Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!!

To all my friends & fans, may your 2007 be filled with prosperity and hope!

2006 is almost gone - turn the page and begin anew!

And Book III, JAMES, is STILL only $2.99 at

Friday, December 29, 2006

Opportunity for Writers

For aspiring writers in SE portion of North Carolina, there is an upcoming seminar in Lumberton, NC with author P. M. Terrell. Click on link for details:

I will also be hosting a seminar on publishing & marketing at James Sprunt College in Kenansville, NC on February 20th. For reservations contact: Teresa Davis (910) 296-2430 or

If you've ever wanted to write or publish a book, make 2007 YOUR year!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

End of Year Update

A quick end of year update!

First, our online writer's group has a forum that is open to all! Please come explore at

The tour for Book III is over, with a couple small appearances planned for next year before Book IV is published. I also have a seminar on publishing scheduled for February 20th.

Book IV is 100% complete and ready! Front & back covers have been finalized, along with the dedication page. Book IV will be dedicated to those who made the biggest difference - my fans!

Sad to say, there will be many places I cannot return to in 2007. Borders Inc. is closing many of their Waldenbooks (ultimately paring it down to 300 from 700!). Both Roanoke, VA stores are closing, along with my favorite Virginia Beach and Norfolk stores, and the Richmond, VA and Lumberton, NC stores. For those of you who prefer the intimacy of Waldenbooks, you need to let the corporation know!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Tour Is Over

December 17th marked the last day of my tour for Book III. Starting mid-April, over 65 scheduled appearances, dozens of interviews, and dozens other stores I visited to sign copies on hand. Toss in dozens of high school libraries, a book festival, several articles, a seminar booked, hundreds of event announcements, interest from an agent, and an online writer’s club, and it was a very full year!

As always, it’s the fans & friends that kept me going! From the young fan whose family just missed me during their vacation in Myrtle Beach and drove 100 miles the following weekend to come see me, to the wonderful young woman who’d met me last year in South Carolina and drove into Columbus, Ohio this summer to spend time with me on my first foray into that area – their dedication helps me keep my commitment, too! I appreciate it so much!

Book IV is slated to come out this spring. Every year I learn more about promoting and I intend to do more online for this book than any other. I love the touring and will not stop, but for the sake of my sanity, I will scale back the appearances this next year. (My husband would appreciate seeing me now and then, too!) I plan to be involved in as many websites & forums as possible and have already been submitting articles. I also intend to make my first three books available as free E-Books on as many sites as possible to generate buzz, along with a portion of Book IV.

I am hoping my fans will assist me by passing along any websites, groups or forums on which I can get involved, post an article, post a free E-Book or link, or anything of that nature! Several people have volunteered to be test readers for Book IV, and I can always use more! (Along with readers of the first three books.)

There’s only a couple things slated for 2007 at that moment before the release of Book IV. I intend to use that time for Internet promotions and to complete Book V.

I’m beat – but it was so worth it! True success is how many people’s lives are better because of you, and I hope I successfully touched many this year. Here’s to the new friends I will make in 2007!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Characterization - Get Real!

This is an article I wrote on characterization:

Characterization: Get Real!

If the plot is the backbone of the story, then the characters are the heart. Creating believable characters that your readers will identify with is crucial to a good story. Your characters must have depth, personality and the ability to evoke an emotional response from your reader.

Before you can formulate a riveting story, an interesting character must be devised. Many writers envision the setting first and the people inhabiting that world second. This often results in shallow characters. Developing a character in depth, complete with flaws, will give you a basis for your narrative. It is easier to build a plot around an individual than force that character into unrealistic situations.

Two factors will determine your character – their background and their personality type. Both are equally important and require some thought. Humans all share similar feelings and needs, but how they respond to those depends on their upbringing and their basic, fundamental personality. You need to be aware of these factors when writing your story.

Backgrounds are as varied as humans themselves. Race, culture, religion, and economic status all contribute to one’s development as a person. A person’s moral compass is easily affected by their upbringing, and you need to keep this in mind when creating your characters. A person raised by a loving family on a farm and someone raised on the streets of New York will not react the same! Flesh out your character with a family history, interests, and experiences.

Become familiar with the four basic personality types – choleric, sanguine, melancholy and phlegmatic. They will also determine how your character reacts in any given situation. (“Personality Plus” by Florence Littauer is an excellent book for researching these personality traits.) A bold, first-born choleric would likely take charge in a situation, while an introverted phlegmatic would step aside. You need to be aware of these personality traits in your character or you will find them responding in a dubious fashion.

Avoid the temptation to create a perfect character! People are flawed creatures and the more imperfections and internal conflicts your character possesses, the more intriguing your story. Give them weaknesses, impulses and unresolved issues. Negative aspects of your character might improve and eventually vanish, but this needs to be developed slowly during the course of your narrative. Life altering moments happen for us all, but a sudden change for no apparent reason will be looked upon as a mere plot contrivance.

Characters will always be the drive and focal point of any story. By putting a great deal of thought into your main characters, you will form interesting, relatable people. Once you have established this foundation, you can begin creating an intriguing tale!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Travels & Sites

With the holidays fast approaching, my appearances are coming to a close. I have several booked for next year before Book IV comes out, but my last road trip will be to Vriginia - Williamsburg and Virginia Beach. The Waldenbooks in Virginia Beach is closing in January and I wanted to visit one last time! The manager, Trish, and her crew have been a delight and will be sorely missed!!!

In other news, the online writer's group, The Writer's Meow, continues to grow and will be expanding soon! One of the members has set up an outside forum/chat site that everyone will be able to access! There will be writer tips and discussions, and you'll be able to chat live with me! Details and the website to follow this week, so keep watching!

And my husband was reading a passage out of Matthew yesterday that spoke of not letting yesterdays rob one of tomorrow. Good advice for everyone!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Breakinig Writer's Block

Suffering from writer's block? Need to be inspired?

Over at the Writer's Meow, we opened up forum discussions and came up with some pretty good ideas:

Listen to music
Read a favorite book or series
Expose yourself to something totally new
Just write whatever you're feeling at the time
Reread what you've already written
Take breaks and write something new

In the world of The Circle of Friends ...

I will be a guest at our local art gallery's open night in Janaury. I don't make many appearances in my hometown, so this will be an honor!

Another website accepted one of my articles, Creativity Portal.

And people in six different countries are now reading the series - thanks guys!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

November Winner!

November's winner for the book giveaway was Jenny from Virginia!

Jenny gets a free copy of Book III, JAMES.

Congratulations, Jenny!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Assistance for writers

I am always asked about writing tips & suggestions. The best tip I can give is to join a writer's group!

Nearly every town has one. Many times it is in connection with a local college. If you have a Barnes & Noble or a Borders, quite likely they have a group that meets there at least once a month.

There are numerous groups online, too. If you go to Yahoo Groups, you'll find many! There's also websites such as (See links.) At, there are dozens as well - I even co-manage one called The Writer's Meow. (See Links.)

Whatever group you choose, it will be a great exercise for you to share your work with others and get feedback. Some have assignments or contests. But they will all force you to stretch a little and develop as a writer.

So happy writing!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

More Love Languages

I am reading a really great book - The Five Love Languages of Apology. I'd devoured the original and found it to be the best book out there on dealing with people and relationships. This new one just came out last month and it explains in detail why apologies sometimes go unaccepted - they don't come across as an apology to the offended because they weren't spoken in the correct language. Really insightful!

I highly recommend everyone pick it up! And read the first book, The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman, too.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Rewards Do Come

On Sunday, our pastor spoke about rewards in this world and rewards in Heaven. He said that those who do good in God's name do not always see their rewards here on Earth. That is a comfort to those of us who are working our guts out for a cause!

