Blog Posts


Bullet Journal 101

Hey all!  In my last post I talked a little about my new Years Resolutions.  Here’s a little recap and how I’m progressing:

1)Enjoying who and what I have: I feel like I’ve done a lot better on this part!  There are still times where I struggle, but you can’t change a whole mindset overnight.  I think our whole family is focusing more on what makes us happy and just enjoying each other.  It’s been a real win!

2) Being more focused and organized:  Guys, I am kicking butts and taking names!  I have my Bullet Journal 90% complete and it has helped me be SO much more productive!  I thought I’d share a little info about it in this post.

So Bullet Journals (BuJos) are kind of a huge deal.  Look them up on Pinterest or Facebook.  It’s insane that I hadn’t heard about them before.  Huge shout out to my friend Chelsea for introducing them to me.

The whole premise of BuJos is to have everything you need in one place.  No more sticky notes hiding all over, and files on the computer, and to-do lists on scraps of paper in your purse and grocery lists on the fridge.  It’s everything combined into one.  And the best part is that you can completely customize it to what suites you because you choose what to include and what the layout will be!  Sounds perfect, right?

When I started looking at BuJos, it was overwhelming.  People seriously go all out in drawing and creative scripts for their BuJos.  They look like works of art.  Now, I don’t know about you, but my hand writing stinks and I can draw to save my life.  I’m also a super perfectionist and don’t like things to look sloppy or unorganized, which I knew would happen if my horrible handwriting took over a whole journal.  So I was really struggling with how to make this idea work.

After pondering on this for a day or two, I went right back to the initial idea that I can customize this to be what I need it to be.  So that’s exactly what I did.  I jumped on Word, made a list of any and every thing that I could think of to include in my BuJo and started making printable layouts on the computer.  I’ve made a layout for every page that I could possibly think to include, from monthly/weekly/daily to-do and goal sheets, to savings and money transfer plans, to my baking orders, keeping track of work counts when I write, what songs and games I can play with my son, and SO MUCH MORE.

I printed everything off.  Slipped them all into sheet protectors and put them in a pretty 3-ring binder.  Perfection.  I couldn’t be happier!  Having everything sorted out and organized has helped me to be more productive this week.  Even the process of thinking through everything I wanted in the journal was a journey.  It’s helped me realize what I value the most and want to focus on this year.

Isn’t she just the prettiest planner you’ve ever seen? *sigh*


See, I can still have pretty pages. And I don’t have to spend hours drawing them out!


I know this won’t be the last you hear about my BuJo.  I’ll be posting about specific sections down the road.  Why?  Because it could help someone else down the road.  That’s why!  What not share what helps us succeed?  And honestly I’m just really proud of it and it makes me oh so happy.  Cause I’m kinda nerdy and get excited about organizing stuff.

Have you found any ways that help you be more productive?  Whether that be in writing or life in general?  I’d love to hear your methods!



Ringing in the New year!

The forecast here for New Year weekend is pretty wet.  So wet that our front flower beds are flooding and our lovey new mulch is washing away.


Yesterday, New Years Eve, I found myself saying “Well isn’t this a great way to send out 2016.  A crappy day to end a crappy year.”  And I thoroughly meant it.  Last year was challenging for our household on many levels.  Medically, politically, emotionally.  It’s going to go down in the books as a stressful year.

This morning when I woke up to a new day and a new year, it was still wet and raining.  Probably even worse than yesterday. But this morning my thought was ‘This rain is refreshing.  Renewing.  Washing away all the bad of last year so we can start again.’

So, why the difference?  The rain was still rain.  It was still wet and flooding.  There was still no sun to brighten the day.

The only difference was me.  My perspective.  I choose to see the rain as depressing and dreary.  Or I choose to see it as refreshing and rejuvenating.  It’s my choice.  My perspective and outlook changes everything.

On the wake of this epiphany, I decided on several new years resolutions.  This year is going to be about being more optimistic and focused.

