Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!!!

2015 Was a year of changes for our family. For sure.

The biggest change was our new addition:  Punkin' Pie. You know that old joke, 'Let me tell you about my grandkids.'  And how everybody that doesn't have grandkids rolls their eyes at the offending grandparent? I totally get that now. I will officially become an offending grandparent.

Cutest. baby. ever.

So one of my goals was to get one of my books published, which, unfortunately, didn't happen yet. But since the preparation and arrival of the grandchild took nine months, I'm going to give myself a pass. I might've been a little distracted this year.

You know everybody has a year end list, but I want this to be a 'looking ahead' list.

Here are some of my top happenings of 2016, that I know of.

1.  I'm going to be 50 in April. So that is a huge, or it just means the clock's ticking and if I have things I want to get done, I'd better get on it.

2.  In 2016, I'm going to have a better handle on the whole Nannie thing, so it'll be easier to write/edit etc...I hope.

3.  2016 is an even number...for some reason, I just like it

4.  This summer, we're planning a Goat Stampede. This is where the Goat Posse members get together from all parts of the U.S. in one place and have the BEST time. We have so many members in so many different places in their writing journeys, but when we're together, it doesn't matter. We enjoy hanging out with each other so much. It beats all odds of probability that we would all get along so well, but we do.

5. We have two books, (that I know of) coming out this year in the Goat Posse. Of Delicate Pieces by A. Lynden Rolland and Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate. These are both going to be excellent books. I can not wait to get my hands on both of them. That's a definite positive for the year. I'm hoping mine will be number 3.

6. Hoping to get an online store started for my daughter with Autism. She has discovered jewelry making and just loves it. One of my best buddies showed her how to do it and she's taken to it like a fish to water. So I'm hoping to sell some of her creations and save the money for her for down the road when me and her daddy aren't here any more to take care of her. And buy more beads with some of it beads are expensive! This is a goal I'm shooting for. I'm hoping I have the time to do this.

Here's hoping your 2016 is full of love, laughter, good food and family.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Grandma?!?!?! What???


This has become my new title. It took me nine months to get used to the idea that my oldest college student was going to have a baby. That stuff usually happens to other people. Not my kid, right?


It happens. All the time.

She wanted to keep the baby and so we have. We welcomed my Punkin' Pie on November 5th of 2015. She is precious. Punkin' Pie just kind of evolved from Punkin', since she was born close to Thanksgiving.

When people would ask me if I was excited, I couldn't really be. I'd been through labor twice and neither time was a picnic for me. Had to end up having C-sections both times after being in labor for HOURS. I dreaded my daughter going through the pain of childbirth. I worried about complications, I worried about losing her and having to raise her daughter. I worried about a lot of things.
I also know that worrying about things you can't control is a waste of time. But when it's your kid, sometimes you just can't turn that stuff off.
So when the time came, I was privileged enough to be in the delivery room and watch the whole thing. We breathed and I held my baby up as she pushed hers out. She was a freakin' rock star. Pushed that baby out in 16 minutes. No lie. And she's not a big girl either. She's strong, but small, but made quick work of that 6 pound 2 ounce tiny little thing. Punkin' Pie was born with hair that covered her collar and was jet black. She's lost most of it now, but she still has the row of hair that covers her collar. So cute.

So, what have I learned from having a new born in the house again?
I've learned that when you're close to 50, you don't have the energy to stay up more than one night in a row with a baby that won't go to sleep.
I've learned that staying out of the way and allowing my daughter to be the mom and do all the work is what needs to happen. For both of our sanity sake. Because I raised mine with very little help. I was the one that got up with them every night. Husband worked all the time, so other than holding them and feeding them every once in a while, the child rearing fell on me.
He's much more help with the grand kid, which is awesome. If I try to do everything for her, I'm not doing her any favors. She's learned what works, what doesn't and what her different cries mean.

Now that Punkin' Pie is out and cute and snuggly, I can say how much fun being a Nannie is.
I picked that name since I'm a Goat Posse member. (nannie goat--lol) After getting my daughter through the delivery, I could actually breathe and enjoy the whole Nannie experience.

She's close to 7 weeks now and starting to raise her eyebrows. It's the funniest thing I've ever seen an infant do.
When she smiles at me, my heart just leaps for joy. That is not even an exaggeration.