I did see a reward yesterday in this world, though, in the form of a very nice woman and her teenage daughters who were excited about what I was doing with my series.

Thank you, God, for that little affirmation.

That little reward should sustain my worldly ego for another week or so!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Christmas is approaching ...

Only a few more signings to go this year. It's been a very full, well traveled road for Book III. Today I had someone come out who had purchased my first book two years ago! It was a delight to speak with John again and he picked up a copy of JAMES for his travels. (Truck drive.) He'd also complete a book he was working on, so I prodded him to pursue publishing. Think of the fun he could have on the road with his book!

I am mostly done with my shopping, too. Hope everyone in my family wants books for Christmas! (Just kidding ... or am I?)

The site starts their 31 Days of Giving soon - very exciting!

And I've got a lot of readers lined up to recieve advanced copies of Book IV soon!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Special Fan & Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. No matter where you are in life, I hope you have something for which to be grateful.

And I have to share a special fan - Linda! She plunged right into the series and caught the spirit right away. She continues to widen the Circle of Friends for me as well. I cannot tell you how special she has become to me! I am so looking forward to meeting her next year when I venture northward again on my tour!

Thanks, Linda - love you much!

Monday, November 20, 2006

31 Days of Giving!

The contest at is starting soon!!!! Go here for details and to register - there are 144 prizes for the 31 days!!!!! (Including one of mine!)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Knowing Your Calling

Another tremendous day at a book store! I meet the most interesting people - even the grumpy ones! (And there were quite a few out today, too.)

I just stay positive and cheerful, because that's my calling.

Some people become missionaries. Some people take up a cause like animal abuse or a cure for cancer. Some people do non profit charity work. Some witness to others while some fight for their beliefs all the way to the Supreme Court!

But I know my calling, my place in this world. I was given naive, child-like enthusiasm and an optimistic attitude like you wouldn't believe. I am here to encourage and bring a message of hope. I am to find the good in all situations and people.

I may only be one person, but God knows that!

And one person CAN make a difference!!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Road Trip and Storms

My travels will take me to Wilmington, NC this weekend. Yesterday, that area was hit by a tornado and eight people were killed. My thoughts and prayers go out to those people affected by the storm. Makes my drive yesterday through streets flooded with a foot of water seem minor!

Christmas is coming soon!!! Better start shopping!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Some Author Tips

After a day of research, I wanted to post some tips for authors looking to market their books.

The website has thousands of actors, producers, athletes, musicians - you name it! They currently offer a one week trial subscription for $1 that is well worth looking into if you want endorsements for your book.

I also recommend having a list of celebrities you wish to contact before going to that site, too. Find celebrities that would be interested in the subject of your book, grew up in the location of your story or went to college there, or that support your charity cause. Do a google search, plus visit (Internet Movie Data Base) and search through the bios posted on that site.

As always, best to think about these things before you write your book! Just like product placement and movie tie-ins are vitally important, you need these in your book, too!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Advanced Readers

Blogger had been updating this weekend - so sorry for the delay in posting!

I already have many enthusiastic fans ready to be advanced readers for Book IV! I will start sending out chapters and whole copies in E-Book form next January & February. Interested parties - email me!!

And ad Deviant Art, the writer's club is rocking & rolling - two dozen new members already for The Writer's Meow!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Friends & Clubs

In the news today ...

As a member of Deviant Art, a community for artists, photographers & writers, I am now part of a writing club called The Writer's Meow. We hope to foster encouragement and positive feedback for all the members and have forum chats about writing.

Also, thanks to this website, I now have a couple new special friends & fans. It's amazing the people you can meet when you just reach out! One mother-daughter team has really touched my heart. It's nice to know there are still spunky, optimistic people out there like myself!

Journeying to South Carolina this weekend - the land of cheap gas prices. Just seven more appearances this year and one radio interview. I'm going to be sad to see it slow down, although my vehicle will probably appreciate it! (Less than two years old, almost 58,000 miles on it!)

Monday, November 06, 2006

October's Winner & Things

We have a winner for the free book giveaway for the month of October - Conner!

Congratulations, Conner!

In other news, I will be starting a writing group online at Deviant Art, tenatively called The Writer's Meow. It will be co-moderated and will feature prose & poetry, with contests, interactive forums, and tips on writing, publishing & marketing. More news once the club is established and running!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Ever-Widening Circle

One of the most valuable things a person can possess is friends.

I wrote about a circle of friends. And as I move forward with my series and my life, my own circle continues to widen. I would love to spend a whole day with each new friend I have now - unfortunately, that would take me a couple years to do!!

What a terrible problem to have, huh?

In other news, there's a wonderful new website called Web of Happiness - look for the link on this site. A whole site devoted to positive, happy things - total bliss for Spunky!!

If you've never checked out Teens Read Too, go to their site. Lots of fun things, plus contests, too.

Never know, you might make a new friend!!

Monday, October 30, 2006


Most people must think authors have this mystical aura, like they are removed from the human race.

Truth is, we're just an odd lot of people!

There's nice authors, introverted authors, enthusiastic authors, and just about anything else you can think of in the world. People are people, after all.

I've met a mix of authors myself and been fortunate to meet some really awesome people. Laura Parker Castoro is a very funny lady - she lives in Arkansas, a state I resided in for five years. She was also wonderful enough to supply a blurb for my latest book.

I met Susan May Warren, from Minnesota, who writes Christian love stories and chick lit. She's just a super outgoing person who makes one feel comfortable right away. (She also has a daughter named Sarah!) Check out her website at -

Another amazing author is Susan Eileen Walker, who lives right here in North Carolina. She just released her fourth book! ( ) Susan is one of those real, genuine souls that people can identify with and has an amazing story of overcoming. She and I have assisted one another with tips and I passed along Book IV of my series for her to read.

Guess I need to make sure I have a character named Susan in Book V!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

From the Beach to the Mountains

I traveled to both ends of North Carolina this past weekend, from Morehead City at the beach to Hickory in the mountains. At each location, I met new authors and fans, and returned with several new marketing ideas. I also connected with a few fans, such as Doug Wolfe:

Doug owns Dee Gee's Gifts & Books in Morehead City, one of my favorite places to go! We've always wondered if we're related somewhere ...

This weekend are two more signings, including one in the Virginia mountains. I hope to catch up with friends in that area as well.

I enjoy these opportunities to travel and meet new people, and it's almost sad that the year will soon be ending. I will have a few appearances the beginning of next year and some speaking engagements, but the every weekend run will not begin again until Book IV is released.

So, until then, I'm enjoying the scenery!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Teens Read Too's website will be doing a 31 Days of Giving for December:

I've got a gift basket ready for one of the lucky winners:

Everyone be sure to enter! Jennifer should have the information up shortly!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Teen Read Week

October 15th through the 21st is National Teen Read Week. Many libraries and schools will be holding events, so check your area. I will be at the Crystal Coast Book Festival this weekend, participating as a YA author.

And after another weekend of book store appearances, I am convinced of one thing - optimism DOES sell and people DO need hope! I will not compromise my values, morals or beliefs just to sell a few extra copies. There's enough salacious material in the world!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Work, roadwork, & interviews

Road work is tomorrow, as I venture to Richmond, VA and two appearances there.

Interview is next Tuesday with WTKF 107 FM, to promote the Crystal Coast Book Festival on the NC coast.

And work is HEATHER! She is an intricate character and a tough one to make likable! (As those who have read SARAH found out.)

Work is also the cover for MIKE. It is going to be breathtaking and quite a break from the other three covers!

