Friday, December 28, 2012

On: The End of Another Year

Hello Wonderful Readers!

Another year is about to close, and I can't help but reflect on all that has come to pass in the last twelve months.


  • Purrfect Storm, my short story was published in March.
  • Murphy's Law, my first novel was published in July.
  • My sister and I created a small craft business in January.
  • I went through training and worked 40 hours a week as a Lifeguard in June. 
  • The Munchkin began Kindergarten in August, and I'm constantly surprised how smart she is.
  • In June, the Marine returned to my little family from his deployment to Japan.
  • April had me in Maui, Hawaii where I kayaked four miles through open ocean to watch whales. 
  • Just before my birthday in October, I found out the Marine and I would be expanding our family little family.
 There have, of course, been trying moments within the year, but overall, the year has been amazing and happy. I look forward to what this next year will bring to my life. The trials, the happiness, and the new experiences. 

 How was your 2012, and what are you looking forward to in the New Year? 

 I'd love to know. 

 R.S.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

On the Quiet of Morning

It isn't often I get to enjoy the quiet calm of morning. The Munchkin is a big fan of waking up before the sun, and since even as a morning person, I believe in waking up WITH the sun--NEVER before it-- the early morning quiet is a thing of rare beauty for me.

This morning the Munchkin woke up at 0530, but miracle or miracles, she fell back to sleep, and I've been able to enjoy a few solitary moments of quiet before the rush of the day begins. I know it is short lived, because I can hear her shifting and waking in her room, but those few moments of silence, of calm, has done wonders to recharge my weary, tired body.

What is your favorite time of the day? Do you enjoy the early mornings or the late nights, or are you the rare breed of mid-day lover? Please share.

R.S.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

On Thanksgiving

Have a wonderful and happy Turkey Day. Full of friends, family, and endless amounts of food.

R.S.

Monday, November 12, 2012

On My Weekend

On Saturday the Marine and I attended Lexa's memorial. It was both heartbreaking and healing, but I guess that is the point, right?

So many people came out to say good-bye to the young girl who'd made their lives better. Outside on the green lawn that was scattered with leaves, people told their stories. Doves were released, and people laughed when the doves decided to do their own thing--something we're sure Lexa was responsible for.

I won't lie and say I'm healed from the pain, but I'm not as angry as I was. The sadness isn't taking up as much of my soul as it did in the beginning. Lexa never wanted people to be sad. She believed in happiness and living. Following dreams and attaining goals.

It's time for me to get back to that.

And I've started.

Sunday we joined some friends at the Olive Garden to celebrate Veteran's Day. It was nice to get out, eat delicious food, and laugh. People who know me well, realize if I don't get out of the house once in a while, I'll fall into a pattern of living, much like a hermit.

I like being a hermit. Things get done when I stay home.

Usually.

Okay, not much has gotten done since I started staying home after working at the pool. I've been taking it easy. Spending time with my family, helping the Munchkin with homework, and catching up on all the hours of snuggling I missed out on.

Housework can wait.

How did you celebrate Veteran's Day? Did you thank a Veteran for his or her sacrifices?

R.S.

Monday, October 29, 2012

On Rest in Paradise, Lexa

Yesterday, my dear friend, Lexa passed away after a nine day battle with an aneurysm. She was an amazing person, and had her whole life ahead of her.

She was Fifteen.

What makes things like this happens?

Why are the young, vibrant, good, and loving, so often taken from us, while the abusive, murderous criminals are given long lives?

Someone once told me, "Some souls are too good, too pure for the evil of this world."

I'd have to agree.

Her death has hit me hard, has made me re-evaluate life, but I'll be honest. Right now, I'm too angry to take solace in those re-evaluations. I'm too angry to remember the good times, the positives. I'm too angry to be thankful she is no longer in pain.

I'm angry she's gone. I'm angry this happened to her, and that she'll never laugh again, or show such excitement when she's able to hold a handstand. I'm angry the doctors couldn't do anything, and that I never got to say goodbye. I'm angry her parents had to go through this, had to lose their child.

I'm angry, because it isn't fair.

Life isn't fair.

I'm angry the sympathy vultures have come out. The people who couldn't be bothered with her in life are suddenly so "sorry" she's gone. They post their 'love' for her in every public forum, and are the first to seek out grief counselors at her school. They want to make themselves feel better, look better, and get the attention they feel they deserve, for having known Lexa.

They didn't care about her, they didn't take time to get to know her. They didn't laugh with her, talk about dreams, fears, and goals. And now they can't.

Everyone grieves differently.

Some people go about life like nothing has changed, because if they don't, they'll crumble into a ball.

Some people think 'that's life' and move on.

I hold my grief tight and feel every bit of the emotion. It colors my life. It will always color my life, though each day the colors will change.

Lexa isn't the first person who touched my life and was taken too soon, and she won't be the last, because, life isn't fair.

One day, I'll be able to be thankful for the positives, not cry, but smile when I think of her. That day isn't today.

Today, I mourn for the young girl who told me I was her big sister, and that she loved me even when I was grouchy. I mourn for the girl who strutted her stuff, because she was beautiful, and I mourn for the girl who was also oblivious to the guys who watched her.

Today, I mourn for Lexa, may she rest in Paradise, where her love and beauty can shine on the world without pain, without hurt, and without judgment.

Rest in Paradise, Lexa. Until we Merry Meet Again.


R.S.




















Saturday, October 20, 2012

On Lexa

Life is a fickle bitch. 

One day you could have the whole world in the palm of your hand, and the next, everything could be tossed around you like broken rag dolls. 

As anyone who has read this blog knows, I spent the last several months as a lifeguard. During that time, I met an amazing, vibrant, beautiful and caring, young girl. She is on Varsity Swim Team and Varsity Cheer. She came in early to swim laps, even though usually she ended up keeping me company in the early morning hours. 

She is only fifteen.

She made me smile every day.

She made me laugh, and she made me shake my head. 

She reminded me what it was like to be a teenager, and she would ask my advice on what to do to get away from the drama of being a teenager.

I spoke with her the other day, through Facebook. Just small talk about working out, getting in shape, and craziness of life. 

That was at 4 PM.

The next evening I found out she was in the hospital. She'd suffered a brain aneurysm. 

This beautiful girl, with her big smile and laughing eyes isn't visiting the pool anymore. She's fighting for her life in a hospital, attached to a ventilator. 

She is strong and a fighter, and I know she won't give up, but she can use help. I'm not religious, but I believe in the power of faith. Right now, every little bit helps. 

I've spent the last several days wishing I'd stopped to let her know what her visits meant to me, to make time for those plans we talked about. When I get the chance, the first thing I'll say to her is, "Thank you for caring enough to be you. Thank you for being my friend." 

Life is a fickle bitch, and you never know when everything will change. Don't wait to tell your loved ones how you feel, or how thankful you are for them. Don't put off having coffee with that friend, because you can't always do it tomorrow.


Keep Fighting Lexa. You're in my thoughts. Always.

R.S.







Friday, October 19, 2012

On Returning To the Real World After An Extended Absence

I'm baaaaack!

Please, please, no need for applause. ;)

After four long and exhausting months, I'm finally back and ready to get down to the busy and sometimes lonely business of writing. I've had characters and plots poking and prodding me for months now, and finally I'll have the time to do something about it.

As of today, I am no longer employed by someone other than myself. The experience of being a lifeguard, while rewarding and enlightening (not to mention physically active), just isn't what my life needs at this time.  I made the decision to step away from the poolside after many days of introspection, and weighing the pros and cons.

I made a few amazing friends and a bunch of pretty cool acquaintances. There are people I'll miss deeply, and some I'll never think of again. The last few months have been an educational experience, and the changes I've made in myself and my surroundings will continue to show throughout my life.