  1. I am going to enjoy the people and things that I have in my life.  I am not going to mourn the people and things I’ve lost.  I’m not going to focus my time and energy on people and things that don’t support/encourage/enrich my life.  I’ve wasted so much time and energy trying to force relationships and with making things more important in my life than they are in other people’s and the hurt that it has caused me is immense.  So I’m done with it.  I’m focusing on me and my family and doing what makes us happy.
  2. I’m going to be more detailed and focused on my businesses, both baking and writing.  I love to plan, so I’m trying a new process called Bullet Journaling.  If you don’t know what this is, check out for some basic info.  Basically it’s customizing a planner to fit every aspect of your life.  I’ve already made a list of the pages I want to include in my journal (which I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of as I get it perfected) and they range from To-Do lists, Goals, Baking, Writing, Social Media, Medical, Financial, Food, and Misc.  Under each of these main categories will be sub sheets with individual topics.  My goal for the year is to be more productive and expand my baking business, as well as FINISH one of my manuscripts to begin submitting to agents.

Those are my two main big ones.  My husband and I talked about smaller things, like using the phones less during family time, eating better, losing weight, etc.  And those things will all be covered in my Bullet Journal.  I’m just hoping that 2017 will be an easier year for our little family.  But even if it isn’t,  I’m doing focusing on the negative.  My family deserves better.  And so do I!



Why I Grieve

After hearing the election results yesterday, I made a post on Facebook about how it made me feel.  Here it is:

“I’m pretty ashamed to call myself an American this mourning. I honestly thought peoples good sense and common decency would win out and it terrifies me that I was wrong. I am beyond dumbfounded at how this corrupt, racist, misogynistic, entitled buffoon could hold the title as our elected president. What scares me even more is that people actually believe he is fit for the job. What does that say about the majority of american people?
Today I am grieving for our country. For this wave or hate and misguided trust that will take years to reverse. For all the young girls and women who see his behavior and comments and think that must be acceptable because we as a nation have allowed it to be. I grieve for all immigrants needing safety who will be turned away under the ridiculous assumption they must all be radical terrorists. For all my minority, LGBTQ, disabled or otherwise marginalized friends and family. I grieve.
My heart is heavy today. Please pray for this country.”

Since this post, I have received several comments from Trump supporters who seemed to totally miss the point of my initial post, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to expand on my feelings here.

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling hopeful.  After looking at the results of the election I felt physically sick.  And heartbroken.

This has nothing to do with politics.  Or Democrat vs. Republican.  Or being a sore loser.

Make no mistake, I do not now, nor will I ever support Donald Trump having any part in our United States government.  Do I think Hillary is perfect? Definitely not.  But I will choose her over Donald Trump every time.  But that’s not what this is about either.

Through this whole campaign, I never once thought Trump had an actual chance of being elected because people had more sense than that.  People would see through his thinly veiled TV persona and see the monster lurking beneath.  That they would see what he is bringing out in people.  That the good in people would pull through.  I was completely blindsided yesterday morning when I discovered that I was wrong.

My heart hurts because people chose this.  People that I know and love supported this man and his ideals.  My neighbors.  My family.  My friends.  They endorsed an America torn apart by racism, homophobia, xenophobia.

My heart hurts because people that I see every day supported an America where minorities, women, and the LGBT community no longer feel secure in their rights and their safety.

My heart hurts because our dreams of an equal future for everyone have come crashing down around us….and it was chosen by my fellow American people.

Today I still grieve.  And I will grieve tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.  This election has brought everything so close to home.   I feel betrayed by people I cherish and share my daily life with and how do you move forward from that?



Expanding 2016 writing goals

Hey there!  How ya doing today?

I’m doing pretty well!  I think I’m starting to get the hang of Little Man being at Preschool.  The house doesn’t seem quite so weird when it’s quiet and I’m alone.  And…I’m starting to get in a bit of a writing routine.  Which is glorious!

Guys..On Monday, I wrote an entire new chapter for my MG manuscript (Zeek)!  I got about 1500 words done in an hour and a half.  I know that’s no record, but for someone who is typically not a speedy writer, that’s pretty amazing!  And I have been itching to get my hands on my story again!  So, this post is going to be short…because I just want to get to my writing!

