Turning Down Life’s Volume

This is really less of a response to today’s Daily post and more of a message to my friends and readers…

I have been on a bit of a hiatus… not really intentionally, but that’s how things go. Summer rolls around and the kids are out of school. Things are busy at work (I’m training a new person AND preparing for a software upgrade which has turned into a huge pain in the ass). When I have free time at home (what limited free time there is), I tend to want to retreat into the beloved quiet of my brain… turn down the volume of life, if you will. I’ve tried to read more, relax more. Unfortunately, I have fallen off the wagon with Friday Fictioneers and Weekend Coffee Share. I will get back to them, I promise.

I have had views on both my Facebook page and the blog itself. I see you and I appreciate you checking in on me. I hope to connect with you soon.


If We Were Having Coffee… Mother’s Day weekend


Welcome! How amazing is this weather?! Blue skies, upper 70s and a decent breeze. Let’s grab a cool beverage this week and head outside. We need to soak up as much of this meteorological perfection as possible. Did you bring your sunglasses?

Today has been a great day. Let’s count the reasons why…

  1. The perfect weather. Did I mention that already?
  2. I started the day with a run/walk on the treadmill. What’s so great about that? There is nothing like starting your day with an increased heart rate, sweat and endorphins. Even more great, this is the first run I’ve attempted since my back troubles started two years ago. This is huge for me. This means that my back pain has gotten substantially better. It also means I’m not as scared of re-injury. My endurance is at ground zero but I can build it again.
  3. Mayfest is in town. This is the typical small Midwestern town fair with parade, vendors, food, drinks, and rides. I spent the day there with my family in the glorious sun. We shopped the craft fair (we picked up fidget spinners and an STL Cardinals key fob) and then ate lunch. I had a burger, some curly fries, a little bit of funnel cake, and a Strawberry Shake Up. After letting our food digest, we hit the rides. Something about carnival rides transports me back to my youth. We rode the scrambler, Tilt-a-whirl, and the swings.
  4. The St. Louis Cardinals won today…. and not just any win. We beat the Chicago Cubs. Winning is great but winning against the Cubs is exponentially better. We just came off a successful road series and are currently in first place. Who isn’t in first? The Cubs. We’ve had some injuries, yes. We brought up two players from our minor league system and they are on fire… haven’t missed a beat.

I didn’t write anything for Friday Fictioneers this week. I may still, I’m not sure. I’m not feeling the prompt this week. We’ll see. I wish I could say that I made some progress on my WIP this week. My characters are screaming at me, though, so maybe mental progress?

We haven’t made plans yet for Mother’s Day tomorrow. I know it will involve enjoying more of this awesome weather and of course, Cardinals baseball. I’m hoping my boys of summer will pull out another win for all of us moms in Cardinal Nation. Oh yeah… and I will enjoy the day with the (not so) little people that live in my house and call me mom.

To all the mom’s out there, I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day full of love, appreciation, and relaxation.

Catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (created by Part-time Monster)! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.

If We Were Having Coffee… 2/11/17


Happy weekend, coffee friends! It has been another week of oscillating weather, like we are on Mother Nature’s giant teeter totter.We had a couple of days below freezing and then today we hit 70 degrees. So this week, we may need a cooler beverage and we can even enjoy it outside.

The big news in my household this week is we have a new family member: Precious. Yes, another cat. Precious is 13 years old and belonged to my husband’s client who passed away last year. Since the death of her owner, Precious has been shuffled around to a couple of homes and none were a good fit. We already have two cats so the quality of our fit is still questionable. We are still in the transition phase so it is too early to tell. We have her in a sanctuary room and we are gradually introducing her. Now we have Gracie the original (almost 5 years old), Charlie the stray we took in last year (10 months old) and Precious the newcomer. With three cats, I think I have officially hit crazy cat lady status. Updates and photos to follow at future coffee dates.

In lesser news, I fell off the Cadbury mini-egg wagon. Not only did I fall, the wagon backed up and ran over me a few times. Not pretty.