There are many reasons I chose now to go back to my quiet and mostly orderly world. I'd made the cut and had been kept on for the winter, and yet I have chosen to leave. Some of those reasons are easy to understand, some I will share at a later time, and some reasons will never be known by anyone but me.

While lifeguarding filled a void in me I hadn't realized was there, it was never my passion the way writing is. Though I love physical fitness, and in the next couple of years will realize my dream to become a personal trainer, it isn't the focus I need right now.

I need to focus on my family. On the Marine who should be getting orders to who knows where, shortly. On the Munchkin who is experiencing new things every day. I want to be there with her, I want to be awake enough to help her with homework, to make her lunch, and to spend quality time with her more than just two days a week.

I need to focus on R.S. Emeline, Author. She's been sorely neglected, and I'm afraid to see what damage my absence has done to that part of my life.

I need to just Breathe.

Something I forget to do sometimes.

So, starting today, I'm breathing life back into myself. I'm taking the bull by the horns, and I'm jumping back into the saddle (and any other quaint phrases you can think of). It's time to let those stories out, to refresh my blog, to make new friends and network again.

It's time to get back to me.

R.S.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On Remembering 9/11/01

Everyone seems to remember where they were and what they were doing when the planes crashed into the towers. I know where I was (at home) and what I was doing (sleeping).

Every year we focus on the fateful day, on the people who were sacrificed, and who have sacrificed everything since then.

It was our darkest day, and now we strive for the light.

Being close to the military brings an added layer to the memories. All day today I was surrounded by the men and women who have fought on the front lines. The men and women who proudly sacrifice not only their personal lives and their time, but are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice so the rest of us don't have to--in the hopes we never again experience such tragedy.

I wasn't in New York, Pennsylvania, or D.C. that day, and I don't personally know anyone who was, but here is a link to a blog from Meg Cabot, the best selling author of the Princess Diaries, and a person who was there when it happened. It's a touching and emotional story that should be read and shared every year.

Today isn't completely about the past. It's about the present and the future. Each of those 3000+ people who lost their lives on 9/11/01 had dreams. Dreams that will never come true. We have that chance--the chance to make our dreams come true.

The question is, what are you going to dream?

R.S.

Friday, August 31, 2012

On Kindergarten is Tough.

On Monday, the Munchkin started Kindergarten.

I had no problem when she went to Preschool, and didn't even have much of a problem with the idea of dropping her off at the public school for her first day of Kindergarten.

Then the first day came.

The public school is nothing like her private preschool, and I suddenly want to rob a bank to afford to send her back to private school.

The level of connection is non-existent at her public school, the teacher is standoffish and gruff (not to mention NOTHING like the teachers I had in elementary school).

 I have fond memories of the first six years of school. What if the Munchkin doesn't?

The upside, after a questionable start to the week, the Munchkin seems to be adjusting to her new daily schedule.

And passing out everyday when she comes home.





Kindergarten is Tough!

R.S.

What are your experiences with sending your little ones to school? Private or Public?



Monday, August 27, 2012

On Getting Back in the Saddle

Since my decision to apply, train for, and become a lifeguard in early June, my life has not been my own. In fact, I barely recognize myself.

I'm TAN!

This is a huge deal, since I've never--not once--in my entire life, tanned. In fact, Casper had more pigmentation than I did.

Now, I'm a pretty caramel color that glistens nicely in the sun.

I'm also really toned, and find all of my pants are too big. It's getting hard to find pants to fit too. A huge personal goal has been reached here!

However, no matter how great those things are, what isn't as great--the real thing that causes me pause--is how little I've done in my chosen profession.

My profession isn't being a lifeguard. That's just something I chose to do for shits and giggles.

I'm a writer, and I'm an artist.

In the last two months, I've lost that. I've spent hardly any time doing what I actually NEED to do to be happy, or successful. During this time, my new novel, Murphy's Law came out, and I barely blinked. I sure haven't done the type of pimping I should have.

So, now that my body has forced me to take a break and slow down, it's time to get back in the saddle. It's time to remember that lifeguarding is just a small step in my life, not a permanent fixture. It's time R.S. Emeline got back to the basics.

With that in mind, have you purchased your copy of Murphy's Law yet? Go...go forth and read!

You know you want to read me! 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

On Changing My Name to Grace...

Last Monday, while swimming my daily thousand meters, I got what felt like a cramp in the arch of my right foot. It wasn't a bad enough cramp to keep me from swimming, so I continued on--finishing the last six hundred meters.

That night I went to pick my sister up at the airport, and while driving home I realized my foot hurt, but didn't connect it to the pain from earlier (I'm just focused like that).

 In fact, I didn't think anything of the lingering pain until Wednesday, when after spending two days on my feet, moving large poolside equipment, I found I couldn't walk.

Turns out, I'm so graceful, I managed to get a stress fracture in my foot--without doing anything.

Usually, I'm obviously graceful. Doing things like, dropping an aqua-treadmill on my toe--on dry land, running over that same toe with a heavy guard stand, and separating that toe nail from the bed of my big toe with a rolling pool cart.

It's official, I'm changing my name to Grace.

On the upside?

The required downtime given to me by the doctor and being enforced by my employer, may give me time to get some real (AKA, writing) work done.

What are some of your graceful moments?

R.S.

Monday, July 16, 2012

On the Release of Murphy's Law

Today is the day!

That's right, my newest fictional baby is officially available, and I couldn't be happier. So, take a few minutes and make an author very, very happy.  :)

Buy me here!

Alexis MacGuire is just like other college students. She goes to class, eats pizza, and holds down a job. The difference is, her job could get her killed.
As the unluckiest member of a family of elite assassins, she spends her spare time jetting from one country to another neutralizing scum the government doesn’t want to be attached to--often in unconventional and unplanned ways.
When she receives an email exposing the secrets of her last job she enters into a game of cat and mouse with someone known only as the Hunter. With the help of her brother, her best friend, and an FBI agent who makes her heart skip beats, she must find the Hunter before he destroys everything and everyone she loves.


R.S.              

Thursday, July 12, 2012

On My Personal Time Suck

Today I realized I hadn't posted in almost a month.

A MONTH!

Where have I been all this time?

I'd like to say I've been spending my time on a tropical island with the Marine and all the fruity drinks with umbrellas I could drink, but I can't.

I can't even say I've been working on my next novel or preparing for the Murphy's Law book tour that begins on July 16th.

Don't forget to get your e-book copy where e-books are sold. :)

In all honesty, I've been hard at work on a new path in my life. A path guaranteed to keep me on my toes and in shape. Not to mention get me out of the house and around real people a little more often.

About a month ago I got hired and accepted into an intense lifeguard training program. Now, that might not seem like a lot, because teenagers can do it. You see it all the time. A bunch of summer break minors hanging around pools with lifeguard on their dainty little swimsuits.

Let me just say-- no. Not just no, but Hell no.

They never went through Lifeguard training on a Marine base. They also don't work at a Marine training tank where on a daily basis hundreds of Marines in full combat gear jump into sixteen feet of water. Often times, these Marines can't swim.

I spent two weeks learning not only the basics of lifeguard training, but how to do what those Marines do as well. This included jumping off towers between 10-30 feet above the water. Swimming 1500 meters in full clothes, stripping said clothes off in the water, diving to the bottom of sixteen feet to get those clothes, and putting them back on.

I can also swim with a flack jacket on--and let me just say I'd love never to have to do that again.

During those two weeks I'd spend eight hours a day in the water, come home and pass out. I'm not sure I even spoke words when I got home. Most of the time I was too exhausted to take more than two bites of food before falling face first into bed at 1900.

I took my final test early, in the dark of night when seeing anything in a pool was almost impossible. I also had the added excitement of being dive-bombed by bats while I rescued a guy out of the murky depths of the pool. On a full stomach. Two hours past my bedtime.

It was exhilarating.

The upside: I lost about four inches and five pounds. Everything is a lot more toned than it used to be, and I'm finally sleeping better at night.