Keep on spunkin'!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A New Opportunity

I sat down with another author today and planned out a seminar proposal for a local community college on the subject of publishing & marketing. This is something I have wanted to do for a very long time, but simply had my plate full with other things. I get questions on publishing every weekend when doing book signings (usually from someone who monopolizes my time and then does not buy a book!) so I feel a seminar on the subject is the next logical step! It is an avenue I will have to continue exploring.

Only fifteen more appearances this year - last one will be in Williamsburg the weekend before Christmas! I will continue with placement of my books in libraries through next spring and should complete the fifth book in the series by May. Still kicking around the idea of a sixth book, picking up with all ten main characters later down the road!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Winners & hotels

Atlanta / Greenville signings were fun, but the traffic always amazes me. Never seen seven lanes of cars simply stopped on the Interstate! Full moon Friday, too, which added to the excitement. I did get to meet September's Contest winner, Darlene:

Every venture is a success and this past weekend will reap great rewards.

Virginia this weekend.

At least it doesn't involve a hotel!!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

On to Atlanta

On the road again to Atlanta, GA.

Reader response for JAMES has been awesome - this character's troubling past seems to have captured the emotions. After some of the anger from James, hopefully readers will enjoy the calm demeanor of Mike when Book IV comes out next year.

Meanwhile, progress is still being made on Book V and Heather promises to be my toughest character yet. Book V will also represent the most research I have done for my characters. Special thanks to Cristy McKinney, coach of Clemson's girls basketball team, for providing insight into the world of college basketball. Also special thanks to my friend, Anthony Sturgess, for his open, honest answers in regards to the world the main male character occupies.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

September's Winner

The first month of The Circle of Friends book giveaway contest was a big success - Darlene of Atlanta Georgia was our winner. She'll get a special treat, as I will be able to deliver her book in person this Friday in Atlanta at the Barnes & Noble @ GT!

Still playing catchup from the long tour, but it was just so successful this time and met so many wonderful new people!

And got to hang out in so many cool places, like Savannah!

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Thanks to all the fans and new friends I made on this year's Fall Southern Tour!! It was a tremendous success at every level.

Look for exciting new updates and pictures soon!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Southern Fall Tour

Getting ready to hit the road for my annual Southern Fall Tour! Seven appearances plus dozens of stores to stop at to sign copies, so will be busy! Hope to keep everyone updated online as those ten days progress.

In other news, work on Book V is progressing rapidly. Intensive research into the male character of "Heather" has added new dimensions to the story and will provide some great conflict!

Keep reading and dreaming!

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Reason I Go

This past weekend was spent in Roanoke, Virginia. And I was reminded why I keep going, why I keep making appearances and traveling so far, when I met another delightful person!

She was excited to come to her first author event and meet one in person. With goals of publishing her own children's series, she had many questions and I was happy to speak in depth with her. Her enthusiasm further fueled my own!

Again, if I can inspire one person to pursue their dream, then my entire author venture has been a success! Thanks Julie!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Another Special Fan

This week's special fan is Conner, from Virginia. She's very sweet and good writer as well - maybe she'll write her own books one day!

Thanks, Conner!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


First month of the contest is underway and I've had many, many entries. Good luck to everyone! If I were rich, you would all win.

Events are STILL being added to the calendar! Another Barnes & Noble appearance and a radio program in Atlanta, so check it out.

The Florida Gators have FINALLY set their schedule for September 23rd - an evening game on ESPN - so I have a time for that signing now. I was beginning to wonder if there were trying to keep it a secret from everyone! While in Gainesville, I will also be purchasing University of Florida items for my book gift basket to be given away in December on

And the Crystal Coast Book Festival is next month! Looking forward to the event and going into the schools to speak.

Monday, September 11, 2006


It has been five years since the attacks of 9/11, a day that will live forever in the minds of those of us who watched it live.

Many people died that day and many more since then fighting the war against terrorism.

We should take a moment to remember those who lost their lives.

Friday, September 08, 2006

A Contest!

I am starting a monthly contest which will run for the remainder of the year.

One lucky fan will receive a free copy of the latest book, JAMES, for themselves or to give as a gift. Christmas is coming up - start planning now!

Those wishing to participate can send me an email at and say Enter Me In The Contest or fill out a form at one of my book signings. Winner will be drawn at random by the third of the following month.

Giving the gift of reading is a wonderful present for Christmas! I am already participating in's 31 Days of Christmas with a gift basket - be sure to check out their website for details!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


The whole world knows about the death of Steve Irwin and how tragic the loss. He was one of a kind and should never be forgotten - especially his passion.

Steve was passionate for animals, wildlife and conservation, and died while pursuing that passion. And although he may be gone now, we can all learn something from his dedication to a dream. Whether you liked him or not, there was no doubting his enthusiasm for animals. He was a soul on fire and thanks to Animal Planet, everyone got to see him burn!

How unique was Steve? Let's put it this way - how many people do you know that are willing to die for their passion? How many people out there are so fired up about their dream they appear almost fanatical?

Sad thing is ... not many.

Most people don't even have something they believe in that strongly. And that's the greatest shame, for to truly feel alive, one must have a passion, a vision, they are willing to pursue to the very end.

The alternative? Mere existance.

What's YOUR passion?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Dedication & Someone Special

The only thing Book IV, MIKE, lacks is the dedication. I am still considering several options.

But I did manage to include a special dedication of sorts for one of my fans. I named a character after her!

Stephany and her family have been such huge fans since Book I and always have words of encouragement for me. She is such an incredibly sweet long lady, and so mature, responsible & smart, too!

So thanks so much, Stephany! You are officially one of MIKE's friends now!!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

On the road ...

This weekend's appearances are in Greensboro, at two of my favorite stores - Waldens and Borders! The managers & employees there are truly awesome. Every place I go, the staff is great!

I always expect that! I'm optimistic enough to believe strangers are friends you simply haven't met yet. And I enjoy meeting them all!

Looking forward to the Southern Fall Tour!

And have added another date.

Hope to see everyone somewhere along the way!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Helping New Orleans

While researching online, I came across a press release regarding the rebuilding of the New Orleans Public Library system. Many of their branches were flooded last year after Katrina. They are rebuilding and asking for donations. I inquired about sending my series and was delighted to receive an eager yes!

While my books are now en route to New Orleans, they are still needing financial assistance. Here is their website:

Anyone who can help, please do so!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Never Know Until You Ask!

For Book V, I needed to do some research into Clemson's women's basketball program.
I explored the website, but needed more information.
So I took a chance and emailed the head coach. And guess what?
She answered!
Ms. Christy McKinney was more than happy to answer my questions, and I had a lot! She expressed interest in reading Book V and offered tickets to come see the girls play next time I was in the area. I was delighted that she took the time to assist with my book!
You never know unti you ask!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Recent Activity

A five day tour through Ohio set me back a bit, but I'm finally caught up!

Working on media for my upcoming Fall Southern Tour. Look out Florida, here I come! Seven signings and over a dozen stores to stop at during my travels. Even had to turn down an invitation to do a signing at a Barnes & Noble, but it just didn't work with my schedule. Hate it when that happens!

I do have several new signings towards the end of the year, with possibly two more to set. Then I can concentrate on completing Book V.

So if there's any Clemson fans out there, let me know!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Options and Another Special Fan

Options for the future continue to expand! Can't go into details, but many doors are opening and new opportunities are coming into play. None of this would be possible without the support of my fans, though!

Speaking of fans, I have another special young lady who recently discovered my series and has attacked it with relish. Her enthusiasm earned her the honor ofbeing the first to read an advanced copy of Book IV, MIKE. As soon as she has completed her task, I will post her comments here.

Thanks for helping, Emily!

