Don’t Forget To Read


Confession time…

When fellow writers are sitting around discussing their craft, they always mention famous writers, other books, specific authors and their genre, etc…. and I am in the corner chewing on my nails or something. I don’t read enough, especially for a writer. I mean I can name some good titles, some classics that I have read, but recent authors…not many. I say, I have no time for reading, I have to write! But recently I read a book and it really helped my writing.

It’s not about copying another book’s style or an entire idea or plagiarism or anything. I’ll just read a paragraph or two and something will strike me. I like how this author really goes in depth about a scene or a character. I should do that more. Or sometimes it’s literally sentence structure or grammar, I mean first grade stuff and I’ll think, “hmmm, I wouldn’t of done it that way, but it works.”

I think it’s just about getting out of your own head, box, bubble. It’s like walking through a gallery and seeing a medium you’ve never tried or an angle that never occurred to you. It’s just all about broadening our horizons and we cannot do that locked in our offices all day with only the dog and the Keurig for input. 

How’s this for hilarious…. sometimes I read something and I either think…”hmmm, I write better than this and they’re published!!” OR “This is pretty good, but I think I’m just as good.” It’s really uplifting to not feel like a publishing future is hopeless, which let’s face it, we kind of always do. Nothing wrong with keeping hope alive!

So, writers of the world. Go read a book!




Cover To Cover

Within the last couple of days the final touches have been completed on the cover for The Quiet Republican!!  I can’t show it to anyone as we are having an actual “reveal” and my artist and I have made a promise! I am very pleased with it and mark this as one more milestone on the road to Pen & Cup!

My artist Lindsay Schaub Graves is actually quite a bit younger than me, but is a member of my writer’s group and known by me to be an artist, photographer, fellow right-brainer and I think we fell into a conversation during group and boom, my illustrator was born. I have done all of my past covers on my own and wanted a fresh set of eyes, hands and pen I guess.

The result is amazing and makes me want to plan the reveal as soon as humanly possible.

Spoiler Alert: The girl/woman on the cover is NOT me, despite some slight similarities. 🙂


In other news, the actual text for qR is wrapping up daily and then I can publish and start ordering copies and stockpiling for tour.  Trying to decide if I need a new pic for my bio. Since this is my first time having someone else do my cover, perhaps someone else should write the summary as well. Hmmm…..

How do you put out a call for summary writers without hurting anyone’s feelings when you pick the one you like best? LOL.



Mean Lady On The Loose

That’s me. Today I am grumpy and should avoid the internet full stop.

Just read a blog…. something about the ten things women never get to do now that they have children or a husband…blah, blah, blah…

Since I’m grumpy I guess I’ll address this post openly and honestly…lol. I don’t understand blogs like this. No one barged in on me in the restroom when my kids were young, because they were taught not to. No one begged for fast food from the back seat, no one ran all over Target screaming, no one came in when I was showering, because I said not to, once. I could read a book or have a phone conversation or shave my legs in peace because my children knew better than to be inconsiderate to me or anyone else. I don’t understand this new trend of everyone just aching under the burden of their out of control children. So control them already!  

I’m sick of teenage moms whining all over their Facebook that they’re stuck at home and would someone please bring them a smoothie from DQ or help them with laundry or bring them a dvd….cause they have no car and no time and their life is soooo hard. Did you think having a baby would be like having a Barbie?


Maybe not so many selfies and cigarettes and you’ll have some time and money.

Tap into the resources the world is overflowing with.

Be thankful for the USA stamp on your forehead and get over yourself!

Don’t have kids!

I understand being a mother is hard, but being a human is hard. I miss the days when women took pride in running the kids, the home, the husband and still had fresh lipstick on. Not because they should ‘have’ to, but because it meant they pushed through, they took some pride, they put on their big girl panties and pulled it off! Being a mother and wife or even a career woman or a dog groomer, they did whatever they did with pride and humility. Now it seems like there’s just a competition for whose life is harder, whose day was the worst, someone pass the Kleenex!

Boo hoo.

Maybe this is nothing new. Maybe this is all to be blamed on social media, where everyone’s thoughts are suddenly broadcast without reservation. Maybe now we’re all just putting it out there!

Needing case for Ipod, case for laptop, toddler clothing and diapers. Cheap or free and in perfect condition. Please, as we are really low on funds right now.   

Hmmmm….. how about you don’t need cases or even an Ipod or a laptop, if you can’t clothe & diaper your kid. Have you heard of a pawn shop? Also, before you sell it, use the computer to Google the word ‘need!’

Looking for Winnie the Pooh pac-n-play, stroller and car seat, matching in new condition, cheap.

You’re in luck…Walmart has just what you’re looking for. Why don’y you cruise on down and get it!

If you ‘needed’ a stroller, you would take anything anyone would give you. It seems nowadays the beggars are choosers, and everything needs to match.

