Carpe Diem, my friends!

Posted at Feb 27, 2017 1:55 am

Earlier this month, my father passed away. He had been disabled since I was 10 years old and I’ve been told many times since then to say my final goodbye to him. One can only stand at their Dad’s bedside and grieve his passing so many times before you think you just can’t do it anymore. You think you’re all grieved out. You think you’re ready…

But you’re never ready.

My dad was an amazing person who was hit by a drunk driver while on a lawn mower, thrown 90′ down the road, was physically broken in more ways than I can tell you… but never gave up. He had a phenomenal drive and he never let his situation get him down. He never became bitter. He became a wood worker and made  beautiful things from his wheelchair. The past few years, he’d gotten slower at that. He’d stopped smiling as much. His endless pain had finally worn him down. When he developed kidney failure on top of all of the other things wrong with him, he just couldn’t face one more thing. After a brief go at dialysis, he stopped taking it. As his doctor predicted, he passed very quickly. But not before we were able to have him a “good-bye” wake. Yes, he threw a party at our church and asked everyone he knew to come and say goodbye to him, rather than coming to his funeral. It was beautiful. The church was packed. People offered wonderful stories of my dad–mostly about how they had been inspired by someone so disadvantaged by fate, yet optimistic and loving by nature. He passed away only four days later. My birthday feel between his passing and his funeral. And the event I had thought I’d been ready for was far more devastating than I’d expected. It made me think of all the times I should have spent with him, all the wasted opportunities. It made me think about how much I want to be like him. And it made me think about how much I need to slow down, hug my kids more and appreciate my family for all their love and support.

Two weeks later, a very close cousin of mine was killed in a car accident. My father’s passing, though hard, had been expected nearly my whole life. Not so much when a someone nearly your age, someone who shared so much of your childhood and experience, someone who wasn’t supposed to die yet… does.  He had minor children and a wife. He had plans and dreams. He had a smile on his face whenever I saw him.

Life is fragile and fleeting.

I have been writing my whole life. I have been seeking publication for longer than I care to admit, since I have yet to achieve that goal. In that time, I have also raised two children, opened, operated and sustained a funeral home, been through numerous life challenges and maintained a household (for the most part–though my kids would argue otherwise!). I have let life complicate my success. But not anymore. This is my year. Carpe Diem.

I will live more, love more and laugh more…

I will write more, read more and create more…

And I will pass from a student of writing craft into the realm of publishing. My agent believes I can. My family believes I can. And most importantly

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March 2017:

Posted at Feb 27, 2017 1:23 am

Almost time for the finalists to be announced for RWA’s Golden Heart Awards. I’ve thrown all three of my manuscript that previously finaled back in the ring this year. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

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Fingers crossed…

Posted at Feb 27, 2017 1:02 am

After being honored as a finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart Awards Contest in 2011 (for The Dead Guy Downstairs) and in 2013 (for Miranda Perry’s Imported Prom Date) and again last year in 2016 (for Senior Tag: The Underwear Games), I’ve thrown them all back in the ring again. Cross your fingers for me–finalists are announced next month!

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Still Holding My Breath…

Posted at Oct 21, 2013 4:27 pm

Yep, Publishing is a glacial pursuit!  I’ve certainly learned to be patient, even though I’ve bitten my fingernails down to nubs and gone permanently blue from holding my breath.  So, even though there’s nothing new to report, I thought I should post an update on my journey.  Even if the only thing I have to say is that MIRANDA PERRY’S IMPORTED PROM DATE is still being considered by five editors at New York Houses.  Yes, no news is still good news to me.  Who knows, maybe God is waiting to give me a publishing contract as a Christmas gift.  In the meantime, I’m busy working on a new project.  Thanks for checking in with me!  Believe me, everyone will know when the good news comes my way… you’ll hear me screaming from my rooftop!



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2013 RWA Conference

Posted at Aug 8, 2013 12:01 am

With Friend and Web Designer, Liz Bemis

With Friend and
Web Designer, Liz Bemis

Well, a few weeks ago I attended the annual Writers’ Conference hosted by Romance Writers of America®.  This year I finally listened to my friend, Liz Bemis, who runs the phenomenal Bemis Promotions, and agreed it was time for me to have a website. (Okay, it’s long overdue, but that’s beside the point.) In addition to making the decision to launch my website, the conference was once again a wonderful experience.  I’ve gone for the past seven years and would highly recommend it to any writer at any level of their career—and, honestly, for any genre of commercial fiction.  (There’s so much information that applies to fiction in general, not only to romance specifically.)

The conference is a wonderful way to learn about the craft of writing and the business of publishing through numerous classes offered each day, as well as having the opportunity to network with literary agents, acquiring editors and phenomenal authors.  There is truly something for everyone at this event, from newbie writers to NYT best-selling authors!   This year the event was in Atlanta.  And I was a GOLDEN HEART® Finalist again.  There’s nothing like going to the conference as a finalist!  (To learn more about the Golden Heart contest for unpublished writers or the finalists, go to Read more…