Fire and hurricanes. Poetry and love. Synchronicity.

“But you can’t stop a hurricane. You can only ride it out and then try to make sense of it all, once things calm again. And they will be beautiful again as soon as the storm has passed. They’ll likely be even better. Stronger. You’ll be more prepared the next go ‘round. And make no mistake there’ll be another. There always is.”—Britney King, Anywhere With You

I came across the trailer for this film and it’s seems so very like Somewhere With You and Anywhere With You that I couldn’t not share it. I love it when the universe delivers that way. :)

Touched With Fire. It looks like a great film. Is it February yet? :)

This is going to get me in so much trouble….

“He’d started this. I would finish it. He took me by the wrist and gently pulled me inside. It was the beginning of a secret. And the end of me.” —Britney King, Anywhere With You

Remember, way back when, I said that a change was gonna come? Well…what I’m about to share below is going to get me in so much trouble. I already know. I can hear it now…

And here’s what I want to say about that…

Don’t read it IF:

  • You’re under 18.
  • You don’t like profanity.
  • You’re related to me.
  • Romance isn’t your thing.
  • You get the feeling you might be compelled to let me know you have a problem with what I write.

Whew.

Now that that’s been said…this week I’m pressed for time…so I’m going to share an excerpt from my new novel, Anywhere With You.

AWYLONGEXCEPRT

The Long Way Around…

“When it comes to fighting, physical strength really has very little to do with it. One of the tenets that judo is founded upon is “Maximum efficiency, minimum effort.” That has really defined my career. It is the foundation of all the techniques and everything I do. It’s one reason why I don’t get tired. It’s one reason why I am able to fight girls who are a head taller than me, or chicks who are on steroids. People who cheat or dope lack the one thing every true champion must have: belief. No drug or amount of money or favoritism can ever give you belief in yourself.” — Ronda Rousey (My Fight / Your Fight)

I read a REALLY great book this past week. I’d heard about Ronda Rousey’s biography from Brian Johnson, a philosopher I follow who takes great books, on being great, and breaks them down into bite-sized chunks. Something about this particular note he did stuck out at me and so I decided to read the book—despite the fact that I assumed it’d be all about MMA and the UFC, which I’m not particularly a fan of. I’m not necessarily not a fan either— it’s just that watching two people beat the hell out of each other isn’t really my idea of fun. But then, upon digging further, I read that Ronda was a Judo champion. And somehow that made it different. Although maybe it really isn’t. :)
Also, during the first disagreement I ever had with my husband he dubbed me a ‘verbal Judo Master.’ It stuck, and well, I really felt like Ronda Rousey and I had something in common. ;)

All BS and sarcasm aside—apart from the verbal Judo part—(I can go a few rounds) Ronda’s story is pretty amazing and very inspiring and I could not put the book down. Her words made me question a lot about my life in regard to where to be soft and where to be hard. Particularly in the parenting arena. I loved her mom. Although, fair warning, in this day and age her style of parenting isn’t likely to be highly regarded.

In addition, there were great bits of wisdom on vulnerability and passion— and how to use them to your advantage. But my biggest takeaway was something she said about not allowing others to project their insecurities and limitations onto you. This lesson is one that has shown up again and again for me and I’m pretty much past ready to be done with it. So, it was perfect timing. And the perfect book.

Lastly, this is the point at which I should probably market talk about the book I’m working to meet deadline on. Instead, I’ve decided to save that for the newsletter which comes out Thursday. It’ll include a Kindle giveaway, the first chapter of Anywhere With You… and probably a few other things. :)

P.S. One of my favorite passages from My Fight/Your Fight.  

“I lost my second judo tournament. I finished second, losing to a girl named Anastasia. Afterward, her coach congratulated me.

“You did a great job. Don’t feel bad, Anastasia is a junior national champion.”

I felt consoled for about a second, until I noticed the look of disgust on Mom’s face. I nodded at the coach and walked away.

Once we were out of earshot she lit into me. “I hope you know better than to believe what he said. You could have won that match. You had every chance to beat that girl. The fact that she is a junior national champion doesn’t mean anything. That’s why they have tournaments, so you can see who is better. They don’t award medals based on what you won before. If you did your absolute best, if you were capable of doing nothing more, then that’s enough. Then you can be content with the outcome. But if you could have done better, if you could have done more, then you should be disappointed. You should be upset you didn’t win. You should go home and think about what you could have done differently and then next time do it differently. Don’t you ever let anyone tell you that not doing your absolute best is good enough. You are a skinny blonde girl who lives by the beach, and unless you absolutely force them to, no one is ever going to expect anything from you in this sport. You prove them wrong.” — Ronda Rousey (My Fight / Your Fight)

A Change Is Gonna Come.