I'm still working the same type of hours, and I love it.

Now though, hopefully I'll be able to find my balance (especially since school has started again, and I have four papers to write this month).

I've missed writing and blogging. I've missed checking my Twitter (yeah, I fell off the social networking planet altogether during the past month), and I've missed talking to my best friend. Overall, I'm exhilarated and happy, and I think choosing this path was the best one for me. It's filling a part of me I didn't consciously realize was empty.

It's also giving me tons of ideas for stories.

As if I didn't already have hundreds of those floating around in the Magick Notebook--and on my phone.

What have you guys been doing? I'd love to hear.

R.S.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On Meeting People

I've never been good at forcing myself to meet people, but when I am out doing everyday things I have no problem starting conversations.
I'm strange like that.
It makes the day job difficult, and often times it makes being a writer hard.
Nine times out of ten being an author is a lonely, solitary job. It's that one time though when I have to step out of my shell and interact with groups of people when things get a little hairy.
That's just on social media too. 8(
Man, am I glad I don't do meet and greets. At least not yet.
Do you have issues putting yourself out there to meet people? Please tell me your story. One lucky winner will win free R.S Emeline SWAG available only from Sprites Cubed.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

On Choosing Characters

It has gotten to the point that when I meet someone I tell them I'm an author. Not because I want the attention, and not to sell books (usually). I tell them so they're prepared to find themselves in one of my novels.
Most of my characters have some basis in reality. At least in one way or another. I'll take traits, actions, or figures of speech and fit them into a novel.
Also, I think it is fair warning for them not to piss me off. After all, what better way to commit murder than in the pages of a book?
R.S

Friday, June 8, 2012

On Cover Reveal: Murphy's Law

It's finally finished! What do you think?


The novel itself is coming soon to where ever ebooks are sold. :)


SQUEE!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

On the Editing Cave

I finally did it. I made myself finish the corrections from the first round edits of my novel. Since it was the first novel I ever wrote, but never got around to editing, there were a lot of corrections to be made. I'd done half of it a while back, but then lost the motivation to continue on with it.

Change was needed.

So, I packed up my car and headed off to the beautiful Welk's Resort in San Diego, where I spent the next 48 hours alone with my novel. It was a dirty job, but someone (and that would be me, since nobody else wanted to do it) had to do it.

My editing cave was beautiful, and spacious, and a little too quite. I haven't been truly alone in almost five years. It's amazing how the exclusion of the Munchkin was such a huge thing. There were times I thought about going home, and other times I thought about running off to play in the pool, or go to a wine tasting, or walk in lavender fields, but I didn't.

At 0800 on Saturday, the final (first) corrections were made.

A weight was lifted from my shoulders, and I was glad I'd skipped out on going home or wasted time doing something else.

I'd given myself a deadline--to get it to the editor before the Marine returned from deployment, and I made it. Barely.

As long as everything goes okay, and my editor doesn't tell me the novel is complete and total crap, expect to see it available this summer.

What did you do this weekend? I'd love to hear about it. The person with the funniest comment will win awesome 'swag' available only from the online shop, Sprites Cubed.  I'll post pictures of those awesome gifts soon.

R.S.

Monday, May 28, 2012

On Memorial Day

Today is a day when people get together in the sunshine, have a BBQ, drink beer, eat too much, and enjoy the company of others.

That isn't truly what today is all about.

It's about this:


It's about the men and women who have lost their lives, paid the highest price, and made the largest sacrifice. It's about remembering those who will never again be able to enjoy the sunshine, a BBQ with friends and family, or a cold beer.

So, today, please take a moment to remember those who have given all.

Remember them, and thank them for their sacrifice.

With Love and Gratitude to those who have served and are still serving,

R.S.


**On a happier note, Purrfect Storm is available for FREE today on the Kindle and Kindle App.**

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On Bacon, Journalism, and Editing

Welcome back to my humble digital abode. I've been mysteriously MIA in recent weeks from both the blog and Twitter. This has a lot to do with being back in school, not to mention dealing with every day life and the day job.

I'm sorry. I really am, and I'll try to be a better author, blogger, and blog reader. Maybe I should even get into that whole commenting on blogs I read thing. I hear that works wonders for networking. :)

My first journalism class is moving along smoothly (now, anyway). The beginning was touch and go, but it looks like the professor might not be as bad as originally considered. I find that I'm actually looking forward to working on the final project (which I've already started--kinda).

In other news, bizarre and unimportant, but curious all the same...

I've recently wondered what the obsession with Bacon is. It seems like it should be the mascot for 2012. Hasn't that greasy mass of artery clogging fat been around since the *dawn of time (or at the bare minimum since people were hiking through the prairies in covered wagons--)?

I'm not a huge fan of bacon myself, but the thought of eating bacon flavored anything just makes my stomach rumble--and not in a good way. Yet, everywhere I look there is something about bacon. Equating it to money, baking with it, creating huge artistic creations around it--it's crazy. Could someone explain this to me?

As for editing... ummm... I should be doing that. I've got first round edits done and just have to finish making the corrections, but I keep putting it off. I know, I'm a bad, bad, writer. I'll be better about that too.

What have you been putting off recently that you should be doing? What are your thoughts on bacon?

R.S.

* Now, in all fairness I didn't actually research when bacon was invented, so no snarling or biting at my inaccurate timeline. :)


Friday, May 4, 2012

On Tour Stops With Bunny's Reviews Blog

Recently I had the pleasure of doing a series of posts over at Bunny's Review Blog. I'm really grateful for her hosting me on my very first blog tour for Purrfect Storm.

Here are the links:

Guest Post: Marines Are Hot: Why I Write About Men in Uniform

Author Interview

Excerpt from Purrfect Storm

Character Interview with Purrfect Storm's Leila

Please take a few moments to visit Bunny's Review Blog and check out my posts. :)


R.S.

On Purrfect Storm is Free!

On May 5th, my novelette, Purrfect Storm will be free for twenty-four hours. What a great way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! If you haven't already downloaded it, you can do it here, and feel free to leave a review. I'd love to know what everyone thinks.

R.S.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

On the Melting Pot in Maui

The second night on Maui, after I acquired a sunburn and nearly drowned on the sailboat adventure, my BFF and I decided to enjoy a leisurely dinner at the Melting Pot.

She and I were still stuck on PST, and dinner was running late. We'd slipped from wanting to pass out at the table, to laughing uncontrollably. It didn't help that the first slice of apple I dipped in the cheese sauce flew off my fork and slid across the table directly at her.

"Fondu-me fighting apples" was born.

 We laughed more together than I can remember laughing in years. We entertained our server with jokes and stories of our adventures and life in general, and strolled out of there full and happy. Plus I had a trunk full of books from the Barnes and Noble next door. ;)

It was an amazing night all around.

Do you have any stories of a dinner out with friends? I'd love to hear about it.

R.S.



   

Friday, April 27, 2012

On Author Interview with Desiree Finkbeiner



I recently had the pleasure of interviewing author and artist Desire Finkbeiner about her new novel Ethos: Morning Star.

Thank you for making Fictzophrenic Musings a stop on your Blog Tour. :)

R.S.: Being and artist as well as an author, how much of an influence did your art have on your story, Ethos: Morning Star?

D.F.: It was originally the idea of the dragonfly that influenced the story. Dragonflies are popular and highly marketable, so once the idea for the story came to mind, I began to think of ways I could also capitalize off of merchandise to accompany the book. Dragonflies would look good on virtually anything, so I knew I had to incorporate them into the book.

R.S.: When you first started writing Ethos: Morning Star, did you know it would be a series?

D.F.: Yes, I plotted it for a series. The story was far to complex to fit into only one book, and generally series seem to do better than stand alone novels. Readers become involved with the characters they fall in love with, and they don’t like to let go once they fall in love. So an effective author will give readers what they want; more to love.

