Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mom, mamma, ma, mom, mother, mamma.....


I’ll admit it….. I come from a very long line of mothers. I know, you’re surprised. So was I when I heard the news. I imagine the line of motherhood will continue long after I’m gone, barring the end of the world happening sooner rather than later, in which case it’ll be more like a short hyphen.

I have had the pleasure of knowing my own mother a very long time. I also knew her mother for quite a while as well. I am so lucky to have wonderful memories of my grandma and my mother. Of course, not all of my memories are great, but today is a day to remember the particularly good ones. I hope one day my own daughter will look back and remember a few favorable ones as well.

When I was a little girl, I would get to visit my grandma at the beach. Oh, how I loved those visits; clam digging, beach combing, baking with grandma, ‘reading’ the newspaper with grandpa. Every time I’d visit I’d get frosted animal cookies and my ‘medicine’ (canned peach or pear juice). As I got older, I was able to visit on my own and I’d drive to see my grandma and grandpa on my own. I couldn’t think of anyone I would rather drive and see.

I have so many fond memories of times spent with my grandma, and I hope that my own grandchildren will love me as much as I did her, as much as my own baby girl loves her grams.

My mom. My best friend. My mamma and I have always been close. We’ve been through a lot together. I remember songs and stories and bouts of giggles until we cried. She was the one that encouraged me to be strong, to think for myself, not to follow but lead. She was and still is my front row cheerleader no matter what I do.

I can easily admit that mother did (and, if I’m being honest, still does), know best. At least in many things. If only I’d listened when she suggested I could do So much better than Sam Stillwell. Or that it didn’t matter what those silly Jr. High girls thought. I really wish I would have never let anyone come between our close bond and cast a shadow on that decade of my life. (I really am sorry, mom).

I could always count on my mom for these things: honesty- even when it hurts, permission to speak freely- you guessed it, even if it hurts, modeling strength and courage- she’s a breast cancer survivor and did it with grace and humor, permission to be silly at any age, and love with all of your heart.

At times in my life when others judged, she listened and loved. I know that when I hurt, she hurt too. When I was overwhelmed with joy, she was as well. I know that when my mom speaks about her youngest child, she has pride in her voice. I hope she knows that when I speak about her, I have that same pride in my voice.

My mother has taught me so much and has become not only my mom, but my best friend. One I have no choice, the other I gladly choose.

I know things haven’t always been pretty, but God has brought us through those rough times. Thank you mom for being you. Thanks to all moms who love their children and their grandchildren with all of their hearts and do the best they can. I wish everyone could say their mom is their best friend.

Happy Mother’s Day and hugs.


Thursday, April 28, 2011



Oh, spring, why hast thou forsaken me?

It’s April 28th, but by all accounts near and far, it’s the middle of January, February at best. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re used to an excess of liquid sunshine. Really. It’s why our state is so beautiful. Snow…. We see a little. Ski season’s usually dwindles down to nearly non-existent in March, yet the Mountains are still getting blasted. Here on the valley floor we have rain, hail, sun, repeat.

Not only are my flowers confused, but apparently, my heating bill is too. I have the fireplace blazing as I write this! I am grateful for the days the sun does grace us with it’s warming presence. I thrive on good old-fashioned vitamin D. Everything goes better with that big yellow-orange thing in the sky.

My second problem with the conflicting and ever changing weather is this: I have my fall wardrobe, my winter duds, the springy outfits and the summer-wear. Now, due to the sunny-one-minute-rainy-the-next-and-oh-my-gosh-is-that-a-flurry-of-golf-balls-falling-from-the-sky weather system I must keep everything handy rather than having my seasonal clothes nicely tucked away. It’s a really good thing I have four closets at my disposal now instead of two.

All joking and whining aside, I realize the mild seasonal fluctuations in my neck of the woods is really a blessing. I see the devastation caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and non-stop snow storms that are happening all over the US. My heart aches for those effected by these horrible conditions. Many of my writing friends live in these areas that are hit the hardest and I am always fearful they might be caught in the worst of it.