The act of regularly opening yourself up in full view of an army of strangers is choosing to be exposed; to consent to have one’s unprotected innards trespassed upon and rooted through. This vulnerability comes at a great personal price, one that is never really ever repaid. The writer is always in the red.” — John Pavlovitz

This quote comes from a great piece titled: Thank You For Bleeding: A Love Letter To Writers

For the past six months or so (maybe probably longer) I’ve really struggled with what to do with this space. This question has been banging about as so much has changed for me since I started writing here, nearly four years ago. Having recently transformed the space around me, I realized that in a sense, doing so, has transformed me personally. Or vice versa. What came first, the chicken, or the egg… it appears the jury is still out on that one.

Originally, when I started blogging in 2008 (anonymously and in a different space) I wrote about the trials and tribulations (and the fun!) of raising a large family. But then that family grew up (and really deserved their privacy in the process) and thus that blog evolved into this one, a space about the trials and tribulations (and the fun) of me growing up.

The main challenge in this has always been that my life is not a one woman show. Thankfully. And I’m very protective of the supporting cast. Which means that whenever I’ve written about my family and I’ve put it out there…well, there’s always been a bit of ickiness associated with doing so. The line with what feels right and what feels wrong has always been a bit too thin for my liking. I’m fine with being judged. I’m even fine with a certain lack of privacy. But I’m not fine with the people I love most in the world not having theirs— and it being my fault.

Secondly, not only have I evolved… so has the audience. I see the search terms. The shift is in part due to the fact that when I started writing here I hadn’t yet published works of fiction—works which may or may not be congruent with my personal life— and/or the things I write about in this space. The two, at least for me, (fic and non-fic, real life and make believe) are very different animals— and it can be dangerous when those lines become blurred. It can also make it a tad bit difficult to be brave and truthful in your storytelling. Which is one reason I love writing fiction so much. There are fewer people to protect when sharing your brand of crazy. For the most part, it isn’t personal.

And the truth of the matter is that writing fiction (messy, messy fiction;) has always been the path I’ve intended to take. I like making things up. Which means that I need to be a little more careful about the (non-fic) stories I tell (on the interwebs) and whom I tell them about. It’s time I separate the two to a degree.

As for what that means for this space… I don’t yet know.

I only know that a change is coming… and that I’m beyond grateful for the lessons I’ve learned, for the ability to share those lessons, and for the changes that doing so has brought.

The Answer To All Life’s Questions.

“Everything takes time. Bees have to move very fast to stay still.” ― David Foster WallaceBrief Interviews with Hideous Men

I’ll be putting the finishing touches on my upcoming novel, Around The Bend by this time next week, if not sooner, and I’m pretty pleased with where this story is leading me.

It’s been both a teacher and a lesson, that’s for sure. :) There were places I didn’t think that I could go, that I went. And there’s still a little ways to go…so, who knows, I might just surprise myself. ;)

In the meantime, in breaks between writing the hard stuff and having fun, I’ve been playing around with poetry and really not caring how bad or how good it is. :)

The latest, below…

The Answer To All Life’s Questions.

There’s beauty in the silence,

Wisdom in stillness,

When there’s no audience to please, nothing to be said, no one, and no where to be—

You’ll find yourself there.

Third Time’s A Charm: A Cover Reveal and Other Awesome Related News…

“Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.” – Garrison Keillor

Yes, I know. I’ve been very, very, very bad about talking about anything work (book) related here for longer than is probably acceptable for someone who is trying to sell market books. But don’t let my neglect of all things work kid you. I actually have been working. You see, as it turns out, in order to sell books you have to write them first. Who would’ve thought, right?!? So that’s (mostly) what I’ve been doing. In other book related news, this happened:

photo

Oh and wait a sec….there’s this too….

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have A NEW COVER! Here’s to hoping the third time’s a charm. ;) For the past few weeks I’ve been working with Lisa of Pixel Pixie Design again (she is also responsible for the trailer) to create a new cover for Bedrock–one that would more accurately portray what the story is about. Working with Lisa has once again proven to be so much fun. It’s always inspiring to work with people who put their whole heart into what they do. Lisa is one of those people… I had a vision and she brought it to life. Not once, but twice, and soon to be a third time with the sequel cover. So… without further ado…I am beyond excited to show off Bedrock’s new look:

Standing-cover

BEDROCK FINAL JPEG

P.S. I also want to say how incredibly lucky I feel to be able to do something that makes me so happy. Everyday I get the kindest emails and social media messages and I am extremely grateful to know that the characters I created mean something to others. It’s funny and quite amazing how writing this story has enhanced my life- by opening up windows into others lives. When people find out I’ve written a book (as a nicety) they usually ask what it’s about and when I tell them love, infidelity, and everything in between it’s been really neat to see how they open up and how excited they are share their stories. I’ve heard from people who are 17 to 77 and because of this I’ve decided that there are really only two conversations in life that people tend to want to have. There’s love and there’s money. Anyway, I have to say that right now I just really love people. The truth is we’re all more alike than we are different and it’s a humbling experience to have the opportunity to simply observe, without attachment nor judgment.