R.S.: What was your favorite scene to write in Ethos: Morning Star?

D.F.: Ohhh that’s a hard one. There are so many aspects to this book: Romance, action, fantasy adventure, mystery… so many scenes come to mind as being my favorites. So I will break it down like this: My favorite action scene is the epic battle towards the end of the book, during the dragonfly chase between the two queen dragonflies. Kalen is captured and Brianna is trying to save him from certain death. My favorite romance scene is when Kalen rebinds himself to Brianna, they have gone through so much at this point, so their renewed commitment carries more impact. And my favorite ‘mysterious’ scene would have to be the trance extraction ceremony that takes place while they are held captive by the lost tribe.

R.S.: How did you come up with the little details that made Ethos what it was?

D.F.: Most of it just came as inspiration while I wrote. Some of it came in dreams, and some of it came from my art.

R.S.: I’ve heard there might be a special edition of Ethos: Morning Star coming soon, what can you tell us about it?

D.F.: The kindle version is just the literary novel, but the special edition print version will contain 20+ detailed illustrations- so the reader can see how I envisioned Ethos in my own mind. That is something readers never get to see from authors who are not artists. Their interpretation is only in words, for the reader to visualize in their own minds. But with an illustrated version, the reader will get to see how it played out in my mind first hand. I hope reader enjoy seeing how I see the world I created both in word and images.

Connect with Desiree:

Author website: www.finkartstudio.com

Author facebook fanpage: www.facebook.com/finkartstudio

Author G+: https://plus.google.com/116389190274070035894

Author twitter: https://twitter.com/finkart



Buy Me!
It started with a mushroom, from another world... never before touched by a human hand, until Brianna... but life continued as normal... until a near fatal accident almost a decade later, reveals to Brianna... she's... different...

Unexplained lab results, unusually fast healing, and recent sightings of Jurassic sized dragonflies... What is happening to her?

When a peculiar man delivers her from a violent assault, she becomes enchanted by his heroism and inhuman abilities. Her rescuer, Kalen, is sworn to protect the powerful secret she has yet to realize, from an ancient foe with evil designs...

With the secret exposed, our world is no longer safe. Kalen takes Brianna to Ethos, his home, unprepared for what happens next... An ancient prophecy unfolds and they must make make a choice... Give into their forbidden love, or sacrifice their heart's desire for a chance to save their worlds.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On My Sailing Adventure

I hung over the side of the boat to get this shot.
While in Maui, my BFF and I signed up for a sailing and snorkeling adventure that left from the public dock in Lahaina.

The day was beautiful and warm, and the water was smooth and clear. At least it was until it was time to head back from Lanai.

Captain Ray made sure to tell everyone there was some choppiness, and we might get a few splashes and a little wet.

That was an understatement.

We hadn't even made it out of the harbor when a huge wave came up over the two trampolines on the catamaran, and not only soaked us (good thing I was in a swimsuit beneath my cover-up), but sent my body flying into the middle of the boat--where I landed on someone. I'm still not sure who it was. In hindsight I choose to believe I looked a lot more graceful than I felt.

For the next two hours the sun hid behind clouds, the water continued to throw waves at us, and the breeze chilled us to the bone. Most of the passengers turned to alcohol--though I can't see how that was a smart idea. Huge waves, bucking sailboat, and drunk people without life vests. Sounds like a whole bunch of bad ideas.

All in all, we laughed a lot, saw amazing reefs and fish (when I wasn't panicking from a lack of air--apparently I'm claustrophobic even while snorkeling,) took pictures, and scratched another Hawaiian Island off my list of places to visit.

I recommend anyone who makes a trip to Maui experiencing the joys of sailing and snorkeling. You won't forget it.

Have you ever been sailing or snorkeling? What were your experiences? I'd love to know.

Also, I'm on tour for Purrfect Storm, and I'm giving away a free digital copy today. So leave a comment below and one reader will be randomly chosen! Let's get our read on! R.S.

Monday, April 23, 2012

On Blog Stop Number One

Today is the first day of my Purrfect Storm Blog Tour. The wonderful author, Eve Lopez agreed to be my first victim...I mean stop.

Take a few minutes to stop over there and read my Author Interview with her. She's an amazing writer as well, so while you're there take a few moments to read all about her adventures.

R.S.

Friday, April 20, 2012

On Guest Post From Author Eve Lopez


I have the pleasure today to host Eve Lopez on her blog tour for her novel, Sex, Drugs and  Psychiatric Wards. I love her writing style, and I'm sure you will too. So, without further delay, I give you Eve! 



How Editing My Book Nearly Killed Me 

Writing can be thrilling. When the right words flow from your fingertips like hot molten lava from the mountains of the writing gods, it's like being on a high. Chemicals fire off in your brain; you're filled with a type of euphoria and that's when you think to yourself: Ah, now I know why I write. 

Editing one's own work is an exercise in torture. Even after you've done the heavy-duty editing where you find inconsistencies and plot holes, there is still the copyedit and the line edit and the proofing to be done. 

Doing those first edits on your book were HORRIBLE! A character walks into a bar wearing jeans. She walks out of the bar wearing a dress. The horror! The horror! 

And even after fixing all of that horrible stuff, there you are, in front of your computer, finding typos even after you've proofed and line-edited, and had other people also proof it. 

Every time you find ANOTHER typo, you wonder if some sick and twisted soul is actually sneaking in and putting them there on purpose. Some dark and evil being who is hell-bent on destroying you via misspellings. 

Editing is dangerous to one's health. 

For example, let's just say you're holed up in some dank hotel room in a godforsaken Southeast Asian country, and you have SWORN to yourself that your novel will be finished by the time your flight leaves and you go back home. You've been backpacking for four months and simultaneously finishing your first novel. 

You have just a few days left before your flight back to the U.S. 

And then you find another typo in your manuscript. 

You consider your options, and they look like this:

1. Bash your head against the wall. 
2. Bash your head against your laptop. 
3. Fling yourself off the fifth-floor balcony. 

Eventually, you reject all of these options because the fact is, each of them is going to impede your ability to finish editing your manuscript. 

That's when your mind wanders to your frenemy Alcohol. 

You know that writing while drunk can actually lead to some pretty good stuff. Bukowski did it! Hemingway did it! You're pretty sure that Candace Bushnell did it, and you LOVE her work. 

"Writing While Drunk" is okay. 

But editing -- that's got to be done sober. You know this because you have been a professional editor for various companies for 10 years. There is NO way anyone can edit while intoxicated. Editing requires complete concentration and zero distractions.

And so you grit your teeth and splash cold water over your face. You take deep breaths and try to do something that Elizabeth Gilbert would do. 

What would Liz do? She would meditate, first off. She would sit in the garden with a peaceful, zen-like smile on her face. Then she'd go and have hot sex with her hot husband. 

And then she'd probably go into the center of the capital city of the godforsaken country you yourself are in, and she'd make friends with Buddhists and children, and the light of the universe would fall over her lovely face and the golden locks of hair. 

And then she'd go back and finish editing her book, with nary a drop of alcohol in sight. 

You, however, are not Elizabeth Gilbert. 

And so after you've finished YET ANOTHER edit, you get drunk and you lose precious hours that could have been spent editing (you have a self-imposed deadline and your flight leaves in just a couple of days). 

The next day, you wake up hungover and you take a bath. You drink some coffee. 

You open up your computer again. 

And you do what must be done, because you have no other choice. 

You start another line edit from the very beginning, stone cold sober. 

About the Novel:
This is a graphic coming-of-age tale of a fragile young woman entering a notorious party college in California and encountering a world of drug-fueled parties, obsessive bar-hopping, and countless encounters with the opposite sex. After a series of events involving drugs, alcohol, and men, the young woman descends into a series of mental breakdowns.

