writes them off as invalid, and goes so far as to ridicule them when they are important points.

I’d apologize for antagonizing, but where the tone of his article was antagonistic too, I’m trusting that Pastor Loy can take what he dishes.
So if you’ll give me some grace, I’d like to explain further upon a few of the points Pastor Loy made:


1. “I’m not being fed.”

Pastor Loy calls this one a blatant cop out. He knows that a pastors job is to steward the scriptures and care for the spiritual needs of the church, but admits it’s difficult to do this all the time between juggling the administrative responsibility as well as the spiritual calling, not to mention personal life.
His solution to not being fed through the church is to seek spiritual “meat” through other venues (podcasts, online devotionals, reading the bible for yourself, etc.) He further thinks that the main reason to go to church is to contribute, “not just consume.”

To start, I’d like to say that Loy is right; there are a lot of options to get the spiritual ‘upload’ you need. The duties of a church leader are intensive and- as any human- it is impossible to be in the spirit all the time.

But quite frankly, why the hell would I join your church if I wasn’t fed there?

If I get no spiritual input in your service, I have no reason to stay. If Yaweh does not speak through your message, it’s meaningless. And short of a call from Him to do so, I am not going to waste my contributions on your church if I do not get the input I need in order to live in Yaweh.
If I am not fed by my Father in your church, I will be depressed and become bitter, and I know you don’t wish that on me as your sister in Christ.
There ARE many options to get fed, but that does not lessen YOUR responsibility. Do you deserve grace, forgiveness and forbearance from me? Completely, brother. But degrading my need for fulfillment and casting blame is as big a cop out as me running away because you’re going through a rough time and can’t feel him enough to share.

2. “It’s getting too big.”

Pastor Loy does understand that as a church grows, the intimacy changes, but he seems to think losing intimacy completely is a necessary outcome. He says that “remaining small is a sad and unbiblical goal” and:

“If you have a problem with big churches, you really wouldn’t have liked the first church and you definitely won’t like heaven.To be frank, if you have a problem with the inevitable growth that happens when lives are changed by the gospel, you have some serious repenting to do.”

To be frank back at you, I’m curious where your view of the ‘first church’ comes from. I assume you’re referring to the apostolic movement after the Pentecost, what most Christians count as the “first church”?
Well bro, THAT church started in homes. It was lived out and congregated in a domestic and INTIMATE setting. Even as it grew and more people congregated there was still intimacy. it was part of the CHURCH culture.
When the apostles came into town to visit the different churches, they stayed WITH the people. And it wasn’t just because the hotels were crap; people WANTED that intimacy.
In the letters of the new testament, there is an intimacy in how the writers talk. Paul was writing to people he knew personally, people he had shepherded and talked to and built relationships with.

Even before the apostles, Jesus made personal relationships with the people who followed him. Do you really think that those twelve in the upper room were the only ones who got his time and attention? There were THOUSANDS of people following him, and I bet most of them felt an intimacy in his presence, despite the large mass of people.

You are correct: We are not called to be small and secluded. But the answer isn’t a blasé corporate feel where everyone needs a nametag in order to know who the hell you are, let alone why you’re there. It IS possible to grow the body of Christ and still remain connected. Intimacy does not mean small, It means personal. Just as growth does not mean separation, growth means improvement.

How can you expect improvement in your church without intimacy, without getting personal?

The last three “bad” reasons for leaving a church are pretty straightforward, and I don’t disagree over much. You are never going to agree completely with what someone says, so to expect such is a false pretense.
“My Needs aren’t being met” falls in the same category and not being fed, so I won’t beat the dead horse.
And as to the last, Pastor Loy is right: Conflict is anywhere you have people who are breathing. It happens.

The simple fact is that a church is just a community. It’s a group of people who are supposed to be working toward the common good, and EVERYONE is responsible for it.