Some people don’t have shoes, or water or parents or legs.

Some people have real problems. 

No one is truly thankful for anything. I’m just devastated that this is it. This is our society and there’s nothing one of us can do about it.

ch (aka mean lady at large) 

Secrets & Lies

So I’m not great as SOME secrets and I try not to lie, but of course both of these ideas are relative and could be debated at length. I Christmas shop all year long and never say a word. But sometimes I am so excited that I have a hard time with GOOD secrets. A secret for someone else is usually really easy, unless there is some moral conflict. Lies can be harmless and lies can be deadly.

When have some kind of an epiphany or what I believe to be a great idea, when i have a great day of writing or finish something I’m really proud of, I want to share that! With everyone!

That’s why today’s post is so hard. I have a cool idea. I’m being modest or reserved, it might be a brilliant idea, but I can’t tell anyone. Why? Because it’s not done and if I announce it, it would literally take anyone five seconds to duplicate it. It has to do with writing and my career, so unfortunately, we have to think of things like that.

I read a blog the other day about a writer in San Francisco who had literally taken years to open up to writer friends, write in groups, etc….for fear of being copied. Now I’m not that way and I commiserate with other writers often, but this is different. I’m not full of myself and thinking my idea is the next lightbulb or anything, but I’ve never heard of it and there can only be one first, so there.

I will try and finish asap so everyone can share in my wonderment!! 😉


Tour Calamity…

housing-works-croppedHousing Works Bookstore Cafe, NY, NY


Even though it’s monotonous, corn maze kind of work…compiling the list of coffee shops and bookstores across the country, to contact (via good old fashioned snail mail,) as possible tour venues, is actually turning out to be rather fun. Of course I found them in the most elementary way – Google. But then I research, I find their Facebook, I ‘like’ and ‘friend’ and imagine myself among the stacks. Just seeing pictures of bookstores gives me the same giddy thrill as when I walk into one. 

I need more stamps.;)


Too Many Oars…

Well I am all over the place. I like being busy, but wearing a lot of hats makes me feel like I’m literally ‘being’ a lot of people, instead of just one. My right brain is on sensory overload…writing, painting, sculpting, decorating. On the one hand, I want to do one thing very well. But I am good at all of these things and hate the thought of cutting any of them out completely or even significantly. So I grapple with measuring their place in my mental make-up, whilst staying the course.


SozenFix614  (Thinking of hosting painting parties at the homestead.)

For some reason I’ve gotten artsy lately. I mean I’ve always been an artist, but now I want to build a portfolio, try to have a show, expand my mediums. Why? Where did this come from?


WildeSeriesAd  (Thinking of having a writer’s retreat at the homestead.)

Of course I’m a writer… I’m planning our tour! I have two titles to finish for that and the other morning I woke up with yet another novel rattling around in my head. But it’s not just the writing, it’s the planning, the decision making, the blog, the contests, the marketing and contacting venues and ordering business cards. This is my last self-publishing tour, I can tell you that! I can see why doing the extra leg work to try and capture a traditional publisher is worth it….I mean other than all the other obvious and popular reasons.

I Decorate…


I Sew…

b1 b7 I’d like to start a line of aprons…150282_1659300514737_2016782_n



I Volunteer for Family Trees… Party Planning… Quilting!!


This is a logo I created a long time ago for “David Research & Investigation”…



I Photograph…


Usually for friends and family for little or no profit and sometimes at a loss. I’m not complaining. It’s always my idea and always something enjoy! But I have to stop!

I’ve only been married for about 3 1/2 months and my blended family is still finding its way, so maybe I’m burying myself elsewhere. I love all of it, but I don’t give 100% or even 50% to any of these pursuits. So how can they be accomplishing anything?

This is all without a kitchen!! glutenfree  I know once that oven is going I’ll be baking cakes and delivering cookies; experimenting with new recipes from Pinterest and every dish is another minute away from the canvas, the manuscript or the clay.  Oh yea! Clay!

My sweet, sweet daughter is always trying to find a way to “do” something. She is disabled and her options are limited. She can’t really be away from me. So, she tags along and although she shares some of my artistic itch, her attention and energy wane and so I take what I can get. Anyway, I recently decided to collect, make, explore the world of miniatures. Something I’ve always liked and actually a very adult hobby. A friend also commissioned a custom wedding topper from me recently, which I used to do a lot, so I had to drag out the sculpting tools, which rekindled that niche and once the topper is done, we’re going to try our hand at 1:12 miniatures. Here’s my first attempt…

IMG_0413  I love it…but I can’t do it all. Can I?


My family is pretty low-maintenance, despite the giant house, two businesses and hundreds of animals. Am I kidding myself?


Obviously this is my first blog (here) in almost three weeks…so I am spreading thin, except for my ever-widening thighs. 😉

Power on.