About the Author:
Eve Lopez was born and raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Chico State University in California. Her first novel, Sex, Drugs, and Psychiatric Wards was edited while sober. Some chapters, however, were written while the author was drunk off her ass. 

Enter the Goodreads giveaway contest (ending on April 25, 2012) to win an autographed paperback copy of the novel. 

You can stalk Eve on Twitter @eveoverseas or visit her at http://thingsevewoulddo.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

On Arriving on Maui

Those were sneaky waves. I didn't trust them. 
After several hours of flying (plus a few more than we were actually scheduled for) we arrived on the Island of Maui. We were exhausted, starving, and excited to begin our vacation.

The drive from the airport to our hotel took a while-- not because it was that far away, but because the speed limit topped out at 45. As we meandered our way toward the resort, we noticed that much of the area was dry and brown. Not at all what we were expecting.

Once we'd settled into our suite and filled our stomachs with Chinese food, our first stop was the beach. It'd been too long since I'd been on a beach, and I admit to running straight to the waves.

They were colder than I remembered from when I lived on Oahu.

Maybe the desert just makes everything seem cold.

Regardless, we stayed on the beach, goofed off with pictures, ran into and away from the waves, and just enjoyed our time as the sun set on our first day on Maui.



R.S.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

On Purrfect Storm: Free Today!

For those of you not in the know, my novelette, Purrfect Storm is available on Amazon today for FREE!

That's right, I said free.

How cool is that?

Pretty cool, right?

I thought so.

What could be better than a free story on the day taxes would normally be due?

Here's a helpful link to get you to where you need to be.

What are you waiting for? This offer ends at midnight PST.

Yikes, now I feel like car salesman.


I'm A Free Digital Download!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On Flying

Many of you know I recently went on a trip--a friendaversary-- to Maui. What better way to pass the time until the Marine returns than to fly to a tropical island with my BFF?

The problem with this?

I hate flying.

Yes, I've done more than my fair share of it in the last decade, but that doesn't mean I enjoy it.

In fact, while everyone else is stretched out with their eyes closed, taking a respite from their worries, I'm staring out the window expecting at any moment for some demonic creature to appear on the wing and joyfully tear it apart while I'm hopelessly and helplessly stuck inside the flying death trap.

Thank you Twilight Zone for that wonderful thought.

Never mind that airplanes are one of the safest ways to travel.

When my mind isn't conjuring up demonic critters it runs through all the more realistic and likely things that could go wrong.

Birds could fly into the engines causing them to stall or catch on fire.

The propellers can fly off and tear the airplane in half. (Okay, maybe not that likely, but there is a chance).

The landing gear could malfunction.

We could crash due to bad weather (Since I was little I always reflect back on the deaths of Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens).

Honestly, I'm surprised I didn't drive myself crazy or require large quantities of alcohol.

Especially when my first flight was delayed because of mechanical problems.

Glad I'm done with flying for a while. I think my next trip will be done via car, train, or ship.

What are your feelings or experiences with flying?

R.S.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

On Purrfect Storm's Publication

It's official.

Purrfect Storm is available in Kindle format on Amazon. It will be available in other formats around the end of June, but I'll let everyone know when the time is closer.

This was a relatively short road from inception to publication, but at the same time it feels like it was a long time coming. In all honesty, I loved every minute-- okay, maybe not the proofing and editing, but even that has made me happier and stronger.

I'm so glad I've taken this next step in my writing career, and I hope everyone enjoys the short story as much as I enjoyed writing it.


Available on Amazon

RS

Saturday, March 24, 2012

On New Cover Art *Squee*

Today I'm doing something I've been looking forward to since I wrote the first words of the short story I've been mentioning in passing the last few months.

I'm getting ready to publish it to Amazon. It's already completely formatted for Smashwords, but I'm contemplating enrolling it in the KDP. That means holding off Smashwords publication for another ninety days. I think I can deal with that.

Anyway, I'm excited to share with you the new, never before seen, cover art.


It was about time I got to use my art education for something. What do you think? 

RS

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On 'Skinny-Fat'

The other day I heard the term 'Skinny-Fat', and my understanding of it from verbal and visual cues, was not flattering.

Now, take a second to read the Urban Dictionary's definitions here.

You're back?

Good.

In a society where we're so consumed with the battle of which is better, 'thick or thin', it is demoralizing to realize even being 'thin' isn't quite good enough for those people who think anorexia is a perfectly good fitness routine.

I've had a pretty strict workout routine for the last two years, that has involved P90x, kickboxing, Zumba, and most recently, yoga and running. Because of this, I've got well toned arms and legs, and to my happiness- a butt is finally forming. However, I'm thirty years old and have a child who was damn near two feet long when she was born. I've never been fat, and I'm nowhere near it now, but based off this I could be viewed as 'skinny-fat', because my stomach isn't as toned and flat as someone younger or more athletic, though it's better than it ever has been. It never will be as flat as Miranda Kerr's, and that is something I've accepted.

If this has affected me this way, I can imagine how it would affect other women. Especially one who isn't as self-confident as I usually am. Is there no end to the emotional depravity men and woman will foist on each other when it comes to fitness and size?

It makes me very, very happy I am not out in the dating game. With knowledge like this, I'd probably never leave my house. It was bad enough ten years ago--a time before social networking had such a huge impact on our everyday lives. Before Twitter was king, and youtube could make you famous. Now it's amazing anyone actually dates, because surely nobody can match up to the unusually high standards even the lowest pond scum, drunken twenty-one year old seems to have.

Knowing all this, I couldn't be more grateful the Marine never acted like this, and actually treated women with respect--even though it made life with his co-workers more difficult.

What are your thoughts?

R.S.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On A Guest Post: My Everyday Hero

Today you'll find a post from me over at theeverydayextraordinary.com. You can click here to go directly to my post.

This is a new site dedicated to the every day heroes around us. I mentioned it in an earlier post here.

Take a few minutes to read it, and think about the amazing people around you.

If you're interested in sharing your own story--it doesn't have to be much-- contact e-writer (at) kksierra (dot)com with your story. Help make this site the best it can be. Share it with your friends, family, and coworkers.

Everyone has a story to share. I shared mine. Will you?


R.S.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On Understanding True Love

What is True Love?

As an author I ask myself this every time I sit down to tell my characters' stories. The answer, at least for them, is pretty straight forward. In a well crafted story, the heroine will be emotionally strong, and the hero will not be an immature ass. They've got to be human enough to make mistakes, and their trip into love can't be without its ups and down.

The hero, or sometimes the heroine, will show their strength in the others' time of need. They'll show compassion and understanding for each other, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to keep the other happy and safe. Even if that means locking them in a basement, cuffed to the water heater. In all cases, there is an equal give and take, because even in fiction, a relationship can't work if it's unbalanced.

In order for characters to be loved by readers they need to have redeeming qualities, and I haven't met many people who would find a hero who cats around on his lady--or drops her like a bad habit, appealing. Even if he does realize the grass wasn't greener and comes back, metaphoric tail between his legs.

If the heroine takes him back, the readers will lose respect for her, and possibly put down the book. That's not True Love, that's romantic suicide.

Reality is much more complicated.

Love is a crazy and fickle thing. It can be amazing or horrible, but usually it falls somewhere in the middle. The Marine and I have been married for seven years, and I'm the first one to admit it hasn't all been perfect--though according to my therapist it's quite healthy and has every chance of thriving. We've had struggles, and we've made mistakes. We're still learning about each other, and trying to grow together rather than apart while we're separated.

Most of all, our love is real, because even when I feel like I'm running into a wall, and he'll never truly understand me, he helps me to be stronger. When I look at my future, he's the only one who is beside me. Since I've met him, he's the only one whose been there.

Of course, if the Marine hadn't had the characteristics of a hero when we met, or I'd felt insecure or like I was only half of a person, rather than a better, stronger, whole person, I never would have married him. No matter how well his dress blues fit him, and no matter how much I loved him.