P.S.S If you haven’t seen the trailer, have a look-see:


What’s It About? The Truth: Sometimes it comes with a warning label…

“If you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.” – Stephen King

It’s amusing that I’m writing this on April Fool’s Day. It’s not a joke. Promise.

Today I’m breathing (a little) sigh of relief. Yesterday evening, I hit the send button and off the editor my novel went. I DID IT! I WROTE A NOVEL!

It wasn’t easy, there were many times I’ve questioned (and still question) just what in the hell I’m thinking. There have been times I’ve felt like an actor portrayed in an action film, dodging bullets left and right; yet who somehow still manages to come out alive. And wearing a smile nonetheless. I realize that we all feel like that from time to time in life. But I’m writing this because I want to encourage you, no matter what it is you’re working towards, to keep going when the going gets tough. Keep going on the days or weeks (or months) when it seems that everything is conspiring against you and every shitstorm that appears is a sign you should just give up. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. And eventually you’ll get there. It’s inevitable. I’m telling you this because for me each time an obstacle presented itself, I saw it as a sign. When something unexpected occurred, as it always does (two back to back car accidents, lots of sick kids, the deaths of two of the most important people in my life) I’d say to myself: Maybe this isn’t right. Here’s your chance to quit. Come on, there’s nothing wrong with quitting. And….ah, hell you’re not quitting…you’re just changing direction. But somehow I kept at it, knowing that I’d set out to do this…I set out to write this novel and by god I was going to do it.

Somewhere along the way though I realized that it was about more than just setting out to do something and doing it. It was about realizing a dream. It was about falling down and getting back up. It was about learning and not being afraid of all there was to learn. My god, there was so much to learn. But most importantly, it’s about opening up and allowing myself to be vulnerable. It’s about laying it out there and being able to say take it or leave it. Like it or don’t. Judge me…tell me what you think. It was about taking feedback and accepting criticism. It’s about saying this is me (partially anyway) and this is what’s in my head. These are the things I think about. These are the questions I ask myself. And when I say this, I’m not referring to characters in the book; I’m referring to who I am as a writer.

That said, one of the questions I’ve been asked often has been: what’s your novel about? And to be honest, I’ve struggled a little bit with how to answer that. I’m not sure exactly why… but for some reason (I think) people have assumed that I was writing humor or non-fiction. Or that I was writing about life as a mother of five. So to then say to these people that what I’m writing (is FICTION) and it’s sometimes dark and is laced with a little profanity has been interesting to say the least. I think it’s funny when I hear authors say, “my books target market is…anyone who loves to read.” Because I will tell you right now…my novel isn’t for just anyone. Due to heavy subject matter and sexual content it’s recommended for mature readers. It’s not for those offended by profanity and/or sexual content. Part suspense, part thriller, it’s about surviving and thriving in spite of the odds. But over all, deep down at its core…it’s a story about love.

So…. without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to my first novel entitled, Bedrock.

Bedrock is a love story designed to showcase how the choices we make ultimately shape our lives. It serves as a reminder that in the end what defines us is not the big events, the monumental occasions. It’s the tiny, seemingly inconsequential moments in between. It’s proof that time passes and we cannot, no matter how hard we try, get it back. Bedrock is a story of love and grief that pretty much sums up the context of the human experience.

When Addison Greyer, a happily married mother of three, decides to re-enter the workforce, she never once considers that taking a job might unravel everything she thinks to be true about her life—that it would cause her to look deep within and confront fears she didn’t know existed. She couldn’t have foreseen how a chance meeting or a single day can change the course of an entire lifetime.

Like many women, Addison is defined in terms of marriage and motherhood, until she suddenly finds her life turned upside down by her husband’s decision to take a job thousands of miles away. When her tough-as-nails boss offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse, Addie is forced to make difficult choices. Those choices take her further and further out of the carefully crafted fairytale life she has created and lead her into an unknown world where things are anything but black and white: a world where she learns that desire is not only dangerous but deadly. In this world, all bets are off as she is forced to finally confront her past. As her past and present collide, she has to make decisions that for most are unthinkable, decisions that can tear her family apart, and perhaps even have fatal consequences.
P.S. Thank you for reading here…and as always for your support.