Bringing in the New Year with Words of Hope

     As the clock ticks past the first minute of the first day of January, we begin celebrating the arrival of 2012, looking forward to a year of peace and harmony and finishing the darn book. 

     Last year seemed to bring disaster in many ways, to many people around the world. It also brought hope for many that their way of life would improve. My wish for you is best summed up in this quote from Ann Landers. 


 Let this coming year be better than all the others.
Vow to do some of the things you've always wanted to do but couldn't find the time.
Call up a forgotten friend.
Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories.
Vow not to make a promise you don't think you can keep.
Walk tall, and smile more. You'll look ten years younger.
Don't be afraid to say, 'I love you'. Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world.

 May you ring in the New Year with happiness, joy and love.

Bring them on.


Horses, Writing and Mental Attitude

     After reading several blogs and books on the craft of writing, the thought struck me as to the similarities between writing and training horses, two very dissimilar subjects.
     Since I am a barrel racer, it is easiest for me to look at the subject from that perspective. When training a horse to run barrels, the first item on your list should be making sure you’ve learned the basic techniques.
     Well, learning to stay on the horse is technically the first step but we’ll consider that to be understood. If possible, training with someone who is an expert in your field will speed things along and make the the learning fun.
     The same holds true for learning to write. Reading craft books and having terrific critique partners helps speed your learning curve, adds enjoyment and lowers your frustration level by several degrees.
     As your horse becomes more proficient at running and turning and you gain confidence, some of your training methods will change to accommodate the rising skill level. As your writing proficiency improves, your technique will change to encompass your new knowledge.
     Perhaps the most important part of both professions is the mental game. An essential part of succeeding, whether you’re training an animal or writing from your heart, is belief in yourself. Although it helps to have friends and family to provide encouragement, your confidence comes from within.

     Fortunately, there are many great books on improving self confidence that range from Grow Rich While You Sleep (silly title, great book) to Barbra Schulte's The Gift. You can learn self confidence.
This quote from Dale Carnegie says it all.
Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.


Giving Thanks

Its the end of November already and I'm mentally still in July. Where did the time go? That's a universal question and I've yet to find an answer. As I thought about this, I realized that by making it a policy to celebrate each holiday, I'm marking the passing of the year and having fun. That way 365 days don't slip by unnoticed.
As for giving thanks on this holiday, here are my top three reasons to be thankful.
1. My husband and children. Not to brag or anything, but I have a daughter who is an emergency room psychologist, a son who is a certified diesel mechanic and a son who is currently working on his doctorate in Physics at the CERN Lab in Switzerland. Wow, who knew two country folks could produce such smart, caring individuals. Oh, and don't forget, a great husband who doesn't read romance but he reads mine. Okay, I'm bragging just a little.
2. My parents. Although they are getting up in age, are both doing well and living life to the fullest.
3. My critique partners. I have smart, intelligent and fun people who encourage me every step of the way through my writing career.
What are you most thankful for today?


Tsunami Blue-review

I recently returned from the Emerald City Writer's Conference in Seattle, Washington, my first. If I could, I'd already be signed up for next year.
All of the attendees received a super abundance of books. Free books. All kinds of books. I made the decision to read my way through them and possibly find some new favorite authors. The book on the top of the stack happened to be Tsunami Blue by Gayle Ann Williams. I got lucky. For a debut book, its spellbinding, with an original storyline. Blue, the main character is tough, self sufficient and, at times, very funny. Sexy Gabriel Black turns out to be the good guy, even though Blue isn't sure until the end of the book. Super charged with paranormal activity and just plain bad guys, Blue and Gabriel fight their way to a new world.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes suspense with their hot romance. Good job, Gayle.


Our Stories, Our Way

"If we don't tell our stories, they will be told by people who do not understand them at all." 
Teresa Jordan

We all have stories worth telling and as the old saying goes, if you want it done right, do it yourself.
That is why I started writing. Like most writers, I have stories that are begging to come out and rather than have others think I'm daft because I talk to my characters, I give them life on the page. Once in a while a character I hadn't planned makes an appearance and takes over the story. That's excitement.



Another season of NaNo has arrived and the first four days were great. I love NaNo. Well, I did until today. Today I wrote a big fat zero. Life got in the way. Tomorrow I'll need twice as many words spilling from my brain. Wish me luck.
What do you do to keep yourself on track? Set a timer, close yourself in a room and lock the door? Drink? Let me know your ideas.