Regardless if it's a book or real life, love is supposed to make you stronger. It's supposed to build you up, not break you down. It's suppose to heal your soul, and seal up your insecurities, not break you or make you wonder why you're not good enough.

True Love is strength no matter what. True Love means a deeper connection than hormones and great sex. (Don't get me wrong, those are also very important) True Love is knowing no matter what, you'll be supported, cherished and loved. When you find True Love, it won't come easy, but you won't doubt yourself either. You won't be sad all the time, and even when you're mad, you'll feel safer with them than anywhere else. 

Have you experienced True Love? If so, I'd love if you'd share your story.

R.S.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

On the Road Ahead

As a person who has changed her course several times in the last twelve years (can you believe I was actually a telemarketer and a car saleswoman before? Don't even get me started on the dating service match maker.) I find this particular quote fitting and accurate. I refuse to be embarrassed by my journeys in life. Each one of them led me to the person and place I am today.




"Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the road which lies ahead and those over which we have traveled, and if the feature road looms ominous or unpromising, and the road back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. If the new choice is also unpalatable, without embarrassment, we must be ready to change that one as well." --Maya Angelou


What was a time when you had to change courses? I'd love for you to share.

R.S.



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

On An Interview with an Inanimate Object

Could you imagine the conversations if inanimate objects could talk? What would the mirror in a public restroom say? Or the bed in a no-tell-motel? How about the cami bottoms of the Marine's uniform?

RS: So, thank you for agreeing to talk to me today, Mr. Pants.

MP: Please, call me Camis.

RS: Okay, Camis. How long have you been hugging the rear of the Marine?

MP: As you know, he likes to switch us out every once in a while, so I'd have to say probably for a year. He didn't get me until after his last deployment.

RS: Really, that seems like a long time. Do you enjoy your work?

MP: It's got some downsides, but over all I'm pretty content.

RS: What sort of downsides?

MP: Well, I put in long hours, and the expectations are killer. I'm expected to be durable and flexible. My pockets are constantly being crammed with books, pencils, pens, phones, and anything else my boss might need.

RS: What's the worst thing you've been expected to carry in your pockets?

MP: Keys. They're nasty suckers, always poking and digging.

RS: That does sound uncomfortable. What is your average work day like?

MP: I go to work when it's still dark outside, and sometimes it's dark when I get off too. Then when I'm at work it's  go, go, go. I'm either being weighted down, sat on, or rolled around in. Do you have any idea how hard it is to breathe when your boss has you face down in the dirt while he's got his knee in some poor schmuck's back?

RS: I can't even begin to imagine, but please go on.

MP: Then there is the amount of crap he puts ON me. My friend the belt has it pretty bad too, but at least he's only got things hanging on him. He doesn't have to worry about dealing with sweat or gas or anything else. He also doesn't have to worry about getting something on him when I'm forced to sit on some questionable surface.

MP: There are times I feel like I'm choking. Especially when he straps on a side arm or wraps boot bands around me.

RS: That does sound like a lot to go through during the day.

MP: Heck, that's not the worst of it. The absolute worst is when his wife starts groping me. I mean, come on lady, I'm not that kind of guy. She's hot and all, but I don't swing that way, you know what I mean?

RS: Oh, look at the time. I'm afraid that's all the time we have.

MP: But--

RS: No, really. Thanks for agreeing to talk to me.

MP: I've got more to--

RS: Have a great day, Mr. Pants.

MP: Wait, where are you going? Why are you running away? Stop! Come back! I haven't even told you about the growling yet!


What inanimate object would you most like to interview? What would you ask them, and what would they say? I'd love to hear.

R.S.

Monday, March 5, 2012

On Everyday Heroes

What is a hero?

Merriam-Webster defines it:

a : a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability

b : an illustrious warrior

c : a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities

d : one who shows great courage

2 a : the principal male character in a literary or dramatic work

b : the central figure in an event, period, or movement

3 : an object of extreme admiration and devotion : idol

For this particular post I will focus only on the first definition A-D.

All too often people forget heroes aren't mythological, and they're not endowed with great strength (and sometimes not even ability). They're not all warriors, and many times they're not admired for their achievements and noble qualities. Sometimes a true hero isn't even courageous.

They're human.

They're imperfect.

They're as normal as an ordinary citizen.

Don't get me wrong, I'm the wife of a Marine so I fully believe all of the above are accurate descriptions of a Hero, because to me, my husband and the other military members who serve our country are all Heroes. I also believe any person who chooses a career that puts the common good above that of themselves, is a Hero.

Every teacher who does their best to educate the next generation; every doctor, nurse, and EMT; every Police officer, and Fire Fighter--they're all heroes in my book, but they're not who I'm focusing on either.

Today I'm focusing on the Everyday Hero. The person who will never get recognition for their actions, because they're not running into a burning building, or fighting for our Freedom.

The mother who kisses her child's scratched knee; the father who tosses a ball with his son; the college student who finds a wallet full of cash on the ground and returns the wallet and its contents to the owner; the dog that gives the wheelchair bound man love; the girl who teaches her little sister how to braid her hair, or the older brother who protects his little brother from bullies--these people are all Heroes.

There are hundreds--thousands of ways to be a Hero in a person's life.

Are there Heroes in your life? Don't you think it's time they got recognition?

My dear friend has created this blog (www.theeverydayextraordinary.com) specifically to recognize the extraordinary people in our everyday lives. Take a few minutes to check out the blog, and show your appreciation for those unsung Heroes in your life.

R.S.







Friday, March 2, 2012

On Musical Memories

I've finally got a chance to sit at my computer for a few minutes and write a blog. It's been an insanely busy week, and I've fallen behind.

Again.

It's a constant battle.

Anyway, today's topic comes from the book I mentioned here.

Songs can invoke incredibly vivid memories like specific sights or sounds. I thought about writing about a song that reminds me of my seventh grade year, but instead I'd rather focus on my present rather than my past.

The day I decided to start running I'd just dropped the Munchkin off at school and the Niece off at work. Rascal Flatts was playing on the player, because the Munchkin has decided her favorite song is 'Broken Road'.

The sun was shining, the roads practically empty while I waited at the world's longest stoplight. I admit that I tend to zone out, maybe take a mental nap while I wait for the lights out here to change. Especially the ones that make me wait for fifteen minutes when there isn't another car in sight for miles.

When the light changed my mind engaged again, and the first words that registered were these:

"Today is the first day of the rest of my life."

I turned up the music, rolled down the window and listened to the song that has now become 'my song'. It's the song that runs through my head every day. Every time I feel like sitting on the couch instead of going for that run, I remember the words that touch my soul.

When you get a chance you should listen to "When the Sand Runs Out" by Rascal Flatts. You can find it on YouTube, though you'll have to deal with less than Official videos.

I'm making myself a better person, I'm changing from the inside out every day. I don't know about you, but I want to be running when the sand runs out.

What song hits you today? I'd love to hear.

R.S.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

On Continual Improvement

Every day is a new day.

A day where I get to decide what's going to happen.

Some days I wake up, and the only thing I want to do is curl in a ball with a good book or two, and an endless supply of chocolate.

Granted, neither of those fit into my current plans.

I hop a plane to Maui in about 37 days, give or take a few hours on either side.

*Squee!*

Okay, I'm calm now, and I've got goals, people!

37 days may seem like a long time, or a short time depending on my current frame of mind. It's long because I haven't seen my best friend in far too long, but it's short because I've got a lot to do before I leave to bask (and quite probably burn) in the sand and sun of Hawaii.

Since the first day of 2012 I've had my eye focused on the prize.

What prize is that you ask?

No, no, it's not a lifetime supply of chocolate that my husband will feed me as I laze by the pool. Though, if you'd like you could send me a lifetime supply of the smooth, sweet goodness. Any chocolate shop owners out there?