It has been one crazy year all over. Even though I whine like many Oregonians, about the rain and the cold, and I wait anxiously for summer sun every day, I am so glad to live in an area where that’s all there is to complain about.

In closing, God Bless all of you struck by unruly and indiscriminately weather systems.

Tomorrow and the next day and the next (that’s all I can commit to at this time), every time I think about complaining when the rain comes down in torrents, I will stop and say a prayer for those less fortunate in the weather sense than I. I will count my blessings. I will accept this new season called winsprifall without further ado.

Till next time,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Tribute

Seems Like Yesterday….

Eight years may feel like a long time in the passing of time. In fact, when you break it down, it seems to be an impossible amount of hours (70,080); days (2,920) and weeks (416). However in my memory’s eye it’s more like yesterday.

Eight years ago today, one of the most important men in my life went to be with his Father in heaven. I can remember every detail of that point in time when my mom gently shook my shoulder in the wee early morning hours and quietly informed me that my dad had passed on.

Some might think it’s morbid or pathetic to commemorate each year in memory of dear old dad. “Time to move on,” they might say. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pensive and a little sad each year as I honor my dad’s death, but really, the day is about rejoicing- reminiscing on the good times and how after so many angst filled years, my father and I had a relationship I will forever cherish. The sadness comes when I think of how much I miss him, how I wish he had gotten to see his granddaughter grow up, how proud he would be that his baby girl is an author (I can almost hear him bragging now, he was always my biggest fan!).

I attended a funeral a couple of weeks back and the man’s granddaughter had stated ‘grandpa didn’t know a stranger,’ and I had to smile because the same thing was said about my dad. How true that was. It strikes me sometimes how many people’s lives my dad touched.

In my book, For the Helpless, my main character’s father was cold, demanding, critical and although strong and successful, was unhappy and unfulfilled. He never gave his daughter the recognition, encouragement and love she needed to feel confident in her own self. She could never be ‘good enough’, but she kept trying. There are parts of that fictional father that resemble an old version of my dad. Fortunately, a transformation took place and the man I knew most of my life was the polar opposite.

There hasn’t been a day that has gone by in the last 70,080 plus, that I don’t think of something I learned from my dad, remember a funny joke, or thought about his laugh and his big smile. It’s quite amazing really; when I also have memories of the many years we fiercely butted heads and couldn’t be in the same room without being nasty to one another. As a teen ager, I would never have guessed how our relationship would evolve into one of mutual admiration, respect and deep love.

Now, I have a teenager who is constantly at odds with her own father. I encourage her to not let this precious and short time with her dad slip away. I tell her he won’t always be there, and when he’s not, she’ll wish they’d spent their time more wisely. When my dad learned he was dying he made a conscious effort to make the most of his last days and really reached out to those he loved. I’ve learned so much from him in those last months: I love with my whole heart and hold those close to me tight. I don’t waste too much time on others that want to make their life and those around them miserable.

It seems like yesterday when I sat by my dad’s bed stroking his still warm hand, crying tears that were a mixture of sadness and rejoicing. Sadness because I will never have my dad next to me in the flesh to share the good times and work through the bad. Rejoicing because he will never feel pain again and is in a place better than I can ever imagine.

So today, I do remember and celebrate, not just the passing of a great man, but his life and how it still affects me every day. I hope I never ‘move on’. I cherish every memory, good and bad as they made my dad who he was, and in many ways, me who I am.

I love you, dad. I will see you someday.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

A tale of two blogs

When I started this whole blog thing, I considered myself a reluctant blogger..... I mean really, who cares what I have to say? So, I've tried to make them somewhat related to my writing. I admit, I have enjoyed it so far, especially some of the comments that have been left encouraging me along the way. Now that I have barely mastered one blog, I now have another on my author web site at if you haven't already, please check out that site. I've posted a couple of short stories there as well.

My web site marks the upcoming release of For the Helpless which should be available in a matter of weeks! It's the next step in a very exciting process that just keeps getting better and better. I never thought when I began writing this book that it would amount to anything. I half expected my preview readers to honestly say 'maybe writing's not for you.' Instead, I've become part of a fantastic literary family called TreasureLine Publishing. The support and energy of this fine group of writers makes everything so much better. If I were to do this all by myself, I don't know if I could do it.