I am ecstatic about The Walking Dead returning Sunday night. It is my favorite show and the only show that I have to watch live as it airs rather than watching it days later off the dvr. That also means that The Talking Dead is back which is much needed therapy after watching TWD episode. Also back will be texting with my TWD buddies during commercials.

I realize that it has been a while since I’ve posted anything here but Weekend Coffee Share and I feel like I need to make some changes. I can say I don’t have time but that’s really just an excuse. If I can find time to binge watch Dance Moms then I can find time to write and post. Reassessment, prioritization and organization – those are the key words for this week.

Catch me up. What would you tell me if were were having coffee?

Thanks to Diana at Part-time monster for hosting this weekly coffee chat! Join in by posting your own coffee post with the tag #weekendcoffeeshare and check out the other coffee share participants here.

Halfway through


November is halfway over so that means NaBloPoMo is halfway over. I have mixed feelings about that. It has been so challenging and I have wanted to quit so many times. Quitting would be easy. So in many ways I am looking forward to the end of the month so I don’t feel the pressure of obligation. 

On the other hand, that obligation has made me dedicated and motivated my stubborn side. I don’t want to fail. That alone has kept me writing and posting on days where I wanted to do anything but.

This has been a good experience because it has made me write more… even though I question the quality. Writing anything is better than writing nothing, right? It has been a stressful experience because many days I have written out of guilt and fear of failure… at the eleventh hour, under the wire.

All I know is I am looking forward to taking a day off on December 1.

Day 7: Finding Inspiration in Social Media

Writing is not hard. It is actually quite easy. Writing well? Now, that is hard. Editing? Even harder.

I do agree with this tweet, though. Only I would say that it applies to writers of all levels and not just novelists. As a struggling writer, it is so natural to read a great book and think “how did that author make it look so easy?” That is because the reader doesn’t see the author’s blood, sweat and tears that go into every step of the process from idea to publication.

I think many writers are also their own worst critic. I know I am. I am super critical of everything I write and even more critical of material that I share with others. It is pretty common for me to write something, love it, share it on my blog, start to second guess myself and then have that gut-wrenching feeling that everyone will hate it. Then I read amazing posts on other blogs and think “why can’t I write like that?” I am secretly envious of many bloggers here whose writing skills I feel exceed my own.

So, yes, I believe writers do secretly or not-so-secretly feel this way at least some of the time (and some of us a lot of the time). It’s the nature of the beast. While these thoughts may be fueled by insecurity, I feel they also serve to light the fire of motivation and make us strive for improvement.

Day 6: The Space to Write

Writing 101: Day 6… today I am supposed to describe where I write or describe my ideal place if I don’t have a dedicated space.

I do a lot of my writing at home in my bedroom, which is my sanctuary in general. I can really write anywhere, though. I have written in coffee shops or parks or even in the pickup line at school. Sometimes it is quiet and solitary and sometimes I am right in the thick of family chaos. When I’m in the zone, I’m in the zone and my surroundings don’t really matter.

The majority of my writing lately has been on my laptop. I also use journals, especially when I am outlining a longer story or making notes about character development, plot, etc. I use the journals more for writing when I’m out and about. For really short posts I even use my smartphone sometimes. It all just depends on where I am and what my mood is. I guess my writing process is a little bit of everything.

What does your writing process look like?

I love reader feedback! Which of my posts do you particularly like? What would you like to see me write about? Contact me here and let me know!

Day One: Why I Write

Writing 101: Day One: Why I Write

Why do I write?

As I watch the cursor blink and try to organize my thoughts, I ask myself this question frequently. While I love to write, I am not a professional writer. My demanding and stressful counseling job and my long commute claim most of my waking hours. My kids claim most of the rest. If you’re keeping track, the slice of my life’s pie chart that is available for me and my hobbies (i.e. writing) is quite small. This is why my blog sometimes goes neglected and writing projects go unwritten. Finding time to write is no easy feat. It would be easy to give up.