*Sigh*

I don't even have a pool, but I've got a whole lot of sand if anyone is interested. If you squint just right it might even look like a beach.

Anyway, the prize is physical and mental fitness. I'm tired of the continual feeling of exhaustion that has plagued me for the last year and a half. I'm tired of not being the healthiest me I can be. Which actually means I haven't really been eating chocolate.

I know, I know, hard to believe, right?

I read everything I can get my hands onto about how to lose that last inch around my waist I want gone. I've done amazing things for my body in the last few years. I dropped over 30 pounds all before the calling in of 2012.

It wasn't enough.

So I gave myself a personal challenge to do 90 days of yoga. Which I mentioned here. I'm still doing amazing with that. Sometimes I even do yoga twice a day. Because of this new routine I feel happier than I have been in a long time, and my core is so much stronger than it's ever been. Plus I can finally do correct push ups.

How awesome is that?

This morning, however, at the beginning of the new day, when the sky was barely pink and the power was still shut off (grrr to the power people and their more and more frequent 'scheduled outages') I decided I needed to do something more to bring my body to the best place it can be, both mentally and physically.

I decided to start running.

*Eeeeek!*

I hate running.

In fact I'd rather do just about anything instead of running.

Oh, you need me to clean your septic tank using nothing more than a mop and bucket? I'm on it!

I'm going to love running.

I want to be able to do things without gasping for breath. I want to firm up my glutes and tighten up the last little bit of skin on my stomach.

I want to shock the running shoes off the Marine.

Today was the first day of my 'couch to 5k' running program.

Not that I'm actually planning to run a 5k, but I'd like to be able to run three miles with the Marine. I'd like to enjoy running like so many other people seem to.

I want to be the best me I can be.

I want to continually improve my mind and body.

Yes, I want a lot of things, I admit that.

The big thing is, I'm willing to work for them and not expect them to just happen.

Hard work never hurt anyone.

In fact, the harder I work for something the better I feel when it all comes together.

I've got about three months until the Marine returns to me again. I think 90 days is a decent amount of time, right?

Wish me luck.

And maybe if I run I can start eating chocolate again. :)

Do you have fitness goals, or any goals you'd like to share? Is there something you hated to do, but you forced yourself to do it? I'd love to hear from you.

R.S.






Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On Embracing My Inner Nerd

I love writing. Of course, if you've ever read this blog you already know this.

If you haven't, welcome. Please find a seat anywhere, make yourself comfy and enjoy a drink. It's open bar here, and for those of you not interested in alcohol there is a mighty nice cocoa bar over there in the corner.

See it? Yes, it is decorated in sparkly pink that even the Pink Ranger would be shocked by. Thanks for noticing.

When you're comfortable introduce yourself, or lurk for a while. We, and by we I mean I, will enjoy your company either way.

Anyway, today I took a trip to the local Barnes and Noble, a place I haven't been since I purchased my Kindle almost two years ago.

While there I stumbled upon a book of writing topics. Something targeted at teachers to give students ideas on what to journal about.

I was intrigued.

Why didn't they have this when I was in school? Or did they, and I was too busy being a teenager to notice, after all, boys were so dang interesting and distracting, right?

I flipped through it, and you know what, it has some pretty cool stuff in it. So, I bought it.

Yeah, I know.

I'm a nerd.

Good thing I'm okay with that. After all, I'm no longer a teenager, and I fully embrace all facets of myself.

I'm looking forward to writing about some of the 180 topics.

Do you embrace your inner nerd? I'd love to hear, or in this case read, about one of your nerd embracing moments.

Join me!

If you need help or maybe some liquid courage, the bar is still open.

R.S. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

On A Quick Update

I realized the other day I'd fallen behind on my blogging, and in fact on my social networking altogether.

Someone should give me thirty lashes with a wet noodle.

Or something.

If you're familiar with NCIS (the show, not the actual federal agency), you're familiar with the 'Gibbs Smack'. Let's just say, reality has been known to do that to me a lot recently. Between the Marine's absence, the Munchkin's unhappiness at said absence, the 'day job', and school things have been one hectic day after another.

Did I mention I gave myself a personal 90 day yoga challenge that began on January 1?

I haven't missed a single day, and I'm feeling amazing. I'm not sure it's going to be enough to get me completely swim suit ready before my trip to Maui in April, but I've got hope. I'm already noticing a difference and don't see myself quitting even once my 90 days are up. It's become an integral part of my life.

Anyway, lots of things have been taking up my time, and I've slacked.

It wasn't intentional, I swear.

I'll be better. I will.

Writing is my outlet, it makes me happy and it's my dream future. I'm going to succeed, and in order to do that, I can't forget my networking.

Even when it feels hopeless.

Which it does feel like. A lot.

Especially when I'm never sure I'm reaching my audience. Or anyone at all for that matter. Then sometimes an amazing thing happens, and I get an email from a reader telling me how much they enjoy my blog. I got one of those yesterday. I smiled all day afterwards. Thanks to you, dear reader.

As for writing, I'm half way finished with the first edit of my short story that is still unnamed. On deck is the editing of my YA novel, and the completion of the novel I'm currently working on. Not to mention about a million short story ideas that are sitting in my magick notebook waiting for their chance to be told.

What are you guys up to recently? Anything exciting in your life?

I'd love to hear from you.

R.S.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On Valentine's Day

In general I'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day. Even after I was married it never really warmed my heart. After all, aren't we supposed to show how much we love someone EVERY day of the year? It also doesn't help that the last few years, even though I'm married, I've been alone.

Don't people get married so they're NOT alone?

Apparently not.

At least I knew going into my marriage this was the way it would be, and I don't hold it against the Marine. He's doing his job, defending our country--even those people who would rather spit in the face of our military than accept them as human beings.

I love my husband for that, and there's a reason why I'm not in the service. I'm not as understanding of society's flaws.

Good thing he loves me in spite of my flaws.

Today, while my husband is somewhere NOT with me, I will share my love with the Munchkin and the Niece, just like I do every day.

I hope whether you celebrate Valentine's Day or not, you're having an amazing day.

Kiss your loved ones, eat some chocolate, and remember that even if you're single--you're not alone.

What do you think about Valentine's Day? Important or contrived?

I'd love to hear from you.

R.S.







Friday, February 3, 2012

On Insert Witty Title Here...

You know it's going to be one of those posts when I can't even think of a title.

I'm feeling jumbled today. Horribly jumbled in my head.

I've got a million things I need/want to do, and yet, I'm sitting here--for the most part--staring at the screen. There might have been drool involved a few times.

In the non-writing world--the day job world, the world where I'm also a mother of Wonder Woman proportions--I've got a ton on my plate. I've got to find out about all the legalities for the current venture I'm working on. I've got a ton of beautiful jewelry to make, photos to take, and like I said--legalities to learn and understand. Not to mention give as much time as possible to my little girl.

In the writing world I'm nose deep in editing a short, prepping to begin edits on a novel, and about half way through the current WIP novel.

I need to learn time management.

Something I used to be really good about.

Until the Marine left for deployment again.

This deployment seems much more difficult than any of the previous deployments. It could be that because for the second year in a row he's missing our anniversary (in two days), as well as all the milestones the Munchkin is making.

I'd really like to share them with him, without having to take a picture, video, or send an email.

I'd really like to sleep.

What do you do when you feel jumbled inside?

R.S.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On Determining Your Reality

When I was much younger I married another much younger guy who I'd been dating throughout high school. Unsurprisingly, we stayed married for about as long as Jessica Simpson and Nic Lachey. What is surprising though, is regardless of all the things that were wrong with our marriage, and all the things that led me to file for divorce when I was barely old enough to legally drink--one of the most fundamental parts of my life, my belief system, came from him.

He and I used to go for long drives and talk about everything and nothing at all. One of the things he'd always say is, "Your focus determines your reality".

A decade later, and I still stand by those words.