Emily, on the left, with friend.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Another Special Person

Quick update - the publishing house reviewing the manuscript for Book IV is still reviewing it and I'm getting back with a potential agent on Thursday. Little bit every day!

Want to add another special friend!

A young lady whose family was also visiting Myrtle Beach (great vacation spot, huh?) purchased the first two books last summer when I was there doing a signing. I took a picture of her, but unfortunately forgot her name and did not get an email.

Her family's vacation this year fell just short of my return to Myrtle Beach, so they decided to attend my Charleston signing instead - 100 miles away!!!!! I was so stunned! This time, I got her name and email address, and took several pictures. She's such a sweet young lady, with truly awesome parents who went to a lot of trouble to make sure their daughter met up with me again to get an autographed copy of Book III.

Fans like that are priceless! So I'd like everyone to meet Brittany from Pennsylvania:

Thanks for believing, Brittany! Never stop dreaming!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Special People

Back from my Northern Tour through Ohio and delighted with the wonderful reception I recieved!

The next few blogs I would like to dedicate to some of my most devoted & special fans. They are special people!

A year ago, I met a delightful woman in Myrtle Beach, SC. She mentioned wanting to write herself someday and picked up a copy of LORI. I eventually received an email from her, stating how much meting me had meant to her and how she enjoyed Book I. We corresponded several times and I continued to encourage her to write. If she felt the inspiration, then she needed to write, because it could change someone's life!

This past weekend, I had the pleasure to see her again. She drove over an hour to reach one of my signings, with distractions & sick children trying to prevent her from reaching me! I was so touched & delighted she would make the effort and would like to share with everyone else one of my most devoted fans and a special new friend, Stephanie:

Now everyone can help me encourage Stephanie to begin writing her story!!!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hitting the highway!

Time for some traveling ... hope to make many new friends while I'm gone!

Book IV is currently being test read even as you read this!!!

And for those pursuing a dream ... never ever give up!!!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Just a quote

"The things that count most in life are the things that can't be counted."
- Zig Ziglar

Monday, August 14, 2006

Take A Little Time

In the world of writing, I am still working on Book V and preparing a new press release.

Otherwise, it's on the road and hitting the book stores!

Last Saturday I was gone for 18 hours on a road trip. That can make for a very long day! I am still trying to recover, although I do not begrudge the miles. This is my dream and I want to get out there and meet my fans & make new friends. I couldn't do what I do without them!

But sometimes, one needs a little down time. I don't do it often (the Sanguine in me can't hold still) but I did pursue another passion of mine on Sunday - photography. It was refreshing and relaxing and I really needed a couple hours focusing on something else.

As Ferris Bueller once said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop once in a while, you could miss it!"

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Dream and More

I am always asked where the inspiration for my series began. It started with a dream.

I dreamed about Lori & Jason. It was just a whisp of a dream, but enough that I began to form a story around the two characters. I started writing and the story simply came alive. Before I had completed half of Book I, the remaining four stories were outlined as well. I could clearly see how each character had something to overcome, something that people would relate to and possibly learn from as well.

So the beginning of The Circle of Friends was truly a dream inspired!

And for a little inspiration on successfully dealing with people ...

"Recognize and applaud achievement.
Center on strengths rather than weaknesses.
Create an environment where failure is not fatal.
Motivation is not manipulation."

- Alan Loy McGinnis, Bringing Out The Best In People

Friday, August 11, 2006

A Step Of Faith & Brief News

Still workinig hard on Book V! Heather is proving to be an interesting character and is making me stretch a little. Her "co-star" is unique as well. Specualtions are flying as to who that will be, although I've had two fans guess correctly. Let's just say this relationship will not go as smoothly as the first four!

And a step of faith refers to going outside one's comfort zone, reaching out to others, and just believing and expecting the best! I always try to step out on faith - usually more of a leap than a step - and the results lately have been incredible. And while most times there is a reward, occasionally it's the steps benefitting others that matter most.

You might be the only person to reach out to someone that day - and it might be all they need to step out on faith for themselves!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Advanced Reading!

Hello to The Circle of Friends!

With Book IV completed & edited, I am having one lucky fan enjoy an advanced reading of MIKE. Emily will let everyone know what she thinks when she has completed the book. (Which won't take long -she's a fast reader!)

MIKE also features a first! Promotional day for Book III included a chance to suggest a character's name for Book V. However, the first character to be officially named after a fan will be Stephany in Book IV. Stephany is an awesome young lady with a very promising future - and a very rabid fan!!

So without my fans, the continuation of The Circle of Friends would not be possible! Thanks to all!

"Decide what you want out of life; look on the positive side; and never give up until you achieve it."
- Bill Porter

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Book Cover & Momentum

The cover for Book IV will soon commence and there will be some differences in this one. Do not want to deviate too far from the first three books, but I want to make sure people don't think they're getting a book about the Sims! (Does no one watch computer animated movies?) So I'll keep everyone updated on the progress of MIKE's jacket cover.

At this point, my schedule is so packed, I think for Christmas I'll ask Santa for sleep!
No complaints though! It's what I wanted.

And last, some musing about momentum.
It's hard to get going, but most people don't realize the benefits.
When you're pushing the ball uphill, distractions & stumbling blocks are more pronounced. Hit & misses are further apart, which creates an emotional roller coaster. The hits send you on a high, but the misses drag you down for a long time. It becomes easy to forget the progress forward when you only feel like you're going backwards.
However, for those who have resiliency, once the ball picks up speed, those bumps become less noticeable. It becomes the difference between shooting multiple targets with a hand gun or a machine gun. The hits & misses come so fast, you hardly even notice. Plus, there ware enough high moments that you forget the low ones quickly.

So if you're struggling - don't get discouraged, get excited! Do more. Move faster.
And no matter what, DO NOT GIVE UP!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Friends & Passion

The greatest reward of my venture as an author has been the friends I have made during my travels. It's so neat to meet new people and make friendships. This past weekend, I had a friend I hadn't seen in many years come out to speak with me and get my latest book. And a former manager of a defunct store in the Charlotte area now lives in Raleigh, as her husband manages one of the stores I visited this weekend. So it was a delight to see them both!!

One thing I've noticed - most people don't have a set dream or goal! When signing books, I always ask the person's passion in life, and half the time they really don't know. And you have to know where yu're going or you might not like where you end up!

Find your passion and pursue it with all your heart!

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Every day can be a winner!!!!

"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you, as by the way your mind looks at what happened."
- John Homer Miller

Friday, August 04, 2006


Tomorrow's Saturday - another book store appearance! I'm making preparations even as we speak, getting everything in order. Every signing is special because someone new will be there who's never met me. Or someone who's come a long way to see me! I don't want to let anyone down.

And if I'm in the right place at the right time, maybe I'll make a new friend!

Think I made one today without even leaving the house. Someone on an art website that just needed a word of encouragement. I hope I helped! I know I need a boost now and then. I've got a couple friends without whom I would've never survived the first year as an author. I am "Words of Affirmation" and I need to hear I'm going to be okay now and then.

And that would be a fitting encouragement for the day-
Say something encouraging to another person today!
It just might encourage you, too!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Young Adult

Just an observation ...

In speaking with libraries & doing research online, I realize how tough it is to find suitable titles for today's young adults.

When I was a teen, there wasn't the amount of YA titles available as there are today. I went straight for books like "Misty of Chincoteague" to adult fiction. Fortunately, I stayed within the realm of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, so there was little sexual content. With the exception of reading "Flowers in the Attic", I avoided the raunchier, more questionable titles.

Today, that's very difficult for teenagers, especially when their own category is full of immorality.