I write because it is my creative outlet. While I have always been a science nerd, I have also always loved to create. As a child, I loved to draw and create ads. As I got older, I loved to create music. Then I found my passion for story-telling and the written word. Like paint splashed on a canvas, words can make images, provoke thought and stir emotion. They can transport you to other worlds. They can be an escape.

I write to connect with others. Writing can be very personal and sharing personal things is scary. Every time that I share a piece of fiction or poetry I feel incredibly vulnerable. But when something I’ve written touches another person it is rewarding and fulfilling. There is no gain without risk.

I write because it gives me a voice. I have things to say and stories to tell. Ideas and characters swirl around in my brain – sometimes simmering, sometimes clamoring to get out, always infused with my heart and soul. Putting them out there means that I am heard.

I write because it makes me happy. Whether it is cleansing or cathartic, it brings me peace. Ultimately, I write for me.

Weekend Rewind 11/1/15


After a brief hiatus, it is time once again for Weekend Rewind, my weekly chat post – no rules, no prompts, anything goes.

Let’s get random…

Look ya’ll, I have a new graphic! I know it looks similar to the old one. I could have spent a year experimenting with all of the options in PicMonkey but I decided to just get the job done (and I really like the polaroid effect frame). I love the new picture because it says “rest and relaxation” to me. And isn’t that what weekends should be about?

Life has been insanely busy lately. And stressful – which means that my anxiety has been on level code red. Work has pretty much been a constant. Same old, same old. My husband switched jobs and that is always stressful. The car accident continues to haunt me. My car was totalled so I have been dealing with my insurance company and my lender and filing for GAP. We also had to buy a new car (actually, used car) to replace the one I wrecked. And we all know how stressful that is. I also went to court on 10/21, the date that was printed on my citation. I arrived only to find out that my name wasn’t on the docket because the officer didn’t “enter my ticket in the system.” Yes, that is a thing apparently. So now I am awaiting a new court date. So I will have to take time off work and go through the whole nerve-wracking experience again.

On to better things… I wrote a post about my recent camping trip with my girls and their scout troops. This turned out to be a very relaxing, special and much-needed break from reality. I truly did not want to leave on Sunday and return to the real world.

Halloween… October in my house is also known as “candypalooza.” We have two high schools in my little midwestern town and both have traditional midwestern Homecoming parades in October. Also, as the month winds down, Halloween parties and trunk-or-treats abound. And it all ends with the mother of all candy holidays: Halloween. We have so much candy in our house it looks like Willy Wonka, Hershey and Mars all threw up in there. My kids had a blast last night. My younger daughter dressed up as a lion. My very talented mother sewed the costume. My older daughter dressed up as a fortune teller. I took the younger trick-or-treating and the older spent the night at a friend’s house. Both came home with pumpkin buckets brimming with the good stuff. We also had great trick-or-treat weather: no jackets!

We turned our clocks back last night. I like DST in the fall because an extra hour is always welcome in my busy schedule. I slept in this morning and loved it (after I fell back asleep after being woken up by a 7 year old at 6:43 am). What I don’t like about DST in the fall is that my entire evening commute will now likely take place in darkness. Not only is it depressing but my night vision is pretty poor and driving in the dark is no fun. It is just one more step toward winter and that is no bueno.

Today officially kicks off NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo! Are any of my friends participating this year? Brave souls. I would like to do NaNoWriMo, but I just don’t want to add one more thing to my list of failures. I know I don’t have the time and I’m not prepared. Maybe next year. I would like to try NaBloPoMo and it is a much more reasonable goal. I also signed up for Writing 101, thinking that that could help keep me on track with a daily posting goal. For those who know me, I can hear you laughing behind your screens. I know, I’m crazy. But maybe I could make it work!

Have a great upcoming week, everyone! And keep writing!