I think the most important thing that's come out of this is our family is closer. We all have a common goal. Take care of Punkin' Pie. Whether she needs feeding, watching, changing, holding...whatever she needs, one of us is here to do it and to help my daughter if she needs it.

If you ever cringe at the idea of being a grandparent, don't. I did every time somebody mentioned it, until she was born. But now, seeing my daughter be a mom is one of the proudest accomplishments of my life. And I'd hate for any of you to miss that with your kids.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A-Z Blog challenge 'B'

The way I'm going, I'll only be able to do a letter every three months or so. To say I've been a little busy is like saying a honeybee is lazy. Now that school is out for another week and we all survived Christmas, now I have time to blog a bit.

I'm on "B", so I guess I'd better look through my MS and see what B word I can pull out of there.


That is a place where part of the first chapter takes place. There's an introduction of a few characters and the main one and their horses. They gather in the barn to talk about some things and you get to know them a little.

I grew up riding and even though I don't have horses now, I always wish I did. I miss riding and wish my kids could've experienced riding like I did growing up.

I rode from the time I was little until I was in college. I guess since I missed riding so much and had so much fun during that time in my life, I decided to have my main character ride like I did. She has a lot of me in her. I guess most first characters do, just because you don't know what else to write about. So you write about what you know, and then your imagination fills in the blanks or makes new ones.

I've looked around for pictures of barns that look like the barn in my head, but I have yet to find one that really is exactly like what I'm thinking of.

Here's a picture of two barns that have features of the one in my head.

The first one:

This is the shape of the barn that I have in my head. The middle is big, like most barns. The wood is not as new looking. It's more aged without looking like it's about to fall down. Still functional. Open on both sides instead of closed up.

The second picture:

This one has the breeze way and the stalls on the left side, like in Andy's barn. The only difference is that there is a wall about three-quarters of the way up from the ground between the posts. So you still get some light, but if it's raining, you can stand in there without getting wet. Unless the wind is blowing really hard. There are about two more stalls, so it's a little longer and there's only one stall door split with a top and bottom half instead of two that slide to the sides.

So attach the left side of this barn to the one at the top and open up the right side to park the tractor under and you've got Andy's Barn. :)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A-Z Challenge-tweaked a little

So....haven't been on here in  a while. Trying to remedy that now. I was looking back at some of my blogposts and some of my favorite ones are when I did the A-Z blog challenge. It's so hard to blog EVERY day. I'm lucky if I can get to it every six months, but it helped me quite a bit.

I'm not sure when they'll be doing that again, but I would love to do it. Met some really great bloggers while I participated in it. So for now, I had an idea I'm going to try. Don't know how far I'll get, but I wanted to see if it would keep me from forgetting to post something.

I'm going to pick one of my WIP's and blog about them using the A-Z theme. Don't even know if this will work, but I thought I'd try it. :)

Here goes.....My first post from the "Tweaked A-Z challenge" The manuscript I'm going to be using is "Never Alone." It's the first book in the trilogy I'm working on, but it's not the first book I wrote. I actually wrote this book second. Kinda weird...I know...but that's me. I've said it before, my brain bounces like a Tigger.

Image from

So here's A:   

A is for Andy Akers

I created his name from a friend of mine from high school and a co-worker's last name and put them together. He's not really based on anyone I know. He's a nice guy and he's had a crush on my main girl character since middle school. When the story starts, he's still in the 'friend zone' with her, but he wants to make sure she knows that he's ready to go to the next level.
The opening scene takes place at Andy's family farm.

This picture is pretty close to what it looks like. I need to take pictures of the real place, but for now, this will work. Green grass, trees and a hill....this looks like it could've been taken in Tennessee, so I liked it.

That's all for now. Have a great day!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sam doesn't disappoint as Jamie Fraser

So, two episodes into the fall season of 'Outlander' and I'm already in need of an intervention. I record the episodes and watch them.....over and over.

It reminds me of when my oldest daughter was about 2 and a half. She's twenty now and would DIE if she knew I was outing her Barney addiction over the planet. But you know how parents are. We live to embarrass our children.

Barney the purple dinosaur invaded our home without any prior warning around 1996. We found 1 Barney videotape (when VHS tapes were all the rage, lol) and she watched it...over and over. I knew and can probably still sing every song on the Imagination Island video. I challenge anyone who may think I can't. Those songs have been, not burned, but CAUTERIZED into my memory. "Just imagine....just imagine..imagine all the places we can go....and see...Imagination's fun for you and me..."