In book notes, MIKE is edited and ready ... but you'll have to wait! I hope that my second venture into a male main character will prove as interesting as Book III. If Mike were a real person, I think girls would be very drawn to his easy going, sensitive nature - not to mention his looks! (Think Heath Ledger.)

And for those who are struggling:

"When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath - or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine, with God's help!"
- Robert H. Schuller

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hint of Book V

Deep into writing Book V, I thought I'd throw out a little tidbit about the story.

The fifth in the series follows Heather and begins right after she has graduated from Duke with a Master's Degree. She has landed a position as an assistant basketball coach at a prominent college. Still single, Heather has decided to focus on her career instead. Of course, as you well know, it's when you're not looking for that certain someone that they suddenly appear!!!

At first I thought Book V would be a challenge, as Heather is the polar opposite of my own personality. But I am really having fun with it now!

Quote for the day-

"The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it."
- Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

First Taste

Welcome to The Circle of Friends!

Here you will find encouragement for those pursuing a dream, a little insight into the life of the characters and their creator, and updates as the series continues to move forward.

Just tantalize you with a little of Book IV, due out next year:

Mike Taylor is the epitome of stability. His family is proud of his academic and athletic achievements at Georgia Tech. Despite the temptations of college life, he has maintained his moral standards. His best friends and roommates appreciate his generous and affable nature. Yet beneath the peaceful surface, Mike is consumed with guilt, fearing condemnation and rejection. A former girlfriend’s abortion and the intense love he feels for his roommate’s wife constantly remind Mike of his sinful nature. Unable to forget the past and full of shame, he refuses to forgive himself. Will Danielle be able to reach him in time or is Mike past the point of redemption?

Book IV is days away from final edits!

For those of you enjoying Book III, you may be intrigued by a character you never knew fully, James. While his actions in Book I were perceived as questionable, you can now see that he is indeed a multi-faceted person, driven to accomplishment by the need to feel accepted. His struggles may even mirror some of your own. James was able to overcome, and I would love to hear how other survivors overcame as well!

And for today’s words to live by:

“In any situation, ask yourself: What strengths do I possess that can contribute towards accomplishing something in this situation? Then follow through.”
- Scot Knight

Monday, July 31, 2006

New look for the Blog!

Starting August 1st, Spunk On A Stick becomes the fan site for The Circle of Friends.

There will still be daily doses of optimisim, along with updates & sneak peaks at upcoming stories and characters.

Watch for contests and opportunities to participate in the creation of future titles.

Join The Circle of Friends for additional material and rewards.

Optimism is a choice!
Don't give up on your dream.
Get spunked today!!!

Friday, July 28, 2006


"You can do anything you want to do in life, if you have a fierce belief in yourself, a strong will, a big heart, and some role models to inspire you."
- from In The Land Of Giants

"There is no substitute for hard work. There will be disappointments, but 'the harder you work, the luckier you will get'. Never be satisfied with less than your very best effort. If you strive for the top and miss, you'll still 'beat the pack'."
- Gerald R. Ford

"Many persons have the wrong idea about what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose."
- Helen Keller

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Best Mottos

Some of the best mottos have inadvertantly come from movies.

My favorite is from Dory in Finding Nemo : "Just keep swimming, swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming!"

Just keep going no matter what!

Saturday, July 22, 2006


"Attack every problem with enthusiasm ...
as if your survival depended upon it."

- Successories

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Awesome Attitude

I saw a special on Bravo the other night, an hour long interview before a live audience with Michael J Fox. He's such an incredibly interesting and funny individual, but it was his attitude that really struck me. Despite having Parkinson's, he still considers himself very lucky and tries to remain an example for others. In a day when so many people just roll over and whine about their lot in life, his attitude was refreshing!

Life is what you make of it!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Price

These lyrics spoke to me last night as I was driving through the wind & rain on a lonely stretch of highway with hours to go before I reached home:


The Price by Twisted Sister

Friday, July 14, 2006

Persistence & Consistence

Are still the keys to success!!!!

My schedule is full into November, interviews are being added, and sales continue to climb. All because I have refused to give up and despite every roadblock that appears, I keep moving forward.

And I have not arrived.

This is the best part of the journey!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Altering the Spunk

This site may be altering in the very near future. I've got some ideas for tying it in with my books & characters. Hate to squelch anyone's daily does of optimism, though! Let me know if that would be a problem!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


When every physical and mental resource is focused, one's power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously.
- Norman Vincent Peale

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Being Needed

Confirmation that one is needed:

A full laundry basket awaiting.

Two cats who claim they never get ANY attention.

And about forty emails after only 24 hours!!!! (And only a dozen were junk!)

I feel so needed!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

To Give

"... you're building a life. A better life rises from an increasing capacity to give."
- Charlie "Tremendous" Jones

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


If you don't have a destination, you'll never get there.

Little things don't mean a lot; they mean everything.

There's no future in saying it can't be done.

- Harvey Mackay

And I don't know who said it, but this is appropriate for today, America's Independence Day -

"Never wait for the price of freedom to go down."

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Feeling welcome

No matter how tired I get of traveling; the long hours in my vehicle; money spent; hours away from my family; working every weekend ...

The welcome I receive when visiting my favorite book stores makes it all worth while!

Not to mention all the new friends & fans I make during my visit!

And that's what is important.

Friday, June 30, 2006


I was looking up book statistics and came across this one:

"Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half have never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half." --Gore Vidal, author.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Euphoria is when your favorite music artist records one of your favorite songs!

I have always loved Def Leppard. They recently released a tribute album. Until I heard their version of "Rock On", I hadn't really paid it any mind.

Then I realized they had done a cover of Electric Light Orchestra's 10538 Overture.

It's not the best song ELO has ever done. But as far as songs go, it's #7 on my top list of all time favorites. It was their first hit, the first song on their first album.

And Def Leppard do it right!!!!

Monday, June 26, 2006


Men are motivated and empowered when they feel needed...
Women are motivated and empowered when they feel cherished.
- John Gray, PhD. "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus"

Thursday, June 22, 2006


No matter what the level of your ability, you have more potential than you can ever develop in a lifetime.
- James T. McKay

Monday, June 19, 2006


Be proud of yourself (but not coceited), of who you are, of what you do, of where you work. Don't apologize for your station in life or for yourself. You are what you are - so handle yourself with pride and respect.
- Les Giblin

Thursday, June 15, 2006


You never know how much mileage you can get out of one compliment until you receive one.
Or give one!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

1 Corinthians 13

This is sometimes referred to as the love chapter. It describes unconditional love.

We lost our cat, Calvin, last summer, and her sister, Hobbes, joined her today.

They were perfect examples of unconditional love.

And I will never forget them.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Accept yourself

"...nobody on the face of the earth can make you feel inferior without your permission."
- Zig Ziglar

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Friday, June 09, 2006


With the last obstacle removed, my calendar has filled clear into October.

And the biggest accomplishment is a store in the town where my book series is based, one I had never been able to secure an appearance - now, I have one! Took until Book III, but I finally did it!!

Persistence pays off!!!!

Monday, June 05, 2006


Words to forget:
I can't; I'll try; I have to; should have; could have; someday; if only; yes, but; problem; difficult; stressed; worried; impossible; I, me, my; hate

Words to remember:
I can; I will; I want to; will do; my goal; today; next time; I understand; opportunity; challenging; motivated; interested; possible; you, your; love

- Denis Waitley, "Seeds of Greatness"

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Nothing is impossible

That's right, nothing!

Had a little challenge with a book chain, but it looks like that's been taken care of!

Was becoming concerned I wouldn't fill my summer, but I set seven book signings today.

Thought my husband might balk at the idea of going up to Columbus, Ohio and combining family visits with book signings, but he was all for it!