I’ve been toying with the idea of adding to my end of 2016 writing goals.  Over the last few days, I have definitely decided that I’d like to start entering some short story contests.  I would like to enter 2 by the end of the year.  Writing short stories is difficult for some writers because they are, well, short.  I’ve never had a problem writing them and actually find them to be fun!  I think trying to write two will give me a couple nice breaks from working on my novels.  And, if I win and get published, that would be spectacular!

So, over the next few weeks I will be doing some research into which contests I’d like to enter.  If you know of any good ones, please let me know!  Have any of you entered a writing contest before?  I’d love to hear about your experiences!


September 2016 #WIPJoy

I’ve been taking part in a month long writing exercise on Twitter called #WIPJoy.  There is a question for each day of the month about your current WIP.  Some of the questions really make you think and dig deep into your story.  I’ve really enjoyed it thus far and figured I’d share my answers with you here.  This is a Twitter event, so all the answers will be short…140 characters or less!  I’ll flesh some of them out for this post and replace punctuation that had to be removed and such.  Just know they are short…  Since it isn’t the end of the month yet, I’ll update this post periodically to add and rest of my responses.

Here are the questions:


  1. Tell us about your WIP (Work in Progress).   Char is discovering her Mind Magic may be something much more sinister. Does she follow all those before her or forge her own path?

2) What stage are you at with this project?     I started my WIP 3 years ago for NaNo and haven’t done much on it since. I’m just over half way to my 100K goal.

3) Describe your WIP in 5 verbs.     Inspire, Grow, Accept, Love, and Kick Butt. You’ve gotta have a little attitude in there!

4) What emotions do you evoke with your setting?     The story takes place at a training academy, giving the MC a feeling of wonder & excitement.  Also comfort, as it’s her second home.

5) Share a line with a detail about your protagonist’s past.     She wouldn’t return looking like a poor blacksmiths daughter. People knowing where she came from and seeing it were two different things.

6) What does your antagonist love deeply?     My antagonist loves himself. He is selfish and his desire to advance himself drives him to the dark side. And girls..He loves girls.

7) Which two characters have the most interesting history?     My villain and Ryan have very interesting pasts. Ryan’s past may not come into play until book 2, so no spoilers!

8) Name something experienced with each sense in your WIP.     Sight-Lumalilies(glowing flowers), Smell-Hay & Horses, Sound-Swords clanging, Touch-MC’s prized battle helmet, Taste-MC’s favorite, apples

9) Is any part of the backstory inspired by your own life?     I don’t consciously pull from my personal life. Just one detail about the MC’s Dad is from my own Dad. Cause he’s awesome.

10) Share a line you love about a setting.     She could see the Hall, its yellow stone walls turned gold by the setting sun.Warm light and laughter flowed out to greet her.

11) Opted to do a bonus instead of the listed question: Post a picture of what you imagine your MC to look like:

Protagonist take over week!  All responses must be in your characters voice!

12) How do you really feel about a character closest to you?     “I think you may be one of the only people to consider my snarky attitude ‘fabulous.’’She looked down so he wouldn’t see her smile.

13) Weapon of choice?     The swords blade was short, thin and covered in scroll work. When she picked it up, a flare of white sparks flowed down the blade.

14) How do you feel about romance?     Boys are so needy with their ‘let’s hold hands’ & ‘let me carry your books.’Please!I am completely capable.But they are so cute..

15) How do you feel about your author?     She created me from nothing. I owe her my life. She is the quiet reserved part of me & I’m the sarcastic obnoxious part of her.

16) Any word for future fans of you?     Wow. You actually like me? You’re not scared of what I can do?I’m not sure if I can trust you but I’ll welcome you as a friend…Now come here and give me a hug!

17) When alone, do you make faces in the mirror? Fess up!     I barely have time to glance in the mirror to tame all this hair. If I’m going to make faces at someone, it won’t be myself.

18)  Share a line that hints at your theme.     “It was her choice how she used her abilities, no one else’s. A little thing like history was not going to push her around.”

19) What’s one big reason you’re writing this story?     Does there need to be a reason? I’m inspired, I run with it. I’m sure I’ll find the meaning once it’s complete.

20) What kind of reader desperately needs this book?     Anyone struggling with accepting themselves & who needs to know they have the choice with what to do with their lives.