The solution isn’t to just suck it up and deal with it, give up on your own needs. That road leads to broken hearts and miserable fellowship.
The solution is to care about the people of Yaweh, your brothers and sisters, more than everything else, and to hold their needs equal to your own. You have to remember that this whole blessed thing is a relationship, between you and the Father as well as you and your ‘neighbor.’

Give and take, folks. It takes grace on both sides.


Crawling Toward The Finish Line

Heya My Lovelies. No rants today, I’m a bit bottled up right now. However, in an effort to show you love and keep you reading, I posted a creative essay on my Facebook page! You should check it out:

In the meantime, I wish you many sunny days, and hope life is treating you kinder than it is some of us.

Cheers Smile

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Horse Is A Horse, Of Course, Of Course

I don't remember where that line is from... but it makes me giggle. Like a little girl.

Anyways, this is actually a blog to rant against life.
MY life specifically will be rather frustrating for the next couple months; my day job is taking over my writing time, so I'm not sure how prolific I'll be with my current story. (Yeah, Blargh) This is gonna throw off my 2014 schedule a bit... but what are you gonna do, right?

This may work out alright, though. I'll have enough time to go through my old manuscripts and see if they're salvageable. And in the meantime, I can build up my blogs and author profiles, little things that aren't as attention intensive.

It's all about having a game plan... right?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Well Jeepers!

I have to confess: I take ridiculous pleasure in being the sweet "girly girl" at the auto shop. Not in the "look at all these boys at my beck and call" power trip way. I'm not quite that sadistic.  I more enjoy watching all these tough mechanic types turn beet red and try really hard to take care of me and not be offensive.
Forgive the romanticism, but I get the feeling a lot of tough types are pretty jaded, particularly toward women. So to throw off the stigma and make them feel good, just by being me? That's kind of endearing.
So this one goes out to all the tough mechanic men. I don't understand half the things you're telling me about my car, but thanks for making it run pretty for me!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Whither Wilt Thou Go, Oh Wandering Heart?

Making my own coffee is usually a crapshoot. But every so often I manage to create the most glorious balance of cream and coffee, and it makes the world a sublime and beautiful place...
So, I've been realizing recently that I have a poetic heart. I don't say this to sound artsy or cool- on the contrary, it's kind of a nuisance.

I address people, thinking I'm speaking plainly, and they roll their eyes as if I'm trying too hard or being silly.
"No, I honestly mean my heart bleeds for you."
I dont know a better way to describe what I'm feeling. I'm not just sad or sympathetic; it hurts me that you are hurting. Hence,  my heart bleeds.
I could just say, "man, that's a bummer," but that doesn't convey my feeling.

Ah well. I really put too high a premium on communication anyway.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Short Story!

I have been incredibly lax in my stewardship here, Lovelies. I apologize. However, I have been a busy little bug, In evidence of that, I have shared a short story on my Facebook author page. You should go check it out:

Other then that, I’m working on The Return of Masonry; the story of a girl who must decide who she wants to be and what to do about it.

I shall keep you posted, Lovelies! Stay tuned!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Open Your Minds!

Taking a break from the literary struggle that is my career to talk about something very close to my heart: Education!

Point of fact darlings: I am a nerd. I am a learn-a-holic. I LOVE to find out new things on practically any subject in the world.

When I was unable to finish college ($$Cha-Ching$$) I was very frustrated and a little heartbroken, because I loved being in the classes (The administrative B.S. was too much, but that’s another subject). Even when I had self important professors who didn’t like being challenged, I was still able to stretch my mind and learn new things. I thrived on the environment.

But in retrospect, going to college was a major waste of money and debt. I don’t regret going in the least, but the ONLY reason I went was because I wanted to learn. I had no specific degree in mind, I didn’t need one for my chosen career. I just wanted to take classes, which I could have done by myself, for exponentially less capital.

I am not discouraging people from college, per se. I am the biggest supporter of people seeking a higher education and learning new things. I’m just saying the colleges and universities are not the only places you can get educated.