And, the ultimate proof nothing is impossible -

I am a horrible singer.
I scored a perfect 50,000 points in Karaoke Revolution this week.
On two different songs!!
One of them on the first try!!!!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Obstacles are springboards

Sometimes obstacles appear to be just that - walls in your path. But they can actually provide you with a new course of direction, leading to bigger & better things, or be a test of your resolve. It all depends how you handle the obstacle!

If there were no problems there would be no opportunities.
- Willie Jolley

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Returning from BEA

Book Expo America was … wow! Unlike anything I could possibly describe. Thousands of booths – publishers, authors, agents, distributors, etc. – all handing out promotional items and books. My husband and I talked with so many nice people! We even ran into someone we knew – Deal & Shelia who own The Literary Book Post!

And for me … hundreds of people now have my business card or bookmark – and I moved every book at my book signing!!!!

People really are looking for hope & inspiration!!!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Last Chance

Favorite songs come and go. Occasionally, one will stick for all time.

I first heard this song 25 years ago, and it instantly became my most favorite in the world. I have tried to keep the chorus in my mind and make every day memorable - as if it were my "last chance".

Today could be your last chance
To believe in yourself
Your last chance
To yell
Your last chance to be good to yourself
Your last chance to drink from life's well

- by Shooting Star

Monday, May 15, 2006

Finding a friendly person

How do you find friendly people?

First, you just need to find one - yourself!

Your actions & attitude towards other people will usually determine whether they are friendly or not. There's always someone having a bad day that you just can't help, but most people resond to friendliness.

Smile. Say hello. And be geniunely interested in others!

"Take a chance that the other fellow will be friendly. It is always a gamble, but you'll win 99 times for every time you lose, if you just bet on his being friendly. Refuse to take the chance, and you'll lose every time."
- Les Giblin, "How To Have Confidence And Power In Dealing With People"

Friday, May 12, 2006

Nerves of ... jello?

I always get SO nervous before an interview. The one this morning was no different! I was positively shaking by the time I finished. And it went great! I think a little nervousness help boost the adrenaline! Adds to the enthusiasm!

And enthusiasm makes the difference!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

In God's Time

"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!"
- Habakkuk 2:3

Monday, May 08, 2006


I really liked this one:

"Perseverance is very important to success. How else would two snails have made it to the ark?"
- Zig Ziglar

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Song lyrics are not what they used to be.

After reading recent rock lyrics or play Karaoke Revolution, most today are either really dark & depressing ... or just really stupid! (Guess if you're not really listening, it doesn't matter, huh?)

Well, obviously as Spunk on a Stick, I'm not into the dark ones. I prefer a little hope! (Or at least an intelligent question!)

"Hold on to your dreams, and don't let go ... " - Shooting Star

"All the odds are against you, But somehow yo make it through, You can rationalize it away, But it all comes down to you." - Triumph

"Kyrie eleison (Lord have mercy) down the road that I must travel, Kyrie eleison through the darkness of the night, Kyrie eleison where I've going will you follow." - Mr. Mister

"All I want is the same as everyone, Why am I here, and for how long?" - Queesnryche

"You made me feel like a superman, I could take on the whole world with just one hand." - Steelheart

Friday, May 05, 2006

Hitting the Jackpot

Some days, it feels like I've hit the jackpot.

And yet, that's a poor way to describe it. Because I've spent so much time & energy preparing for that moment. Some people look at other's fortune as a lucky break, but there's no such thing. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into getting to that point. And I am no different.

Success is when opportunity meets preparedness!

And I am so prepared!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Staying in Love

Was reading John Powell's "The Secret of Staying in Love" today. Thought there was some real truth in some of the statements, so I'm passing them along.

That which heals and promotes human change and growth is a one-on-one relationship of love.

Love is not a feeling.

Sharing my feelings will provide you with the opportunity to know me in a new way, to know yourself in a new way, and be changed.

Love is a decision-commitment.

Love works for those who work at it.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Left Field

Sometimes that's where news comes from. And despite my initial reaction of wanting to complain or wallow, I can't let myself. Every closed door is a new one opening somewhere else. Sometimes there's a big push involved, too!

I've come too far now and there are opportunities arising that I intend to take full advantage of - and since some came with the assistance of others, I must give 110%. I will not let my friends down.

Chris, I promise I will never give up!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Hip Huggers

Well, I finally did it. I purchased my first pair of hip hugger jeans.

I've managed to avoid hip huggers for a long time. Watching young, pudgy girls walk around in tight hip huggers and half shirts really turned me off of wanting a pair of my own. Not that I wouldn't look better than 90% or more of the current population that wears them, but because they looked so darn uncomfortable. And anything with the potential of squeezing me to the point I look like an egg with legs is just right out!

But yesterday, I found the perfect pair. A size 2, loose in the leg and with breathing room in the middle. And since my size is next to impossible to find, I snatched those bad boys right up! And you know, they don't look half bad.

I don't look like an egg with legs, but I'm still not going to wear a half shirt with my new hip huggers!

It's not how you look as much as how you feel you look.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Another's Success

It's cool to watch another's success! You can either learn from it or look back at your own and smile in remembrance. Watching another author do her first signing jazzed me up and I'm ready to continue my quest!

May we all be successful!!!

15 Years

15 years?

Well, that's how long Craig and I have been married as of today!

And while time seems to of sped up over the past few years (guess that comes with getting older, huh?) it still seems like an eternity ago we got married. I won't ever forget that day - only because just about everything went wrong! And we just did the Justice of the Peace thing - if we'd had a real ceremony and all that, it would've been a mess! But it all got better after the day passed!

We met almost 18 years ago and Craig claims he can't remember his life before me. I don't remember much before the age of 21, so I guess I can say the same thing! We're just doing dinner tonight, but Craig wants to do a special fun vacation for us this summer. We've already done the cruise thing, so have no idea what's next. I'm sure we'll think of something unique!

And I bet the next 15 years will be a blast!

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices when the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

To succeed

"People become successful often long before their names or deeds are known. The transformation occurs the moment they pledge their heart, mind, and spirit, saying, 'I will achieve my dreams.'"
- Bruce Garrabrandt

Monday, April 24, 2006

Two is better than one

As I found out this weekend when I was on my own for a couple days. Wasn't much fun. Of course, that made Sunday all the better when I wasn't alone anymore!

"Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get better return for their labor. If one falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other. But how can one be warm alone?"
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-11

Friday, April 21, 2006

Opportunity Knocks

This was a day of opportunity for me.

So thought I'd pass along some opportunity wisdon from Pat Mesiti's book, "Opportunity Knocks".

Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Time tests and proves what we really are.

Be faithful with the little opportunities that come and prove ourselves worthy of greater opportunities.

When you focus, when all your energies come together at a focal point, great things will happen.

While successful people go out after their opportunity, most others are waiting for their chance to come to them.

It is always too early to give up on your dreams.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Miracles happen

And they did today!

Thanks to those who did not give up on me.

Thanks to all who believed.

Thanks to God for giving me the determination and inability to give up!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Something to smile about

Many people itch for what they want, but they won't scratch for it.

Don't be critical of your mate's faults. It was those very defects that kept him or her from getting a better mate.

Remember, some of us learn from other people's mistakes and the rest of us have to be the other people.

Anyone can be tenacious if he'll just hang in there long enough.

- from "Something To Smile About" by Zig Ziglar

Monday, April 17, 2006

If God be for me, who can be against me? - Romans 8:37

No weapon that is formed against me shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against me in judgement I shall show to be in the wrong. This peace is the heritage of the servants of the Lord.
- Isaiah 54:17

Sunday, April 16, 2006


For I am determined not to know anything except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
- 1 Corinthians 2:2

Friday, April 14, 2006


I'm often asked what inspires me to write.