21) What’s been your biggest challenge with this WIP?     Deciding who the antagonist is. It’s changed three times, but I’ve figured them out. They were being tricksy.

22) Represent your WIP with a single image.     Well, I found 2 that I think represent my MC really well.


23) What aspect of the book is the most unique?

24) Share a line that’s a fantastic example of your writing voice.

25) If you could choose any other book to mash-up with your own, what would it be?

26) Shoutout to this WIP’s most encouraging fan!

27) Does your WIP contain any inside jokes?

28) Share a line that made someone else feel FEELS.

29) Shoutout to writer friends who inspire you.

30) Remind us all what your WIP is about.  Now everyone share their favorites and why you love them!


Re-learning to Enjoy the Quiet

Hey, Folks!

Today is my Little Man’s first day at Preschool! Drop-off this morning went well.  He ran right up to his teacher and didn’t even look back to say good-bye.  You’d think I could get a wave or a hug or something.  But, hey…this was much better than him crying.  Because then I would have had to start crying and it would have turned into a big mess!  So it’s for the best.

Right now I’m at home.  I got dinner in the crockpot.  Have a cake in the oven.  And it is sooooo quiet.  I think over the past (almost) two years I’ve forgotten about quiet.  And how to be by myself.  I used to relish my alone time, but now it just feels wrong.  Now, quiet means that someone is doing something they aren’t supposed to be doing.  Quiet has become a bad thing.

I think this whole Preschool thing is going to be a learning process for both of us.  I’m going to have to re-learn to enjoy the PEACE and quiet.  He’s going to have to learn that it’s ok to be away from me for awhile and to make some new little friends.

So, enough about that!  Let’s get into writing plans:

In my last post (seen here) I wrote out my long term writing goals for the rest of the year and asked for everyone’s encouragement to help me reach those goals.  In this post I think I will post some smaller weekly goals.

Mondays:  Check All Social Media, look up themes for twitter writing hashtags, plan tweets and facebook posts for the week, and spend remaining time working on either my MG or YA manuscript

Thursdays:  Any quick social media updates, write blog post, and spend remaining time working on MG or YA manuscripts

Looking at those goals, I’ve already met them for this week!  Go me!  1 week down, with many to come.

I find it interesting that being a writer isn’t just about writing anymore.  There’s such pressure to have an online presence and have followers that, sometimes, it detracts from your writing.  I’m hoping that this plan will allow me to accomplish both writing and social media presence.

Have you set goals?  Long term? Short Term?  What works best for you?  I’d love to hear!  Hope you are all having a splendid week and are out there achieving all your goals!


To All My Annoyingly Loyal Friends:

Hey there Folks!

I hope you all are well and enjoying life.

We have been pretty busy here!  This past week we got back from a wonderful family vacation to Washing D.C.  None of us had ever been, so it was new and exciting!  There’s so much history and significance there that it’s really hard not to get caught up in all of it.  My favorite stop was the Library of Congress.  Talk about a gorgeous building!  I still can’t get over all the detail that was put into every square inch from floor to ceiling.  My favorite little tidbit from the trip was one of the many quotes engraved on the walls at the Library.

"The chief glory of every people arises from its authors."
“The chief glory of every people arises from its authors.”

Now, isn’t that the truth?  Where would we, as a people, be without our story tellers?  Without our history?  Our myths and fables?  Where would our children be without  their fairy tales?  Our government be without their books and journals?  Or nurses and doctors without their charts and logs?  These things are all so vitally important to our society and yet often taken for granted.  So, thank you to this quote for the reminder.  My suggestion…if you know an author, give them a hug and a thanks!

We have been slowly getting back into our routine.  And next week its all going to change again!  My sweet Little Man starts at his Mommy’s Day Out Preschool next week.  Two days a week for four hours.  And do you all know what that means?  This mama finally gets some designated writing time!  8 sweet hours of manuscript immersion.

I really do feel torn about him going and spending his mornings with someone else.  I know that it will be good for both of us.  And I can’t help but feel a little excited about some ME time!