I know you're impressed....anyway.....

Now, back to 'Outlander', which only has one song with any words so far. And I almost know all of them, not quite, but I'm close. That's without even trying. That's just from watching the episodes *cough* numerous times. "Sing me a song of a lass that is gone.." You know it...;)

This picture of Sam being Jamie makes me happy....very happy. :D Look how cute he is....EEEK!

And this one too....happy am I. Happy, Happy girl!

So maybe now I kinda get why my daughter wanted to watch Barney so much. If a tv show or a movie evokes happiness or laughter, why wouldn't you want to watch it a million times? Makes sense to me. Just like my two year old drove me insane watching Barney, I'm sure I'm driving my husband insane watching 'Jamie Fraser on 'Outlander'. :)

If you haven't joined in the addiction, you should give it a whirl. Outlander comes on Saturday night on the STARZ channel (in the U.S.) Not sure how you can find it in other countries. I know it's on in Australia on Foxtel. That's all I can remember right now.

I'm giving them a free plug...they should be paying me. Oh well..:P

Gotta go be a mom before it's time for bed!

Night all!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Chicago Goat Convention

Well....I did it.

I survived a trip in a plane, by myself. It was pretty awesome.
I saved my money for a year dog-sitting and saving 5.00 bills every time I thought about it and had enough money to pay for my hotel, food and cabs in the big city. I had no idea Chicago was such a beautiful city. Along with the huge skyscrapers like this:

This was our view out our hotel window, by the way. I couldn't believe all the trees and flowers planted everywhere. Very nice, Chicago...I hope to come back one day.

The main reason I went was to meet some members of my 'nationwide writers group' as we've been dubbed. We just call ourselves, 'The Goat Posse'.

I've talked about these people before, but I've never actually been in the same room with any of them. We all live in different states all across the country. So having 8 of us in one spot was a new record.
Here's us before tackling the Navy Pier. We walked the whole thing, so we don't look as tired as we were when we were
Here we are at the end of the pier. I didn't know there was a giant anchor there. Well kept secret. 

I love this picture so much. Several of us said the lake and sky look like a background that we photoshopped in because it's so perfect. We even have a token seagull...that couldn't be real...but it is. I guess that summed up our trip. The weather was perfect...sunny and 75 every day. What is that??? In July??? yep. The company was perfect. We loved being around each other and listening to each other's WIP's at night after supper. It was perfect.

We're all so different. Our personalities, writing styles, genres... it would be so easy for us to have creative differences and not be able to get along...but that was SO not the case. Everyone is beyond supportive. One of the reasons we were there was to go to a book signing in a Chicago suburb to support three of the published goats. We were so proud of them as we stood in the back of the room, as the place was FULL! Here are pictures of Anita talking about 'Unhinged', Amy talking about 'Of Breakable Things', and Bethany talking about 'Summer on the Short Bus'. You can see their awesome book covers as they're talking. Yes, I tried to do that on purpose. ;) You can also see the rows of people...standing room only is an awesome thing for a book signing. 

We got to ride in a limo there and back which was SO fun and we ate Chicago style pizza on the way back at Giordano's, which was FABULOUS. But there were so many people at the book signing it ran way over, so we had to eat it in the limo. Definitely a good problem to have. 

Being with all these talented writers made me appreciate them so much more than I already did. We definitely bonded. Bethany was the first person I saw in O'Hare airport, I almost cried when I hugged her because I was so glad to see her. To be able to see all these fabulous ladies in be able to hug them and talk to them without an electronic device was the coolest thing ever. 

This was the last picture we took together in the lobby of our hotel before we hugged one more time and said goodbye til next year. Anita had to leave out early and didn't get to take this one with us. Appropriately, there's a hole where she should be standing. 

Bethany was the last person I saw before we had to go to our separate gates. I almost cried again because then I knew it really was over and I had to head back to reality. 

I'm proud of myself for having the courage to actually say, "Yes. I'm going to a place I've never been before to see people I know, but have never met in person." Most people wouldn't think that was a big deal, but for me, it was huge. 

My friends from home said I was going on an adventure. 