What began as a dream 3 & 1/2 years ago has spawned four full novels, with one more to complete. I am inspired by the character's intricate lives and where they are headed. I do not believe in writer's block, as if I ever find myself lacking in enthusiasm, I skip ahead to a scene that motivates me and play connect the dots later.

What really helps though is theme music. Movies have theme music and when you hear them, you are instantly drawn into that film. Well, each of my characters has a theme song, so to speak.

Lori's inspiration is taken from a disc I put together called Eternal Love - a mix of pop & rock love songs.

Sarah's song is Evanescence's Bring Me To Life and one of desperation.

James takes his inspiration from Stabbing Westward, and their songs Shame and What Do I Have To Do?

Mike's story was borne out of sorrow and regret. His theme is Finger Eleven's Thousand Mile Wish and One Thing.

Heather? Well, guess I'll just have to start writing and see what hits!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Bible

I was reading a book, "An Enemy Called Average" by John L. Mason, when I came upon this chapter title.

It's so true, it's almost funny!

The Bible is a book of commandments, not suggestions!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Major achievment

The pieces have begun to fall into place for my upcoming book tour with signings & media. A rather big event has recently fallen into my lap, one that could provide many other opportunities, leads, new fans, and a chance to network big time. It's a bit overwhelming at the moment, too. So much to research and prepare! And it's not often I'm nervous about these things, but this is one time I need to be as close to perfect as possible!
Fear or not, all I can do is my best and know something good will come of it!

I am strong and of good courage, I do not fear nor am I afraid, for the Lord my God, He is the one who goes with me. He will not leave me or forsake me.
- Deuteronomy 31:6

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Nothing is more satisfying than completing a really big task!

(And for an author, that means a quick break from hand cramps!)

But there's no time to dwell on that accomplishment.

Now I must make sure I did it RIGHT!

"People forget how quickly you completed a job, but they will remember how well you did it."
- Zig Ziglar

Friday, April 07, 2006


Hope deferred makes my heart sick, but when my desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.
- Proverbs 13:12

Everything that was written in the past was written to teach me, so that through edurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures I might have hope.
- Romans 15:4

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


We are moving ahead at half the speed of light and twice the speed of sense.

If you think you can live without others you are mistaken; if you think others can't live without you, you are even more deluded.
- Hasidic saying

I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.
- Katherine Hepburn

Monday, April 03, 2006


Heard this yesterday at church.

God will not give you a test that He knows you cannot pass.

Now, that's good stuff! Pretty cool to know that no matter what, you're gonna succeed! We all just gotta learn to relax while we're going through "stuff", because it will end and we will be victorious. As I've always said, no matter what, it's gonna be okay. No fun right now, but it gets better!

" ... You can trust God to keep temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it, for he has promised this and will do what he says. He will show you how to escape temptation's power so that you can bear up patiently against it."
I Corinthians 10:13

Friday, March 31, 2006

The best time of day is now

The first step in overcoming procrastination is to eliminate all excuses and reasons for not taking decisive and immediate action.

The fact is, the longer we take to act on God's direction, the more unclear it becomes.

from "An Enemy Called Average"
by John L. Mason

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Time well spent

Sometimes little surprises come up, but with the right attitude, and a little adjustment, things can turn out great.

We unexpectedly had our foster daughter return for a couple days, but it has been fun! Had some great meals, ate some cake, played some go-karts on the computer - and a few other things I'm usually too busy to do.

But there is always time for what matters if you make it happen!

We always have time enough if we but use it tight.
- Johann Wolfegang von Goethe

Saturday, March 25, 2006


It's the simple things.

Right now, my cats are sitting at the window, chirping at birds. No, the birds aren't chirping - the cats are! They've been there for quite a while and will be amused until the birds leave. Again, simple things.

Sometimes we forget to stop and anjoy the simple things. And we need to! Things like curling up on the couch with a warm blanket, a misty field on a damp morning, the smell of a vanilla candle.

And cats chirping at birds!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


No one has so many friends he or she can afford to aquander even one.
- Zig Ziglar

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Just received these today and thought I'd pass a couple along!

Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your front door forever.

God Himself does not propose to judge a man until he is dead. So why should you?

Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.He who angers you, controls you!

If God is your Co-pilot - swap seats!

You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to..........discourage him.

The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.

Friday, March 17, 2006

License Plates

I saw plate today that caught my attention. It was "Fluffy".

Now, "Fluffy" could be their pet. A giant, Persian cat with white hair.

"Fluffy" could be the wife's pet name, a preppy, 'shee-shee-foo-foo' kind of name.

Or it could mean the first thing that came to my mind - "Fluffy" refers to their body size!

Don't know about you, but I really wouldn't want to proclaim to the world that I was an extra large kind of person!

But therein lies the trouble with customized plates - most of the time, no one knows what you're talking about!

As Terry Felber says in his book - "Am I Making Myself Clear?"

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Cake Batter & Purple Essence

No, they're not food. Not even candles or fragrances.

Those are the two new colors of my office.

It's a long story how it all came about, too.

Originally, I had announced I wanted to decorate the kitchen. Wanted an actual theme instead of the hodgepodge that occupies most of the house. So I selected grapes and wine bottles. About that time, Craig decided the kitchen/dining nook would look better if we tore off the white, bland wall paper below the chair railing and painted. (What IS the purpose of chair railing? Just to keep one from placing anything flush against the wall?) In keeping with my theme, we selected a lavendar/purple color. We also decided to repaint the cupboards and such and chose a color that was 'close'.

Purple Essence in the dining area looked great! We did that first with full intentions to complete the kitchen a week or two later.

Somehow, a collection of photos and such had piled in my office. (Actually it's a formal dining room, but what's the point of those?) I told Craig I wanted to take down some of the old pictures and put up the new ones. Why don't we take everything down and repaint first he offered? Even put the purple essence under the chair railing in my office, since I had been thinking about doing it in a lavendar color.

Thursday & Friday, we moved things out. This room doubles as the exercise/media room, so we're talking a lot of big heavy items and over a thousand CD's & DVD's. Plus a book shelf. Into the spare bedroom this all went. Friday night, we painted. Saturday, we continued. An hour ago, we finished.

So what began as a desire for a kitchen full of grapes has now ended with me sitting at my computer hutch in the middle of an empty room. Tomorrow night, we will attempt to put things back, moving a couple things around, and finally getting those pictures on the wall by this next weekend.

A lot of trouble? Probably. However, my office looks amazing right now! Like a brand new room!

Hopefully we'll get to the rest of the kitchen soon!

Change is good!

Thursday, March 09, 2006


"Every powerful person has within themselves their own power.
Indicision is the major cause of failure. Everyone has an opinion, but in the end it is your opinion that swings your world."
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Can't steal my joy

I've been struggling with unhappiness lately.

ME? Spunk on a stick!?!?!?!?!?!

Yes, even I get down. We've been dealing with some issues regarding our foster daughter for the past six weeks and it has really drained every ounce of me, including my joy.

Which is why I decided to put a stop to the leak!

There's a book called "If Satan Can't Steal Your Joy ... He Can't Keep Your Goods" by Jerry Savelle. He talks about Satan being a thief, stealing all the things from us that we already possess from God - including our joy! Well, no more!

"Your joy no man taketh from you." John 16:22

And, even better - I'm gonna get it back sevenfold!

"Men do not despise a thief, if he steals to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold ..." Proverbs 6:30,31

Thursday, March 02, 2006

What is spunk on a stick?

I've been asked more than once what spunk is and what's it doing on a stick?

Fair question!