Casual Fridays ( Weekend Rewind) 8/28/15


Its time for Casual Fridays/Weekend Rewind – my weekly chat post with no rules, no prompts, anything goes. Since it is Sunday night, I am coming in just under the wire.

Let’s get random …

This will be a short post since it is getting late. My weekend was equal parts busy and restful. Saturday we spent time getting ready for the first Girl Scout meeting of the season. The first meeting is our investiture and rededication ceremony. This is where our old scouts rededicate to another year and our new scouts are initiated into the troop. We have added several new girls this year so that is exciting.

On Saturday night, both of my daughters were invited to sleepovers. This meant that I had an evening to myself since my husband was busy raiding on World of Warcraft. So I actually had some time to write. I spent time writing other projects and unfortunately did not get any blog posts finished. But I had time to write and that’s the important thing. It felt great!

With both girls gone this morning, my husband and I were able to sleep in and enjoy a lazy Sunday morning in bed. We don’t get to do that very often so it was almost like a mini vacation. Of course, laundry and housework also called. Then this afternoon it was time for the Girl Scout ceremony.

Tonight I watched the second episode of fear the walking dead. I am really enjoying this new series.

While Mondays are always difficult, I have hope that this coming week at work will be better. My schedule is lighter and I am hoping to catch up on some things. Fingers crossed.

Have a great week, everyone!

Casual Fridays 3/13/15

jeans enhanced

It’s that time again! This is Casual Fridays, my weekly chat post – no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes.  And check out my friend at Good Woman who is also joining in!

I have kind of lost my writing mojo lately.  I’ve been very busy with the kids and such and just haven’t had as much time to connect with my laptop or writing journals.  As a result, my structured writing has been limited.  I feel like a piece of me is missing.  I have made sure not to miss my weekly Friday post, though, as it at least keeps me connected to my blog once a week.

Spring has sprung! We have had glorious weather this week.  Lots of sun and warm temperatures.  It has elevated my mood greatly.  And thanks to the time change,  it was still light when I got home from work this evening.  Driving with my sunroof open, feeling the sun on my skin, music blaring – ah, it just makes me happy.  After a long day at work it really is an elixir for my soul.

At the moment, I am listening to my James David Carter you tube channel.  This beautiful man’s angelic voice is serenading me through my ear buds.  Yeah, I’m in my happy place.

I absolutely love to sing.  Loudly.  Alone.  In my car.  I have a terrible voice.  Seriously, the worst.  My favorite song to sing loudly in the car right now is “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran.  My daughter, Caitlin Cate, rolls her eyes and shakes her head every time I sing it.  She acts all put out and tells me not to sing.  So I sing louder.  This is our little ritual and I love it.

Cate is also obsessed with babies.  She desperately wants me to have another baby.  She’s six so she doesn’t understand that it just isn’t going to happen.  It’s a shame, though, because she would be a rockstar of a big sister.  One of her favorite things to do is ask me questions about what she was like as a baby.  I can’t tell you how much I cherish these talks with her.  I get to reminisce and her little eyes just light up as she listens to the stories.

My older daughter, Kiera, just turned 11.  Despite the whole tween thing, this is a great age.  She is such a sweet and kind-hearted girl.  And an old soul, so conscientious and responsible.  She is learning so much and developing her own interests and opinions.  We had an event this week and I just couldn’t stop looking at her, my heart so full of pride.  Often as a parent, I have felt blind, trying to feel my way around in the dark.  I have questioned myself, agonized over decisions.  It is so much pressure raising a little person to be a good adult.  But lately, she has really made me feel like I am doing something right.  I know this is probably the calm before the storm – the teen years are coming – but I am embracing this time because it is pretty darn good.

The St. Louis Rams traded Sam Bradford this week.  As far as I’m concerned, Los Angeles can have them back.  Good riddance.  Sayonara.  In other news,  baseball season is getting closer.  STL is buzzing with excitement.  The boys of summer will be back soon.

Have a great weekend and week, everyone!