An adventure, indeed. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


It's summer and you'll be hearing from me a little more often. Now, this is exciting stuff!  My first author interview with:  Dun, da-da dah! (Insert trumpet fanfare here)
T. Michelle Nelson 

I'm am SO excited to share this author with you! She was one of my first critique partners and remains a good writer friend. I'm SO glad we found each other. She is one of the first writers that read my MS and liked it. A few years later her third book is coming out. Her third installment of the Lily Drake series is called 'Death Warmed Over'. It's a paranormal romance, which is one of my favorite genres to read and to write. If this lady is a new discovery to you, you definitely need to go back and read the first and second books in this series. Book 1 is titled, "The Life and Death of Lily Drake" and book 2 is "Til Death do us Part."
Here's her awesome cover for Death Warmed Over:

Here's the plot description:

In the conclusion of the Lily Drake series, Lily must choose not only what is best for herself and her son, but for her people. Her sword will be stained with blood through her efforts to preserve the lives of the people she loves, but she won’t be able to save them all. When a devastating loss crushes her will to live, can Lily go on and be the leader she has to be? What is she willing to sacrifice to save others? Death comes to everyone...even the Queen’s house... What doesn't kill you will make you wish it did...

So let's get to know this awesome writer a little better.

When did you decide to start writing and why?

I'm not sure I just decided to start writing.  I think I've always goofed off and written stories.  When I actually finished the first Lily Drake novel and realized I had a complete manuscript I started getting serious about having it published, but publishing was never really a goal until that point.

 Was there a particular book that inspired you or one that inspires you now?

Gone with the Wind.  I guess it's the Southern gal in me that makes me love that book so much, but creating a character like Scarlett O'Hara that is so flawed that you still root for blew me away. I literally laughed and cried when I read that, and at times I would only allow myself to read one chapter per night because I didn't want to rush through it and it be over!

Tell us your pub story. 

I wrote a book.  I found a FABULOUS critique partner (ahem).  I decided to send it out to publishers. Within two weeks I had a contract in my hand.  I know - crazy, right? It was, and I am so lucky.  I did receive some rejection letters after the fact, but having already have a contract in hand sure makes those sting a little less!

Was it hard to write a sequel and then another?

Originally I had no designs to write a sequel.  The second book was going to focus on another character.  My publisher wanted more of Lily, so I thought about it for a couple weeks and began writing.  Her story had seemingly ended to me, so I had to mix things up a bit, but that's life, right?  No one gets a happy ever after without something happening!  The third book was maybe the most difficult.  Saying goodbye to Lily after throwing myself into her life for so long was hard.

Do you have to be in a certain mood or a certain place before you can write?

Absolutely.  I don't ever force it.  I've found when I try, the story suffers.  I think all the time, and eventually I will come up with some crazy storyline and I get excited about writing it.  Until that time comes i leave it alone!

Now for some random questions, because my ADD brain is also nosy:

Favorite season and why? 

Summer and Fall.  I love getting out and doing things.  I despise winter now that I live in the frozen north. Driving on snow and having to get out with all that white just depresses me.  Spring would be okay, but my allergies are a nightmare, so I therefore don't care for Spring either!

Favorite drink-can be anything
COFFEE.  The stronger the better.

Favorite color
Green, although I almost always wear black.  it's slimming, ya know?

Favorite author-past or present or both
Margaret Mitchell (see above question) and Edith Wharton.  I love me a good tragic love story.

Favorite vacation spot
New Orleans.  I hope someday it is my favorite spot to live in, not just a vacation spot!

Coolest moment as a writer or published author-can be anything, meeting some one you wouldn't have if you weren't an 'author' or anything like that. 

Too many to count.  Getting a contract, then seeing my book cover for the first time, signing the first book, etc.  However, the coolest moment was probably in Florence, Kentucky.  I was doing a book singing at barnes and Noble and met this amazing little girl who I talked to for some time.  She wanted to be an author when she grew up.  She was sharp as a tack too.  I have a feeling she will do great things and probably look back on the moment she met me and think"what a silly hack!" but it meant the world to me.  Someday I will say that I met her long before the movies came out!

Thanks for hanging out here and for all the great answers, friend! 

If you like strong female characters that are fun to read, you need to pick up this series!
Good luck friend! I hop you sell a ton of books! 
Here are some of T. Michelle Nelson's social media hook ups:

Facebook at:  T.Michelle Nelson
On twitter @TMichelleNelson
On her website at :
On goodreads at:  T. Michelle Nelson