So, in honor of this new routine, I’ve set some new goals:

  1. Complete a 1st draft of my MG manuscript, Zeek the Zombie by the end of October.  It’s currently at 26K and will probably be around 40K when finished.  I’d like to have a copy to give to my nephew by Christmas.
  2. Complete a 1st draft of my YA manuscript, Soul See’er by the end of the year.  Currently just shy of 52K words, I’d estimate I’m at about 52% completion.  I’m thinking it will be around 100K when finished.
  3. Lay out a basic plot for an MG manuscript and a Fairy Tale retelling that I’ve been mulling over so I can start on 1st drafts sometime next year.

There you have it, Folks.  Hopefully writing it out and having others see it will help me stick to my goals.  So, ask me questions often.  Pester me about my writing.  Please help hold me accountable!  You may annoy me, but I will love you forever!  And…if you annoy me right, who knows?  Maybe you’ll get a dedication as my most annoyingly loyal friend in my books.


I’m baaaack!

Hey there!  How are you doing?  

I know.  It’s been bad.  Will you ever forgive me?  And love my blog again?  Pleasssse?!?

So, yeah.  It’s been a little longer than ‘awhile’ since I posted.  It’s been almost 3 years.  That’s just sad.  And I apologize.

But my blog is back, and (hopefully) better than ever!  I’ve done some revamping and this blog is now going to be strictly dedicated to creative writing and following my journey to get published!  Should be fun, right??

If you’re wanting to see my baking posts, they are in the process of being moved to my designated baking blog.  I haven’t gotten much moved over yet, but don’t worry.  It will be up and running in the next week or so. It can be found here:

If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to over the last three years, here’s a quick rundown: Built a house.  Moved.  Traveled a lot.  Started a job. Had a beautiful baby boy.  Left my job.  Started doing baking out of the house.  And interspersed throughout all of that I did writing group and lots of write-ins.  I really can’t complain, I’ve got a pretty wonderful life!

So, I sincerely hope you will forgive my extended absence and come back to check out my blog.  I’m planning to post at least once a week.  What topics you ask?  All things writing!  Excerpts from my WIP, tips/tricks, life thoughts, and probably some other ramblings thrown in.  So, sit back and enjoy!  And thanks for reading!


Life after NaNoWriMo

November was pretty much taken over by NaNo.   I didn’t have the time to do much of anything aside from writing.  I had originally planned on doing a Homemade Christmas this year by making gifts for everyone, but now I know that won’t happen.  I’ve bought supplies to make a few gifts, but some of them may just have to wait until next year.

The past week, I have spent hours upon hours everyday at my sewing desk in order to finish some presents.  I can’t post anything about them since the people who would get them as gifts often read my blog, so January will probably be full of posts about the crafts I made in December. 🙂

Over the Thanksgiving holiday my mother and father-in law came down to visit and stay with us for the first time since we moved.  We drove down to New Orleans to have the big feast with my sister-in-law and her family.  It was a great day!  I got a little baking in ahead of time.  Made some banana bread, cinnamon rolls, and pumpkin and apple pies.

IMG_3129 IMG_3135

Sadly, since November 30, I haven’t touched my writing.  I’ve been so focused on getting my crafts done that I just haven’t had time.  I know, excuses excuses….but I figure you have to have your priorities and right now Christmas is mine.  I will be meeting with a friend from NaNo on Thursday evenings to do some writing, so that way I will get a little bit of writing done.

I am going to attempt a JaNoWriMo in January to finish my story.  I’m about half way through and want to complete it by Jan. 31  That way I can take off February and then jump into revisions in March.  I honestly don’t know how long the revisions will take, but I’m hoping to have my story ready to send out for possible publishing before the end of next year.

I know this post is extremely random.  It’s late.  I’m tired.  I’ve been waiting to write this post for several days.

What have you all be up to since NaNo ended?  Was there anything you had to put off in November that you’re trying to catch up on now?


NaNo’s end

Well, NaNoWriMo is officially over!  My first year attempting to hit the elusive 50K in 30 days…I enjoyed every minute of it!  And on day 30, I hit 50,030 words!  Definitely not an overachiever, but I hit the word goal and proved to myself that I could do it!  Originally I set a personal goal of 35K, so I’m pretty proud that I made it all the way to 50.