Spunk is defined as pluck & courage. I'd add enthusiastic, too. And more than once, I have been accused of being overly spunky. It's one of my nicknames. So I decided spunk would be a good, optimistic word to use. Everyone could use a daily dose of spunk to keep them going!

And the stick part is easy! My husband claims everything is better on a stick. Chicken is good, but put it on a little stick, and it's better!

Thus, Spunk on a Stick!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


I've been working my tail off to finish the fourth book in my series. If I'm not writing, I'm hashing out a scene in my mind. As a result, it's become a bit of an obesession.

Last night I dreamed I was one of my own characters! (My husband was another one and two more of them came over to our house.)

Guess it's on my mind a bit.

But when you're going for a goal, it should be on your mind all the time! It must become a burning desire, a total passion.

Wonder who I'll dream about tonight?

"Definite of purpose can, and it should, so completely occupy the mind that one has no time or space in the mind for thoughts of failure."
- Napoleon Hill, from Master Key to Riches

Sunday, February 26, 2006


Our pastor today delivered a message on phases. You're either going through one or are affected by someone else going through a phase. He referenced the prodigal son, and that his father knew he was simply going through a phase. And I thought that was the best part of the message - that whatever someone is going through, it is just a phase.

And phases pass!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Always be kind

Some people go through life not liking anybody. They want to keep to themselves and not be bothered.

They are missing so much!

A great kindness was recently reciprocated to me, and it really proves that one should always extend their best to others. It really doesn't require that much more effort to be nice and I always find I feel better afterwards. All it takes is viewing every new person as friendly and acting accordingly. Some won't be, of course, and sad for them! But most will respond favorably and appreciate your efforts.

And making someone else's day better is what it's all about!

Only by giving to others can we get what we truly want.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Today's blog comes courtesy of our kitten, Rocko. She and Spunky adopted us last Thanksgiving and are still wide open, playful kittens.

But Rocko has a penchant for getting into trouble. I think she has a list of things she knows she's not supposed to do, and then every morning runs through that list to see if anything has changed. Her persistence is amazing and it leads me to Rocko's motto:

Don't take no for an answer!!!!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Size Does Matter

I think that was the slogan for the really crappy American Godzilla movie that came out serveral years ago!

Oh well!

But size does matter. Rather, THE size matters!

My husband got me a really cute black and pink sleep PJ's set, tank top, pants, and shorts, for Valentine's Day. Bless him, it was an adult small. It fits ... mostly! Legs drag. Okay, they cover my feet! But, it's beautiful! So I don't mind.

Today, our Steelers Superbowl Champions t-shirts arrived. Craig held one up and I thought it was his! No, that was my child's size 14! Guess I should have ordered a 10 or 12 instead. Should have learned from the Georgia Tech t-shirt I got last year - fit perfect, got it home, and realized I had purchased a small - CHILD'S!!!!!

Size does matter!

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Once a year, they sneak up and attack!

They say you're only as old as you feel, which is true. Of course, I'll be the first to admit I do not feel 20 anymore! But in a way, that's a good thing.

Things about me are 40 now, and that's okay. No, I don't pass as a "young thang" anymore, but I still get carded when buying wine. I certainly don't ACT 40! I'm responsible and mature, but I still know how to have fun. I'm in the best shape I've ever been in my life, that's for sure. (Size 2? Any smaller and I'll vanish! Okay, maybe not vanish, but I'll certainly look like I need a Twinkie or something!)

The wisdom that goes with those 40 years is what matters, including the wisdom to realize that I still don't know the half of it!

Regrets? Only the things I did NOT do. So I'll have to work on being bolder. Which means sometimes saying, what the heck?!

And that's what will make the next 40 years so much fun!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Every action has a reaction

If you don't think things are happening, then you haven't gone far enough!

Every action has a reaction and can set up one heck of a series of events!

So just stay the course and always go the extra mile - because you never know where one path might lead you!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Back to Spunk!

Been occupied with some issues lately, but things are returning to normal.

(Whatever normal is - I've never thought I led a normal life!)

That said, hitting the road again tomorrow, which I love! And taking a friend this time, too.

Back to spunkin'!!

What is normal?
What is home?
What are cows!???
- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

February 1st!

It's February 1st. 2006.

(Still having a hard time saying that!)

And I believe it's a good time for some changes. Everyone always picks January 1st, but why not February 1st?

So I'll take time today to set some goals for the year that will propel my life forward.

Because what good is it to be stuck in limbo?

If it is to be it's up to me - Thomas B. Smith

Friday, January 27, 2006


Sometimes, the truth can really hurt.

To know that you have poured so much love & effort into someone, and all for naught ...

To have loved and lost is one thing - love without acknowledgement is another.

That truth hurts, however, I will not cease to give or give up on others. My capacity for love far outweighs the negative. I still believe in people. And I still believe love can make a difference.

"I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you ..."

Sunday, January 22, 2006

In the zone

Nothing like being in the zone when you're going after a goal. Vision is clear, focus is sharp, and you live and breath your pursuit. What was once a challenge becomes comfortable and easy.

Which is why distractions are so frustrating. You want to stay focused and not be bothered. Some distractions are necessary and must be dealt with, but some are just the forces of evil trying to get in your way.

That is where discipline and the ability to know the difference comes into play. And so many people lack discipline - they simply become distracted and never return to the pursuit of their dream. Once out of the zone, they rarely return. Small things distract them from the future.

Discipline is choosing what you want for your future over what you want now.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


It is the beginning of the year, and I had hoped by this time to be completed with my fourth novel.

I just hit the half-way mark!

The first two were finished so fast. But I should have known when it took me a full year for the third one that my appearances and crazy schedule would intrude on my writing time. Plus having another person in this house, and two psychotic new kittens, has altered my available time as well.

So I'll just have to readjust my time frame. If it's done by June 1st, that still gives my editor time for review and me time for rewrites. It'll be okay!

Time to refocus and set a new deadline!

There are no such things as unrealistic goals, only unrealistic time frames.
- from "The Power of Focus"

Friday, January 13, 2006

"In Love"

In dealing with a teenager who may be falling "in love", I've had to recall what the "in love" feeling feels like abd what it means. And try to convey the honest truth that real love is not an emotion or feeling.

So I resorted to Gary Chapman's "The Five Love Languages" for the definition of true love:

"That kind of love requires effort and dicipline. It is the choice to expend energy in an effort to benefit the other person, knowing that if his or her life is enriched by your effort, you too will find a sense of satisfaction - the satisfaction of having genuinely loved another. It does not require the euphoria of the "in love" experience, In fact, true love cannot begin until the "in love" experience has run its course.

"In love" lasts about two years. It's what remains when it is gone that really counts as love.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Big Moments

Life is full of big, life-changing moments.

This weekend, as I prepare Book III of my series to go into production, I think about where I was a year ago, preparing Book II, or over two years ago, preparing the first book. Every time, it has become more familiar and easy, and yet each moment is different!

And I think about how my life is going to change yet again with this third book. I have learned so much from the first two, have so many new ideas and chances I will take, my path will be so different from the other books. Book III will teach me all new tricks, too. I'll realize how much I still don't know about the industry! And as always, I will wish I had time to do all I truly wanted - I always feel I am not doing enough!

Book III will rock my world - and I am so looking forward to it!!!

The only constant in the world is change.

Monday, January 02, 2006

A New Year

Welcome to 2006!

This is a time when people make resolutions.

But resolutions are like rules - they're made to be broken.

I prefer goal setting - goals are dreams with deadlines.

Big difference.

I've set my goals - hope everyone else has, too!

Success begins through Definiteness of Purpose!
- Napoleon Hill "Master Key To Riches"