So now, I have two blogs, hopefully I can manage a semi regular posting schedule. A subtle switch will be happening, however as this blog becomes a little more personal in nature and the web site blog takes on more of the author tone. Please continue to check them both out. I'll try to keep them interesting.

Till next time,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A life story as told by boxes.

If you've ever moved more than once, you probably know what I mean by the title. There are some boxes that have moved with me since I was first on my own at 18. I have stories, sheet music from choir, play programs, nik-naks etc. All of which seem too precious to part with. After 40+ years of life, everytime I move, I collect and keep more boxes that tell my life's story.... Awards from work, cards from students and of course my own child. I even have notes from my best friends in junior high and high school reminding me of hopes and dreams I've let fall by the wayside, or the silly boys we hoped would ask us to the dance the following weekend. Then there are the boxes and boxes of pictures I can't seem to thin out. There's the photo of my grandma and Ashlie cooking when she was just a wee one, or the one where both Ashlie and my dad are asleep in the recliner together; my mom getting her head shaved before chemo took it away for her; family and friends that are no longer in my life, but that were such an important part of it, they'll stay in a box for me to go through the next time I move.

My husband accuses me of hoarding, but I strongly disagree. There are just some memories in my life that I need reminded of now and then. Someday when my daughter goes through my stuff, I'm sure she'll wonder why on earth I've kept some of the stuff I have, but I'm also sure she'll see a story that is my life; the happy times, the hard times and everything in between. I think it would be safe to say that in my boxes is the story of my life. Paraphrased of course. I expect that the next time I move (Lord willing it will be many years down the road), there will be more boxes that never need to be unpacked, they're just recent memories, there for when I forget who I was and who I am.

So, if you have a life story as told by boxes, please share. I know I am not the only one....
Until next time,


Friday, January 7, 2011

Time Warped

Well, it's been a while. As I suspected, blogging isn't really my gig. However, here I am, giving it a shot for the new year!
I received some bittersweet news today, which thanks to Treasurline Books and Linda Boulanger, really doesn't bother me at all. An agent I had submitted my book to 7 months ago, finally sent me a rejection notice. The news just reinforces that I have chosen the right route going through Linda. I have a book cover which is totally awesome, a release date in the near future and such great writers in my publishing group. What an amazing blessing.
Since I've started working full time, my writing has slowed down a bit, but I have had the opportunity to read some of the other authors that have come out of Treasurline- Lori Osterman, Jaymie Grant, Ellen Maze..... great authors! I can't wait for the day that I'm included in a list like that. The thought is rather surreal.
Will continue to update on the writing process,
Til next time,


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It is a small world after all!

As many of you know, I am a part of a wonderful writing group, rubbing cyber elbows with very talented writers. The down side to cyber elbow rubbing is that you may never meet the owners of said elbows. They live in Michigan, or Texas, Arizona and so on. You can imagine my excitement when I learned that one of the group members lives only a few miles away from me! Yeah! Her name is Lori as well.... so my excitement gained some momentum! 

Finally the day came for a long awaited coffee date. I had read a portion of her book Here All Alone, and was anxious to meet her personally. I had every reason to believe she would prove to be an exceptional lady. She did not disappoint, (and really, with her name being Lori, how could she?) We hit it off marvelously, laughed talked and it felt like we'd known each other for years.

It's really interesting to me to explore how other writers have gotten published, marketed and most of all how they get their support and linked in with a network. Along with my on-line author friends, I think having some face time with other writers is greatly needed. Aside from Lori, I have recently met another author that is just as excited to share ideas and support as well. 

Remember when just a few moments ago I mentioned it seemed like Lori and I had known each other for years? Well, it turns out we have. It seems like another life ago. We had met professionally and had done a couple of things socially and then life got in the way as it often does and we lost contact. I remember liking her immensely back then, and I'm happy to still like her as much now.

It surely is a small world. Sometimes it's fun to find out just how small.

That's all for now,
Till next time,