I thought I’d share with you a little excerpt from my story, Soul See’er.  I wrote my first ever kissing scene (insert blushing cheeks here).  This isn’t the whole scene, just the beginning.  But, Enjoy!



“Shall we walk for a bit?”


They walked back past the fire, which wasn’t much more than a pile of embers now.  Small groups of students still lounged in the grass talking, but most had gone off to get settled in their rooms.  The moon just a sliver high in the sky, barely illuminating their way.  Past the Hall, Brad steered them onto a small dirt trail leading to the lake.  They had walked this path so many times before, it brought back so many memories.  It would be so easy to just forget everything that had happened recently and fall back into that old life.

Remembering their first date brought a smile to her face. He’d brought her to the lake shore and surprised her with a picnic and flowers strewn the ground.  That had been the night of their first kiss, so tender and filled with promises.  And he had fulfilled those promises the rest of the year.  He had been such an attentive boyfriend, always surprising her with little gifts and poems.  She had been the envy of every girl in school.

He cleared his throat, bringing her abruptly back to reality, and stopped in the same spot he’d brought her that night.  She watched as he walked to the lake shore and picked up a stone to skitter across the surface of the water.  Each spot the rock hit began to glow, and it got brighter as the ripples flowed out across the lake.  She walked up beside him to watch as it spread.  Soon the majority of the lake was lit up from within, the water grasses responding to the motion of the water, glowing up from the bottom.

“Char, I heard what you had to say when you broke up with me, but I never got to tell you this, so before you say anything, will you just hear me out?”  He was staring down at his shoes with both hands in his pockets.  “I know I betrayed your trust.  And I don’t blame you for what you did.”

Her eyes widened in surprise.  This is not at all what she had expected.  If he had brought her some extravagant gift and begged her to take him back, she would know how to respond.  But this honesty was something new.

“What you told me, you did in confidence and I betrayed that.  I betrayed you.  I am so, so sorry.  And I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”


“Please.  Wait.  I’m not quite finished.”  He pulled in a deep breath and finally turned to face her.  “I know what I did was wrong, but I did it for the right reasons.  And while that might not change anything, I want you to hear them.”

He reached both of his hands out, holding them between them and waited.  Slowly, her hands lifted and gently slid into his.  She stared at those hands, they looked like hers, but she didn’t remember giving them the order to move.

“You really have no idea how amazing you are, do you?  Everything about you fascinates me.”  He tickled her palms with his fingers the way she’d always liked.  “I didn’t tell people about your mind magic to turn them against you.  I told them because it’s such an extraordinary gift.  You looked into my soul, Char.  My soul!  You saw everything about me; my strengths, weaknesses, memories and hopes.  You saw the worst aspects of me and you still chose to be with me.  I was just so floored by what you can do… you.”

With one thumb, he reached over and tilted her head up.  His hand brushed across her cheek and back to the nape of her neck, where he wound his fingers into her hair.  Closing her eyes, she leaned into the familiar touch, relishing the sensation it sent through her.

When she opened her eyes and finally met his gaze, what she saw there was sorrow, not a sympathy seeking sorrow, but the kind that hit to the very core.  This was not the same shallow Brad she had dated the year before; he had changed.

He took a small step forward and placed his other hand lightly on her side.  Every move was so natural, his touch so comforting that she didn’t fight it.  He leaned in, his face only inches from hers.

“Please believe me, Char.  I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you on purpose.  I care about you too much.”

His soft words melted the last of her resolve and she leaned in the meet him.  His lips brushed hers so lightly, it sent shivers down to her toes.  Her arms twined around his neck, pulling him close to her, as both of his hands slid to her hips doing the same.  They stood, entwined with their foreheads pressed together, both consumed with the thought of the other.



Hope you enjoyed that little taste of Char and Brad’s complicated relationship.  My story turned out to be a lot more romance-y than I expected, but it was something new and different for me to write so I enjoyed it.

How did your NaNo adventures go?  Did you hit your word goal?  I hope you enjoyed your writing experience as much as I did!

Happy Writing!