I read this blog earlier today. It more concretely shows what I’m raving about.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Struggle Remains


This, ladies and gentlemen is the sound of my brain (Don’t ask why it’s grieving in Spanish. I’m sure it has it’s reasons). I think that writer’s block is the cruelest joke God has ever played. Seriously! How am I supposed to work with this??

Sigh… I’ve been trying for the last seven days to make some forward progress, but my dear characters have refused.Seven days of feeling like a failure because, “This is my job, my career! I should be able to wrestle this story out and make it sit on the page like a good little… inanimate object.”

But alas, the struggle remains. I could blame it on the crazy, distracting and messy life and my hyper analytical brain but really, why taint myself? My lack of productivity is simply what it is: LAME.

But I digress. Working on concept art for The Return of Masonry, which reminded me of some I have drawn for The Rooftops of London. I should dig them out and share them soon I think. I’ll keep you posted.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


When you stand on a precipice,
upon the very edge of something and nothing,
It's hard to drag your eyes from the scenery.
You stand, looking at the vast sea
of possibilities before you and think;
Good God, could all that possibly be for me?
Am I really worth all that?
What if I can't reach it?
It all seems so far away,
It couldn't possibly be for me.

Then you look back at all you've come through;
The dust, the mud, the rocky terrain.
All those high points and low points of your life,
Your Journey.
For a minute you believe the lies
That you're too dirty,
too broken,
too low to even achieve that valley below you.

And for just a second, you turn away;
ashamed, humiliated, embarrassed.

Look in the mirror.
Look at all those battle scars,
The places where the rough road dragged you,
Where the spears and arrows whizzed past
And made you give everything you had just to reach the next harsh plain.

Now look at the person beneath those scars.
Do you see the shoulders still bearing the weight?
The heart that still beats stubbornly?
The soul that still yearns to dance?

The world would see your scars and say you're tired;
worn out, bedraggled... used up.

But that is not what the scars say.

The scars say,

“I have been through the battle and survived.
I have fought, to my very last strength,
And come out stronger.
I have faced the desert, the blizzard,
And every foul enemy in front of me

And I am STILL here.

I have earned my stripes,
I have earned my place here
on the precipice.”

So look in the mirror.
What do you choose to see?
Because what you choose will decide
How many of the possibilities
Are yours.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Week One As a Published Author

You know what I hated most about college? Feeling stupid. Not in the classes; I was perfectly suited to those. No, what made me feel stupid was trying to jump through the administrative hoops in order to attend said classes.

As a freshman at university, you are thrown into a whirlwind of legalese, bureaucracy and process with only half an idea how to accomplish what you need. “Sign this, fill this out, pick the top five choices for where you want to live/eat/study- and oh by the way, cash, debit or loan? And would you like fries with that?”

And no matter how hard you research and study and prepare, you are hopelessly stuck in the space of, “Holy crap! What did I get myself into??”

This is the feeling I have revisited this past week as I try to navigate the waters of publishing and marketing.

I have spent the past seven years researching how to become an author. I have spent the past 2 years specifically reading blogs and books about how to self publish. I have participated in discussions, asked questions and watched other authors do ‘their thing’.

And yet, I STILL feel like I’m missing that crucial information, that golden key that will tell me if I’m “doing it right.”

Beneath my girlish squealing and hyperventilation, I have realized that I’m Okay.

I have accomplished my goal to get published, in the timeframe I had intended (No small feat, let me tell you!) and I have been ‘pre-seasoning” the market and building my fan base for over a year, so I honestly think I have a decent handle on my PR. but all the same…

Holy Crap! Look what I got myself into!!

This really is an exciting time for me. Knowing that people have bought my book throws me into giggle fits, at the same time as I’m biting my nails and trying not to hover over my reviews page. And I truly am figuring out this marketing thing, even if I feel a bit out of my element.

Now, to finish the next book! The return of Masonry will be coming soon folks! Stay tuned for blurbs and musings as I flush out the story of Alanor, and the crazy life she chooses for herself!