Your focus really does determine your reality.

If you focus only on the negative things in life, you'll never see the positive results. If you only focus on what you can't do, you'll never discover what you can do. If you only focus on the unhappiness you feel, you'll never notice the things that bring you happiness.

My husband deploys for months at a time, and if I allowed myself to focus on that I'd sit around sad and depressed all the time. Instead, I focus my mind on other things. I lock my thoughts on the future, on the classes I'm taking, the jewelry I'm designing for my 'day job', on ideas for new short stories and novels (not to mention the actual writing and editing of these), and I pay special attention to the joy I get from the Munchkin.

   
I'm not claiming to never have bouts of depression and melancholy. That would be a lie. I'm just saying I don't let myself stay there.

When I find myself feeling particularly down, frustrated, or angry, I take a few deep breaths and focus on something else. Something positive.

Even if that something positive is that I managed to do another day of yoga, or my back hasn't gone out. Sometimes you just have to grab onto whatever little thing you can. Each day it gets easier to focus on the good and not the bad.

It also helps to have someone to bitch to about all the little annoyances in your life. However, and this is a big HOWEVER, once you've bitched, let it go. Move on and focus on those positive notes.

I want my reality to be bright and positive. Filled with love, and books, and amazing jewelry and crafts I've designed and created.

What will your reality hold?

R.S.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

On Growing Up

I realized the other day, that I've grown up.

I say grown up, because I don't feel like I've gotten older, even though this post is actually about just that.

The passage of time.

Based on technology.

Namely, the cell phone.

When I graduated from high school, cell phones were still relatively new, and most people still carried pagers, because those little boxes of uselessness were horribly cool. It definitely wasn't common place to see teenagers walking around with phones, texting their friends, or downloading music. They also weren't as tiny, or complex as they are now (the cell phones, not the kids--though that would be a whole different blog post).

I was nineteen before I had my first cellphone. It was through Verizon, and it was the size of my hand, black, and the bottom mouth piece flipped up to cover the keys-- actual keys that had shape and texture. Touch screens were obviously very, very far away still.

I remember going to the kiosk in the mall with my then best friend. We both signed up for a plan (without an ounce of credit to our name--nor was their a required down payment). I'm pretty sure the plan included about a billion minutes for some tiny amount that she and I could afford at our barely over minimum wage jobs.

Like I said, phones weren't that complex, and I'm equally sure texting hadn't sunk its teeth into the world yet. I know I didn't have it.

I also know, I didn't keep my phone for more than a year. I realized I didn't use it, and I had a land line, therefore, I didn't need it.

Ah, so much has changed.

Now, twelve years later, I wouldn't know what to do without my cell phone. I've had about three dozen different kinds ranging from brick-like basic models to the IPhone and my newer Android. I've also been with just about every provider there has been. Though, I've been with AT&T through all its names and changes, the longest.

Seven years.

Thinking about all the changes in the technology, and the fact I never use my home phone, nor do I actually use my cell phone minutes (hello, texting), reminds me how many years have past since my first phone.

Yes, I've grown up, but I'm still not getting old, and apparently neither are cell phones.

What was your first mobile phone like? I'd love to hear.

R.S.






Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On Strength Even in the Darkness

I recently came across this article , and I'm not ashamed to say it was one of the hardest things for me to read. Pediatric brain tumors hit close to home for me. When the Niece was a toddler, doctors found a tumor hiding out in her Pituitary Gland. It took several years and several doctors before her mother found a doctor who was willing and able to remove it. Some told her it was inoperable, but with a lot of perseverance, the surgery was performed.  

The Niece is eighteen now, and she graduated from High School last June.

When I read articles like this, I am thankful for each and every moment she's been given. She was just a little girl, but she was strong. Much like the little girl in the above article. That little girl faced her future, not focused on the sadness, but on helping others find a cure.

I'm not sure I'd be strong enough to do the same if I were face with the situation.

If you're looking for a cause to support, or just have a few extra dollars before tax time you'd like to rid yourself of, look into local pediatric cancer research centers. Children should get to lead a long, full life. Maybe with time, and enough funding, the children facing grim predictions because of cancer, will get that chance.

Here are a couple of places to start your search.

Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation:   http://www.pcrf-kids.org/

Children's Cancer Research Fund:  http://test.childrenscancer.org/

Rest in Peace, little one.

R.S.



 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

On the Return of My UPS Delivery Guy

I order a lot of things from Amazon. There are certain times of the year (Christmas, birthdays, and whenever I've come up with a new project--writing or otherwise) that it's not unusual for a new package to come several times a week.

Wow, that just makes me sound like a crazy shopaholic, which I'm really not. I swear.

Anyway, I've been spoiled since we moved to the desert, and I've got a nice understanding with the UPS delivery guy. He always rings my doorbell and places my package in my hands, or if it's heavy brings it into the house and places it out of the way. If I'm not home, he'll leave the package at the backdoor of my house so it's not visible from the road.

Recently, however, this stopped happening.

My UPS guy had disappeared, and in his place were a handful of unexceptional delivery guys who'd drop the package on the doorstep (and if they even bothered to ring the bell, ran away like the hounds of Hell were on their heels). Sometimes, the packages weren't even making it all the way to the door, but would be left half way down the walkway, as if by stepping closer than one hundred feet they would be guaranteed an early demise. I'm really not that scary. At least not usually, and rarely to the UPS guys.

This change was undeniably annoying to me.

Plus, I was a little concerned for my friendly guy in brown. Each time there was a new guy, I wondered if maybe my guy in brown had retired. It wasn't like he was a young guy. I'd venture to guess he is anywhere between 60-70 years old. Though, I admit I'm horrible with correctly telling age.

It made me sad to think about.

When you live in the middle of nothing, and you're not exactly the social butterfly, seeing the same delivery person is like seeing an old friend.

Don't knock familiarity.

Especially with the sanctity of Amazon packages. They're like the Holy Grail, Excalibur, and the lost city of Atlantis all wrapped up in a wonderful brown box. ( I really love Amazon. Do you think there's a twelve step program for that?)

Then the other day, I was pleasantly surprised when the doorbell rang, and there he was. Huge Amazon box in hand. It turns out he was on vacation, and the other guys being only temporary, were uncomfortable getting too close because around here they've been getting attacked. (By dogs, not just the lonely ladies who normally attack them because of those brown shorts--and the Amazon packages they carry.)

Aside from the disgust with people purposely setting their dogs loose to attack the UPS and USPS workers (Where is the world heading, I ask). All is once again right with my little slice of the world.

What are your experiences with UPS, USPS, FedEx, etc?





Sunday, January 1, 2012

On Welcome to the Year 2012

It's the first day of 2012, and it's going to be a crazy, awesome, insane, year.

I woke up this morning and wondered where the last year had gone. I went to sleep in 2011 and woke up in 2012 (yes, I act like I'm far older than I really am and go to bed way before midnight).

The last year seemed to have just flown by. I remember the years that seemed to drag, the 365 days that felt twice as long. 2011 wasn't one of those years. So many things happened last year, and you can read about it here. 

Although, today is really no different than yesterday was, the first day of a new year is always filled with optimism. The first of January signifies new beginnings, a chance to fulfill goals (both insane and realistic), and a belief that the errors and misjudgments, the hurts and let downs from the previous year can be wiped clean.

I don't believe in creating New Year's Resolutions. Instead, I create goals.

For instance, in 2012 I've got a few goals.

1. 90 day yoga challenge (I began this first thing this morning).
2. Start running (have I mentioned how much I hate running, so this my fall under insane goals)
3. Edit and publish the short story I wrote in 2011
4. Edit and publish my YA novel.
5. Write and publish the six new short stories currently floating around in my head.

Sure, it's not a huge list, but it's mine, and it will get me through the next year.

What are your goals or resolutions? I'd love to hear.

Happy New Year.

R.S.